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NOT OUT OF EGYPT--Prof. Stiebing

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Prometheus Books, Buffalo, 89.


And some scholars, following the lead of John Van Seters, deny that the Lists of tribal Territories in Joshua 1324, the Story of Davids Rise in I Samuel, the Succession Story (or Court History) in II Samuel 920 and I Kings 12, and other supposedly early sources used by the Deuteronomistic historian ever existed as separate documents (25).

But in recent years a number of scholars have argued persuasively that the Yahwistic material in the Pentateuch was composed or collected during or after the Babylonian Exile rather than in the tenth century B.C.

The earliest known reference to Israel outside of the Bible occurs in a stele of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah, which celebrates a military campaign that took place near the end of the thirteenth century B.C. Israel is listed among Merneptahs vanquished enemies in Palestine. But the absence of detailed information about the Israel mentioned in the inscription allows for a variety of interpretations concerning its correlation with the biblical narratives (31).

Moreover, there are no know non-biblical references to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, or Joshuaor, for that matter, to David, Solomon, and a host of other biblical characters (31).

Rulers who are named in the biblical Exodus and Conquest accountsthe Amorite king Sihon, Eglon of Moab, or Jabin of Hazor, for exampleare not mentioned in king lists, inscriptions, annals, or other ancient Near Easter historical sources (39). Secondly, it has recently been argued that the structure of the poem requires that Israel been seen as synonym for Canaan (45).

The spelling pr.w (Apiru) is similar to the term Hebrew (ibri in Hebrew) has been emphasized by many scholars (42). But its Egyptian usage does not support this translation, for it is also used for peoples outside the Levant.

By the time he died (c. 1450 B.C.) [Thutmose III] had created an Egyptian empire that stretched from the Euphrates in Syria to Napata in Nubia, and he had established himself as Egypts greatest warrior pharaoh (41).

Professor Goedickes attempt to read the Speos Artemidos inscriptions of Hatshepsut as an account of the oppression and Exodus depends on his very questionable translation of a difficult.... Only by a very idiosyncratic translation and a number of unlikely interpretations can.... (50).

The evidence favoring a fifteenth-centuryB.C. Exodus is clearly not compelling..., its poor fit into the historical and archaeological picture of the time (52).

Why do accounts of the judges correctly preserve descriptions of the various peoples of SyriaPalestine ... yet totally ignore the Egyptians, who controlled the major cities and roads throughout that area (53)?

The kings who ruled the cities of Jerusalem, Lachish, and Gezer at the time of the Conquest are named in Joshua 10:3 and 33, but the rulers of these cities in the Amarna Letters bear quite different names (54).

There are no new cultural features that prove that the inhabitants of the in the villages in the hills must have arrived from outside the area of Canaan (98).

Catastrophes like those mentioned in the Exodus story should surely have left their mark on ancient Egypt. But historians have found no Egyptian references to the Exodus events (101).

There is no archaeological evidence of their [nomadic Hebrews] prior existence in Sinai or in the steppes and desert fringes of Canaan. Yet we know that pastoral groups are usually well adapted to their environments and seek to maintain their free existence, not to settle down (155).

No ancient Near Eastern sources describe a social revolution or a large scale religious conversion like the ones they hypothesize [Mendenhall, Gottwald, et al] (159).

The Dorians do not seem to have settled in the Peloponnese and Crete until a couple of generations or so after the disappearance of the Mycenaean palaces (170).

Such a change [shift in the trade winds] in the weather over a number of years could account for the grain shortages, internal strife, destruction largescale movements of people, and depopulation evidenced in the historical sources and archaeological remains.... Over the past two decades, however, an increasing amount of material from a variety of sources has indicated that there probably was a climatic change that took place between approximately 1300 and 950 B.C. (182-3).

But it seems clear, as a constantly growing number of scholars agree, the Israel was created within Canaan from groups of people whose background was primarily Canaanite (197).

There is a considerable body of evidence favoring the view that Yahweh was originally worshipped as a war goda divine warrior who defended His people and defeat their enemies (199).

The Israelites did not have a distinctive material culture of their own but borrowed everything from the previous inhabitants (98).

In fact, Palestinian pottery styles display continuity and evolutionary development, with no major cultural breaks, from the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age II (c. 1950 B.C.) to the end of the Iron Age (C. 500 B.C.).

