Re: Adam never met Eve [the Exodus]

Date: Sun Nov 12 2000 - 12:53:12 EST

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    Glenn answered me

    << From: []
    > Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 7:26 AM
    > I would like to point out that rejecting a lack of evidence is in no way
    > comparable to rejecting evidence. Because there is no
    > archaelogical evidence
    > for the Exodus leaves the issue open. As Edwin Yamauchi points out in his
    > book The Stones and the Scriptures, only a minute fraction of the
    > archaeological data has been investigated. Consequently, it
    > should be borne
    > in mind that with archaeology, the absence of evidence is not evidence of
    > absence.
     Under most conditions I would agree with you. In this case we have a pretty
     good record of events in Egypt. They never mention any of the events so
     prominently written about in the Exodus accounts. At some point such a lack
     must be evidence of absence. >>

    True, but there are only two time periods when the biblical conquest accounts
    can more or less match the archaeological data in Palestine. One is in the
    16th century BC and the other is in the 13th-12th. If the Exodus occured in
    the 16th century it would be at the end of the Hyksos period for which
    Egyptian records are sparse and hence it would not be at all surprising if no
    reference to the Exodus events was in existence or at least yet found. If the
    Exodus was in the 13th-12th century, it would be at the time of the Ramesses
    whose records show no interest in recording events negative to their
    grandeur. If under Ramesses II, a man who made a huge statue of himself and
    one of his wife on the same pedestal with his wife standing behind one leg
    and only knee-high, I would say the chance of his retaining any record of a
    set-back like the Exodus would be nil.

    I think it is also very important to recognize that if the Exodus was in the
    13th - 12th centuries, the Song of Miriam in Exodus 15 is dated by competent
    biblical scholars to the 13th-12th centuries, making it an historical
    testimony which cannot easily be set aside, particularly by a lack of
    evidence on the other side.

    The Exodus account is also, as has been mentioned by others, an account which
    fits into the Egyptian scene rather believably--as expounded recently by Alan
    Millard, "How Reliable is the Exodus?", Biblical Archaeological Review,
    July/Aug 2000 and And, perhaps even more impressively
    expounded by Abraham Malamat in the first essay in Exodus: The Egyptian
    Evidence, ed. E. S. Frerichs, L. H. Lesko (Eisenbrauns, 1997). But, most of
    the other essays expound the theme What Evidence?, there is none.

    So, all in all, I still think it would be academically improper to argue from
    the lack of evidence that there was no Exodus. The biblical account may be
    telescoped and exaggeraated, but because of Ex 15 if nothing else, it cannot
    be set aside as totally probably false. Unless one rejects the 13th-12th
    century dating of the Exodus, I would go so far as to say that Ex 15 makes
    the event historically probable.

    I might also mention that there is reason to believe that the the "480 years"
    mentioned in I Kings 6:1 (which would date the Exodus to c. 1440 BC) may be a
    late addition to the text.


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