- The Exodus
The Exodus (Greek ἔξοδος, Hebrew: יציאת מצרים, Modern Yetsi'at Mitzrayim Tiberian [jəsʕijaθ misʕɾajim] Y'ṣiʾath Miṣrayim ; "the exit from Egypt") is the story of the departure of the Israelites from ancient Egypt described in the Hebrew Bible. Narrowly defined, the term refers only to the departure from Egypt described in the Book of Exodus; more widely, it takes in the subsequent law-givings and wanderings in the wilderness between Egypt and Canaan described in the books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
The extant narrative is a product of the late exilic or the post-exilic period (6th to 5th centuries BC), but the core of the narrative is older, being reflected in the 8th to 7th century BC Deuteronomist documents. A minority of scholars assumes that the Iron Age narrative has yet older sources that can be traced to a genuine tradition of the Bronze Age collapse of the 13th century BC.
The Book of Exodus tells how Moses leads the Israelites out of Egypt and through the wilderness to Mount Sinai, where God reveals himself and offers them a Covenant: they are to keep his torah (i.e. law, instruction), and in return he will be their God and give them the land of Canaan. The Book of Leviticus records the laws of God. The Book of Numbers tells how the Israelites, led now by their God, journey onwards from Sinai towards Canaan, but when their spies report that the land is filled with giants they refuse to go on. God then condemns them to remain in the desert until the generation that left Egypt passes away. After thirty-eight years at the oasis of Kadesh Barnea the next generation travel on to the borders of Canaan. The Book of Deuteronomy tells how, within sight of the Promised Land, Moses recalls their journeys and gives them new laws. His death (the last reported event of the Torah) concludes the 40 years of the exodus from Egypt.
Origins of the Exodus story
While the story in the books of Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy is the best-known account of the Exodus, there are over a hundred and fifty references scattered through the Bible, and the only significant body of work that does not mention it is the Wisdom literature. The earliest mentions are in the prophets Amos (possibly) and Hosea (certainly), both active in 8th century Israel; in contrast Proto-Isaiah and Micah, both active in Judah at much the same time, never do; it thus seems reasonable to conclude that the Exodus tradition was important in the northern kingdom in the 8th century, but not in Judah. In a recent work, Stephen C. Russell traces the 8th century prophetic tradition to three originally separate variants, in the northern kingdom of Israel, in Trans-Jordan, and in the southern kingdom of Judah. Russell proposes different hypothetical historical backgrounds to each tradition: the tradition from Israel, which involves a journey from Egypt to the region of Bethel, he suggests a memory of herders who could move to and from Egypt in times of crisis; for the Trans-Jordanian tradition, which focuses on deliverance from Egypt without a journey, he suggests a memory of the withdrawal of Egyptian control at the end of the Late Bronze Age; and for Judah, where the tradition is preserved in the Song of the Sea, he suggests the celebration of a military victory over Egypt, although it is impossible to suggest what this victory may have been.
The exodus from Egypt is the theme of the Jewish holiday of Passover ("pesaḥ"); the term continues to be used in the Passover Hagadah. At the beginning of the Exodus narrative the Israelites are instructed to prepare unleavened bread as they will be leaving in haste, and to mark their doors with blood of the slaughtered sheep so that the "Angel" or "the destroyer" will "pass over" them while killing the first-born of Egypt. The Hebrew name for the festival, "Pesaḥ", refers to the "skipping over", "jumping over" or "passing over" by God over the Jewish houses while killing the first born of Egypt. (Despite the biblical story, scholars believe that the passover festival originated in a magic ritual to turn away demons from the household by painting the doorframe with the blood of a slaughtered sheep.)
Jewish tradition has preserved national and personal reminders of this pivotal narrative into daily life. Examples of such reminders include the wearing of 'tefilin' (phylacteries) on the hand and forehead, which some Jews practice daily; the wearing of 'tzitzit' (knotted ritual fringes attached to the four corners of the prayer shawl); the eating of 'matzot' (unleavened bread) during the Pesach (Passover) holiday; the fasting of the firstborn a day before Pesach; the redemption of firstborn children and animals; and even the observance of the Sabbath.
Composition of the Torah exodus narrative
There are currently a number of competing theories on the composition of the Exodus story contained in the four books Exodus-Leviticus-Numbers-Deuteronomy. They are conventionally divided into three "models", meaning that there are three possible ways in which the books could have been composed.
