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AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW OF THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF THEEXODUS

BY ALAN MONTGOMERY

Introduction

In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhntalked about the role of paradigms in the advance of science [Kuhn].The role of a paradigm is to set the rules and the acceptablemethods of scientific research. He pointed out that major advancesin science came during periods of paradigm change. Between paradigmchanges 'normal' science continued to build up knowledgewithin the accepted paradigm. The shift from geocentric or earth-centeredastronomy to heliocentric or sun-centered astronomy is a case inpoint. In examining the motion of the Sun, moon and stars twomodels or paradigms were put forth: the geocentric model of Ptolemyand the heliocentric model of Aristarchus. Within each paradigm,the motion of the planets had a different meaning to its adherents.The zigzag motion of the planets in the sky to the geocentristsmeant a minor epicycle in its motion around the Earth but to theheliocentrists it meant the Earth was passing the planets as theywent around the Sun. Both made the same observations but assignedthem different interpretations.

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Before Copernicus astronomers assumed planetary orbits werein the ecliptic plane of the Earth and were circular - neitherof which is true. Using these assumptions geocentric astronomersmade better predictions of the planetary motions. Hoyle states,'..it will be realized that the predictive capacity of theconstructions of Ptolemy and Copernicus are very nearly the same.Copernicus' theory becomes superior to Ptolemy's when accountis taken of the inclinations of the planetary orbits. [Hoyle,p.79]' Finally, when Kepler assumed the orbits were not circularbut elliptical, the data fit perfectly. When astronomers madethe correct assumptions about planetary orbits the reality ofthe heliocentric model was plainly evident and astronomy experienceda paradigm change.

It is important to understand that until the 16th century thegeocentric paradigm had dominated on the basis of good science.The paradigm of heliocentrism, although correct, was not acceptedbecause the geocentric calculations from accepted assumptionswere better when compared to actual observation - i.e. good science.Prejudices and preconceived ideas were not to blame. The precisionof the data was not the problem. The correct paradigm was rejectedbecause it supporters failed to analyze the data using the rightassumptions. Here is the lesson. It is possible with the rightparadigm taken from the right interpretation of the Scriptures,to analyze the data with bad assumptions and arrive at a bad resultthat legitimate science ought to reject. Biblicists too easilyattribute the rejection of 'their' biblical theory toprejudice. They interpret this rejection as anti-God or anti-biblicalbias when it is simply good science. They fail to question theassumptions they use to interpret the biblical paradigm.

Rejecting the Biblical Account

Redford, an Egyptologist, is typical of those who hold thebiblical account in error concerning the Exodus. He states, 'Adetailed comparison of this version of the Hebrew takeover ofPalestine with the extra-Biblical evidence totally discreditsthe former. Not only is there a complete absence, as we have seen,in the records of the Egyptian empire of any mention or allusionto such a whirlwind of annihilation, but also Egyptian controlover Canaan and the very cities Joshua is supposed to have takenscarcely wavered during the entire period of the Late Bronze Age.'

'Far more damaging, however, than this argument from silenceis the archaeological record. Sites such as Hormah, Arad, Jericho,Ai, and Jarmuth had indeed suffered violent destruction, but thishad been during the Early Bronze Age or at the end of Middle Bronzeand during the Late Bronze Age they had lain unoccupied (savefor squatters); others such as Kadesh Barnea, Heshbon, and Gibeonwere not to be settled until the Iron Age. Those sites that doshow massive destruction at the transition from the Bronze tothe Iron Age, about 1200 B.C., can as easily be explained as victimsof the movement of the Sea Peoples. The regions of Edom and Moab,represented in Numbers as sedentary states, supported only a fewcities in the Late Bronze Age maintaining the north-south traderoute to Damascus; the Edomite and Moabite kingdoms, which Numberswrongly understands to be already in existence, did not put inan appearance before the ninth century BC.' [Redford, p.265]

Archaeologists who reject the biblical Exodus have focusedtheir research on non-conquest models. Dever states, 'Andwith new models of indigenous Canaanite origins for early Israel,there is neither place nor need for an Exodus [Dever, p. 67].'They explain the arrival and establishment of the Israelites andthe record of their history by one of two non-conquest models.The first model is the infiltration model proposed by Alt. [Alt,A. 1967] and supported by Noth [Noth, M., 1960.] It was reasonedthat since there was no change in the cultural artifacts in Israelbetween the Late Bronze and Iron Age, the Israelites came in gradually,adopting the Canaanite culture as their own. This model failsto explain from where the Israelites infiltrated. Also it assumesthat the appearance of the Israelites in the stratigraphy is atthe Iron I level. If this assumption proves wrong the entire modelquickly collapses. The second model is the internal revolt modeladvocated by Mendenhall [Mendenhall, G.E.] and Gottwald [Gottwald,N. 1979]. This theory says that the Israelites were a submergedculture in the Canaanite era and revolted against their rule andthen fled to the hills and later returned to conquer the lowlands.Lemche [Lemche, N.P. 1985)] and Ahlstrom [Ahlstrom, G., 1986]have also proposed theories along these lines. These theoriesfail to explain why the Israelites believe that they lived inEgypt for 215 years.

If we are not prepared to reject the historical value of theExodus account we could respond that Redford is less qualifiedthan God to speak on the matter. Or we could point out the errorsof fact - Gibeon was occupied before the Iron Age; or critiquehis textual interpretation - Edom and Moab in the book of Numberscould be merely nomadic tribal kingdoms; or to challenge his assumptions- the textual misreading that all cities captured in the Conquestshould show destruction in the archaeological record. I think,though, the honest investigator has to admit that the Evangelicalmodel of the Exodus is a poor fit to many though not all evidences.I attribute this poor fit to poorly chosen assumptions and mistakenchronologies. With new assumptions and chronologies, a biblicalExodus model can be proposed that fits all the evidence.

Archaeology and the Exodus

The archaeological eras of biblical times are divided intothree Bronze ages and an Iron Age. Early Bronze (EB), approximately2900 - 2300 BC, has three subdivisions. Most refer to the nextera, approximately 2300 - 2000 BC, as Middle Bronze I (MB I).Middle Bronze II (MB II) consists of the Middle Kingdom in Egyptand the Hyksos era, 2000 - 1550 BC. The Late Bronze I and II (LBI and LB II), which covers 1550 - 1200 BC, consists of the NewKingdom's 18th and 19th Dynasties, which reigned over Egyptianempires in Syria and Canaan. After this came the Iron Ages I andII (IA I and IA II), 1200 - 600 BC, in which the Judges, UnitedKingdom and Divided Kingdom eras in Israel are supposed to havetaken place. This is the standard archaeological model among scholars.In this model the Exodus occurs in the 13th century, which isthe time of the 19th Dynasty in LB II. Evangelicals reject thismodel because they believe the conventional biblical chronologysupports an Exodus date in the middle of the 15th century, whichplaces the Exodus in the middle of the 18th Dynasty in LB I.

Methodology

Behind the standard Evangelical Exodus model stand four basicassumptions:
(Strictly speaking 3. is a conclusion based on the first two)

1. The Exodus is a real historical event.
2. Conventional chronologies: biblical and Egyptian are reliable
3. The Exodus occurred in the Late Bronze;
4. Any conflict between Egyptian and Assyrian chronologies are resolved in favour of the Egyptian;

According to the book of Exodus the Israelites were pressedinto slavery in Goshen in the Nile delta building storehouse cities,Ramesses and Pi-Thom. This indicates a powerful and prosperousEgypt. At the Exodus the plagues destroyed much of Egypt's cropsand livestock. Together with the loss of over 600,000 male slaves,the Egyptians would have suffered a serious loss resulting ina major downturn in the Egyptian economy. Then Pharaoh and hisarmy were drowned in the Red Sea. Egypt would be vulnerable tounruly internal elements and external attack resulting in instability.Also, the Pharaoh of the Exodus should lack a mummy and maybeeven a tomb [Ex 14; Ps 106:11; Ps 136:15]. The Israelites wanderedthrough the desert for 40 years with no contact with other peoplesexcept for a battle with the Amalekites who were also passingthrough. The Sinai and the wilderness ought to have no permanentinhabitants at this time. Canaan ought to be inhabited with walledcities in a prosperous land of 'milk and honey'. Amongthe walled cities, we ought to find Jericho, Ai and Hazor wereburned down. The Israelite invasion would have significantly increasedthe population and prosperity of the land.

Thus we require a period in archaeology in which all eightsituations are manifest: prosperity to impoverishment, social/politicalinstability, the disappearance of Semitic people from the Niledelta, a mummyless pharaoh, an uninhabited Sinai, a prosperousCanaan with walled cities, a burned Jericho and Hazor and finallya significant increase in Canaan's population. In searching theregion's archaeology we must be willing to examine the basic assumptionsin the conventional thinking and open our minds to the possibilitythat these assumptions can be changed. It is also important notto reform these assumptions by some arbitrary or insignificantcriteria but that biblical, historical, chronological and archaeologicalevidence should form a unified picture. The assumption that theExodus is historical will be kept but others will be changed accordingto requirements of the evidence.

Is the Exodus a Late Bronze Event? - Evangelical View

The Late Bronze 18th Dynasty began with Ahmose I 1552 BC (ConventionalDate) drove the Hyksos out of Egypt into Canaan where he besiegedthem at Sharuhen. About a century later Egypt had gain sufficientpower to launch an invasion of the whole of Canaan under ThutmoseIII, circa 1460 BC. The empire expanded to include most of presentday Lebanon and Syria over the next 20 years. This empire lastedfor about a century until the famous Tutankhamun circa 1330 BC.Semitic slaves are well attested during this period but thereis no record in Egypt in the 18th Dynasty of any disaster involvingthe loss of a million slaves, Egyptian agriculture and livestock.It has no writings that express woe or lament for some major disaster.Thus, Egyptian history denies a place for the Exodus in the 18thDynasty. Some scholars would excuse this lack of written recordby suggesting that the Exodus was no inconvenience to the Egyptiansand went unrecorded by them as well as their vassal states. But,indeed, the Exodus was a major political, military and economicdisaster of the highest order. That it went unnoticed is inconceivable.That it went unrecorded is unlikely in the extreme [Aardsma].

Archaeologists have identified the biblical Rameses with amound in the region of Qantir named Pi-Rameses and Pithom at eitherTell Maskhuta or Tell el-Retabeh. Excavation has revealed thatat Pi-Rameses there is no significant activity in the 18th Dynasty.Egyptian archaeology fails to find any significant foreign occupationin Goshen during the 18th Dynasty. Almost all archaeologists andmost biblical scholars have dismissed this possibility becauseof the archaeological evidence relating to the 18th Dynasty doesnot fit the biblical Exodus and Conquest.

During the early 14th century, in Joshua's time by conventionalchronology, there were a number of letters written between Egyptand its vassals and allies. Some of these letters were recoveredfrom the 18th Dynasty royal archive at modern-day el-Amarna. Theseletters revealed that the cities and states in the Levant wereunder attack from the Khatti and the 'Habiru' or 'Apiru'. Theterm 'Habiru' is used derisively as a synonym for bandit. SomeBiblicists would like to see this term as an ethnic term referringto the Israelites and equate the 'Habiru' attacks with Joshua'sConquest. This idea although attractive at first has some majordrawbacks. (To the Egyptians Edomites, Moabites and Ammoniteswould also qualify as Hebrews but this does not help identifythe Amarna period as the period of the Conquest as these nationswere not involved in the fighting the Canaanites).

Some cities attacked by Joshua are among those that correspondedwith 18th Dynasty Pharaohs (Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun)e.g. Jerusalem, Megiddo, Ashkelon, Gezer and Lachish. However,other cities attacked by Joshua have no correspondence, e.g. Jericho,Bethel, Hazor, Hebron, Eglon and Debir. These cities, importantduring the Conquest, are not important during the Amarna period.Hazor, in particular, appears to have no political or militarysignificance during the Amarna correspondence, yet in Joshua'sday, it was the head of the largest coalition of cities in Canaan.Finally, the names of the kings of these cities in the Amarnaletters do not match the biblical kings in Joshua or Judges. TheKing of Jerusalem is Abdi-Heba in the Amarna letters not Adoni-Zedek;(Joshua 10:3) The Amarna letters and their 'Habiru' provide poorcorrelation to Joshua's Conquest.

Another major problem is that the biblical Canaanites are notgiven any foreign allies in their wars against the Israelites.The aid sent by the Egyptians to these cities according to theAmarna letters is never mentioned in Joshua or Judges. Indeed,Egyptians, as a significant military force, are not mentionedafter the Exodus until the time of Solomon when a pharaoh capturedGezer as a dowry for Solomon's wife. Another difficulty is thatthe Arameans were a significant power during the 18th Dynastybut during the Conquest they go unmentioned and do not becomea significant factor in Israelite history until the time of David.

The final blow to the 18th Dynasty Exodus is that all the mummiesof the Pharaohs of that dynasty have been found and identified.It is evident from the examinations of these mummies that noneof them drowned in the Red Sea. None of the 18th Dynasty pharaohsmeet the biblical requirements of the Exodus. There is no fitin biblical history nor Egyptian history and archaeology in the18th Dynasty.

Is the Exodus a Late Bronze Event? - Liberal View

Most scholars in the archaeological community take the Liberalview. This view says that the Exodus was a 19th Dynasty event.This is the so-called Albright school and includes scholars suchas Kitchen, Wright and Yadin. Archaeological support for a 19thDynasty Exodus comes from the sites of Qantir (Pi-Rameses) andTell Retabeh (Pi-Thom) where there was major building activityduring the 19th Dynasty. However, the occupation of Pi-Ramesesgoes back to the beginning of the Middle Kingdom, circa 2000 BC.It existed long before Rameses II. In Genesis 47:11, Jacob andhis family were granted land in the 'land of Rameses' 215 yearsbefore the Exodus. There is no surety that the biblical Rameseswas named after Rameses II. Activity during his reign is not necessarilyproof of a Late Bronze date for the Exodus.

Though there are records of Semitic slaves in the 19th Dynastythere is no evidence, written or archaeological, of unexpectedpoverty or loss of slaves. Weinstein sums up the situation, 'Theonly question that really matters is whether any textual or archaeologicalmaterials indicate a major outflow of Asiatics from Egypt to Canaanin the 19th or even early 20th Dynasty. And so far the answeris no' [Weinstein, 1997, p 93]. Egypt was at its zenith duringthe New Kingdom and there is no disruption that could be attributedto the Exodus. At the same time there is no settlement of newpeople in Canaan during the Late Bronze.

The chronology of the 19th Dynasty is problematic for the Liberalview. If Ramses II is the Pharaoh of the Oppression then Ramsesmust die before the Exodus and there are not 40 years before themention of the name of 'Israel' in a stela of his successor,Pharaoh Merneptah. If Rameses II is the Pharaoh of the Exodus,then his father Seti I would be the Pharaoh of the Oppressionand the Exodus would happen shortly after his death. There isno major disruption to the economy or the political power in thetime of Ramses II. In fact, two stela have been excavated at BethShan that shows that Canaan was under Egyptian control duringboth their reigns. Second, although the Egyptians were supposedlyin control of Canaan during the eras of the Judges, they are nevermentioned as a military power.

There are also severe biblical difficulties. Under the acceptedEgyptian chronology, this view does not leave sufficient chronologicalroom for the era of the Judges, only about 300 years between theExodus and the building of Solomon's Temple. The statement byJephthah to the Ammonite king that the Israelites had lived inthe Transjordan for 300 years (Counting the years of the Judgesonly) is discounted [Judges 11:26]. Thus, this view takes a lowview of biblical chronology. The final blow to the 19th DynastyExodus is that all the mummies of the pharaohs of that dynastyhave been found and identified. It is evident from the examinationsof these mummies that none of them drowned in the Red Sea. The19th Dynasty while it deals with some of the archaeological problemsfacing a Late Bronze Exodus does not meet the biblical requirementsand must also be rejected.

In the so-called Liberal view the Exodus dates about 1260 BC.If the date of the Exodus cannot be so late then the Exodus isnot in the 19th Dynasty. In the Evangelical view the Exodus tookplace in the 18th Dynasty. This is contradicted by history andarchaeology. If the biblical chronology is wrong for a 19th Dynastyand the archaeology is wrong for an 18th Dynasty then the Exodusis not in the Late Bronze. The Late Bronze Exodus was determinedby the conventional chronologies of Egypt and the Bible. If ourconclusion is correct it implies that either the biblical or theEgyptian chronology is wrong or both.

Biblical Exodus in Other Archaeological Periods

Egyptian sources show that the Israelites controlled Canaanduring the 18th Dynasty. This may be reasonably inferred fromthe cities that Thutmose III conquered with the Semitic names:Beth Zur, Etam, Joseph El and Jacob El [Wilson, 1969a, p. 242].These first two names are listed as Israelite clan leaders inbiblical genealogies [I Chr 2:45; I Chr 4:3]. In fact, Beth Zurand Etam were cities fortified by Rehoboam [II Chr 11:6]. Thespelling of place names in the list corresponds to their spellingin the time of David and Solomon [Vycichl, 1942]. Names of peoplecontaining the name of Israel's God, Yahweh, such as 'Yashuya'[Letter 256 line 18] and 'Yahzabada' [Letters 275, 276] demonstrateIsrael's presence in Canaan during the Amarna period [Moran, 1992].Last, the mention of 'Yahu of the Shoshu', believed to refer tothe name of Israel's God, in an Egyptian inscription of time ofAmenhotep III in the Temple of Soleb, confirms again that theIsraelites must already have both occupied and controlled Canaan[Redford, p.272; Giveon]. Note also that during Joshua and theJudges the use of 'Jah' as a prefix or 'iah'as a suffix to a name is rare. The practice increases greatlyin the time of David. To find the Exodus in Egyptian history thenrequires that we look back to an earlier era.

Courville suggested the Early Bronze as the Exodus era [Courville].In his scenario the 6th Dynasty and the 12th Dynasty, which sharesome similarities, are contemporaneous. Thus the EB and MB periodsoverlap. This view is dismissed in scholarly circles because EBmaterial in Egypt is never found in Middle Kingdom tombs and MBmaterial is never found in Old Kingdom tombs. Aardsma has alsoproposed 2450 BC for the date of the Exodus citing the work ofAnati and Cohen to support his case [Aardsma]. But Anati and Cohenregard the archaeology of the Exodus as separate from biblicalhistory. They claim that the Exodus stories were inspired by theevents of the EBIII/MB I era which the Israelites adopted intotheir history much later. For them there was no Israelite Exodusto explain.

A Middle Bronze (MB) Exodus has been suggested by Velikovsky[Velikovsky,1952], Bimson [Bimson, 1981] and Rohl [Rohl,1995].In these scenarios Joseph was a 12th Dynasty vizier. The Exodusof Moses was either at the end of the 12th Dynasty, the middleof the 13th Dynasty or the end of the 15th or Hyksos Dynasty.Each dates the Exodus about 1445 BC. They keep biblical chronologyand demand some change to Egyptian dates. Meyer actually claimsthat the Hyksos are Israelites. He uses an Exodus date of 1560BC without modifying Egyptian dates [Meyer].

Scholarly Critique

If the Exodus occurred in the Early Bronze (EB) Age or MiddleBronze (MB) Age, does this overcome his critical objections basedon the archaeology of sites in Israel? Stiebing, a critic of thebiblical Exodus, named several sites that conflict with a LateBronze (LB) Exodus: Arad and Hormah, Jericho, Bethel and Ai, Heshbonand Gibeon.

Arad is usually identified with Tel Arad. There is no occupationof Tel Arad between 2700 and 1200 BC) [Stiebing, pp. 69-72]. Thereare two possible sites for Hormah, Tel Malhata and Tel Masos.At both sites there is no LB occupation (1600-1200 BC). Aharonisolves the difficulty by observing that there were two Arads recordedby the Egyptians: Arad and Greater Arad. The later Greater Aradcould have been built at Tel Arad and the earlier Arad could belocated at Tel Malhata. It was occupied throughout the MiddleBronze but not the EB. Aharoni thinks that Hormah can be locatedat Tel Masos, which was destroyed at the end of MBIIB and wasrebuilt in the Iron Age I [Aharoni, Y. pp. 38-39]. These identificationswould allow for an MB Exodus.

