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

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Sat Jul 24 17:00:56 EDT 2004

On 24/07/2004 21:40, Yigal Levin wrote:

>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.

Actually, what depends on this questionable synchronism is not the 
Israelite dates but the Egyptian ones. The Israelite dates, back to 
Solomon at least, can be reconstructed from the reign lengths given in 
Kings and Chronicles, and the known dates of Nebuchadnezzar. The main 
evidence for the date of the Egyptian Sheshonq I is based on his 
supposed synchronism with Rehoboam. If this synchronism is abandoned, 
the absolute dates of biblical events are unchanged. But what does then 
become variable are the Egyptian dates.

For example, David Rohl (in "From Eden to Exile") dates the Exodus to 
1447 BCE, a date based primarily on the same biblical evidence and 
arguments that Walter has given and just one year different from 
Walter's date (although Rohl is not a conservative Christian). But Rohl 
puts this in the reign of Pharaoh Djedneferre Dudimose of the 13th 
dynasty - in the Second Intermediate Period and conventionally dated 
just before 1600 BCE. Rohl is able to do this because he radically 
redates Egyptian, but not Israelite, history. He compresses the Third 
Intermediate Period, and identifies the biblical Shishak with Rameses 
II, and the biblical Saul with the Amarna letters' Labayu. This redating 
is of course too radical for some, but I mention it just to explain that 
abandoning the Shishak/Sheshonq identification does not imply adjusting 
the absolute dates of biblical events.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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