Download Exploring Exodus: The Origins of Biblical Israel by Nahum M. Sarna PDF

By Nahum M. Sarna

Sarna examines the uniqueness of the Exodus narrative in gentle of historic close to jap historical past and contemporaneous cultures--Egyptian, Assyrian, Canaanite, and Babylonian. In a brand new Foreword to the 1996 variation, Sarna takes up the talk over no matter if the exodus from Egypt quite occurred, clarifying the arguments on each side and drawing us again to the individuality and enduring value of biblical textual content.

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The kings of the XVIIIth Dynasty (ca. ) all lived in Upper Egypt and operated out of Memphis or Thebes. Although they campaigned in Canaan and Syria, they wholly neglected the Delta area, apparently begrudging any expenditure on the region that had been the base of the hated Hyksos foreigners. However, toward the end of this period attitudes began to change. Haremhab (ca. ), the last pharaoh of the dynasty, is known to have renovated the temple of the local god Seth in the eastern Delta. The first effective king of the XIXth Dynasty, Sethos (Seti) I (ca.

Any credence accorded the biblical narratives is dismissed as being “fundamentalist,” a decidedly derogatory adjective. The Psalmist’s dictum that “truth springs up from the earth” (85:12) was not so long ago interpreted to mean that the archaeologist’s spade would inevitably validate and illuminate the historical data furnished by the text of the Scriptures. It was such a notion that inspired popular books bearing such reassuring titles as The Bible Is True or The Bible as History. In the present era of obligatory professional skepticism, a complete reversal of attitude and approach seems to have taken place.

It was never seen just as a historical event of the past, but became a permanent symbol in the Israelite national consciousness. Continually being reenacted, it was ever new, ever imposing itself afresh upon the collective mind and memory, so that the epic of the Exodus nurtured the culture and the religion over the millennia. This remarkable phenomenon is well illustrated by a quotation from the prophet Amos who lived at least five hundred years after that epochal event. ”2 The uses of the Exodus theme A study of the biblical materials reveals that the Exodus theme is used for theological and didactic purposes in seven ways: 1.

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