[b-hebrew] Exodus, Dating of (Josephus vs. Manetho)

Brian Roberts formoria at carolina.rr.com
Fri May 28 16:55:36 EDT 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "Walter R. Mattfeld" <mattfeld12 at charter.net>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, May 28, 2004 2:07 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Exodus, Dating of (Josephus vs. Manetho)


> As most on this list are aware (that is to say, those who have studied the
> Exodus and its dating problems), Josephus argued that the Exodus was
> recalling the mid 16th century BCE Hyksos Expulsion as presented by the
> century BCE Egyptian historian Manetho in his History of Egypt, written in
> Greek for his Ptolemaic overlords.
> What is NOT so well known is that Josephus in citing Manetho's work, notes
> with great displeasure, that Manetho does NOT associate the Exodus with
> Hyksos Expulsion ! Instead, Manetho claims the Exodus was in the days of
> Ramessides !

> It is _my_ conclusion, after having studied Josephus' account of Manetho
> having studied archaeology findings and having read innumerable Exodus
> dating proposals, that _TWO EXODUS EVENTS_ are being recalled in the
> The "first" is the mid 16th century BCE Hyksos Expulsion and the "second"
> the Ramesside expulsion "narrated" by Manetho !

BR: Why must the Bible be referencing two Exodus events? You're conflating
three sources to come up with 2 exodii. If I read you right, you've used the
biblical story as a springboard to analyze Josephus (about whom you know how
I feel). From Josephus you work back to Manetho, noting the fact that he
does NOT associate the Exodus with the Hyksos Expulsion. That is all well
and good. But your next step perplexes me. Where I would see both Manetho
and Josephus as recipients of much later, filtered information, you see
their data as being as reliable as the Hebrew Bible. In fact, you conclude
that both much much later sources each represent their own (historical?)
Exodus events. Basically, what you've got is Josephus "correcting"
Manetho's Ramesside identification of the Exodus with his own Hyksos
version. I think if you're going to make this theory work you're going to
have to describe how Josephus only knew of the Hyksos identification and
Manetho was only aware of the Ramesside identificaiton. Plus, you're going
to have to present plausible mechanisms for how each Exodus thread would
have made its way to each of their respective writers. Where I agree with
you is that two Exodus events are being proposed in Manetho and Josephus.
You have yet to connect that to the Hebrew Bible.

Best Salaams,

Brian Roberts

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