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1. Introduction to the Book of Exodus

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Title: 1. Introduction to the Book of Exodus


1
1. Introduction to the Book of Exodus
  • BOT641/BHE641 Exegesis of Exodus

2
General Statements
  • "The principal aim of the Pentateuch is to
    recount the prehistory of the Israelite people
    prior to the conquest of its land. This narrative
    reaches its climax in the episode most abounding
    in manifestations of God's miraculous acts,
    namely, the account of the Exodus from Egypt. In
    this story a group of slaves becomes an
    independent nation, henceforth enslaved to the
    LORD their God alone. The LORD, by bringing His
    people out of the house of bondage, becomes the
    God of Israel, and the Israelites simultaneously
    become His treasured people." Loewenstamm, The
    Evolution of the Exodus Tradition, 13

3
Name
  • "The second book of the Torah was given its name
    from the opening words twmv hlaw ("and these are
    the names"), which were sometimes shortened by
    the Jews to twmv ("names"). It was the LXX that
    designated the work according to its principal
    theme, VExodoj (Ex 19.1), and this was followed
    by the Vulgate (Exodus) and the English
    versions." Harrison, Introduction to the OT,
    566

4
Name
  • "One other name is homes sel "the second
    fifth" (of the Pentateuch) (Sota 36b)." Sarna,
    "Exodus, Book of," ABD, II, 690

5
Textual Traditions
  • 1. Introduction
  • 1.1 "The present division of the books of the
    Hebrew Bible into chapters is a late innovation.
    It is Christian in origin and was transferred
    from the Latin Bible into Hebrew manuscript by R.
    Salomon b. Ishmael ca. 1330 C.E." Sarna,
    "Exodus, Book of," ABD, II, 690

6
Textual Traditions
  • 1.2 "The book of Exodus, however, provides a
    clear example of two editions of a biblical book.
    The different edition preserved in the Samaritan
    Pentateuch (SP) has been known since the
    seventeenth century, but its significance was
    capable of being dismissed, because the major
    differences were considered the work of the
    marginalized Samaritans, With the discovery of
    4QpaleoExodm, however, we see that the book of
    Exodus circulated in Judaism in two editions. One
    was the form traditionally

7
Textual Traditions
  • found in the MT and translated in the LXX, and
    the other an intentionally expanded version with
    most of the features characteristic of the
    Samaritan version except the two specifically
    Samaritan features (namely, the addition of the
    commandment to build an altar on Mt. Gerizim, and
    the systematic use of the past, and not the
    future, of the verb in the formula "the place
    that the Lord has chosen" not "will choose")."
    Eugene Ulrich, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the
    Origins of the Bible (Grand Rapids, Michigan
    William B. Eerdman Publishing Co., 1999), 25

8
Textual Traditions
  • 2. LXX
  • 2.1 "The Hebrew behind the Greek Exodus seems to
    have differed from MT more than the other books
    of the Pentateuch. It also differs from it in
    arrangement of contents in two main respects (1)
    within the Decalog (chap. 20), the order of the
    commandments in Codex Vaticanus (B) is 7, 8, and
    6 (2) while it closely corresponds to MT in
    chaps. 25-31, there are considerable differences
    in the parallel account in chaps 35-40. The
    section dealing with the ornaments and garments
    of the priesthood (39.2-31MT), which in MT
    follows the

9
Textual Traditions
  • description of the structure of the tabernacle
    and its furnishings, is shifted in LXX to head
    the entire section (36.9-40LXX) within the
    subsections of that pericope (Swete 1902
    231-36)." Sarna, "Exodus, Book of," ABD, II,
    691
  • 2.2 "In the various translation-technical studies
    which describe the translators' way of handling
    typically Hebrew syntactical phenomena, Exodus
    has proved to be one of the most freely
    translated books in the LXX and one of those in
    which the requirements of Greek idiom have been
    best taken into account. This translator was
    capable of using free renderings that are

10
Textual Traditions
  • perfectly appropriate in their context, but he
    also used literal renderings. He was capable of
    changing grammatical construction in order better
    to meet the requirements of Greek, but he did not
    always do so. He was free enough to change the
    word-order of the original, but, actually, most
    of the time he followed the original word-order.
    He could add and omit word and grammatical items
    but he obviously did not do so out of
    indifference or carelessness. Even in the free
    renderings he mostly proves to be faithful to the
    original. He may be characterized as a competent
    translator, one of

11
Textual Traditions
  • the best, but still not perfect. He made his
    mistakes too." Aejmelaeus, A., "Septuagintal
    Translation Techniques - A Solution to the
    Problem of the Tabernacle Account," in
    Septuagint, Scrolls and Cognate Writings, eds.
    Brooke Lindars, p.388-389
  • 2.3 "The text of the Vorlage of the LXX actually
    represented a halfway phase in the development.
    It was incomplete and inconsistent and had
    perhaps also suffered in the hands of scribes.
    Through editorial additions, harmonizations and
    rearrangements the development was brought to an
    end in the MT, but in a way that had changed the
    nature of the second section from a report of the
    work

