Exodus

Version 2
Work in progress.
Still adding and reorganizing material.

Main page

— PREAMBLE —

- Pharaohs

- Moses


— IN MIDIAN —

- Midian

- Wilderness

- Burning bush

- Mountain of Fire


— WHEN —

- Generations

- New chronology 1

- New chronology 2


— PREAMBLE —

- 10 plagues

- Tiny Exodus

- Big Exodus

- Travel days


— RED SEA —

- Unknown

- Reeds, papyrus

- Located

- Changes


— PLACES —

- Succoth

- Etham/Shur


— ROUTES #1 —

Pharaoh → Red Sea

- Routes map

- Roads to Etham

- Wadis to Etham

- Etham → Tip Aqba

- Etham → Nuweiba


— CROSSING —

- Tip of the gulf

- Nuweiba Beach


— ROUTE #2 —

Red Sea → Mt. Sinai

- Marah

- Dopkah

- Alush

- Sinai option 1

- Sinai option 2


— MISC —

- Moon Mountain

- In the land of

- Travel days

- List of stops

- Water from rock

- Jordan crossing



- Maps & Lists



This page was last updated on 25 June, 2017.

The date of Exodus


Tutankhamen, Tutankhaten, Tutankhamon, Nibhurrereya

Sources: Wikipedia


Ay or Aya


Horemheb


Ramesses l


Seti I aka Sethos I.


Ramesses II aka Ramsesses the Great


Exod 1:11 So they set over them chiefs of tribute, to the end they might humiliate them with their burdens,––and they built store–cities for Pharaoh, even Pithom and Raamses.


The construction of the city Raamses was started by Seti I near the end of his reign, but the majority of work was done during the rulership of his son Ramses II.


If we use a very generous date range, assuming the construction of the city started at the beginning of Seti I’s rule, we get:


1Kgs 6:1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

The construction of the first Temple started 480 years after the Exodus started.

Solomon started building the first Temple between 971-961 BC.
I’ll use 966 BC


Subtracting 480 years gives us an Exodus starting date of 1451-1441BC.
That’s long before the building of the city even begun.


2. 480 years or 12 generations?

Let’s start with assuming it’s 12 generations.

Let’s also assume the Solomon started building the Temple in 966 BC.


40 year long generations:


30 year long generations:


25 year long generations:


20 year long generations:


*** = A common way to count a generation is from the birth of a father until the birth of his first child or son. But because the 480 years are strongly linked to the Temple and the high priests it might point to ‘priestly generations’.
It must be noted a High Priest likely doesn’t start at at the age of 30.

Num 8:24 This is it that belongs to the Levites: from twenty and five years old and upward they shall go in to wait on the service of the tabernacle of the congregation:

→ Trainee priests doing manual labor. Likely work like cleaning, carrying, etc

Num 4:39 From thirty years old and upward even to fifty years old, every one that enters into the service, for the work in the tabernacle of the congregation,

→ The real deal



Also see Tiny Exodus - Section 15c


3. Ways of counting

Why doubting the 480 years you might ask. Well first of all it doesn’t align with archeology; which could be wrong…
Secondly because things in ancient times were recorded ‘with a twist’.
Not wrong but differently as we, today, would to it.


In ancient days there was no real calendar as we know it.
Dates were linked to all sort of events:


Ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians dated by counting generations of 40 years. Always 40 years, even if it most of the time wasn’t 40 years at all. For example the time between the birth of father and son was counted as 40 year, but in most cases the father was much younger when he got his son.


We see a similar system in measurements: foot, el, handbreadth, thumb, span, etc. All are measurements based on the human body. Needless to say not everyone’s foot is exactly a foot long.


Ps 95:10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

That really seems to state a generation is exactly 40 years long.

In that case the time between the start of Exodus and the start of the construction of the first Temple is 480/40= 12 generations.

Exactly 12, 40 and 480; if things are understood, translated and copied correctly.


4. 480 or 440 year?

1Kgs 6:1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.


