Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Is The Exodus Fact Or Myth?

Biblegems #297

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Question: Is there historical, archaeological evidence for the biblical Exodus?

The short answer is “Yes!”

The Biblical Record
The year the Exodus began can be established from1Kings 6:1:
         1Kings 6:1 “In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the Lord.” (NIV)

Solomon’s fourth year as Israel's king dates around 966 BC. 480 years earlier puts the Exodus at 1446 BC. The last two Jubilee Years observed by the Jewish people (see Lev. 25:8-55), as recorded in the Talmud[i], also confirms 1446 BC.

The Archaeological Record
• Archaeological evidence from Jericho, Ai, and Hazor—key cities in Joshua’s conquest of Canaan 40 years later (1406 BC) also supports the biblical date, and reflects the biblical descriptions of how these cities were destroyed. Archaeological finds from rebuilt Jericho during the period of the Judges, including Eglon’s palace (Judg 3:12–30), and evidence of the destruction of Hazor by Deborah and Barak, around 1230 BC (Judg. 4:24), also support the 1406 - 1400 BC date for Joshua’s conquest.
• Evidence in Egypt’s eastern delta known as Pi-Ramesse of Pharaoh’s royal palace supports the biblical date of Moses in Egypt. Also, remains of an earlier settlement are consistent with the arrival of Abraham’s family’s in Egypt.
• The “Amarna Letters” sent from desperate Canaanite kings seeking help from Egypt against the ‘apiru (Hebrews) who were “taking over” their settlements in the highlands during the mid-1300s BC, point to the biblical Israelites.

• The name “Israel” has recently been found inscribed in a partially preserved list on the base of an Egyptian column dating back to the 1400s BC that contains two other biblical names: Ashkelon and Canaan. This firmly places the Hebrews in Egypt at the time the Bible gives for the Exodus.

Why It Matters
The biblical Exodus is history—not allegory, not myth—emphasizing real places, real people, and real events experienced by thousands of people at the same time. If the Exodus never took place the authority of the biblical books describing the event from an historical perspective would be seriously jeopardized.

Jesus treated the Exodus as Jewish history experienced by their ancestors:
         John 6:49-51  Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven. which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

If the Exodus did not occur then Jesus’ teaching would be incorrect, and all of His life and teaching would be suspect. Year after year, however, scientific disciplines continue to confirm the accuracy of the Bible, whether in history, biology, geology or astronomy.
         Ps. 33:4  For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.

For further study on this vital subject please check out this link:

[i] Rodger C. Young, “When Did Solomon Die?” JETS 46 (2003) 600-1

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