12
Textual Traditions
  • done to a repetition of the instructions in the
    past tense." Aejmelaeus, A., "Septuagintal
    Translation Techniques - A Solution to the
    Problem of the Tabernacle Account," in
    Septuagint, Scrolls and Cognate Writings, eds.
    Brooke Lindars, p.397-398

13
Textual Traditions
  • 3. Samaritan Pentateuch
  • 3.1 "The Samaritan text is characterized by a
    number of major expansions, conflate readings,
    and interpolations. Thus Exod 18.24 is
    supplemented by Deut 1.9-18, the tenth
    commandment in Exod 20.17 has been augmented by
    citations from Deut 11.29 and 27.2-7, Exod 20.19
    has been enlarged by Deut 5.24-27, and Exod 20.22
    by the excerpts from Deut 5.28-31." Sarna,
    "Exodus, Book of," ABD, II, 691

14
Textual Traditions
  • 4. Qumran
  • 4.1 "A total of fifteen Hebrew scrolls of Exodus,
    all fragmentary, were uncovered at Qumran.
    Thirteen were found in cave 4 two of them
    written in the Paleo-Hebrew script. Other
    fragments were found in cave 1, which feature
    Exod 16.12-16 19.24-20.1 20.25-21.1 21.4-5,
    and in the 'small caves,' that is, in cave 2 that
    held Exod 1.11-14 7.1-14 9.27-29 11.3-7
    12.32-41 21.18-20(?) 26.11-13 30.21(?)
    32.32-34 and another group containing Exod 4.31
    12.26-27(?) 18.21-22 21.27-22.2 22.15-19
    27.17-19 31.16-17 19.9 and 34.10 and a third
    represented by 5.3-5. In cave 7 were found

15
Textual Traditions
  • Exod 28.4-6 and v7 in Greek translation. In
    addition, fragments of Hebrew Exod 4.28-31 5.3
    and 6.5-11 were preserved at Murabba'at." Sarna,
    "Exodus, Book of," ABD, II, 691
  • 4.2 "The field of text criticism of the Hebrew
    Bible in general and specifically in the
    Pentateuch or more narrowly in the book of Exodus
    and Numbers has been changing in the last few
    years. At the forefront has been Emanuel Tov,
    who, through many articles and books has
    presented a new perspective on the texts. Tov
    argues that the traditional "three textual
    traditions," is no longer a viable approach. The
    Qumran scrolls have shown us

16
Textual Traditions
  • that the "three" are "just three texts of the
    O.T., similar to other texts which were current
    in the Second Temple period and that there were a
    "great variety of texts for each book" during
    this period. Language such as "recensions," and
    "text-types," should give way to such "minimal
    terms . . . as source, textual witness or simply
    text." However, Tov does give a grouping of these
    texts instead of a infinite number of isolated
    "texts." For example a proto-Masoretic group is
    extant at Qumran. This group is characterized as
    being one in which changes were not made after a
    certain period. Similarly there were texts that

17
Textual Traditions
  • link closely with the LXX at Qumran which also,
    were conservative when it came to emendations.
    Finally, 4QpaleoExm and 4QNumb can be linked with
    the Samaritan Pentateuch, but represent a "free
    approach to the biblical text allowed for
    orthographic modernization, as well as contextual
    and grammatical changes, including harmonizations
    of various types." Tov and others have also
    identified two other groups of significance. The
    first are those written in the Qumran style of
    orthography and morphology. While the last group
    found at Qumran is called the "Non-Aligned
    Texts." Tov describes these

18
Textual Traditions
  • as those texts that "agree sometimes
    significantly, with MT against the other texts,
    or they agree with SP and / or LXX against the
    other texts, but the non-aligned texts also
    disagree with the other texts to the same extent.
    They furthermore contain readings not known from
    one of the other texts or groups." The works of
    Judith Sanderson on the 4QpaleoExodm scroll and
    Nathan Jastram on the 4QNumb scroll have further
    refined our understand of the so-called
    "Pre-Samaritan group in relations to the texts of
    Exodus and Numbers.

19
Canonical Context
  • "The links with Genesis are discernible in the
    initial verses. Verse 1 cites Gen 46.1, and v5 is
    dependent on Gen 46.26-27. The list of tribes in
    Exod 1.2-4 is drawn from Gen 35.23-26, because
    that chapter (vv11-12) contains the divine
    promises to Jacob. . . . Exod 1.7 tacitly affirms
    that the blessing of fertility has been realized
    the fulfillment of the promise of national
    territory is about to be set in motion. In
    addition, the references to Joseph in 1.5-6
    presuppose a knowledge of his identity and
    activities (cf. 3.16 and 13.19 with Gen
    50.24-25). Still other instances of dependency on
    the Genesis narrative lie in the repeated
    invocation of the divine promises to the

