The Date and Pharaoh of the Exodus?

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Date of the Exodus

Both of the conventional dates for the Exodus, ca. The so-called “early date” of ca. However, in Judges and 1 Samuel the Bible seems to indicate that the time between the Exodus and Samuel was longer. This biblical chronological conflict is easily seen by adding up the well-known 40 years of wilderness wandering, years of alternating periods of oppression and deliverance recorded in the book of Judges, 40 years for the career of Eli, 40 years for the reign of Saul, and 40 years for the reign of David.

A “late” date for the Exodus commonly placed it in the 19th dynasty under Merneptah, with Ramses II as pharaoh of the oppression; the conquest of Pal. would.

This article is the second of two in a consideration of the date of the Exodus. Typically, only two dates are considered viable; c. Arguments for these dates are reviewed and compared here. The early date is highly vulnerable to a range of criticisms, and has the least archaeological support. Objects to the late date are less substantial. There is no evidence that Rameses as a place name in Exodus 1 is a later editorial gloss.

The pharaoh under whom Pithom and Rameses were built died while Moses was in the wilderness before the Exodus [36] matching Rameses II and a late date Exodus. Additionally, Hoffmeier argues Exodus does not represent the pharaoh of the Exodus as dying in the Red Sea, [37] whereas an early date pharaoh would have to be Thutmose III or Amenhotep II, neither of whom died by drowning.

The Date of the Exodus

As past chapters have shown, the Lord has often influenced history in such a way that it becomes in and of itself symbolically significant. Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, provided a type or symbol of Christ and His ministry see Reading These chapters of Exodus contain one of the grandest and most profound of all historical types. Among other procedures, the Lord commanded, as found in Exodus 12 :.

The Historical Authenticity and Dating of the Exodus 4 Late Date Theory. 1 One of the extra-biblical arguments in favor of the late date for the Exodus relates​.

While the Bible, plainly read, argues for an early-date Exodus c BC, some scholars claim that there is a lack of archaeological evidence to support this, and prefer to put the Exodus at a later date of c BC. The only variable is the time-span of Joshua and the Judges. However, the late-date Exodus allows only years for Joshua and the Judges, while the early-date Exodus, allows years.

There are several benefits to the earlier date. Some scholars spiritualize this to mean 12 tribes x 40 years of trials. This lets them use the BC date. In Judges , Jephthah states that the Israelites had possession of the land for some years. Naturally, this scenario is untenable as Jephthah lived long before Solomon or Saul, for that matter was born. With a late-date Exodus, Joshua would have had less than 20 years to establish the nation of Israel in time for Merneptah to destroy it.

Twenty years is simply too short a span of time to build up a nation worthy of military conquest. If these groups are one and the same, this argues strongly against the late-date Exodus. The Ipuwer Papyrus describes events strikingly similar to the Ten Plagues.

The Exodus

Bibliotheca Sacra Cited with permission. The Date of the Exodus Reexamined. Charles H. Why reexamine the date of the Exodus?

advocating for a much later eruption date (after BCE). Cyber-Archaeology and Exodus. The four contributions to Section III explore the potential of.

The Biblical book of Exodus does not name the Pharaoh whom Moses encountered after his return from Sinai. This absence has provided the occasion for considerable controversy and speculation as to just who this Pharaoh was and when he ruled in Egypt. Three main views have been proposed: 1 that he belonged to the 18th Dynasty and ruled in the 15th century, 2 that he belonged to the 19th Dynasty and ruled in the 13th century, and 3 that there was no Exodus and thus no Pharaoh of the Exodus, but it was only a literary creation of later Israelites.

The first view may be referred to as the early date for the Exodus, the second is the late date, and the third is the nonexistent Exodus. Literature on the subject of the Exodus is extensive. In his Schweich Lectures for , From Joseph to Joshua , literature from the 19th century to was covered by the excellent English bibliographer H.

He provided an exceptionally thorough list of studies in favor of dating the Exodus in the 13th century under the 19th Dynasty and in the 15th century under the 18th Dynasty. Thompson, in J. Hayes and J. The bibliographies in these sections are of more value than the discussions in the text, which adopts a very negative view on the historicity of the Exodus.

A strong picture has been made for the 19th Dynasty as the background for the Exodus in the work of K. Kitchen, Pharaoh Triumphant

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According to the orthodox chronology this gives a date of around BC. However, Exodus states that Pharaoh put the Hebrews to work on the cities of Pithom and Raamses. As a result, it is usually suggested that the Israelites actually worked on a settlement in the same location as Pi-Ramesse which predated it. This was usually combined with the name of a god eg Thuth-moses or Ra-messes. Moses apparently belonged to a group of Semitic settlers whose ancestors had arrived in Egypt from the land of Canaan.

BC was later than Joseph, but earlier than Moses and no Bible books were written then. Ca. BC is the approximate biblical date for the Conquest of the​.