The Septuagint, LXX (250BC), the Greek translation of long lost ancient Hebrew manuscripts writes:

1Kgs 6:1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and fortieth year after the departure of the children of Israel out of Egypt, in the fourth year and second month of the reign of king Solomon over Israel,


480 and 440, at least one of those numbers is wrong. There is a 40 year difference; exactly one generation. Whatever caused the difference it at least seems to hint toward counting with 40 year long  generations.


5. Copying errors in the priestly lineage




In 1 Chronicles 6:3-13 an error crept in.

Both verse 7-8 and 11-12 list the high priests Anariath, Ahitub and Zadok.

That error is corrected by taking out those verses and place them in column #4. Columns 1-4 are aligned by simply matching names. Column #5 is simply a combination of columns 1-4. Below I’ll only use column #5.


It’s possible the gaps plus the error caused confusion and for that reason the LXX has 40 years less. Some may say, that’s a literal 40 years. I’m not going to argue with that, because as I wrote at the very start of this page, I’m just presenting an alternative solution.

If a nominal generation is 40 year and exactly 40 years are missing then it’s possible the people who copied the LXX counted the generations wrong.

Why?


Counting the generations wrong, is quite possible due to the copying error shown in the table. But also because counting generations in the corrected table is not that easy. A quick look at the table may give the impression there where 14 generations from Aaron to Azariah the high priest at Solomon’s Temple. (1Kg 4:2)


The gaps in some genealogies may be ‘irritating’ but not wrong. Sometimes the Bible calls someone a father when we would call it a grandfather.

1Chr 6:52 Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son,


The most know, and most extreme example is calling Eve the mother of all living.

Gen 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.


6. Counting generations

There are two Azariah’s in the list, but the one we are after is #14, son of Zadok. Well, grandson.

1Kgs 4:2 And these were the princes which he had; Azariah the son of Zadok the priest,


Is Azariah, the first Temple’s high priest, the 14th generation from Exodus?
No.


7. Who died?

Josh 5:6 For the children of Israel were wandering in the waste land for forty years, till all the nation, that is, all the fighting-men, who had come out of Egypt, were dead, because they did not give ear to the voice of the Lord: to whom the Lord said, with an oath, that he would not let them see the land which the Lord had given his word to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.

That verse means each and everyone that left Egypt in theory could have entered the promised land. Excluding the men that were at fighting age* when Israel left Egypt.
*= Fighting age was 20 year and older. Likely between 20-50 year old.

That would be very unlikely if they all died a natural death because if the Exodus took 40 years the youngest warriors would be only 60 years.
But they were warriors and that means an high mortality rate

Ps 78:30 They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths, Ps 78:31 The wrath of God came on them, and slew the Y of them, and smote down the Z men of Israel.

Y is translated in various ways:


Z is translated in various ways:

So besides falling in battle the warriors also got killed by God Himself.
How old were those men. There is no verse that states their age. Likely they were the first-borns (chosen, elect). And those can be of any age (young and old families)

Num 11:33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.

A large number died because it was a severe plague.
The point I’m trying to make is that the duration of the Exodus isn’t really important because in theory all original warriors all could have died within 10 year because the fell in battle or by God’s Hand.


8. Force fitting the Exodus started

Impossible to know…
The certainty of the archeological dates being exactly right is low.

But there is far more certainty that 480  years will never fit.


480 years seems to be 12 nominal 40 year generation. That’s no exact number. While the 25 generation is far closer to the exact time span it’s still an nominal number. It’s just very unlikely all generations (father-son) were exactly 25 years in duration. That introduces some inaccuracy.

25 year generations are suggested by several scholars.


Combining all those semi-accurate facts, handpicking the most favorable to my suggestion:


If Pharaoh drowned at the start of the Exodus, those years obviously should be the same. That’s still 48 years wrong.



Now let’s look at 20 year generations. Again handpicked numbers.


That’s still 2 years of the earliest possible date I gave. There might be a 2 year inaccuracy somewhere and it’s solved.


But why 20 year? Just a because it fits? I must admit that’s how I found it.

