The Logistical Impossibility of the Exodus of Israel

“Though the colourful story of the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt is known to everyone the legend itself is a complete fantasy.” – Ken Humphreys

The Passover Holidays are upon us, so what better time than now to explain how the entire tale of the Exodus was logistically impossible.  Of course, modern archaeology provides enough evidence that almost the entirety of the Jewish biblical history was fabricated, so let’s go with what the bible says.  Even if a “miracle of god” is used as an explanation, there are some problems that should be addressed. Since this story is a major part of the faith, and a source for cheesy movies the world over, let’s give it some special attention. I would start a little earlier on in Jewish history, but there seems to be a problem with the timekeeping in the bible, as it states that the Jews were enslaved for 430 years.  When you examine the length of the “generations” from Jacob to Moses, it only adds up to about 350 years, and yes, that is using the Jewish calendar and making extreme allowances for length of life.  So, we’ll get straight to the actual trip across the desert.

A little discrepancy…

The bible and Jewish authorities claim that there were about three million Israelites, give or take half a million, that were part of this trip. Let’s do some math. We’ll start with all of the fifty-five recorded male descendants of Jacob who came into Egypt, allow three succeeding generations of five sons each, extrapolate, shake well and we get somewhere near seven-thousand males.  Add in some females, let’s make it an equal amount just to be fair, because women were not included in the biblical count because they were, after all, only females…

A liberal number would be about fourteen-thousand.  Mix in some wives for the contemporary generation and mothers for the next, allow a wide margin for error and you get a grand total of about thirty-five-thousand Jews.  Not sure where the other 2.9 million came from, but perhaps the biblical writers used a wider margin for error.  Either that or each of the fifty-five males of the first generation had a little over twenty sons, and each of those twenty sons and twenty of their own sons, and so on, and so on.

Of course, when we look at the reality of the life expectancies of that time, if there were Hebrew slaves in Egypt, most of the first three generations probably did not survive to the time of the exodus, a more realistic number would be about eight thousand.  A far cry from three million, but accuracy in counting seems to be an ongoing problem.

Passing over logic…

The Passover included a commanded to kill a lamb for a party, and a party isn’t the same without inviting some of the neighbors. So if we allow eight to ten people for each lamb, that’s roughly 200,000 or so lambs.  Oh, and the lambs were supposed to be without blemish, male and the first-born.  That’s a lot of lamb chops. If you add in the females, blemished siblings, goats, sheep, cattle and horses, the area that would be needed to sustain all of these animals would be many thousands of square miles. Three million residents and millions of animals would make the ghetto of Goshen either many times larger than it was, or really freaking crowded.

The Israelites are leaving Egypt in a hurry. According to the bible, they left by marching five in a rank. This would make the column almost three-hundred miles long, not counting the millions of animals. Given the distance that can be covered in one day, maybe twenty miles at best, the first ranks would have to cover thirty miles for the last of the ranks to even make a start.  This means that half of them could not have even gotten out of the city on the first day, let alone first gathering in Rameses. So the account that all of them made it to Succoth in one day is also impossible. It would have taken months.

This is to say nothing of what the millions of animals ate during the trek, since the area is scant of any vegetation.  Since there was yet to be manna from heaven, it doesn’t account for what the people ate, either, as the bible says they were “thrust out of Egypt, and didn’t have time to prepare any food“.  When the people got thirsty and asked Moses for a drink.  God sweetened some bitter water then brought them to place where there were twelve wells and seventy palm trees.

So, the three million Israelites and the millions of animals made camp there and got their drink and a few coconuts thrown in. I hope they had enough, because this would be the last natural water supply they saw for the next thirty-eight years. God, being a good provider, did supply them with water two more times over the next three decades.  What a peach. I won’t even get into where these “slaves of Egypt” got a hold of the swords, spears, shields, bows, arrows and armor that the bible says they had when they “left harnessed (armed) out of the land of Egypt” to conquer seven nations greater and mightier than them. Generally, slaves are not allowed to keep arms or be trained in warfare.

