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The Date Of The Exodus

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Although the rnonuments and papyri ?ive us no direct inforrnation upon the 3ubject of the exodus, they do indirectly indicarte a certain period within which it ra ust have taken place. Thothmes III, who was the most powerfnl king of that dynasty (the eighteenth) which finally drove the Hyksos invaders out of Egypt and reunited the whole country under one scepter, extended his conquesta as far as Mesopotamia. overrunning Palestine on his way. He left lists of the conquered nations, but does not inention the Israelites among tbem. Ratneses II of the nineteenth dynasty, the supposed oppressor, who reigned about 200 years later, also eubdued Palestine and left lists of the conquered peoples. but he, again, does not mention the Ieraelites among them. What is perhaps still more important is that, "wbile the Israelites have left records of invasions by Mesopotamians, Moabites,Canaanites, Midianites and Philistines, they do not mention any invasión by the Egyptians, and the conclusión is that the Israelites were not settled on the west side of the Jordan till after the wars wagecl by Rameses II at the comirjencenient of his reign, which ,began not earlier than 1388 B. C, or, as sume now say 1266 B. C. It has been attempted to explaiii this difficulty away by suggesting that Rameses II kept close to the seacoast on hia march through Palestine and did not strike inland till he was some distance to the north of the Israelites, but it is inconceivable that he should not have secured his long line of Communications by establishing posts so far inland that they must have been brought into contact with the Hebrews if the latter had at that time been settled in their owr coimtry. The eariiest date, therefore, at which the Egyptian history wil] pennit the exodus to have taken place, even when full allowance is made for the time spent by the Jews in the wildernessand in conquering Palestine, would seern to be about 1430 B. C, while, if theshorter chronology be adopted, it could not bave been much earlier than 1300 B.


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