Monday, August 21, 2006

The Exodus "Decoded"

Yesterday the History Channel showed "The Exodus Decoded," written by Simcha Jacobovici and directed by James Cameron. Given its high budget (for a documentary) of $3 million, there's a good chance you'll have the opportunity to see this either as a re-run or possibly at your church's evening service. I have not seen it, but have a few comments based on the press coverage.

First, you can read about it in the New York Times (poor), or the Associated Press (a bit better), or the Miami Herald (best). Hershel Shanks, editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, has posted a lengthy correspondence between him and Jacobovici. Wikipedia covers the main aspects of the theory. And there's always the official website with a 5-minute trailer.

From the trailer and reviews it is apparent that this is one slick production. That immediately suggests to me their facts aren't good and they're trying to hide it with fancy graphics. That of course doesn't necessarily follow, but it has been true often enough that I'm wary.

The essence of the theory is that the Israelites are the Hyksos and the exodus occurred during the time of the eruption of Thera (Santorini) about 1500 B.C. Is this possible? Well, I have never read one scholar who believes either of those suggestions. Some believe that the Hyksos may have been in power when the Israelites began their sojourn (assuming 430 years in Exodus 12:40 refers to time in Egypt and Canaan, a less preferred textual variant). But no one believes that the Hyksos were the Israelites and that the Hyksos expulsion is the same thing as the Israelite exodus.

There's also a problem with the dating. The Biblical dates, if taken literally, add up to an exodus around 1450 B.C. (cf. 1 Kings 6:1). There's no way to push that number back (to 1500 or earlier) without suggesting the biblical numbers are not literal. Now many scholars do reject the biblical numbers, but they always push the date of the exodus down (to about 1250 B.C.) The rest of the scholars believe that there was no large exodus of Israelites from Egypt. But no one dates the exodus to 1500 because there is no biblical or non-biblical evidence for it. (Those who favor the biblical evidence typically prefer an exodus date of 1450; those who favor the non-biblical evidence date it to 1250).

The movie locates Mt. Sinai at a site that has no major proponents, if any. That doesn't make it wrong, but before you buy it, you might ask yourself how a moviemaker found it when no one else could. I think the miracle explanations are bound to fall apart as well.

There are a number of other pieces to the "Code," but they hang on the above. Having skimmed the Shanks-Jacobovici correspondence, I would commend Jacobovici's motivation but not his data.

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17 Comments:

  • As far as the Bible is concerned, the History Channel has been a very big disapointment. There theme seems to be to try and disprove the Bible rather than do an honest search for facts.

    By Anonymous Bruce Alan Niles, at Thu Aug 24, 10:27:00 AM  

  • Thanks, as always, for your good work, Todd!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Aug 24, 04:07:00 PM  

