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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Was There Really an Exodus?

exodusAll sorts of new theories abound claiming that there is no evidence of a Biblical Exodus where the Israelites were slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years and then came out, led by Moses, heading for their ancestral home, Israel. You know, the story made popular by Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 “The Ten Commandments” movie with 15,000 people and 12,000 animals involved….

Israeli archaeologists are split on the issue. NotRamses-2 enough material remains seem to exist from over 3,000 years ago. Not that the Israelites were building houses in the wilderness. The archaeological record does not suggest that huge numbers of newcomers flooded the land of Israel during that era. But that doesn’t always tell the whole story. I mean, if I dig in my backyard and find no remains of native Americans, that doesn’t mean that they did not exist….

Many myths abound on both sides of the fence. Most identify Ramses II as the Pharaoh who refused Moses’ pleas to “Let my people go”. The fact that he had a son, Amun-her-khepsef, who died early in life is too much for some to handle. ramses4_02His tomb has been located, with skeletal remains inside of several men, one of whom suffered a fracture to his skull as though inflicted with a mace. Naturally, some claim that this must be Amun-her-khepsef, thereby nullifying the Exodus account of a Biblical plague killing all first-born. The fact is, there is only a one-in-four chance that this is the first-born son, if one of the four would even be him.

Then it so happens that, in mid-life, Ramses II, suddenly gave up all war conquests. Once a fierce military man, Ramses seemingly overnight does not go out to war anymore. There is no record answering the question why. Could his army of 20,000 have been swallowed up in a watery grave? Surely it was possible to raise another army if that was the case, yet the Pharaoh didn’t seem to have the will to fight any longer.

Plus, there were no slaves to build his store cities any longer. The Israelites were about 1,000 or 1,500 deir_el_medinayears too late to have built the pyramids for the Egyptians, but they did build the store cities of Pithom and Pi-ramses. Located in Goshen, the area earmarked for the Israelites, and situated where the Nile flows into the Mediterranean, these storage centers for food and war material were paramount when the Egyptian army was on the move. Once the Israelites left the land of Egypt, Ramses lacked slave labor to support his military operations and turned his attention to tomb-building. He set up areas such as Deir el Medina, the “City of Workers” to house not slaves, but paid workers for his new, peacetime building projects.

Passover_jpgFor thousands of years, the Israelites have celebrated a history of deliverance from bondage. As we say at the end of the seder, “Once we were slaves, but now we are free.” God promised a specific land to these specific people, as well, during this same Exodus episode (Exodus 6:6-8 ). Yet, if the Exodus never happened, any claims to a land given by Divine decree would be null and void.

The blood of a lamb was applied to the lintel and doorposts and every family covered by the blood was protected from the final plague. This is where the belief in a Messiah, the Lamb of God, converges as Scripture records that Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

And He celebrated the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread (matzah).

But then, if there was no Exodus, none of that makes much sense. None of it holds much significance, which may be the point of trying to discredit the whole thing. Reviews of Egyptian history seem to indicate: the Exodus was a real event.

Happy holidays, everyone!  Be well, be safe, be blessed.

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