The documentary model proposes that the four books (actually five - the models include Genesis) were originally four separate documents, treating the same subject (i.e. the Exodus) written at various times and combined by a series of "redactors", or editors, the last in about 450 BC. The "supplementary model" holds that that there was a single original document which was then expanded by "supplements", again with the end product emerging around 450 BC. The "fragmentary" model proposes that the four books were combined by a single author from a host of "fragments", meaning small texts as well as oral traditions (sagas and folk-tales), again c.450 BC.
The documentary model is associated today with Julius Wellhausen, a German bible-scholar of the 19th century. His hypothesis (often called simply "the documentary hypothesis") holds that the five books are a combination of four originally independent sources, called the Yahwist, the Elohist, the Priestly source, and the Deuteronomist. His theory dominated biblical scholarship for much of the 20th century and was only cast into serious doubt by a series of books which appeared in the 1970s. An influential hypothesis within the "supplementary" model was advanced by John Van Seters in the 1970s—Van Seters proposed that an author he calls the Jahwist wrote the base-story in the 6th century, and that this was later expanded by others, notably the Priestly school of writers—but what Van Seters means by "Jahwist" is very different to what the classical documentary hypothesis means. His work was influential, but scholars today tend to adopt a "fragmentary model" approach.
The most recent ideas on the origin of the five books place Deuteronomy in the late 7th century with a revised version in the 6th, and the other four books in the Persian period of the 5th century. It is generally agreed that the Exodus tradition behind the five books predates the narrative as told in Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy (since it also appears in the 8th century prophets), but there is no consensus on just what might lie behind the tradition.
According to biblical scholar Carol A. Redmount, the Bible's exodus story is best seen as theology told in the form of history, illustrating how the God of Israel acted to save and strengthen his chosen people, the Israelites, and it is therefore inappropriate to approach miraculous events such as the burning bush and the plagues of Egypt as history. Nevertheless, the discussion of a possible historical nucleus of the narrative has a long history, and continues to attract attention.
The following section discusses some of the more popular aspects of the Exodus story.
Numbers and logistics
According to Exodus 12:37-38 NIV, the Israelites numbered "about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children," plus many non-Israelites and livestock. Numbers 1:46 gives a more precise total of 603,550. The 600,000, plus wives, children, the elderly, and the "mixed multitude" of non-Israelites would have numbered some 2 million people, compared with an entire estimated Egyptian population of around 3 million. Marching ten abreast, and without accounting for livestock, they would have formed a line 150 miles long. No evidence has been found that indicates Egypt ever suffered such a demographic and economic catastrophe or that the Sinai desert ever hosted (or could have hosted) these millions of people and their herds, nor of a massive population increase in Canaan, which is estimated to have had a population of only 50,000 to 100,000 at the time. Some scholars have interpreted these numbers as a mistranslation—reading the Hebrew word eleph as "600 families" rather than 600,000 men, reduces the Hebrew population involved to roughly 20,000 individuals,—but the view of mainstream modern biblical scholarship is that the Exodus story was written not as history, but to demonstrate God's purpose and deeds with his Chosen People, Israel; the essentially theological motivation of the story explains the improbability of the scenario described above. It has also been suggested that the 603,550 people delivered from Egypt (according to Numbers 1:46) is not simply a number, but contains a secret message, a gematria for bene yisra'el kol ros, "the children of Israel, every individual;" while the number 600,000 symbolises the total destruction of the generation of Israel which left Egypt, none of whom lived to see the Promised Land.
The archaeological evidence of the largely indigenous origins of Israel is "overwhelming," and leaves "no room for an Exodus from Egypt or a 40-year pilgrimage through the Sinai wilderness." For this reason, most archaeologists have abandoned the archaeological investigation of Moses and the Exodus as "a fruitless pursuit." A century of research by archaeologists and Egyptologists has found no evidence which can be directly related to the Exodus narrative of an Egyptian captivity and the escape and travels through the wilderness, and it has become increasingly clear that Iron Age Israel - the kingdoms of Judah and Israel - has its origins in Canaan, not Egypt: the culture of the earliest Israelite settlements is Canaanite, their cult-objects are those of the Canaanite god El, the pottery remains in the local Canaanite tradition, and the alphabet used is early Canaanite. Almost the sole marker distinguishing the "Israelite" villages from Canaanite sites is an absence of pig bones, although whether this can be taken as an ethnic marker or is due to other factors remains a matter of dispute.