  • Todd Bolen made 2 assertions:
    (1) "But no one believes that the Hyksos were the Israelites and that the Hyksos expulsion is the same thing as the Israelite exodus."
    (2) "The Biblical dates, if taken literally, add up to an exodus around 1450 B.C. (cf. 1 Kings 6:1). There's no way to push that number back (to 1500 or earlier) without suggesting the biblical numbers are not literal. Now many scholars do reject the biblical numbers, but they always push the date of the exodus down (to about 1250 B.C.)"
    Contrary to Bolen's assertions that there are _NO_ scholars who associate the Hyksos expulsion with Israel's Exodus. In fact "one" was interviewed on The Exodus Decoded documentary. His name? Professor Donald B. Redford, an Egyptologist by profession. Here's a quote from him:
    "...no one can deny that the tradition of Israel's coming out of Egypt was one of long standing...There is only one chain of historical events that can accomodate this late tradition, that is the Hyksos descent and occupation of Egypt...And in fact it is in the Exodus account that we are confronted with the Canaanite version of this event..." (p. 412. Donald B. Redford. Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times. Princeton University Press. 1992)
    Bolen also asserted that NO scholar has ever tried to push back the Exodus' date to an earlier period of time. Again he is wrong. Kenneth A. Kitchen (an Egyptologist) and James K. Hoffmeier (another Egyptologist) have _both noted_ that a "careful" reading of the biblical text reveals that the 480 years elapsing between the Exodus and Solomon's 4th year in 1Kings 6:1 is _contradicted_ by other data preserved by the Bible. Many Protestant scholars use 1 Kings 6:1 and its 480 years to set the Exodus date at 1445 BC. However, Kitchen and Hoffmeier have concluded the elapsed time is _not_ 480 years, its almost 600 years.
    Hoffmeier also observed that Jack (James W. Jack. The Date of the Exodus in the Light of the External Evidence. Edinburgh. T & T Clark. 1925) was aware that a careful reading of the Masoretic texts revealed an elapsed period exceeding 480 years:
    "However, as Jack showed, if all the periods are added together, such as the forty years in Sinai, the lengths of the Judges, and periods of peace between the Judges, plus the length of David's reign, the total is 534 years. On top of this figure, the duration of Joshua's leadership in Canaan and the length of Saul's kingship, which are not preserved, bring the total close to six hundred years." (p.125. James K. Hoffmeier. Israel in Egypt, the Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition. Oxford University Press. 1996)
    Kitchen:
    "The lazy man's solution is simply to cite the 480 years ostensibly given in 1 Kings 6:1 from the Exodus to the 4th year of Solomon (ca. 966 BC). However, this too simple solution is ruled out by the combined weight of all the other biblical dadta plus additional information from external data. So the interval of time from the Exodus comes out not at 480 years but as over 553 years (BY THREE UNKNOWN AMOUNTS), if we trouble to go carefully through all the known biblical figures for this period. It is evident that the 480 years cannot cover fully the 553 years + X years. At the best, it could be a selection from them, or else it is a schematic figure (12 x 40 yrs., or similar)." (p. 702. Vol.2. K. A. Kitchen. "The Exodus." David Noel Freedman. Editor. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. N.Y. Doubleday. 1992)
    Still later, Kitchen suggested that a period of 591/596 years elapsed between the Exodus and Solomon's 4th year according to chronologies preserved in the book of Judges:
    "This possibility becomes in effect a certainty if one goes through the date lines between the Exodus and the fourth year of Solomon, the year he began to build his temple, "in the 480th year" since the Exodus (1 Kings 6:1), we are told. Thus, if that year fell circa 967 (cf. dates in chapters 2 and 4 above), a literal adding up would set the Exodus in 1447. But if we take the trouble to actually tote up all the individual figures known from Exodus to Kings in that period, they do NOT add up to 480 years. But rather to 544+x+y+z years, where x= unknown length by Joshua and the elders (minimum, 5/10 years ?), y= rule by Samuel above his stated 20 years (possibly zero), and z= the full reign of Saul (minimum, [3]2 years). The total comes to between 35 and 42 years at least, bringing the 554 years to a minimal 591/596 years. This is certainly not identical with the 480 years of 1 Kings 6:1." (pp.202-203. Kenneth Andrew Kitchen. On the Reliability of the Old Testament. 2003. Grand Rapids, Michigan. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
    In other words, by adding 591/596 or 600 years to Solomon's 967 BC we come up with an Exodus date ca. 1558 BC or 1563 BC or 1567 BC. Pharaoh Ahmose I who _expelled the Hyksos_ is dated by Clayton ca. 1570-1546 (p. 100. "Ahmose I." Peter A. Clayton. Chronicle of the Pharaohs. London. Thames & Hudson. 1994). Using the "findings" of Kitchen and Hoffmeier regarding 1 Kings 6:1, an Exodus in the days of Pharaoh Ahmose I who expelled the Hyksos is indeed possible. However, neither of these men understand the Exodus is the Hyksos expulsion, they opt for a Rameside Exodus despite the research they did on 1 Kings 6:1.
    I have several articles on the Exodus. I have concluded that two Exoduses have been fused together, the Hyksos and Ramesside expulsions of Asiatics as noted by the 3rd century BC Egyptian historian and priest Manetho. Manetho opted for Israel's Exodus being Ramesside. Flavius Josephus (1st century AD) who cited Manetho's work, opted for the Hyksos event because of the chronology aligning with the Bible's chronology (Josephus suggesting 1 Kings 6:1 was in error and that either 592 yrs or 612 years had elapsed instead of 480 years)
    For all the details, if interested, cf. the below url:
    http://www.bibleorigins.net/Exodus1540BCHyksos.html
    Regards, Walter

