My husband and I saw the documentary Patterns of Evidence: Exodus in theaters on Monday, Jan 19, 2015. (It is being replayed on Thursday, Jan 29, so if you get a chance to see it, do so! The theater we were in was packed, so I assume the interest and demand to see the film is very high.) Today I am posting my notes that I took on what the film actually asserted, and then I will follow (tomorrow, Lord willing) with my thoughts on the film and that evidence.
Patterns of Evidence: Exodus www.patternsofevidence.com
The Bible claims there were six monumental events in the history of Israel as a nation, which impacted the history of the other nations in the near East. Where is the evidence for these events?
Israel’s Arrival in Egypt
Conquest of Canaan
Interviews with leading Egyptologists, archaeologists, and other academic experts who reveal the evidence is not there.
Standard Egyptian chronology: Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom.
Ramesses is widely asserted to be the pharaoh of the Exodus based on Exo 1:11. Ramesses is set within the standard Egyptian chronology in the New Kingdom, about 1250 BC. Interviews with archaeologists and other experts in New Kingdom Egyptian history, 1250 BC Egyptian history, and the vast silence from the archaeology of that period on any of the events of Israelite history.
The scriptural, internal evidence for the Exodus is 1450 BC (see 1 Kin 6:1), for the building of the Temple by Solomon is set at 970 BC, + 480 years = 1450 BC. (My note: Ussher dates it at 1491 BC, Dr. Floyd Jones concurring as explained in _The Chronology of the Old Testament_. Be that as it may, 1450 BC is a far cry from 1250 BC.)
The patterns of evidence, both archaeological and documentary, are all found in the Middle Kingdom, which lines up beautifully with 1400s BC. Much archaeological evidence discussed for all six event markers in the 1400s BC (the majority of the film).
If the obstacle of Ramesses is removed, and the Exodus placed with the evidence, it would occur within a dynasty several hundred years earlier than Ramesses.
The ancient near eastern history of all the surrounding countries – Canaan, Phoenicia, Syria, Babylonia, Assyria, Lydia and so on – are all tied to the Egyptian chronology as the foundation. They all need several hundred years added to their evidential history in order to remain in sync with the standard Egyptian chronology. If the Egyptian chronology were shortened, especially in the 3rd dark period, and the proposed New Chronology adopted, the histories of all the surrounding nations suddenly sync into alignment with the archaeological and documentary evidence they have left, without adding lengthy periods of “silent years.”
The problem: Egyptologists are loathe to not only adjust the Egyptian chronology several hundred years, but even to admit such an adjustment is necessary.
patterns of evidence: exodus, part two 2015 jan 27
patterns of evidence: exodus, part three 2015 feb 23
patterns of evidence: exodus, part four 2015 apr 08
Very rarely, secularly-held dates sync up with Biblical ones, but there is wide consensus even among the secular scholars that the end of the Babylonian Exile of the Jews took place at 537 BCE.
Of course, more than one Prophet mentions the length of that exile as being 70 years.
Ezekiel 4:1-7 indicates that the wayward Kingdom of Judah would fulfill its error at the end of 390 years (Compare this to Jehovah telling Abraham that the Hebrews would be freed when the error of the Amorites was fulfilled at the end of 430 years). A close examination of the rulerships of the Judahite kings shows this 390-year prophecy to be accurate- especially since it’s a Divine Prophecy.
Judah’s error begins when the Kingdom of Solomon was divided after his death. That makes Rehoboam’s reign start/Solomon’s death 997 BCE. If Solomon ruled 40 years, then his 4th year would be 1034 BCE, making the Exodus 479 full years before at1513 BCE. Archaeology doesn’t provide us with lists of chronologies so easily discernible but yet it and the Bible indicate that Ramses II is totally unacceptable as an Exodus-Pharaoh candidate by far. I haven’t seen this documentary- we don’t get everything up here in the Canadian Arctic- but I’m super eager to see it, because this subject has intrigued me since I was a kid.
Thank you for visiting Lemon. I recommend the film, it does a good job presenting its case. But I have an alternative theory to explain the evidence – please be sure to read my review and analysis of the film’s conclusions at http://www.alittleperspective.com/patterns-of-evidence-exodus-part-two/.
Watch Derek Walker’s excellent chronology: Keys of Time.
I promise, he makes heads and tails of biblical chronology in the most precise mathematical way. Very simple, very logical, very in line with the character of God and the plan of redemption. Clears up many ‘discrepancies’ atheists like to point out.
Thank you for visiting and for your suggestion Maloney. I do thoroughly trust as authoritative Ussher’s chronology as explained and examined in detail by Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones, author of __The Chronology of the Old Testament__. He leaves no stone unturned in examining both Old and New Testaments to establish an uncontroverted and uncontradictory biblical chronology.
But Ussher himself dates Ramesses as far older, putting him just before the Exodus (1491 BC). Why? Because the “City of Ramesses” is spoken of in the Bible (not to mention Manetho and Josephus). Clearly, he would not have considered the argument that editors later altered the Pentateuch to read “Rameses” instead of “Avaris” (the anachronism argument proposed by Rohl in Patterns). Patterns actually attacks rather than confirms the ancient consensus in accepting the revisionist timeline for Ramesses. It’s post-revisionist rather than pre-revisionist.
For 2,000 years, the Bible, Herodotus, Diodorus, Philo, Eusebius, Pliny, Manetho, and Josephus were considered authoritative, and where they generally agreed, they were conclusive. All that changed when the Darwinistic archeologists applied the same dating methods to Egyptology that geologists had to the fossil record. And the time lines in both cases kept getting longer and longer… (You can see this process in its early stages creeping into Ridpath’s history).
Not speaking as an Egyptologist, only as a historian of the eighteenth century; why is there seemingly not much of a scholarly discussion on how the archeological evidence of the last 150 years speaks to the ancient historians? If nothing else, I think the issue deserves another look.