At Jericho, there is really no evidence of the burning of awalled city in the Late Bronze. However, either an EBIII or anMBII Exodus would fit earlier levels of Jericho [Stiebing, p.142].Bethel and Ai are also problem sites for an LB Exodus. If Bethelis identified with Beitin then et-Tell is the only site for thebiblical Ai. It was burned in EB III and not reoccupied untilthe Iron Age. However, as Livingston shows Beitin is too far fromJerusalem to be Bethel [Livingston &Bimson, 1987]. They proposedsites el-Bireh for Bethel and Khirbet Nisya for Ai. These sitescontain MB pottery but lack MB walls or destruction levels. NoEB pottery has yet been identified. Nevertheless, Beitin is stilltoo far to be Bethel and criticisms of the biblical account basedon this identification are to be rejected.

Heshbon (Tell Hesban) was not occupied in the Middle Bronzeor Late Bronze. Ibach has suggested that Tell el-Umeiri is analternate site for Heshbon. It is located near Tell Hesban andwas occupied from EB III until the end of MBII. Only traces ofLB are found and the site rebounds in Iron I and early Iron II[Ibach, 1978]. It is possible that prior to the 9th century, Heshbonwas located not far away at Tell el-Umeiri and was moved to itspresent location during Iron Age II. Gibeon was not occupied duringthe Late Bronze but there was a village in the EB and a sizabletown in the MBII.

Another of Stiebing's points is the lack of occupation in theSinai or wilderness between Middle Bronze I, circa 1900, and IronI, circa 1200 BC. During Middle Bronze II, Late Bronze I and II,there is no sign of occupation in the Sinai, at Kadesh Barneaor Beer Sheva. He reasoned that any biblical Exodus/Conquest modelproposed between the 12th and 20th Dynasty is contrary to archaeologicalevidence and is to be rejected [Stiebing, p. 62]. Biblical accountsfail to mention any people who greeted, fled or warred with theIsraelites at Kadesh Barnea. When the Israelites approached Edomand Moab they offered assurances of peace and payment for foodand water to them for safe passage through their land [Num 20:14-21].No such offer is recorded for any other territory. This wouldimply the territory was unclaimed. No king, other than the Kingof Arad in the Negev, is mentioned as attacking Israel. Apparently,there was no authority over the area south of Arad. There is alsono mention of any people occupying Beer Sheva in Moses day.

In the Transjordan it was once thought that there was no occupationof Moab and Edom in the Middle Bronze or Late Bronze. [Stiebing,pp.74-78]. This opinion resulted from Glueck's exploration ofthe Transjordan. Later surveys and excavations revealed that about200 of 1500 sedentary sites surveyed show evidence of Middle andLate Bronze occupation [Stiebing, p.75]. These results refutethe criticism that there was no evidence of a sedentary populationin Transjordan during the Late and Middle Bronze. Indeed, thedescription of Moab and Edom [Num 21 and 33] supposed that theywere no more than tribal kingdoms. Furthermore, the understandingof the ceramics in the Transjordan is just beginning. One excavatorsuggested that indigenous Late Bronze pottery developed into IronAge pottery. 'Theoretically, it is now quite possible thatwhat Glueck called early Iron Age is in part fourteenth centuryBC Transjordanian pottery [Franken]'. Thus the lack of LateBronze imported pottery at some sites may not mean a lack of LateBronze occupation. Conclusions about the historicity of biblicaltexts may have to await further development of a local potterytypology.

Finally, in Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim and Manasseh there arealmost no Late Bronze sites in the hill country. This is the well-documentedconclusion of Finkelstein who states, 'Altogether only 25-30sites were occupied in the Late Bronze II between Jezreel andBeer Sheba.' [Finkelstein, I. 1988]. This is in contrastwith almost 200 Middle Bronze sites and over 300 Iron I sitesin the same area. Over 80% of the Middle Bronze sites are abandoned.He insists that this supports a view that the Israelites enteredinto an essentially empty Canaan occupied mostly by nomadic groupsduring the Iron Age.

This evidence is a very serious problem to any biblical Conquestmodel. If the Conquest began in the Late Bronze or early IronAge then the hill country was deserted and the battles foughtthere against the walled Canaanite cities by Joshua are fiction.If the Conquest is in the Middle Bronze then during the periodof the Judges the Israelites deserted the hill country en masseand returned only in the Iron Age. The book of Judges is thenfull of fictional events of people who never lived there. Thedata leaves no plausible scenario compatible with textual biblicalhistory anywhere in the Bronze Ages. The explanation of this evidenceis complicated will be addressed at a later point.

Consecutive Habitation Test

With the exception of the last point the objections raisedagainst an LB Exodus can be satisfied by an MB Exodus and to alesser extent an EB Exodus. Do these, however, raise new objections?To answer this question I used archaeological data to quantifythe credibility of each of 5 models. God promised Joshua thathe would dispossess the Canaanites [Joshua 3:10]. That is, thecities and possessions of the Canaanites would become Israel's.Joshua also proclaimed that the Lord had given them cities theyhad not built and groves they had not planted [Joshua 24:13].Logically, the Israelites lived in the cities they had just conqueredand worked the groves and fields that they just taken. With afew exceptions, the cities that Joshua possessed ought to be inhabitedbefore the Conquest and re-inhabited after the Conquest. Evenfor those cities where the Israelites were unable to dispossessthe Canaanites, it is self-evident that there would be Canaanitehabitation after the Conquest. So then we are looking for a periodin which cities were inhabited in consecutive periods.

In Appendix A is a table of sites that were mentioned in Joshua/Judges,which have been identified surveyed and/or excavated by archaeologists.For each site the different levels of occupation (EBIII, MBI,MBIIA, MBIIBC, LBI, LBII, Iron I, Iron II) were obtained fromthe Anchor Bible Dictionary (1992) Mazar's Archaeologyof the Bible Lands 10,000 - 586 BC (1990), The BiblicalWorld (Ed. Pfeiffer), Kenyon's Archaeology in the HolyLand (1960) or Biblical Archaeological Review. An efforthas been made to include as many sites in Joshua as possible butthere are many identification problems and the sources are notexhaustive. Sites Levels with insufficient excavation were marked'U' for unknown and treated statistically as occupied. Potterysurveys were accepted as data. Many occupations in the Late Bronzewere described as scant but were treated as occupied. Arad, Hormah,Heshbon, Bethel and Ai were given the alternate sites describedabove.
Each site was evaluated for each model so that it received a 1if there was an archaeological occupation prior and post the Exodusand 0 otherwise. The total count was then divided by the numberof sites. Admittedly, this is a crude test because it involveslittle more than occupation. Some sites have been excavated othersare merely surveyed for pottery. There are some false negativessites such as Jericho that shows up as 0 for Bimson because itlacks an LB I occupation when in fact that agrees with the biblicaltext. It must also be admitted that not all sites must be reoccupied.Also not all positives correlate to the Bible and not all negativesare contradictory. However, what it lacks in sophistication itmakes up for in its wide scope and simple criteria.

There were 20 sites that were positive for all models, so asecond percentage was taken without those sites. The results areas follows:

Table 1 - Comparison of Consecutive OccupationTest Results

MODELCourvilleRevisionBimsonEvangelicalLiberal
AGE EB III/MB MBIA/MBIIBC MBIIBC/LB I LB I/LB II LB II/ IRON I
ALL 53% 88% 71% 59% 68%
w/o 20 32% 83% 59% 41% 54%

There were 10 unknowns, that were counted as occupied: 6 EBIII,1 MBIIB, 1 MBIIC and 2 LB I. Even with 6 unknowns counted as positive,the Courville model faired badly. It may have solved outstandingarchaeological problems at Beer Sheva and Dibon but overall theresults are poor. It was eliminated from further consideration.Bimson is clearly an improvement over the Evangelical view andLiberal view but the best model is the Revisionist model of Velikovskyand Rohl.

There are 3 sites where all 4 Late and Middle Bronze modelsfail: Beer Sheba, Dibon, and Kadesh Barnea. The Bible does notrecord occupation of Kadesh Barnea or Beer Sheba during Israel'swandering in the desert so they are not problematic. This leavesDibon as the only well-identified unoccupied site that fails tosupport even one of the remaining models. There are 8 sites whereonly one model is satisfactory: Arad, Aroer, Gibeah, Gibeon, Hebron,Hormah, Shiloh and Timnath-heres. Of these, Aroer supports theLiberal model, Shiloh supports the Bimson model and the rest supportthe Revisionists. However, it is doubtful that Shiloh was occupiedbefore the Exodus. The biblical text makes no mention of any previousoccupants. The support of Shiloh for Bimson's model is thereforeambiguous. It could easily support the Revision also. Thus ofthe 8 difficult sites 1 creates a difficulty for the Revisionistmodel; 7 create difficulties for the Liberal and the Bimson andall create difficulties for the Evangelical model.

The Revision is clearly the model with the best correlation.It scores zero at 6 sites. Kadesh Barnea, Beer Sheba and Shilohare not problematic. Dibon and Aroer and have already been mentioned.The last, Taanach, has occupation in MBII B/C but none in MBIIA. It may have been built before the time of the Conquest in MBIIB. Thus there are serious difficulties for the Revision in only2 sites.

Archaeological Test at Important Sites

The consecutive habitation test was a broad indicator of probablesuccess. Its 'yes' or 'no' need not mean a compliance with thebiblical text at any particular site. A more meaningful requirementwould test the models against the archaeology details of the mostimportant biblical sites. The test will focus mainly on occupation/abandonment,destruction layers, major structures and prosperity/poverty. Theseattributes are hard to miss and rarely in dispute. Scoring isas follows: 4 for perfect match, 3 good match, 2 some match, 1poor match and 0 no match or contradiction.

Jericho
The first site to test our new models is Jericho. In the BibleJoshua, attacked Jericho, a walled city. The walls fell and Joshuatook the city and burned it. A curse against reoccupation is puton Jericho so that it remains uninhabited until the time of Hielin the reign of King Ahab [Josh 6:26, I Kings 16:34]. During thereign of Elgon, King of Moab, Eglon took possession of the cityof the Palm Trees (i.e Jericho) and oppressed Israel for 18 years[Jud 3:12-14]. During the reign of Hanun, King of the Ammonites,David sent envoys. The King humiliated them by cutting off theirbeards. David instructed them to stay at the abandoned city ofJericho until their beards were again respectable (II Sam 10:1-5).

The archaeology of Jericho has a walled city that was burnedat the end of the Early Bronze and abandoned during MB I; anotherwalled city that was burned in the latter part of MB II. Jarsof charred grain were found at this Level [Wood, 1990] It wasabandoned for 150 years during LB I. It was modestly reoccupiedduring LB IIA circa 1400 - 1275 BC but without a wall and withoutany burn layer. In the 8th century (Iron II), it was re-establishedwithout a defensive wall or any sign of a destruction level.

Clearly, the Courville model is contradicted by Jericho. TheRevision and Bimson model would use the MB II destruction as thatof Joshua's Jericho. It was walled, it was burned, valuable grainwas left behind and it was abandoned. Both models, however, mustexplain away the existence of an LB IIA unwalled city. I scorethem 3 each. The Evangelical model must first explain why Jerichowas not occupied in LB I. There is no LB I wall nor burn layer.Furthermore, Jericho is not abandoned in LB II. I score the Evangelicalmodel 0. With the Liberal view, there is a LB II occupation butno wall and no destructive burn layer. It was abandoned in IronAge I but lasted past the reign of Ahab. I score the Liberal model2.

Hazor
The next site to evaluate is Hazor. Hazor was the city ofKing Jabin, who was the leader of the largest and most powerfulcoalition of Canaanites. His city was the strongest of all theCanaanite cities. Joshua attacked King Jabin, hamstrung his horsesand burned Hazor to the ground. Later, Hazor and its Canaanitesreturned to oppress Israel until Judge Deborah defeated them.There is no explicit mention of Israelites occupying the city.After this Hazor plays no role in Israelite biblical history.

Archaeologically, Hazor MB II (Stratum XVI) was at its zenith.It is by far the largest site in Canaan during any Bronze Age.Furthermore, MB II Hazor decreased in size and wealth during theLate Bronze. It suffered a major destruction at the end of theLate Bronze II and was occupied throughout the Iron Age. The Revisionand Bimson models agree exactly with biblical data. They score4 each. The Evangelical model has an LB I occupation but lacksa destruction layer. Also the LB town is much less significantthan MB II Hazor. The Liberal model can boast a major destructionlevel at the end of LB IIB but again was far less important thanMB II Hazor. I score the Evangelical 2 and Liberal 3.

Gibeon
Next we examine Gibeon. The Gibeonites pretended to be fromfar away. In fact, Gibeon was the royal city of the Hivites. Theydid this to make a treaty of protection with Joshua. When theCanaanites attacked Joshua successfully defended Gibeon but imposedon them a serf-like yoke of drawing water and chopping wood -both menial and low-paying work. The Gibeonites were still livingin Gibeon during the reign of David, circa 400-500 years later,when they demanded justice on the family of Saul. Thus Gibeonwould have been a prosperous royal city before the Conquest; itwas not attacked or burned and its significance would decreaseafterward.

Archaeologically, Gibeon was a prosperous town in MB II butby the end of MB II it had become a small and insignificant. Thereare no occupation levels that belong to the Late Bronze. Thereis a poor reoccupation during the Iron Age I and II. The Revisionmodel scores well because it puts the Conquest during the mostprosperous MB II Gibeon. There is no MB II destruction level.However, there is a problem with the continuous occupation ofthe site for 400-500 years. The conventional archaeology suggests200 years or less. The Revision scores 3. The Bimson model hasthe Conquest at the end of MB IIC when it was a small modest town.It was not attacked at that time. But the model cannot explainan LB I abandonment almost immediately after the Conquest. I scoreBimson 2. The Evangelical and Liberal models do not have an LBoccupation; they score 0.

Shiloh
After the success of Joshua's campaign, Israel gathered atShiloh (Joshua 22:12). No mention is made of a Canaanite king,an attack or the removal of Canaanite idols or altars. No mentionof Shiloh is made during the sojourn of Abraham, Isaac or Jacobin Canaan. It would appear to be a 'new' site and thusunoccupied until the Conquest. The tabernacle was establishedat Shiloh and remained in Shiloh until Eli. During the priesthoodof Eli, the Israelites were losing a battle with the Philistinesat Ebenezer. The Ark of the Covenant was brought from Shiloh butstill they were routed and the Ark was captured by the Philistines.When the Ark was returned it went to Kiriath-jearim not Shiloh.Thus, for about 450 years, Shiloh was the chief place of worshipand sacrifice for the Israelites. Shiloh continued to exist intothe days of Jeroboam I (I Kings 14:2) but its days of glory neverreturned. Instead Jeremiah used its destruction at some unknowntime to illustrate the folly of the Israelites who abandoned God(Jeremiah 7:12,14).

According to Finkelstein, 'Shiloh was first occupied inthe Middle Bronze IIB'. [Finkelstein, 1986, p. 26]. It wasunwalled in MBIIB but in MBIIC massive fortifications were constructedincluding a wall and glacis. Its votive objects indicated thatit was used as a cultic site. The wall was destroyed at the endof the Middle Bronze IIC. In Area D there was a major fill ofbroken bones, broken LB I pottery and ash. Iron IA houses andstorage rooms were found with collar-rim 12th century potteryagainst the Middle Bronze wall. 'Israelite (sic) settlementat Shiloh began at the beginning of Iron I after the tell hadbeen abandoned(no LB II occupation indicated). [p. 36]' Shilohsuffered a major conflagration at the end of the Iron I period[p. 39].

The Revisionists would say the MB IIB was Israelite and thedestruction at the end of the MB IIC was that of the Philistines.After that it diminished in importance during the Late Bronze.It recovered in the Iron Age before Jeroboam I and was destroyedby unknown forces after Jeroboam I. This does not accommodatea 450-year initial period; nor do the others. The fit deservesa 3. Bimson would claim that the destruction at the end of theMiddle Bronze IIC was an unrecorded Israelite attack on the Canaanitesand that the Iron Age destruction was Philistine but the abandonmentof Shiloh in LB II is a major problem. The fit deserves a scoreof 1. The Evangelical model has an MB II/LB I Canaanite culticcentre that was abandoned in LB II just as the Israelites arrive.Then when Shiloh is re-established in Iron I. It lasts only 100or so years before its destruction by the Philistines. The Evangelicalview scores 0. The Liberal view has no cultic centre at Shilohin the Late Bronze II before the Conquest and thus no attack.Shiloh appears to be a fresh start. However, it is destroyed within200 years archaeologically speaking. Liberal model scores 3.

Shechem
Shechem (Tel Balata) is a very old site going back to thetime of Abraham and Jacob. It was not mentioned by Joshua as acity captured in the Conquest. He did, however, make Shechem a'city of refuge' (Josh 20:7) and he assembled the peoplethere and erected a stone monument with their covenant with theLord (Josh 24: 13). During the era of the Judges (Jud 9:45) theShechemites rebelled against Abimelech the son of Gideon. Thesubsequent attack by Abimelech was successful and 1000 peoplewere forced to take refuge in the stronghold of the Temple ofBaal Berith. The temple was set on fire and they died. Abimelechsubsequently razed and salted the city so that it could not bereoccupied. During the reign of Jeroboam I (I Kings 13:25), theKing built up Shechem as his capital.

The archaeology of Shechem shows that it was a major fortifiedtown throughout the Middle Bronze. In MB IIC there was a largetemple-fortress, Temple 1, with walls 5.1 m thick. It came toan end during a complete conflagration. From then until the beginningof LB IB the site was abandoned. Courville and Rohl identify thisas the Temple of Baal Berith followed by Stager [Stager, p.26-69].Even the excavators were sure at first that this was the onlytemple that fit the text [Wright]. Later, after the pottery wasdetermined to be MB IIC, the identification was abandoned. Temple2b in the Late Bronze stratum was given the honour. There is nosign of a major destruction or abandonment of the Temple in theLate Bronze. In the Iron Age I, there was a destruction layerafter which the temple was replaced by a granary. Hereafter, thestatus of Shechem appears to revert to that of a village.

The Revision scores at well at Shechem. It uses the MB IICTemple-fortress as Abimelech's. The stratum experienced a majorconflagration and was abandoned for about a century. 'Thefinal destruction of MB IIC Shechem displays a calculated ferocityand an intent to cause complete destruction of the city. Shechemlay in ruins for about a century until its rebuilding in LB IB'[ABD, Shechem, p. 1182]. The Revision must extend the Middle Bronzeto 12/13th century of Abimelech and thus must place Jeroboam'scapital city Shechem in the Late Bronze. According to Anchor BibleDictionary LB IB Shechem was rebuilt by engineers who 'seemedto have done the entire rebuilding in a single well-planned operation'[p.1182].This would fit well the town planning of a new king. They score3. Bimson has the conflagration of Shechem at the same time asJericho and Hazor but not recorded in the Bible. During the firsthundred years of the Conquest Shechem is abandoned contrary toits status as a 'city of refuge'. Temple 2b of LB IIBis his biblical Temple of Baal Berith but it is a too small tohold 1000 people. He must assume with the Evangelicals that itlasted into the Iron Age so that that Iron Age IA destructionlevel is that of Abimelech. Jeroboam I must be sought in IronIB-IIA. 'Unfortunately, the archaeological evidence for theperiod is sparse and ambiguous'[ABD, p.1182]. Bimson scores1. The Liberals and Evangelical can claim a Shechem that was notattacked at their Conquest date and was occupied immediately thereafterbut both must use a temple that is too small. In addition, theLiberals must compress the entire era before Abimelech into animpossibly short Iron Age IA and have no Iron Age IB-IIA capitalcity for Jeroboam I. Evangelicals score 3 and Liberals score 2.

Arad
Arad and Hormah are situated in the southern Negev. As theIsraelites approached the 'promised land', the Kingof Arad marched to attack them. The Israelites meet and defeatedthem at Hormah (Num. 21:1-3). Joshua listed (Joshua 12:14) Hormahand Arad among the 31 cities and kings that he had captured. Hormahis listed as being destroyed in Judges 1:17.

