Vast Majority of Egyptologists Believe the Exodus Happened?

Interestingly enough, the vast majority of Egyptologists actually accept the historical narration of the exodus. I came across this recently as I was reading through some of the published work of one of todays foremost historians, James Hoffmeier.

I came across a paper by Hoffmeier, a highly respected professor of the Old Testament, and someone who has contributed significantly to the field of Egyptology. In 2013, an international conference was held on the Exodus narrative in California, attended by many scholars where some 40 of the leading scholars, including Hoffmeier himself, would present papers on the historicity of the exodus and whatnot. Another conference was held on the exodus by highly prominent scholars once again the following year in Texas. Hoffmeier is, to my knowledge, the only scholar who had a presentation in both conferences.

In the paper he presented, titled Egyptologists and the Israelite Exodus from Egypt (that you can click on and read here), he revealed the results of an unofficial survey he conducted with about 25 scholars at an Egyptological conference regarding their viewpoint on the exodus narrative. The scholars were asked “Do you think the early Israelites lived in Egypt and that there was some sort of exodus?”. In total, 19 out of the 25 scholars agreed with the historicity of the exodus, and not a single one said that there were no Hebrews in Egypt and that there was no exodus. Indeed, the other 6 simply had views from ‘probably’ to ‘unlikely’, and again, 19 out of 25 expressed that they did view the exodus as historical.

This is quite extraordinary, because most non-academics are lead to believe that historians stand against the historicity of the exodus, when in fact a grand majority are actually on the complete opposite side in the field of Egyptology. Most who have not done significant research into this field probably do not know that critics as critical and against the historicity of the Bible such as Ronald Hendel himself accepts the historicity of Moses. Hendel has been convinced of the historicity of Moses because of the following two factors; 1) The name Moses is Egyptian, or at least potentially an Egyptian name, 2) The fact that the biblical narrative says Moses was married to a Midianite women. Hendel finds this marriage narrative of Moses far too peculiar to have been made up.

So, in reality, contrary to popular thought, the great majority of Egyptologists actually fully accept the historicity of the exodus. This is rather astonishing to say the least, and something that even greatly surprised myself. It’s clear that the narrative of the Bible is clearly and plainly historical fact, and this is being recognized at a greater and greater amount as time passes on. Hallelujah!

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Bible Condones Rape??

The Holy Bible of course, is the most moral book ever written throughout the history of humanity, and yet there still seems to be some who are unable to understand this.

These people are all heathens, and they will come up with some of the most disingenuous ways to slander the Holy Bible. Now, we will see God end yet another one of their petty attempts to give a bad name to a truly perfect book. These people claim the Bible allows rape based off of the following passage;

[Deuteronomy 22:28-29] If a man encounters a young woman, a virgin who is not engaged, takes hold of her and rapes her, and they are discovered, the man who raped her must give the young woman’s father 50 silver shekels, and she must become his wife because he violated her. He cannot divorce her as long as he lives.

Of course, it may seem on its surface that this is what is going on, but that is clearly not true once you begin investigating. First of all, to see what truly happens when a women is raped, one needs to simply go a few verses earlier.

[Deuteronomy 22:25]  But if the man encounters an engaged woman in the open country, and he seizes and rapes her, only the man who raped her must die.

So, what is the deal? If Deuteronomy 22:25 says that the rapist is to die, but not the women, what exactly is going on in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 where it clearly says that the rapist marries the victim after paying the father 50 shekels? The key is to look at the original Hebrew. In Deuteronomy 22:28-29, the Hebrew word translated as ‘rapes’ is utepasah, which simply means “to lay hold of, wield”, in other words, there is no force. Deuteronomy 22:28-29 does not refer to any instance where a women is forced, or raped, rather it likely references consensual sex. In fact, to confirm this, we will take a look at another Biblical passage, which is an equivalent of this one.

[Exodus 22:16-17] “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and he has sexual relations with her, he must certainly pay the bridal price for her to be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must pay an amount in silver equal to the bridal price for virgins.

As we can see, this simply refers to if a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, he must pay the father the bride price (50 shekels), and then he must marry the women. So Deuteronomy 22:28-29 is not talking about rape at all. In fact, there is another thing to mention, and it is when Deuteronomy 22:28-29 says “He cannot divorce her as long as he lives.” Deuteronomy 22:28-29 is actually meant as a punishment towards the man who seduced the virgin, because during ancient times, the only way women could survive without having a husband was to get into prostitution. However, once this man, who had sex with her now marries her, he is forced to financially provide for her for the rest of his life, just because of one thing he did. Indeed, so even if this is talking about rape, we can clearly see Deuteronomy 22:28-29 greatly punishes the rapist.