But it may be more than just wishful thinking. The whole genealogy is about priests. The question is genealogy of what? Time from father to son? Age of starting work as a priest? The time served as a (high) priest? One thing is very obvious and clear; there was always a high priest.

This verse states a high priest served exactly 20 years.


Num 4:39 From thirty years old and upward even to fifty years old, every one that enters into the service, for the work in the tabernacle of the congregation,


In all fairness it must be noted that Aaron was much older than 30 when he became priest. I guess that was an exception to verse 49.
For a father priest to resign at 50 and his son taking the job at the age of 30, all priests needed to have son at the age of 20. Not totally impossible but it once again shows generations are rough numbers.





9. Did Ramesses II really drown in the Red Sea?

Pharaoh is constantly mentioned doing this, doing that, being punished, etc.
I’ll point out all those ‘events’ because I think it’s needed to make my point because nowhere it’s directly stated Pharaoh drowned in the Red Sea.


9a. The verses

Exod 14:3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness has shut them in.

Pharaoh speaks.

Exod 14:4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honored on Pharaoh, and on all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so.

Exod 14:5 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?

Pharaoh is mentioned separately.

Exod 14:6 And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him:

Exod 14:7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them.

Exod 14:8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.

Pharaoh readied his chariot and the 600 others theirs, he took, his chariots and captains, his heart is hardened. More general terms could have been used but Pharaoh is singled out in every verse.

Exod 14:9 But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.

Pharaoh  doesn’t seem to participate in this action. Pharaoh, leader of this military campaign, sent his troops ahead so they could do his dirty work. While records show Ramesses II loved action, it doesn’t mean he rode in front of all his troops.

Exod 14:10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD.

Pharaoh is mentioned again but this time he’s isn't mentioned as a person but as the name for his whole army.

Exod 14:11 And they said to Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? why have you dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?

Exod 14:12 Is not this the word that we did tell you in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

Exod 14:13 And Moses said to the people, Fear you not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom you have seen to day, you shall see them again no more for ever.

Exod 14:14 The LORD shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.

Exod 14:15 And the LORD said to Moses, Why cry you to me? speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward:

Exod 14:16 But lift you up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the middle of the sea.

Exod 14:17 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honor on Pharaoh, and on all his host, on his chariots, and on his horsemen.

Preparations for the Red Sea crossing start.

Exod 14:18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honor on Pharaoh, on his chariots, and on his horsemen.

Again Pharaoh is mentioned separately, which a term like ‘the Egyptians’ would be clear enough. What is getting honor on Pharaoh? Killing or humiliating him like was done with the ten plagues?

Exod 14:19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:

Exod 14:20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.

Exod 14:21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.

Exod 14:22 And the children of Israel went into the middle of the sea on the dry ground: and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand, and on their left.

The actual Red Sea crossing.

Exod 14:23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the middle of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.

This verse starts with a general term ‘the Egyptians’ but then it defines Egyptians as horses, chariots and horsemen owned by Pharaoh. But nowhere it states Pharaoh was part of that action.
This may seem like a minor point but keep in mind in all the previous verses Pharaoh was doing things personally as clearly stated. But in this verse no personal action or presence of Pharaoh is mentioned.

Exod 14:24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked to the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,

Exod 14:25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drove them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians.

Exod 14:26 And the LORD said to Moses, Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come again on the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen.

Exod 14:27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the middle of the sea.

The above verses speaks about chariots, Egyptians and horsemen. Pharaoh again isn’t mentioned separately

Exod 14:28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.

Please read that verse very closely. Host in this context means army.

The army/host of Pharaoh was 600 chariots + riders + horses.

The verse does not state all 600 died.

The verse does not state Pharaoh died.

The verse states all who followed died.


Exod 15:4 Pharaoh's chariots and his army he hurled into the sea. His elite commanders were drowned in the Sea of Suf.

Again Pharaoh isn’t mentioned as being dead.





So… what happened?

We can only guess. We know charioteers died. We just don’t know how many.