If Arad is identified as Tel Arad then all the models score0. Using Aharoni's scheme older Arad is a Tel Malhata and Hormahis Tel Masos (Khirbet Meshash)[Aharoni]. These two sites wereoccupied during the MB II but there is no sign of any Late Bronzeoccupation. Thus Evangelicals and Liberals score 0. Tel Masoswas destroyed at the end of MB IIB and Tel Arad after the endof MB IIC. Thus Bimson fits Arad but not Hormah. Bimson scores2. Both sites were occupied in MB IIA and Hormah destroyed inMB IIB. The Revision scores 4.

The totals below reflect the superiority of an MB Exodus modelover an LB one. Thus our confidence in the conventional assumptionsfail and we assume a Middle Bronze Exodus assumption instead.

Table 2 - Comparison of Models for ImportantSite Test

RevisionBimsonEvangelicalLiberal
20/24 13/24 5/24 10/24


Biblical date of the Exodus According to Ancient Chronologists

The Evangelical model although it affirms the biblical textaccepts both the Egyptian and the biblical chronologies and soexperiences archaeological contradictions. Its failure tells usthat the juxtaposition of the Exodus with the 18th Dynasty isfalse and that at least one of the biblical or Egyptian chronologyis wrong.

The conventional wisdom is that the Exodus is 480 years beforethe founding of Solomon's Temple. This is based chiefly on theauthority of Ussher, Archbishop of Ireland. His chronology waspublished close to the Reformation in the 17th century when theKing James Bible was first published in modern English. However,this interpretation was not popular in the Hellenist era or amongthe early Christian fathers. According to Whiston, Josephus inAntiquities of the Jews dated the Judges era at 592 yearsand later calculated 612 years. This places the Exodus not inthe 15th century but the 17th century. Other chronologists inthe church who dated the Judges' era were Africanus, 679 years;Clement, 576 or 595 years; Tatian 566 years and Eusebius 480 years.The Jewish chronologist Theophilus gave 566 years. Eusebius aloneof the major Christian writers thought the Judges' era did notexceed 480 years [Meyer].

These ancients obviously understood the 480 years of Judgesas other than chronological years. Paul in Acts 13:18:21 (NASB)also understood this. 'For some forty years He bore withtheir conduct in the desert. Then in the Canaanite country, afteroverthrowing seven nations, whose lands he gave them to be theirheritage for some 450 years he appointed judges for them untilthe time of the prophet Samuel. It was then that they asked fora king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribeof Benjamin. He reigned forty years before God removed him andappointed David as their King..'.

According to Kitchen: 'The lazy man's solution is simplyto cite the 480 years ostensibly given in (1 Kings 6:1) from theExodus to the 4th year of Solomon (ca. 966 BC). However, thistoo simple solution is ruled out by the combined weight of allthe other biblical data plus additional information from externaldata. So the interval of time from the Exodus comes out not at480 years but as over 553 years (by three unknown amounts). '[Kitchen, 1992, p.702] De Vries notes, 'It should be pointedout, moreover, that the chronology demanded by the books of theJudges and Samuel actually far exceeds the figure of 480 years.a total of 554 years plus two periods of unknown length occupythe interval from the Exodus to the founding of Solomon's temple.'[De Vries, 1962, p.584]

Anstey thought the explanation lay in the numbering of theyears of the Israelite rulers [Anstey]. The 480 years representedonly years of the Judges ruling omitting those years where therewas foreign oppression. But Anstey's calculation, like Kitchenand De Vries includes 40 years for the priesthood of Eli as aseparate period when it ends near the death of Samson. Montgomery'scalculationof 568 years puts the Exodus at 1591 BC [Montgomery,1998]. A further reason to think that the 480 years is not chronologicalis that the Septuagint in I Kings 6:1 claims that the Exodus was440 years earlier. The Septuagint translators may have countedthe Philistines as a foreign oppression and so excluded those40 years whereas the Masoretes included them under the Judgeshipof Samson and Samuel. My new second assumption is that biblicalchronology puts the Exodus near 1600 BC.

In Egyptian chronology 1600 BC would fall into Hyksos era.The early biblical chronologists put the Exodus at or near theexpulsion of the Hyksos according to their understanding of Egyptianchronology. They concluded that the Hyksos were the Israelites.This is an historical error. The Hyksos were not like the Israelitesin any respect except they were Semitic. Pharaoh invited the Israelitesinto Egypt but the Hyksos invaded. The Israelites demanded toleave but Pharaoh held them by force. The Hyksos were driven out.Such identifications can be rejected. However, if the Israelitesare not Hyksos we must admit an error in Egyptian chronology.

The Assyrian Adjustment to Egyptian Chronology

If the Egyptian chronology is wrong by what standard are weto correct it? Unfortunately, datable Israelite artifacts arerare and in the Judges era non-existent. However, in the MiddleBronze II era, items of the First Babylonian Dynasty with itscelebrated King Hammurabi, have been found in tombs in Byblosalong side tombs dating to the late 12th Dynasty in Egypt 1991-1778BC. Shamsi-Adad I, King of Assyria, was contemporary with Hammurabiand included in the Assyrian king list. Thus there is an archaeologicalconnection that can help synchronize the Assyrian and Egyptiandates. Historically, Egyptian dates have been significantly higherthan the Assyrian. Hammurabi's reign once thought to be 1728-1686has been raised to 1792-1750 BC. Moreover, the newest Assyrianchronology is even lower, bringing Hammurabi down to 1696-1654BC [Gasche et al]. This choice to adjust Assyrian dates to meetthe Egyptian chronology is arbitrary. Instead I adopt my thirdassumption: that Assyrian dates are more reliable and are to beused to 'correct' the Egyptian dates.

In the Middle Bronze in Mesopotamia, the 1st Babylonian Dynastywith its famous king, Hammurabi arose. Astronomical records ofthe planet Venus in the reign of King Ammizadaga gave hope thatabsolute dates could be determined for the 1st Dynasty. Investigatorswere disappointed. The merits of the High, Middle and Low datesare still debated [see James, P. Appendix 4 for a readable summaryof the controversy]. The generally accepted dates of Hammurabiare High, 1856-1814; Middle 1792-1750; and Low 1728-1686. At Byblos,tombs showed that Hammurabi of the 1st Babylonian Dynasty wascontemporary with the latter part of the 12th Dynasty. This favoursthe High and Middle chronologies. The Assyrian king list showedthat Hammurabi was a contemporary of Assyrian King Shamsi-AdadI and this favoured the Low chronology. The Low chronology wasalso favoured by Mesopotamia cylinder seals of the 1st BabylonianDynasty that were found at Nuzi and Arrapha in 15th century strata[Smith, p. 16].

In the Middle Bronze, East met West at Alalakh in northernSyria. In Level VII, Woolley, the excavator of Alalakh, founda letter of King Yarim-Lim of Yamhad, a contemporary of Hammurabi,who appealed to an unknown pharaoh to come to his aid. Woolleyused the Low chronology to date his finds but soon encounteredproblems. Woolley noted that the latest time that Egypt had anypresence in north Syria was under Amenemhet III, who died 90 yearsearlier under the conventional Egyptian dates [Woolley, p. 389].Woolley resolved the issue by raising the dates 60 years to 1792- 1750 [Woolley, p. 389]. This did not accord even with his ownevidence. Nor did it resolve the problem of the Mesopotamia cylinderseals at Nuzi and Arrapha in 15th century strata or the Assyrianking list. Using the latest proposal for the Assyrian chronology[Gasche et al, 1998] would require a minimum 120-year adjustment.

Woolley also had difficulty aligning the post-Babylonian potteryin Levels VI and V at Alalakh. Specifically, polychrome and 'UnionJack' ware is found at Alalakh in Level VI, 50-100 yearslater than its counterpart in Hyksos strata in Palestine [p. 389].Furthermore, red on black ware, dated to the Middle Kingdom erashould have preceded Level VI altogether. Again, this suggesteda minimum 120-year adjustment of dates. Furthermore, the Tellel-Yehudiyah pottery that began late in the 12th Dynasty in Egypt(early 18th century), occurred in Syria 'everywhere in acontext later than 1600' [Schaeffer, p.25-27]. This wouldrequire a minimum178-year adjustment. If the down dating were191 years then the 12th Dynasty would end in 1591, the date ofthe Exodus according to my Biblically Inerrant Chronology [Montgomery].

Woolley made the archaeology conform to the Egyptian datesmeant adopting Middle dates for Hammurabi and Yarim-Lim. As canbe seen above, it does not work. The alternative is to conformto archaeology to Assyrian dates and adjust Egyptian chronology.Thus the Hyksos Dynasty is to be down dated by 75 years to accordwith the polychrome 'Union Jack' ware (1648-1541 to1573-1466 BC) and the Middle Kingdom 12th/13th Dynasties are tobe down dated by 191 years (1991-1648 to 1800-1457). This demandsa major overlapping of the 13th Dynasty with the Hyksos 15th Dynasty.Is this possible?

In the area regarded as that of the biblical Goshen, a stoneblock of bearing the name Hetepibre, a 13th Dynasty pharaoh, foundtogether with a stele of Sobeknefru, the last pharaoh of the 12thDynasty, was inscribed with the throne name 'Amu, son ofSaharnedjheryotef' [Habachi, L.]. To an Egyptian, an Amuname in a cartouche was a presumption that they would never tolerate.Egyptian literature shows they feared the Amu greatly and heldthem in great contempt. The fourth pharaoh of the dynasty, 'AmenemhetV, the Amu' was also an Amu. The Turin Royal Canon, the onlyking list of Egyptian pharaohs, says after the second king ofthe 13th Dynasty '-no king for 6 years.' This is theonly time in history where it is stated that no king reigned duringa dynasty. It is plain that at least some of the 13th Dynastypharaohs were Amu/Hyksos. The only explanation that really fitsthis evidence is that the conquest of Egypt by a Hyksos invasionbegan with the 13th Dynasty. It was only later, perhaps in a secondwave, that the Hyksos consolidated their power in Egypt at Avarisas the 15th Dynasty.

Exodus in the Twelfth Dynasty
Our new assumptions result in dating the Exodus at the endof the 12th Dynasty. This, however, is only a chronological juxtaposition.We must ask the question: does this make historical and archaeologicalsense. The 12th Dynasty was rich and powerful but the 13th Dynastyhad impoverished remains. This is one of the Exodus archaeologicalconditions we are seeking. The Turin Canon gives about 60 kingsfor the 13th Dynasty. Most of the reign lengths are missing butthe average for the dozen that are known is less than 7 years.Several pharaohs are known to have reigned months not years. Thisindicates great instability over a considerable period. This isanother condition we are seeking. The reason for drastic economicdecline and political instability is unknown according to Egyptologists.

Excavations in the Goshen region reveal occupation by largeSemitic populations in the Middle Kingdom. Excavations by Bietakat a site called Tell ed-Daba revealed that Egyptianized Semitesdwelt there during the 12th Dynasty at Level H [Bietak, 1996.p 9-10]. Bietak identified the site as Avaris the ancient Egyptiancapital of the Hyksos. Unlike Egyptians, these 12th Dynasty Semitesattached their graves to their homes in Middle Bronze Levantinefashion. Pictures and sculptures show these Semites with peculiarmushroom style hairstyle [Bietak, p. 19]. The same Semites alsolived in nearby Ezbet Rushdi in Level d/2. Rohl proposed thatthese Egyptianized Semites were Israelites [Rohl, 1995]. The13thDynasty began in Levels d/1 and G where a significant change inthe Semite population occurred. There were no longer any imagesof people with mushroom hairstyle. The new burial practices began.The Semitic graves now abounded in weaponry. Pairs of donkeyswere found buried at the entrances to the their graves. This kindof burial is paralleled only in southern Canaan, especially atTell el-Ajjul [Bietak p. 25]. Tell el-Ajjul is usually identifiedwith the Sharuhen which was the Hyksos centre of influence inPalestine during the Second Intermediate Period (SIP). Also, thepottery that had been imported from northern Canaan and the Levantwas replaced in Levels d/1 and G by Tell el-Yehudiyah ware andpottery from southern Canaan [Bietak p. 31].

I propose that these Semites are the Hyksos. Velikovsky identifiedthese Hyksos as Amalekites. The Israelites met the Amalekitesin Sinai. As the Israelites were proceeding towards the East,the Amalekites were proceeding West toward an Egypt that was economically,militarily and emotionally exhausted. The Exodus would explainwhy they have met little resistance to their invasion.

Manetho was an Egyptian historian of the Hellenistic Period.According to Josephus, he said of the Hyksos invasion, 'Therewas a king..whose name was Timaus. Under him it came to pass,I know not how, that God was averse to us, and there came, aftera surprising manner, men of ignoble birth (Hyksos)..and subduedour land by force, yet without hazarding a battle.' Aftera while, they gained control of the governors of Egypt, burnedthe cities, razed the temples, abused the inhabitants, sold manyinto slavery, left garrisons in key locations and put both Upperand Lower Egypt under tribute [Josephus, Against ApionI.14, p.610]. After a while one of them named Salitis establisheda fortress in the delta which he called Avaris. Salitis is namedby Josephus as the first Hyksos king. It may be that there weretwo waves of Hyksos and Salitis may have been in the first kingin the second wave. This could explain why the first wave of theHyksos attempted to rule from Memphis as 13th Dynasty pharaohsbut later found it more secure to rule from Avaris.

At Ezbet Rushdi a 'Mittelsaalhaus', a house witha central court, was discovered. This kind of architecture alsooccurred in Mesopotamia, in 17th century Mari. Also a statue ofan Asiatic with red hair and yellow skin was found. It also hada Mesopotamian parallel in 17th century Ebla [Bietak, p. 20].These dates are taken from Assyrian chronology and thus, accordingto the assumption used in this model, would override the 19thcentury Egyptian date. This date for the strata agrees with ournew model dating of the 12th Dynasty to the 17th century.

In summation, in the region of Goshen at the end of the 12thDynasty, lived a Semitic race who disappeared, like the Israelites,and were replaced in the 13th Dynasty by the Hyksos (Amalekites).At that time a prosperous and powerful 12th Dynasty became theweak and impoverished 13th Dynasty. Furthermore, Middle Bronzearchitecture and artifacts from Mesopotamia date the latter halfof the 12th Dynasty to the 17th century in agreement with ourassumptions. These conditions are those sought to correlate withthe Exodus. The question is does the 12th Dynasty correlate wellwith the Israelite Sojourn and does the Conquest of Canaan underJoshua correlate well with post 12th Dynasty stratigraphy in Canaan?

Twelfth Dynasty Sojourn

In the area of biblical Goshen the Israelites were buildingtwo store cities, Rameses and Pi-Thom. Archaeologists have identifiedRameses as Pi-Rameses in the district of Qantir. Bietak's excavationsshowed that it was occupied both in the Hyksos and Middle Kingdom.Tell Retabeh and Tell Maskhuta, the two candidates for Pi-Thomalso had Hyksos and Middle Kingdom layers. Thus the two biblicalcities of the Exodus are represented in the appropriate strata.

Was there a powerful Vizier in the 12th Dynasty who could havebeen Joseph? Courville identified Joseph as Vizier Mentuhotepunder Senusret I, the most powerful Vizier of the 12th Dynasty[Courville, 1977, Vol. 1, p.142]. His many impressive titles were:Vizier, Chief Judge, Overseer of the Double Granary, Chief Treasurer,Governor of the Royal Castle, Wearer of the Royal Seal, Chiefof all the Works of the King, Hereditary Prince, Pilot of thePeople, Giver of Good -Sustaining Alive the People, Count, SoleCompanion, Favourite of the King. Such titles were unprecedentedeither before or after this time. Particularly the epithet, 'SustainingAlive the People', brings some deed of national salvationto mind. Over 100 years later, in the reign of Senusret III, Mentuhotep'sfigure was defaced, so that his memory was dishonoured. Courvilleidentified Senusret III as the pharaoh of oppression. [Courville,1977, Vol. 1, p.149]

Sparks identified the Pharaoh of the Exodus as Amenemhet IV[Brad Sparks -personal communication]. He points out that of allthe pyramids and tombs of the 12th Dynasty pharaohs are accountedfor except those of Amenemhat IV and his sister Sobekhotep I.I would add that the death of Amenemhet IV is at exactly the rightdate in relation to the 7 years of Joseph's famine. Egypt's onlyking list, the Turin Canon, gives the 12th Dynasty 213 years.Sobeknofrure reigned the final 4 years, leaving 209 years at thedeath of Amenemhat IV. Adding 209 to 1591 BC yields 1800 BC forthe first year of the 12th Dynasty. Jacob entered Egypt 215 yearsbefore the Exodus, or 1806 BC. This was the 2nd year of 7 yearsof poor crops that began in 1807 or exactly the last 7 years ofthe 11th Dynasty. The Turin Canon does not name the pharaoh whoruled just before the beginning of the 12th Dynasty but statesinstead that there were '7 empty years' [Grimal, p.158]. The drought-ridden years were so bad that Egyptians refusedto include his name in the king list.

At age 40 Moses murdered an Egyptian to protect an Israeliteand fled to Midian for 40 years. Josephus records that sometimeafter the death of this pharaoh Moses asked his father-in-lawfor permission to return to Egypt [Antiquities of the Jews]. Thusthis pharaoh and his successor ruled at least 40 years. In thelatter part of the 12th Dynasty, Amenemhat III reigned 48 years.Moses could have been born under Senusret III, who ruled 38 years,fled to Midian under Amenemhat III and returned 40 years laterto confront Amenemhat IV.

The Middle Kingdom also provides historical documents thatrefer to the events of the Exodus. Velikovsky proposed that theEgyptians, having lost all their slaves and their capacity tofend off the invading Hyksos, recorded this disaster in the MiddleKingdom papyrus called 'Admonitions of Ipuwer'. Itsauthor complained of a lack of authority, justice and social orderas if the central authority no longer had the will or power tokeep control. He also complained about barbarians and foreignersas though the country had been invaded. He wrote, 'Nobodyis planting crops' because they were not sure what will happen.Their crops were devastated, 'Grain is perished on everyside.' The southernmost districts no longer paid taxes. TheNile strangely turned to blood so that 'If one drinks it,one rejects it as human (blood) and thirsts for water.' Thesimilarities to the plagues of the Exodus are obvious. Gardinerfollowed by most Egyptologists dated the events of Ipuwer to theFirst Intermediate Period. However, Wilson conceded that the languageand orthography belong to the Middle Kingdom [Wilson, 1969b, p.442]. Other scholars such as Van Seters, and Velikovsky have arguedfor a Second Intermediate Period date, i.e. the 13th Dynasty/Hyksosera [Van Seters, 1966, pp.103 120], [Velikovsky, 1952, pp. 48-50].If the latter opinion is correct it negates the criticism thatthe Egyptians failed to record the devastation wrought by theExodus.

The Conquest after the 12th Dynasty

What might the archaeology outside of Egypt say about an MBII Exodus? We have mentioned already that the Sinai and the Negevwere uninhabited during the MBII and this explains why, apartfrom the Amalekites, the Israelites met no one in their wanderingsfor 40 years. What happened after their arrival in the PromisedLand and their battles with the Canaanites? According to Kenyon'During MB IIB the towns in Palestine show great developmentand all the evidence of an eventful history. Each town excavatedwas rebuilt several times within the period and each sufferedseveral destructions.' [Kenyon, 1960, p. 173]. Finkelsteinsays, 'The entire country flourished in MB IIB. In contrastto earlier periods of prosperity, however, an unprecedented numberof settlers inundated the central hill country as well. Hundredsof sites of every size were founded throughout the region..'[Finkelstein,p. 339] Again, he states, 'The wave of settlement crestedin the MB IIB' [Finkelstein, p. 340]. The MB IIB providesexactly the archaeology required for the Conquest by Joshua.