Not only that, but assuming this passage as I suspect is not talking about rape, then according to Exodus 22:16-17 (a passage I just quoted), even when this man pays the father 50 shekels to marry the women, the father can still refuse to give his daughter in marriage. Therefore, the rapist will have to pay 50 shekels (which was quite a sum of money in the time of Deuteronomy) and may still get nothing in the end. This means that the heathens simply have no idea what they are talking about when they try to quote this passage. Glory to God, for His ways are perfect.

[Psalm 18:30] As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

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Is Paul A Liar?

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Evidence for the Exodus

God guided the Israelite’s through the Exodus, where He defeated Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea. This is indeed one of the greatest narratives found throughout the entirety of the Holy Bible, and contains some of God’s greatest signs, as when He allowed Moses to split open the Red Sea, allowing the Israelite’s to pass through the enormous water mass.

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The Israelite’s were free from Pharaoh’s tyranny when they were being led by Moses, by God’s greatness.

It is, of course, unfortunate, however, that there exist a people who wish to deny the historicity of this great event, being at the heart of the Book of Exodus and one of the greatest acts of God in the entire Holy Bible. Indeed, there exists a charge against God’s words that the events within, such as the Exodus, are nothing more than historical fiction rather than events that have truly occurred in reality. Regarding these charges, we shall now respond to them, and show that exodus is not a mere fiction in the Holy Bible.

Not only do we have historical confirmation of these segments of the Exodus narrative, but the massive sites and regional locations in which would be required for such an extraordinary amount of Israelite’s to travel from Egypt are also attested to. This is an image of the Oasis of Hazeroth, which according to the Bible was one of the locations that the Israelite’s passed through during the exodus, abundantly recorded in various passages of the Pentateuch (five books of Moses).

There are various Biblical passages that mention the Oasis of Hazeroth. These include Numbers 11:35, Numbers 12:16 and Deuteronomy 1:1. This means the locations of where the Bible told us the Israelite’s went through during the exodus not only exist, but are capable of containing such an abundant amount of peoples. No one will question the humor that some people expect remains of extensive farming locations, numerous altars, amongst other things left by the Israelite’s during the exodus, even though it is virtually impossible for such things to survive (or exist in the first place) as a result of several hundred thousand Israelite’s living in a semi-nomadic lifestyle for a mere forty years, which would have much clues covered up by over 3,000 years of heavy erosion and the shifting and alternating desert sands.

Moving forwards, we shall now look at the amazing convergence of the Exodus narrative and Egyptian archaeology. Now, before the exodus, or before 1446 BC, the Israelite’s were foreign slaves to the Egyptians, being forced to build cities for them, amongst other things.

[Exodus 1:11] So the Egyptians assigned taskmasters over the Israelites to oppress them with forced labor. They built Pithom and Rameses as supply cities for Pharaoh.

This is the record of the Holy Bible. What about the Egyptian record? Now, the tomb of vizier Rekhmire, from 1460 BC depicts foreign slaves with an inscription on it saying “making bricks for the workshop-storeplace of the Temple of Amun at Karnak in Thebes.” These are Egyptian inscriptions of foreign slaves in Egypt. The amazing thing is that this inscription is dated to c. 1460 BC (reign of Thutmose III).

As is also noted by the inscription on the tomb of vizier Rekhmire, Egyptian slaves were engaged in brick-making. It is also known that Egyptian slaves were engaged in both construction work and fieldwork, and all of this is what the Hebrews are described to have been doing in the Book of Exodus. The very architect of Ramesside chronology himself, Kenneth Kitchen in a study titled From the Brickfields of Egypt, has also demonstrated that Egyptian brick-makers had to meet quotas for their brick production — a fact that is highly reminiscent of Exodus 5:4-19.

Furthermore, the Pentateuch (books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy), contain a vast knowledge regarding the customs, geography, and etymology of ancient Egypt. Joshua Berman states the following; “At best, we have a text—the Hebrew Bible—that exhibits a good grasp of a wide range of fairly standard aspects of ancient Egyptian realities.”

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One thing to note is the usage of strictly Egyptian names in the Book of Exodus, that primarily and only existed in usage in Egypt in the mid-second millennium BC. As the renowned scholar, Richard Hess puts it,

Although many of these names remained in use later as well, some of them, such as Pinḥas, show an explicit connection with Egyptian personal names at the period in question, and a few, including Ḥevron (Exodus 6:18) and Puah (Exodus 1:15), are attested as personal names only in the mid-second millennium (that is, the 18th to the 13th centuries BCE). The use of other Egyptian words found in the early chapters of Exodus but nowhere else in the Bible similarly supports the view of a connection with Egypt in the same period. Such pieces of incidental information, which would not have been known to a later scribe, point to an antiquity and authenticity in the Exodus account that is difficult to explain otherwise.

