[b-hebrew] Dates of Ezra and Nehemiah

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sun Sep 17 17:24:43 EDT 2006


While I accept your statement that Iron-Age biblical dates are dependent on
Mesopotamian dates and not Egyptian ones, and that Kitchen used "biblical"
dates for Seshonq and some other TIP kings, the New Kingdom kings are
actually dated independently of anything biblical.

Dating the Exodus to Ramses II is not because "it would be appropriate for 
God to humble such a great and proud ruler". It starts with the city of 
Ramses at which the Israelites labored, which obviously cannot pre-date the 
19th dynasty. And then, the Merneptah Stele, which mentions "Israel" ALREADY 
IN THE LAND around 1207. And the archaeological evidence of massive 
hill-country settlement, much like the Bible attributes to the Israelites, 
begins about 1200. And the end of Egyptian control of Canaan, around 1150. 
All these mean that the initial Israelite settlement (in whatever fashion!) 
occurred just before 1200, which means that the Exodus would have occurred 
about 1250 - right in the middle of Ramses II's reign.

Of course, all this only if you assume that there WAS something like what 
the Bible calls the Exodus, at any "real" time.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Peter Kirk" <peter at qaya.org>
To: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>
Cc: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, September 17, 2006 9:55 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Dates of Ezra and Nehemiah

> On 17/09/2006 07:07, Yigal Levin wrote:
>> ...
>> Remember, we get our absolute dates for biblical chronology from Egyptian
>> and (mostly) Mesopotamian documents, not vise-versa.
> This may be true of Mesopotamian chronology, but not of Egyptian. There is
> no dependence of biblical chronology from the time of Saul onwards on
> Egyptian chronology, but entirely vice versa. The orthodox estimate of the
> date of Shoshenk I is dependent on estimates by Thiele etc of the date of
> the Shishak invasion in 1 Kings. Kitchen et al have fitted other Egyptian
> rulers around this date for Shoshenk I but with a lot of uncertainties.
> And Thiele's dates are derived from the Bible and from Mesopotamian data,
> but not at all from Egyptian. The only biblical dates dependent on
> Egyptian chronology are some scholars' speculative dates for a 13th
> century BCE Exodus, but these dates actually conflict with the biblical
> dates, as well as being based on uncertain Egyptian dates and a very
> speculative identification of Rameses II as the Pharaoh of the Exodus, for
> which the main evidence as far as I can tell is his prominence and the
> feeling of some that it would be appropriate for God to humble such a
> great and proud ruler.
> -- 
> Peter Kirk
> E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
> Blog:    http://speakertruth.blogspot.com/
> Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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