The Exodus: did it happen?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by JakeStarkey, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. JakeStarkey
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    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    The inerrants literally believe the claim that 600,000 men (which means about 2,000,000 women and kiddos) boogied out of Egypt under the leader of Charleton 'Moses' Heston. Doubters, including atheists, say (rightfully) "where is the archaeology supporting your greater claims?" [Book of Mormon criticism levies the same logic].

    What if there exists a 'better' answer? There just may be.

    Title: The Exodus
    Author: Richard Elliott Friedman
    Publisher: Harper One
    Genre: Jewish History
    Year: 2017
    No. of Pages: 282 (including Index)
    Binding: Hardback
    ISBN: 9780062565242
    Price: $27.99

    Reviewed by Gary McCary for the Association for Mormon Letters

    I am a Christian believer, though a "progressive" one. Richard Elliott
    Friedman is, in my view, a member of "the loyal opposition" (a term that
    originated in 18th century England to let the out-of-power party express
    its views without fear of being charged with treason). As a Biblical
    and historical scholar who is also Jewish, and an agnostic, he has not
    allowed his skepticism to get in the way of honest investigation. His
    latest work, "The Exodus: How It Happened and Why It Matters," is a
    prime example of such intellectual honesty.

    At a time when most historical-critical scholarship is doubtful that the
    biblical story of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt to the Sinai
    Peninsula ever occurred, Friedman boldly casts doubt on both the
    assumptions and conclusions of such scholarship.

    He does so with the same detective panache that made his bestselling
    "Who Wrote the Bible?" such an eye-opening classic some three decades
    ago. Friedman makes a convincing case that the Exodus really did
    occur--just not in the same way that the Bible suggests it happened.

    This argument is a key component underlying his entire historical
    detective drama. According to Friedman, the scholars who are skeptical
    of the exodus as a historical event are tripped up by a flawed
    assumption--that the biblical text's description of 600,000 men should
    be taken literally. With women and children counted in, this would
    suggest that around 2 million people left Egypt and went into the
    Sinai. Neither archaeology nor Egyptian records give any evidence of
    such an exodus.

    But what if, instead of 2 million people, there was an exodus from Egypt
    of a much smaller number of people (say five hundred or a thousand)
    around 1200 B.C., people who called themselves "Levites." And what if
    they eventually merged with indigenous people already in Canaan--people
    who called themselves "Israelites" and who referred to their god as
    "El." And what if these Levites from Egypt called their god "Yahweh."
    And what if, years later, the writers of this joint narrative history
    had pet versions of their stories, coming from priests, Levites,
    Elohists, Yahwists, Deuteronomists, and the like? According to
    Friedman, this is entirely plausible.
     
  2. JakeStarkey
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    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    [and more]

    Friedman spends a good deal of time looking directly at the Hebrew text
    and its implications Source criticism is examined closely. The
    "Priestly" source is written by Levites, according to biblical scholarship.

    There are eight central figures in the Hebrew Bible with Egyptian names,
    people like Moses, Aaron, Phinehas, and Hophni. Each of these eight
    names come from Levite-priest sources, according to Friedman. In the
    Song of the Sea (Exodus 15), recorded in the text just after the exodus
    from Egypt, the word "Israel" is missing, or non-existent. Why would
    this be, unless the Song originated with a group of people unfamiliar at
    the time with "Israel." In the Levitical sources of the Hebrew Bible,
    various Egyptian practices are mentioned, while no Egyptian themes or
    practices are mentioned in the non-Levitical sources.

    And so Friedman draws these conclusions: (1) there was an exodus event,
    but only of Levites; (2) the Levites were of Egyptian origin, and were
    perhaps a small group of laborers, perhaps even slaves; (3) the Levites
    did not spend 40 years in the desert and they were not large in number;
    (4) these Levites ended up in Midian, a place where the Shasu lived (who
    called their god Yahu), and possibly adopted that god as their own and
    later called him Yahweh; (5) the Levites eventually ended up in
    Canaanite lands, and joined with the resident "Israelites," who
    worshiped the god El. The Levites, in a compromise move, eventually
    merged El with Yahweh, and for this compromise, they accepted tithes
    from the people; (6) this merger of peoples resulted in the beginning
    stages of what would eventually be known as "monotheism."

    Friedman's book does not answer all of the difficult questions, but it
    does address most of them from a textual point of view. And it is an
    enjoyable and highly readable argument. There is an excitable twinkle
    in Friedman's eye as he writes the following: "Does it really ruin your
    day if the exodus was historical but not ALL of the Israelites were in
    it?" That is a question we are asked to ponder throughout. It's enough
    to make even an agnostic want to believe!
     
  3. Doc1
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    Doc1 Gold Member

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    At least you finally revealed which "jesus" you believe in.
     
  4. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    I read somewhere that there's satellite evidence of the exodus. Jonathan Grey in beforeus.com covered it
     
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  5. JakeStarkey
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    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    Picaro, it's a book review. Have you ever read one?

    More importantly, why do you think 600,000 men and upwards of 2,000,000 women and children comprised the Exodus when there simply is no literary or archaeological evidences to support claim?

    I believe in the Jesus of the Bible, Doc1. I wish you did.
     
  6. irosie91
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    irosie91 Diamond Member

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    **** Friedman makes a convincing case that the Exodus really did occur--just not in the same way that the Bible suggests it happened.***

    The bible is a sublime example of ancient literature-----on the level of the BHAGAVAD GITA, THE RAMAYANA, THE
    ODYSSEY and the ILLIAD all record REAL EVENTS-----
    beautified with poetic license. Lovely literature------read them some time. They were not written by journalists or accountants
     
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  7. miketx
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    miketx Diamond Member

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    Why is it such a stretch? Jillions of meskins are coming here and jillions of towel heads are flooding Europe.
     
  8. irosie91
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    irosie91 Diamond Member

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    a very significant REAL evidence that jews-----way back then did spend time in Egypt-----is the existence of Egyptian words in the
    Hebrew language. Word "borrowing" HAPPENS -----just like
    CUISINE borrowing happens. -----all kinds of "things" creep from society to society that experience CONTACT. -----where
    would SOCCER be without our friends----THE MAYANS. The
    borrowing of Egyptian words goes all the way back to the writings of the bible
     
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  9. theHawk
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    theHawk Registered Conservative

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    Wow, now the lefties are attacking Jews and their religion.

    I won’t hold my breath on them attacking Islam though.
     
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  10. irosie91
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    irosie91 Diamond Member

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    and we are eating tacos
     

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