Moving on…

Remember the quail? The ones that fell from the sky as punishment because the people thought the manna kind sucked? The bible says they were stacked up “two cubits high” for a distance of “a day’s journey round the camp.” This means that the quails outside the camp would be piled almost four feet high and extend for almost thirty miles in every direction from the four sides of the twelve-square mile camp. That’s roughly five-hundred square miles of four-foot thick quail. Five hundred square miles.  Four feet high.  Try to wrap your head around that for a minute.

While you are doing that, know that given the size of your average quail and the thirty-six hours that the bible states it took the Israelites to gather them up, that equals to about twelve million quail for each person, which would mean being able to gather up roughly one-hundred quails per second without interruption. For thirty-six hours straight. In the desert. Without help from McGuyver or even Chuck Norris.

Onward…

Because god commanded that his people and the camp remain ceremonially clean under the threat of death, the garbage, refuse, ashes, and filth for three million people and millions of cattle had to be constantly and carefully removed from the camp. As well, there was to be no bodily waste in the camp, so nature-calls had to be completed outside the camp, too, and covered up by digging a hole with a special paddle that only one of the armed soldier-slaves had, as they were attached to their weapons.

I guess the women and children had to borrow a soldiers weapon or have a soldier accompany them every time they had to relieve themselves.  This is not counting what had to be done with the average seventeen-hundred people who died every day. You can extrapolate the areas needed for cemeteries, alone.  You can only imagine the size landfill that would be needed to process the waste, garbage and refuse for millions of people and animals.

How much wood can a wood chuck chuck…

Moses commands that at harvest time, every year, the Israelites should chop down some trees and make booths to dwell in for a week to remember the houses they had to leave.  Of course, where they would get enough wood to build enough booths for millions of people, every year, for forty years is unknown.  I don’t recall a passage in the bible about wood falling from heaven and there were virtually no trees at all in the area.  This doesn’t even include the wood needed for all the burnt offerings, burning of remains, cooking of food and lighting fires. So, let’s just say the whole “booth” thing was a mistake, and these people actually lived in tents, like any other self-respecting desert dweller.

You then have to wonder where they got the tents, since the bible says they left in such a hurry that they were only able to grab some dough, a couple of household items and a few articles of clothing. There was no mention in the bible about the approximate two-hundred or so thousand heavy and cumbersome tents, which include ropes, poles, and pegs. They moved the camp more than forty times.  To give you an idea of what this involved, figure that a quarter million tents, complete with streets and passages, a little room in between the tents, enough room for each person so they were not packed in like sardines, the Levites, and space for millions of animals, the camp would be close to the size of modern Chicago.

Needless to say, there are many, many logistical and common sense problems, errors and inaccuracies with the biblical account of the exodus. It’s well established that the Egyptians built all the cities and monuments themselves during the farming off-season and not with slave labor.  Nowhere in Egyptian records exist an account of millions of people leaving in one year, let a lone one day, or the mass deaths of huge amounts of “first-born” individuals. Considering the fact that we know the population of Egypt around that time was roughly three and a half million, they would have made a note of being left with only one-million residents and a completely depleted economy.  In fact, Egyptian history is suspiciously devoid of a lot of things that the bible says happened.

Can You Dig It…?

Then there is the issue of archaeologists being unable to find any credible evidence of their camps, which were virtually floating nations.  You would expect that nomads, caravans, military expeditions and other factions wandering around the relatively small area of the Sinai would have reported something.  Outside of scripture, no such information or accounts exist. It would seem, indeed, that the Exodus was a grand fabrication of Israelite origins. In reality, archaeology shows that the Israelites simply arose out of the lowly Canaanite culture over a long period of time.

