Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition
Scholars of the Hebrew Bible have in the last decade begun to question the historical accuracy of the Israelite sojourn in Egypt, as described in the book of Exodus. The reason for the rejection of the exodus tradition is said to be the lack of historical and archaeological evidence in Egypt. Those advancing these claims, however, are not specialists in the study of Egyptian history, culture, and archaeology. In this pioneering book, author James Hoffmeier examines the most current Egyptological evidence and argues that it supports the biblical record concerning Israel in Egypt.
Hoffmeier begins his study with a methodological critique of the "minimalist" position and examines the biblical traditions themselves, with special attention to source-critical issues. He then considers the evidence from recent excavations in the Nile Delta which reveal the presence of a large Semitic population during the period 1650-1525 B.C. and argues that the Hebrews could have been one distinct ethnic group among these expatriates. Drawing on extra-biblical texts, inscriptions, artifacts, and recent infrared satellite photographs, Hoffmeier provides a convincing reconstruction of the Israelite sojourn. He defends the plausibility of the Joseph story and discusses the role of Moses in history. Finally, he traces the probable route of the Exodus itself.
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Israels Early History in Recent Scholarship
The Current Debate
The First and Second Intermediate Periods
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Ahlstrom Ancient Egypt archaeological argued Asiatics Avaris Baal-zephon believes Bible biblical scholars Bietak Bitter Lakes Canaan Canaanite century B.C. chap conquest Delta discussion Donald Redford early east Eastern Egyptian Egyptologists Eighteenth Dynasty evidence excavations Exod Exodus narratives Fortress Frontier Canal Gardiner Genesis habiru Hebrew Hebua historian History Hyksos Ibid identified inscriptions Intermediate Period Israel Israelites itinerary Joseph story Joshua Kenneth Kitchen king Kitchen Lake Timsah land Late Bronze Age Levant literary literature Merikare Merneptah Middle Bronze Middle Kingdom Migdol military Moses Nile north Sinai Old Testament origin Palestine Papyrus Anastasi Pelusiac Pentateuch Pharaoh Pi-ha-hiroth Pi-Ramesses Pithom plagues problem Raamses Ramesses Ramesside recent Red Sea Sargon Semitic Seters Seti Sneh sources stela Succoth suggests Tell el-Maskhuta temple Thutmose Thutmose III tion Tjaru Tjeku tomb toponyms tradition translation Twelfth Dynasty University Press Wadi Tumilat Weissbrod word writing yam sup