Was the Exodus natural or supernatural, fact or fiction?

Was the Exodus natural or supernatural, fact or fiction?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbJ6qVsu_MU
I have always had a problem with the notion that God would have hardened Pharaoh’s soft heart and pave the way for him to kill/murder the first born of Egypt. For God to do so would have been evil indeed.
Do you think that science has explained the purported miracles as natural phenomena?
From what I can see, the Jews who wrote the story did not take it literally.
http://www.raceandhistory.com/historicalviews/doubtingexodus.htm
Should Christians recognize the O T stories as natural or supernatural, fact or fiction?
Regards
DL

I’m thinking that it’s a dramatically overblown combination of both. There are numerous historical problems with the whole Exodus story, not the least of which is that there is no evidence of a mass migration of any kind from anybody anywhere in the Sanai. When archaeologists can find and identify the remains of Bedouin camps from over 6000 years ago, you would think that there wouldn’t be a problem finding the trash heaps from hundreds of thousands of people living as a community in the desert for 40 years.
And if that entire generation was “consumed”, where are all the graves?
Further, at the time this was supposed to have happened, one would have to wonder exactly where these people would escape to. There were a number of Egyptian fortifications along the Sinai which were garrisoned by the Egyptian army to protect the trade routes and the whole of the area which was supposed to be the promised land was an Egyptian territory.
I think what may have happened is that a small group of serfs made their way into the desert and the story got amped up over time. That’s graciously assuming that anything of the kind happened at all.

Another issue is that it is a rather small desert. It would take sheer stupidity for that number of people to get lost in a desert that small, as opposed to being lost in the middle of the Sahara.

I'm thinking that it's a dramatically overblown combination of both. There are numerous historical problems with the whole Exodus story, not the least of which is that there is no evidence of a mass migration of any kind from anybody anywhere in the Sanai. When archaeologists can find and identify the remains of Bedouin camps from over 6000 years ago, you would think that there wouldn't be a problem finding the trash heaps from hundreds of thousands of people living as a community in the desert for 40 years. And if that entire generation was "consumed", where are all the graves? Further, at the time this was supposed to have happened, one would have to wonder exactly where these people would escape to. There were a number of Egyptian fortifications along the Sinai which were garrisoned by the Egyptian army to protect the trade routes and the whole of the area which was supposed to be the promised land was an Egyptian territory. I think what may have happened is that a small group of serfs made their way into the desert and the story got amped up over time. That's graciously assuming that anything of the kind happened at all.
The author makes some telling connections to the Hyksos expulsion. I give it some veracity as it seems to fit the geological records of Egypt, not scriptures. The scriptures were probably slanted to give the Semites pride. That type of typology was fairly common at the time. The N T may have been written the same way thanks to the War of the Jews book and Rome's deep purse and need to control the masses. The Noble Lie has never stopped. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJgvws0ZYUE Regards DL
Another issue is that it is a rather small desert. It would take sheer stupidity for that number of people to get lost in a desert that small, as opposed to being lost in the middle of the Sahara.
That and it would take more like 40 days to do the trek. Not 40 years. Not much drama in saying 40 days thought. Regards DL

The last I heard it was general consensus that there was no actual archeological evidence for the Exodus. The Israelites would have left campsites all over the Sinai, and archaologists had failed to find any.

A quick summery of what may have happened:
Many slave escaped Egypt individually and in small groups. Many were dependents of desert Bedouins therefore the Abraham stories.
Some of these slaves established communities in the Sinai and the hills of Canaan. As these communities grew they began encroaching on the more settled lowlands. In order to unite these disorganized groups some leaders began adopting the oral history that was familiar to most of the people of the time into specific tales that would create a somewhat single people from the multitude. This resulted in the twelve tribes most likely for political reasons and created a god opposed to Baal, the god of the Canaanites. The reason that we are still concerned with these stories is in all probability that by mere coincidence the alphabet was originally invented in the Sinai during this period and led to recording of these tales in a way they could be passed down and used by future generations in a new way (advance of technology). Who knows, if the alphabet was invented in Persia, India, China or Babylon, we could all be discussing a related but different set of tales.
This is an area I have read a bit about in the past, I don’t have specific references at the moment, but when I finish with my current projects I may get into this area more.

Thanks for this.
Regards
DL

The last I heard it was general consensus that there was no actual archeological evidence for the Exodus. The Israelites would have left campsites all over the Sinai, and archaologists had failed to find any.
Yes, the lack of evidence is quite telling. That is why I give veracity to the Hyksos expulsion as the base for the Jewish myth. That system of topological writing was common in those days. The N T may have been written the same way thanks to the War of the Jews book and Rome’s deep purse. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJgvws0ZYUE Regards DL