Defenders of a fifteenthcentury-B.C. Exodus also point out that the Bible does not mention campaigns in Palestine by Merneptah and Ramesses III in the thirteenth and twelfth centuries B.C., when Israel was settling Canaan according to the advocates of the late date for the Exodus (54).

Dutch archaeologist H. J. Franken also has stated that archaeologists would be totally unaware of any important ethnic changes at the end of the Late Bronze Age were it not for the biblical tradition (97).

TABLE 3 (page 95)


Kadesh-Barnea Deut. 1:19-46. The Israelites spent at any of the most of their 40 years in the wilderness at Kadesh
**EVIDENCE : No LB at any of the possible sites for Kadesh-Barnea

Arad Num. 21:1-3 indicates that the city was destroyed by Joshua
** EVIDENCE: No LB occupation at any of the possible sites for Arad

Hormah Num. 21:1-3 says the city was destroyed by Joshua
** EVIDENCE: No LB occupation at any of the possible sites for Hormah

Heshbon Num. 21:25-26. Heshbon is the capital of King Sihon and is destroyed
** EVIDENCE: No LB occupation

Didon Num. 21:25-26. Didon was destroyed after Heshbon
** EVIDENCE: No LB occupation

Aroer Deut. 2:36. Aroer was conquered after Sihons defeat
EVIDENCE: Occupied only from LB II B onward into the Iron Age.

Jericho Josh. 6 describes the total destruction of this city and its population
EVIDENCE: MB II C possibly destroyed in LB I, only slight occupation in LB IIA; no LB II B remains

Gibeon Josh. 9-10:2. Gibeon was a royal city, larger even than Ai and became Israels ally
** EVIDENCE: No LB I or LB II B occupation; LB II A pottery found only in tombsGibeon was at best a small unwalled village at that time

Lachish Josh. 10:32. Lachish was captured and its people killed
** EVIDENCE: LB I and II occupation; LBII B destruction in the 13th and 12th centuries B.C.

Hebron Josh. 10:36-37. Hebron was captured and its people killed
** EVIDENCE: No LB occupation

Bethel Judges 1:22-25 credits the destruction of Bethel to the house of Joseph
EVIDENCE: No LB I occupation; LB II A-B occupation with an LB II B destruction

Hazor Josh. 11:1-Il. Hazor was burned and its people killed
** EVIDENCE: LB I and II A occupation, but no city destruction; LB II B city destroyed

Dan Judges 18:27-29 states that Laish was destroyed and then reoccupied by the tribe of Dan
** EVIDENCE Few definite LB I remains; LB II B occupation and destruction

Symbol (next to EVIDENCE) indicates a miss; viz., a failure to confirm the biblical account.

Note: Underlined cities have significant stories told about their roles during the Conquest period. L = late, M = middle, B = Bronze Age, while the Roman numerals refer to subdivisions therein.

MIDDLE BRONZE AGE II-C 1575-1475; LATE BRONZE AGE I 1475-1400; LB II-A 1400-1300; II-B 1300-1200.


Based upon the generations from the Diaspora, the arrival in Canaan is placed between 1449 to 1270 BC. Thus three tables were used by Professor Steibing to cover this entire period.

Table 8 (page 142)

Kadesh-Barnea ** EVIDENCE: No MB II occupation at any of the possible sites
for Kadesh-banea

Arad EVIDENCE: No MB occupation at Tel Arad; MB II city at Tel Malhata destroyed at end of MB II C

Hormah ** EVIDENCE: MB II city at Tel Masos destroyed at end of MB II B; MB II city at Tel Malhata destroyed at end of MB II C

Heshbon ** EVIDENCE: No MB II occupation

Didon ** EVIDENCE: No MB II occupation

Aroer ** EVIDENCE: No MB II occupation

Jericho EVIDENCE: Fortified city destroyed at the end of MB II C (or possibly Early in LB I)

Ai ** EVIDENCE: No MB occupation at et-Tell; limited MB II settlement at Khirbet Nisya

Gibeon ** EVIDENCE: An unwalled town existed at et-Tell; limited MB II; no LB I occupation

Lachish ** EVIDENCE: Fortified city in MB II, but no destruction at end of MB II C

Bethel EVIDENCE: Bethel destroyed at end of MB II C; el Birch does not seem to have been occupied in MB II

Hazor EVIDENCE: Fortified city destroyed at end of MB II C

DAN EVIDENCE: Fortified city destroyed at end of MB II C

MIDDLE BRONZE AGE II B 1700-1575; II-C 1575-1475

TABLE 9 (page 147):
Archaeology and an Iron Age I Exodus and Conquest

Kadesh-Barnea ** EVIDENCE: fortresses were constructed at Ain Qudeirat and Ain Qedeis only at the END of Iron I.

