Why We Know The Exodus REALLY Happened! w/ Dr. John Bergsma
Pints With Aquinas | 17 Aug 2023
1:06 Ramses II isn't even remotely a good candidate for the Pharao of the Exodus.
The best argument you could make for him is the city of Ramesses, and the non-Ramses reply to this is, Exodus was edited by copyists to keep the narrative à jour with what Egyptians were later currently calling the place. At least that is one possible non-Ramses reply.
- Stephen Gray
- The problem with this approach is that Pi-Ramses was a brand new city constructed during the 19th dynasty. If the Exodus was earlier than that, then the Bible gives a name that does not match the place. There are a number of other pieces of evidence that strongly suggest this era for the Exodus. The fact that Avaris (the city everyone seems to agree the Israelites came from) was abandoned during the reign of Rameses II. The way the Ark of the Covenant uses and subverts the meanings found in Egyptian ritual furniture only works somewhere between Amenhotep III and the end of the 20th Dynasty. The Merneptah Stela places Israel as a non-settled people group in Canaan during the reign of Ramses II's son. In an Exodus before Ramses II, this would have required the wandering in the desert to be far, far longer than the one generation/40 years mentioned in the text. An Exodus after Ramses II means Israel doesn't exist by the time they are recorded. The date of the altar complex at Mt Ebal is consistent with a Ramesside Exodus, but not an alternative one. The same goes for the destruction of Hazor where the idols were descrated. Jericho has only two relevant periods of occupation. One is too early for any plausible Exodus date. The other seems to fit a Ramesside Exodus, although it is from a layer where much of the evidence is missing due to later site levelling. FInally, in an Exodus date earlier than Ramesse II, you have to believe that the Israelites wire in Canaan for several generations before we start seeing any archaeological evidence of them.
I've yet to see any archaeological evidence given by advocates of earlier Exodus dates which isn't in the form of "we're going to re-date this find to a date that happens to fit the Exodus date we were already committed to".
- Hans Georg Lundahl
- @stephengray1344 "The fact that Avaris (the city everyone seems to agree the Israelites came from) was abandoned during the reign of Rameses II."
In fact, some think the Biblical Pithom and Rameses really reflect Avaris, well prior to his day.
"The way the Ark of the Covenant uses and subverts the meanings found in Egyptian ritual furniture only works somewhere between Amenhotep III and the end of the 20th Dynasty."
Because before Amenhotep III you find a radically different one? Or because before his day you don't find that much, until way earlier?
And in the former case, what if it was actually Egyptians that plagiarised "the Tabernacle and so on"?
I have seen a documentary which attributes war tents to as far back as Buto and Hierapolis - at the beginning of dynasty I, when the Falcon tribe took over.
"The Merneptah Stela places Israel as a non-settled people group in Canaan during the reign of Ramses II's son. In an Exodus before Ramses II, this would have required the wandering in the desert to be far, far longer than the one generation/40 years mentioned in the text."
Non-settled does not equate to still in the desert walk.
"Jericho has only two relevant periods of occupation. One is too early for any plausible Exodus date."
I suppose you mean the one with carbon dates 2200 - 2400 BC for the walls and 1550 for the abandonment?
That is the exact time I pose for the taking of Jericho. In 1470 (real date of the taking), the still rising and still somewhat low carbon 14 level caused a misdating to 1550. The walls incorporated rubble from earlier times, when the carbon 14 level was yet lower, and which therefore misdate even more.
"FInally, in an Exodus date earlier than Ramesse II, you have to believe that the Israelites wire in Canaan for several generations before we start seeing any archaeological evidence of them."
What are your criteria for identifying archaeological evidence for Israelites? Btw, what method was used to date the Mount Ebal curse tablet? I found no mention of carbon dating for the Mount Ebal site. I did find a mention of potsherds dated, doesn't say with what method and the potsherds could be from a different occasion than the Deuteronomy one.
"The same goes for the destruction of Hazor where the idols were descrated."
Going by date for Jericho, I'd expect the destruction to show up, if at all, in around 1550 BC. Upper city XVI and Lower City 3 span two centuries, so the question is, for how long was Asor destroyed in Joshua 11, when it becomes part of Naphthali in Joshua 19? And mind you, a reason to think modern archaeologists mismatch is this one:
"The archaeological remains suggest that after its destruction, the city of Hazor was rebuilt as a minor village within "the territory of Naphtali" (Joshua 19:36)."
Sourced "Negev," Avraham/Gibson, Shimon, Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land, New York/London 2001, p.220, ISBN 978-0-8264-1316-1 (English)
However, Joshua 19 has 32 The sixth lot came out to the sons of Nephtali by their families: ... 35 And the strong cities are Assedim, Ser, and Emath, and Reccath and Cenereth, 36 And Edema and Arama, Asor, 37 And Cedes and Edri, Enhasor, 38 And Jeron and Magdalel, Herem, and Bethanath and Bethsames: nineteen cities, and their villages.