    By Anonymous Walter R. Mattfeld, at Sat Aug 26, 03:23:00 PM  

  • Walter - thank you for your comments. My assertions, however, still stand.

    1. Redford believes that the only possible basis for the Israelite exodus is a distant memory of the Hyksos expulsion. That's a far cry from equating the two. He sees the "kernel of truth" as a departure from Egypt, wrapped up in completely mythical figures and events. He does not believe that the Hyksos were Israelites, but only that the Israelites stole their story. All of the biblical evidence contradicts his views.

    2. You quote Hoffmeier and Kitchen to make the very simple point, which all agree with (including both of them), that the numbers in the judges must include overlapping periods. Nowhere in the book of judges or elsewhere in the Bible does it suggest that all these numbers should be added up; that is lazy scholarship. And as you note, both Hoffmeier and Kitchen reject such addition. The 480 number reflects knowledge from that time period; Solomon's men weren't simply adding up numbers either. They knew that 480 years precisely had elapsed. That is a round number, but it's not because they created it but because they observed it. This figure is roughly confirmed by all other biblical dating, including Judges 11:26 and 1 Chronicles 6:33-36. Hoffmeier and Kitchen don't accept these dates either as accurate (which someone really should take them to task for, as they simply provide stunning evidence), but my point here simply is that you are wrong to suggest that any scholars believe the biblical exodus was in 1500 or before.

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Sun Aug 27, 12:49:00 AM  

  • _Not_ considered by Kitchen or Hoffmeier is the date for the Exodus as "preserved" in the New Testament Book of Acts, they restricted their research _solely_ to the Old Testament.
    Acts 13:18-21 RSV
    "And for about FORTY YEARS he bore with them in the wilderness. And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance, for about FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. Then they asked for a king; and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for FORTY YEARS. And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king..."(Revised Standard Version. Bruce M. Metzger & Herbert G. May, editors. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha. 1977)
    The above verse suggests that after 40 years wandering by Israel under Moses, Israel is in possession of the Promised land for 450 years, THEN Judges are given to Israel. THEN Saul rules for 40 years. According to 1 Kings 2:10-11, David reigned 40 years. And the The Temple was built in Solomon's fourth year. Thus we have 40+450+40+40+4= 574 years elapsing from the Exodus to Solomon's fourth year _contra_ 1 Kings 6:1 statement that 480 years elapsed. Solomon's 4th year being fixed by some scholars as 966/967 BCE + 574 years= 1540/1541 in the days of Pharaoh Ahmose I who expelled the Hyksos.
    Lamsa's English translation of the Aramaic Bible renders Acts 13:17-22 thusly, suggesting 450 years elapsed _under_ the Judges:
    "The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers and exalted and multiplied them when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with a strong arm he brought them out of it. And hed fed them in the wilderness for FORTY YEARS, And he destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, and he gave them their land for an inheritance. And for a period of FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS he gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel. Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for a period of FORTY YEARS. And when in time God took Saul away he raised up to them David to be their king..." (George M. Lamsa. Translation of the Aramaic Text of the Peshitta. Holy Bible From the Ancient Eastern Text. Harper & Row San Francisco. [1933], 1968)

    I note that according to 1 Kings 2:10-11, David reigned 40 years:

    "So David rested with his forefathers and was buried in the city of David, having reigned over Israel for FORTY YEARS..."

