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Why is the dating of exodus so important


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Every small donation helps us develop and publish great articles. This article was first published in the Fall issue of Bible and Spade.

The date and nature of the Exodus have been subjects of scholarly debate since the beginnings of Egyptology in the midth century, and the dispute continues unabated today. There is no consensus regarding the date of the Israelite slavery, nor its nature, nor even its historicity…It is an area where archaeological interpretation and biblical narrative collide" Oblath Not Mentioned in Egyptian Records. What are the reasons for the widespread skepticism concerning the Exodus? A major stumbling block is that there is no mention of Israelites in Egypt or of an Exodus from Egypt in Egyptian records: The book [Exodus] relates to Egyptian history but only in a vague way.

Not a single Egyptian is identified by name, not even the pharaohs, despite the fact that two of them, the pharaohs of the oppression and the exodus, are involved… Historians acknowledge that, after more than two centuries of archaeological research, there is still an absence of evidence for the presence of Israel in Egypt Johnstone There is an oft-repeated adage in Biblical and archaeological studies with regard to efforts to reconstruct events of thousands of years ago from the bits and tatters of information that have survived: Where would one expect to find written records of the presence "Why is the dating of exodus so important" Israel in Egypt, or of the Exodus?

In Rameses, of course, the place where the Israelites were settled when Jacob and his family entered Egypt Gn Fortunately, we know a lot about Rameses, modern Tell el-Daba in the northeastern Nile delta, since it has been excavated almost continuously since What historical records have been found from the time period of the Exodus at ancient Rameses?

In fact, the only historical document to be found from any period from all of the excavations in the area of ancient Rameses over a period of more than 40 years is one small 2x2 in 5x5 cm fragment of a clay tablet.

It appears to be part of a letter from the king of the Hittite empire to Rameses II ca. Surviving Egyptian inscriptions were, for the most part, propagandistic records carved in stone extolling the accomplishments of the god-king Pharaohs. An event that demeaned Pharaoh or Egypt would never be recorded. Moreover, writing was believed to be sacred, giving reality to the statements being recorded. If an event was not recorded, then it was as though it had never happened Wheeler And why did not Moses identify the Why is the dating of exodus so important of the oppression and Exodus?

Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen provides the answer It derives from a phrase used for the royal palace and court until the New Kingdom when, in the midth Dynasty, it came to be used of the king himself.