Date of Moses, was: [b-hebrew] Re: PS /g/

gfsomsel at gfsomsel at
Thu Nov 18 08:14:02 EST 2004

On Wed, 17 Nov 2004 21:51:43 +0000 Peter Kirk <peterkirk at>
> On 17/11/2004 18:30, gfsomsel at wrote:
> > ...
> >
> >>As for the dating of the Ugaritic texts, there was a debate in 
> this 
> >>forum not long ago concerning the accuracy of traditional dates. 
> But 
> >>even the earliest dates for the Ugaritic literature that I have 
> seen 
> >>(ca. 1200 BCE) is still well after Moses (who wrote ca. 1450-1400 
> >>BCE). If Rohl and others like him are correct, even that date is a 
> >>couple of centuries too early.
> >>
> >That's an absurd date for this supposed figure.  BTW:  There 
> probably was
> >a "Moses" to whom many legends accreted, but this was not the 
> Moses
> >portrayed in the Pentateuch.
> >
> George, I'm surprised at you saying that ca. 1450-1400 is an absurd 
> date 
> for Moses. You say that a Moses probably existed, but at what time 
> would 
> you date him? Although the majority scholarly opinion is probably 
> now 
> for a 13th century Exodus, there are many serious scholars of all 
> kinds 
> of persuasions who date some kind of Exodus event to the 15th 
> century, 
> based in part on the dates in 1 Kings 6:1. These scholars agree on 
> the 
> approximate date even though they differ widely on the historical 
> context of the Exodus: the arrival of the Hyksos, the expulsion of 
> the 
> Hyksos, or the reign of Tuthmosis III (I think). You are calling a 
> lot 
> of theories absurd!
> -- 
> Peter Kirk
> peter at (personal)
> peterkirk at (work)


It is a moot point if there even was an Exodus as depicted in the
Pentateuch.  The housing styles and the pottery reflect an unbroken
sequence which would tend to indicate that there was no influx of a
foreign element into the land.  It would seem that Israel was an
indigenous people of the country.  

As regards the dating of Moses (whoever or whatever he may have been)
note that in Jdg 18 it is stated that the grandson of Moses was a priest
in the hill-country of Ephraim who was pressed into the service of the
Danites who then migrated to the area of Laish where the Mushite line was
established as the priesthood WITH GRAVEN IMAGES (which probably was
intended to account for the establishment of the Israelite cultic site at
Dan under Jeroboam I).  Since this was the grandson of Moses, this could
not be far removed in time from Moses himself considering the limited
life-span of the time (contrary to the view set forth in the Tanak). 
This would have been not to long prior to the establishment of the
northern kingdom itself.


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