“Despite the mass of contemporary records that have been unearthed in Egypt, not one historical reference to the presence of the Israelites has yet been found there. Not a single mention of Joseph, the Pharaoh’s ‘Grand Vizier’. Not a word about Moses, or the spectacular flight from Egypt and the destruction of the pursuing Egyptian army.” – Magnus Magnusson (The Archaeology of the Bible Lands)

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Note: Much thanks to the works of DM Murdock and Ken Humphreys for their research and contributions in the explanation of the origins of Abrahamic mythology.

  44 comments for “The Logistical Impossibility of the Exodus of Israel

  1. April 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    The only evidence for a departure from Egypt by people from the Palestine region occurred in the 5th century BCE, when the remnants of the military colony at Elephantine were kicked out along with their Persian masters.

    All other “exodus”-type events are mythical and have no concrete evidence.

  2. April 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Then there is the issue of archaeologists being unable to find any credible evidence of their camps, which were virtually floating nations.

    Satan snuck off with all the physical evidence and re-fabricated it into fake fossils, which he left lying about to fool us all into believing evilution. So there.

    • Calvin
      April 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      How come that part was left out of the Bible?

  3. ttch
    April 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    One correction: Three million people living on average threescore-and-ten years means (at replacement rate) about 117.3 deaths/day, not your value of seventeen-hundred (1,700).

  4. sumdum
    April 6, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I just told my brother the quail part and how utterly laughable it is. First he insisted that’s why it’s called a miracle. Then I quoted the part about how many quail an israelite would have to gather, and he said ok so maybe they got the numbers wrong. But he still believes in the story. Sigh..

  5. Chuck Doswell
    April 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Great essay, Al!! A big part of the “numbers” issue is associated with the notion that there were 3 million Jews involved in the mythical exodus. Believers evidently don’t take time to think about, or even know how to estimate the logistics associated with that number. A group roughly the size of Chicago’s population consumes a lot of food and water, and produces a lot of waste, requires a lot of housing, etc. One very minor correction … if a plausible estimate is 35,000, you note “Not sure where the other 2.9 million came from”. That should be 2.965 million.

    If the number involved in the exodus is assumed to be 35,000 instead of 3 million, that’s about 1.1 percent for the numbers you provide. Instead of a column 300 miles long, it would be about 3 miles long. Instead of 200,000 lambs, it would require “only” about 2,000 lambs.

    So much of this story is missing from real historical accounts (outside of the bible) we actually can document and accept as plausible, the numbers arguments add what amounts to icing on the cake that believers have to eat: this myth is not even remotely historical, but rather is wholly a storyteller’s invention.

  6. April 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Great Post Al! The sad thing is that posts like this will still not succeed in getting people to leave their faith…just look at commentor #4’s brother above me…

  7. sumdum
    April 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    There’s one exacerbating factor in my brother’s (and my parent’s) belief. When my brother was born, or shortly after, he had some kinda illness, meningitis or something. They were told he wasn’t likely to make it. They prayed, he got better and they attributed god with his recovery. So, a very large part of their identity rests on their religious belief. To them, denying it was god is like saying he should’ve died, or something. I guess. I don’t think they’ll ever see religion for the myth it is. Not their own, nor those of others, cause religions not their own are planted by satan to deceive true believers.. *rolls eyes*

  8. scenario
    April 6, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I can believe the exodus story if it was 300 people not 3 million who got fed up with the taxes in Egypt, moved and took their new religion with them. All the rest of the stuff was tall tales made up by Moses and his later followers to make him look more important.

  9. April 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Great article, shared it. Just wanted to let you know that “Israel” is misspelled in the title. Thanks.

    • April 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      Ha! That got by me! Thank you, Ojo! Corrected. 🙂

      • Couldn't think of a decent nickname
        April 8, 2012 at 10:32 am

        Far worse is the misspelling of MacGyver. Now that really is blasphemy.

  10. sumdum
    April 6, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    What I’m also wondering is, how many people were even alive at that time, in total on earth? Cause depending on the answer to that, 3 million might be even more preposterous.