    We are told that in the FOURTH YEAR of Solomon the Temple was begun (1 Kings 6:1) and that 480 years elapsed from the Exodus to this event. Some scholars date the 4th years of Solomon as either 966 or 967 BCE. Many Christian Protestant scholars often add 480 years to 966 BCE and get an Exodus ca. 1446 BCE.

    So, when we add up the totals from Acts 13:18-21, 1 Kings 2:10-11, and 1 Kings 6:1 we have 40 yrs in the Wilderness, 450 years to Saul, 40 yrs for Saul's reign, 40 yrs for David's reign, 4 yrs for Solomon and the temple, for a grand total of 574 years between the Exodus and the Temple's founding. Add this to 966/967 BCE when the Temple was begun, and we have 1540/1541 BCE for the Exodus date.
    Egyptologists are _not_ in agreement amongst themselves about the dates for the reign of Pharaoh Ahmoses I who expelled the Hyksos. In Albright's article, he alludes to Parker preferring 1557-1532 BCE, while Helck prefers 1552-1527 BCE (Cf. p. 56, William F. Albright. "Some Remarks on the Archaeological Chronology of Palestine before about 1500 B.C." in Robert W. Ehrich. Editor. Chronologies in Old World Archaeology. Chicago. The University of Chicago Press. 1954, 1965, reprint 1971. Egyptologists sometimes refer to these varying regnal dates under the term of "High, Middle and Low Egyptian Chronologies." Kenneth Kitchen and James Hoffmeier favor Ahmose's reign as ca. 1550-1525 BCE (placing the end of the Hyksos dynasty as either 1550 or 1540 BCE), Krauss prefers 1539-1514 BCE for Ahmoses' reign (cf. Vol. 2. p. 329, K.A. Kitchen, "Egypt, History of (Chronology)." David Noel Freedman, Editor. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. New York. Doubleday. 1992).

    Amihai Mazar seems to favor a Hyksos expulsion ca. 1540 BCE :

    "...the third phase- MBIIC correlates with the Hyksos Fifteenth Dynasty (until 1540)." (p.195, Amihai Mazar. Archaeology of the Land of the Bible, 10,000- 586 BCE. New York. Doubleday. 1990.

    All the above is to say that Simcha Jacobovici's proposal that the Exodus is recalling the Hyksos Expulsion "seems to be supported" chronologically by BOTH the Old and New Testament texts. That is to say 1 Kings 6:1 and its 480 years elapsing is _flatly _contradicted_ by Acts 13:18-21, which alots 40 years of wandering, 450 years of Judges, 40 years for Saul's reign (subtotaling: 530 years), then add 40 years for David's reign (1 Kings 2:10-11) and 4 years to when Solomon began the Temple (1 Kings 6:1) for a grand total of 574 years, giving an Exodus 1540/1541 BC in the reign of Ahmose I who expelled the Hyksos.

    By Anonymous Walter R. Mattfeld, at Tue Aug 29, 07:01:00 PM  

  • Walter - thanks for the comment, though I think briefer is usually better.

    You really make one simple point - that the chronology in Acts 13 contradicts the 480 years of 1 Kings 6:1. Based on that interpretation, you then add the numbers to get a higher number than 480.

    The problem though is that the reference in Acts 13 is ambiguous. The best reading (followed by the major translations including NIV, NASB, ESV, RSV, NET) is that the 450 years refers to the years in Egypt (about 400; see Gen 15:13), the years in the wilderness (about 40), and the time to conquer the land (about 10). After this, God gave them judges. So the 450 is not related to the time of the judges at all. This isn't the only possible reading, as you note, but it is the majority interpretation and it has this distinct advantage: it fits the chronology of 1 Kings 6:1 and the references in the Talmud to the 16th and 17th Jubilee years. It is hard to imagine that Paul, given his view of the inspiration of the OT, would have *flatly contradicted* 1 Kings 6.

