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Talk:Evidence for the Exodus

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reference for the second sentence of "Mainstream historical consensus"[edit]

Can we get a reference for the second sentence of that section which says "Archaeologists from the 19th century onward were actually surprised not to find any evidence whatsoever for the events of Exodus. By the 1970s, archaeologists had largely given up regarding the Bible as any use at all as a field guide."? Thats the kind of assertive statement that should have one.

Edit war[edit]

Icon fedora.svg * dons Mod run of the mill janitor hat * Icon fedora.svg

There's currently an edit war between David Gerard and Reverend Black Percy as to whether we should include a bunch of links in the opening quote of this article. Could you take it to the talk page? Christopher (talk) 19:55, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

Chwayatyun, grasshopper. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 20:19, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
I think editorialising a quote is an obviously bad practice. Why do you think it's in any way a good idea? - David Gerard (talk) 14:22, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree with David on this one, not all links in quotes are bad but in this case it adds nothing. Christopher (talk) 15:59, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
Well, lads... First things first. Compromise is going to be the way forward. I'll certainly concede that there can be such a thing as too many internal links inserted into a single quote.
Furthermore — while it seems DG finds all internal links in quotes bad — I maintain that so-called "editorialisations" can range between good or bad. As such, they're not "all bad", nor "all good"Wikipedia's W.svg, but vary both situationally and contextually.
An example of bad/overdone internal linking (for the Shermer quote) is the ones for the words "archaeological" and "historical". They are inane and distracting — a user needs no "help" finding those terms. As such, I'll remove those.
An example of a good internal link, however — i.e. one which helps the reader understand contextually relevant subtleties they otherwise very well might not — is where Shermer says "You'd think a people wandering the desert for 40 years would leave some evidence? There's absolutely none.", which links to negative evidence. This is patently useful, and not a twisting of neither words nor meaning. As such, I'd like it in.
I'll remove the extraneous stuff now, and we can all put on the kettle and reconverge on this in the morning. All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:47, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Composition date[edit]

8th-7th Century BCE? Really? More like the Hellenistic era c.167 BCE onwards. See the Copenhagen 'Minimalists' for instance. --Scherben (talk) 00:57, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

wander in desert[edit]

Moses know that area well as he lived there a long time with his wife's family after he was banished from Egypt. He was also an experienced general from his years in Egypt as a prince. He knew that the meek slaves he led were worthless as soldiers so he camped them out near Caannan for 40 years and trained the new youth to be soldiers. They did not "wander". It was part of his plan to invade and conquer the promised land. (it was already occupied by people with an army) Then they went in and attacked one city at a time, wiping out all the people, allowing a few to escape to tell the next city. so the fear grew and cities surrendered , but were also slaughtered. The Jews did not want anyone behind to launch counter attack for rear, or to be difficult when they lost their land and property. The best thing to do was kill each and every one of them. The plan worked. Then they claimed it as their "homeland" Kingfook (talk) 16:59, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

Extra-biblical evidence for the Exodus story[edit]

How have all of you been? It’s been too long. The last time I commented on this page was more than two years ago. Unfortunately I am not impressed with the changes that have occurred since then. Like most people here whenever I see something stupidly wrong I feel obligated to fix it. But because I am a passive aggressive person I am bringing up my concerns on this talk page first (with one exception) rather than starting an edit war and then moving on to the talk page as is traditional on wikis.

Archaeology is supposed to be conservative (so to speak), if there is no evidence for something it didn’t happen. But this article isn’t labeled “Archaeology of the Exodus” or something similar, no, it’s labeled “Evidence for the Exodus.” And given this fact I will critique this article from that perspective and make my point be deleting the demonstrably false quote at the top of the article. The quote is demonstrably false because it states that there is no extra-biblical evidence for the Exodus which is not only false but in fact is so ludicrously false that I could very easily use that quote as an example of how rationalists lose their heads when they have an axe to grind. Here I have an extra-biblical account from a classical Jewish author, Flavius Josephus, who quotes a non-Jewish author, Manetho, at length:

’…Thummosis the son Alisphragmuthosis made an attempt to take them by force and by siege, with four hundred and eighty thousand men to around them, but that, upon his despair of taking that place [Avaris] by siege, they came to a composition with them, that they should leave Egypt, and go, without any harm to be done to them, wherever they would; and that after this composition was made, they went away with their whole families and effects, not fewer in number than two hundred and forty thousand, and took their journey from Egypt, through the wilderness, for Syria; but that as they were in fear of the Assyrians, who had then the domination over Asia, the built a city in that country which is now called Judea, and that large enough to contain this great number of men, and called it Jerusalem.’

You may ask: is that all? Of course it isn’t. Josephus quotes Manetho that five hundred and eighteen years later there was a plague of leprosy in Egypt and that those who were infected were sent to work in the quarries and that even learned men like Priests were not immune from this fate. Sometime afterwards:

’After those that were sent to work in the quarries had continued in that miserable state for a long while, the king desired that he would set apart the city Avaris [the same one in the quote above], which was the left desolate of the shepherds, for their habitation and protection; which desire he granted them……But when these men were gotten into it, and found the place fit for a revolt, they appointed themselves a ruler out of the priests of Hellopolis, whose name was Osarsiph, and they took their oaths that they would be obedient to him in all things. He then, in the first place, made this law for them, that they should neither worship the Egyptian gods, nor should abstain from any one of those sacred animals which they have in the highest esteem, but kill and destroy them all; that they should join themselves to nobody but to those that were of this confederacy. When he had made such laws as these, and many more such as were mainly opposite to the customs of the Egyptians, he gave order that they should use the multitude of the hands they had in building walls about their City, and make themselves ready for a war with king Amenophis, while he did himself take into his friendship the other priests, and those that were polluted with them, and sent ambassadors to those shepherds who had been driven out of the land by Tefilmosis to the city called Jerusalem; whereby he informed them of his own affairs, and of the state of those others that had been treated after such an ignominious manner, and desired that they would come with one consent to his assistance in this war against Egypt. He also promised that he would, in the first place, bring them back to their ancient city and country Avaris, and provide a plentiful maintenance for their multitude; that he would protect them and fight for them as occasion should require, and would easily reduce the country under their dominion. These shepherds were all very glad of this message, and came away with alacrity all together, being in number two hundred thousand men; and in a little time they came to Avaris……It was also reported that the priest, who ordained their polity and their laws, was by birth of Heliopolis, and his name Osarsiph, from Osyris, who was the god of Heliopolis; but that when he was gone over to these people, his name was changed, and he was called Moses.’ This is what the Egyptians relate about the Jews, with much more, which I omit for the sake of brevity. But still Manetho goes on, that ‘after this, Amenophis returned back from Ethiopia [where he had exiled himself; it’s a long story] with a great army, as his son Rampses with another army also, and that both of them joined battle with the shepherds and the polluted people, and beat them, and killed a great many of them, and pursued them to the bounds of Syria.’

I sympathize with Josephus since I too have omitted much of his writing for the sake of brevity. Needless to say this account as I have presented it is rather offensive to bible believing people (to say nothing of the rest of it) and sure enough Josephus himself only quotes Manetho in the context of disagreeing with him. Some people may take issue with me quoting an author who is considered within the Judeo-Christian tradition which is why I feel an obligation to quote another classical author who was not within the “Judeo-Christian tradition” the Greek geographer and historian Strabo:

…the most prevalent of the accredited reports in regard to the temple at Jerusalem represents the ancestors of the present Judaeans, as they are called, as Aegyptians. Moses, namely, was one of the Aegyptian priests, and held a part of Lower Aegypt, as it is called, but he went away from there to Judaea, since he was displeased with the state of affairs there, and was accompanied by many people who worshipped the Divine Being…….Now Moses, saying things of this kind, persuaded not a few thoughtful men and led them away to this place where the settlement of Jerusalem now is; and he easily took possession of the place, since it was not a place that would be looked on with envy, nor yet one for which anyone would make a serious fight; for it is rocky, and, although it itself is well supplied with water, its surrounding territory is barren and waterless, and the part of the territory within a radius of sixty stadia is also rocky beneath the surface…

Of course you could say that this quote is actually more problematic then the one given by Josephus since it is unusually positive (especially when you read the parts I left out for the sake of brevity) to the point that it may have been tampered with, which is why the last author that I will quote was a pagan who had as much regard for the Jews as Europeans after him did. Tacitus writes:

Some say that the Jews were fugitives from the island of Crete, who settled on the nearest coast of Africa about the time when Saturn was driven from his throne by the power of Jupiter. Evidence of this is sought in the name. There is a famous mountain in Crete called Ida; the neighbouring tribe, the Idaei, came to be called Judaei by a barbarous lengthening of the national name. Others assert that in the reign of Isis the overflowing population of Egypt, led by Hierosolymus and Judas, discharged itself into the neighbouring countries. Many, again, say that they were a race of Ethiopian origin, who in the time of king Cepheus were driven by fear and hatred of their neighbours to seek a new dwelling-place. Others describe them as an Assyrian horde who, not having sufficient territory, took possession of part of Egypt, and founded cities of their own in what is called the Hebrew country, lying on the borders of Syria. Others, again, assign a very distinguished origin to the Jews, alleging that they were the Solymi, a nation celebrated in the poems of Homer, who called the city which they founded Hierosolyma after their own name. Most writers, however, agree in stating that once a disease, which horribly disfigured the body, broke out over Egypt; that king Bocchoris, seeking a remedy, consulted the oracle of Hammon, and was bidden to cleanse his realm, and to convey into some foreign land this race detested by the gods. The people, who had been collected after diligent search, finding themselves left in a desert, sat for the most part in a stupor of grief, till one of the exiles, Moyses by name, warned them not to look for any relief from God or man, forsaken as they were of both, but to trust to themselves, taking for their heaven-sent leader that man who should first help them to be quit of their present misery. They agreed, and in utter ignorance began to advance at random. Nothing, however, distressed them so much as the scarcity of water, and they had sunk ready to perish in all directions over the plain, when a herd of wild asses was seen to retire from their pasture to a rock shaded by trees. Moyses followed them, and, guided by the appearance of a grassy spot, discovered an abundant spring of water. This furnished relief. After a continuous journey for six days, on the seventh they possessed themselves of a country, from which they expelled the inhabitants, and in which they founded a city and a temple.

So as I have clearly demonstrated, the claim that no-extra biblical sources mention the Exodus is incorrect. What all of this says about the "mainstream" scholarly opinion on the Exodus story being invented out of thin air is not for me to decide. Alsto003 (talk) 00:42, 9 January 2018 (UTC) Alsto0013

History Channel[edit]

I remember watching a show on the History Channel (it only appeared on the analog one) and it investigated all the possible locations for a crossing. The found that a certain area of the Gulf of Aqaba has a mass graveyard of possible chariots and chariot wheels that have coral grown all over them. You could still make out the shape too.Ultimate SlimeRimuru Slime.png 01:38, 30 March 2018 (UTC)

Our History Channel article tells you why should perhaps not take what they say at face value.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:40, 30 March 2018 (UTC)