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Exodus Never Happened, and Neither Did the Parting of the Red Sea

Posted by stvs on 23 Sep 2010 at 15:03 GMT

Because there was never an Exodus, an attempted physical proof of the parting of the Red Sea is beyond silly.

The archaeological evidence is conclusive: The Jews were never in Egypt, there was never an Exodus, and and no Jewish conquest of the land of Israel. In fact, the Jews were still polytheists when the first Passover was supposed to have happened. Jews and Christians wishing to pretend otherwise would do well to absorb the facts presented by Ze'ev Herzog, Israel Finkelstein, William Dever, and many others.

William Dever, a Christian biblical archaeologist who got into the business to prove the truth of the Biblical account, tells about how his research into the Bible's historicity led to his loss of Christian faith in "Losing Faith: Who Did and Who Didn’t, How Scholarship Affects Scholars":

"About 15 years ago, in my archaeological work I began to write about ancient Israel. Originally I wrote to frustrate the Biblical minimalists; then I became one of them, more or less. The call of Abraham, the Promise of the Land, the migration to Canaan, the descent into Egypt, the Exodus, Moses and monotheism, the Law at Sinai, divine kingship—archaeology throws all of these into great doubt. My long experience in Israel and my growing uncertainty about the historicity of the Bible meant that was the end for me." []

Herzog's Ha'aretz article trying to introduce these facts as firmly but gently as possible to Israeli citizens is worth reading in full. Many Israelis and Christians remain in deep denial about the fact that all major Old Testament stories are discredited by archaeological findings.

Deconstructing the walls of Jericho []
Ha'aretz, Friday, October 29, 1999

This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. And it will come as an unpleasant shock to many that the God of Israel, Jehovah, had a female consort and that the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai. Most of those who are engaged in scientific work in the interlocking spheres of the Bible, archaeology and the history of the Jewish people—and who once went into the field looking for proof to corroborate the Bible story—now agree that the historic events relating to the stages of the Jewish people's emergence are radically different from what that story tells. …

No competing interests declared.

RE: Exodus Never Happened, and Neither Did the Parting of the Red Sea

drews replied to stvs on 28 Sep 2010 at 15:09 GMT

The historicity of the Exodus is beyond the scope of this "Dynamics of Wind Setdown..." paper. The paper deals with scenarios of wind setdown that would cause a division in a body of water, as studied and reported by previous researchers. We addressed Egyptian history in the context of reconstructing the likely topography of the eastern Nile delta circa 1250 BC.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Exodus Never Happened, and Neither Did the Parting of the Red Sea

jamesgoetz replied to stvs on 29 Sep 2010 at 07:52 GMT

Since you bring up William Dever, you could also look at his moderate view of Moses in _Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?_ (2006).

No competing interests declared.

RE: Exodus Never Happened, and Neither Did the Parting of the Red Sea

RudyMitchell replied to stvs on 30 Sep 2010 at 16:16 GMT

Those claiming the Israelite sojourn in Egypt did not happen are not specialists in Egyptian history, culture and archaeology. Professor James Hoffmeier who is a specialist in Egyptian archaeology, has used the most recent Egyptological evidence and excavations in the Nile Delta to make a convincing case for the Israelite sojourn in Egypt. The minimalist position is only one viewpoint, and many respected scholars do not accept this extremist position. See Hoffmeier's scholarly and well founded rebuttal in his book, Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition (Oxford University Press).

No competing interests declared.