[b-hebrew] 1450 BCE Exodus ? 'Apiru = Hebrews ?

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sat Jul 24 16:40:09 EDT 2004

Please remember, that the dates given below are all based on the assumption
that Shishak, who invaded Judah in Rehoboam's 5th year, is the same as
Sheshonq I, who invaded "Retenu" in c. 925 B.C.E.  I personally do not doubt
the equation, but this just shows that this whole dating scheme is not
purely "biblical" - it is based on modern scholarly research, both of the
Bible and of Egyptian chronology. So the date of 1446 for the Exodus is no
more "Biblical" than any other.

Furthermore, what 1 Kings 6:1 actually says, is that Solomon built the
Temple in his 4th year, which was the 480th since the Exodus. 480 just
happens to be 40 x 12. 40, as in the reigns of both David and Solomon (and
Saul, according to Acts), as well as the length of time the Israelites spent
in the desert, the time (and multiples of) that many of the Judges ruled,
the number of days that the Flood lasted, that the spies spent touring the
Land, that Moses spent on Mt. Sinai (so did Elijah) and so on, has long been
recognized as being a typological number, that is used to signify the
passage of a whole period of time (a generation). It's even used in the
Mesha inscription. And 12, of course, is the number of the sons of Jacob, of
the tribes of Israel, of Solomon's districts, of the Judges, of the month of
the year and so on. So I would have little qualms about taking any of those
figures figuratively.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Walter R. Mattfeld" <mattfeld12 at charter.net>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, July 23, 2004 9:48 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] 1450 BCE Exodus ? 'Apiru = Hebrews ?

> Some Conservative Christian scholars understand on the basis of 1 Kings
> that the Exodus was ca. 1446 BCE and after wandering in the Wildernes for
> years, Canaan's Conquest began under Joshua ca. 1406 BCE.
> Solomon is assumed to have come to the throne ca. 970 BCE, we are told
> David reigned 40 years (1 Kings 2:11) so 970 + 40 = 1010 BCE for the
> beginning of his reign, and, according to the New Testament, Saul reigned
> years (Acts 13:21), 1010 + 40 = 1050 BCE for the beginnig of his rule ( I
> realize that Jewish scholars don't have to buy into this last equation, it
> being a NT Christian notion).
> 1406 BCE minus 1050 BCE = 356 years, more or less, for the period of the
> Judges.
> Is there any information about events in Canaan during "the period of the
> Judges," 1406-1050 BCE outside of the biblical account ?
> Yes. Under Pharaoh Akhenaten who reigned ca. 1350-1334 BCE, we are
> that the land of Canaan is in a state of rebellion to Egyptian authority
> egged-on by forces who are called 'Apiru/Habiru. Loyal Egyptian-appointed
> mayors of some Canaanite settlements inform Pharaoh that the intent of the
> 'Apiru/Habiri to seize all the land of Canaan to the border of Egypt to
> it their own.
> Of interest is that the book of Judges tells us that Israel, more
> specifically, Judah, shortly after the death of Joshua captures Jerusalem
> (Judg 1:8) killing all its inhabitants and setting it on fire. What is
> surprising is that we are later told that the Jebusites -the inhabitants
> Jerusalem- were not all slaughtered after all, Judah intermarried with
> (Judg 3:5-6) and when David captured Jerusalem, Jebusites still lived
> (2 Sam 5:6-9), and later he bought a threshing floor for the future temple
> from Araunah the Jebusite (2 Sam 24:16).
> Is there any archaeological data on Jerusalem under the Judges ? Yes. An
> Egyptian-appointed mayor called Abdi-Heba wrote several letters in
> script on clay tablets to Pharaoh Akhenaten appraising him of the
> deteriorating political situation in Canaan. He notes with alarm the
> power of the 'Apiru, and eventually informs Pharaoh that all the land of
> Canaan is lost to the 'Apiru, ONLY his city, Jerusalem is still loyal and
> has not gone over to the rebels. He pleads for Pharaoh to send troops to
> restore Canaan to Egyptian sovereignty, and concludes his letter, that if
> Pharaoh chooses not to send troops, then he requests permission to abandon
> the city and come live in Egypt as a loyal servant.
> Scholars are divided as to what to make of the "Apiru. Are they the
> wresting the land of Canaan away from the Canaanites or are they some
> unknown phenomena which the Bible is silent about ?
> The date for the 'Apiru activity is ca. 1350-1334 BCE, the reign of
> Akhenaten. If Conservative Christian scholars are right about a Conquest
> under Joshua ca. 1406 BCE, this means Israel and its Judges have been in
> Canaan for approximately 56 years when the 'Apiru rebellion takes place.
> Jerusalem "fall" to the 'Apiru shortly after Abdi-Heba's letter to Pharaoh
> If so, how to explain the biblical statement that Jerusaelm was captured
> Judah, all its inhabitants put to the sword, and the city set on fire,
> Joshua's death ?
> We are told after conquering the land Joshua assembles the tribes at
> to get them to pledge their loyalty to Yahweh (Josh 24:1-29). Still later,
> under the Judges, Israelites at Shechem choose a king for themselves
> Abimelech (Judg 9:1-22), who rules for three years.
> Is there any data, archaeologically speaking on Shechem, in the time of
> Judges, 1406-1050 BCE ? Yes. The Egyptian-Appointed mayor of Shechem,
> Labayu, is busy defending himself in letters to Pharaoh, countering claims
> from other mayors that he is an Apiru, "a rebel" to Egyptian authority,
> aiding and abetting the 'Apiru seizure of nearby cities loyal to Pharaoh.
> If Shechem is an "Israelite" city under Joshua and Abimelech, whose is
> Labayu character ? What's he doing here, in the setting of the Judges,
> BCE to 1050 BCE ? Labayu also learns that Pharaoh considers his son to be
> possible Apiru, consorting with those disloyal to Egypt. Still later one
> Labayu's sons appears in the correspondence as being in charge of Pella in
> Transjordan and he has to defend himself to Pharaoh. Of interst is that
> son knows an individual called Yishuya, which is similar in sound to
> of Transjordan fame in the Bible. So, how does one reconicle Holy Writ's
> scenario of Shechem being in Israelite hands since Joshua's days, yet it
> "Apiru/Habiru rebels residing within it opposing Akhenaten's authority ?
> If the "Apiru/Habiru residing in the Hill Country of Canaan and Shechem of
> 1350-1334 BCE are NOT the Hebrews in the days of the Judges, 1406-1050
> then WHERE ARE THE HEBREWS ? Why _no mention of them_ in the Tell
> correspondence ? Are they just invisible tent-dwelling "phantoms"
> the hills with their tents, goats and sheep, waiting to settle down and
> build their villages in Iron I ca. 1200-1000 BCE ?
> Regards, Walter
> Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld y de la Torre, M.A. Ed.
> mattfeld12 at charter.net
> www.bibleorigins.
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