Arad ** EVIDENCE: Small unwalled village at Arad in Iron

Hormah ** Evidence: Unwalled Iron I villages at Tel Masos and Tel Malhata; Tel Masos destroyed at end of Iron I period

Heshbon ** EVIDENCE: Occupied in Iron I

Dibon ** EVIDENCE: Occupied in Iron I

Aroer ** EVIDENCE: Occupied in Iron I; apparently it was a small unwalled village

Jericho ** EVIDENCE: No Iron I occupation

AI ** EVIDENCE: Small, unwalled village in Iron I; no Iron I destruction.

Gibeon ** EVIDENCE: El-Jib was a walled town in Iron 1

Lachish ** EVIDENCE: Unoccupied for most of Iron I; rebuilt at the end of that era

Hiberon ** EVIDENCE: Occupied in Iron I

Bethel ** EVIDENCE: Apparently Bethel was a small, unwalled village in Iron I

Hazor ** EVIDENCE: apparently Hazor was a small unwalled village in Iron I; no evidence of destruction

Dan ** EVIDENCE: Apparently Dan was a small, unwalled village in Iron I

IRON AGE I 1200-950 BC

IN ALL 3 TABLES THERE WERE MORE MISSES () THAN HITS AND NEAR HITS. This and other problems (the most important being the lack of evidence of a cultural break caused by a foreign peoples) have caused the author to conclude that the Exodus-conquest account was written with a 6th century BC understanding of this much earlier period.

Hyksos, Encyclopedia Britannica

The group of mixed Semitic-Asiatics who settled in northern Egypt during the 18th century BC. In about 1630 they seized power, and Hyksos kings ruled Egypt as the 15th dynasty (c. 1630–1521 BC). The name Hyksos was used by the Egyptian historian Manetho (fl. 300 BC), who, according to the Jewish historian Josephus (fl. 1st century AD), translated the word as “king-shepherds” or “captive shepherds.” Josephus wished to demonstrate the great antiquity of the Jews and thus identified the Hyksos with the Hebrews of the Old Testament. This view is not now supported by most scholars, though it is possible that Hebrews came into Egypt during the Hyksos period or that some Hyksos were the ancestors of some Hebrews. “Hyksos” was probably an Egyptian term for “rulers of foreign lands” (heqa-khase), and it almost certainly designated the foreign dynasts rather than a whole nation. Although traditionally they also formed the 16th dynasty, those rulers were probably only vassals of the 15th-dynasty kings. They seem to have been connected with the general migratory movements elsewhere in the Middle East at the time. Although most of the Hyksos names seem to have been Semitic, there may also have been a Hurrian element among them.

The Hyksos introduced the horse and chariot, the compound bow, improved battle axes, and advanced fortification techniques into Egypt {a thing that Hebrew shepards would not have done—jk}. At Avaris (modern Tall ad-Dab'a) in the northeastern delta, they built their capital with a fortified camp over the remains of a Middle Kingdom town that they had seized. Excavations since the 1960s have revealed a Canaanite-style temple, Palestinian-type burials, including horse burials, Palestinian types of pottery, and quantities of their superior weapons.

Their chief deity was the Egyptian storm and desert god, Seth, whom they identified with an Asiatic storm god. From Avaris they ruled most of Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt up to Hermopolis directly. South to Cusae, and briefly even beyond, they ruled through Egyptian vassals. When under Seqenenre and Kamose the Thebans began to rebel, the Hyksos pharaoh Auserre Apopi I tried unsuccessfully to make an alliance with the rulers of Cush who had overrun Egyptian Nubia in the later years of the 13th dynasty (c. 1650 BC).

The Theban revolt spread northward under Kamose, and in about 1521 Avaris fell to his successor, Ahmose, founder of the 18th dynasty, thereby ending 108 years of Hyksos rule over Egypt. Although vilified by the Egyptians starting with Hatshepsut, the Hyksos had ruled as pharaohs and were listed as legitimate kings in the Turin Papyrus. At least superficially they were Egyptianized, and they did not interfere with Egyptian culture beyond the political sphere.


As a lover of wisdom (the Greek meaning of philosophy), I am sadden when authorities write of that period that the Hyksos were the Hebrews. 

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