Early and late date of Exodus

otseng wrote: Tue Apr 12, 2022 11:20 pm

Difflugia wrote: Tue Apr 12, 2022 12:20 pm If either of you is interested, the Internet Archive has a scan of a book-length monograph discussing the personal names found in the Amarna tablets.

One problem with interpreting who influenced who is which dating is used, either the early date or the late date of Exodus. With the early date, the Israelites would have already entered Canaan when the Amarna letters were written. With the late date, the Amarna letters would’ve been written before the Israelites entered Canaan.

As mentioned earlier, there are actually two dates proposed for the timing of all the events in Egypt, the early dating and the late dating.

“Fixing the date of the exodus has proven to be one of those contentious areas of biblical study that has produced two opposing views.”

I’ve been using the early dating and I believe it fits best with the Biblical account and archaeological evidence.

The late dating puts the time of entering Egypt around 1650 BC and leaving Egypt around 1270 BC. This compares with the early dating of 1876 BC entering Egypt and 1446 BC leaving Egypt.

There are several lines of argument for the late dating.

One is Exodus 1:11 that refers to Rameses.

Exod 1:11 (KJV)
Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Rameses.

Though Rameses refers to a city and not the Pharaoh, it is assumed the Pharaoh referred to is Raamses II, who ruled from 1279-1213 B.C.

However, there is no archaeological evidence linking Rameses II with the Bible.

“Ramesses II, however, left the most extensive and exacting records of any Egyptian monarch – there is literally no ancient site in Egypt which does not mention his name – and nowhere does he make any mention of Israelite slaves nor any of the events given in Exodus.”

According to the early dating, the Hebrews have long settled in Canaan at this point. So, it makes sense according to the early dating why there is no archaeological evidence of the Israelites in Egypt during the time of Ramesses II.

As for the cities mentioned in Ex 1:11, there is no consensus where is Pithom.

“Multiple references in ancient Greek, Roman, and Hebrew Bible sources exist for this city, but its exact location remains somewhat uncertain.”

The city of Rameses (Pi-Ramesses) did exist and it was actually just next to the ancient city of Avaris.

“Pi-Ramesses (/pɪərɑːmɛs/; Ancient Egyptian: Per-Ra-mes(i)-su, meaning “House of Ramesses”)[1] was the new capital built by the Nineteenth Dynasty Pharaoh Ramesses II (1279–1213 BC) at Qantir, near the old site of Avaris.”

“After Ramesses II constructed the city of Pi-Ramesses roughly 2km to the north and “superseding Avaris”,[14] large portions of the former site of Avaris were used by the inhabitants of Pi-Ramesses as a cemetery[15] and part of it was used as a major navy base,[16] while the “Harbor of Avaris” toponym continued to be used for Avaris’ harbor through the Ramesside period.”

Also, throughout the Torah, Rameses is equated with the land of Goshen.

Gen 47:11
And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded.

Exo 12:37
And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.

Num 33:3
And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.

I believe Rameses is later textual editing as I presented in post 1017. The original had the word Avaris when Moses wrote it. Later, Pi-Ramesses took over Avaris and the word was then replaced with Rameses so readers could identify it.