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Featured Exodus: History and myth, then and now

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by sooda, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    Excerpt:

    This is the story many of us know from childhood, but is there any historical truth to it? Is it possible that a group of people wandered the desert for 40 years, and were they the forefathers of the Jewish faith? We talked to Prof. Israel Finkelstein, a senior researcher at the Department of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University and one of the most prominent scholars in the field of biblical archeology today.

    "The question of historical accuracy in the story of Exodus has occupied scholars since the beginning of modern research," says Prof. Finkelstein. "Most have searched for the historical and archaeological evidence in the Late Bronze Age, the 13th century BCE, partly because the story mentions the city of Ramses, and because at the end of that century an Egyptian document referred to a group called ’Israel‘ in Canaan.

    However, there is no archaeological evidence of the story itself, in either Egypt or Sinai, and what has been perceived as historical evidence from Egyptian sources can be interpreted differently. Moreover, the Biblical story does not demonstrate awareness of the political situation in Canaan during the Late Bronze Age – a powerful Egyptian administration that could have handled an invasion of groups from the desert.

    Additionally, many of the details in the Biblical story fit better with a later period in the history of Egypt, around the 7-6th centuries BCE – roughly the time when the Biblical story as we know it today was put into writing.

    “However, this was not a story invented by later authors, since references to the Exodus appear in Hosea and Amos' chapters of prophecy, which probably date to the 8th century BCE, suggesting that the tradition is ancient. In this sense, some scholars propose that the origin lies in an ancient historical event – the expulsion of Canaanites from the Nile Delta in the middle of the second millennium BCE. In any case the Exodus story is layered and represents more than one period.

    “It seems that the story of the exodus was one of the founding texts of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and that it came to Judah after the destruction of Israel. It is possible that in the later days of Judah, a time of approaching confrontation with Egypt, the story expressed hope, showing a clash with mighty Egypt of the distant past, in which the Children of Israel prevailed. Later the story held a message of hope for those exiled in Babylon, that it was possible to overcome exile, cross a desert and return to the land of the forefathers. Above all, the story of Exodus has been an eternal metaphor for escaping slavery for freedom, in Jewish and other traditions."

    Slavery and the yearning for redemption – then and now

    We also met with Prof. Ron Margolin, of the Department of Jewish Philosophy and the MA Program in Religious Studies, and head of the Ofakim program, who talked about the meaning of the Exodus story in our lives today:

    "Exodus is the foundational myth of Judaism after the destruction of the Second Temple, and in many ways its parallel in the Christian world – that differs from it significantly –is the myth of Christ's crucifixion," Prof. Margolin said. "The first reflects a belief in personal and national redemption and an optimistic future for one and all on the basis of commitment to upholding the laws of the Torah and their spirit. The second reflects a belief in personal salvation for the whole based on empathy with the suffering god-man.

    “The importance of the story of Exodus is in its existential meaning for the individual and the people. Exodus is liberation from bondage for the Jews, but its purpose is also to shape the life of the individual as the Haggadah demands: ‘In each and every generation a person is obligated to see himself as if he went out of Egypt.’

    This means that every person should see themselves, on Passover and all year round, as one who is redeemed, i.e., left Egypt. In the Bible, the requirement to ‘Remember that you were slaves in Egypt’ (Deuteronomy 5: 15) is the most common reasoning for the moral commandments.

    Those who were freed from slavery must remember the taste of it so they can have empathy for those who are in bondage now. ‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves. […] Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves. Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God’ (Leviticus 25: 39-43). ‘Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt ’ (Exodus 22: 21).

    “The Passover Haggadah was formulated after the destruction of the Second Temple as a substitute for the Passover sacrifice. In light of the subjugation to the Romans, the authors emphasized the hope for the people's redemption – what we now call national redemption. The realization of that hope was the establishment of the State of Israel.

    But Judaism does not separate the redemption of the group from that of the individual, and there is no point in national redemption if individuals continue to act as slaves. Today, more than ever, it is important not to forget the educational role of the Seder.

    “Along with giving thanks for the end of the national plight, it's important to note the existential and moral implications of the exodus story through the ages. Leaven (“chametz”) originates from the yeast that ferments and sours the dough, which was used as a metaphor for evil inclination as early as the days of the sages. Kabbalistic-Hassidic writings deepened this meaning. Destroying leaven became a symbolic expression of internal detachment from evil within the individual, from the soured heart. Eating matza during Passover expresses the longing for a new beginning that characterizes the spring. Slavery has, as I've said, two meanings – the national-political and the individual-moral.