Dating Jericho

It would be an appropriate test of our new MBII B Conquestmodel to apply our chronology to the archaeological remains atJericho. Several artifacts and pottery can provide independentdates. Do these dates agree with a Conquest date of 1551 BC? After40 years in the Sinai, the Israelites under Joshua captured Jerichoand burned it completely. Afterwards Jericho was cursed and deserted.The mound of Jericho is located in the Jordan Valley at Tell es-Sultan.In 1908, Watzinger and Sellin, excavated it and found a MB walledcity and glacis. At the Late Bronze level, they found no walledcity at Jericho. Garstang continued the excavation and claimedhe had found an LB walled city that had been burned that he coulddate to 1400 BC. When Kenyon resumed the excavation she discoveredthat Garstang's walls were not LB but EB, circa 2000 BC not 1400BC. However, both EB and MB Jericho had been walled and burnedto the ground. She also discovered that, '..there is a completegap (in the occupation of Jericho) both on the tell and in thetombs between 1580 and 1400.' [Kenyon, 1960, p. 198]

Kenyon's discovered other interesting facts about the MB Jericho.The MB upper walls of Jericho, which were situated on top of theEarly Bronze walls, toppled outward (almost unique in archaeologicalsites). The fallen bricks provided the attackers with a convenientramp to enter the city. In its rubble, charred wheat in jars wasfound in unusual quantities six bushels. Grain, normally, wouldbe carried off as booty rather than being left to burn in theconflagration. Wood concluded that only the MB Level IV at Jerichomeets uniquely the requirements for Joshua's Jericho. [Wood, 1990].

Wood attempted recently to redate the fall of this city to1400 from its pottery evidence [Wood, 1990]. His attempt has beenrejected by several archaeologists [Bienkowski, 1990; Halpern,1987]. The case against the redating was stated by Bartlett thus;'The explanation is not simply that Jericho was a backwaterin the Jordan valley which bichrome ware .. failed to reach,for that leaves its failure to reach Tell Beit Mirsim unexplainedand, in any case, it is not just bichrome ware but a whole rangeof pottery of that period that is missing from Jericho.'[Bartlett, p. 96]. The date of the conflagration of Jericho IVmust precede the date of bichrome ware by circa 150 years. Wood'sattempt to redate Level IV does not seem to have succeeded.

Scarabs and Radiocarbon dates

At Jericho a scarab of Sheshi of was found in the Hyksos Groupv tombs. At Tell el-Ajjul a scarab of Maibre Sheshi was foundthe foundation deposits of the construction of Tell el-Ajjul LevelII dated to about 1650 BC. Kempinski concluded that the Groupv scarab and the destruction of Jericho ought to be dated to thelate 17th century [Kempinski]. Bienkowski agreed with Kempinskidating the end of the Jericho Level IV to 1600 BC. Applying ournew assumptions we calculate a 75-year downward revision of theHyksos pottery and scarabs that results in a new model date of1525 BC. (Note also that the revised date of the Hyksos is 1573-1465). Group iii tombs contained scarabs of the 13th Dynastyincluding one from Sobekhotep V dated to about 1725 BC, but thisis an estimate as many reign lengths of the 13th Dynasty are unknown.Applying our new dating assumption we subtract 191 to arrive at1534 BC. This compares with 1551 BC, the biblical date accordingto our new assumptions.

Radiocarbon dating has also entered the debate over the dateof the destruction of Jericho Level IV. Wood cited a late 15thcentury radiocarbon date for BM-1790. The British Museum laterrevised a series of radiocarbon dates that included the sampleBM-1790 [Weinstein, p.101, n.28]. The revised calibrated datewas the mid-16th century BC. Newer results agree to this datealso. Bruins and Vander Plicht recently published radiocarbondata on charred grain from Jericho IV [Bruins & Vander Plicht,1996, p. 213]. Short-lived materials from Akrotiri (Santorini)averaged 3356±18 uncalibrated years BP while those derivedfrom cereals gathered at Jericho averaged 3311±13 BP. Theynoted 'These averages taken together yield 3356±18,45 years older than our 14C destruction date for MB IIC Jericho.This time difference is rather striking as it could fit the desertperiod of 40 years separating the Exodus from the destructionof Jericho, mentioned in ancient Hebrew texts.' Because ofthe 'wiggle' in the mid-16th century, the calibratedresults are ambiguous. Using the lower calibration dates resultsin a composite interval of 1551-1535 BC for the Jericho grain.

After Joshua defeated Jabin, Canaanite King of Hazor, he burnedHazor and hamstrung its horses [Joshua 11:10]. Was MB Hazor burnedat the same time as MB Jericho? Concerning Hazor, Kenyon states,'The remains of the final Middle Bronze Age buildings werecovered with a thick layer of burning. A comparison of the potterysuggests that this was contemporary with the destruction of MiddleBronze Age Jericho.' [Kenyon, 1973, p. 100]. In the MB levelat Hazor, a tablet in Old Babylonian was found. It was a letteraddressed to King Ibni-Addu or Jabin Adad in Hebrew and datedto the time of the kingdom of Mari (17th century in Assyrian chronology).This is the same date placed on some of the archaeological findsat Tell el-Daba.

The ceramic date 1525 BC and the scarab dates 1525 and 1534BC are dependent on Assyrian chronology; 1551 BC is dependenton the biblical chronology and the radiocarbon dates 1551-1535are independent of both. Furthermore, a Babylonian cylinder sealof the era of Hammurabi - here dated by Gasche's chronology tothe mid-17th century - found in a Group ii tomb fits well intothe above dates [Rohl, 1995, p. 309]. Thus, there is a remarkablyclose agreement from 3 independent chronological witnesses thatJericho Level IV was destroyed in the middle of the 15th centuryBC and pottery from Hazor also agrees that it was burned at thesame time. It would be very difficult to argue that all this agreementis just coincidental.

To the previous evidence identifying the Exodus of the Israelitesin Goshen at the end of the 12th Dynasty, and an empty Sinai andwilderness, we can further add a walled city at Jericho and Hazor(the largest tell in Palestine in any Bronze) that was burnedand then deserted. In addition, we know that in the Middle Bronzethere was at least one Canaanite king of Hazor with the name Jabin.Furthermore, we can say that there was a major increase in settlementin Canaan in the MB IIB as well as several destructions at manysites as one would expect in the Judges era. Lastly, there isno sign of any Egyptian military power at this time in agreementwith the texts of the Judges. Thus all the archaeological conditionsneeded to meet the requirements for the Exodus have been foundin the Middle Bronze IIB. The four assumptions of biblical MBExodus model are:

1. The Exodus is a real historical event;
2. The Exodus is in the Middle Bronze IIB;
3. A biblical chronology that puts the Exodus near 1600 BC; and
4. Egyptian chronology modified by Gasche's new Assyrian chronology so that the Middle Kingdom advances 191 years and the Hyksos 75 years.

These assumptions then produce a Biblically compatible archaeologicalmodel of the Exodus.
.
Redating the Late Bronze

The most significant challenge to the biblical Exodus Modeldescribed above is the chronological gap at Jericho. What is tobe done with Jericho's Late Bronze occupation? According to theBible Joshua cursed Jericho so that anyone who rebuilt its wallsand gates would suffer the loss of his oldest and youngest sons[Joshua 6:26]. In the days of King Ahab, Hiel the Bethelite rebuiltthe walls and the gate of Jericho at the cost of his eldest andyoungest sons [I Kings 16:34]. In the Biblically Inerrant Chronology(henceforth BIC) the fall of Jericho was in 1551 BIC and the beginningof the reign of Ahab was 929 BIC or 622 years [Montgomery, 1998].According to conventional chronology Jericho's LB strata beganat 1400 BC leaving a gap of 151 years. The down dating of theLibyan Dynasty accounts for 73 years but that still leaves anadditional 400 years. Either the biblical or the conventionalLate Bronze dates are wrong.

Archaeology relies heavily on pottery dating. The present Egyptianchronology is responsible for giving dates to most of the potteryof the Middle East during the biblical era. The current dateswere largely determined at the turn of the century. At that timePetrie discovered Mycenaean pottery in 18th and 19th Dynasty tombs[Petrie]. This allowed absolute Egyptian dates to be applied tothis pottery. It is important to understand that these dates causeda serious controversy [Torr, 1896]. Torr, a Greek archaeologist,pointed out that Petrie had raised their dates for Mycenaean potteryby 400 years. Before this, they had dated the pottery of the LateMycenaean period circa 1200-800 BC to allow continuity and evenoverlap with the Geometric period. Petrie's pushed back the datesfrom 1200-800 to 1600-1200 BC. This caused a 'Dark Age'to appear in Greek archaeology between 1200 and 800 where therewas little or no history, architecture, art or weaponry. Furthermore,the dates of the Greek pottery were then transmitted to othercontemporary pottery types. Thus all over the Mediterranean the'Dark Age' spread everywhere that Greek Mycenaean potteryand its cognates appeared [James, 1993, p.16]. Egyptiandates prevailed but the problems created have never been resolved.

The problem between biblical dates and conventional Late Bronzedates is now seen to be with the latter. A 400-year down datingwill fully realign the stratigraphy of Israel so that the chronologyof the strata and the biblical dates are synchronized. This adjustmentof the Exodus model to include the Late Bronze archaeology willbe called the Biblical Stratigraphic Model (BSM).

Velikovsky's Revision

It is now opportune to point out that the down dating of theLate Bronze by 475 years is exactly the Velikovsky scheme [Velikovsky,1952, 1977, 1978]. Velikovsky was convinced that because of theproximity of Egypt and Israel there ought to be a mutual recordof their historical encounters. The poor record of their sharedevents convinced him that there was something wrong. 'Itis strange that there is no real link between the histories ofEgypt and Israel for a period of many hundreds of years'[p. 4]. For example, during the reign of Solomon, during the weak21st Dynasty, a pharaoh captures Gezer as a dowry for Solomon'snew Egyptian wife. There is no Egyptian record of a royal marriageto any foreign king or any conquest of Gezer in the 21st Dynasty.

Velikovsky, having aligned the Middle Kingdom with the Sojournand Exodus of the Israelites, then moved down the time corridorand matched the Hyksos with Joshua and the Judges, the reign ofAhmose I (18th Dynasty) to King Saul and the reigns of AmenhotepI and Thutmose I to King David. Hatshupset's visit to Punt wasidentified with the Queen of Sheba's visit to King Solomon. Then,in the reign of Rehoboam, in his 5th year, Pharaoh Shishak invadedIsraelite, captured Megiddo and looted the Holy City, Jerusalem.

Velikovsky credited this invasion to Thutmose III who had thetribute taken from his invasion of Palestine's Kadesh (Holy City)pictured on the various walls of Karnak near Thebes. Conventionally,this city is thought to be a Canaanite Holy City in Phoeniciaor even Syria. But when any of these temples had such wealth isenigmatic. The lack of any image or mention of any Canaanite,Philistine or Syro-Hittite god leaves no doubt that the templeof was none of these. Velikovsky favourably compared these itemsin number and metal composition to those described in the Bible,as belonging to Solomon's Temple. One must admit that the treasurebelonged to the Israelites who were the only nation forbiddento make images of their God.

One hundred years later, came the famous el-Amarna letterspreviously mentioned. These fall into the late Omride or Jehuera. Velikovsky analysis of this era may be flawed but there isdefinitely a correlation. In both the Amarna letters and in thebiblical text the Arameans are a significant military force inthe region and the kings of the Hittites and Egyptians are themajor players [2 Kings 7:6]. Furthermore, there are Hebrew idiomsin the Amarna letters that would appear to deny that they werewritten prior to the Israelite conquest.

Velikovsky has the 18th Dynasty succeeded by the Libyan 22ndDynasty. The first Libyan pharaoh, Sheshonq I, is no longer thescriptural Shishak but reigned just before Israel's recovery fromthe Arameans. After this point Egyptian/ Israelite chronologiescan be synchronized within narrow limits. The scheme is completedby showing the 19th and the 26th Dynasties are the same as wellas the 20th and 30th Dynasties. The 21st Dynasty is a series ofpriest-princes operating in the Persian period [Velikovsky, 1952,1977 1978]. Thus the histories of the contact of the two nationsare harmonized. The new MBII Exodus archaeological model thenagrees with Velikovsky's Bible history harmony.

Thus, having set the Exodus/Conquest in MBIIB, the archaeologicalevidences and biblical dates at Jericho demanded that we makean additional 400-year (475 in total) adjustment to the Late BronzeAge so that we could synchronize the archaeology with biblicalhistory. This down dates the beginning of the reign of AmenhotepIII from 1400 BC to 925 BC in the reign of Ahab, similar to Velikovsky'sscheme. No use was made of Velikovsky Egyptian evidences nor didVelikovsky make use of any of the assumptions or analyses above.Thus there are two independent lines of evidence that arrive atthe same conclusion: that the extensive archaeological evidenceof an MB IIB Exodus combined with the biblical history and archaeologyof Jericho yields the exact same 475-year down dating of the LateBronze that Velikovsky proposed and supported by evidence fromEgyptology.

New Biblical Stratigraphic Model for Israel

If the Late Bronze Age is down dated by 4-5 centuries from1550-1200 BC to 1075-825 BC then where do we put the strata alreadydated to those years? James has shown, as already mentioned, allover the Mediterranean there is a stratigraphic 'Dark Age'between 1200-800 BC created by Petrie's Egyptian dates for Mycenaeanpottery at the protest of the Greek archaeologists like Torr.Torr, although he lost the debate, was actually right in opposingPetrie's redating. The down dating of the Late Bronze 4-5 centuriesthen returns stratigraphy to the dates that Greek archaeologistsgave or would have given the strata were it not for Petrie's erroneousredating of Mycenaean ware. To accommodate the Greek archaeologywe redate the Late Bronze 1075-825 BC. The first stratigraphicbenefit of the BSM is to fill the chronological gap between theLate Bronze and Iron Age in Anatolia, Greece, Sicily, North Africa,Spain and related areas. If the Late Bronze is down dated by 4-5centuries but the Hyksos dates are advanced only 75 years whathappens to the 1480-1075 era. To keep stratigraphic continuityanother 400 years must be added to the length of the 13th/Hyksosera or SIP so that it dates are 1591-1075. The SIP now parallelsthe era of the Judges. The dates of the new BSM are illustratedin Table 3

Table 3 - Dates for the new Biblical StratigraphicModel

Archaeological eraEgyptian DynastiesAccepted DatesBSM Dates Israelite History
Middle Bronze IIa 12th 2000-1750 1800-1600 Sojourn/Exodus
Middle Bronze IIb/c 13th /17th 1750-1550 1600-1075 Conquest/Judges
Late Bronze I 18th 1550-1400 1075- 925 United Kingdom
Late Bronze II 18th 1400-1330 925- 825 Divided Kingdom

The BSM resolves three problems exposed by the Specific SiteTest. First, the BSM has by design answered the problem of theLate Bronze at Jericho. Second, it confirms that the Middle Bronzestrata, Temple 1b and its Middle Bronze IIC pottery at Shechemextend to the era of Abimelech and the Temple of Baal Berith,1152 BIC, as required by the Revision model. Abimelech's Shechemlay abandoned and under the new BSM, the abandonment belongs tothe last century of the SIP era circa 1150-1080 BIC. Shiloh wasalso functioning as a cult center 600 years after the Exodus,not only in Saul's day but also to Jeroboam I, circa 980 BIC.This date is an Iron I date. Under the BSM it can be seen thatthe destruction level in Shiloh is at least 500 years after theMBIIB initial occupation in agreement with biblical text. Furthermore,the final destruction of Shiloh would appear to be the resultof Aramean attack, circa 870 BIC rather than a Philistine one.Thus in the tests of specific sites above, all three points lostby the Revision for being a good fit rather than excellent areregained. The BSM provides an excellent fit to the biblical textat all tested sites.

The BSM also provides an explanation of the lack of Late Bronzesites in the hill country of Judah and Israel. As previously mentionedFinkelstein's analysis put all Conquest models in doubt becauseit appeared that either there were no Canaanites living in thehill country during the Conquest (LB Exodus) or that the Israelitesabandoned the hill country after the Conquest (MB II Exodus).Now it can be seen that the Middle Bronze period extends downinto the 12th/ 11th century when the collar-rimmed storage jarsare found. Thus there is no gap and Iron I strata sits directlyover MB II strata because Iron I directly follows MB II in thehill country. This denies the final substantive criticism of thehistorical Exodus and Conquest by archaeology.

In the Middle Bronze II period, the store cities, Ramessesand Pithom are being built. The Semitic people of the Nile deltadisappear during the 12th Dynasty and are replaced. The nationplunged into poverty and instability. The Sinai had no kingdoms,tribal or otherwise. The cities of Joshua's with a few exceptionswere present. The land was prosperous and filled with walled cities.There was a population explosion. Jericho and Hazor were heavilyburned. In conclusion, the Middle Bronze II period provides allthe archaeological requirements to correlate to the historicalbiblical model.


References

Aardsma, G.E. The Exodus Happened 2450 B.C. , Proceedingsof the Third International Conference on Creationism, Walsh,R. Editor, 1998. Pittsburgh: Creation Science Fellowship.
Aharoni, Y. 'Arad', The Interpreter's Dictionaryof the Bible, Supplementary Volume, (Nashville: Abingdon Press,1976), pp. 38-39

Ahlstrom, G. Who were the Israelites?, (Winona Lake,IN: Eisenbrauns, 1986)

Alt, A. Essays on Old Testament History and Religion,Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1967, (orig. 1925)

Anstey, M., The romance of biblical chronology , 1913,Marshal Bros., London.

Bartlett, J., Jericho, 1982, Lutterworth Press, Guildford,Surrey, p. 96.

Bienkowski, P., Jericho was Destroyed in the Middle BronzeAge not the Late Bronze Age, 1990, Biblical ArchaeologicalReview, Vol. 16, (1990), No. 5.

Bietak, M., Avaris: The Hyksos Capital, 1996, BritishMuseum Press, London.

Bietak, M., Contra Bimson, Biblical ArchaeologicalReview, Vol. 14, (1988), No. 4, p. 54.

Bimson, J.J., Redating the Exodus and Conquest, (2nd Ed.),1981, The Almond Press, Sheffield.

Bruins, H.J. & Vander Plicht, J., The Exodus Enigma,Nature Vol. 382, (July, 1996), p. 213.

Courville, D., The Exodus Problem and its Ramifications,Vol 1,1971, Challenge Books, Loma Linda.

De Vries, S.J. Chronology of the Old Testament,TheInterpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, G.A. Buttrick, Editor,Nashville, Abingdon Press, 1962, Vol.1, p.584

Dever, W. Is there any Archaeological Evidencefor the Exodus?Exodus: The Egyptian Evidence, Ernest Frerichs & LeonardLesko editors, Winona Lake IND, Eisenbraun, 1997.

Finkelstein, I. Shiloh Yields Some but not all of its Secrets,Biblical Archaeological Review, Jan/Feb 1986, p. 26

Finkelstein, I. 1988, The Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement,Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society

Franken, H.J. & Power, W.J.A., Review of Glueck's Explorationin Eastern Palestine, VT 21, p. 123

Gasche, H., Armstrong, J.A., Cole, S.W. and Gurzadyan, V.G.,Dating the fall of Babylon: A Reappraisal of Second-millenniumChronology, 1998, University of Ghent and the Oriental Instituteof the University of Chicago.

Giveon, R. 1964. Toponymes Ouest-Asiatique a Soleb. VetusTestamentum 14: 239-255

Gottwald, N. The Tribes of Yahweh, (Maryknoll, N.Y.:Orbis, 1979)

Grimal, N., A History of Ancient Egypt, 1992, Blackwell,Oxford.

Habachi, L. Khatana-Qantir: Importance, Annales duService des Antiquities de l'Egypte, 52: 443-59

Alternative dating new canaan

Halpern, B., Radical Exodus Redating Fatally Flawed,Biblical Archaeological Review, Vol. 13, (1987), No.6.

Hoyle, F., Nicholas Copernicus, 1973, Harper and Row,NY. p.79

Ibach, Expanded Archaeological Survey of the Heshbon Region.Andrews University Seminary Studies 16:201-13, 1978, BerienSprings, MI: Andrews University

James, P. et al. Centuries in Darkness, 1993, RutgersUniversity Press, Brunswick, NJ.

Josephus, Against Apion.Josephus: Complete works.(Translated Whiston), 1960, Kregel Pub. Grand Rapids, MI.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews. Josephus: Completeworks. (Translated Whiston), 1960, Kregel Pub. Grand Rapids,MI.

Kempinski, A., 1983. Syrien und Palastina in der laetztenPhase der Mittelbronze IIB Zeit. Wiesbaden; Otto Harrassowitz,p.225.

Kenyon, K., Archaeology in the Holy Land, 1960, E. Binn,London, p. 198.