    A helpful article on the chronology of the judges is by Andrew E. Steinmann, "The Mysterious Numbers of the Book of Judges," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (Sept 2005, 48/3).

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Thu Aug 31, 09:23:00 AM  

  • Todd wrote:
    "The problem though is that the reference in Acts 13 is ambiguous. The best reading (followed by the major translations including NIV, NASB, ESV, RSV, NET) is that the 450 years refers to the years in Egypt (about 400; see Gen 15:13), the years in the wilderness (about 40), and the time to conquer the land (about 10). After this, God gave them judges. So the 450 is not related to the time of the judges at all. This isn't the only possible reading, as you note, but it is the majority interpretation and it has this distinct advantage: it fits the chronology of 1 Kings 6:1 and the references in the Talmud to the 16th and 17th Jubilee years. It is hard to imagine that Paul, given his view of the inspiration of the OT, would have *flatly contradicted* 1 Kings 6."

    Dear Todd,

    Thankyou for your explanation. I realize that part of the problem in our exchange of views is that each of us has different presuppositions or mindsets that we bring to the texts. Mine is that of Secular Humanist who understands that the Bible is not the word of God, but merely the work of man and consequently full of man-made errors. Your presuppositions appear to be Christian. For you the text is God's word and God does not contradict himself (nor does the Holy Spirit contradict itself). Consequently when a "contradiction" is brought to attention, it is from a Christian perspective, only an "apparent" contradiction which can be harmonized and rationalized away.

    The only thing which would convince me that Acts 13:17-22 is alluding to 400 years in Egypt when it speaks of 450 years is that a majority of ancient manuscripts exist that state unequivocably that "450 years where spent in Egypt, THEN 40 years wanderings, THEN 40 years for Saul's reign." All I have seen so far is Christian "apologetic" _interpretations_ of what the text "ought" or "should" mean or say.

    I remain _unconvinced_ that Acts "meant to say 400 years in Egypt."

    I began my research on the Bible back in 1970 as a devout Christian. But I eventually came to realize over the years that it could not be God's word. The prophecies were bogus and never fulfilled, and the Christian portrayal of the Holy Spirit contradicted the Old Testament Prophet's statements of under what conditions the Holy Spirit would be bestowed and what would happen to an individual who possessed it. I eventually came to the conclusion that Christianity pretty much refutes, denies and challenges the Old Testament's notions of how God is to be honored and his relationship via-a-vis man. I wondered why. Eventually I found the answer. Christianity was a Hellenized form of Judaism, it had accepted certain metaphysical concepts from Greek Hellenism which were rejected by Conservative Judaism who sought to oppose the Hellenizing. If any of this interests you, you can visit my website www.bibleorigins.net and the New Testament page for various articles on the subject. The Old Testament page notes the failed prophecies and how they have been "rationalized away" by both Jew and Christian.

    All the best,

    Regards, Walter

    By Anonymous Walter R. Mattfeld, at Thu Aug 31, 05:42:00 PM  

  • I'm a little puzzeled that no one has observed that the Exodus documentary, while noting the well established, re: contact between Minoans and Egypt and Mycene and Egypt--suggests that (not an exact quote) "those Hebrews who did not follow Moses,etc." suddenly built a mighty fleet which first got them to Santorini (which, according to the doc's chronology should have been a floating mass of lava) and then off to the Pelopnnesus. Aside from Noah's ark...when exactly did the shepherds master the Med and the intricacies of navigation and infiltrate the Mycenean culture. perhaps I'm mistaken, but I see something insidious in all of this--not the Black Athena, but a suggestion of a Hebrew Aphrodite lurking in the foam stirred up by the documentary. Perhaps we should begin to reconsider Homer's list of vessels and certainly the mask of Agammemnon, which was undoubtedly worked by a Hebrew goldsmith.