  11. Norman Lycan
    April 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Like any other religious account, it is told from the point of view of “god did this, then god caused this to happen”. The big problem is that in those times, the religious leaders, and their immediate underlings were the only part of the population that was literate. Therefore, like Jesus, had to have their stories told by someone else (with extreme literary license) i.e. a physician or a Roman tax collector. Unfortunately, as a result, those religious writings are all the history we have for times so distant.

    I have seen some documentaries on History Channel that make some very compelling arguments that the exodus really happened, only not the way it is told. There are Egyptian texts that refer to a tribe they called Habbaru (Hebrew?) who were hired guard the Sinai peninsula against invation by Palestinian tribes like the Philistines and Amorites. They were mercenaries, not grunts or laborers.

    Now, this is speculation, on their part, that at some point the pharoah decided that the eastern threat was not immenent, and fired them as mercenaries, but offered them employment in construction, which was a big “fuck you”. Now back to recorded Egyptian history. So they decided to go back home since the drought was over and reclaim their land, but, on their way out of Sinai, they sacked several Egyptian cities and stole their weapons and precious metal. That’s what pissed off Pharoah, not some plague.

    This is undeniable. The earliest texts do not say that Moses parted the Red Sea. It actually refers to a tidal swamp of the Mediteranian called the Sea of Reeds, but, the similarity of terms is coincidental since hebrew is not a latin language. They lit bondfires at night (the column of fire) to blind the Egyptians as they made their crossing in the dark. By the time the sun was up, they were accross and the tide had come in. But, back to your math, you don’t cross that many people across a tidal swamp in the dark, even at the winter solstice.

    What I find to be humorous about the bible account is the twelve spies who were sent into the “land flowing with milk and honey” and ten returned saying it was a land of giants. Therefore, for their lack of faith, Moses was sentenced to death in the wilderness. Wouldn’t it make more sense to assume that the spies brought back information that “we don’t have enough troops to pull this off”. So for the next two generations they made as many babies as they could and trained them as top notch fighters. Forty years, it’s a game changer. Then comes Joshua, Hitler on steroids, he killed everyone who could not be sold as a slave. Gotta love that Yahweh, and his forgiveness, and loving kindness, right?

    NL

    • KG
      April 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      You don’t cite any actual texts, or any historians of the ancient Near East that take this stuff seriously. I’m willing to stand corrected, but it all sounds to me like a retcon based on a chance similarity between “Hebrew” and “Habbaru” (more usually transliterated as “Apiru” or “Habiru”), aimed at showing that the Bible is basically true, yes, there really was an Exodus, honest, even if some of the details are wrong. AFAIK, the consensus among relevant experts is that the Israelites were just a branch of the Canaanites, and never lived in Egypt. According to Wikpedia, for example:

      Since the discovery of the 2nd millennium inscriptions mentioning the Habiru there have been many theories linking these to the 1st millennium Hebrews of the Bible. However, the modern scholarly conclusion is that “the plethora of attempts to relate apiru (Habiru) to the gentilic (i.e. biblical word) ibri are all nothing but wishful thinking.”

      • Norman Lycan
        April 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm

        KG,

        I think that the first point I made, the illiteracy of the masses, and the fact that all ancient history was writen by religious scribes, precludes me from defending a position which I have not adopted. It is actually, those who comb these texts in search of bits and pieces of history who put forward the theories. As Mr Steffani points out how impossible the bible account is, I was simply offering another point view from those who analyze the conflicting texts and form a theory. Theory is an important part of the search for truth, but, will never be it’s substitute. And the detractors of these theories are roomates in the same quagmire.

        I have been told, but, cannot prove, that every Pharoah ordered his scribes to attribute the feats of his predisessor to himself. Tough history to unravel, good luck with that!!!!

        NL

  12. 1000 Needles
    April 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    I am so bringing this article to my skeptics meetup next week. Thanks!

  13. Norman Lycan
    April 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Now, regarding your math about how many lambs it takes to observe a passover, it’s completely lame. The original passover only required an Israelite to paint his door post with the blood of a lamb so that the avenging angel would not take his firstborn. There was no party involved. Yes or no?