IMHO…

  1. The Egyptians were incredible documentists; they documented everything.
  2. Why is there no documentation regarding the slaughter of all the Egyptian “first born” males?
  3. The hebrew slaves follow moses “into the wilderness”…
  4. Why is there no documentation regarding losing that many slaves all at once?
  5. According to the bible, the Pharo with his army (including chariots and horses) chased all these folks; caught them at the “then parted” red sea, and sent his troops (a lot of them) in after the slaves. Moses closed the red sea and all the Pharo’s troops were all drowned.
  6. Why is there no documentation regarding the loss of an entire Egyptian army.
    “Exodus”???
    Nope.
IMHO.... 1. The Egyptians were incredible documentists; they documented everything. 2. Why is there no documentation regarding the slaughter of all the Egyptian "first born" males? 3. The hebrew slaves follow moses "into the wilderness".... 4. Why is there no documentation regarding losing that many slaves all at once? 5. According to the bible, the Pharo with his army (including chariots and horses) chased all these folks; caught them at the "then parted" red sea, and sent his troops (a lot of them) in after the slaves. Moses closed the red sea and all the Pharo's troops were all drowned. 4. Why is there no documentation regarding the loss of an entire Egyptian army. "Exodus"???? Nope.
Take a look at "The Bible Unearthed" Pg.69- 71 for a possible explanation, basically what Finklestien and Silberman are saying is that the Exodus story was derived from folk memories created by the peoples of the Cannan area migrationg to Egypt and returning to Canaan depending on climate conditions. These migrations and returns happened many times " These stories orginanated, according to the authors' due to the various conflicts this caused at different times and were systematized into the Exodus story in the 7th century B.C.E in support of King Josiah and his conflict with Egypt. " During the time of the Kingdoms of Isreal and Judah, the Exodus story would have endured and been elaborated as a national saga - a call to national unity in the face of continual threats from great empires." Pg 69 "Yet it seems clear that the biblical story of the Exodus drew its power not only from ancient trafitionsand contemporary geographical and demographic details but even more directly from contemporary political realities. Pg. 69
The last I heard it was general consensus that there was no actual archeological evidence for the Exodus. The Israelites would have left campsites all over the Sinai, and archaologists had failed to find any.
^another point^

I guess one could say that the story grew in the telling and the exodus follows the literary path of legends, I.e. partly fact, partly fiction. Archeologists have found remains, pot shreds, etc. that indicate a gradual exodus of handfuls, and as has already been pointed out, Egyptian records on papyrus and stone carvings that show Canaanite slaves working on temples. IMO what is really important is that these Canaanites formed tribes from loose family groups and credited their monotheistic god for their freedom. Otherwise Yawyeh would be just another nondescript god in the Semitic pantheon. The story may have been the glue that held together the emerging 12 tribes as they began their conquest of Canaan, eventually setting up the Israelite kingdom. So in this sense, the exodus, even though it can’t be proven was the key to creating the future Hebrew Nation worshipping their god of freedom.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/moses-exodus.html
Cap’t Jack

Good points all.
Regards
DL

I don’t think there’s any significant evidence indicating the Children of Israel were in ancient Egypt as a tribe or people, let alone as slaves. It isn’t that farfetched to state it’s probable some of them were in Egypt at some time or another, but one would think that if anything similar to the Exodus took place, some record relating to it would exist. If Moses was brought up as a member of the royal familty it’s likely there would be some record as well. For an ancient people, the Egyptians were remarkably good at keeping records.

I agree on the Egyptians — and think ot was the Hyksos expulsion that the Jews capitalized on for their myth.
Regards
DL

On a purely practical level, there would be little plant or animal life in a desert, certainly not enough to feed that many people for 40 years. And where would they get water? The story is fiction, just as the story of Jesus as Messiah. And it was embroidered upon and added to, as all legends are. All it takes is a little common sense to figure it out as an impossibility. Of course, if you’re assuming miracles, physics and biology don’t count and anything would be possible. Within theism anything is possible, which is why the concept of miracles is dismissed by intelligent people.
Lois

I agree.
“Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding."
“Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has."
Martin Luther “
Regards
DL

On a purely practical level, there would be little plant or animal life in a desert, certainly not enough to feed that many people for 40 years. And where would they get water? The story is fiction, just as the story of Jesus as Messiah. And it was embroidered upon and added to, as all legends are. All it takes is a little common sense to figure it out as an impossibility. Of course, if you're assuming miracles, physics and biology don't count and anything would be possible. Within theism anything is possible, which is why the concept of miracles is dismissed by intelligent people. Lois
Just a side note: 40 Years/ 40 days when mentioned in the Bible were not intended as an exact measurement or dating system. They were used in oral history of the culture of the times to represent relative lengths of period of times. I used to have a chart listing several of these, but I lost it when my computer crashed several years ago and don't remember where I originally got it from.
On a purely practical level, there would be little plant or animal life in a desert, certainly not enough to feed that many people for 40 years. And where would they get water? The story is fiction, just as the story of Jesus as Messiah. And it was embroidered upon and added to, as all legends are. All it takes is a little common sense to figure it out as an impossibility. Of course, if you're assuming miracles, physics and biology don't count and anything would be possible. Within theism anything is possible, which is why the concept of miracles is dismissed by intelligent people. Lois
If the Exodus occurred, it was natural as is everything that actually occurs. If it was fact, then the refugees ate something referred to as "manna" for 40 years. If this is true, manna was some naturally occurring substance. (Perhaps it had some hallucinogenic properties that could explain their religious obsessiveness... and explain why it took 40 years to find their way out of the desert. :) )