If not all 600 chariots went into the parted Red Sea, then Pharaoh didn’t either. It’s just extremely unlikely Pharaoh goes into battle with, say, 300 charioteers and the remaining 300 charioteers just watch the battle from the shoreline.

It would be far more likely Pharaoh wanted to send attack waves of for example 100 chariots each time. In that case he would possibly would have joined the last wave.

Another possibility is that all 600 attacked, but not all were in the Red Sea when it ‘closed’. If the crossing was 10,000 yards wide, the 600 charioteers could ride side by side.  But if the crossing was only 10 yards wide, a max of 2 or 3 charioteers could ride side by side.

So depending how soon the Red Sea closed, only part of the army was in the Red Sea.


In birds eye view:



9b. Archeological records

Archeological record show pharaoh Ramesses II reigned until the age of 92. Hardly an age to go on a military campaign in the desert. Ramesses II is one of the best preserved mummies. Not something to expect when his body floated in the water for many days. If the whole army drowned someone else had to recover his body.

Yeah, archeology can be inaccurate, but we aren’t looking for extreme precision.

Such precision simply doesn’t exist. While archeologists are serious people, who believe in their conclusion very few, if any, will claim their dates are without doubt exactly right. They always leave a possibility for a few years error margin. Also for Ramesses II reign and the building of the first Temple.

So there is some wriggling room. As odd as it may sound, sometimes the month is more certain than the year.


Jesus’ crucifixion date is a great example of that. Each and every Christian agrees He died on the day the Jews prepared the Passover. We know the Passover on our calendar is somewhere between late March and late April. The exact date depends on the year. So that’s an accuracy of about a month.

There is far less agreement on the year of His death. I’ve seen 28-36 as suggested years. So that’s an accuracy of 8 years.


9c. Passover calculation

Ramesses II died late July or early August. That’s date is almost a fact.

The year of Ramesses II’s death is fairly certain but as shown above we still can pick several years. So here we have an exact parallel with Jesus’ death.

The year is disputed, but on the month there is a lot of agreement.


Late March - late April Israel left Egypt.

Late July - early August Ramesses II died.


Assuming the best dates:
Exodus started 30 April. Pharaoh died 20 July.

A 81 day time span assuming those events took place in the same year.


Assuming the worst dates:
Exodus started 20 March. Pharaoh died 10 August.

A 143 day time span assuming those events took place in the same year.


So Pharaoh launched his last attack 81-143 days after Israel left Egypt.

I can show all sort of traveling plans and statistic but that’s useless because we have verses that totally refute 81-143 days.


Num 33:3 And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.

That verse clearly states when their journey started.


Exod 16:1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.

The above verse is after the Red Sea crossing documented in chapter 14.

The meaning of second month can be debated.


30 or 60 days, it doesn’t matter. Both are far less than 81-143 days. Actually it’s even less than 30-60 days because there was some time between the crossing and arriving in Exo 16:1.

As I will show on another page, at a later date, traveling speed, traveling distance and crossing location, simply doesn’t align with a 81-143 day travel.


The simple conclusion of this section is that Pharaoh didn’t die in the Red Sea.



9d. Egyptian records don’t mention the Red Sea crossing.

Pride.

That word perfectly and completely summarizes this section…

Pharaoh's were gods that were always wise and victorious. They won each every battle with great ease. And above all their mighty armies obviously never ever got outsmarted or worse, defeated, by a bunch of lowly slaves…


One battle is quite well documented. A lot of reading but the summary is this:

Egypt was at war with the Hitties. Both side suffered heavy losses. The whole war only had losers. It was a draw at best. But both the Egyptians and Hittites  claimed a glorious victory. Battles that were won were greatly documented. Defeat were lied about or not documented at all.


[The Exodus] …was not a great success for the Egyptian power, and the historians of that country seldom recorded facts on the monuments unless they could be turned to the honor of the king and of the people. And even so, our knowledge of Egyptian history is not so complete that we can venture to state dogmatically that an incident was never recorded simply because we have not discovered the narrative.
Robinson 1932, 70.



A few quotes from this article.