20
Canonical Context
  • three patriarchs (Exod 2.24 6.3-4, 8 32.13
    33.1 cf. Gen 12.1-3 15.5, 7, 18 17.2
    28.13-14 46.3 Fishbane 1979 63-64) . . . . The
    closing chapters of Exodus that recount the
    construction and dedication of the tabernacle in
    the wilderness provide the background and
    rationale for the main theme of the books of
    Leviticus and Numbers, which is the ordering of
    the cultic institutions and religious life of
    Israel." Sarna, "Exodus, Book of," ABD, II, 690

21
Literary Analysis
  • 1. Ironic reversals
  • 1.1 The use of _at_Ws in 2.3, Moses' basket and the
    _at_Ws-y in 13.18 and 15.4.
  • 1.2 Moses' mother is actually paid to nurse him.
  • 1.3 Moses' name meaning "He who draws out (from
    the water)" becomes significant in light of the
    _at_Ws-y.

22
Literary Analysis
  • 2. Literary structure
  • 2.1 "Ten Plagues . . . three series of three,
    with two announce and the third not. The first of
    each series is "in the morning", but the next two
    lack time indication. "The instruction given to
    Moses in the first of each series begins with
    "Station yourself . . ." and in the second of
    each it is, "Go to Pharaoh," while the third is
    consistently without any such instruction. The
    entire first series is brought about through the
    agency of Aaron, the entire third series through
    the instrumentality of Moses." Sarna, "Exodus,
    Book of," ABD, II, 695

23
Literary Analysis
  • 3. Repetitive Motifs and key words
  • 3.1 Between chapters 4-14, Pharaoh's heart is
    mentioned 20 times 10 times it is the king's
    obstinacy (Ex 7.13, 14, 22 8.11, 15, 28 9.7,
    34, 35 13.5) and 10 times it is a product of
    divine intent (Ex 4.21 7.3 9.12 10.1, 20, 27
    11.10 14.4, 8, 17).
  • 3.2 Ex 1.15-21 the term midwife 7x. Ex 2.1-10
    "child" 7x. Ex 5.7-19 the stem lbn for building
    bricks etc.

24
Literary Analysis
  • 4. Deliberate Chronological Displacement of an
    Episode
  • 4.1 Ex 18's Jethro's visit must have occurred
    after the revelation at Sinai not before. Note
    (18.15 verses 19.1-2) (18.16, 20).
  • 4.2 The location of Ex 32.1-34.35 is problematic

25
Structure
  • 1. "The structure of Exodus is very different
    from that of Genesis. There is no series of
    genealogical formulae to provide clearly marked
    divisions. Although there is an itinerary from
    the priestly source (12.37a 13.20 14.1f
    15.22a 17.1a 19.2), it neither extends the
    whole length of the book nor provides an
    overarching framework. The itinerary is picked up
    again in Numbers." Childs, Introduction to the
    OT as Scripture, 170

26
Structure
  • 2. "The chapters are very unevenly divided in
    terms of the detail by which the passage of
    chronological time is recorded. Exodus 12.41
    fixes the period of the Egyptian captivity at 430
    years, yet the bulk of chs. 1-12 relate to a very
    short period before deliverance. Similarly, the
    last chapters from 19-40 cover a period of less
    than a year (19.1 40.17) . . . . the interest of
    the writer falls on certain specific moments
    within the history." Childs, Introduction to the
    OT as Scripture, 170

27
Structure
  • 3. "There is no obvious way to divide the book
    into its parts. Chapters 1-15 cover the exodus
    from Egypt, 15.22-18.27 the wilderness journey,
    and 19-40 the covenant at Sinai and its
    ordinances. Yet such divisions are based on the
    elements of general content and do not rest on
    formal literary markers. It would seem that the
    general structure of the book reveals little
    conscious canonical shaping." Childs,
    Introduction to the OT as Scripture, 170-171

28
Structure
  • I. Israel in Egypt 1.1-13.16
  • A. The Progeny of Israel, the Persecution and
    Deliverance (1.1-2.25)
  • B. The Call of the Deliverer, His Commission, and
    His Obedience (3.1-7.7)
  • C. The Ten Mighty Acts and the Exodus The Proof
    of Yahweh's Presence (7.8-13.16)
  • II. Israel in the Wilderness 13.17-18.27

29
Structure
  • III. Israel at Sinai 19.1-40.38
  • A. The Advent of Yahweh's Presence and the Making
    of the Covenant (19.1-24.18)
  • B. Yahweh's Instructions for the Media of Worship
    (25.1-31.18)
  • C. Israel's First Disobedience and Its Aftermath
    (32.1-34.35)
  • D. Israel's Obedience of Yahweh's Instructions
    (35.1-40.38)

30
Theological Significance to the Structure
  • 1. "It is theologically significant to observe
    that the events of Sinai are both preceded and
    followed by the stories of the people's
    resistance which is characteristic of the entire
    wilderness wanderings. The narrative material
    testifies to those moments in Israel's history in
    which God made himself known. For Israel to learn
    the will of God necessitated an act of
    self-revelation. Israel could not discover it for
    herself." Childs, Introduction to the OT as
    Scripture, 174