Kenyon, K., Palestine in the Middle Bronze, CAH (3rdEdition), 1973, Cambridge Press, Vol. II.1, p.100.

Alternative Dating New Canaan

Kitchen, K.A. The Exodus, The Anchor Bible Dictionary,Vol 2, p. 702, David Noel Freedman, Editor, NY, Doubleday, 1992

Kuhn, T. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago:University of Chicago Press.

Lemche, N.P. Early Israel: Anthropological and HistoricalStudies on the Israelite Society before the Monarchy, (Leiden:Brill, 1985)

Livingstone, D.P. and Bimson, J.J., Redating the Exodus,Biblical Archaeological Review, Vol. 13, No. 5, (1987),pp. 40 53,66.

Mazar A. Archaeology of the Bible Lands 10,000 - 586 BC

Mendenhall, G.E., The Hebrew Conquest of Palestine,Biblical Archaeologist, 25:66-87

Meyer, S. 1998. The Date of the Exodus According to AncientAuthors, Phildelphia: Institute for Biblical and ScientificStudies.

Montgomery, A., Towards a Biblically Inerrant Chronology.Proceedings of the International Conference on Creationism,R. Walsh et al., Editors, 1998, Creation Science Fellowship,Inc., Pittsburgh, PA., p. 395-406.

Moran, W., The el-Amarna Letters, 1992, John HopkinsUniversity Press, Baltimore.

Noth, M., The History of Israel, 1960, London; Adamand Charles Black.

Petrie, W.H.F., The Egyptian Bases of Greek History. Journalof Hellenic Studies, Vol 11, (1890) pp. 271-77

Pfeiffer, C., The Biblical World: A Dictionary of BiblicalArchaeology, 1966, Baker Books. Grand Rapids.

Redford, D.B. Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times,Princeton:1992. p. 265

Rohl, D., Pharaohs and Kings: a Biblical Quest, 1995,Crown Publishers. N.Y.

Schaeffer, C. Ugaritica I p.18, (note 2 as cited bySmith in Alalakh and chronology.)

Smith, S. 1940. Alalakh and Chronology. Luzac and Company.London.

Stiebing, W. H., Out of the Desert, 1989, Buffalo; PrometheusBooks.

Stager, L.E., Shechem Where Abimelech Massacred a Thousand,Biblical Archaeological Review, Vol 29:4 Jul/Aug 2003 p.26-69

Torr, C., Aegean pottery in Egypt,The Academy,Vol. 42, (1892), No. 1064. p. 270.

Torr, C., Memphis and Mycenae, 1896, Cambridge UniversityPress.

Velikovsky, I., Ages in Chaos, 1952, Doubleday &Co. Garden City, N.Y.

Velikovsky, I., Peoples of the Sea, 1977, Doubleday&Co., Garden City, N.Y.

Velikovsky, I., Ramses II and his Times, 1978, Doubleday&Co, Garden City, N.Y.

Vycichl, V. 1942. Aegytische Ortsnamen in der Bibel, Zeitschriftfor Aegyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, Vol. 76, pp. 79-93.

Van Seters, J., The Hyksos, 1966, Yale University Press,New Haven, CT.

Wilson, J. A., List of Asiatic Countries under the EgyptianEmpire,ANET(3rd Ed.), Ed. J. Pritchard, 1969, PrincetonUniversity Press, Princeton, N.J., p. 242.

Wilson, J. A., The Admonitions of Ipuwer, ANET (3rdEd.) Ed. J. Pritchard, 1969b, Princeton University Press,N.J., p. 441.

Weinstein, J., Exodus and Archaeological Reality, Exodus:The Egyptian Evidence, Ernest Frerichs and Leonard Lesko editors,Winona Lake IND, Eisenbraun, 1997.

Woolley, L. Alalakh - An Account of the Excavations at TellAtchana in the Hatay. 1937-49, 1955, The Society of Antiquaries,London.

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Wright, E., The First Campaign at Tell Balatah, Bulletinof the American Society of Oriental Research

Revised July 9, 2004.

AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW OF THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF THEEXODUS

BY ALAN MONTGOMERY

Introduction

In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhntalked about the role of paradigms in the advance of science [Kuhn].The role of a paradigm is to set the rules and the acceptablemethods of scientific research. He pointed out that major advancesin science came during periods of paradigm change. Between paradigmchanges 'normal' science continued to build up knowledgewithin the accepted paradigm. The shift from geocentric or earth-centeredastronomy to heliocentric or sun-centered astronomy is a case inpoint. In examining the motion of the Sun, moon and stars twomodels or paradigms were put forth: the geocentric model of Ptolemyand the heliocentric model of Aristarchus. Within each paradigm,the motion of the planets had a different meaning to its adherents.The zigzag motion of the planets in the sky to the geocentristsmeant a minor epicycle in its motion around the Earth but to theheliocentrists it meant the Earth was passing the planets as theywent around the Sun. Both made the same observations but assignedthem different interpretations.

Before Copernicus astronomers assumed planetary orbits werein the ecliptic plane of the Earth and were circular - neitherof which is true. Using these assumptions geocentric astronomersmade better predictions of the planetary motions. Hoyle states,'..it will be realized that the predictive capacity of theconstructions of Ptolemy and Copernicus are very nearly the same.Copernicus' theory becomes superior to Ptolemy's when accountis taken of the inclinations of the planetary orbits. [Hoyle,p.79]' Finally, when Kepler assumed the orbits were not circularbut elliptical, the data fit perfectly. When astronomers madethe correct assumptions about planetary orbits the reality ofthe heliocentric model was plainly evident and astronomy experienceda paradigm change.

It is important to understand that until the 16th century thegeocentric paradigm had dominated on the basis of good science.The paradigm of heliocentrism, although correct, was not acceptedbecause the geocentric calculations from accepted assumptionswere better when compared to actual observation - i.e. good science.Prejudices and preconceived ideas were not to blame. The precisionof the data was not the problem. The correct paradigm was rejectedbecause it supporters failed to analyze the data using the rightassumptions. Here is the lesson. It is possible with the rightparadigm taken from the right interpretation of the Scriptures,to analyze the data with bad assumptions and arrive at a bad resultthat legitimate science ought to reject. Biblicists too easilyattribute the rejection of 'their' biblical theory toprejudice. They interpret this rejection as anti-God or anti-biblicalbias when it is simply good science. They fail to question theassumptions they use to interpret the biblical paradigm.

Rejecting the Biblical Account

Redford, an Egyptologist, is typical of those who hold thebiblical account in error concerning the Exodus. He states, 'Adetailed comparison of this version of the Hebrew takeover ofPalestine with the extra-Biblical evidence totally discreditsthe former. Not only is there a complete absence, as we have seen,in the records of the Egyptian empire of any mention or allusionto such a whirlwind of annihilation, but also Egyptian controlover Canaan and the very cities Joshua is supposed to have takenscarcely wavered during the entire period of the Late Bronze Age.'

'Far more damaging, however, than this argument from silenceis the archaeological record. Sites such as Hormah, Arad, Jericho,Ai, and Jarmuth had indeed suffered violent destruction, but thishad been during the Early Bronze Age or at the end of Middle Bronzeand during the Late Bronze Age they had lain unoccupied (savefor squatters); others such as Kadesh Barnea, Heshbon, and Gibeonwere not to be settled until the Iron Age. Those sites that doshow massive destruction at the transition from the Bronze tothe Iron Age, about 1200 B.C., can as easily be explained as victimsof the movement of the Sea Peoples. The regions of Edom and Moab,represented in Numbers as sedentary states, supported only a fewcities in the Late Bronze Age maintaining the north-south traderoute to Damascus; the Edomite and Moabite kingdoms, which Numberswrongly understands to be already in existence, did not put inan appearance before the ninth century BC.' [Redford, p.265]

Archaeologists who reject the biblical Exodus have focusedtheir research on non-conquest models. Dever states, 'Andwith new models of indigenous Canaanite origins for early Israel,there is neither place nor need for an Exodus [Dever, p. 67].'They explain the arrival and establishment of the Israelites andthe record of their history by one of two non-conquest models.The first model is the infiltration model proposed by Alt. [Alt,A. 1967] and supported by Noth [Noth, M., 1960.] It was reasonedthat since there was no change in the cultural artifacts in Israelbetween the Late Bronze and Iron Age, the Israelites came in gradually,adopting the Canaanite culture as their own. This model failsto explain from where the Israelites infiltrated. Also it assumesthat the appearance of the Israelites in the stratigraphy is atthe Iron I level. If this assumption proves wrong the entire modelquickly collapses. The second model is the internal revolt modeladvocated by Mendenhall [Mendenhall, G.E.] and Gottwald [Gottwald,N. 1979]. This theory says that the Israelites were a submergedculture in the Canaanite era and revolted against their rule andthen fled to the hills and later returned to conquer the lowlands.Lemche [Lemche, N.P. 1985)] and Ahlstrom [Ahlstrom, G., 1986]have also proposed theories along these lines. These theoriesfail to explain why the Israelites believe that they lived inEgypt for 215 years.

If we are not prepared to reject the historical value of theExodus account we could respond that Redford is less qualifiedthan God to speak on the matter. Or we could point out the errorsof fact - Gibeon was occupied before the Iron Age; or critiquehis textual interpretation - Edom and Moab in the book of Numberscould be merely nomadic tribal kingdoms; or to challenge his assumptions- the textual misreading that all cities captured in the Conquestshould show destruction in the archaeological record. I think,though, the honest investigator has to admit that the Evangelicalmodel of the Exodus is a poor fit to many though not all evidences.I attribute this poor fit to poorly chosen assumptions and mistakenchronologies. With new assumptions and chronologies, a biblicalExodus model can be proposed that fits all the evidence.

Alternative

Archaeology and the Exodus

The archaeological eras of biblical times are divided intothree Bronze ages and an Iron Age. Early Bronze (EB), approximately2900 - 2300 BC, has three subdivisions. Most refer to the nextera, approximately 2300 - 2000 BC, as Middle Bronze I (MB I).Middle Bronze II (MB II) consists of the Middle Kingdom in Egyptand the Hyksos era, 2000 - 1550 BC. The Late Bronze I and II (LBI and LB II), which covers 1550 - 1200 BC, consists of the NewKingdom's 18th and 19th Dynasties, which reigned over Egyptianempires in Syria and Canaan. After this came the Iron Ages I andII (IA I and IA II), 1200 - 600 BC, in which the Judges, UnitedKingdom and Divided Kingdom eras in Israel are supposed to havetaken place. This is the standard archaeological model among scholars.In this model the Exodus occurs in the 13th century, which isthe time of the 19th Dynasty in LB II. Evangelicals reject thismodel because they believe the conventional biblical chronologysupports an Exodus date in the middle of the 15th century, whichplaces the Exodus in the middle of the 18th Dynasty in LB I.

Methodology

Behind the standard Evangelical Exodus model stand four basicassumptions:
(Strictly speaking 3. is a conclusion based on the first two)

1. The Exodus is a real historical event.
2. Conventional chronologies: biblical and Egyptian are reliable
3. The Exodus occurred in the Late Bronze;
4. Any conflict between Egyptian and Assyrian chronologies are resolved in favour of the Egyptian;

According to the book of Exodus the Israelites were pressedinto slavery in Goshen in the Nile delta building storehouse cities,Ramesses and Pi-Thom. This indicates a powerful and prosperousEgypt. At the Exodus the plagues destroyed much of Egypt's cropsand livestock. Together with the loss of over 600,000 male slaves,the Egyptians would have suffered a serious loss resulting ina major downturn in the Egyptian economy. Then Pharaoh and hisarmy were drowned in the Red Sea. Egypt would be vulnerable tounruly internal elements and external attack resulting in instability.Also, the Pharaoh of the Exodus should lack a mummy and maybeeven a tomb [Ex 14; Ps 106:11; Ps 136:15]. The Israelites wanderedthrough the desert for 40 years with no contact with other peoplesexcept for a battle with the Amalekites who were also passingthrough. The Sinai and the wilderness ought to have no permanentinhabitants at this time. Canaan ought to be inhabited with walledcities in a prosperous land of 'milk and honey'. Amongthe walled cities, we ought to find Jericho, Ai and Hazor wereburned down. The Israelite invasion would have significantly increasedthe population and prosperity of the land.

Thus we require a period in archaeology in which all eightsituations are manifest: prosperity to impoverishment, social/politicalinstability, the disappearance of Semitic people from the Niledelta, a mummyless pharaoh, an uninhabited Sinai, a prosperousCanaan with walled cities, a burned Jericho and Hazor and finallya significant increase in Canaan's population. In searching theregion's archaeology we must be willing to examine the basic assumptionsin the conventional thinking and open our minds to the possibilitythat these assumptions can be changed. It is also important notto reform these assumptions by some arbitrary or insignificantcriteria but that biblical, historical, chronological and archaeologicalevidence should form a unified picture. The assumption that theExodus is historical will be kept but others will be changed accordingto requirements of the evidence.

Is the Exodus a Late Bronze Event? - Evangelical View

The Late Bronze 18th Dynasty began with Ahmose I 1552 BC (ConventionalDate) drove the Hyksos out of Egypt into Canaan where he besiegedthem at Sharuhen. About a century later Egypt had gain sufficientpower to launch an invasion of the whole of Canaan under ThutmoseIII, circa 1460 BC. The empire expanded to include most of presentday Lebanon and Syria over the next 20 years. This empire lastedfor about a century until the famous Tutankhamun circa 1330 BC.Semitic slaves are well attested during this period but thereis no record in Egypt in the 18th Dynasty of any disaster involvingthe loss of a million slaves, Egyptian agriculture and livestock.It has no writings that express woe or lament for some major disaster.Thus, Egyptian history denies a place for the Exodus in the 18thDynasty. Some scholars would excuse this lack of written recordby suggesting that the Exodus was no inconvenience to the Egyptiansand went unrecorded by them as well as their vassal states. But,indeed, the Exodus was a major political, military and economicdisaster of the highest order. That it went unnoticed is inconceivable.That it went unrecorded is unlikely in the extreme [Aardsma].

Archaeologists have identified the biblical Rameses with amound in the region of Qantir named Pi-Rameses and Pithom at eitherTell Maskhuta or Tell el-Retabeh. Excavation has revealed thatat Pi-Rameses there is no significant activity in the 18th Dynasty.Egyptian archaeology fails to find any significant foreign occupationin Goshen during the 18th Dynasty. Almost all archaeologists andmost biblical scholars have dismissed this possibility becauseof the archaeological evidence relating to the 18th Dynasty doesnot fit the biblical Exodus and Conquest.

During the early 14th century, in Joshua's time by conventionalchronology, there were a number of letters written between Egyptand its vassals and allies. Some of these letters were recoveredfrom the 18th Dynasty royal archive at modern-day el-Amarna. Theseletters revealed that the cities and states in the Levant wereunder attack from the Khatti and the 'Habiru' or 'Apiru'. Theterm 'Habiru' is used derisively as a synonym for bandit. SomeBiblicists would like to see this term as an ethnic term referringto the Israelites and equate the 'Habiru' attacks with Joshua'sConquest. This idea although attractive at first has some majordrawbacks. (To the Egyptians Edomites, Moabites and Ammoniteswould also qualify as Hebrews but this does not help identifythe Amarna period as the period of the Conquest as these nationswere not involved in the fighting the Canaanites).

Some cities attacked by Joshua are among those that correspondedwith 18th Dynasty Pharaohs (Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun)e.g. Jerusalem, Megiddo, Ashkelon, Gezer and Lachish. However,other cities attacked by Joshua have no correspondence, e.g. Jericho,Bethel, Hazor, Hebron, Eglon and Debir. These cities, importantduring the Conquest, are not important during the Amarna period.Hazor, in particular, appears to have no political or militarysignificance during the Amarna correspondence, yet in Joshua'sday, it was the head of the largest coalition of cities in Canaan.Finally, the names of the kings of these cities in the Amarnaletters do not match the biblical kings in Joshua or Judges. TheKing of Jerusalem is Abdi-Heba in the Amarna letters not Adoni-Zedek;(Joshua 10:3) The Amarna letters and their 'Habiru' provide poorcorrelation to Joshua's Conquest.

Another major problem is that the biblical Canaanites are notgiven any foreign allies in their wars against the Israelites.The aid sent by the Egyptians to these cities according to theAmarna letters is never mentioned in Joshua or Judges. Indeed,Egyptians, as a significant military force, are not mentionedafter the Exodus until the time of Solomon when a pharaoh capturedGezer as a dowry for Solomon's wife. Another difficulty is thatthe Arameans were a significant power during the 18th Dynastybut during the Conquest they go unmentioned and do not becomea significant factor in Israelite history until the time of David.

The final blow to the 18th Dynasty Exodus is that all the mummiesof the Pharaohs of that dynasty have been found and identified.It is evident from the examinations of these mummies that noneof them drowned in the Red Sea. None of the 18th Dynasty pharaohsmeet the biblical requirements of the Exodus. There is no fitin biblical history nor Egyptian history and archaeology in the18th Dynasty.

Is the Exodus a Late Bronze Event? - Liberal View

Most scholars in the archaeological community take the Liberalview. This view says that the Exodus was a 19th Dynasty event.This is the so-called Albright school and includes scholars suchas Kitchen, Wright and Yadin. Archaeological support for a 19thDynasty Exodus comes from the sites of Qantir (Pi-Rameses) andTell Retabeh (Pi-Thom) where there was major building activityduring the 19th Dynasty. However, the occupation of Pi-Ramesesgoes back to the beginning of the Middle Kingdom, circa 2000 BC.It existed long before Rameses II. In Genesis 47:11, Jacob andhis family were granted land in the 'land of Rameses' 215 yearsbefore the Exodus. There is no surety that the biblical Rameseswas named after Rameses II. Activity during his reign is not necessarilyproof of a Late Bronze date for the Exodus.

Though there are records of Semitic slaves in the 19th Dynastythere is no evidence, written or archaeological, of unexpectedpoverty or loss of slaves. Weinstein sums up the situation, 'Theonly question that really matters is whether any textual or archaeologicalmaterials indicate a major outflow of Asiatics from Egypt to Canaanin the 19th or even early 20th Dynasty. And so far the answeris no' [Weinstein, 1997, p 93]. Egypt was at its zenith duringthe New Kingdom and there is no disruption that could be attributedto the Exodus. At the same time there is no settlement of newpeople in Canaan during the Late Bronze.

The chronology of the 19th Dynasty is problematic for the Liberalview. If Ramses II is the Pharaoh of the Oppression then Ramsesmust die before the Exodus and there are not 40 years before themention of the name of 'Israel' in a stela of his successor,Pharaoh Merneptah. If Rameses II is the Pharaoh of the Exodus,then his father Seti I would be the Pharaoh of the Oppressionand the Exodus would happen shortly after his death. There isno major disruption to the economy or the political power in thetime of Ramses II. In fact, two stela have been excavated at BethShan that shows that Canaan was under Egyptian control duringboth their reigns. Second, although the Egyptians were supposedlyin control of Canaan during the eras of the Judges, they are nevermentioned as a military power.

There are also severe biblical difficulties. Under the acceptedEgyptian chronology, this view does not leave sufficient chronologicalroom for the era of the Judges, only about 300 years between theExodus and the building of Solomon's Temple. The statement byJephthah to the Ammonite king that the Israelites had lived inthe Transjordan for 300 years (Counting the years of the Judgesonly) is discounted [Judges 11:26]. Thus, this view takes a lowview of biblical chronology. The final blow to the 19th DynastyExodus is that all the mummies of the pharaohs of that dynastyhave been found and identified. It is evident from the examinationsof these mummies that none of them drowned in the Red Sea. The19th Dynasty while it deals with some of the archaeological problemsfacing a Late Bronze Exodus does not meet the biblical requirementsand must also be rejected.

In the so-called Liberal view the Exodus dates about 1260 BC.If the date of the Exodus cannot be so late then the Exodus isnot in the 19th Dynasty. In the Evangelical view the Exodus tookplace in the 18th Dynasty. This is contradicted by history andarchaeology. If the biblical chronology is wrong for a 19th Dynastyand the archaeology is wrong for an 18th Dynasty then the Exodusis not in the Late Bronze. The Late Bronze Exodus was determinedby the conventional chronologies of Egypt and the Bible. If ourconclusion is correct it implies that either the biblical or theEgyptian chronology is wrong or both.

