[b-hebrew] Evidence for the Exodus

Jonathan D. Safren yonsaf at beitberl.ac.il
Thu Aug 5 14:28:17 EDT 2004

Sometimes the authentic info may contained in slips of the pen or "between
the lines" or in cryptic passages or passages that seem out of place.
Take for example Num. 12:1, where both Miriam and Aaron seem to be angry
with Moses over his  Cushite wife, "for he took a Cushite wife". What has
this to do with the berit, the Exodus, the desert wanderigs (unless yu want
to claim that these particular Cushites were a Sinai sesert tribe) or the
consquest of Canaan?
To me this appears to be an authentic piece of information about Moses the
Egyptian who, while still in Egypt, married a woman from Nubia or Ehtiopia,
which wouldn't be very out of the way if you were an Egyptian or even a
Hebrew living in Egypt.
Or take 1 Sam. 2:17, in which the anonymous "man of God" begins his reproof
of Elis and his sons with the cryptic "Did I not reveal myself to your
family (lit. 'father's house') when they were in Egypt belonging to/working
for Pharaoh?"
This appears to me to be an authentic notive of the presence of an Israelite
priestly family in Egypt, where they may even have been Egyptian priests
(the names Hofni, Phineas??)
These examples are not hard historical evidence in the strict sense of the
word (after all, they're in the Bible and not on some tablet or papyrus),
but strong indications that there may be something behind the Exodus
traditions after all.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
To: <bill.rea at canterbury.ac.nz>
Cc: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2004 11:34 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Evidence for the Exodus

> On 04/08/2004 22:22, Bill Rea wrote:
> > ...
> >
> >If you look for natural explanations of the signs and wonders in the
> >text you miss (probably deliberately) what the text is trying to tell
> >you. Often you end up only having pushed the sign or wonder into a
> >different aspect of the event, here the preservation of Moses' life.
> >It's a bit like the mess in Dr Suess's Cat in the Hat - the miraculous
> >just moves it doesn't go away. (That's an imperfect analogy.)
> >
> >
> >
> This reminds me of a joke, which I will repeat here because it is
> relevant and make's Bill's point clearly.
> A teacher was telling a class the story of the parting of the Red Sea.
> When he got to the point where YHWH turns the sea into dry land, he was
> interrupted by a child shouting "Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!" "What do
> you mean?" asked the teacher. The child said "What a wonderful miracle,
> God parting the sea like that!" The teacher replied "Well, not really.
> The water there was only a few inches deep, the wind could easily blow
> it back." And he continued with the story.
> But when he got to the part where the Egyptian army was all drowned, he
> was again interrupted by "Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!" "What is it
> now?" asked the teacher. The same child said "This time it really must
> have been a miracle, the whole army drowning in a few inches of water!"
> -- 
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/
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