Archaeology

Moses

Many have mocked the accuracy of the Word of God in regard to the children of Israel and their bondage in Egypt, to Moses and the horrendous plagues, to the miraculous parting of the Red Sea, and more. But is this really the truth? Is there really evidence in history for the Exodus? The answer may surprise you.
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Moses

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SPECIAL NOTE: Many have mocked the accuracy of the Word of God in regard to the children of Israel and their bondage in Egypt, to Moses and the horrendous plagues, to the miraculous parting of the Red Sea, and more. Know of a certainty that the Word of God is true and righteous altogether. God’s Word is a reliable history book. This feature is another powerful historic testimony to Moses and the children of Israel. For additional information on this topic, click onto the following subjects:

Pharaoh Kills Babies
Joseph
Honey and the Finger of God
Moses Challenged
Miraculous Plagues
Imitation Gods
Imitation Gods II

GOD SAID, Acts 7:35-36:

35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.

36 He brought them out, after that he had showed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.

GOD SAID, Luke 16:31:

And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

MAN SAID: From TIME magazine, "There are parts of the Old Testament where the evidence is contradictory or still absent, including slavery in Egypt and the existence of Moses."

Now THE RECORD: The story of Moses, the 10 plagues, and leading the children of Israel through the Red Sea are considered a fairy tale in the minds of many modern scholars. As alluded to above, TIME magazine published an article titled, "Is the Bible Fact or Fiction?" In the article, the writer proceeded to show that at the time of the Exodus, there is no evidence of any such event in Egyptian history. But is this really the truth? Is there really no evidence in history for the Exodus? The answer may surprise you. In the following article, GodSaidManSaid will again demonstrate the veracity of the Scriptures as an accurate history book of the earth’s events. It will also show that the modern scholars’ problems lie not only in their casting off of God’s Word, but also in their dating of Egyptian dynasties. The current chronology of ancient Egypt needs to be adjusted on a large scale. The beginning of the Wikipedia article for Egyptian chronology follows:

The creation of a reliable Chronology of Ancient Egypt is a task fraught with problems. While the overwhelming majority of Egyptologists agree on the outline and many of the details of a common chronology, disagreements either individually or in groups have resulted in a variety of dates offered for rulers and events. This variation begins with only a few years in the Late Period, gradually growing to a decade at the beginning of the New Kingdom, and eventually to as much as a century by the start of the Old Kingdom. The reader is advised to include this factor of uncertainty with any date offered either in Wikipedia or any history of Ancient Egypt. [End of quote]

It will be shown that, when the correct dates are used for the Egyptian dynasties, there is plenty of support for the accounts in the Bible. First, a brief background is in order concerning the origin of the erroneous Egyptian dates.

Although there are various sources for the dating of Egyptian dynasties, the basis for Egyptian chronology began in the third century B.C. with the writings of a man named Manetho. He was a priest who was commissioned by the king of Egypt at that time to compile a record of Egyptian history. His writings were passed down and became foundational for establishing a time line for Egyptian history. There are, however, various problems in accepting Manetho’s dates for the Egyptian dynasties.

The first problem is that none of Manetho’s writings have survived, and the ones in use today are actually quotes of his writings done later by historians. Sometimes they contradict each other. Secondly, there is no way of knowing whether Manetho’s records were entirely accurate. Commissioned by the king to write a history of Egypt, he may have misrepresented unknown dates in order to fulfill the king’s command. The third problem with accepting Manetho’s dates has to do with his method. Egyptian chronology was established by adding all of the dynasties together into a time line. But by Manetho’s own admission, some of the dynasties that he listed may have been contemporary. In other words, it was not a succession of kings (which would be necessary for the accepted chronology to be accurate). But rather it was several kings reigning at the same time in different regions. The widely accepted dating of today requires one to either overlook or ignore Manetho’s own words and results for a history that’s much longer than it needs to be. Though today it is admitted by scholars that some dynasties were indeed contemporary, some archaeologists say that there were many more dynasties that were contemporaries than what modern scholars accept.

Field archaeologist David Brown, who has been featured by the Answers in Genesis ministry and others, said that the chronology of Egyptian history is so elongated that the first dynasty needs to be reduced to 1,000 years! During one of his seminars (which is available for listening on the Answers in Genesis website), he stated:

The moment you start recognizing that dynasties are contemporary, you see what you’re doing to the dates? You are reducing them. They’re shrinking. And the more dynasties you recognize as contemporary, the lower the dates of Egyptian history are. [End of quote]

So, what happens if the chronology is revised and the new dates for Egyptian history are used? Does Egyptian history show any evidence to support the Biblical accounts when the dates are reduced? The revised dates for Egyptian chronology would bring the time of Moses from the 18th dynasty down to the 12th and 13th dynasties. The famed Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, writing nearly 2,000 years ago, recorded that Jewish slaves were harnessed by Pharaoh to build pyramids. Modern scholars consider this to be a great mistake on Josephus’ part since the pyramid age had supposedly ended by that time. However, with the corrected dates, we see that the 12th dynasty did indeed build pyramids.

