Egypt and the Exodus
Barry was asked to comment about an article dealing with Egypt and the Exodus. Here is his response.
Thanks for the link, which is appreciated. Unfortunately, there are a number of problems with both the dating and the Pharaoh of the Exodus here. First, the author is using the Masoretic text which originated at the Council of Jamnia about 100 AD. This was not the text used by Christ, the Apostles nor by the Ante-Nicene Fathers. The preferred text was the same as the Alexandrian Septuagint. This gives a significantly longer chronology back to Adam and allows for all the Egyptian Dynasties to be accounted for basically in the dates currently accepted by most archaeologists. The Masoretic text for the Old Testament, which all our modern Bibles have, does not allow that to happen. As a result, generations of Christian archaeologists have spent their lives trying to re-date Egyptian dynasties in order to bring them into conformity with the Masoretic text. This is entirely unnecessary if the Septuagint (LXX) text is used.
Secondly, mention is made of the fact that Pharaoh Sheshonq I is actually mentioned in our Bibles as Shishak. This again is an artifact of the Masoretic text. The LXX actually states that this pharaoh is Shushaqkim. Shishak is a shortening of this title to Shushaq. This was the Horus name for Ramesses III. Since this is fixed as being the name of the pharaoh who invaded Israel on the death of Solomon, all Biblical-Egyptological chronologies need to take note of this fact. The current authors do not do that. So the exodus event in Egyptian history needs re-evaluation.
Third. much is made of the fact that 1Kings 6:1 gives us accurate information. There is an unfortunate aspect to this. That time-listing actually drops over 100 years from the record of Israelite history in the time of the Judges when Israel was under the control of foreign kings and out of fellowship with God. The early church recognised this and it is actually hinted at in Stephen's speech to the Sanhedrin in Acts 7. This passage has posed a problem for those who ignore what has been called the "Omission Principle" whereby years out of fellowship with God are omitted from the record. When these things are factored in, a much earlier date for the exodus is obtained.
Fourth, the date which results from the study in the URL gives a date for the entry into Canaan under Joshua which disagrees with most of the archaeological data. As a result, many Christian archaeologists try to find "problems" with the archaeology that has been done by "unbelievers".
Fifth, the use of Jubilee cycles has been shown to be notoriously unreliable. The Talmud and its suggestions for these cycles was written after the Babylonian captivity and they were making guesses based on tradition.
Finally, Josephus actually gives us information about the Exodus as does Artapanus, the Egyptian historian. The story is actually amazing. Moses had been the Commander in charge of the Egyptian military, and had led an expedition south and extended Egypt's territory 200 miles into Nubia. This was a unique event, and the troops sought to make him pharaoh instead of Khaneferre (Sobekhotep IV) who had married Merris (the daughter of Pharaoh Palmonothes who rescued him from the river).
The Exodus was then in the reign of Dudimose II (Djedneferre), and what followed immediately was the 2nd Intermediate Period in Egyptian history when the Asian Hyksos marched into Egypt and took the country "without a single battle" as Manetho records. The escaping Israelites also met these "Hyksos", and the Bible calls them the Amalekites. The date of the Exodus then becomes 1603 BC from all these considersations, not 1440 BC or thereabouts as these other authors suggest. Furthermore, we have the history of Egypt to agree with that since the Ipuwer Papyrus tells of the 10 plagues suffered by Egypr just before the Hyksos came in.
EGYPTIAN CHRONOLOGY & THE BIBLE
for full details, see the relevant section in Ancient Chronology and Scripture.