[b-hebrew] Exodus & Hyksos

kwrandolph kwrandolph at email.com
Wed May 26 15:22:41 EDT 2004

Dear Walter:

The problem that I find with a book like Prof. Stiebing's is that he 
assumes that every place that has a name is occupied by a town. But 
that's not the picture given in Genesis, Exodus and Numbers. The 
picture given there is that many places had a name while uninhabited.

In western Europe where towns are often only a kilometer apart, the 
concept of a named locality without a town sounds fairly unusual, but 
I have been in places where the next town, or even hamlet big enough 
to have a gas station, is 175 km away (if even listed) over dirt 
roads, Arizona and New Mexico, states within the U.S., has places 
like that. Yet between the inhabited places are dozens of named 
sites, some of them with campgrounds (a  few of which are quite nice) 
with the names listed on maps.

After experiencing traveling through areas like that, I don't expect 
the places listed in Tanakh necessarily to have a town perched on it. 
There is no mention of a town at Beersheba when Abraham camped there, 
in fact, that's the reason I think he and Isaac regularly camped 
there. My impression of Bethlehem when Rachel died there was also 
uninhabited except for temporary encampments by nomads. Only later 
were towns erected on the sites.

Therefore, to say that the lack of habitation at a named site at a 
certain time makes for an anomaly doesn't hold water.

Other indications in Genesis are that the land of Canaan was fairly 
sparsely inhabited, even up to the time of Joshua. The picture I get 
from Joshua is that he broke the back of the military opposition to 
his invasion, while the people mostly settled the uninhabited areas 
between the towns.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Walter R. Mattfeld" <mattfeld12 at charter.net>
>  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
>  www.bibleorigins.net

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list