    Slavery is slavery to habits, difficult traits, personal memories, impulses and excessive passions. The yearning for redemption is a yearning for the redemption of all, but this cannot be realized without the redemption of individuals from their personal enslavements."

    Whether the story occurred in the distant past, or whether it's really a parable or myth, Tel Aviv University would like to wish everyone a happy Passover, and may we all be liberated from our personal, social, physical and psychological enslavements towards the spring of freedom and new beginnings.

    Exodus: History and myth, then and now
     
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  2. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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  3. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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  4. Bethsheba Ashe

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    Thanks for the article.

    What do you think of the Wellhausenian theory that the Passover has semi-nomadic origins?
     
  5. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.. I'll check it out.

    Wellhausen hypothesis
    [​IMG]
    Image: de.wikipedia.org
    Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis. This hypothesis later became known as the Documentary Hypothesis. Wellhausen perceived that the sources composing biblical literature reflected the historical development of Israel. His explanation of how the sources evolved and were related to various stages of Israel’s development was widely accepted among scholars.
    Biblical Criticism: the Documentary Hypothesis / JEDP
    helpmewithbiblestudy.org/5system_moses/dh6.aspx
     
  6. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    The Documentary Hypothesis: Moses, Genesis, and JEDP ...
    https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/moses/documentary...

    Various sections of the Pentateuch are assigned to various authors who are identified by the letters J, E, D, and P. Hence, it is called the documentary hypothesis (or the JEDP model3).

    As this hypothesis was developed by a number of Jewish and theologically liberal Christian scholars in the late 17th to the late 19th centuries, there were a number of different proposals of who wrote what and when. But by the end of the 19th century, liberal scholars had reached general agreement.
     
  7. The Anointed

    The Anointed Well-Known Member

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    Forget about the scribes who wrote that which was dictated to them by the Lord who is the author.
     
  8. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    Don't be ridiculous.....
     
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  9. The Anointed

    The Anointed Well-Known Member

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    Hypothesis. . . . .An assertion subject to verification or proof.
    Just about everything that you cut and paste grandma, is hypothetical unproven and unsupported conjecture. Like your erroneous statement that there were no horses in Israel. Who did you hope to deceive into believing that rubbish? People who are as ignorant to the Scriptures as you are, I suppose.
     
  10. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    Chronology

    According to 1Ki 6:1 the exodus took place 480 years before "the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel."

    Since that year was c. 966 b.c., it has been traditionally held that the exodus occurred c. 1446.

    The "three hundred years" of Jdg 11:26 fits comfortably within this time span.

    In addition, although Egyptian chronology relating to the 18th dynasty remains somewhat uncertain, some recent research tends to support the traditional view that two of this dynasty's pharaohs, Thutmose III and his son Amunhotep II, were the pharaohs of the oppression and the exodus respectively .
     
  11. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    Archeologist can find NO evidence for horses in Palestine.

    https://hcscchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Domestic-Animals-.pdf
     
  12. Bethsheba Ashe

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    He's well known for that, but I believe his theory about the Passover having a cultural antecedent is separate from that.
     
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  13. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    That would make sense to me.
     
  14. The Anointed

    The Anointed Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the Israeli Shepherd kings were in Egypt for 215 years, God made his first promise/Covenant with Abraham, when he promised Abraham that he would give to him the land of Canaan, which was allocated to Shem and which Canaan the youngest son of Ham had illegally possessed, and as Paul says in Galatians 3: 17; "What I mean is that God made a covenant with Abraham and promised to keep it. The Law that was given 430 years later, cannot break that covenant and cancel Gods promise."

    Abraham was 75 when he entered the land of Canaan, 25 years later, Sarah his half sister (Ohh, look at that Grandma, another incestuous relationship) gave birth to his son Isaac, who was 60 when his son Jacob was born, and Jacob was 130, when the family of Israel entered Egypt.
    ,
    25 + 60 +130 = 215, and as the Septuagint states that the Israelites were in the land of Canaan and Egypt for 430 years, this means that the Shepherd Kings who entered Egypt around 1780 B.C., would have left Egypt, 215 years later around 1567 B.C., as revealed by Josephus the historian, 1780 - 215 = 1565 B.C. which is some forty years before the final destruction of Jericho on its original site.
     