Several details also point to a 1st millenium date for the Book of Exodus: Ezion-Geber, (one of the Stations of the Exodus), for example, dates to a period between the 8th and 6th centuries BC with possible further occupation into the 4th century BC, while the place-names on the Exodus route which have been identified - Goshen, Pithom, Succoth, Ramesses and Kadesh Barnea - point to the geography of the 1st millennium rather than the 2nd. Similarly, Pharaoh's fear that the Israelites might ally themselves with foreign invaders seems unlikely in the context of the late 2nd millenium, when Canaan was part of an Egyptian empire and Egypt faced no enemies in that direction, but does make sense in a 1st millennium context, when Egypt was considerably weaker and faced invasion first from the Persians and later from Seleucid Syria.
The chronology of the Exodus story likewise underlines its essentially religious rather than historical nature. The number seven, for example, was sacred to God in Judaism, and so the Israelites arrive at Sinai, where they will meet God, at the beginning of the seventh week after their departure from Egypt, while the erection of the Tabernacle, God's dwelling-place among his people, occurs in the year 2666 after God creates the world, two-thirds of the way through a four thousand year era which culminates in or around 164 BC, the year of the rededication of the Second Temple.
The Torah lists the places where the Israelites rested. 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, but other than that very little is certain. The crossing of the Red Sea has been variously placed at the Pelusic branch of the Nile, anywhere along the network of Bitter Lakes and smaller canals that formed a barrier toward eastward escape, the Gulf of Suez (SSE of Succoth) and the Gulf of Aqaba (S of Ezion-Geber), or even on a lagoon on the Mediterranean coast. The biblical Mt. Sinai is identified in Christian tradition with Jebel Musa in the south of the Sinai Peninsula, but this association dates only from the 3rd century AD and no evidence of the Exodus has been found there.
The most obvious routes for travelers through the region were the royal roads, the "king's highways" that had been in use for centuries and would continue in use for centuries to come. The Bible specifically denies that the Israelites went by the Way of the Philistines a northerly yet coastal route along the Mediterranean (the purple line on the map to the right indicates the Way of Shur which goes inland towards Shur, Asshur or Syria). The Arabian Trade Route (green) and the Way of Seir (black) are improbable routes, the former having the advantage of heading initially toward Kadesh-Barnea but swinging east towards Petra north of Aqaba/Eilat.
In the first half of the 20th century the Exodus was dated on the basis of 1 Kings 6:1, which states that the Exodus occurred 480 years before the construction of Solomon's Temple, the fourth year of Solomon's reign. Equating the biblical chronology with dates in history is notoriously difficult, but Edwin Thiele's widely accepted reconciliation of the reigns of the Israelite and Judahite kings would imply an Exodus around 1450 BC, during the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III (1479-1425 BC). By the mid-20th century it had become apparent that the archaeological record made this date impossible. The mummy of Thutmoses III had already been discovered in 1881, and Egyptian records of that period do not mention the expulsion of any group that could be identified with over two million Hebrew slaves, nor any events which could be identified with the Biblical plagues. In addition, digs in the 1930s had failed to find traces of the simultaneous destruction of Canaanite cities c.1400 BC—in fact many of them, including Jericho, the first Canaanite city to fall to the Israelites according to the Book of Joshua, were uninhabited at the time.
The lack of evidence led William F. Albright, the leading biblical archaeologist of the period, to propose an alternative, "late" Exodus around 1200-1250 BC. His argument was based on the many strands of evidence, including the destruction at Beitel (Bethel) and some other cities at around that period, and the occurrence from the same period of distinctive house-types and a distinctive round-collared jar which, in his opinion, was to be identified with in-coming Israelites.
Albright's theory enjoyed popularity around the middle of the 20th century, but has now been generally abandoned in scholarship. The evidence which led to the abandonment of Albright's theory include: the collar-rimmed jars have been recognised as an indigenous form originating in lowland Canaanite cities centuries earlier; while some "Joshua" cities, including Hazor, Lachish, Megiddo and others, have destruction and transition layers around 1250-1145 BC, others, including Jericho, have no destruction layers or were uninhabited during this period; and the Merneptah Stele indicates that a people called "Israel" were already known in Canaan by the reign of Merneptah (1213-1203 BC).
Modern theories on the date - all of them popular rather than scholarly - tend to concentrate on an "early" Exodus, prior to c.1440 BC. The major candidates are:
- The 2006 History Channel documentary The Exodus Decoded revived an idea first put forward by the 1st century AD Jewish historian Josephus, identifying the Israelites with the Hyksos, the non-Egyptian rulers of Egypt expelled by the resurgent native Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, c.1550-1530 BC. However, there are numerous difficulties with the theory, and it is dismissed by scholars.
