There's an article in the Sep/Oct 2003 Biblical Archaeological Review
(BAR) magazine from Manfred Bietak, a well-known  Egyptologist, on
finding evidence of the Israelites in Egypt. At Medinet Habu (near the
Valley of the Queens and Thebes), he found a couple four room Israelite
houses.  These are an almost sure sign of Israelites, as no one else used
it except on rare occasions (and on those instances, there is evidence it
was also Israelites dwelling amongst others).

He dates the site to the time of Ramses IV, as the houses are built upon
the ruins of an old temple (the temple of Ay and Horemheb) that Ramses IV
had destroyed to build one of his own.  Ramses IV reigned from 1153-1147
BC, so it is possible that the Exodus, according to him didn't occur
until 1150-1125 BC.

This is even more interesting, if his dating of the Exodus is right,
because in the following article, Baruch Halpern (a noted Israelite
archaeologist) tells us that the average legend/story remains accurate
for about 200 years as it is passed down through the generations. He
says, "How old are the Bible's narratives of the Exodus from Egypt?...To
start with the answer, we can date Biblical texts. And the oldest text
attesting the Exodus dates to sometime between 1125 and 1000 BCE (Before
Common/Christian Era)."

He talks about the J (Yahwist) tradition of the scriptures being
developed in the ninth century BC, while 2 Samuel was written in the 10
century BC. The earliest texts, however are poems. These are: the Song of
Deborah (Judges 5), the Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 33), The Song of the
Sea/Song of Miriam in both Psalm 68 and Exodus 15.  The Song of the
Sea/Song of Miriam is dated no later than the 12th century BC, since the
Philistines didn't show up in the coastal plain of Canaan until then.
With other considerations he concludes that the Songof the Sea was
written sometime between 1125 and 1000 BC, well within the timeframe for
a story to be accurate. In fact, it is possible that some people may
still have been alive (though now very old) from the time of the Exodus.

I thought this interesting, and their evidence rather compelling for the
dating and evidence of an Exodus in the timeframe cited.

K'aya K'ama,

Gerald (Gary) Smith     
[EMAIL PROTECTED]         LDS Evidences,
Family History, Food Storage, etc.

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