Dated to c. Israel is followed by a hieroglyph that means a people. Photo: Maryl Levine. This is a loaded question. Although there is much debate, most people settle into two camps: They argue for either a 15th-century B. The article examines Egyptian texts, artifacts and archaeological sites, which demonstrate that the Bible recounts accurate memories from the 13th century B.

The Bible recounts that, as slaves, the Israelites were forced to build the store-cities of Pithom and Ramses. After the ten plagues, the Israelites left Egypt and famously crossed the Yam Suph translated Red Sea or Reed Sea , whose waters were miraculously parted for them. These three place names appear together in Egyptian texts only from the Ramesside Period. The temple was first built by Aya in the 14th-century B.

He ruled from the late 14th century through the early 13th century B. Later—during the reign of Ramses IV 12th century B. During their excavations, the University of Chicago uncovered a house and part of another house belonging to the workers who were given the task of demolishing the temple.

For You Were (Not) Slaves in Egypt: The Ancient Memories Behind the Exodus Myth

Have you ever wondered how the details of the Exodus as described in the Bible line up with other historical accounts of the Pharaohs and the building of the pyramids? When did the Exodus actually occur? These kinds of questions are often asked. There has been much study and scholarship on early Egyptian history that help us to see how biblical accounts do indeed match up with other historical findings.


The date of the Exodus is intimately connected to the emergence of the Israelites in Canaan when looking at the topic as a Christian because the Israelites, according to a selective and face-value reading of the narratives, arrived in Canaan forty years after they left Egypt. The conservative Christian position on the date of the Exodus is that it took place in precisely BCE.

How do Late Daters arrive at this conclusion? Therefore they [the Egyptians] set taskmasters over them [the Israelites] to oppress them with forced labor. They built supply cities, Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh. So, when were Pithom and Rameses built? That much is easy. The problem lies with its location: no one knows where it is. There are difficulties with each option 5 :. About the only existing consensus among scholars is that more archaeological evidence is needed to make a definite conclusion.

The location of this better known ancient city is less problematic.

When Did the Exodus Happen?

As long as Joseph exercised regal authority in the land of Egypt, the Hebrew people flourished. In this article, we wish to consider four aspects of this epochal event —the date of the exodus, the visitation of plagues upon Egypt, the passover, and the passage through the Red Sea. The date of the exodus is one of the key controversies of Old Testament study.

A look at the difficulties encountered by both the early and late dates for the Israelite Exodus from Egypt, and the solution.

I would strongly disagree with this point of view. If we are looking in the wrong century for evidence to support the Biblical account of the exodus, clearly we will not find any evidence! If one chooses to utilize the LXX reading of 1 Kgs , the exodus still falls in the 15th century BC, not the 13th century. With regard to my quote of Carl Rasmussen,[6] Hoffmeier has missed the point. He is correct in saying that scholars who have abandoned the 13th century date have embraced a non-historic interpretation of the exodus-conquest narrative.

The mention of the Israelites building the city of Rameses places the exodus in the 13th century and makes Rameses II the most likely candidate for the Pharaoh of the exodus according to the adherents of this model. Since that is not the case with the name Rameses, no editorial updating has occurred and therefore it must be a contemporary name.

When a later name is editorially inserted into a passage that is chronologically earlier than the time of the name change, the editor simply replaced the earlier name with the later name in the majority of cases. A number of examples where the time of the name change can be reasonably ascertained are listed in Table 1 below. It is seen that the number of name replacements far outweigh the cases where the earlier and later names occur together, 26 to 8.

A close reading of the context of Exod makes it clear that the 13th-century model is incompatible with the Biblical narrative.

Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition

For many years the date of the date of the Exodus has been disputed and the issue has become a major discussion in the realms of Old Testament debate as some feel that issues such as biblical historicity rest upon the matter. There are two main alternatives for the date of the Exodus. Both sides believe their respective dates to fit in best with the main pieces of biblical, archaeological and other data which are discussed in this essay.

The Key Biblical Statement. It would be fair to say that the main motivation for those who support an early date is the defence of this text which states:. In the four hundredth and eightieth year after the Israelites had come out of Egypt in the fourth year of the reign of Solomon he began to build the temple.

Most proponents of the late date believe the biblical and archaeological data discovered so far indicate the Exo- dus happened in the thirteenth century. B.C.

Richard Elliott Friedman, who holds a Th. He is the author of seven books, including the bestselling Who Wrote the Bible? After reading those articles, your readers may have concluded that scholarship shows that the Exodus is fictional, when, in fact, that is not so. There is archaeological evidence and especially textual evidence for the Exodus. I respect Professor Sperling and Rabbi Wolpe. They were understandably following the claims of some of our archaeologists. That assertion is just not true.

Early & Late Dating of Exodus