- David Rohl's 1995 A Test of Time attempted to correct Egyptian history by shortening the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt by almost 300 years. As a by-result the synchronisms with the biblical narrative have changed, making the 13th Dynasty pharaoh Djedneferre Dudimose (Dedumesu, Tutimaos, Tutimaios) the pharaoh of the Exodus. Rohl's theory, however, has failed to find support among scholars in his field.
- From time to time there have been attempts to link the Exodus with the eruption of the Aegean volcano of Thera in c.1600 BC on the grounds that it could provide a natural explanation of the Plagues of Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea. This theory was discussed in the History Channel documentary, and also covered in the 2009 book by geologist Barbara J Sivertsen, The Parting of the Sea: How Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Plagues Shaped the Story of the Exodus.
The earliest non-Biblical account of the Exodus is by Hecataeus of Abdera (late 4th century BC): the Egyptians blame a plague on foreigners and expel them from the country, whereupon Moses, their leader, takes them to Canaan, where he founds the city of Jerusalem. More than a dozen later stories repeat the same basic theme, most of them with a marked anti-Jewish tendency. The best-known is that by the Egyptian historian Manetho (3rd century BC), known from two quotations by the 1st century AD Jewish historian Josephus. In the first Manetho describes the Hyksos, their lowly origins in Asia, their dominion over and expulsion from Egypt, and their subsequent foundation of the city of Jerusalem and its temple. Josephus (not Manetho) identifies the Hyksos with the Jews. In the second story Manetho tells how 80,000 lepers and other "impure people," led by a priest named Osarseph, join forces with the former Hyksos, now living in Jerusalem, to take over Egypt. They wreak havoc until eventually the pharaoh and his son chase them out to the borders of Syria, where Osarseph gives the lepers a law-code and changes his name to Moses. Manetho differs from the other writers in describing his renegades as Egyptians rather than Jews, and in using a name other than Moses for their leader. Many scholars regard the identification of Osarseph with Moses as a later addition to the text, although the question remains open.
- ^ John McDermott, "Reading the Pentateuch" (Paulist Press, 2002) p.22
- ^ so e.g., Hoffmeier (1996) and Kitchen (2003)
- ^ Stephen C. Russell, "Images of Egypt in early biblical literature" (Walter de Gruyter, 2009), p.1
- ^ Niels Peter Lemche, "Early Israel: anthropological and historical studies" (Brill, 1985) p.327
- ^ Stephen C. Russell, "Images of Egypt in early biblical literature" (Walter de Gruyter, 2009), pp.194-197
- ^ אָמַר לָהֶם רִבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲזַרְיָה, הֲרֵי אֲנִי כְּבֶן שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה, וְלֹא זָכִיתִי שֶׁתֵּאָמֵר יְצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם Passover Hagadah according to Mishneh Torah (Hebrew original), (mechon-mamre.org)
- ^ Bernard Malcolm Levinson, "Deuteronomy and the hermeneutics of legal innovation" (OUP, 1997), p.58
- ^ Carol A. Redmount, Bitter Lives: Israel In And Out of Egypt, in "The Oxford History of the Biblical World" (ed. Michael D. Coogan, OUP, 1998), p.64 (see full argument on pp. 63-64)
- ^ Exodus 12
- ^ Numbers 1
- ^ Mattis Kantor ("The Jewish Time Line Encyclopedia" Jason Aronson Inc., 1989, 1992) places the estimate at 2 million "[i]n normal demographic extensions...."
- ^ Kathryn A. Bard, Steven Blake Shubert (eds), "Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt (Routledge, 1999)p.251
- ^ Cline, Eric H. (2007), From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible, National Geographic Society, ISBN 978-1426200847 p.74
- ^ William Dever, "Who Were The Early Israelites And Where Did They Come From?", p.19
- ^ a b Finkelstein, Israel and Neil Asher Silberman (2002). The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. Free Press. ISBN 978-0684869131.
- ^ Abraham Malamat, "Aspects of Tribal Societies in Mari and Israel", in XVe Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale: La Civilisation de Mari, Les Congrès et Colloques de l’Université de Liège, 1967, p.135 - referenced at Associates for Biblical Research
- ^ Colin J. Humphreys, "The Number of People in the Exodus from Egypt: Decoding Mathematically the Very Large Numbers in Numbers I and XXVI," Vetus Testamentum 48 (1998), pp. 196-213.