31
Theological Significance to the Structure
  • 2. "The placing of the Decalogue . . . . The
    prologue (20.2) summarizes the previous narrative
    of the first eighteen chapters. The commandments
    are addressed to the people who have been rescued
    from slavery in Egypt. However, the decalogue
    also serves as an interpretive guide to all the
    succeeding legal material." Childs, Introduction
    to the OT as Scripture, 174

32
Theological Significance to the Structure
  • 3. ". . . the Book of the Covenant (21-23) . . .
    . The material is now placed within a narrative
    setting which legitimizes Moses' role as
    interpreter of the law (20.18ff). The canon thus
    recognizes the different form of the divine law
    in the decalogue and the laws which follow, and
    it does not fuse the two . . . . The commands are
    to be understood in closest relation to the God
    of the covenant who laid claim upon a people and
    pointed them to a new life as the people of God."
    Childs, Introduction to the OT as Scripture, 174

33
Theological Significance to the Structure
  • 4. "The canonical function of Ex 32-34 is to
    place the institutions of Israel's worship within
    the theological framework of sin and forgiveness
    . . . . The worship inaugurated at Sinai did not
    reflect an ideal period of obedience on Israel's
    part, but he response of a people who were
    portrayed from the outset as the forgiven and
    restored community. If ever there were a danger
    of misunderstanding Sinai as a pact between
    partners, the positioning of Ex 32-34 made clear
    the foundation of the covenant was, above all,
    divine mercy and forgiveness." Childs,
    Introduction to the OT as Scripture, 175-176

34
Theological Significance to the Structure
  • 5. "One of the most significant examples of
    canonical shaping in the book of Exodus involves
    the use of literary technique which combined the
    account of an original event with the portrayal
    of the continuous celebration of that same event.
    Chp 13 15 12 . . . . The canonical effect of
    this literary device is of profound theological
    significance. The original events are not robbed
    of their historical particularity nevertheless,
    the means for their actualization for future
    Israel is offered in the shape of scripture
    itself." Childs, Introduction to the OT as
    Scripture, 176

35
Dating the Exodus Period
  • 1. First half of 13th Century
  • 1.1 "Among Biblical scholars and archaeologist
    it is almost axiomatic that the Israelites
    entered Canaan about 1230-1220 B.C. In terms of
    archaeological periods, this would be towards the
    end of the Late Bronze Age, for which the GAD is
    1550-1200 B.C." Bimson Livingston, "Redating
    the Exodus," BAR, (Sept/Oct, 1987), 40
  • 1.2 "But while the exact dates can be set for
    neither events exodus/conquest, we may be
    fairly certain that the exodus took place no
    earlier than the thirteenth century....If

36
Dating the Exodus Period
  • Hebrews labored at Avaris, then they must have
    been in Egypt at least in the reign of Sethos I
    (ca. 1305-1290), and probably of Ramesses II (ca
    1290-1224), under whom the rebuilding of that
    city was accomplished. On the other hand, if the
    destruction of various Palestinian cities late in
    the thirteenth century is to be connected with
    the Israelites conquest, as many have believed,
    the exodus from Egypt must have taken place
    perhaps a generation before that." Bright, A
    History of Israel, 3rd ed., 123

37
Dating the Exodus Period
  • 2. Arguments for 13th Century
  • 2.1 The Israel stele of Merneptah indicates that
    Merneptah encountered Israel in Palestine in his
    fifth year, ca. 1220. La Sor Hubbard Bush,
    Old Testament Survey, 125-126
  • 2.2 Ex 1.11s store cities of Pithom and Raamses
    fit into Rameses IIs building program, therefore
    ca. 1300.
  • 2.3 Edom and Moab (Num 3-2014-21) did not exist
    until ca. 1300. Also the sites of Lachish,
    Bethel, Hazor, Tell Beit Mirsim and Tell
    el-Hesis destruction seems to call for a 1300
    date.

38
Dating the Exodus Period
  • 2.4 Egyptian documents of Merneptah and Rameses
    II period provide historical parallels, like
    Apiru as slave.
  • 2.5 Joseph setting then becomes the Hyksos
    period.

