Discovering the City of Sodom: The Fascinating, True Account of the Discovery of the Old Testament's Most Infamous City by Collins Steven & Scott Latayne C

Discovering the City of Sodom: The Fascinating, True Account of the Discovery of the Old Testament's Most Infamous City by Collins Steven & Scott Latayne C

Author:Collins, Steven & Scott, Latayne C. [Collins, Steven]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Howard Books
Published: 2013-04-02T00:00:00+00:00

Middle Date for the Exodus

I don’t take the earliest or a late date for the Exodus, but what I call a middle date. Based on solid historical synchronisms, I’m convinced that the Exodus happened between 1416 and 1386 BCE—the range of dates for the death of the Eighteenth Dynasty pharaoh, Tuthmosis IV. I think I can prove this connection by identifying an overt historical synchronism: the precipitous decline and demise of the Egyptian empire during the Eighteenth Dynasty beginning with the death of Tuthmosis IV. (By the way, this matches nicely an Exodus date figured from the Septuagint, or LXX, version of 1 Kings 6:1, which is forty years shorter than the 480 years of the much-later Hebrew Masoretic version.)

The Israelite Exodus and the devastating effects of associated events upon Egypt—tenfold plagues, plundering, loss of a large labor force, heavy military losses, and the loss of its reigning pharaoh—resulted in severe aftershocks, a well-documented and measurable economic depression that overwhelmed Nilotic civilization and precipitated the eventual collapse of its once-great-and-golden Eighteenth Dynasty. In other words, you can accurately pin down the Exodus date by seeing its trickle-down effects on the Egyptian economy, society, politics, and religion. (For more information, see my book Let My People Go: Using Historical Synchronisms to Identify the Pharaoh of the Exodus, TSU Press.)

So I generally agree with earlier-date Exodus theories, but more in line with the fourteenth rather than the fifteenth century BCE. And I hold to that because I accept both the historical authenticity of the biblical narratives and the reasonable clarity of the history of Egypt during the Eighteenth Dynasty. They synch. They explain each other.

But as with the earliest Exodus view, there is a sticky problem for middle Exodus advocates like me who would try to grapple with the dating of the artifacts in the terminal burn layer of Tall el-Hammam, which belongs to MB2, 1800–1550 BCE. If you add the literal patriarchal numbers—430 (in Egypt) + 215 (in Canaan) = 645 years—to the Exodus date in order to get back to Abraham, you still wind up in the twenty-first century BCE, which, as we we’ve already seen, is too early to coordinate with cultural elements in the text (see Appendix B).

No synch.

To make it synch you’ve got to either opt for a much shorter Israelite sojourn in Egypt or adopt the view that the patriarchal numbers in general are formulaic in some sort of symbolic way, as late-daters do.


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