The No-Exit Exodus
Updated: Apr 16
"When we read the story of the exodus, we are not just reading about some events that occurred in the distant past, but acquainting ourselves with patterns of divine redemption that are still being worked out in the world today.
Paul wrote of the exodus story in 1 Corinthians 10:11, ‘Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.’ ~ Crossway
"And the LORD our God gave him [Sihon, King of Heshbon] over to us, and we defeated him and his sons and all his people. And we captured all his cities at that time and devoted to destruction every city - men, women, and children. We left no survivors."
~ Deuteronomy. 2: 33-34.
Introduction We know from studies including genetics that the Hebrews emerged from the Canaanites. There were no Egyptian plagues (which is a good thing morally if you’re an Abrahamic believer; discussed in section 4 /4 about Christianity). Millions or tens of thousands (depending on the apologist) did not spend 40 years wandering around the Sinai. It can be walked across in 6 days without stopping - use Google Maps on your phone. There are NO artifacts of this happening and there must be for this story to be true. Archeologists have looked. And Jewish archeologists gave up looking long ago. You don’t have millions or even tens of thousands walking around an area the size of West Virginia for 40 years and yet leave no old latrines, broken pottery, broken wheels, lots of graves, or remains of large encampments. How much trash does the US Military leave during a war of just a few years let alone millions or tens of thousands people over 40 years?
It has often been said that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Stenger modified this quote by writing, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence unless the evidence should be there and is not". I would add, must be there and is not. This is the case with the Biblical Exodus narrative.
Contrast the amount of ink spilled by apologists who must have a historical large scale Hebrew exodus from Egypt with all the mythology of plagues, 40 years of wandering (food, water, encampments for tens of thousands or millions...), the subsequent Canaanite conquests, destruction of the Egyptian army, and of course the killing of all the first borns in Egypt) with the scientists at the LHC and the search for the Higgs Boson. The Higgs Boson was a prediction by theoretical physicists and if they had not found it, they would have not denied the facts but changed their views of the standard model. Contrast that with Abrahamic fundamentalists who try and dismiss or rationalize the findings of historians, archeologists, geneticists, linguists, and Hebrew scholars who have demonstrated that the Exodus narrative as portrayed in the Hebrew Bible never happened. Not only does the Biblical Exodus narrative fail to meet vital and necessary predictions, it also fails basic research of the areas involved.
“However, the archeological conclusions are not based primarily on the absence of Sinai evidence. Rather, they are based upon the study of settlement patterns in Israel itself. Surveys of ancient settlements--pottery remains and so forth--make it clear that there simply was no great influx of people around the time of the Exodus (given variously as between 1500-1200 BCE). Therefore, not the wandering, but the arrival alerts us to the fact that the biblical Exodus is not a literal depiction.” Did the Exodus Really Happen? https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/judaism/2004/12/did-the-exodus-really-happen.aspx
“The most provocative items in the huge archeological exhibition opening March 4 at the Israel Museum are the ones that aren’t there. The exhibition, “Pharaoh in Canaan: The Untold Story”, is about the long relationship between the land of Israel and ancient Egypt. The hall is devoted to the best known part of the story - the Exodus from Egypt - is an empty room with exactly one exhibit on display: a movie featuring co-curator and Israel Museum Egyptologist Dr. Daphna Ben-Tor, who explains that the hall is empty because there is no archeological evidence whatsoever to the support the biblical tale.”
The Story of the Exodus and Lack of Historicity https://brewminate.com/the-story-of-the-exodus-and-lack-of-historicity/
New Exhibition Chronicles the Meeting of Ancient Israel and Egypt [the Exodus from Egypt is not supported by any archeological evidence whatsoever]
The Exodus never happened. https://www.reddit.com/r/DebateReligion/comments/o98wlm/the_exodus_never_happened/
The Biblical Story is Fiction
Did Jewish Slaves Build the Pyramids? https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4191
For You Were (Not) Slaves in Egypt https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/2019-04-19/ty-article-magazine/.premium/for-you-were-not-slaves-in-egypt-the-memories-behind-the-exodus-myth/0000017f-f246-da6f-a77f-fa4ef8220000
How did Israel form if the Exodus & Conquest aren't historically true? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFCljnmg9NI
The Exodus never occurred. Hebrews were never in Egypt in large numbers or as slaves. The plagues, the wandering in the Sinai, the drowning of the Egyptian army, the killing of all the Egyptian first borns, the entrance into the promised land and conquest of the city states in Canaan never happened. We know this. Indeed, the Pentateuch is all or nearly all mythology (see my section on Biblical Errors, Section 2/4 for more details). Why then do fundamentalist Abrahamic believers fight so fiercely against the facts? Because in their view, if this is a grand myth then other stories around it are probably also. And that means to them The Tower of Babel, a historical Adam & Eve, Noah's Flood, the Ark, and most important "The Fall" of mankind are also myths. A mythological "Fall" throws the doctrine of original sin and the need for saving (by Jesus in Christianity) out the biblical window. Moses is certainly not a historical figure. It does represent a house of theological cards for conservative Christians. "The exodus is so central to the biblical understanding of who God is and of who God’s people are. But it’s also, then, hugely important to the way in which the New Testament writers (who are mostly Jews themselves) tell the story of what Jesus has done, and it is central to the way in which Jesus actually saves them. So it’s not just an interesting detail about history. It's not just that they came out. They were redeemed by the Passover Lamb, came out through the Red Sea, and went on to the Promised Land." ~ How the Exodus Shapes The Whole Bible
Indeed, even William Lane Craig in his 2021 book admits in print that nearly all of the Pentateuch is mythology ("mytho-history") but draws the line at including an Adam - because he knows what that does to the entire foundation of his claims to Christianity. The desperate continued defense of the Biblical Exodus narrative as historical by fundamentalists is important also in revealing the motivated reasoning, confirmation bias, and real agenda of biblical apologetics. For that perhaps we should be most grateful.
Ethnic Cleansing - a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.” (1994 UN Commission)
Genocide - the deliberate and systematic destruction of a group of people because of their ethnicity, nationality, religion, or race ~ Brittanica
Author's Note: This review of the supposed Biblical Exodus is part of a larger discussion of selected erroneous Biblical claims found in Section 2: Biblical Errors.