39
Dating the Exodus Period
  • 2.5 According to Gen 1513, the time spent in
    Egypt, viewed in prospect, would be 400 years, or
    according to Exod 12.40, in retrospect, 430
    years. Thus, if the Exodus occurred in the first
    half of the thirteenth century, the descent into
    Egypt would have taken place during the first
    half of the seventeenth century - in the Hyksos
    period. The principal objection on biblical
    grounds is that this date does not fit the 480
    years that 1 Kgs 6.1 gives between the Exodus and
    the foundation of Solomons temple ca. 970. This
    calculation would place the Exodus in the
    mid-fifteenth century. However, the OT, as an
    ancient Near Eastern book, does not necessarily

40
Dating the Exodus Period
  • use numbers in the same way as modern
    chronology. Thus, the 480 years can be understood
    as an aggregate or round number, probably
    based on the total of twelve generations of 40
    years each. La Sor Hubbard Bush, Old
    Testament Survey, 127

41
Dating the Exodus Period
  • 3. Chronology from within the Book of Exodus
  • 3.1 The latest event mentioned in the book is
    Exod 40.1, 7 where the tabernacle is erected in
    the wilderness. This was on "the new moon of the
    first month of the second year following the
    departure.
  • 3.2 "The other end of the chronological spectrum
    remains unclear. This is due to the book's
    silence about the interval between the death of
    Joseph and the accession of the tyrannical
    pharaoh, and about the duration of the slavery.
    On these points there are divergent traditions.

42
Dating the Exodus Period
  • A comprehensive figure of 430 years is given in
    MT Exod 12.40-41, but LXX and Sam. Pent. include
    in this number also the length of stay in Canaan.
    According to Gen 15.13, the predetermined period
    of slavery was to be 400 years, which is said to
    cover four generations (Gen 15.16). This last
    tradition coordinates with the genealogy of
    Moses, who was the great-grandson of Levi, son of
    Jacob (Exod 6.1, 16, 18, 20) and more or less
    agrees with the notice that Joseph's
    great-grandson Jair, together with his sons,
    participated in Joshua's wars of conquest and the
    settlement of Canaan (Gen 50.23 Num 32.39-41
    Deut 3.14 Josh 13.1

43
Dating the Exodus Period
  • 17.1). The genealogies, therefore, leave room
    for no more than about a century or so for the
    entire Egyptian episode." Sarna, "Exodus, Book
    of," ABD, II, 690
  • 3.3 "Moses himself must have been born, of
    course, after the onset of Egyptian oppression,
    and he was eighty years of age at the time of the
    Exodus (Exod 2.1 7.7 Deut 34.7). This means
    that the enslavement of Israel lasted that long
    at least. On the other hand, it would have
    required many more generations than two or three
    for a mere seventy souls and their families to
    have proliferated security of Egypt (Exod 1.5, 7,
    9-10). At any rate, 19.1 and 40.17

44
Dating the Exodus Period
  • show that the bulk of the book encompasses a
    period of just about one year." Sarna, "Exodus,
    Book of," ABD, II, 690-691
  • 4. The Bimson/Livingston Redating
  • 4.1 "Move the date of the conquest back about 200
    years, to shortly before 1400 B.C. Although this
    conflicts with the GAD for Israel's emergence in
    Canaan, it is in fact the date implied by the
    Bible itself. In 1 Kgs 6.1, we are told that
    Solomon began building the Temple in the fourth
    year of his reign and that this was 480 years
    after the Exodus. Solomon's reign can be dated
    with considerable confidence to

45
Dating the Exodus Period
  • about 971-931 B.C., so the fourth year of his
    reign would be 967 B.C. According to the Biblical
    chronology, this would place the Exodus 480 years
    earlier - about 1447 B.C., or say 1450 B.C. for
    convenience. If we allow 40 years for the desert
    wanderings before the Israelite conquest of
    Canaan, we arrive at a date of about 1410-1400
    B.C. for the Israelite entry into Canaan. This is
    almost 200 years earlier than the GAD of
    1230-1220 B.C." Bimson Livingston, "Redating
    the Exodus," BAR, (Sept/Oct, 1987), 42

46
Dating the Exodus Period
  • 4.2 "...the reference to "Pithom and Raamses" in
    Ex 1.11 cannot be used to date the Exodus to the
    13th century B.C. Rather, the archaeological
    evidence makes best sense if Exodus 1.11 refers
    to the beginning of the Israelites' enslavement
    (in about the 18th century B.C.), and not to the
    time of the Exodus." Bimson Livingston, 34
  • 4.3 "We would suggest a change in the date for
    the end of the period archaeologists designate
    Middle Bronze II (MBII). We would move the end of
    MBII down by over a century from 1550 B.C. to
    around 1420 B.C." Bimson Livingston, 45

47
Dating the Exodus Period
  • 5. K. A. Kitchen's Objection to Bimson
    Livingston's Redating
  • 5.1 However, this too simple solution is ruled
    out by the combined weight of all the other
    biblical data plus additional information from
    external data. So the interval from Exodus comes
    out not at 480 years but as over 553 years (by
    three unknown amounts), if we trouble to go
    carefully through all the known biblical figures
    for this period. It is evident that the 480 years
    cannot cover fully the 553 X years. At best, it
    could be a selection from them, or else it is a
    schematic figure (12 X 40 years, or

