The famed Egyptologist Sir Alan Gardiner, was able to determine the exact date of the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. His research has long been overlooked particularly by religious fundamentalist, but it still stands today as the most reliable method of dating the Exodus.
In Moses account regarding Egypt, he uses the word Pharaoh, as a name for the King of Egypt, throughout his account, but was this always the case? The Egyptian word Pharaoh literally means, “Great House”, and for much of Egyptian history, it was applied only to the Palace of the King of Egypt and not as a personal name. It wasn't about until 1350 BC or at the time of King Akhenaten that the word Pharaoh first appears to name the King of Egypt and not the Palace.
The very first time that Pharaoh was used as King, was in a letter to Akhenaten. This is a definite key testament that Moses stood before Akhenaten, because at no time in previous history is the King of Egypt called Pharaoh, and Moses calls him Pharaoh. As the famous Egyptologist , Sir Alan Gardiner states, “The earliest certain instance where Pharaoh refers to the King is in a letter to Akhenaten, which is addressed; "Pharaoh, the Master.”
Moses inadvertently calls all Kings of Egypt, Pharaoh, including the Pharaoh at the time of Joseph, but this was not historically correct. The Qur'an gets this correct, by calling this early King, the King of Egypt,(Qur'an 12:43) and the King of Egypt during the time of Moses as the Pharaoh of Egypt(Qur'an 7:104). From this simple account of Moses identifying the King of Egypt, at the time of the Exodus, as Pharaoh Akhenaten, the date for Exodus can be determined. This simply fact now dates the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt to 1346 B.C.E.
This date is further reinforced by an ancient stele of Egypt.
The Merneptah Stele
This ancient stele was discovered in 1896 in Thebes, and now resides in Cairo at the Egyptian Museum. The stele venerates a battle won by the Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah over a Libyan King and it's territory to the North.The text reads,"Not a man of them was left remaining," The text also suggests that the Libyan force was made up of some mercenaries from Israel, The catalogue of the battle enumerated among the killed 6,365 that were uncircumcised, and 2,370 circumcised; also 9,376 prisoners. Ancient victorious armies would often cut off the ends of the penis of their dead enemies to have an official count. Hence, as in this battle, they would know that their enemy was made up of Hebrews.
The text also describes a further military campaign into Canaan. In this text the name "Israel" is used. It's the only occurrence of this name in Hieroglyphics.
The stele's text describes that some of Egypt's vassal cities in the region are either in revolt, or they are being harassed by the national group refereed to as Israel. The Egyptian military then goes on to destroy the Israelities.
The Egyptian text reads; is often written backwards, from right to left, but the text in this case is read from left to right.
Decoded it means word for word;
Israel (foreign people) waste (negative) seed his/it
The use of the word foreign people also means nomadic people, or those without a city. This was something the Egyptians would have found militarily difficult, because without a city there was nothing to destroy.
This text would translate: The nomadic people of Israel and it's seed were laid to waste.
This strongly suggest that the people of Israel were considered a people or a tribe and NOT a nation. This is also confirmed by the Bible accounts that the Hebrews spent a considerable time as a nomadic people.
More importantly the Merneptah Stele dates this nomadic people of Israel after their great exodus from Egypt. The stele was recorded within a few years of 1200 BC.
After leaving Egypt in 1346 BC, the Hebrews wondered the desert for 40 years, and finally entered the Land of Canaan after another period of 15 plus years of travel from Egypt, then after a period of 90 years in the land of Canaan, they were still in desperate military battles to rise above a nomadic people and build their first city. This all fits (after adding these periods) into the puzzle of dating these wayward sons of Egypt and their Exodus from Egypt.
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