Furthermore, the books of the Pentateuch exhibit great knowledge of the geography of Egypt. For example, Genesis 13:10 says “…the entire Jordan Valley as far as Zoar was well watered everywhere like the Lord’s garden and the land of Egypt…” Steven Collins, a specialist in the region of the Jordan Valley comments on this in his book Discovering the City of Sodom regarding the passage Genesis 13:10;

“Here, the well-watered kikkar is compared to (lower) Egypt and the Nile River, which flows northward, dividing into a series of channels in the Nile Delta as it empties into the Mediterranean Sea. The parallels are striking. Both the Nile and the Jordan empty into saline waters. And — on a much smaller scale — the Jordan, like the Nile, also has an alluvial “delta” through which it empties into the northern end of the Dead Sea. Additionally, in antiquity both rivers underwent an annual inundation due to rainfall and snowmelt far upstream. It seems that the writer of Genesis was familiar with the lower Nile area and viewed the Jordan as a ‘Nile in miniature.'” (pg. 117)

In other words, the author of the Pentateuch seems to be highly familiar with the land of Egypt and its geography, including the Nile River. Another fact in the account of the Exodus that confirms the authors specialized knowledge of geography and political state of ancient Egypt is Exodus 13:17, that tells us when the Israelite’s are leaving Egypt, they avoided the northern route in order to avoid military engagement. Joshua Berman also notes that the”…discovery of extensive Egyptian fortifications all along that route from the period in question confirms the accuracy of this observation.” This is consistent with Moses, who was “trained in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22) according to the Bible.

Even more evidence of the Pentateuch’s considerable knowledge of ancient Egypt’s customs and geography in the time of the Exodus remains plentiful. For example, you’ll notice in the entire Pentateuch, the name of the Egyptian pharaoh is never given, even though later biblical books like 1 and 2 Kings give the name of the pharaoh they describe (Shishak; 1 Kings 14:25, Necho; 2 Kings 23:29). If the Exodus account was invented, we would expect the Pentateuch to simply make up the name of the pharaoh. However, it seems that the author of Pentateuch employed an Egyptian type of writing custom that only existed in the 15th – 11th centuries BC in Egyptian literature, in which the name of Egypt’s king is never mentioned, rather he is simply referred to by the title of ‘pharaoh’.

Throughout ancient Egyptian literature in the second millennium BC, the power of the king of Egypt is portrayed in Egyptian texts as existing through pharaoh’s arm. In a paper titled The Arm of God Versus the Arm of Pharaoh in the Exodus Narratives by James Hoffmeier, one of the renowned scholars of our day, James quotes many of these Egyptian texts, including two relevant ones here which speak about Amenhotep II (pg. 381);

The accompanying inscription reads: ‘Amenhotep… who smites foreign rules of the far north, he is a god whose arm is great’. He is also called the ‘good god, strong of arm who achieves with his arms’ (pg. 381)

However, something important that James Hoffmeier points out is that Moses does the exact same thing with God. In the Book of Exodus Moses writes the following;

[Exodus 13:14] “In the future, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘By the strength of His hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.

Moses portrays God’s power by God’s arm (so to speak). This is indeed no coincidence. James Hoffmeier points out that Moses wrote in this kind of language as to show that Yahweh’s power is greater than the power of pharaoh, and therefore defeated pharaoh and his gods, and therefore the arm of Yahweh overpowered the arm of pharaoh. James Hoffmeier thus says;

“The drama of the exodus narratives in describing the struggle between God and Pharaoh’s arms is heightened when it is realized that the arm of the Egyptian king was thought to be infused with strength of the supreme god Amun, or the war gods Seth or Montu. The polemical and legitimizing value of these expressions, which appear to go hand in hand, would have had special significance for the reader or hearer of the exodus narratives. By extending his victorious arm, God showed his superiority over pharaoh and the gods of Egypt.” (pg. 387)

The evidence shows that the author of the Pentateuch is highly familiar with the customs, literature, and geography of Egypt of the second millennium BC, in the time of Moses, showing that the account of the Exodus is a highly, highly trustworthy source.

Indeed, there is great historical confirmation of the Exodus of the Holy Bible and the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament deriving from the historical record, indeed bearing much evidence in showing it is the truth of history, rather than anything else. But considering this was initially told to us by God in the first place, what else could we have expected?