- ^ a b Carol L. Meyers, "Exodus", New Cambridge Bible Commentary series (Cambridge University Press, 2005) p.5
- ^ Barry Beitzel, "Exodus 3:14 and the divine Name: A Case of Biblical Paronomasia, "Trinity Journal 1 NS (1980), pp.6-7
- ^ Philippe Guillaume, "Tracing the Origin of the Sabbatical Calendar in the Priestly Narrative, Genesis 1 to Joshua 5", Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, vol.5 art.13, pp.8, 15
- ^ a b Dever, William G. (2002). What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8028-2126-X. p.99
- ^ Finkelstein, Israel and Nadav Naaman, eds. (1994). From Nomadism to Monarchy: Archaeological and Historical Aspects of Early Israel. Israel Exploration Society. ISBN 1880317206.
- ^ Ian Shaw; Robert Jameson. Ian Shaw. ed. A dictionary of archaeology (New edition (17 Feb 2002) ed.). Wiley Blackwell. p. 313. ISBN 978-0631235835. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=zmvNogJO2ZgC&pg=PA313&dq=%22Iron+Age+Israel%22+origins+in+Canaan,&hl=en&ei=hThOTZaRK8uZhQe_vqWoDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&sqi=2&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22Iron%20Age%20Israel%22%20origins%20in%20Canaan%2C&f=false.
- ^ Anne E. Killebrew, "Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity" (Society of Biblical Literature, 2005) p.176
- ^ Gary D. Pratico, "Nelson Glueck's 1938-1940 Excavations at Tell el-Kheleifeh: A Reappraisal" Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 259 (Summer, 1985), pp.1-32
- ^ John Van Seters, "The Geography of the Exodus", in John Andrew Dearman, Matt Patrick Graham, (eds), "The land that I will show you: essays on the history and archaeology of the Ancient Near East in honour of J. Maxwell Miller" (Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), pp.255ff
- ^ Alberto Soggin, "An Introduction to the History of Israel and Judah", (SCM Press, 1999, trans from Italian 3rd edition 1998), pp. 128-9
- ^ Carol L. Meyers, "Exodus", New Cambridge Bible Commentary (Cambridge University Press, 2005) p.143
- ^ James Maxwell Miller and John Haralson Hayes, "A History of Ancient Israel and Judah" (Westminster John Knox, 1986) p.59
- ^ Philip Davies, Scribes and Schools: The Canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures (Westminster John Knox 1998) p. 180
- ^ John Van Seters, "The Geography of the Exodus," in Silberman, Neil Ash (editor), The Land That I Will Show You: Essays in History and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East in Honor of J. Maxwell Miller (Sheffield Academic Press, 1997) p.255ff., ISBN-978-1850756507
- ^ Mercer Dictionary of the Bible, entry for Kadesh Barnea (Mercer University Press, 1991) p.485
- ^ James Hoffmeier, "Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition" (Oxford University Press, 2005) p.115ff
- ^ Seder Olam Rabbah, Finegan, Jack, Handbook of Biblical Chronology, Revised Ed., Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1998, p. 111
- ^ Howard, David M. Jr. and Michael A. Grisanti (editors) (2003). "The Date of the Exodus (by William H. Shea)". Giving the Sense: Understanding and Using the Old Testament Historical Texts. Kregel Publications. ISBN 9781844740161.
- ^ "Tuthmosis", Egyptology Online
- ^ Kitchen, Kenneth A (2003). On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Eerdmans. pp. 309–10. ISBN 978-0802849601.
- ^ Mary Joan Winn Leith, "How a People Forms", review of "Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity: An Archaeological Study of Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines and Early Israel" (2001), Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2006, pp.22-23
- ^ Dever, William G (2003). Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?. Eerdmans. pp. 44–46. ISBN 0802844162.
- ^ Currie, Robert and Hyslop, Stephen G. The Letter and the Scroll: What Archaeology Tells Us About the Bible. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2009.
- ^ "Debunking "The Exodus Decoded"". September 20, 2006. http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2006/09/Debunking-The-Exodus-Decoded.aspx. Retrieved 8 August 2009.
- ^ "The Exodus Decoded: An Extended Review". Tuesday 19 Dec 2006. http://www.heardworld.com/higgaion/?p=459. Retrieved 8 August 2009.