48
Dating the Exodus Period
  • similar). But again, on other evidence to be
    considered, a date of ca. 1519 BC (966553) and
    earlier is even less realistic for the Exodus.
    Kitchen, Exodus, The, ABD, II, 702
  • 5.2 From Egyptian data, a bottom date for the
    Exodus can also be set. In his 5th year, 1209 BC,
    Merneptah (Rameses IIs successor) mentions four
    entities recently subdued in Canaan Ascalon,
    Gexer, Yenoam, and Israel by the hieroglyphic
    determinatives, clearly three territorial
    city-states and a people, respectively. The
    disposition of related reliefs at Karnak would
    confirm (in conjunction with the Israel Stela)
    the location of earliest Israel in that

49
Dating the Exodus Period
  • area later known as Ephraim and (W) Manasseh,
    Hence, the Exodus, the sojourn in the wilderness,
    and the entry into Canaan can reasonably be
    limited to within ca. 1279-1209 BC, a maximum of
    70 years or if within about 1260-1220 BC, very
    nearly 300 years before the 4th years of Solomon
    (966 BC). Kitchen, Exodus, The, ABD, II, 702

50
Historical Background
  • 1. The Rise of Egyptian Empire
  • 1.1 In the 1550s the Hurrian state of Mitanni
    controlled the northwest Mesopotamian region,
    from western Syria to the foothills of the Zagros
    mountains in the east. They were a mixture of
    Hurrian and Indo-Eurpoean descent. They
    revolutionized warfare by developing the chariot
    and the composite bow.
  • 1.2 In the 1550s the Hurrian state of Mitanni
    controlled the northwest Mesopotamian region,
    from western Syria to the foothills of the Zagros
    mountains in the east. They were a mixture of
    Hurrian and Indo-Eurpoean descent.

51
Historical Background
  • They revolutionized warfare by developing the
    chariot and the composite bow.
  • 2. Egypto-Hititte War
  • 2.1 Amenophis III and Akhenatens policies lead
    to an anarchy in Palestine. Suppiluliuma, a
    Hittite conquered much of Syria (Assyrian,
    Assur-uballit I, ca. 1356-1321, took the
    northeastern part of Syria. By 1350 the Mitanni
    was no more!
  • 2.2 The Nineteenth-Dynasty of Egypt under
    Horemheb recovered from Egypts losing Palestian
    control. Rameses I followed, with Seti I
    beginning to regain some of Palestine.

52
Historical Background
  • Rameses II (1290-1224) began making in roads
    once again. After 25 years of reign made a treaty
    with Hattusilis III (1275-1250), a Hittite.
    Egypt also faced continuous pressure from the
    Peoples of the Sea, Aegeo-Cretan tribes that had
    begun moving upon them from the west in the early
    years of Ramese II, a movement undoubtedly
    related to that faced by the Hittites in Asia
    Minor. La Sor Hubbard Bush, Old Testament
    Survey, 119

53
Historical Background
  • 3. Peoples of the Sea
  • 3.1 Aegeo-Cretan People of the Sea were used as
    mercenary troops by both Egyptian and Hittites in
    Rameses IIs fifth battle. These were the
    forerunners of a vast movement that inudated the
    coast of Asia Minor, Palestine and Egypt.
    Merneptah faced them in 1220. The People of the
    Sea seems to have erased the Hittites in the
    following years.
  • 3.2 Egypt regained some of its power under
    Rameses III (1183-1152) who inaugurated the
    Twentieth Dynasty. He began controlling Palestine
    up to Beth-shean in the Jezreel valley,

54
Historical Background
  • but was not able to maintain this control
    because of the People of the Sea.
  • 4. Conclusions
  • 4.1 First, Israel moved into a very advanced and
    cosmopolitan world when they left Egypt. During
    the period of the Egyptian empire extensive and
    unprecedented international contacts occurred in
    whole of the ancient Near East, producing the
    cultural diffusion and cross-fertilization that
    J. H. Breasted termed the First
    Internationalism. La Sor Hubbard Bush, Old
    Testament Survey, 122

55
Historical Background
  • 4.2 Akkadian became the lingua franca.
  • 4.3 Embassies established, international politics
    caused alliances and treaties, necessitating
    international law.
  • 4.4 National religions were formed and introduced
    throughout by means of literature.
  • 4.5 The alphabet, developed shortly before 3000
    BCE in both Mesopotamia and Egypt moves from
    syllabic and ideographic cuneiform and
    hieroglyphic systems to an alphabet with less
    than 30 symbols.

56
Historical Background
  • 4.6 Finally, the struggle for world empire in
    the third quarter of the second millennium ended
    in the death or exhaustion of all combatants.
    La Sor Hubbard Bush, Old Testament Survey,
    124

57
Egyptian Coloration of Exodus
  • Sarna, "Exodus, Book of," ABD, II, 697-8
  • 1. "The descent of the Israelite shepherds into
    Egypt in the days of Joseph in order to escape
    famine finds an analogy in Papyrus Anastasi VI,
    in which a frontier official reports on the
    passage of Edomite Bedouin tribes from Asia into
    the delta of Egypt 'to keep them and their cattle
    alive.'(ANET, 259)"
  • 2. "The title 'pharaoh,' uniformly used for the
    king of Egypt, points to the development that
    took place during the late 18th Dynasty when the
    term, meaning 'The Great House' and originally
    applied to the royal palace, came to be employed
    as a metonymy for the reigning monarch."