    By Blogger JVitelli504, at Thu Aug 31, 11:55:00 PM  

  • Walter - some things simply won't be resolved because different presuppositions are involved. I don't think this is one. The question is what Paul means by 400 years in Acts. The issue is not whether you or I believe in biblical inspiration; it's whether Paul did. And since he did (see 2 Tim 3:16), I think the more likely interpretation of Acts 13 is one that fits with 1 Kings 6. Assuming for a moment that he rejected 1 Kings 6:1 as accurate, we would then be left wondering what Paul's other source was, and then we would have to decide whether or not to trust Paul in the 1st century A.D. or 1 Kings written not later than the 6th century B.C. I would prefer 1 Kings for two reasons: 1) it is an earlier source; 2) the nature of 1 Kings 6:1 is given in a precise manner (it synchronizes it to the very month), whereas Acts 13 is a overall summary of Israel's history, where precise chronology is not the intention. But by choosing a very plausible interpretation of Acts 13, there is no need to decide between the two sources.

    As for your other views, my search, including many years of living in Israel, has led me the opposite direction and I see no reason to doubt the accuracy of the biblical record. This discussion though shows our own tendencies. When there is a possible problem with the biblical text, you tend to prefer an interpretation which shows it inaccurate. I tend to prefer an interpretation which resolves the question without denying biblical accuracy.

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Fri Sep 01, 02:58:00 AM  

  • I highly reccomend to the reader, "Dating the Exodus," a ThD dissertation by Dr. Stephen C. Meyers (1997, Trinity Evangelical Seminary, Florida), which discusses various proposals for the Exodus' date using Jewish and Non-Jewish sources in addition to the biblical evidence. He favors the Hyksos Expulsion as being behind the Exodus traditions, and notes this was the common understanding of the Early Christian period. cf. the following url: http://www.bibleandscience.com/archaeology/exodusdate.htm

    Below some excerpts:
    "Acts 13:20 clearly states that the time period of the judges was 450 years. There are some textual problems with where to place the 450 years. Some scholars say because of the Alexandrian text it is the total of the time in Egypt plus the 40 years in the wilderness plus 10 years for Joshua to conquer Canaan, but no ancient writer that we have looked at takes this view. The years in Egypt were not 400, and the time for Joshua is much longer about 25 years. Jackson and Lake state, "The Western and Antiochian texts and the majority of the modern editors think the 450 ought to refer to the period of the judges" (1979, 150). Ropes explains that the variations were probably intended to prevent the reader from misinterpreting the 450 years as the time being spent to conquer Canaan (Barrett 1994, 633; Courville 1971, 7). The 450 years seems to be the addition of all the judges including Eli (339 years) and the years of oppression (111 years; Lightfoot 1979, Vol 4, 118; See Table 8). Josephus seems to follow this addition as well as most of the other ancient Jewish writers and Church Fathers."
    "All of the early church fathers stated that the exodus was more than 480 years from the founding of Solomon's Temple, except Eusebius. Others said 595 years from Solomon's Temple placing the exodus around 1561 BC All except Eusebius say Ahmose is the Pharaoh of the exodus who expelled the Hyksos from Egypt (Manetho 1940, 115; See Tables 5-7)."

    By Anonymous Walter R. Mattfeld, at Sat Sep 09, 09:05:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger jdcroft, at Mon Feb 05, 11:35:00 AM  

  • I find it interesting all the discsson about dates for the exodus based upon these numbers. The number 480 years, for example, as many commentators show, is based upon the age of 12 generations of 40 years, giving a total of 480 years. But as Kenneth Kitchen and Professor Hoffmeier show, this is an exaggeration as it would appear that a closer date for a generation is 25 years, giving an exodus date within the reign of Rameses II. In actual fact, if we use the average generation length for the time of the Pharaohs (based upon their regnal years data) a generation comes out closer to 20 years, giving us an Exodus date in the difficult times between the 19th and 20th Dynasties, at about the time of the period when we know Rameses III allowed Asiatics to leave Egypt and settled as Philistines along the coast, as well as expelling Asiatics who were the hated followers of Chancellor Bay (Irsu=Joseph), the only Asiatic known to have risen to be chancellor of Egypt.

