The book of exodus tells us about the story of Moses and how he rescued his people from enslavement. The story begins in a time when there was a new pharaoh in power who did not know of joseph. This new pharaoh enslaved the Israelites and was killing their first-born sons. So, a Jewish boy was put into a basket and floated on the bull rushes because they could not hide him any longer, where he was found and rescued by pharaohs daughter. Pharaoh’s daughter called the boy Moses. One day when Moses had grown he saw an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew and slew the Egyptian. He then fled to the land of Midian. One day when he was tending his flock he came to a mountain and an angel of the lord came to him in the form of a burning bush. He was instructed by their Hebrew god that he would bring them out of the enslavement from the Egyptians. If pharaoh would not let the Israelites go they would suffer a range of plagues. The final one the death of the first-born son. The pharaoh did not let them go until the final plague – death of the first born. Then the Israelites were free and chased out of Egypt. They went through the parted waters of yam suf where the Israelites passed but the Egyptian forces did not. The story continues telling of their exodus.
The question is if this exodus is a real event in history? If so what timeframe was it? What pharaoh? Many researchers have discussed that the event occurred during the time of Akhenaten who started his monotheistic worship of the sun. Some saying that Moses was Akhenaten. Other scholars indicate it happened during the time of Thutmoses the third, or Ramses the first. While other academic scholars have put the time of Moses during a different time and pharaoh completely. Therefore, some of the timings include during the 15th century BC, or during the 13thCentury BC. Some scholars and researchers have also noted that it is a story of fiction, or that it was really an exodus that happened anywhere but in Egypt. Theories have included that the exodus was of an event that occurred in Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Yemen. Some theories include that they were fleeing from Egypt to Saudi, and others again that the Jews were fleeing from Saudi.
It is also mentioned that there is extraordinarily little to no archaeological evidence that an exodus occurred. The exodus states the Israelites built Pithom and Raamses and these are sites in Egypt. There are also many different theories about where Goshen is located. The Moses exodus was passed down verbally not in writing. Therefore, because it is handed down orally, the original meaning changed with time. Therefore, how does a person know what was the real event? Where they fled?
A small selection of books to read:
- The Hebrew Pharaohs of Egypt by Ahmed Osman
- Moses and Akhenaten by Ahmed Osman
- Moses Restored by Jonathon Perrin
- Moses the Egyptian by Jan Assmann
- Exodus – T. Desmond Alexander
- Genesis and the Moses Story by Konrad Schmid
- Book of Exodus (Bible)