It is evident that the narrative of the Bible is clearly and plainly historical fact, and this is being recognized at a greater and greater amount as time passes on. Hallelujah!

[Jeremiah 10:10] But Yahweh is the true God; He is the living God and eternal King. The earthquakes at His wrath, and the nations cannot endure His rage.

God and Pharaoh’s Free Will

Graciously, God has given us free will. God has free will, and thus we also have free will for we are made in God’s image.

[Genesis 1:26] Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”

God blessed humanity with free will. Those who stand against Christianity on the other hand, deny God’s gracious gift of free will even existing, thereby love to point out how God hardened Pharaoh’s heart in the Book of Exodus in his decisions, forced him to besiege Israel, even though he was not going to do so himself. Based on this, they conclude there is no free will. Inside the Holy Bible, the following verse are what give rise to such charges against God.

 [Exodus 10:16-20] Pharaoh urgently sent for Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against Yahweh your God and against you. Please forgive my sin once more and make an appeal to Yahweh your God, so that He will take this death away from me.” Moses left Pharaoh’s presence and appealed to the Lord. Then the Lord changed the wind to a strong west wind, and it carried off the locusts and blew them into the Red Sea. Not a single locust was left in all the territory of Egypt. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the Israelites go.

Truly, can one not see? Pharaoh wanted to repent to the Lord, Yahweh, but the Lord ended up hardening his heart, forcing him to continue his pursuit of the Israelite’s. Do such verses cast doubt on free will? The heathen say so. For how can there be free will if God forces humans to do things they otherwise would not have done? In fact, God does this more than once to Pharaoh…

 [Exodus 14:8l The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the Israelites, who were going out triumphantly.

Verily, in order to understand this, we must investigate the Book of Exodus in its entirety and not only a few verses, because I tell you, the charges are false. Let us all bear witness to the following verse from the Holy Bible…

[Exodus 7:22] But the magicians of Egypt did the same thing by their occult practices. So Pharaoh’s heart hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

Interesting, is it not? “Pharaoh’s heart hardened”, Pharaoh hardens his own heart in this passage because this time God has nothing to do with it. The solution became clear to me from here on out during my investigation and study of these passages, and it has to do with a pattern in the Biblical narrative of the Book of Exodus, involving Pharaoh and his pursuit of Moses and the Israelite’s. The discovery of this pattern makes it clear to understand how this is not a problem with free will at all, and I will now show it for you all. It is important to note something. The verses where Pharaoh hardens his own heart include Exodus 7:137:228:158:198:329:79:349:35. On the other hand, the verses in the Holy Bible where Pharaoh hardens his own heart include Exodus 9:1210:110:2010:2711:10, 14:8. Do you notice something? Entirely, with the exception of Exodus 9:12, the narrative of when Pharaoh hardens his own heart COMPLETELY PREDATES when God starts hardening Pharaoh’s heart. Somewhere in Exodus 9, the narrative suddenly shifts from who is doing the hardening. What does this mean?

Very simple. Pastor Greg Laurie has recently pointed out that a better translation of the word ‘hardened’ could be ‘strengthened’, so in these verses God would be strengthening Pharaoh’s heart, in other words, he would be strengthening the decisions that Pharaoh has chosen to make. When Pharaoh was hardening his heart, he was of himself denying God. This is why very soon after Pharaoh continued doing this, God starts to begin hardening his heart instead of Pharaoh hardening his own heart, deciding that He shall make Pharaoh go through with his own decisions. Never did God make Pharaoh do something he otherwise would not have, God knew that Pharaoh was going to continue denying Him and besieging the Israelite’s, and so God strengthened Pharaoh’s heart and his decisions to do what he was already going to do. Thus, God did not take away Pharaoh’s free will, for Pharaoh was never going to stop besieging the Israelite’s in the first place. In fact, we see that God hardens Pharaoh’s heart after Pharaoh already has decided to persecute and besiege the Israelite’s and Moses.

[Exodus 14:5-8]  When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about the people and said: “What have we done? We have released Israel from serving us.” So he got his chariot ready and took his troops with him;  he took 600 of the best chariots and all the rest of the chariots of Egypt, with officers in each one. The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the Israelites, who were going out triumphantly.

In Exodus 10:16-20, Pharaoh had already decided not to let Israel go and continue besieging and persecuting Israel, even before God hardened his heart. God then strengthens Pharaoh’s decision to besiege Israel. Thus, God never took away Pharaoh’s free will, God simply strengthened Pharaoh’s decision in what he was already going to do. God has graciously given us free will.

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