Exodus & Conquest -- By: David Livingston

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 01:3 (Summer 1988)
Article: Exodus & Conquest
Author: David Livingston


Exodus & Conquest

David Livingston

A recent news release apparently published nationwide gave the distinct impression that archaeological evidence contradicts the biblical Exodus and Conquest accounts. Readers have sent copies of articles and asked us our opinion of them. (For those who did not see it, we enclose a copy of one in this mailing.) We do not agree with the opinions presented in the

article. In what follows we try to explain how things got this way and suggest solutions to the problems. We hope that by using this chart the situation will be more understandable.

Two Sets Of Dates On Chart: Top And Left Side.

Three dates can be noted across the top: 1550, 1400, and 1250 BC. These, of course, go from earlier (1550 BC) to later (1250 BC). They are only round numbers, with a few years difference for each depending on whose book you read. Exact dates are not necessary for the following explanation.

1550 BC has been the traditional date for the end of the Middle Bronze (MB) Period. This was the date when the Egyptians drove out their Hyksos (Semitic) rulers. [Presently, however, those holding the high chronology put this date at 1540; those holding the low chronology put it at 1529. (Kitchen 1987)] The end of the MB Period also represents the peak of Canaanite culture with the greatest number of strong, well fortified cities of any time in the history of Palestine. 1550 BC was later than Joseph, but earlier than Moses and nothing is mentioned in the Bible relative to this time.

1400 BC Is the approximate biblical date for the Conquest of the Promised Land by Joshua and the Israelites. We arrive at the date by adding 480 years to the year (ca. 960 BC) Solomon laid the foundation of the Temple (1 Kings 6:1). This time frame gives about 1440 BC for the date of the Exodus. Subtracting 40 years for the wilderness wanderings gives us the approxhnate date of the Conquest -1400 BC. This date is also confirmed by other Scriptures, notably: Judges 11:26, and 1 Chr 6:33–37.

1250 BC is the approximate date for the “Conquest” accepted by most archaeologists today. Scholars arrived at this date by what they considered to be strong archaeological evidence for a date later than that of the Bible. 1250 BC, then, is the archaeologists’ date for the Conquest while 1400 BC is the biblical date.

Some evangelical scholars have chosen to accomodate Scripture to this late d...

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