The Hittites dispersed the Amen division and began pillaging the Egyptian camp. The Pharaoh, fighting among his body guard with his back to the river, looked lost.

Ramses reorganized his forces and the Hittites escaped being surrounded by the Egyptians by retreating towards Kadesh.

Nevertheless, Muwatalli (Hittite) was able to rob his opponent (Pharaoh) of the initiative and eliminated about a third of his troops.

The failure of Ramses' campaign was a result of his tactical mistakes.

Ramses described the campaign as a splendid victory, while in reality Kadesh remained in Hittite hands, Amurru fell to the Hittites and the Egyptian losses were substantial.



Needless to say the above isn’t the hallmark of a great victory. But still the Egyptian records show a great victory. The Hittite king that made Pharaoh flee supposedly said/wrote:


Suteh are you, Baal himself, your anger burns like fire in the land of Hatti.
Your servant speaks to you and announces that you are the son of Re. He put all the lands into your hand, united as one.
The land of Kemi, the land of Hatti, are at your service. They are under your feet.
Re, your exalted father, gave them to you so you would rule us. Is it good, that you should kill your servants?

Look at what you have done yesterday. You have slaughtered thousands of your servants.

You will not leave any inheritance. Do not rob yourself of your property, powerful king, glorious in battle, give us breath in our nostrils.


The whole battle was a draw at best. It can even be argued the Egyptians lost. Still the Egyptians recorded the Hittite king crawling at Pharaoh’s feet. Asking the great and mighty son of god for mercy. The Hittite king offered Pharaoh his service and land in exchange for being spared.


With that in mind how do you think Egyptians would record being defeated by a bunch of (almost) unarmed slave men, women and children on foot?

I think the most plausible answers are:


I'm not claiming the Egyptians never recorded any defeat, but I think the above clearly shows they sometimes were quite flexible with the truth :-)



10. And the date the Exodus started is…

… unknown.


10a. 1446 BC

480 years between the start of the Exodus and start of the construction of the first Temple, isn’t even remotely possible with archeological data we have. (Section 1)


10b. 1271-1261 BC

Ramesses II was Pharaoh. 1279-1213 BC. → Most common dates.

Temple construction started between 971-961 BC

By understanding 480 years as 12 generations of 40 years, it’s possible to conclude that Scripture actually means 12x25=300 year. Section 2.


971+300=1271 BC → ~7 year after the start of his reign.

961+300=1261 BC → ~17 year after the start of his reign.

Both dates are within the period he reigned, so are possible.

However, the building of the Temple probably started in 966BC

That places the start of the Exodus in 1266 BC in the 13th year of his reign, at the age of 37.

That means Pharaoh did not die in the Red Sea; which I think Scripture teaches. Section 8a.


This is the best candidate. In Ex 4:19 we read Moses returned to Egypt after the last person that wanted to kill him died. One of those persons was the former Pharaoh, Ramesses II’s father. We know he died in 1279 BC. We do not know when the others seeking Moses life died.


10c. 1211-1201 BC

Ramesses II was Pharaoh. 1279-1213 BC. → Most common dates.

Temple construction started between 971-961 BC

By understanding 480 years as 12 generations of 40 years, it’s possible to conclude that Scripture actually means 12x20=240 year. Section 2.


971+240=1211 BC → ~1 year after the end of his reign.

961+240=1201 BC → ~11 year after the end of his reign.

Both dates are after the period he reigned.

While this view places Pharaoh’s death (almost) in the year the Exodus started the month of his death is wrong. Section 8c.

Another problematic thing is that Pharaoh died at an age of 90 years old. Not really the age to personally lead a military campaign.

So this view is only possible if we assume archeological errors.


That places the start of the Exodus in 1211 BC (almost) at the very end of his reign.


10d. Conclusion

When combining all available information my conclusion is:



11. Can the above conclusions be wrong?

Yes! And likely they are.

See the next page for an alternative solution. Read below for the reasons why the solution on this page is very likely wrong.


11a. The city was named after a Pharoah that wasn’t born yet.