- ^ Rohl, David (1995). "Chapter 13". A Test of Time. Arrow. pp. 341–8. ISBN 0099416565.
- ^ Bennett, Chris. "Temporal Fugues", Journal of Ancient and Medieval Studies XIII (1996). Available at 
- ^ Sivertsen, Barbara J (2009). The Parting of the Sea: How Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Plagues Shaped the Story of the Exodus. Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691137704.
- ^ a b c K.L. Noll, "Canaan and Israel in Antiquity: An Introduction" (Sheffield Academic Press, 2001) p.34
- ^ Arthur J. Droge, Josephus Between Greeks and Barbarians, in L.H. Feldman and J.R. Levison (ed), "Josephus' Contra Apion" (Brill, 1996), pp.121-2
- ^ Arthur J. Droge, Josephus Between Greeks and Barbarians, in L.H. Feldman and J.R. Levison (eds), "Josephus' Contra Apion" (Brill, 1996), pp.134-5
- ^ Arthur J. Droge, Josephus Between Greeks and Barbarians, in Louis H. Feldman and John R. Levison (eds), "Josephus' Contra Apionem: studies in its character and context" (Brill, 1996) p.135
- ^ Louis H. Feldman, "Josephus's interpretation of the Bible", (University of California Press, 1998) p.342
- Yohanan Aharoni. The Archaeology of the Land of Israel. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1982. ISBN 0-664-21384-7. This book is notable for the large number of Ramesside cartouches and finds it cites throughout Israel.
- Jan Assman, Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism, First Harvard University Press, 1997.
- John J. Bimson. Redating the Exodus. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1981. ISBN 0-907459-04-8.
- Johannes C. de Moor. "Egypt, Ugarit and Exodus" in Ugarit, Religion and Culture, Proceedings of the International Colloquium on Ugarit, Religion and Culture, edited by N. Wyatt and W. G. E. Watson. Münster, Germany: Ugarit-Verlag, 1996. ISBN 3-927120-37-5.
- Dever, William (2001). What Did the Biblical Writers Know, and When Did They Know It?. Eerdmans. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=6-VxwC5rQtwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=What+did+the+biblical+writers+know,+and+when+did+they+know+it&source=bl&ots=hUc37Tquuc&sig=G5sPWFC-oG2TyfnLQz42GX7zutQ&hl=en&ei=i7PsTOu2F4i7ccGfqPYO&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CADQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false.
- Davies, Graham (2004). Was There an Exodus?. Continuum International. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=yM_X2yzRLx4C&pg=PA23&dq=Was+there+an+Exodus+In+search+of+pre-exilic+Israel&hl=en&ei=DJsRTur8B9DwmAXwgemZDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=book-thumbnail&resnum=1&ved=0CDIQ6wEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false.
- In search of pre-exilic Israel: proceedings of the Oxford Old Testament Seminar
- Dever, William, Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?, Eerdman's, 2003.
- Encyclopaedia Judaica. S.v. "Population". ISBN 0-685-36253-1.
- Exodus: The Egyptian Evidence, edited by Frerichs, Lesko & Dever, Indianapolis: Eisenbrauns, 1997. ISBN 1-57506-025-6.
- Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman. The Bible Unearthed. New York: Free Press, 2001. ISBN 0-684-86912-8.
- James K. Hoffmeier, Israel in Egypt: the evidence for the authenticity of the Exodus tradition, Oxford University Press, 1996, 1999, ISBN 9780195130881.
- James Hoffmeier, Ancient Israel in Sinai:the evidence for the authenticity of the wilderness tradition, Oxford University Press, 2005, ISBN 9780195155464.
- Thomas E. Levy and Mohammed Sajjar. "Edom & Copper", Biblical Archaeological Review (BAR), July/August, 2006: 24-35.
- Mark McEntire, Struggling with God: An Introduction to the Pentateuch, Mercer University Press, 2008.
- Carol Meyers, Exodus, Cambridge University Press, 2005)
- Noll, K. L. Canaan and Israel in Antiquity, Sheffield Academic Press, 2001.
- Nahum Sarna. "Six hundred thousand men on foot" in Exploring Exodus: The Origins of Biblical Israel, New York: Schocken Books (1996): ch. 5. ISBN 0-8052-1063-6
- Hershel Shanks, William G. Dever, Baruch Halpern and P. Kyle McCarter. The Rise of Ancient Israel: Symposium at the Smithsonian Institution October 26, 1991, Biblical Archaeological Society, 1992. ISBN 1-880317-05-2
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