    You were a religious minister and you must understand what the bible says, and what tradition has changed. Christmas is a celebration of the winter solstice, and Easter is a celebration of eggs and rabbits, pagan symbols of fertility. So, my question is why you would resort to estimating how many lambs it would take to celebrate the original passover. That is truly lame based on your own knowledge of the bible. If you never want to get caught in a lie, never tell one.

    NL

    • ShoeUnited
      April 6, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      So, how many lambs would it take to cover the doors with kosher, first born, male, lamb’s blood? “Completely lame” is not even a counter estimate, let alone usable argument. Don’t forget, this would be taking out of the usual practice of sacraficing (God loves his burnt blood).

      • Norman Lycan
        April 7, 2012 at 8:58 pm

        Irrelevent, since Mr. Steffani’s argument was how many sheep it would take to celebrate passover under current tradition. That has nothing to do with the night the event occurred on which the celebration is based. He talked of feeding millions of people with mutton, when in fact a single sheep could have conceivably provide enough blood for a splatter on on the doors of many, many households. I was simple pointing out a chink in his armor, not disagreeing with his conclusion.

        NL

        • concernedjoe
          April 8, 2012 at 7:10 am

          Norman, you are clinically correct; Al did mix his metaphors and thus his variable values need adjustment so to speak.

          Still I believe he is right in this: it would be a daunting task to say the least to get the blood on all the right doors within the required time.

          Impossible scenario? Dunno! Plausibility is very low though and I think that is the point really.

        • Anat
          April 11, 2012 at 10:30 pm

          Under current tradition only Samaritans include sacrifice of lambs as part of the Passover celebration.

          While a single lamb would have sufficed for covering many doors with blood, the commandment was for each household to use its own lamb (though families who couldn’t afford a lamb were permitted to share one among two families).

        • anat
          April 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm

          Also, the Israelites escaping Egypt were actually commanded to eat the lambs, so yes, they did need one per family because they needed more than just the blood for the door marking.

          • Cor (formerly evil)
            April 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm

            Isn’t it a little silly to nitpick the exact number of lambs and the logistical hurdles of the first Passover? I mean, 3000 lambs might be more doable than 300,000, but let’s not forget that the next part of the story has an angel of the fucking Lord miraculously slaying people by MAGIC!!

            Any credibility issues should probably start right there.

  14. left0ver1under
    April 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    The Silk Road existed 2000 years ago. Cloth and spices weren’t the only things traded by travelling merchants, their fictitious local religions were as well. That’s how all these stories travelled country to country, many thousands of miles, and why they all contain the same elements.

    I could name you a dozen details that the jewish/christian/muslim cults claim are “unique” to them but are borrowed from other pre-existing mythologies. The fiction of “moses” alone contains several that were stolen from other religions: being found in a raft, rules of law “sent down from heaven”, “exodus”, etc.

    The jewish/christian/muslim cults are nothing but the biggest game of telephone in human history.

    • Sathya
      April 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      You said you can name some details that were borrowed from pre-existing mythologies – do you have a specific list, including what elements were borrowed from where? Definitely would be interesting reading.

  15. redpanda
    April 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    How do you get three generations out of ~350 years? Did nobody ever have children until their 100th birthday? I feel like I missed something there.

    • redpanda
      April 7, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      Oh, right, I had forgotten about the genealogies. From what I can gather all 3-4 of those generations supposedly lived to be 130-150 years old and had their children 20-40 years before they died. So yes, they were apparently living until 100 before having children (or maybe they just went through several dozen daughters first?).

  16. Anat
    April 8, 2012 at 2:50 am

    I hope they had enough, because this would be the last natural water supply they saw for the next thirty-eight years.

    Actually the story says they spent most of the 38 years in Kadesh Barnea, a major oasis. But I doubt it could support the millions. Also, not a good way to start a surprise conquest of the land, because Kadesh is just on the southern border.

