[b-hebrew] Exodus & Hyksos

Walter R. Mattfeld mattfeld12 at charter.net
Wed May 26 08:28:35 EDT 2004

Harold Holmyard wrote :

"Dr. Eugene H. Merrill, in his book Kingdom of Priests, dates the
Exodus to 1440 B.C. and says this:

It might seem strange that Egyptian history knows nothing of the
exodus and conquest, but given the Egyptian penchant for recording
only victories and not defeats, one should not be surprised at the
omission. Amenhotep II (1450-1425), the pharaoh of the exodus, had
either little interest or little stomach for Palestinian conquest
following his fifth year. the year of the exodus. His son Thutmose IV
(1425-1417) apparently undertook only one northern campaign-to Aram
Naharaim. This would have occurred while Israel was in the Sinai
wilderness and so would have had no effect on the conquest. Amenhotep
III (1417-1379) was ruling during Israel's invasion and occupation of
Canaan, but his attention was directed not towards defending his
interests in Canaan, but toward hunting and the arts. Whatever
military activities he did undertake were against Nubia in the south.
This obviously was providential for Israel, for, as has been seen,
the Mitannians, Hittites, and (later) the Assyrians were for the most
part at loggerheads, unable to fill the vacuum that Egypt's
disinterest in Canaan had produced. Only the Canaanites, themselves
totally disorganized, stood in the way."

Those who have devoted a great deal of time to pinpointing the Exodus' date,
are aware of the many different proposals for this event. They range from
the Egyptian 12th/13th Dynasty all the way to Iron I  and the Egyptian
19th/20 Dynasty !

What is _not_ generally well-known is that despite "whatever date" one wants
for the Exodus, there are archaeological anomalies that refuse to go away-
that is to say one can find places that either were not yet in existence or
were abandoned for ANY proposal, Early Bronze through Iron Ages.  When faced
with these archaeological anomalies the usual response by the proposer is to
"dismiss the anomalies" by claiming the sites must be incorrectly
identified, or there is a "wrong" Egyptian chronology being used which needs
"fixing" to make the archaeological evidence "align" with the Biblical
chronology and account.

Professor William H. Stiebing Jr. has written a book on ALL the anomalies
for ANY given date, and ALL who are interested in this subject -"the dating
of the Exodus"- ought to read his book before accepting anybody's proposal
for an Exodus date (William H. Stiebing Jr. _Out of the Desert ? Archaeology
and the Exodus/Conquest Narratives_. Prometheus Books. Amherst, New York.
1989. paperback [go to www.prometheusbooks.com to order the book;
alternately, you may be able to obtain it via Inter-Library Loan through
your local library])

He sums up the problem very succinctly :

"Almost all of the sites mentioned in the biblical Conquest stories were
settled in the Iron Age, while many were often not occupied in earlier
periods. What might this mean ? Perhaps the biblical accounts say more about
when the stories began to take shape than they do about the Conquest itself.
There does not seem to be a point in the archaeological sequence in
Palestine where the physical evidence revealed by the spade closely matches
the biblical Exodus and Conquest narratives. Whether the Exodus and Conquest
are placed at the end of Early Bronze III or Middle Bronze II, or in the
Iron Age I, there are still serious discrepancies, just as there are with
the more common Late Bronze Age placements for these events." (pp.146/148)

Regards, Walter

Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld y de la Torre, M.A. Ed.
mattfeld12 at charter.net

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list