    There is much evidence to show that this was theperiod of Exodus. Firstly we find Egyptian records speaking of a Tribe of DNYN, translated as Denyen, that attcked Egypt in concert with the Philistines and Tjekker. We also know that these Philistines and Tjekker were allowed by Egyptian Pharaohs to settle the coast of Canaan, with the Philistines from Gaza to Ekron and the Tjekker around Joppa and Dor. We don't know from Egyptian records who settled the area between Joppa and Dor, but we do know that in the Bible this area was allocated to the tribe of Dan. The Song of Deborah describes how Dan was not initially part of the people of Israel, and that they were a maritime people preoccupied with their ships. It would appear that the Egyptians probably settled the area between Ekron and Joppa by DNYN (Danites). According to the Book of Exodus, the tribe of Dan was the most numerically preponderant of all the people involved in the Exodus, and we know the numbers of DNYN prisonners taken by Rameses III. The numbers are significant.

    What happened next. The Philistines expelled the Danites who crossed Israelite territory to take the Canaanite city of Laish as their own Tel Dan. Later books in the Bible tell how the later Danites preserved a genealogy of Moses down to the times of the Monarchy.

    Danites did not only settle this area of the Palestinian coast. They also settled around the area of Adana in modern Turkish Cilicia (possibly named after them), where they appear in Hittite times. There in the Karatepe trilingual inscription a king Azariyau (Like the Jewish Azariah a.k.a. Uzziah) of the Yaudi (=Yahudi or Jews), derived his own genealogy from a Moschos (=Moses). These people, known as Bani Sa'mal (Sons of the Left Hand = Northerners) were matched by the Beni Yamina (Sons of the Right Hand, or Benjaminites, Southerners). Later tradition reports how this hero established sites called the "hearth" (i.e. Mopsuhestia) and fountain (Mospukrene), just as did Moses in the Wilderness.

    In the case of the Danites/Denyen of the South, we know that they spent time in Egypt, where, very possibly, their hero Moschos (=the calf) received an Egyptianised version of his name, Moses. This led to the confusion with the only person who was of this name, the son of Pharaoh Merenptah and Queen Takhat, son and daughter of Rameses II, who was the viceroy of Nubia known as Mesui and who later usurped the throne from his half-brother Seti II, to rule Egypt as Amenmoses, for six years before he disappears. After the death of his brother, Amenmoses' sister, Twosret Sitre Meriamun, and Chancellor Bay, already mentioned above, made Siptah, a sickly boy, who had suffered from Polio, king of Egypt. Whether Siptah was the Pharaoh who was acknowledged as Joseph's master Potiphar (possibly from (Si)Ptah-Phar(oah)) we do not know, but Bay does seem to have entered into some kind of relationship with Seti II's queen Twosre Meryamun. Like Joseph, he was one of the few commoners, (and certainly the only foreigner) ever to be given a tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Siptah too was half Asiatic. His mother was from Israel, a woman called Sutailja or Shoteraja. Could she have been a relative of Bay, possibly another of "the Seed of Israel" mentioned in the Merenptah Stele?

    What happened then? After a chaotic 2 year reign Twosret died, her place taken by a new Pharoah who hated Bay (like the Bible states "he knew not Joseph), and as his Elephantine Stele shows, acted to expel the hated Asiatics from Egypt. Bay had shut many Egyptian temples, and Siptah's son, Rameses III (mentioned above) spoke about how the Asiatics fled leaving their silver and valuables behind. Where did they go? Josephus quotes the Egyptian historian Manetho suggesting that these people were the origins of the Children of Israel.

