The Evidence for the Exodus and Archaeological Enquiry
by Mike Robinson
A Sample of the Evidence for the Exodus
· Semitic language wall graffiti has been found.
· The Merenptah Stele describes an attack in Canaan by Pharaoh, references Israel as part of the established inhabitants of Canaan.
· The name of the Hebrew midwife in Exodus is the same as that of a slave mentioned in the Shiphra Papyrus. It has a list of slaves from Egypt about 1700 B.C. A slave with the name Shiphra (and other Semitic names) is listed. In the Old Testament, a Hebrew woman with the same name, Shiphra, was a midwife Pharaoh commissioned to slay all the Hebrew boys during the time of the birth of Moses.
· “Nomads of Yahweh” are mentioned by an Egyptian monument including the specific area mentioned in the Book of Exodus concerning Israel’s wandering.
· “The description of the borders of Canaan in the Pentateuch and in Joshua 1:4 matches the Egyptian understanding of Canaan in second-millennium B.C. sources…” (Richard Hess).
· The men of Israel were circumcised, which was an Egyptian ritual. God commanded Abraham as well as Moses to circumcise men as the sign of the covenant.
· In the Old Testament there are Egyptian names, ceremonial practices, as well structural designs that reflect Egyptian influence.
· In a Cairo museum is the El Arish Stone (discovered in 1887). It corroborates the biblical story of the Exodus. Archaeologist Frances Griffith dated the object to 380 B.C. and it seems to reveal the Exodus story from Egypt’s perspective.
The Parameters of Human Reason
First of all, redemption is here portrayed as, before anything else, a deliverance from an objective realm of sin and evil. … What held under the Hebrews was not mere political dependence, but harsh bondage. Their condition is represented as a condition of slavery. The Egyptians exploited them for selfish ends regardless of Israel’s own welfare. Ever since, redemption has attached itself to this imagery…
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