58
Egyptian Coloration of Exodus
  • 3. "The conscription of Israelites for work on
    state projects (Ex 1.1-10 correlates with the
    tradition preserved by Diodorus Siculus (1.56)
    that Rameses II preferred to conscript foreigners
    rather than Egyptians for his vast building
    program."
  • 4. "The Israelites are said to have built the
    cities of Pithom and Raamses (Ex 1.11). The first
    is the Egyptian P(r)'ltm, 'House of (the god)
    Atum,' and the second is P(r)R'mss, 'House of
    Rameses, built Rameses II in the eastern delta of
    the Nile. Egyptian texts extol the beauty and
    glory of this city (ANET, 470-471 cf. Gen
    47.5-6, 11)."

59
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60
Egyptian Coloration of Exodus
  • 5. "The Israelites were also subjected to hard
    work in the fields (Ex 1.14). The Egyptian texts
    known as the 'Satire on the Trades' emphasizes
    the harsh conditions under which agricultural
    laborers worked (ANET, 433 AEL 1187-88
    2170)."
  • 6. "The making of bricks proved to be an
    especially onerous imposition on the Israelites
    (Ex 1.14 5.7-8, 13-14). Alluvial mud supplied by
    the river Nile and shaped into bricks was the
    common building material in Egypt, other than for
    monumental architecture. Ordinary private
    dwellings as well as administrative building were
    mainly constructed of bricks and often reached a
    height of about 60 feet. it is estimated that the
    pyramids

61
Egyptian Coloration of Exodus
  • of Sesostris III at Dahshur required about 24.5
    million bricks. The massive building program of
    Rameses II would have necessitated the
    manufacture of enormous quantities of bricks
    (Spencer 1979). Surviving records from the time
    of this pharaoh describe how a quota of 2000
    bricks was assigned to each of a gang of forty
    men and how that target was rarely reached
    (Kitchen 1976). The aforementioned 'Satire on the
    Trade' describes the hardship endured by the
    brickmakers (ANET, 433)."

62
Egyptian Coloration of Exodus
  • "The small building contractor carries mud... He
    is dirtier than vines or pigs, from treading
    under his mud. His clothes are stiff with clay
    his leather belt is going to ruin. Entering into
    the wind, he is miserable. His lamp goes out,
    though (still) in good condition. He pounds with
    his feet he crushes with his own self, muddying
    the court of every house, when the water of the
    streets has flooded." ANET, 433

63
Brick Making
64
Brick Making
65
Egyptian Coloration of Exodus
  • 7. "The midwives play a prominent role in the
    early phase of the oppression (Ex 1.15-21). The
    craft was evidently held in high esteem in Egypt,
    for in one Egyptian tale it was practiced by
    three goddesses (AEL 1220). The name Shiphrah
    held by one of the Hebrew midwives has turned up
    as belonging to an Asiatic woman in a list of
    slaves attached to an Egyptian household
    (Albright 195229, no. 233)."
  • 8. "Mention of the birth stool (Ex 1.16) appears
    to be connected with the Egyptian custom of women
    experiencing parturition in a crouching or
    sitting position. The Egyptian hieroglyph for
    birth is a kneeling woman, and one text
    explicitly refers to 'sitting on bricks like a
    woman in labor' (ANET, 381)."

66
Egyptian Coloration of Exodus
  • 9. "The story of the birth of Moses and his
    exposure in the Nile (Ex 2.1-10) reflects the
    widespread motif of the abandoned hero, known
    from the ANE and the classical world. A local
    Egyptian analogy exists in the story of the
    concealment of Horus from Seth."
  • 10. "The name of Moses (Ex 2.10) is of Egyptian
    origin and appears as a frequent element in
    proper name, usually with the addition of a
    divine element (cf. Ahmose, Ramose, Ptahmose,
    Thutmose), and sometimes without it (EHI, 329)."

67
Egyptian Coloration of Exodus
  • 11. "Although not explicitly stated, it may be
    inferred from Ex 2.10 that Moses grew up and was
    educated in Egyptian court circles. Evidence
    exists for the presence of foreign students,
    especially Semites, in the royal schools in the
    Ramesside period."
  • 12. "The promised land is described for the first
    time as 'a land flowing with milk and honey' (Ex
    3.8). This matches the description of the land
    found in the Egyptian tale of Sinuhe (ANET,
    18-23, and the Annals of Thutmoses III (ANET,
    237-38 Fensham 1966)