    By Blogger jdcroft, at Mon Feb 05, 11:36:00 AM  

  • jdcroft - this is now an old post and your comment is quite long. I'll reply simply to your initial assertion:

    The number 480 years, for example, as many commentators show, is based upon the age of 12 generations of 40 years, giving a total of 480 years.

    No, it is not and no one can show that. The best they can do is show that 480 is a multiple. But that means nothing. Only because of external evidence do they believe that the exodus occurred at a certain time; because of that, they decide that 480 is too long and the number must be shorter (which leads to the creative solution that 480 is a multiple). They also ignore Judges 11:26 and 1 Chronicles 6:33-36 which are not multiples and do provide independent confirmation of the biblical belief that the exodus was around 1450 B.C.

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Mon Feb 05, 11:36:00 PM  

  • For those that don't believe the Bible, believe the Egyptian history. For those that don't believe History Believe the Bible Both are full of discrepencies. Times, dates, and locations. We were not there at that time so we have to have faith in those that were. Exodus Decoded tells us how and why the "experts" can be wrong and they have been before on alot of what the Bible says.
    I think the problem with most who object to this program is first:disproving experts and second;sicence proving what the Bible says is true.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 03, 05:40:00 PM  

  • Todd, thank you for your clear and concise statements in regard to this program. Thank you Walter for providing information on the other side.
    It became apparent while viewing this show that the premise for dating the exodus at 1500BC is slanted for the purpose of using the Santorini volcano of 1500 as an explanation for the plagues and yam suph crossing. The Hyksos are equated with the Israelites -because- their departure from Egypt fits the date of 1500. Ahmose is said to have been the pharaoh of the exodus because he fits the 1500 date and the Ahmose Stella describes a storm which can loosely be equated with the 8th plague.
    Though the program is interesting for the most part, there are several laughable moments. From my Christian vantage point I was automatically put on the defensive when Jacobovici stated he would be providing scientific arguments to explain the miracles of the Almighty God.

    By Blogger Jon Litts, at Wed Nov 11, 09:10:00 PM  

  • Lack of evidence does not mean lack of existence. If it did, then the act of discovery would equate to an act of creation, a nonsensical proposition.
    Troy, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Zigarut [and much more] were all thought to be myths until "discovered. Not to mention the entire cosmos that was unknown until recently, not to mention just about everything that we take for granted in science today.

    By Blogger David, at Mon Mar 01, 07:34:00 PM  

  • I do agree with Bruce Alan Niles in regards to the History Channel's bias against the scripture. In fact History Channel doesn't even try to hide it's opposition to scripture. However, I will reveal some over looked facts about Biblical Calendars. Gentlemen and Ladies, the scripture is full of complete Calendars of both the first world and after the Deluge, which begins the peroid of MII Earth. One must be bright enough to figure out how the math works. After more than 30 years of Biblical Mathematical Study, I will tell you the numbers tell the truth. I will also tell you there are other historical places through which the Biblical Calendars can be proven, one such piece of evidence is found in the Arbroath of Scotland. And while the Irish Annuals are not in sync with historic events the numbers do bare out on Heremon's entry to Erie, Anno Mundi 3500. The confusion of calendar dating occurs when the point of calendar origin is misplaced. This is what occurred when the Four Masters tried to place historical events into the Anno Mundi Calendar. The Anno Mundi Calendar is correct, but the placement of events is in error. So we have four different historic calendars; they are First World Calendar, PFE- Post Floof Era Calendar, Anno Mundi Calendar, plus BC dating and AD dating. I have noted the confusion begins when events are placed within a BC or AD dating. To arrive at a historically correct dating, an actual calendar date must be found first, then a placement dating of BC or AD can more acturately be arrived at. Unfortunately, historians have yet to understand the four basic calendars, and since I am the only person to have made this discovery of different calendaring, I will keep all my secrets to myself. History Channel can think about that.

    By Blogger Ramouh, at Wed Oct 06, 12:22:00 AM  

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