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Ancient Israel in Egypt and the Exodus

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Interested in what archaeology can tell us about the historicity of the Exodus?

In this free eBook, learn about the Israelites in Egypt and the archaeological context of the Exodus.

The Exodus is one of the most dramatic events in the Hebrew Bible – the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt and their miraculous escape across the Red Sea. It is traditionally viewed as the single event that gave birth to the nation of Israel. Is there archaeological evidence for the Exodus, and for Israelites in Egypt?

The Biblical narrative of the Exodus is a fascinating account that can be supplemented by additional historical sources. This free eBook, taken from articles in Biblical Archaeology Review magazine, considers texts and archaeological evidence from the second millennium B.C.E. that describe Israel in Egypt and the Exodus.

Chapter One

Out of Egypt

In “Out of Egypt,” James K. Hoffmeier questions how likely is it that the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt. And if they were there, which way did they go when they left? Hoffmeier uses recent archaeological excavation data from Egypt to shed new light on the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt, the locations mentioned in Exodus and the route the Israelites took out of Egypt to the Promised Land.

Chapter Two

Let my People Go and Go and Go and Go

Abraham Malamat’s article “Let my People Go and Go and Go and Go” questions the historicity of the Exodus. Malamat suggests that once we give up the search for a single, dramatic Exodus, the evidence for a more subtle image of ancient Israel in Egypt and the Exodus—one dispersed over time—will emerge.

Chapter Three

When Did Ancient Israel Begin?

Finally, in “When Did Ancient Israel Begin?” Hershel Shanks takes a new look at the late-13th-century B.C.E. Merneptah Stele, which has long been considered the earliest reference to Israel outside of the Bible. But now three German scholars say they may have found another hieroglyphic inscription almost 200 years older naming “Israel.” This new archaeological evidence of the Israelites in Egypt suggests that the Bible may be more accurate than some thought.


This free eBook shares new archaeological evidence for the Israelites in Egypt, and reshapes understandings of the historicity of the Exodus.

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  • Grary says

    It seems that much money and ado is spent in the pursuit of opinion. Such opinion has to differ from existing opinion so that a name can be made for ones self. Thus an opinion turns to a hypothesis and a hypothesis to fact in the writer and readers mind. There is only one simple fact, the desires for money, and that desire drives the most rediculous speculations to paper.
    To often your authors state what the Bible says, but it is obvious they have not read it for what they state is wrong.
    To often speculations of a adle minded ditch digger are treated as archilogical fact. May the readers of this e-book beware, it is about as accurate a story as Russel Crowes Noah!

  • Don says

    Yam Suf the sea of reeds. is Lake Manzillah in the Delta that until they built the Aswan dam flowed into the Mediterranean. If you look at maps of the Delta prior to 1970 AD, you will see a gap in this long shore drift., In normal times the lake just trickles over sand bar into the Med, but during the inundation it blasts it’s way through creating this gap . and each year that gap moves up and down that long shore drift as can be seen by Napoleon’s maps. However when the Med Tide is out the, but not during the inundation time, waters from the lake will perculate through the sand bar leaving a 6-8ft dry area that can be walked over dry shod bu only for about 3 hours over aprrox a 4km stretch. When the Med Tide rises, the waters in the lake back up and the sand bar is covered by about 100mm of water. However if you’re running through this to the other side and you must be able to see the other side, then if yo fall you can get up . But a chariot doesn’t know this and the last thing the Egyptians wanted was to go into a small hole and the foot soldiers of Israel will come back and kill them ,so it doesn’t look like they followed them. This was the rooute the Egyptians as used then and now in taking a short cut from Port Said to Damieitta., Whereas by road you have to go back almost to Cairo . This tide happened twice a day for thousands of years. Which means Moses didn’t arrive there when the Med Tide was out but must have known about it and can be possible confirmed as being thee before from the Anastasia V papyrus. There is no mention of a Red sea in the Torah, the first referance to this sea was in the Christian Bible. Besides you have to have reeds to make their new abodes at Succoth and you don’t get reeds around salt water of the Red Sea. So where does the Bible get Red Sea from . May I suggest Moses named it Yam Edom the Edomite sea . It got changed to red because Red in Hebrew is Adom and there’s other references, like Karan and Keren where the translators got confused with there E’s an A’s as in Hebrew they’re similar . The Edomites were the people that lived near Elat and Accaba, which Moses passed through and they were seafarers .
    There is now no need for that gap ,so the Egyptians have built a road and houses, where I say Moses once trod. I should add that I believe Exodus and Genesis to be an accurate history of the Jews. It wasn’t God who slowed up the Egyptains. by removing their chariot wheels, it was Moses the stratigist, who sent Joshua and Caleb to remove the axle pins the night before . any questions ask doncox1@onetel.comI

  • Lee says

    Johnna, surprisingly enough there is quite a lot of evidence for the Exodus. You should look up Thutmoses III and that story and research his history. Not to mention the findings of the Golden Chariot wheels under the Red Sea and Settlement evidence in the desert. I hope this helps.



  • Johnna says

    There is not any evidence of Isreals Exodus except for one place if it can be found. This is a living prophecy of today. We are not meant to find proof as when we are taken out of the world there will be no proof of the event. the only place there may possibly be evidence is where the ground opened and swallowed the one who stole and buried the silver under his tent and the ground opened and took his whole family and livestock. Good luck finding it. No other remains are there as they most likely resurrected with Jesus along with the others who came out of their graves when Jesus resurrected. That is my opinion. blessings.

  • Ernesto says

    Have you people read “The Bible Unearthed” by Israel Finkelstein ?

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