Skip to comments.Documentary Sets New Date For Exodus
Posted on 07/03/2006 2:26:25 PM PDT by blam
Jul. 3, 2006 0:15 | Updated Jul. 3, 2006 4:57
Documentary sets new date for Exodus
By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
A new documentary by a Canadian Jewish filmmaker argues that the Exodus did happen, but that it took place a couple of hundred years before the commonly-accepted time frame.
The Exodus Decoded, a two-hour documentary by award-winning Israeli-born filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici, suggests that the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt as recounted in the Bible occurred around 1500 BCE, about 230 years before the date most commonly accepted by contemporary historians.
The 10 plagues that smote the Egyptians, according to the Bible, are explained in the documentary to be the result of a volcanic eruption on a Greek island that occurred 3,500 years ago.
The documentary, which is narrated by the director James Cameron (Titanic), identifies a 3,500-year-old gold image - found in a museum in Athens - as that of the lost Ark of the Covenant. It also cites a hieroglyphic inscription discovered in an Egyptian museum that attests to the Exodus.
The film also claims to reveal the "true location" of Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments according to the Bible.
None of the relics - or arguments - cited in the made-for-TV, state-of-the-art film, which is the result of six years of research, has been accepted by archeologists or any prominent archeological institution as proof for Jacobovici's theory.
And Jacobovici, who has produced an array of documentaries over the last two decades on subjects ranging from suicide bombing in Israel to the ebola virus to the global sex trade, readily agrees that he is no archeologist. But he asserts that this makes him no less qualified to investigate historical facts.
"I bring with me the same skills you bring to any investigation, whether it is sex trafficking, politics, terror or the Biblical archeological story," said the two-time Emmy award-winner, denouncing "minimalists" who say that the Exodus - and the Bible - is a fantastic fairy tale.
"I think it is a mistake when you have a situation in archeology where some academics have set themselves up as some sort of priesthood between us and the Bible," he added.
Jacobovici set out on his Exodus quest after doing a documentary in the 1990s on a group of people on the Indian-Burma border who claim to be the lost Israelite tribe of Menashe. That film was met with widespread criticism by people Jacobovici branded as "so-called experts." Jacobovici said he himself was skeptical of the tribe's Israelite claims until he researched the subject.
Similarly with the new Exodus documentary, he asserted that with his hefty $3.5 million budget, a lack of preconceptions, and none of the restrictions of conventional archeological wisdom, he was free to reach what he insists are credible conclusions about the Exodus.
The 55-year-old director, whose original claim to fame was his first-ever documentary Falasha: Exile of the Black Jews, made two and half decades ago and which focused on Ethiopian Jewry, said his research for the lost tribes film spurred him to question the widely accepted assumptions about what he called "the founding story of Western civilization" - the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt.
Six years later, mixing science, religion and a variety of archeological findings, Jacobovici is convinced that he has seen the light. Most of the archeological findings cited come from Egypt, with others from Greece. He said he researched in six countries, including Israel and the UK.
The film, which was first broadcast in Canada in April, premieres Friday at the Jerusalem Film Festival. It will be shown in the US on August 20 on the History Channel.
Isn't one of the problems regarding the Exodus date a political one, with biblical minimalists trying to dismiss the existence of Hebrews in Egypt altogether?
Interesting article.Book sounds interesting too.
Excellent book. I've read it twice.
Great observation about the politics.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)
What artifact are they claiming is the Ark?
Interestingly, during the same years as the ThutMOSE Pharaohs were reigning. (1490's down into the 1300's)
I've wondered about that name similarity before.
I think Baillie's date is the right one, too. His arguments are very good.
If Moses supposes his toeses are roses, Moses supposes erroneously...
EXODUS - The Pretender to the Throne of Pharaoh
Fareeda Ahmad - UK
The Review of Religions, October 1996
The order of events in both the Bible and Qur'an are different from the volcanic events and the theory does not fit the facts in every way, but the details are not considered important and where the clash cannot be ignored, for example the mutual incompatibility of Thera Tuthmosis and the 15th century, obviously one of these must change. Hence we sacrifice the timeline of Egyptian history and pull Tuthmosis back 200 years. Both books are well written and very interesting. Pelligrino, with whom I take exception, simply believes the Muslims have inherited Biblical stories and incorporated them into the Qur'an. I believe he is being unscientific. This could only be the case if the Qur'anic stories were proved to be a derivative of the Biblical ones. As the case stands it is the Biblical version of the days before the Exodus that seems more embellished.
Furthermore, if the Qur'an were based on the Bible, it should be careful not to differ in it's version of events and yet differ it does. Leaving aside whether Pelligrino and other scholars believe the Qur'an is written by God or the Holy Prophet (saw), it should still be treated as an older text (7th century AD), preserving a different version of events. This is easier to comprehend if we remember that the Latin Vulgate, which is of great importance dates to approximately 400 AD and that the definitive Massoretic text is from the 10th century AD.
As for the explosion of Thera, in all probability it happened, but rather than propelling the Israelites out of Egypt, if it had the wide ranging climatic effect suggested to cause a change in weather and drought and famine and change of leadership it may even have been instrumental in propelling them into Egypt in search of food.
Islam wants more than anything to prove there was never an Exodus...but Egypt wants back the gold and treasure the Israelites took out of Egypt with them. In Oz, we call that having a bet both ways.
The August 9, 2003 edition of the Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram Al-Arabi featured an interview with Dr. Nabil Hilmi, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Al-Zaqaziq who, together with a group of Egyptian expatriates in Switzerland, is preparing an enormous lawsuit against "all the Jews of the world." The following are excerpts from the interview: 
Dr. Hilmi: " Since the Jews make various demands of the Arabs and the world, and claim rights that they base on historical and religious sources, a group of Egyptians in Switzerland has opened the case of the so-called 'great exodus of the Jews from Pharaonic Egypt.' At that time, they stole from the Pharaonic Egyptians gold, jewelry, cooking utensils, silver ornaments, clothing, and more, leaving Egypt in the middle of the night with all this wealth, which today is priceless."
From the article:
...identifies a 3,500-year-old gold image - found in a museum in Athens - as that of the lost Ark of the Covenant.
He isn't claiming to have found the Ark, but an image of it. It would be rather difficult to have a piece of art with an image of the Ark carved on it that predates the Ark itself.
Thanks, should have read that more carefully.
The name Moses is supposed to mean "taken from the water," but it was a common component of Egyptian names and it meant "child."
Astronomical Retrocalculation and 1 Kings
"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."
- I Kings 6:1
"Thiele's chronology of the Israelite kings [The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (1983)...places Solomon's coronation in circa 931 BC. Thus the temple was founded in 928 and Moses brought the Israelites out of Egypt four hundred and eighty years earlier in circa 1447 BC. This date for Exodus is supported by Judges 11:26 where it states that around three hundred years had elapsed from the Conquest of the Promised Land to the judgeship of Jephthah (c. 1110 BC."
- David M. Rohl, A Test of Time: The Bible from Myth to History (1995), p. 249
for what it's worth...
Thanks. You got me searching.
Sitchin dates the Exodus at 1433 when Moses was 88 years old. ("The Wars of Gods and Men")