Israelite Exodus from Egypt (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: The Exodus marked the birth of Israel as a nation, and the covenant with Yahweh defined many of the stipulations of Israel’s relationship with God.
Summary of Event
The traditional fifteenth century date for the Israelites’ Exodus (or escape) from Egypt is calculated by adding the 480 years mentioned in 1 Kings 6:1 as the time that elapsed between the Israelite Exodus and Solomon’s building of the temple of Jerusalem c. 966 b.c.e. Israelite participation as slaves in the building of the Egyptian cities before the Exodus (see Exodus 1:11) suggests instead a date after 1302, when Seti I moved the Egyptian capital from Thebes to a site in the eastern Nile Delta near the Mediterranean Sea, eventually known as Pi-Ramesse (domain of Ramses). Many scholars of the Bible see Seti I as the pharaoh who began the Israelites’ oppression and whose death is mentioned in Exodus 2:23, and they consider his son Ramses II to be the pharaoh during whose reign the Exodus itself occurred. One archaeological discovery that seems to confirm that view is a stone monument erected c. 1220 by Ramses’ successor Merneptah. The monument lists the Israelites as a people he defeated while engaged in a military expedition to Canaan; Israel, then, existed as a nation to be defeated by this time.
Egyptian records available today do not record the successful escape of Israelites from slavery, though the Amarna...
(The entire section is 1555 words.)
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