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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Judaism

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Old 05-12-2018, 04:18 PM
Still_Waters Still_Waters is offline
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RabbiO - Did Exodus ever happen or is it a teaching myth

RabbiO, since you want to focus on Judaism in this sub-forum, I'd be curious to hear your comments regarding whether Exodus ever happened or whether it it just a nation-building Jewish myth.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exodus

EXCERPT:

"After a century of research by archaeologists and Egyptologists, the consensus of modern scholars is that the Bible does not give an accurate account of the origins of Israel. There is no indication that the Israelites ever lived in Ancient Egypt, and the Sinai Peninsula shows almost no sign of any occupation for the entire 2nd millennium BCE (even Kadesh-Barnea, where the Israelites are said to have spent 38 years, was uninhabited prior to the establishment of the Israelite monarchy)."

"Details point to a 1st millennium date for the composition of the narrative: Ezion-Geber (one of the Stations of the Exodus), for example, dates to a period between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE with possible further occupation into the 4th century BCE, and those place-names on the Exodus route which have been identified Goshen, Pithom, Succoth, Ramesses and Kadesh Barnea point to the geography of the 1st millennium rather than the 2nd."
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:39 PM
RabbiO RabbiO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Still_Waters
RabbiO, since you want to focus on Judaism in this sub-forum, I'd be curious to hear your comments regarding whether Exodus ever happened or whether it it just a nation-building Jewish myth.

Do you think it odd that I would want the focus of a sub-forum labeled "Judaism" - that lists as its purpose "Discussions about Judaism" - to, in fact, be Judaism?
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:32 PM
Still_Waters Still_Waters is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbiO
Do you think it odd that I would want the focus of a sub-forum labeled "Judaism" - that lists as its purpose "Discussions about Judaism" - to, in fact, be Judaism?

To the best of my knowledge, this thread IS about Judaism and I fully support any efforts you might make to keep it focused on the Judaism subject that I have introduced here.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:43 AM
sky123 sky123 is offline
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Is there Archeology evidence that supports it happening? From what I have read there isn't but I have an open mind because sometimes evidence is found later on along the line... Isn't faith based on belief without proof.
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:19 PM
Still_Waters Still_Waters is offline
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Originally Posted by sky123
Is there Archeology evidence that supports it happening? From what I have read there isn't but I have an open mind because sometimes evidence is found later on along the line... Isn't faith based on belief without proof.

I've spoken to various Rabbis as well as fundamentalist Christians and Jehovah Witnesses who still believe that the Old Testament is the unchallenged "Word of God". None of them have been able to provide any archeological validation that supports the validity of the Exodus story. In addition, there are even varying attempts to unsuccessfully justify the story by putting it in different time periods within a range of up to 200 years apart.

The story itself, however, seems to lack internal integrity regarding the number of Jewish people actually involved in the Exodus. The text indicates that the number was six hundred thousand MEN on foot, excluding women and children plus a mixed multitude that went with them.

According to the OT, Jacob came to Egypt with 70 people and, during the alleged period of enslavement, they reportedly produced a nation which included over 600,000 males. That is carrying "Be fruitful and multiply" to an incredible extreme. Be that what it may, the Hebrew population produced by six hundred thousand males could easily have reached two million, which would have been at least 20% of the population of Egypt. The enslavement of so many might seem tentative at best but the "fact" that they could escape without being mentioned in any official document is indeed troublesome to say the least. It seems safe to say that these numbers are grossly embellished if indeed Exodus did happen.

Lastly, the "fact" that these 2 million or more Hebrews spent 40 years in the Sinai desert is also somewhat incredible as there are no archeological traces whatsoever (I concede that nomads generally don't leave many traces) and the Sinai is not that big a place to get "lost" in for 40 years.

Even without supporting archeological evidence, the sheer numbers specified in the Exodus text should raise red flags with virtually anyone.

You say that faith is based on belief without proof. To an extent, this is true. However, when there are historical facts that can be verified in some way, the presence or absence of validating information can speak volumes. With the discovery of the Amarna Tablets (correspondence between Pharoahs and other heads of state) from approximately the same time period, there is nothing to suggest such a mass movement that would most assuredly have upset the entire economy of Egypt. Besides, Caanan at that time was under the direct control of Egypt as Egyptian forts have been excavated there. Is the text suggesting that the Hebrews escaped from Egypt to go to ..... er ... an Egyptian territory?

I too remain open-minded, but at least give me some validating substance from a source other than one of questionable authorship. (Don't get me going on that one. LOL)
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:49 PM
sky123 sky123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Still_Waters
I've spoken to various Rabbis as well as fundamentalist Christians and Jehovah Witnesses who still believe that the Old Testament is the unchallenged "Word of God". None of them have been able to provide any archeological validation that supports the validity of the Exodus story. In addition, there are even varying attempts to unsuccessfully justify the story by putting it in different time periods within a range of up to 200 years apart.

The story itself, however, seems to lack internal integrity regarding the number of Jewish people actually involved in the Exodus. The text indicates that the number was six hundred thousand MEN on foot, excluding women and children plus a mixed multitude that went with them.

According to the OT, Jacob came to Egypt with 70 people and, during the alleged period of enslavement, they reportedly produced a nation which included over 600,000 males. That is carrying "Be fruitful and multiply" to an incredible extreme. Be that what it may, the Hebrew population produced by six hundred thousand males could easily have reached two million, which would have been at least 20% of the population of Egypt. The enslavement of so many might seem tentative at best but the "fact" that they could escape without being mentioned in any official document is indeed troublesome to say the least. It seems safe to say that these numbers are grossly embellished if indeed Exodus did happen.

Lastly, the "fact" that these 2 million or more Hebrews spent 40 years in the Sinai desert is also somewhat incredible as there are no archeological traces whatsoever (I concede that nomads generally don't leave many traces) and the Sinai is not that big a place to get "lost" in for 40 years.

Even without supporting archeological evidence, the sheer numbers specified in the Exodus text should raise red flags with virtually anyone.

You say that faith is based on belief without proof. To an extent, this is true. However, when there are historical facts that can be verified in some way, the presence or absence of validating information can speak volumes. With the discovery of the Amarna Tablets (correspondence between Pharoahs and other heads of state) from approximately the same time period, there is nothing to suggest such a mass movement that would most assuredly have upset the entire economy of Egypt. Besides, Caanan at that time was under the direct control of Egypt as Egyptian forts have been excavated there. Is the text suggesting that the Hebrews escaped from Egypt to go to ..... er ... an Egyptian territory?

I too remain open-minded, but at least give me some validating substance from a source other than one of questionable authorship. (Don't get me going on that one. LOL)


You raise some interesting points SW...

I personally would go with evidence from the archeologist as I don't have ' faith ' , I am one of the ' Oh yea of little faith ' gang.
What I would like to know is who counted the numbers involved in the Exodus ( if it happened )
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:02 PM
Still_Waters Still_Waters is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sky123
You raise some interesting points SW...

I personally would go with evidence from the archeologist as I don't have ' faith ' , I am one of the ' Oh yea of little faith ' gang.
What I would like to know is who counted the numbers involved in the Exodus ( if it happened )

The numbers involved in the Exodus (if indeed it happened) are NOT accidental though it is not clear how the numbers were derived.

According to the New York Times Best Seller, "Walking the Bible" by Bruce Feiler, "the text notes that a census after the first year revealed 603,550 able-bodied men, excluding Levites. A second census forty years later put the number at 601,730". At the very least, the numbers are consistent though the source of the numbers is most assuredly not clear as you duly noted.
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