  15. Bethsheba Ashe

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    The 480 years is thought to be a typological or "ideal" measure of time, rather than an actually measured period. Its like 700 years would be, because:

    הָאָֽרֶץ׃ וְאֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם אֵ֥ת אֱלֹהִ֑ים בָּרָ֣א בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית [Genesis 1:1]
    Remove the word Bara as its a verb. Count the et and v'et as instructions to add, and then total the letters using the correct gematria of the Torah and;

    בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית = 220 [In the beginning]
    הָאָֽרֶץ + הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם + אֱלֹהִ֑ים = 480 [Elohim + The Heavens + The Earth]
    220 + 480 = 700.

    David Miano has done some work showing that the chronology of DH appears to have been arranged to conform to the 480 period;

    45 years for the Exodus and Conquest (Josh 14:10)
    70 years for the periods of oppression (Judges 3:8, 14; 4:3; 6:1; 10:8)
    200 years for the periods of rest (Judges 3:3, 11; 5:31; 8:28)
    76 years for the minor judges (Judges 10:1-4; 12:7-15)
    3 years for the reign of Abimelech (Judges 9:22)
    40 years for the Philistine oppression (Judges 13:1)
    2 years for Saul (1 Sam 13:1)
    40 years for David (1 Kgs 2:11)
    3 years for Solomon (1 Kgs 6:1)

    45 + 70 + 200 + 76 + 3 + 40 + 2 + 40 + 3 = 480 years by ordinal measurement.

    1 Kings is an especially bad book to try and hook a rational chronology to, as the scribe was trying their best to reflect the gematria of Genesis in the creation of the Temple and they have written or adjusted their open chronology to fit an idealized period of time.
     
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  16. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    Many Westerners think of the "green pastures" mentioned in Psalm 23 as tall, lush grasslands like those in North America. But such pastures don't exist in Israel.

    The regions in Israel where shepherds live are predominantly wilderness areas.

    They have two seasons: the rainy season from November through March (when even the desert becomes green), and the dry season from April through October when the landscape is brown.

    Even during the rainy season, the wilderness grasses remain short. Blades of grass grow in the shade of rocks, where moisture is trapped.

    At first glance, the "green pastures" of Israel look like a barren, rocky wasteland. But each day, a few blades of grass grow and there is enough to nourish the flocks for another day.

    Sheep that graze in the wilderness receive enough nourishment for the moment, but no more.

    Day to day, the sheep depend on their shepherd to lead them to "green pastures" and water they need.

    Green Pastures
     
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  17. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    Is it that you can't read or what?

    Chronology

    According to 1Ki 6:1 the exodus took place 480 years before "the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel."

    Since that year was c. 966 b.c., it has been traditionally held that the exodus occurred c. 1446.
     
  18. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    During Late Iron - starting about 900 BC - Jericho was part of the northern kingdom of Israel.

    Around 850 BC a man named Hiel rebuilt the walls of Jericho again - which had been in ruins for 700 years.

    There was supposed to be an ancient curse by Joshua that whoever rebuilt Jericho could do so only at the cost of his oldest and youngest sons - literally that he would "lay the foundation on them".

    Apparently Hiel sacrificed his sons and buried their bodies under the stones of the walls of Jericho.

    This use of a human sacrifice to strengthen the foundation of a new building was common in ancient times.

    Shortly after Hiel rebuilt the walls of Jerico, according to the Second Book of Kings in the Bible, the people who moved to Jericho found the water in the pool from the spring of Ein es Sultan was so bitter it was impossible to drink.

    Jericho History
     
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  19. The Anointed

    The Anointed Well-Known Member

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    Solomon's Temple was sacked and burned by Nebuchadnezzar's troops in 587 B.C. Josephus the historian states that the Temple had stood for 470 years six months and ten days, and if it was built 480 years after the exodus, then the Exodus, according to these figures, would have occurred in1537 B.C.

    587 + 470 + 480 = 1537 B.C.
     
  20. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    Josephus wasn't born until 37 AD, genius.
     
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