68
Egyptian Coloration of Exodus
  • 13. "The request of Moses to allow the Israelites
    a three-day release from their corvee labors in
    order to celebrate a religious festival (Ex 3.18
    5.1-3 8.22-25) follows established precedent as
    attested by extant records kept by the
    supervisors of labor gangs (Erman 1971124
    Kitchen 1975156-57)."
  • 14. "The exceptional role of wonder-working in
    the early Exodus narrative (Ex 4.2-5, 6-9
    7.8-12, 22 8.3, 14-15) must be viewed in the
    light of the extraordinary place of magic as an
    essential part of daily life at all levels of
    Egyptian society. The feat of turning rod into a
    snake finds analogy in the popular tale 'King
    Cheops (Khufu) and the

69
Egyptian Coloration of Exodus
  • Magicians' (Erman 196636-38). As a matter of
    fact, the snake as stiff as a rod is still
    practiced in Egypt and has been well documented
    in modern times (Mannix 196032). The specific
    selection of this trick in order to impress both
    the Israelites and the pharaoh and his court may
    have been conditioned by the ceremonial insignia
    of Egyptian monarchs. The rod, or scepter, was
    emblematic of royalty, power, and authority, and
    the uraeus, or stylized representation of the
    sacred cobra, was worn on the forehead by the
    pharaohs as a symbol of imperial authority."

70
Egyptian Coloration of Exodus
  • 15. "The turning of water into blood (Ex 4.9
    7.17-22) is mentioned in Egyptian compositions.
    'The admonitions of an Egyptian Sage' (ANET,
    441), and the story of 'Setne Khamwas and
    Si-osire' (AEL 3148) both refer to it."
  • 16. "The ninth plague, darkness (Ex 10.21-23),
    may be compared with mention of a similar
    phenomenon in the 'Prophecies of Neferti' (ANET,
    445)
  • 17. "Finally, the ten plagues are described as
    'judgments on the gods of Egypt' (Ex 12.12 cf.
    Num 33.4 Jer 46.25), a verdict early interpreted
    to mean that they were a mockery of Egyptian

71
Egyptian Coloration of Exodus
  • paganism (12.23-27 16.1-14 cf. Ex 10.2 Jud.
    48.5). Some of the plagues can be so explained if
    taken in a context of Egyptian religious beliefs.
    The Nile, the vital artery of the land, was
    personified as the god Hapi, and its annual
    inundation was regarded as a manifestation of
    Osiris. The first two plagues centered on the
    river and could certainly have been understood by
    the Egyptians as nullifying the powers of these
    two deities. The plague of frogs could well have
    been taken as mocking the frog goddess Heqt, who
    was fancied as assisting women in labor and who
    was the consort of Khnum, the one who fashioned
    human beings out of clay. The plague of darkness

72
Egyptian Coloration of Exodus
  • represented the defeat of the sun god Re, symbol
    of cosmic order. To the Egyptian mind, it would
    have evoked the powerful cosmogonic myth in which
    the monster Apophis, symbolic of darkness and the
    embodiment of all that is terrible, daily vied
    for victory over Re."

73
Theology of Exodus
  • 1. "The exodus from Egypt provides a focus for
    the OT, and has influenced its understanding of
    God. He had brought Israel, his people, "out of
    Egypt." Thus the recollection of this event
    established a basic understanding of the nature
    and purpose of Israel's God, which could be used
    to interpret other events and situations. The use
    of this "exodus pattern" is very marked in the
    prophecies of Isaiah 40-55 relating to the
    forthcoming release of exiles from Babylon in the
    sixth century B.C." Clements, "The Book of
    Exodus," IDBSupp, 310

74
Theology of Exodus
  • "Since the Exodus is perceived in the Bible as a
    divine event, it serves as one of the most
    significant symbols of the biblical faith. One of
    the axioms of this faith is that Yahweh, and not
    any other deity, brought Israel out from
    Egypt...(Ex 20.2 Deut 5.6). The significance of
    these words is that the deity who brought Israel
    out of Egypt was the one who now spoke to them
    and laid on them obligations and commandments."
    Haran, "The Exodus," IDBSupp, 304

75
Theology of Exodus
  • "The memory of the Exodus is embedded in the
    injunction to celebrate the festivals and in many
    day-by-day commandments, not only in the
    particular phraseology of D (Deut 10.19 15.15
    16.3, 12 24.22, etc.), but also in the language
    of the other sources (Ex 13.8, 14 22.21 H 20
    23.15 Lev 23.43)." Haran, "The Exodus,"
    IDBSupp, 304

76
Theology of Exodus
  • 2. "The centerpiece of this unity is the theology
    of Yahweh present with and in the midst of his
    people Israel. Throughout the Book of Exodus in
    its canonical form, this theme is constantly in
    evidence, serving as a theological anchor and
    also as a kind of compass indicating the
    directions in which the book is to go. Indeed,
    the Book of Exodus may be seen as a series of
    interlocking concentric circles spreading
    outwards from the narratives of the coming of
    Yahweh to Moses in chaps 3 and 4, to all Israel
    in chaps. 19, 20 and 24, and to Moses
    representing Israel in chaps 32, 33 and 34."
    Durham, WBCExodus, xxi
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