Biblical Exodus in Other Archaeological Periods

Egyptian sources show that the Israelites controlled Canaanduring the 18th Dynasty. This may be reasonably inferred fromthe cities that Thutmose III conquered with the Semitic names:Beth Zur, Etam, Joseph El and Jacob El [Wilson, 1969a, p. 242].These first two names are listed as Israelite clan leaders inbiblical genealogies [I Chr 2:45; I Chr 4:3]. In fact, Beth Zurand Etam were cities fortified by Rehoboam [II Chr 11:6]. Thespelling of place names in the list corresponds to their spellingin the time of David and Solomon [Vycichl, 1942]. Names of peoplecontaining the name of Israel's God, Yahweh, such as 'Yashuya'[Letter 256 line 18] and 'Yahzabada' [Letters 275, 276] demonstrateIsrael's presence in Canaan during the Amarna period [Moran, 1992].Last, the mention of 'Yahu of the Shoshu', believed to refer tothe name of Israel's God, in an Egyptian inscription of time ofAmenhotep III in the Temple of Soleb, confirms again that theIsraelites must already have both occupied and controlled Canaan[Redford, p.272; Giveon]. Note also that during Joshua and theJudges the use of 'Jah' as a prefix or 'iah'as a suffix to a name is rare. The practice increases greatlyin the time of David. To find the Exodus in Egyptian history thenrequires that we look back to an earlier era.

Courville suggested the Early Bronze as the Exodus era [Courville].In his scenario the 6th Dynasty and the 12th Dynasty, which sharesome similarities, are contemporaneous. Thus the EB and MB periodsoverlap. This view is dismissed in scholarly circles because EBmaterial in Egypt is never found in Middle Kingdom tombs and MBmaterial is never found in Old Kingdom tombs. Aardsma has alsoproposed 2450 BC for the date of the Exodus citing the work ofAnati and Cohen to support his case [Aardsma]. But Anati and Cohenregard the archaeology of the Exodus as separate from biblicalhistory. They claim that the Exodus stories were inspired by theevents of the EBIII/MB I era which the Israelites adopted intotheir history much later. For them there was no Israelite Exodusto explain.

A Middle Bronze (MB) Exodus has been suggested by Velikovsky[Velikovsky,1952], Bimson [Bimson, 1981] and Rohl [Rohl,1995].In these scenarios Joseph was a 12th Dynasty vizier. The Exodusof Moses was either at the end of the 12th Dynasty, the middleof the 13th Dynasty or the end of the 15th or Hyksos Dynasty.Each dates the Exodus about 1445 BC. They keep biblical chronologyand demand some change to Egyptian dates. Meyer actually claimsthat the Hyksos are Israelites. He uses an Exodus date of 1560BC without modifying Egyptian dates [Meyer].

Scholarly Critique

If the Exodus occurred in the Early Bronze (EB) Age or MiddleBronze (MB) Age, does this overcome his critical objections basedon the archaeology of sites in Israel? Stiebing, a critic of thebiblical Exodus, named several sites that conflict with a LateBronze (LB) Exodus: Arad and Hormah, Jericho, Bethel and Ai, Heshbonand Gibeon.

Arad is usually identified with Tel Arad. There is no occupationof Tel Arad between 2700 and 1200 BC) [Stiebing, pp. 69-72]. Thereare two possible sites for Hormah, Tel Malhata and Tel Masos.At both sites there is no LB occupation (1600-1200 BC). Aharonisolves the difficulty by observing that there were two Arads recordedby the Egyptians: Arad and Greater Arad. The later Greater Aradcould have been built at Tel Arad and the earlier Arad could belocated at Tel Malhata. It was occupied throughout the MiddleBronze but not the EB. Aharoni thinks that Hormah can be locatedat Tel Masos, which was destroyed at the end of MBIIB and wasrebuilt in the Iron Age I [Aharoni, Y. pp. 38-39]. These identificationswould allow for an MB Exodus.

At Jericho, there is really no evidence of the burning of awalled city in the Late Bronze. However, either an EBIII or anMBII Exodus would fit earlier levels of Jericho [Stiebing, p.142].Bethel and Ai are also problem sites for an LB Exodus. If Bethelis identified with Beitin then et-Tell is the only site for thebiblical Ai. It was burned in EB III and not reoccupied untilthe Iron Age. However, as Livingston shows Beitin is too far fromJerusalem to be Bethel [Livingston &Bimson, 1987]. They proposedsites el-Bireh for Bethel and Khirbet Nisya for Ai. These sitescontain MB pottery but lack MB walls or destruction levels. NoEB pottery has yet been identified. Nevertheless, Beitin is stilltoo far to be Bethel and criticisms of the biblical account basedon this identification are to be rejected.

Heshbon (Tell Hesban) was not occupied in the Middle Bronzeor Late Bronze. Ibach has suggested that Tell el-Umeiri is analternate site for Heshbon. It is located near Tell Hesban andwas occupied from EB III until the end of MBII. Only traces ofLB are found and the site rebounds in Iron I and early Iron II[Ibach, 1978]. It is possible that prior to the 9th century, Heshbonwas located not far away at Tell el-Umeiri and was moved to itspresent location during Iron Age II. Gibeon was not occupied duringthe Late Bronze but there was a village in the EB and a sizabletown in the MBII.

Another of Stiebing's points is the lack of occupation in theSinai or wilderness between Middle Bronze I, circa 1900, and IronI, circa 1200 BC. During Middle Bronze II, Late Bronze I and II,there is no sign of occupation in the Sinai, at Kadesh Barneaor Beer Sheva. He reasoned that any biblical Exodus/Conquest modelproposed between the 12th and 20th Dynasty is contrary to archaeologicalevidence and is to be rejected [Stiebing, p. 62]. Biblical accountsfail to mention any people who greeted, fled or warred with theIsraelites at Kadesh Barnea. When the Israelites approached Edomand Moab they offered assurances of peace and payment for foodand water to them for safe passage through their land [Num 20:14-21].No such offer is recorded for any other territory. This wouldimply the territory was unclaimed. No king, other than the Kingof Arad in the Negev, is mentioned as attacking Israel. Apparently,there was no authority over the area south of Arad. There is alsono mention of any people occupying Beer Sheva in Moses day.

In the Transjordan it was once thought that there was no occupationof Moab and Edom in the Middle Bronze or Late Bronze. [Stiebing,pp.74-78]. This opinion resulted from Glueck's exploration ofthe Transjordan. Later surveys and excavations revealed that about200 of 1500 sedentary sites surveyed show evidence of Middle andLate Bronze occupation [Stiebing, p.75]. These results refutethe criticism that there was no evidence of a sedentary populationin Transjordan during the Late and Middle Bronze. Indeed, thedescription of Moab and Edom [Num 21 and 33] supposed that theywere no more than tribal kingdoms. Furthermore, the understandingof the ceramics in the Transjordan is just beginning. One excavatorsuggested that indigenous Late Bronze pottery developed into IronAge pottery. 'Theoretically, it is now quite possible thatwhat Glueck called early Iron Age is in part fourteenth centuryBC Transjordanian pottery [Franken]'. Thus the lack of LateBronze imported pottery at some sites may not mean a lack of LateBronze occupation. Conclusions about the historicity of biblicaltexts may have to await further development of a local potterytypology.

Finally, in Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim and Manasseh there arealmost no Late Bronze sites in the hill country. This is the well-documentedconclusion of Finkelstein who states, 'Altogether only 25-30sites were occupied in the Late Bronze II between Jezreel andBeer Sheba.' [Finkelstein, I. 1988]. This is in contrastwith almost 200 Middle Bronze sites and over 300 Iron I sitesin the same area. Over 80% of the Middle Bronze sites are abandoned.He insists that this supports a view that the Israelites enteredinto an essentially empty Canaan occupied mostly by nomadic groupsduring the Iron Age.

This evidence is a very serious problem to any biblical Conquestmodel. If the Conquest began in the Late Bronze or early IronAge then the hill country was deserted and the battles foughtthere against the walled Canaanite cities by Joshua are fiction.If the Conquest is in the Middle Bronze then during the periodof the Judges the Israelites deserted the hill country en masseand returned only in the Iron Age. The book of Judges is thenfull of fictional events of people who never lived there. Thedata leaves no plausible scenario compatible with textual biblicalhistory anywhere in the Bronze Ages. The explanation of this evidenceis complicated will be addressed at a later point.

Consecutive Habitation Test

With the exception of the last point the objections raisedagainst an LB Exodus can be satisfied by an MB Exodus and to alesser extent an EB Exodus. Do these, however, raise new objections?To answer this question I used archaeological data to quantifythe credibility of each of 5 models. God promised Joshua thathe would dispossess the Canaanites [Joshua 3:10]. That is, thecities and possessions of the Canaanites would become Israel's.Joshua also proclaimed that the Lord had given them cities theyhad not built and groves they had not planted [Joshua 24:13].Logically, the Israelites lived in the cities they had just conqueredand worked the groves and fields that they just taken. With afew exceptions, the cities that Joshua possessed ought to be inhabitedbefore the Conquest and re-inhabited after the Conquest. Evenfor those cities where the Israelites were unable to dispossessthe Canaanites, it is self-evident that there would be Canaanitehabitation after the Conquest. So then we are looking for a periodin which cities were inhabited in consecutive periods.

In Appendix A is a table of sites that were mentioned in Joshua/Judges,which have been identified surveyed and/or excavated by archaeologists.For each site the different levels of occupation (EBIII, MBI,MBIIA, MBIIBC, LBI, LBII, Iron I, Iron II) were obtained fromthe Anchor Bible Dictionary (1992) Mazar's Archaeologyof the Bible Lands 10,000 - 586 BC (1990), The BiblicalWorld (Ed. Pfeiffer), Kenyon's Archaeology in the HolyLand (1960) or Biblical Archaeological Review. An efforthas been made to include as many sites in Joshua as possible butthere are many identification problems and the sources are notexhaustive. Sites Levels with insufficient excavation were marked'U' for unknown and treated statistically as occupied. Potterysurveys were accepted as data. Many occupations in the Late Bronzewere described as scant but were treated as occupied. Arad, Hormah,Heshbon, Bethel and Ai were given the alternate sites describedabove.
Each site was evaluated for each model so that it received a 1if there was an archaeological occupation prior and post the Exodusand 0 otherwise. The total count was then divided by the numberof sites. Admittedly, this is a crude test because it involveslittle more than occupation. Some sites have been excavated othersare merely surveyed for pottery. There are some false negativessites such as Jericho that shows up as 0 for Bimson because itlacks an LB I occupation when in fact that agrees with the biblicaltext. It must also be admitted that not all sites must be reoccupied.Also not all positives correlate to the Bible and not all negativesare contradictory. However, what it lacks in sophistication itmakes up for in its wide scope and simple criteria.

There were 20 sites that were positive for all models, so asecond percentage was taken without those sites. The results areas follows:

Table 1 - Comparison of Consecutive OccupationTest Results

MODELCourvilleRevisionBimsonEvangelicalLiberal
AGE EB III/MB MBIA/MBIIBC MBIIBC/LB I LB I/LB II LB II/ IRON I
ALL 53% 88% 71% 59% 68%
w/o 20 32% 83% 59% 41% 54%

Alternative Dating New Canaan Nh

There were 10 unknowns, that were counted as occupied: 6 EBIII,1 MBIIB, 1 MBIIC and 2 LB I. Even with 6 unknowns counted as positive,the Courville model faired badly. It may have solved outstandingarchaeological problems at Beer Sheva and Dibon but overall theresults are poor. It was eliminated from further consideration.Bimson is clearly an improvement over the Evangelical view andLiberal view but the best model is the Revisionist model of Velikovskyand Rohl.

There are 3 sites where all 4 Late and Middle Bronze modelsfail: Beer Sheba, Dibon, and Kadesh Barnea. The Bible does notrecord occupation of Kadesh Barnea or Beer Sheba during Israel'swandering in the desert so they are not problematic. This leavesDibon as the only well-identified unoccupied site that fails tosupport even one of the remaining models. There are 8 sites whereonly one model is satisfactory: Arad, Aroer, Gibeah, Gibeon, Hebron,Hormah, Shiloh and Timnath-heres. Of these, Aroer supports theLiberal model, Shiloh supports the Bimson model and the rest supportthe Revisionists. However, it is doubtful that Shiloh was occupiedbefore the Exodus. The biblical text makes no mention of any previousoccupants. The support of Shiloh for Bimson's model is thereforeambiguous. It could easily support the Revision also. Thus ofthe 8 difficult sites 1 creates a difficulty for the Revisionistmodel; 7 create difficulties for the Liberal and the Bimson andall create difficulties for the Evangelical model.

The Revision is clearly the model with the best correlation.It scores zero at 6 sites. Kadesh Barnea, Beer Sheba and Shilohare not problematic. Dibon and Aroer and have already been mentioned.The last, Taanach, has occupation in MBII B/C but none in MBIIA. It may have been built before the time of the Conquest in MBIIB. Thus there are serious difficulties for the Revision in only2 sites.

Archaeological Test at Important Sites

The consecutive habitation test was a broad indicator of probablesuccess. Its 'yes' or 'no' need not mean a compliance with thebiblical text at any particular site. A more meaningful requirementwould test the models against the archaeology details of the mostimportant biblical sites. The test will focus mainly on occupation/abandonment,destruction layers, major structures and prosperity/poverty. Theseattributes are hard to miss and rarely in dispute. Scoring isas follows: 4 for perfect match, 3 good match, 2 some match, 1poor match and 0 no match or contradiction.

Jericho
The first site to test our new models is Jericho. In the BibleJoshua, attacked Jericho, a walled city. The walls fell and Joshuatook the city and burned it. A curse against reoccupation is puton Jericho so that it remains uninhabited until the time of Hielin the reign of King Ahab [Josh 6:26, I Kings 16:34]. During thereign of Elgon, King of Moab, Eglon took possession of the cityof the Palm Trees (i.e Jericho) and oppressed Israel for 18 years[Jud 3:12-14]. During the reign of Hanun, King of the Ammonites,David sent envoys. The King humiliated them by cutting off theirbeards. David instructed them to stay at the abandoned city ofJericho until their beards were again respectable (II Sam 10:1-5).

The archaeology of Jericho has a walled city that was burnedat the end of the Early Bronze and abandoned during MB I; anotherwalled city that was burned in the latter part of MB II. Jarsof charred grain were found at this Level [Wood, 1990] It wasabandoned for 150 years during LB I. It was modestly reoccupiedduring LB IIA circa 1400 - 1275 BC but without a wall and withoutany burn layer. In the 8th century (Iron II), it was re-establishedwithout a defensive wall or any sign of a destruction level.

Clearly, the Courville model is contradicted by Jericho. TheRevision and Bimson model would use the MB II destruction as thatof Joshua's Jericho. It was walled, it was burned, valuable grainwas left behind and it was abandoned. Both models, however, mustexplain away the existence of an LB IIA unwalled city. I scorethem 3 each. The Evangelical model must first explain why Jerichowas not occupied in LB I. There is no LB I wall nor burn layer.Furthermore, Jericho is not abandoned in LB II. I score the Evangelicalmodel 0. With the Liberal view, there is a LB II occupation butno wall and no destructive burn layer. It was abandoned in IronAge I but lasted past the reign of Ahab. I score the Liberal model2.

Hazor
The next site to evaluate is Hazor. Hazor was the city ofKing Jabin, who was the leader of the largest and most powerfulcoalition of Canaanites. His city was the strongest of all theCanaanite cities. Joshua attacked King Jabin, hamstrung his horsesand burned Hazor to the ground. Later, Hazor and its Canaanitesreturned to oppress Israel until Judge Deborah defeated them.There is no explicit mention of Israelites occupying the city.After this Hazor plays no role in Israelite biblical history.

Archaeologically, Hazor MB II (Stratum XVI) was at its zenith.It is by far the largest site in Canaan during any Bronze Age.Furthermore, MB II Hazor decreased in size and wealth during theLate Bronze. It suffered a major destruction at the end of theLate Bronze II and was occupied throughout the Iron Age. The Revisionand Bimson models agree exactly with biblical data. They score4 each. The Evangelical model has an LB I occupation but lacksa destruction layer. Also the LB town is much less significantthan MB II Hazor. The Liberal model can boast a major destructionlevel at the end of LB IIB but again was far less important thanMB II Hazor. I score the Evangelical 2 and Liberal 3.

Gibeon
Next we examine Gibeon. The Gibeonites pretended to be fromfar away. In fact, Gibeon was the royal city of the Hivites. Theydid this to make a treaty of protection with Joshua. When theCanaanites attacked Joshua successfully defended Gibeon but imposedon them a serf-like yoke of drawing water and chopping wood -both menial and low-paying work. The Gibeonites were still livingin Gibeon during the reign of David, circa 400-500 years later,when they demanded justice on the family of Saul. Thus Gibeonwould have been a prosperous royal city before the Conquest; itwas not attacked or burned and its significance would decreaseafterward.

Archaeologically, Gibeon was a prosperous town in MB II butby the end of MB II it had become a small and insignificant. Thereare no occupation levels that belong to the Late Bronze. Thereis a poor reoccupation during the Iron Age I and II. The Revisionmodel scores well because it puts the Conquest during the mostprosperous MB II Gibeon. There is no MB II destruction level.However, there is a problem with the continuous occupation ofthe site for 400-500 years. The conventional archaeology suggests200 years or less. The Revision scores 3. The Bimson model hasthe Conquest at the end of MB IIC when it was a small modest town.It was not attacked at that time. But the model cannot explainan LB I abandonment almost immediately after the Conquest. I scoreBimson 2. The Evangelical and Liberal models do not have an LBoccupation; they score 0.

Shiloh
After the success of Joshua's campaign, Israel gathered atShiloh (Joshua 22:12). No mention is made of a Canaanite king,an attack or the removal of Canaanite idols or altars. No mentionof Shiloh is made during the sojourn of Abraham, Isaac or Jacobin Canaan. It would appear to be a 'new' site and thusunoccupied until the Conquest. The tabernacle was establishedat Shiloh and remained in Shiloh until Eli. During the priesthoodof Eli, the Israelites were losing a battle with the Philistinesat Ebenezer. The Ark of the Covenant was brought from Shiloh butstill they were routed and the Ark was captured by the Philistines.When the Ark was returned it went to Kiriath-jearim not Shiloh.Thus, for about 450 years, Shiloh was the chief place of worshipand sacrifice for the Israelites. Shiloh continued to exist intothe days of Jeroboam I (I Kings 14:2) but its days of glory neverreturned. Instead Jeremiah used its destruction at some unknowntime to illustrate the folly of the Israelites who abandoned God(Jeremiah 7:12,14).

According to Finkelstein, 'Shiloh was first occupied inthe Middle Bronze IIB'. [Finkelstein, 1986, p. 26]. It wasunwalled in MBIIB but in MBIIC massive fortifications were constructedincluding a wall and glacis. Its votive objects indicated thatit was used as a cultic site. The wall was destroyed at the endof the Middle Bronze IIC. In Area D there was a major fill ofbroken bones, broken LB I pottery and ash. Iron IA houses andstorage rooms were found with collar-rim 12th century potteryagainst the Middle Bronze wall. 'Israelite (sic) settlementat Shiloh began at the beginning of Iron I after the tell hadbeen abandoned(no LB II occupation indicated). [p. 36]' Shilohsuffered a major conflagration at the end of the Iron I period[p. 39].

The Revisionists would say the MB IIB was Israelite and thedestruction at the end of the MB IIC was that of the Philistines.After that it diminished in importance during the Late Bronze.It recovered in the Iron Age before Jeroboam I and was destroyedby unknown forces after Jeroboam I. This does not accommodatea 450-year initial period; nor do the others. The fit deservesa 3. Bimson would claim that the destruction at the end of theMiddle Bronze IIC was an unrecorded Israelite attack on the Canaanitesand that the Iron Age destruction was Philistine but the abandonmentof Shiloh in LB II is a major problem. The fit deserves a scoreof 1. The Evangelical model has an MB II/LB I Canaanite culticcentre that was abandoned in LB II just as the Israelites arrive.Then when Shiloh is re-established in Iron I. It lasts only 100or so years before its destruction by the Philistines. The Evangelicalview scores 0. The Liberal view has no cultic centre at Shilohin the Late Bronze II before the Conquest and thus no attack.Shiloh appears to be a fresh start. However, it is destroyed within200 years archaeologically speaking. Liberal model scores 3.