Also, there is something peculiar about the stones used for the pyramids of the 12th dynasty. The pyramids prior to that dynasty used stone, but those of the 12th dynasty used mud bricks mixed with another substance, straw. The Bible states that Moses went before Pharaoh and made demands for the children of Israel. Pharaoh forced them to continue brick making even though he stopped supplying the straw (Exodus 5:6-18).

Another interesting discovery was the city inhabited by the builders of the 12th dynasty. In Exodus 8:22- 23, we learn that the Jews stayed in a separate district away from the Egyptians. Scripturally, it was known as Goshen.

22 And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth.

23 And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.

The city was discovered in 1889 by Sir Flinders Petrie. Petrie wrote of the city in his book, Ten Years Digging In Egypt:

The great prize of Illahun was unknown and unsuspected by anyone. On the desert adjoining the north side of the temple, I saw traces of a town, brick walls, houses and pottery; moreover, the pottery was of a style as yet unknown to me. The town wall started out in a line with the face of the temple; and it dawned on me that this could hardly be other than the town of the pyramid makers, originally called Ha-Usertesen-hotep, and now known as Kahun. A little digging soon put it beyond doubt, as we found cylinders of the age, and no other; so that it was evident that I actually had in hand an unaltered town of the twelfth dynasty, regularly laid out by the royal architect for the workmen and stores required in building the pyramid and its temple. [End of quote]

On the basis of the objects he found there, Petrie concluded that the inhabitants of the city were foreigners. Rosaline David researched Petrie’s work in her book, The Pyramid Builders of Ancient Egypt. The following paragraphs are from her book:

It is undeniable that the inhabitants used foreign wares which were derived from the Aegean islands or from Syria-Palestine. ... It is apparent that the Asiatics were present in the town in some numbers, and this may reflect the situation elsewhere in Egypt. It can be stated that these people were loosely classed by Egyptians as "Asiatics," although their exact homeland in Syria or Palestine cannot be determined. ... The reason for their presence in Egypt remains unclear. [End of quote]

Encyclopedia Britannica lists the following information:

Asian slaves, whether merchandise or prisoners of war, became plentiful in wealthy Egyptian households. [End of quote]

Not only were the inhabitants of the city from the Syria-Palestine area, but another interesting discovery was made in the city by Petrie:

Beneath the brick floors of the rooms was, however, the best place to search; not only for hidden things, such as the statuette of a dancer and a pair of ivory castanets, but also for numerous burials of babies in wooden boxes. These boxes had been made for clothes and household use, but were used to bury infants, often accompanied by necklaces and other things. On the necklaces were sometimes cylinders with the kings’ names; and thus we know for certain that these burials, and the inhabitants of the town, are of the twelfth dynasty, from Usertesen (Sesostris) II onward. [Emphasis ours]

The first chapter of Exodus tells us that Pharaoh commanded that all male babies be killed. In Exodus 2, we see that Moses’ mother sent him away for fear of him being killed.

2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.

3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.

For more information on this subject, click onto "Pharaoh Kills Babies.”

When Moses appeared before Pharaoh to show signs and wonders, Pharaoh’s magicians performed extraordinary feats trying to mimic Moses’ wonders. These magicians were later identified in Scripture as Jannes and Jambres (II Timothy 3:8).

Exodus 7:11-12 reads:

11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.

12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.

History has something to say concerning these men. The following excerpt is from The Annals of the World by James Ussher:

These names are noted not only by the Jews in their Talmudical treatise (Oblations, c.9) where they are called by the name Jochanne Mamre. They are mentioned also in the Chaldee Paraphrase. The heathen writer, Numenius Apamea, a Pythagorean philosopher, in his third book cited by Eusebius related this account:

Jannes and Jambres, interpreters of the mysteries of Egypt, were in great repute at the time when the Jews were sent out of Egypt. It was the opinion of all men that these were inferior to none in the art of magic. For by the common opinion of the Egyptians, these two were chosen to oppose Moses, the ring leader of the Jews. Moses’ prayers were most prevalent with God and they alone were able to undo and end all those most grievous calamities that God brought upon all the Egyptians. [End of quote]

Pliny, in reference to these men, stated:

There is also another sect of magicians, derived from Moses, Jannes, Lotapes and the Jews. [End of quote]

However, Pliny is incorrect on two accounts:

1) In reckoning Moses among the magicians, and

2) In making Jannes and Lotapes to be Jews.

