Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition
Scholars of the Hebrew Bible have in the last decade begun toquestion the historical accuracy of the Israelite sojourn in Egypt,as described in the book of Exodus. The reason for the rejection ofthe exodus tradition is said to be the lack of historical andarchaeological evidence in Egypt. Those advancing these claims,however, are not specialists in the study of Egyptian history,culture, and archaeology. In this pioneering book, author JamesHoffmeier examines the most current Egyptological evidence andargues that it supports the biblical record concerning Israel inEgypt.Hoffmeier begins his study with a methodological critique of the"minimalist" position and examines the biblical traditionsthemselves, with special attention to source-critical issues. Hethen considers the evidence from recent excavations in the NileDelta which reveal the presence of a large Semitic populationduring the period 1650-1525 B.C. and argues that the Hebrews couldhave been one distinct ethnic group among these expatriates.Drawing on extra-biblical texts, inscriptions, artifacts, andrecent infrared satellite photographs, Hoffmeier provides aconvincing reconstruction of the Israelite sojourn. He defends theplausibility of the Joseph story and discusses the role of Moses inhistory. Finally, he traces the probable route of the Exodusitself.