The Biblical narrative of the Exodus is a fascinating account that can be supplemented by additional historical sources. This eBook, taken from articles in Biblical Archaeology Review magazine, considers texts and archaeological evidence from the second millennium B.C.E. that describe Israel in Egypt and the Exodus.
In “Out of Egypt,” James K. Hoffmeier questions how likely is it that the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt. And if they were there, which way did they go when they left? Hoffmeier uses recent archaeological excavation data from Egypt to shed new light on the Israelites’ time as Pharaoh’s slaves, the locations mentioned in Exodus and the route the Israelites took out of Egypt to the Promised Land.
Abraham Malamat’s article “Let my People Go and Go and Go and Go” questions the historicity of the Biblical account. Malamat suggests that once we give up the search for a single, dramatic Exodus, the evidence for a more subtle Exodus—one dispersed over time—will emerge.
Finally, in “When Did Ancient Israel Begin?” Hershel Shanks takes a new look at the late-13th-century B.C.E. Merneptah Stele, which has long been considered the earliest reference to Israel outside of the Bible. But now three German scholars say they may have found another hieroglyphic inscription almost 200 years older naming “Israel.” The Bible may be more accurate than some thought.