In the Leiden Museum in Holland is papyrus (possibly from the 13th dynasty) describing the conditions after the plagues had struck. It reads:

Nay, but the heart is violent. Plague stalks through the land and blood is everywhere. ... Nay, but the river is blood. Does a man drink from it? As a human he rejects it. He thirsts for water. ... Nay, but gates, columns and walls are consumed with fire. ... Nay, but men are few. He that lays his brother in the ground is everywhere. ... Nay, but the son of the high-born man is no longer to be recognized. ... The stranger people from outside are come into Egypt. ... Nay, but corn has perished everywhere. People are stripped of clothing, perfume and oil. Everyone says "there is no more." The storehouse is bare. ... It has come to this. The king has been taken away by poor men. [End of quote]

When the time of their deliverance finally came, the Israelites packed up their things and left their place of residence all in one day. Exodus 12:41:

And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.

Again from Petrie, who excavated the ruins of the city inhabited by the pyramid builders of the 12th dynasty:

There is every indication that Kahun [the city of the pyramid builders] continued to flourish throughout the twelfth dynasty and into the 13th dynasty. ... It is evident that the completion of the king’s pyramid was not the reason why Kahun’s inhabitants eventually deserted the town, abandoning their tools and other possessions in the shops and houses. ... There are different opinions of how this first period of occupation at Kahun drew to a close. ... The quantity, range and type of articles of everyday use which were left behind in the houses may indeed suggest that the departure was sudden and unpremeditated. [End of quote]

"Sudden and unpremeditated" fits exactly with the Biblical story.

Concerning the destruction of the Egyptian army, we find an interesting statement from the Egyptian historian Manetho from the time of the reign of the Pharaoh after the Exodus using the revised chronology. Manetho said:

Under a king of ours named Timaus (Tutimaeus), God became angry with us. I know not how, and there came, after a surprising manner, men of obscure birth from the east, and had the temerity to invade our country, and easily conquered it by force, as we did not do battle against them. After they had subdued our rulers, they burnt down our cities, and destroyed the temples of the gods, and treated the inhabitants most cruelly; killing some and enslaving their wives and children. [End of quote]

Again, note that this invasion, mentioned by Manetho, occurred right after the Exodus. Notice that the invading force conquered Egypt easily and without "battle against them." How could they have invaded Egypt without a battle? Was it because the Egyptians thought it to be more diplomatic to let the foreigners burn the cities and kill the people? Or, would a better conclusion be that Egypt’s army was at the bottom of the Red Sea? Certainly, the evidence would indicate that Egypt did not have a standing army to defend its citizens at that time.

There have been reports of divers finding what appear to be chariot wheels and the remains of human bones scattered across the floor of the Red Sea. GodSaidManSaid used the internet to contact one such diver, asking him to confirm the discoveries. His name is Aaron Sen, and his reply is listed as follows:

Yes, that’s true. I picked up an ancient human femur which was among several dozen other similar looking "corals." It was tested by the Dept. of Osteology in Stockholm, Sweden. If my website is still up, you can see it there along with a little write-up about it (www.arkofthecovenant.co.uk).

What I believe to be a chariot wheel that we found is there too. It’s the picture with the metal detector showing on one or more of the shots. Metal was only detected where the spokes and hub would be, and it has the right dimensions. [End of quote]

It can also be pointed out that the accounts of Moses are mentioned by other ancient secular sources from historians before and after Christ such as Tacitus, Strabo, and Diodorus Siculus. History and archaeology say yes to the Exodus. When God says it’s black, you can be assured that a host of contenders will stand up to say it’s white, but wise men and women of God take heed to His Word.

GOD SAID, Acts 7:35-36:

35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.

36 He brought them out, after that he had showed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.

GOD SAID, Luke 16:31:

And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

MAN SAID: From TIME magazine, "There are parts of the Old Testament where the evidence is contradictory or still absent, including slavery in Egypt and the existence of Moses."

Now you have THE RECORD.




References:

Authorized King James Version

David, R., The Pyramid Builders of Ancient Egypt, pp175,188,190-191

"Egyptian Chronology," Wikipedia.org

"Get Answers: History," answersingenesis.org

Petrie, Sir F., Ten Years Digging In Egypt, pp112-113,116-117,195,199

"Searching for Moses," answersingenesis.org

"The Chronology of Joseph and the Exodus," diggingsonline.com

Ussher, J., The Annals of the World, pp35-36

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