The text mentions the total of cities, and villages are to be added to that, as 19, but only names 16 cities, leading to the conclusion Asor was not the least strong of the 19, but one of the 16.
"which isn't in the form of "we're going to re-date this find to a date that happens to fit the Exodus date we were already committed to"."
I am certainly committed to redating. But the fact is, my redatings don't take the form of "this find" but form an overall arch of rising carbon 14 levels, from Flood to Fall of Troy. I used 8 nodes, starting with Flood and ending with Fall of Troy, where I could identify a Biblical or otherwise historical event, i e really absolutely dated, starting with Flood, atmospheric pmC back then at 1.625, ending with Fall of Troy at c. 100 pmC (archaeological date by carbon matching the date by Eratosthenes).
Fall of Jericho is node VII. So, in a sense, yes, I took this one as an independent redating enterprise. But on the other hand, 98.924 pmC fits as on the rise between 97.068 pmC for node VI (death of Sesostris III, birth of Moses, 1590 BC, dated as 1838 BC as per his coffin, 250 extra years), and 100 pmC for node VIII, Fall of Troy.
- Node VI, also fits on a rise from node V 87.575 pmC for Joseph in Egypt 1700 BC, with death of Djoser, and its raw carbon date 2800 BC, and the node VII given.
- Node V, 87.575 pmC, fits between node IV, Genesis 14 in 1935 BC (or very few years around), and its carbon date 3500 BC, at an original 82.73 pmC
- Node IV, 82.73 pmC in 1935 BC, fits between node V, 1700 BC with 87.575, and node III, 48.1415 pmC in 2556 BC, end of Babel carbon dated as 8600 BC, as per charcoal layer of Göbekli Tepe.
And, between nodes VI and VII, we could have an extra node, 1510 BC carbon dated as 1609, as per eruption of Santorini, if that eruption was used as a means for the Plagues of Egypt by God. The initial carbon level that would take differs by 0.5 pmC points from the one I could calculate between the nodes.
2:37 A claim about as credible as Apollonius of Rhodes* writing the Iliad and the Odyssey, as opposed to just writing Argonautica.
2:56 The Exodus was 1510 BC. Not 1300 or 1200's.
- Stephen Gray
- And where's your evidence for this? Please note that insisting that dates given in a temple dedication must be taken literally is not good evidence, since we have a number of examples where dates given in such dedications were numerologically significant but chronologically inaccurate.
- Hans Georg Lundahl
- I refer to St. Jerome for the evidence, @stephengray1344 .
I take 1510 BC or 1511 BC from the Roman Martyrology for Christmas day.
Christ is born Dec. 25 in the 1510th year from the Exodus. As He is born 1 BC, add one more year when counting backwards.
Note, the text in King Solomon's dedication, I'll take the number as a minimum lapse of years, probably calculated by taking the 300 years at face value, when Jephtha, I think it was, had missed several decades.
I have already done sums for years within the Judges period that don't match up.
As the Roman martyrology puts Anointing of King David in 1033 BC the Temple is in 982 BC, which doesn't match up with an Exodus in 1510, but rather would if so conflate Exodus with taking of Jericho.
8:28 Bergsma is for all I know right that the cultural parallels are attested for 1200's BC.
But this does not mean that the carbon dated period I think corresponds to the real date of the Exodus, 1609 corresponding to* 1510, attests a very different Egyptian culture which wouldn't match the culture of the books of Moses.
It is simply that 1609 for Egyptologists is so much less well attested.
* As I already previously commented on the "Ezra writing Pentateuch" fad:
Φιλολoγικά / Philologica : Imagine Someone Said: Apollonius Rhodus Wrote Iliad and Odyssey
** For actual year 1510 to carbon date to 1609, see my New Tables:
Creation vs. Evolution : New Tables
Node VI is birth of Moses, or death of Sesostris III some (here taken as two) years later.
Real date 1588 (Moses was born 1590). 97.0681 pmC for original sample content leads to 250 years instant age, 250 extra years = 1838 as to carbon date.
Node VII is for taking of Jericho, 160 years later. Real date, 1470 BC, since 40 years after 1510. The closest I got when manually calculating was 1476 BC, 98.924 pmC, 90 years extra age, so carbon date 1566. Matches Kenyon's 1550 BC pretty well.
Between these nodes, in the table VI to VII, I have these two points, not real nodes, but calculations from the nodes:
- 1521 B. Chr.
- 0.98184 pmC/100, so dated as 1671 B. Chr.
- 1498 B. Chr.
- 0.98555 pmC/100, so dated as 1618 B. Chr.
1510 would be between them. The pmC would be between. (98.184 + 98.555)/2 = 98.3695 pmC, leads to 140 extra years, 1650. In order for 1510 to carbon date as 1609 instead of 1650, I need to have 98.81 pmC instead of 98.3695 pmC at this point. En error of 98.81 - 98.3695 = 0.4405 pmC.