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The crucial text here is Exodus , 41, where 430 years are given for the sojourning of the people of Israel who dwelt in Egypt (the Samaritan and some copies of the LXX add “and their fathers”; Samaritan and LXX both add the sojourning in the time in Canaan). Archbishop Ussher and various other writers have interpreted the Exodus passage in light of Paul’s statement in Galatians , where the apostle says that the Law was given 430 years after the covenant with Abraham (or after the covenant was ratified; either interpretation is possible).
By the most straightforward reading of the Masoretic text, the 430 years would start when Jacob, at the age of 130 years, entered Egypt (Genesis 47:9). This would seem to start the 430 years with God’s promise to Abraham when the patriarch was 75 years old (Genesis 12:4, 7; compare Galatians ), just as clearly as the Masoretic text of Exodus , 41 would seem to place it 215 years later.
Much of the material in this chapter has not appeared before in book form. The important lesson here is that Egyptologists have had such confidence in the biblical dates for the division of the kingdom and Rehoboam’s reign that they use these dates to set the anchor-point for determining the reign of all pharaohs of the 21st and 22nd Dynasties.
As already mentioned, the Tyrian data found in Menander/Josephus have been used by several scholars to date the beginning of Temple construction, and hence the spring of Solomon’s fourth year (1 Kings 6:1), to 967 B. This date that can also be calculated from the biblical texts, which in turn are tied to Assyrian and astronomical data. Having established the dates of Solomon and the division of the kingdom upon his death, Chapter 3 then uses 1 Kings 6:1 to date the Exodus to Nisan 14, 1446 B. Recognizing that the date of the Exodus is a controversial issue, a full treatment is given for the various arguments in favor of this date versus a date in the 13th century that is advocated by some evangelicals.
Chapter 3 correlates the reign of Shoshenq I, first pharaoh of the 22nd Dynasty (the biblical Shishak, 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles 12:2) with Solomon’s successor Rehoboam, and, with less precision, the reign of Siamun, next-to-last pharaoh of Egypt’s 21st Dynasty, with Solomon’s early years. Topics covered are the archaeology of Hazor, Ai, and Jericho, the length of time required for the events of the Book of Judges, and the claim that the 480 years of 1 Kings 6:1 cannot be trusted because it is an imaginary figure for twelve 40-year generations.
By using Egyptian data, the times of these two monarchs can only be determined within a few decades. Some new material here is the discussion of radiocarbon dating for the destruction of Jericho City IV.
A tedious overview of all previous scholarship on a given topic, such as would be found in a Ph D thesis, is avoided, so that the reader therefore can focus on determining if the conclusion reached in makes sense.Chapter 3 also presents the Jubilee cycles as a confirmation of both anchor dates: the date of start of Temple construction and the date of entrance into Canaan, 40 years after the Exodus, at which time counting for the Jubilee and Sabbatical cycles started (Leviticus 25:1-12).This material will be new to most readers, although not to readers of summarizes these converging lines of research into a convincing apologetic for 1) the accuracy of the Bible in chronological matters, 2) the 1446 date of the Exodus, and 3) the fact that the Book of Leviticus must have been written before 1406 B.This is not an unreasonable figure, since it is exceeded in some countries at the present day.In short, the discussion in Chapter 4, although advocating the Long Sojourn, is not likely to change the opinion of many who hold to the Short Sojourn.