Shechem
Shechem (Tel Balata) is a very old site going back to thetime of Abraham and Jacob. It was not mentioned by Joshua as acity captured in the Conquest. He did, however, make Shechem a'city of refuge' (Josh 20:7) and he assembled the peoplethere and erected a stone monument with their covenant with theLord (Josh 24: 13). During the era of the Judges (Jud 9:45) theShechemites rebelled against Abimelech the son of Gideon. Thesubsequent attack by Abimelech was successful and 1000 peoplewere forced to take refuge in the stronghold of the Temple ofBaal Berith. The temple was set on fire and they died. Abimelechsubsequently razed and salted the city so that it could not bereoccupied. During the reign of Jeroboam I (I Kings 13:25), theKing built up Shechem as his capital.

The archaeology of Shechem shows that it was a major fortifiedtown throughout the Middle Bronze. In MB IIC there was a largetemple-fortress, Temple 1, with walls 5.1 m thick. It came toan end during a complete conflagration. From then until the beginningof LB IB the site was abandoned. Courville and Rohl identify thisas the Temple of Baal Berith followed by Stager [Stager, p.26-69].Even the excavators were sure at first that this was the onlytemple that fit the text [Wright]. Later, after the pottery wasdetermined to be MB IIC, the identification was abandoned. Temple2b in the Late Bronze stratum was given the honour. There is nosign of a major destruction or abandonment of the Temple in theLate Bronze. In the Iron Age I, there was a destruction layerafter which the temple was replaced by a granary. Hereafter, thestatus of Shechem appears to revert to that of a village.

The Revision scores at well at Shechem. It uses the MB IICTemple-fortress as Abimelech's. The stratum experienced a majorconflagration and was abandoned for about a century. 'Thefinal destruction of MB IIC Shechem displays a calculated ferocityand an intent to cause complete destruction of the city. Shechemlay in ruins for about a century until its rebuilding in LB IB'[ABD, Shechem, p. 1182]. The Revision must extend the Middle Bronzeto 12/13th century of Abimelech and thus must place Jeroboam'scapital city Shechem in the Late Bronze. According to Anchor BibleDictionary LB IB Shechem was rebuilt by engineers who 'seemedto have done the entire rebuilding in a single well-planned operation'[p.1182].This would fit well the town planning of a new king. They score3. Bimson has the conflagration of Shechem at the same time asJericho and Hazor but not recorded in the Bible. During the firsthundred years of the Conquest Shechem is abandoned contrary toits status as a 'city of refuge'. Temple 2b of LB IIBis his biblical Temple of Baal Berith but it is a too small tohold 1000 people. He must assume with the Evangelicals that itlasted into the Iron Age so that that Iron Age IA destructionlevel is that of Abimelech. Jeroboam I must be sought in IronIB-IIA. 'Unfortunately, the archaeological evidence for theperiod is sparse and ambiguous'[ABD, p.1182]. Bimson scores1. The Liberals and Evangelical can claim a Shechem that was notattacked at their Conquest date and was occupied immediately thereafterbut both must use a temple that is too small. In addition, theLiberals must compress the entire era before Abimelech into animpossibly short Iron Age IA and have no Iron Age IB-IIA capitalcity for Jeroboam I. Evangelicals score 3 and Liberals score 2.

Arad
Arad and Hormah are situated in the southern Negev. As theIsraelites approached the 'promised land', the Kingof Arad marched to attack them. The Israelites meet and defeatedthem at Hormah (Num. 21:1-3). Joshua listed (Joshua 12:14) Hormahand Arad among the 31 cities and kings that he had captured. Hormahis listed as being destroyed in Judges 1:17.

If Arad is identified as Tel Arad then all the models score0. Using Aharoni's scheme older Arad is a Tel Malhata and Hormahis Tel Masos (Khirbet Meshash)[Aharoni]. These two sites wereoccupied during the MB II but there is no sign of any Late Bronzeoccupation. Thus Evangelicals and Liberals score 0. Tel Masoswas destroyed at the end of MB IIB and Tel Arad after the endof MB IIC. Thus Bimson fits Arad but not Hormah. Bimson scores2. Both sites were occupied in MB IIA and Hormah destroyed inMB IIB. The Revision scores 4.

The totals below reflect the superiority of an MB Exodus modelover an LB one. Thus our confidence in the conventional assumptionsfail and we assume a Middle Bronze Exodus assumption instead.

Table 2 - Comparison of Models for ImportantSite Test

RevisionBimsonEvangelicalLiberal
20/24 13/24 5/24 10/24


Biblical date of the Exodus According to Ancient Chronologists

The Evangelical model although it affirms the biblical textaccepts both the Egyptian and the biblical chronologies and soexperiences archaeological contradictions. Its failure tells usthat the juxtaposition of the Exodus with the 18th Dynasty isfalse and that at least one of the biblical or Egyptian chronologyis wrong.

The conventional wisdom is that the Exodus is 480 years beforethe founding of Solomon's Temple. This is based chiefly on theauthority of Ussher, Archbishop of Ireland. His chronology waspublished close to the Reformation in the 17th century when theKing James Bible was first published in modern English. However,this interpretation was not popular in the Hellenist era or amongthe early Christian fathers. According to Whiston, Josephus inAntiquities of the Jews dated the Judges era at 592 yearsand later calculated 612 years. This places the Exodus not inthe 15th century but the 17th century. Other chronologists inthe church who dated the Judges' era were Africanus, 679 years;Clement, 576 or 595 years; Tatian 566 years and Eusebius 480 years.The Jewish chronologist Theophilus gave 566 years. Eusebius aloneof the major Christian writers thought the Judges' era did notexceed 480 years [Meyer].

These ancients obviously understood the 480 years of Judgesas other than chronological years. Paul in Acts 13:18:21 (NASB)also understood this. 'For some forty years He bore withtheir conduct in the desert. Then in the Canaanite country, afteroverthrowing seven nations, whose lands he gave them to be theirheritage for some 450 years he appointed judges for them untilthe time of the prophet Samuel. It was then that they asked fora king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribeof Benjamin. He reigned forty years before God removed him andappointed David as their King..'.

According to Kitchen: 'The lazy man's solution is simplyto cite the 480 years ostensibly given in (1 Kings 6:1) from theExodus to the 4th year of Solomon (ca. 966 BC). However, thistoo simple solution is ruled out by the combined weight of allthe other biblical data plus additional information from externaldata. So the interval of time from the Exodus comes out not at480 years but as over 553 years (by three unknown amounts). '[Kitchen, 1992, p.702] De Vries notes, 'It should be pointedout, moreover, that the chronology demanded by the books of theJudges and Samuel actually far exceeds the figure of 480 years.a total of 554 years plus two periods of unknown length occupythe interval from the Exodus to the founding of Solomon's temple.'[De Vries, 1962, p.584]

Anstey thought the explanation lay in the numbering of theyears of the Israelite rulers [Anstey]. The 480 years representedonly years of the Judges ruling omitting those years where therewas foreign oppression. But Anstey's calculation, like Kitchenand De Vries includes 40 years for the priesthood of Eli as aseparate period when it ends near the death of Samson. Montgomery'scalculationof 568 years puts the Exodus at 1591 BC [Montgomery,1998]. A further reason to think that the 480 years is not chronologicalis that the Septuagint in I Kings 6:1 claims that the Exodus was440 years earlier. The Septuagint translators may have countedthe Philistines as a foreign oppression and so excluded those40 years whereas the Masoretes included them under the Judgeshipof Samson and Samuel. My new second assumption is that biblicalchronology puts the Exodus near 1600 BC.

In Egyptian chronology 1600 BC would fall into Hyksos era.The early biblical chronologists put the Exodus at or near theexpulsion of the Hyksos according to their understanding of Egyptianchronology. They concluded that the Hyksos were the Israelites.This is an historical error. The Hyksos were not like the Israelitesin any respect except they were Semitic. Pharaoh invited the Israelitesinto Egypt but the Hyksos invaded. The Israelites demanded toleave but Pharaoh held them by force. The Hyksos were driven out.Such identifications can be rejected. However, if the Israelitesare not Hyksos we must admit an error in Egyptian chronology.

The Assyrian Adjustment to Egyptian Chronology

If the Egyptian chronology is wrong by what standard are weto correct it? Unfortunately, datable Israelite artifacts arerare and in the Judges era non-existent. However, in the MiddleBronze II era, items of the First Babylonian Dynasty with itscelebrated King Hammurabi, have been found in tombs in Byblosalong side tombs dating to the late 12th Dynasty in Egypt 1991-1778BC. Shamsi-Adad I, King of Assyria, was contemporary with Hammurabiand included in the Assyrian king list. Thus there is an archaeologicalconnection that can help synchronize the Assyrian and Egyptiandates. Historically, Egyptian dates have been significantly higherthan the Assyrian. Hammurabi's reign once thought to be 1728-1686has been raised to 1792-1750 BC. Moreover, the newest Assyrianchronology is even lower, bringing Hammurabi down to 1696-1654BC [Gasche et al]. This choice to adjust Assyrian dates to meetthe Egyptian chronology is arbitrary. Instead I adopt my thirdassumption: that Assyrian dates are more reliable and are to beused to 'correct' the Egyptian dates.

In the Middle Bronze in Mesopotamia, the 1st Babylonian Dynastywith its famous king, Hammurabi arose. Astronomical records ofthe planet Venus in the reign of King Ammizadaga gave hope thatabsolute dates could be determined for the 1st Dynasty. Investigatorswere disappointed. The merits of the High, Middle and Low datesare still debated [see James, P. Appendix 4 for a readable summaryof the controversy]. The generally accepted dates of Hammurabiare High, 1856-1814; Middle 1792-1750; and Low 1728-1686. At Byblos,tombs showed that Hammurabi of the 1st Babylonian Dynasty wascontemporary with the latter part of the 12th Dynasty. This favoursthe High and Middle chronologies. The Assyrian king list showedthat Hammurabi was a contemporary of Assyrian King Shamsi-AdadI and this favoured the Low chronology. The Low chronology wasalso favoured by Mesopotamia cylinder seals of the 1st BabylonianDynasty that were found at Nuzi and Arrapha in 15th century strata[Smith, p. 16].

In the Middle Bronze, East met West at Alalakh in northernSyria. In Level VII, Woolley, the excavator of Alalakh, founda letter of King Yarim-Lim of Yamhad, a contemporary of Hammurabi,who appealed to an unknown pharaoh to come to his aid. Woolleyused the Low chronology to date his finds but soon encounteredproblems. Woolley noted that the latest time that Egypt had anypresence in north Syria was under Amenemhet III, who died 90 yearsearlier under the conventional Egyptian dates [Woolley, p. 389].Woolley resolved the issue by raising the dates 60 years to 1792- 1750 [Woolley, p. 389]. This did not accord even with his ownevidence. Nor did it resolve the problem of the Mesopotamia cylinderseals at Nuzi and Arrapha in 15th century strata or the Assyrianking list. Using the latest proposal for the Assyrian chronology[Gasche et al, 1998] would require a minimum 120-year adjustment.

Woolley also had difficulty aligning the post-Babylonian potteryin Levels VI and V at Alalakh. Specifically, polychrome and 'UnionJack' ware is found at Alalakh in Level VI, 50-100 yearslater than its counterpart in Hyksos strata in Palestine [p. 389].Furthermore, red on black ware, dated to the Middle Kingdom erashould have preceded Level VI altogether. Again, this suggesteda minimum 120-year adjustment of dates. Furthermore, the Tellel-Yehudiyah pottery that began late in the 12th Dynasty in Egypt(early 18th century), occurred in Syria 'everywhere in acontext later than 1600' [Schaeffer, p.25-27]. This wouldrequire a minimum178-year adjustment. If the down dating were191 years then the 12th Dynasty would end in 1591, the date ofthe Exodus according to my Biblically Inerrant Chronology [Montgomery].

Woolley made the archaeology conform to the Egyptian datesmeant adopting Middle dates for Hammurabi and Yarim-Lim. As canbe seen above, it does not work. The alternative is to conformto archaeology to Assyrian dates and adjust Egyptian chronology.Thus the Hyksos Dynasty is to be down dated by 75 years to accordwith the polychrome 'Union Jack' ware (1648-1541 to1573-1466 BC) and the Middle Kingdom 12th/13th Dynasties are tobe down dated by 191 years (1991-1648 to 1800-1457). This demandsa major overlapping of the 13th Dynasty with the Hyksos 15th Dynasty.Is this possible?

In the area regarded as that of the biblical Goshen, a stoneblock of bearing the name Hetepibre, a 13th Dynasty pharaoh, foundtogether with a stele of Sobeknefru, the last pharaoh of the 12thDynasty, was inscribed with the throne name 'Amu, son ofSaharnedjheryotef' [Habachi, L.]. To an Egyptian, an Amuname in a cartouche was a presumption that they would never tolerate.Egyptian literature shows they feared the Amu greatly and heldthem in great contempt. The fourth pharaoh of the dynasty, 'AmenemhetV, the Amu' was also an Amu. The Turin Royal Canon, the onlyking list of Egyptian pharaohs, says after the second king ofthe 13th Dynasty '-no king for 6 years.' This is theonly time in history where it is stated that no king reigned duringa dynasty. It is plain that at least some of the 13th Dynastypharaohs were Amu/Hyksos. The only explanation that really fitsthis evidence is that the conquest of Egypt by a Hyksos invasionbegan with the 13th Dynasty. It was only later, perhaps in a secondwave, that the Hyksos consolidated their power in Egypt at Avarisas the 15th Dynasty.

Exodus in the Twelfth Dynasty
Our new assumptions result in dating the Exodus at the endof the 12th Dynasty. This, however, is only a chronological juxtaposition.We must ask the question: does this make historical and archaeologicalsense. The 12th Dynasty was rich and powerful but the 13th Dynastyhad impoverished remains. This is one of the Exodus archaeologicalconditions we are seeking. The Turin Canon gives about 60 kingsfor the 13th Dynasty. Most of the reign lengths are missing butthe average for the dozen that are known is less than 7 years.Several pharaohs are known to have reigned months not years. Thisindicates great instability over a considerable period. This isanother condition we are seeking. The reason for drastic economicdecline and political instability is unknown according to Egyptologists.

Excavations in the Goshen region reveal occupation by largeSemitic populations in the Middle Kingdom. Excavations by Bietakat a site called Tell ed-Daba revealed that Egyptianized Semitesdwelt there during the 12th Dynasty at Level H [Bietak, 1996.p 9-10]. Bietak identified the site as Avaris the ancient Egyptiancapital of the Hyksos. Unlike Egyptians, these 12th Dynasty Semitesattached their graves to their homes in Middle Bronze Levantinefashion. Pictures and sculptures show these Semites with peculiarmushroom style hairstyle [Bietak, p. 19]. The same Semites alsolived in nearby Ezbet Rushdi in Level d/2. Rohl proposed thatthese Egyptianized Semites were Israelites [Rohl, 1995]. The13thDynasty began in Levels d/1 and G where a significant change inthe Semite population occurred. There were no longer any imagesof people with mushroom hairstyle. The new burial practices began.The Semitic graves now abounded in weaponry. Pairs of donkeyswere found buried at the entrances to the their graves. This kindof burial is paralleled only in southern Canaan, especially atTell el-Ajjul [Bietak p. 25]. Tell el-Ajjul is usually identifiedwith the Sharuhen which was the Hyksos centre of influence inPalestine during the Second Intermediate Period (SIP). Also, thepottery that had been imported from northern Canaan and the Levantwas replaced in Levels d/1 and G by Tell el-Yehudiyah ware andpottery from southern Canaan [Bietak p. 31].

I propose that these Semites are the Hyksos. Velikovsky identifiedthese Hyksos as Amalekites. The Israelites met the Amalekitesin Sinai. As the Israelites were proceeding towards the East,the Amalekites were proceeding West toward an Egypt that was economically,militarily and emotionally exhausted. The Exodus would explainwhy they have met little resistance to their invasion.

Manetho was an Egyptian historian of the Hellenistic Period.According to Josephus, he said of the Hyksos invasion, 'Therewas a king..whose name was Timaus. Under him it came to pass,I know not how, that God was averse to us, and there came, aftera surprising manner, men of ignoble birth (Hyksos)..and subduedour land by force, yet without hazarding a battle.' Aftera while, they gained control of the governors of Egypt, burnedthe cities, razed the temples, abused the inhabitants, sold manyinto slavery, left garrisons in key locations and put both Upperand Lower Egypt under tribute [Josephus, Against ApionI.14, p.610]. After a while one of them named Salitis establisheda fortress in the delta which he called Avaris. Salitis is namedby Josephus as the first Hyksos king. It may be that there weretwo waves of Hyksos and Salitis may have been in the first kingin the second wave. This could explain why the first wave of theHyksos attempted to rule from Memphis as 13th Dynasty pharaohsbut later found it more secure to rule from Avaris.

At Ezbet Rushdi a 'Mittelsaalhaus', a house witha central court, was discovered. This kind of architecture alsooccurred in Mesopotamia, in 17th century Mari. Also a statue ofan Asiatic with red hair and yellow skin was found. It also hada Mesopotamian parallel in 17th century Ebla [Bietak, p. 20].These dates are taken from Assyrian chronology and thus, accordingto the assumption used in this model, would override the 19thcentury Egyptian date. This date for the strata agrees with ournew model dating of the 12th Dynasty to the 17th century.

In summation, in the region of Goshen at the end of the 12thDynasty, lived a Semitic race who disappeared, like the Israelites,and were replaced in the 13th Dynasty by the Hyksos (Amalekites).At that time a prosperous and powerful 12th Dynasty became theweak and impoverished 13th Dynasty. Furthermore, Middle Bronzearchitecture and artifacts from Mesopotamia date the latter halfof the 12th Dynasty to the 17th century in agreement with ourassumptions. These conditions are those sought to correlate withthe Exodus. The question is does the 12th Dynasty correlate wellwith the Israelite Sojourn and does the Conquest of Canaan underJoshua correlate well with post 12th Dynasty stratigraphy in Canaan?

Twelfth Dynasty Sojourn

In the area of biblical Goshen the Israelites were buildingtwo store cities, Rameses and Pi-Thom. Archaeologists have identifiedRameses as Pi-Rameses in the district of Qantir. Bietak's excavationsshowed that it was occupied both in the Hyksos and Middle Kingdom.Tell Retabeh and Tell Maskhuta, the two candidates for Pi-Thomalso had Hyksos and Middle Kingdom layers. Thus the two biblicalcities of the Exodus are represented in the appropriate strata.

Was there a powerful Vizier in the 12th Dynasty who could havebeen Joseph? Courville identified Joseph as Vizier Mentuhotepunder Senusret I, the most powerful Vizier of the 12th Dynasty[Courville, 1977, Vol. 1, p.142]. His many impressive titles were:Vizier, Chief Judge, Overseer of the Double Granary, Chief Treasurer,Governor of the Royal Castle, Wearer of the Royal Seal, Chiefof all the Works of the King, Hereditary Prince, Pilot of thePeople, Giver of Good -Sustaining Alive the People, Count, SoleCompanion, Favourite of the King. Such titles were unprecedentedeither before or after this time. Particularly the epithet, 'SustainingAlive the People', brings some deed of national salvationto mind. Over 100 years later, in the reign of Senusret III, Mentuhotep'sfigure was defaced, so that his memory was dishonoured. Courvilleidentified Senusret III as the pharaoh of oppression. [Courville,1977, Vol. 1, p.149]

Sparks identified the Pharaoh of the Exodus as Amenemhet IV[Brad Sparks -personal communication]. He points out that of allthe pyramids and tombs of the 12th Dynasty pharaohs are accountedfor except those of Amenemhat IV and his sister Sobekhotep I.I would add that the death of Amenemhet IV is at exactly the rightdate in relation to the 7 years of Joseph's famine. Egypt's onlyking list, the Turin Canon, gives the 12th Dynasty 213 years.Sobeknofrure reigned the final 4 years, leaving 209 years at thedeath of Amenemhat IV. Adding 209 to 1591 BC yields 1800 BC forthe first year of the 12th Dynasty. Jacob entered Egypt 215 yearsbefore the Exodus, or 1806 BC. This was the 2nd year of 7 yearsof poor crops that began in 1807 or exactly the last 7 years ofthe 11th Dynasty. The Turin Canon does not name the pharaoh whoruled just before the beginning of the 12th Dynasty but statesinstead that there were '7 empty years' [Grimal, p.158]. The drought-ridden years were so bad that Egyptians refusedto include his name in the king list.

