OK, here’s another post dealing with an extremely interesting part of the Old Testament–the Israelites in Egypt. Is it all myth?
Egypt, Israel, and the Exodus
Is there any evidence for the story of the Israelites being in Egypt? The story takes place near the end of the Bronze Age when there were major social migrations. There are three minimal facts that we know – there were Israelite slaves in Goshen before 1446 B.C. (before the biblical date for the Exodus); Israel arrived in Canaan about 1400 BC; Israel wandered from Egypt to Canaan about the time of the Exodus. Let’s look at each of these.
First, there is evidence for Israel being in Goshen prior to 1400 BC. Researchers note the style of architecture, statues, tombs, pottery, wall paintings, and artifacts that suggest people from Canaan were in Egypt during that time. Also, there are Egyptian household records listing slave names including distinctively Hebrew names. People have discovered public works building projects built by Semites, wall murals depicting Semitic slaves working, wall inscriptions in the Semitic language and written reference to Asiatic (a term used by Egyptians to refer to residents of nations east of Egypt) sheepherders who didn’t worship Ra.
I’ll cover another part of this topic in the next blog post.