Rameses of the Exodus Narratives Is the 13 Century B.C. Royal Ramesside Residence -- By: James K. Hoffmeier
TRINJ 28:2 (Fall 2007) p. 281
Rameses of the Exodus Narratives Is the 13th Century B.C. Royal Ramesside Residence
James K. Hoffmeier is Professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History and Archaeology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois.
Professor Robert Vasholz in a recent “short communication” in Presbyterion: Covenant Seminary Review made a novel attempt to reinterpret the toponym Rameses in Exod 1:11 so as to exclude it as a criterion for dating the exodus to the reign of Ramesses II (1279–1213
The gist of his arguments are: (1) the grand metropolis built by Pharaoh Ramesses II simply does not correspond to the lowly “store city” (עָרֵֹי מִסְכְּוֹת—ʿārê miskᵉnôt) as described in Exod 1:11; (2) Egyptian Pharaohs did not name cities after themselves, meaning that the name Rameses in the Exod 1:11 must have some other origin, one that goes back prior to the time of Ramesses II so that it does not contradict the early Exodus date; and (3) based on the reference to “the land of Rameses” in Gen 47:11, he believes the name predates the era of Ramesses I-XI (1295–1069
Before examining these three points, let me address another issue raised by the author, namely what he calls “the biblical” date of the exodus. Any scholar who is honest with the biblical data knows that there is no such thing as “the biblical” date for the exodus. By this I mean the Bible alone does not provide a date for the exodus or any other event in the OT.3 First Kings 6:1 reports that the exodus occurred four hundred eighty years before Solomon’s fourth year when work on the temple commenced. The Bible does not provide an
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