    So why stay at Kadesh? Because God realized that slaves lacked the spirit necessary to conquer the land and settle it, they kept wanting to return to Egypt, where food was plentiful. This is the biblical view on slavery: Slavery is bad because it corrupts the slave. Freed slaves are pretty much useless human beings, their best hope is to die in the desert just outside the promised land so their freeborn children can inherit it. Rather depressing.

    • concernedjoe
      April 8, 2012 at 7:39 am

      Anat this to me is interesting because it is another example of how poorly written and constructed this supposedly premier guide to life, morals, and ethics really is.

      If god had something important to say – about something I mean really important to mankind psychologically, ethically and morally – oh let’s say something like SLAVERY – why didn’t “He” just say it clearly and definitively?!?!?

      I guess one could hypothetically say some preacher’s rendition in Connecticut of what the bible means inspired Stowe to write “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” which woke up lots of otherwise asleep church going bible reading Americans to the absurdly immorality of slavery. But why did Stowe have to construct HER novel in the first place? Why did that hypothetical preacher have to inspire here? And why didn’t a host of other preachers and novelists see the light likewise through the years?

      My point (I am not a writer obviously): on its own as a guide to about anything the bible sucks; it has primitive people written all over it in form and content – NOT some ALL-EVERYTHING wonderful god. This is so bloody obvious.

      • Anat
        April 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm

        My point was that the Biblical view on the moral status of slaves is at the very least disturbing. Had the slaves in the US South taken it seriously what they would have done might be – upon being freed – have children that were freeborn, raise them to self-sufficiency and commit suicide. Because according to the Bible being born a slave makes one unfit to live as a free person.

  17. rumpus
    April 8, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Coconuts? err… dates maybe. Unless perhaps the exodus was via the Bahamas. And that would explain why the evidence is not found in the desert.

  18. dave a
    April 8, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Dr. Israel Finkelstein and Neal Asher Silberman, have concluded that the first five books of the bible were written at a much later date, yrs after the supposed life of Moses. They’re heads of the department of The Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv. Their book, The Bible Unearthed, is a detailed account of the myths of the Pentateuch or first 5 books. In other words there is no reason to believe that the the Israeli claim to the holy land has any validity.

    • Anat
      April 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Ahem, the Israeli claim to the holy land is equally valid or in-valid regardless of whether the Exodus happened or not. It rests on the fact (one that Finkelstein does not dispute, in fact he endorses it) that their ancestors lived in the land way back then and formed their identity as a people there. The biblical Israelites and Judahites existed, but they were not escaped slaves from Egypt but a group that splintered off from the Canaanites when the Sea Peoples (ancestors of the Philistines) arrived and upset the social and economical composition of the Levant.

      Finkelstein himself had an interesting conversation with a settler rabbi where Finkelstein explained that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron isn’t from the alleged time of Abraham but from the Herodian period. To the rabbi this made no difference – in any case it was a site where Jews prayed a long time ago, who cares if it was 2000 or 4000 years ago?

      See for example Grounds for disbelief

  19. bahrfeldt
    April 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    My professor, back in the day, opined that, once upon a time, a lesser member of the Egyptian royal household, name shortened in the telling to Moses, was found out to have done something verboten. Maybe like seeing a Jewish girl. Moses took off with his household, her extended family and (probably mostly her) friends. He retained enough of a following, influence, loot and contacts to carve out a niche in the hinterlands of Palestine. From such our bedtime stories may be derived. Or not.

  20. Brad
    April 9, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Of course, modern archaeology provides enough evidence that almost the entirety of the Jewish biblical history was fabricated…

    I’ve seen this assertion from several other FTB bloggers as well, but it flies in the face of everything I was taught in my Evangelical church all my life (for pretty obvious reasons…).

    Where is a good starting point to really learn whether modern archaeology actually supports or refutes the Bible?

