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The consensus of modern archaeologists is that the Israelites were indigenous to Canaan and were never in Egypt, and if there is any historical basis to the exodus it can apply only to a small segment of the Israelites.
Yet there are indications that some historical basis underlies the story: the name of Moses is Egyptian, for example, and many scholars have found it improbable that a humiliating tradition of slavery would simply be invented. Giving the Sense: Understanding and Using Old Testament Historical Texts.
The story of the Exodus is told in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, the last four of the five books of the Torah (also called the Pentateuch).
It tells of the events that befell the Israelites following the death of Joseph, their departure from Egypt, and their wanderings in the wilderness, including the revelations at Sinai, up to their arrival at the borders of Canaan.
It is difficult to reconcile the idea of 600,000 Israelite fighting men with the information that the Israelites were afraid of the Philistines and Egyptians. Israel's Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective: Text, Archaeology, Culture, and Geoscience.
and no evidence has been found that Egypt ever suffered the demographic and economic catastrophe such a loss of population would represent, nor that the Sinai desert ever hosted (or could have hosted) these millions of people and their herds.
The number seven was sacred to Yahweh in Judaism, and so the Israelites arrive at the Sinai Peninsula, where they will meet Yahweh, at the beginning of the seventh week after their departure from Egypt, while the erection of the Tabernacle, Yahweh's dwelling-place among his people, occurs in the year 2666 after Yahweh creates the world, two-thirds of the way through a four thousand year era which culminates in or around the re-dedication of the Second Temple in 164 BCE.
1 Kings 6:1 places the event 480 years before the construction of Solomon's Temple, implying an Exodus at c.
A few of the names at the start of the itinerary, including Ra'amses, Pithom and Succoth, are reasonably well identified with archaeological sites on the eastern edge of the Nile Delta, as is Kadesh-Barnea, where the Israelites spend 38 years after turning back from Canaan; other than these, very little is certain.
Moses leads them out of Egypt and through the wilderness to Mount Sinai, where Yahweh reveals himself and offers them a Covenant: they are to keep his torah (i.e. Verbrugghe, Gerald P.; Wickersham, John Moore (2001).
law, instruction), and in return he will be their god and give them the land of Canaan. Berossos and Manetho, Introduced and Translated: Native Traditions in Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt.
Despite the Exodus story, a majority of scholars do not believe that the Passover festival originated as described in the biblical story.
The first of these, Persian Imperial authorisation, advanced by Peter Frei in 1985, holds that the Persian authorities required the Jews of Jerusalem to present a single body of law as the price of local autonomy.
So while a few scholars, notably Kenneth Kitchen and James K.