Gen 47:11 And Joseph made a place for his father and his brothers, and gave them a heritage in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had given orders.


Exod 12:37 And the children of Israel made the journey from Rameses to Succoth; there were about six hundred thousand men on foot, as well as children.


How can there be a city named after Pharaoh Ramesses if he would be born many years after the city was build? The answer is they are unrelated or the Pharaoh is named after the city.

There is a bit of a debate how long the Israelites stayed in Egypt. 400 or 430 years. For this discussion it doesn’t matter.

Between the two verses there is a period of 400-430 years. Obviously none of the Pharaoh’s lived that long. There was a Rameses I and II but their rule was just 12 years apart; so that’s no explanation either.

The time span is also to big for the father of Ramesses II dedicating the city to his son.


“Gen 47:11 …land of Rameses...” Is usually understood as the land ruled by the Pharaoh with the same name. But there is another possibility; the word means “Door of two roads”. The two roads were the road to Canaan heading north, or the road to Succoth heading south. So it was a location of a junction of ancient trading routes. The Israelites built a city at that place named after the place, not the Pharaoh.

The modern name of that city is Tell el-Daba. Evidence for Jewish presence has been found in that area.


11b. Moses meets the dead Pharaoh.

Exod 1:11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.


Exod 2:12 And having looked round this way and that way, he saw no one. And he killed the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.

Exod 2:15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelled in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.


Exod 4:19 And the LORD said to Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought your life.



Exo 1:11: The Israelites built a city for Pharaoh Ramesses II.

Exo 2:12: Moses kills a slave master.

Exo 2:15: Ramesses II wants to kill Moses, so Moses fled to Midian.

Exo 4:19: Moses is told to return to Egypt because everyone that wanted to kill him is dead. That included Ramesses II.


The Bible never mentions the name of the Pharaoh, but it’s commonly accepted the Pharaoh of the 10 plagues was Ramesses II. That’s impossible because in verse 4:19 we read he died.


There are several answers to that contradiction:



11c. A very common name

The name Rameses was used by (at least) 11 Pharaohs. All after the Exodus but as shown also long before (Gen 47:11).

Gen 47:11 And Joseph made a place for his father and his brothers, and gave them a heritage in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had given orders.


Quite possibly the ‘land of Rameses’ is another name for the ‘land of Goshen’.

Some proof of that is that the LXX uses Rameses but the MT uses Goshen in certain verses like Gen 46:28. So for the ancients they may have be the same. One an more modern name as the other.



11d. Josephus

As soon, therefore, as ever the whole Egyptian army was within it, the sea flowed to its own place, and came down with a torrent raised by storms of wind, and encompassed the Egyptians. Showers of rain also came down from the sky, and dreadful thunders and lightning, with flashes of fire. Thunderbolts also were darted upon them. Nor was there any thing which used to be sent by God upon men, as indications of his wrath, which did not happen at this time, for a dark and dismal night oppressed them. And thus did all these men perish, so that there was not one man left to be a messenger of this calamity to the rest of the Egyptians.

Joseph. AJ 2.349 - click

In section 9c it was speculated Pharaoh Ramesses II survived but Josephus clearly states nobody was left to tell the story.



11e. Conclusion

Not the Bible, but commonly accepted assumptions are flawed. As we will see on the next page part of the problem are flaws in the Egyptian chronology.


Yeah, and with that this whole page becomes largely useless. But as I wrote on the very first page I’m open to all views. So I presented that view to my best ability. Besides of that knowing why a certain view is wrong is knowledge too. It also indirectly strengthens the other views.



12. Personal thoughts on the dating

“480 years is actually twelve 25 year priestly generations.” A crafty solution.
But in my view that means it has to be applied consistantly.

The 40 year Exodus was 1 generation and should be 25 years.

When Jesus fastest 40 days in the wilderness was it really 25 days?

After all the 40 surely is a pattern. 40 is an often returning number of affliction/testing. Should it all be understood as 25 years/days?

Those and similar things make me feel very uneasy about the conclusions reached on this page…