    Is there such a thing as an “unbiased” archaelogical position? Fundamentalist authors are immediately suspect, due to their obvious stake in the outcome. I’ve always been taught that the “evil secular” sources are likewise suspect, due to an opposite/equivalent desire to refute the Bible.

    Is the Magnusson book you mention (The Archaeology of the Bible Lands) a good starting point? Any other recommendation?

    • Anat
      April 11, 2012 at 2:39 am

      I wouldn’t know what an ‘unbiased’ book on archaeology would be – after all, the books are written by people who have reached conclusions, and they are written after such conclusions are arrived at. But for starters, how about Introducing Archaeology Series by Joel Ng. The articles are a bit old by now, but they’ll give you an idea of the range of ideas and approaches.

      I read the two popular books by Finkelstein and Silberman – ‘The Bible Unearthed’ and ‘David and Solomon’. They show how the geographical information in the Bible can be used to date the cultural backdrop for the various accounts (so the story of young David hiding in the desert with his group of ruffians and running an extortion racket more or less fits with its alleged time, David king of Hebron a few generations later, David king of the Unified Kingdom may have been the dream of Josiah etc).

      The Bible is a composite document. It is not a tale of events as they happened, it is a multi-layered national narrative that was built and re-composed over generations and reflects the ideas of people from many different times.

  21. Norman Lycan
    April 9, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Well,

    If any of you really understood the biblical accounts, If you choose to believe them, it tells of Israel abandoning the land, because of drought and moving to Egypt, where Joseph, who had been sold into slavery by his own jealous brothers had risen to royal status through his ability to interpret dreams. That’s how the bible said the Israelites arrived in Egypt, by Joseph’s forgiveness.

    From my point of view, if you abandon your land, it belongs to those who settle it. And applies to Palestininians too.

    According to historians, if you refer to a map of the ancient twelve tribe kingdom, there was never a point in history when Israel actually militarily controlled the entire region. And even though Joseph was a son of Jacob (Israel), there was no tribe of Joseph, because there was no inheritance of Levi. Levi had no inheritance of land because his children became the priesthood, and lived off the tithes of the other tribes. So to become the twelve tribes, Joseph’s inheritance was split in two, between his sons, Judah and Benjamin. When the Babylonians and Assyrians were done displacing them from their homelands to dissipate their patriotism, there was no one left but the tribe of Judah. And that is why we refer to them as Jews. Personally, I find myself in awe of their tenaciousness.

    But, I am a freethinker about every move they make.

    NL

    • Brian
      April 13, 2012 at 4:56 am

      So to become the twelve tribes, Joseph’s inheritance was split in two, between his sons, Judah and Benjamin.

      Joseph’s sons were Ephraim and Manasseh. Judah and Benjamin were two of Joseph’s brothers, not his sons.

  22. kevinalexander
    April 13, 2012 at 10:18 am

    I never got the lambs blood on the doorway thing. Isn’t God omniscient? Did he forget which people he chose? Couldn’t he just give the Angel of Death a GPS list? And what’s to stop Pharoah’s soldiers from going around handing out tickets to people with blood on their doors?

  23. M. Gonyea
    April 15, 2012 at 11:17 pm
  24. Tony
    April 16, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    For my part, yeah, Exodus seems pretty darned impossible. However, the lead up to it, is just stupid and preposterous. God is an effing idiot to send Moses 12 times to convince the pharaoh to release the children of Israel. I don’t care what meaning is behind it all. He didn’t need anyone to go ask the pharaoh to release the children of Israel. He’s supposed to be able to snap his fingers and do *anything*. And of course, he kept hardening the pharaoh’s heart resulting in him keeping them. It seemed more like he was taking perverse pleasure in torturing the inhabitants of Egypt. And even when he finally got the Israeli inhabitants, he treated *them* like crap during the Exodus. He can help Moses part seas, but he couldn’t teleport his children where he wanted them? He couldn’t have been smart enough to rig things back when he created the universe and knew everything that was going to happen for all time?

  25. August 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Amazing blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?

    There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any suggestions? Kudos!

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