At age 40 Moses murdered an Egyptian to protect an Israeliteand fled to Midian for 40 years. Josephus records that sometimeafter the death of this pharaoh Moses asked his father-in-lawfor permission to return to Egypt [Antiquities of the Jews]. Thusthis pharaoh and his successor ruled at least 40 years. In thelatter part of the 12th Dynasty, Amenemhat III reigned 48 years.Moses could have been born under Senusret III, who ruled 38 years,fled to Midian under Amenemhat III and returned 40 years laterto confront Amenemhat IV.

The Middle Kingdom also provides historical documents thatrefer to the events of the Exodus. Velikovsky proposed that theEgyptians, having lost all their slaves and their capacity tofend off the invading Hyksos, recorded this disaster in the MiddleKingdom papyrus called 'Admonitions of Ipuwer'. Itsauthor complained of a lack of authority, justice and social orderas if the central authority no longer had the will or power tokeep control. He also complained about barbarians and foreignersas though the country had been invaded. He wrote, 'Nobodyis planting crops' because they were not sure what will happen.Their crops were devastated, 'Grain is perished on everyside.' The southernmost districts no longer paid taxes. TheNile strangely turned to blood so that 'If one drinks it,one rejects it as human (blood) and thirsts for water.' Thesimilarities to the plagues of the Exodus are obvious. Gardinerfollowed by most Egyptologists dated the events of Ipuwer to theFirst Intermediate Period. However, Wilson conceded that the languageand orthography belong to the Middle Kingdom [Wilson, 1969b, p.442]. Other scholars such as Van Seters, and Velikovsky have arguedfor a Second Intermediate Period date, i.e. the 13th Dynasty/Hyksosera [Van Seters, 1966, pp.103 120], [Velikovsky, 1952, pp. 48-50].If the latter opinion is correct it negates the criticism thatthe Egyptians failed to record the devastation wrought by theExodus.

The Conquest after the 12th Dynasty

What might the archaeology outside of Egypt say about an MBII Exodus? We have mentioned already that the Sinai and the Negevwere uninhabited during the MBII and this explains why, apartfrom the Amalekites, the Israelites met no one in their wanderingsfor 40 years. What happened after their arrival in the PromisedLand and their battles with the Canaanites? According to Kenyon'During MB IIB the towns in Palestine show great developmentand all the evidence of an eventful history. Each town excavatedwas rebuilt several times within the period and each sufferedseveral destructions.' [Kenyon, 1960, p. 173]. Finkelsteinsays, 'The entire country flourished in MB IIB. In contrastto earlier periods of prosperity, however, an unprecedented numberof settlers inundated the central hill country as well. Hundredsof sites of every size were founded throughout the region..'[Finkelstein,p. 339] Again, he states, 'The wave of settlement crestedin the MB IIB' [Finkelstein, p. 340]. The MB IIB providesexactly the archaeology required for the Conquest by Joshua.

Dating Jericho

It would be an appropriate test of our new MBII B Conquestmodel to apply our chronology to the archaeological remains atJericho. Several artifacts and pottery can provide independentdates. Do these dates agree with a Conquest date of 1551 BC? After40 years in the Sinai, the Israelites under Joshua captured Jerichoand burned it completely. Afterwards Jericho was cursed and deserted.The mound of Jericho is located in the Jordan Valley at Tell es-Sultan.In 1908, Watzinger and Sellin, excavated it and found a MB walledcity and glacis. At the Late Bronze level, they found no walledcity at Jericho. Garstang continued the excavation and claimedhe had found an LB walled city that had been burned that he coulddate to 1400 BC. When Kenyon resumed the excavation she discoveredthat Garstang's walls were not LB but EB, circa 2000 BC not 1400BC. However, both EB and MB Jericho had been walled and burnedto the ground. She also discovered that, '..there is a completegap (in the occupation of Jericho) both on the tell and in thetombs between 1580 and 1400.' [Kenyon, 1960, p. 198]

Kenyon's discovered other interesting facts about the MB Jericho.The MB upper walls of Jericho, which were situated on top of theEarly Bronze walls, toppled outward (almost unique in archaeologicalsites). The fallen bricks provided the attackers with a convenientramp to enter the city. In its rubble, charred wheat in jars wasfound in unusual quantities six bushels. Grain, normally, wouldbe carried off as booty rather than being left to burn in theconflagration. Wood concluded that only the MB Level IV at Jerichomeets uniquely the requirements for Joshua's Jericho. [Wood, 1990].

Wood attempted recently to redate the fall of this city to1400 from its pottery evidence [Wood, 1990]. His attempt has beenrejected by several archaeologists [Bienkowski, 1990; Halpern,1987]. The case against the redating was stated by Bartlett thus;'The explanation is not simply that Jericho was a backwaterin the Jordan valley which bichrome ware .. failed to reach,for that leaves its failure to reach Tell Beit Mirsim unexplainedand, in any case, it is not just bichrome ware but a whole rangeof pottery of that period that is missing from Jericho.'[Bartlett, p. 96]. The date of the conflagration of Jericho IVmust precede the date of bichrome ware by circa 150 years. Wood'sattempt to redate Level IV does not seem to have succeeded.

Scarabs and Radiocarbon dates

At Jericho a scarab of Sheshi of was found in the Hyksos Groupv tombs. At Tell el-Ajjul a scarab of Maibre Sheshi was foundthe foundation deposits of the construction of Tell el-Ajjul LevelII dated to about 1650 BC. Kempinski concluded that the Groupv scarab and the destruction of Jericho ought to be dated to thelate 17th century [Kempinski]. Bienkowski agreed with Kempinskidating the end of the Jericho Level IV to 1600 BC. Applying ournew assumptions we calculate a 75-year downward revision of theHyksos pottery and scarabs that results in a new model date of1525 BC. (Note also that the revised date of the Hyksos is 1573-1465). Group iii tombs contained scarabs of the 13th Dynastyincluding one from Sobekhotep V dated to about 1725 BC, but thisis an estimate as many reign lengths of the 13th Dynasty are unknown.Applying our new dating assumption we subtract 191 to arrive at1534 BC. This compares with 1551 BC, the biblical date accordingto our new assumptions.

Radiocarbon dating has also entered the debate over the dateof the destruction of Jericho Level IV. Wood cited a late 15thcentury radiocarbon date for BM-1790. The British Museum laterrevised a series of radiocarbon dates that included the sampleBM-1790 [Weinstein, p.101, n.28]. The revised calibrated datewas the mid-16th century BC. Newer results agree to this datealso. Bruins and Vander Plicht recently published radiocarbondata on charred grain from Jericho IV [Bruins & Vander Plicht,1996, p. 213]. Short-lived materials from Akrotiri (Santorini)averaged 3356±18 uncalibrated years BP while those derivedfrom cereals gathered at Jericho averaged 3311±13 BP. Theynoted 'These averages taken together yield 3356±18,45 years older than our 14C destruction date for MB IIC Jericho.This time difference is rather striking as it could fit the desertperiod of 40 years separating the Exodus from the destructionof Jericho, mentioned in ancient Hebrew texts.' Because ofthe 'wiggle' in the mid-16th century, the calibratedresults are ambiguous. Using the lower calibration dates resultsin a composite interval of 1551-1535 BC for the Jericho grain.

After Joshua defeated Jabin, Canaanite King of Hazor, he burnedHazor and hamstrung its horses [Joshua 11:10]. Was MB Hazor burnedat the same time as MB Jericho? Concerning Hazor, Kenyon states,'The remains of the final Middle Bronze Age buildings werecovered with a thick layer of burning. A comparison of the potterysuggests that this was contemporary with the destruction of MiddleBronze Age Jericho.' [Kenyon, 1973, p. 100]. In the MB levelat Hazor, a tablet in Old Babylonian was found. It was a letteraddressed to King Ibni-Addu or Jabin Adad in Hebrew and datedto the time of the kingdom of Mari (17th century in Assyrian chronology).This is the same date placed on some of the archaeological findsat Tell el-Daba.

The ceramic date 1525 BC and the scarab dates 1525 and 1534BC are dependent on Assyrian chronology; 1551 BC is dependenton the biblical chronology and the radiocarbon dates 1551-1535are independent of both. Furthermore, a Babylonian cylinder sealof the era of Hammurabi - here dated by Gasche's chronology tothe mid-17th century - found in a Group ii tomb fits well intothe above dates [Rohl, 1995, p. 309]. Thus, there is a remarkablyclose agreement from 3 independent chronological witnesses thatJericho Level IV was destroyed in the middle of the 15th centuryBC and pottery from Hazor also agrees that it was burned at thesame time. It would be very difficult to argue that all this agreementis just coincidental.

To the previous evidence identifying the Exodus of the Israelitesin Goshen at the end of the 12th Dynasty, and an empty Sinai andwilderness, we can further add a walled city at Jericho and Hazor(the largest tell in Palestine in any Bronze) that was burnedand then deserted. In addition, we know that in the Middle Bronzethere was at least one Canaanite king of Hazor with the name Jabin.Furthermore, we can say that there was a major increase in settlementin Canaan in the MB IIB as well as several destructions at manysites as one would expect in the Judges era. Lastly, there isno sign of any Egyptian military power at this time in agreementwith the texts of the Judges. Thus all the archaeological conditionsneeded to meet the requirements for the Exodus have been foundin the Middle Bronze IIB. The four assumptions of biblical MBExodus model are:

1. The Exodus is a real historical event;
2. The Exodus is in the Middle Bronze IIB;
3. A biblical chronology that puts the Exodus near 1600 BC; and
4. Egyptian chronology modified by Gasche's new Assyrian chronology so that the Middle Kingdom advances 191 years and the Hyksos 75 years.

These assumptions then produce a Biblically compatible archaeologicalmodel of the Exodus.
.
Redating the Late Bronze

The most significant challenge to the biblical Exodus Modeldescribed above is the chronological gap at Jericho. What is tobe done with Jericho's Late Bronze occupation? According to theBible Joshua cursed Jericho so that anyone who rebuilt its wallsand gates would suffer the loss of his oldest and youngest sons[Joshua 6:26]. In the days of King Ahab, Hiel the Bethelite rebuiltthe walls and the gate of Jericho at the cost of his eldest andyoungest sons [I Kings 16:34]. In the Biblically Inerrant Chronology(henceforth BIC) the fall of Jericho was in 1551 BIC and the beginningof the reign of Ahab was 929 BIC or 622 years [Montgomery, 1998].According to conventional chronology Jericho's LB strata beganat 1400 BC leaving a gap of 151 years. The down dating of theLibyan Dynasty accounts for 73 years but that still leaves anadditional 400 years. Either the biblical or the conventionalLate Bronze dates are wrong.

Archaeology relies heavily on pottery dating. The present Egyptianchronology is responsible for giving dates to most of the potteryof the Middle East during the biblical era. The current dateswere largely determined at the turn of the century. At that timePetrie discovered Mycenaean pottery in 18th and 19th Dynasty tombs[Petrie]. This allowed absolute Egyptian dates to be applied tothis pottery. It is important to understand that these dates causeda serious controversy [Torr, 1896]. Torr, a Greek archaeologist,pointed out that Petrie had raised their dates for Mycenaean potteryby 400 years. Before this, they had dated the pottery of the LateMycenaean period circa 1200-800 BC to allow continuity and evenoverlap with the Geometric period. Petrie's pushed back the datesfrom 1200-800 to 1600-1200 BC. This caused a 'Dark Age'to appear in Greek archaeology between 1200 and 800 where therewas little or no history, architecture, art or weaponry. Furthermore,the dates of the Greek pottery were then transmitted to othercontemporary pottery types. Thus all over the Mediterranean the'Dark Age' spread everywhere that Greek Mycenaean potteryand its cognates appeared [James, 1993, p.16]. Egyptiandates prevailed but the problems created have never been resolved.

The problem between biblical dates and conventional Late Bronzedates is now seen to be with the latter. A 400-year down datingwill fully realign the stratigraphy of Israel so that the chronologyof the strata and the biblical dates are synchronized. This adjustmentof the Exodus model to include the Late Bronze archaeology willbe called the Biblical Stratigraphic Model (BSM).

Velikovsky's Revision

It is now opportune to point out that the down dating of theLate Bronze by 475 years is exactly the Velikovsky scheme [Velikovsky,1952, 1977, 1978]. Velikovsky was convinced that because of theproximity of Egypt and Israel there ought to be a mutual recordof their historical encounters. The poor record of their sharedevents convinced him that there was something wrong. 'Itis strange that there is no real link between the histories ofEgypt and Israel for a period of many hundreds of years'[p. 4]. For example, during the reign of Solomon, during the weak21st Dynasty, a pharaoh captures Gezer as a dowry for Solomon'snew Egyptian wife. There is no Egyptian record of a royal marriageto any foreign king or any conquest of Gezer in the 21st Dynasty.

Velikovsky, having aligned the Middle Kingdom with the Sojournand Exodus of the Israelites, then moved down the time corridorand matched the Hyksos with Joshua and the Judges, the reign ofAhmose I (18th Dynasty) to King Saul and the reigns of AmenhotepI and Thutmose I to King David. Hatshupset's visit to Punt wasidentified with the Queen of Sheba's visit to King Solomon. Then,in the reign of Rehoboam, in his 5th year, Pharaoh Shishak invadedIsraelite, captured Megiddo and looted the Holy City, Jerusalem.

Velikovsky credited this invasion to Thutmose III who had thetribute taken from his invasion of Palestine's Kadesh (Holy City)pictured on the various walls of Karnak near Thebes. Conventionally,this city is thought to be a Canaanite Holy City in Phoeniciaor even Syria. But when any of these temples had such wealth isenigmatic. The lack of any image or mention of any Canaanite,Philistine or Syro-Hittite god leaves no doubt that the templeof was none of these. Velikovsky favourably compared these itemsin number and metal composition to those described in the Bible,as belonging to Solomon's Temple. One must admit that the treasurebelonged to the Israelites who were the only nation forbiddento make images of their God.

One hundred years later, came the famous el-Amarna letterspreviously mentioned. These fall into the late Omride or Jehuera. Velikovsky analysis of this era may be flawed but there isdefinitely a correlation. In both the Amarna letters and in thebiblical text the Arameans are a significant military force inthe region and the kings of the Hittites and Egyptians are themajor players [2 Kings 7:6]. Furthermore, there are Hebrew idiomsin the Amarna letters that would appear to deny that they werewritten prior to the Israelite conquest.

Velikovsky has the 18th Dynasty succeeded by the Libyan 22ndDynasty. The first Libyan pharaoh, Sheshonq I, is no longer thescriptural Shishak but reigned just before Israel's recovery fromthe Arameans. After this point Egyptian/ Israelite chronologiescan be synchronized within narrow limits. The scheme is completedby showing the 19th and the 26th Dynasties are the same as wellas the 20th and 30th Dynasties. The 21st Dynasty is a series ofpriest-princes operating in the Persian period [Velikovsky, 1952,1977 1978]. Thus the histories of the contact of the two nationsare harmonized. The new MBII Exodus archaeological model thenagrees with Velikovsky's Bible history harmony.

Thus, having set the Exodus/Conquest in MBIIB, the archaeologicalevidences and biblical dates at Jericho demanded that we makean additional 400-year (475 in total) adjustment to the Late BronzeAge so that we could synchronize the archaeology with biblicalhistory. This down dates the beginning of the reign of AmenhotepIII from 1400 BC to 925 BC in the reign of Ahab, similar to Velikovsky'sscheme. No use was made of Velikovsky Egyptian evidences nor didVelikovsky make use of any of the assumptions or analyses above.Thus there are two independent lines of evidence that arrive atthe same conclusion: that the extensive archaeological evidenceof an MB IIB Exodus combined with the biblical history and archaeologyof Jericho yields the exact same 475-year down dating of the LateBronze that Velikovsky proposed and supported by evidence fromEgyptology.

Mason city best hookup app for iphone. New Biblical Stratigraphic Model for Israel

If the Late Bronze Age is down dated by 4-5 centuries from1550-1200 BC to 1075-825 BC then where do we put the strata alreadydated to those years? James has shown, as already mentioned, allover the Mediterranean there is a stratigraphic 'Dark Age'between 1200-800 BC created by Petrie's Egyptian dates for Mycenaeanpottery at the protest of the Greek archaeologists like Torr.Torr, although he lost the debate, was actually right in opposingPetrie's redating. The down dating of the Late Bronze 4-5 centuriesthen returns stratigraphy to the dates that Greek archaeologistsgave or would have given the strata were it not for Petrie's erroneousredating of Mycenaean ware. To accommodate the Greek archaeologywe redate the Late Bronze 1075-825 BC. The first stratigraphicbenefit of the BSM is to fill the chronological gap between theLate Bronze and Iron Age in Anatolia, Greece, Sicily, North Africa,Spain and related areas. If the Late Bronze is down dated by 4-5centuries but the Hyksos dates are advanced only 75 years whathappens to the 1480-1075 era. To keep stratigraphic continuityanother 400 years must be added to the length of the 13th/Hyksosera or SIP so that it dates are 1591-1075. The SIP now parallelsthe era of the Judges. The dates of the new BSM are illustratedin Table 3

Table 3 - Dates for the new Biblical StratigraphicModel

Archaeological eraEgyptian DynastiesAccepted DatesBSM Dates Israelite History
Middle Bronze IIa 12th 2000-1750 1800-1600 Sojourn/Exodus
Middle Bronze IIb/c 13th /17th 1750-1550 1600-1075 Conquest/Judges
Late Bronze I 18th 1550-1400 1075- 925 United Kingdom
Late Bronze II 18th 1400-1330 925- 825 Divided Kingdom

The BSM resolves three problems exposed by the Specific SiteTest. First, the BSM has by design answered the problem of theLate Bronze at Jericho. Second, it confirms that the Middle Bronzestrata, Temple 1b and its Middle Bronze IIC pottery at Shechemextend to the era of Abimelech and the Temple of Baal Berith,1152 BIC, as required by the Revision model. Abimelech's Shechemlay abandoned and under the new BSM, the abandonment belongs tothe last century of the SIP era circa 1150-1080 BIC. Shiloh wasalso functioning as a cult center 600 years after the Exodus,not only in Saul's day but also to Jeroboam I, circa 980 BIC.This date is an Iron I date. Under the BSM it can be seen thatthe destruction level in Shiloh is at least 500 years after theMBIIB initial occupation in agreement with biblical text. Furthermore,the final destruction of Shiloh would appear to be the resultof Aramean attack, circa 870 BIC rather than a Philistine one.Thus in the tests of specific sites above, all three points lostby the Revision for being a good fit rather than excellent areregained. The BSM provides an excellent fit to the biblical textat all tested sites.

The BSM also provides an explanation of the lack of Late Bronzesites in the hill country of Judah and Israel. As previously mentionedFinkelstein's analysis put all Conquest models in doubt becauseit appeared that either there were no Canaanites living in thehill country during the Conquest (LB Exodus) or that the Israelitesabandoned the hill country after the Conquest (MB II Exodus).Now it can be seen that the Middle Bronze period extends downinto the 12th/ 11th century when the collar-rimmed storage jarsare found. Thus there is no gap and Iron I strata sits directlyover MB II strata because Iron I directly follows MB II in thehill country. This denies the final substantive criticism of thehistorical Exodus and Conquest by archaeology.

In the Middle Bronze II period, the store cities, Ramessesand Pithom are being built. The Semitic people of the Nile deltadisappear during the 12th Dynasty and are replaced. The nationplunged into poverty and instability. The Sinai had no kingdoms,tribal or otherwise. The cities of Joshua's with a few exceptionswere present. The land was prosperous and filled with walled cities.There was a population explosion. Jericho and Hazor were heavilyburned. In conclusion, the Middle Bronze II period provides allthe archaeological requirements to correlate to the historicalbiblical model.


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