Scholars of the Hebrew Bible have in the last decade begun to question the historical accuracy of the Israelite sojourn in Egypt, as described in the book of Exodus.
The reason for the rejection of the exodus tradition is said to be the lack of historical and archaeological evidence in Egypt. Those advancing these claims, however, are not specialists in the study of Egyptian history, culture, and archaeology. In this pioneering book Israel in Egypt: The EVidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition, James Hoffmeier examines the most current Egyptological evidence and argues that it supports the biblical record concerning Israel in Egpyt.
Hoffmeier begins his study with a methodological critque of the "minimalist" position and examines the biblical traditions themselves, with special attention to source-critical issues. He then considers the evidence from recent excavations in the Nile Delta which reveal the presence of a large Semitic population during the period 1650-1525 B.C. and argues that the Hebrews could have been one distinct ethnic group among the expatriates.
Drawing on extra-biblical texts, inscriptions, artifacts, and recent infrared satellite photographs, Hoffmeier provides a convincing reconstruction of the Israelite sojourn. He defends the plausibility of the Joseph story and discusses the role of Moses in history. Finally, he traces the probable route of the Exodus itself.
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