Examine Evidence of Biblical Exodus

Top Quote An Egyptologist's examination of archaeological data has found it matches with the historical record of the Exodus story in the Bible. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) April 20, 2016 - Egyptian artifacts and archaeological sites demonstrate that the Bible recounts accurate memories from the period to which the Exodus is generally assigned. This set of data is examined in "Exodus Evidence: An Egyptologist Looks at Biblical History" from the May/June 2016 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.

    For the scholars who believe that the Israelites' Exodus from Egypt occurred in some form or another, many date it to the 13th century B.C.E. Certain pieces of archaeological evidence seem to support this date. For example, the names of three places that appear in the Bible correspond only to Egyptian place names from the Ramesside Period (13th-11th centuries B.C.E.).

    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. The Biblical names Pithom, Ramses and Yam Suph correspond to the Egyptian place names Pi-Ramesse, Pi-Atum and (Pa-)Tjuf. These three place names appear together in Egyptian texts only in the Ramesside Period. The name Pi-Ramesse went out of use by the beginning of Egypt's Third Intermediate Period, which began around 1085 B.C.E., and it does not reappear until much later.

    By recording these specific place names it demonstrates that the memory of the Biblical authors for these traditions predates Egypt's Third Intermediate Period. This supports a 13th-century Exodus during the Ramesside Period.

    Although archaeology can illuminate aspects of the past and bring parts of history to life, it cannot tell us everything. Archaeology has its limits. But it certainly is exciting when the archaeological record matches with the historical record-as is the case here. This evidence can't be used to "prove" every detail of the Exodus story in the Bible true, but it certainly adds weight to the historical accuracy of elements of the Biblical account.

  • FB Icon Twitter Icon In-Icon
Contact Information