Updated: Jan 1, 2021
By Luke Lancaster
Many archeologists will state that there is zero evidence that Israel was in Egypt, putting a huge question mark over the historicity of the Bible. Ummm, if Exodus is not real, then was it just a story? Were the Jews and Jesus liars? Should I believe the Bible anymore? Now, let's take a deep breathe, and analyze the situation.
Context To Exodus
Israel was supposed to have gone to Egypt when Jacob and his eleven sons were hit with a drastic famine. With zero rainfall, there'd be zero food, and zero food would mean...ya die! But, Egypt was said to have food, so Israel moved over there. Turns out, Jacob's supposedly "dead" son, Joseph, had risen to the highest position in Egypt's government: that of Vizier. Joseph gave his family food and a place to stay in Egypt.
Why Some Archeologists Are Wrong
Exodus 1:11 says that Israel built up the city of Ramesses while in Egypt, but archeologists say that there is no evidence for that. What gives? The issue is that archeologists assume that Israel built up the city of Ramesses during the time period of the Egyptian Pharaoh, Ramesses II (1279-1213 BCE). Turns out, there is evidence of Israel being in the city of Ramesses, but that was way back when the city was called Avaris. Archeologists have found Semitic remains of people in the city of Avaris (ex. tombs, weapons, donkeys buried with the body, pots, etc.).
This is explained by the fact that the Bible was written during the time period when the city of Avaris was named the city of Ramesses. Instead of saying that the Israelites built up this ancient city called Avaris, those reading the Scriptures would easily identify and know what the "city of Ramesses" was. It was a deliberate anachronism. So let's remember: cities change names!
The archeologists which have found some very interesting things about Avaris:
-There are pits of goats and sheep (the Israelites were shepherds (Gen. 47:3)).
-There are twelve pillars found with twelve tombs (there were twelve sons of Jacob, Ex. 49:28).
-The Semitic remains are of a people that seemed malnourished, which would indicate slavery (the Israelites became slaves in Egypt, Ex. 1:13-14).
-There is a Syrian style house in the Delta (the Caananites were from Syria).
-There is a palace for royalty (Joseph was Caananite, yet held a high-ranking position in the Egyptian kingdom, Ex. 41:40).
-There is a pyramid tomb of an Egyptian kingly figure, who was a Caananite that seemed to have worn a colored coat (Joseph wore a colored coat, Gen. 37:3).
-The pyramid tomb does not have in bones in the tomb (Joseph's bones were buried in Caanan, Joshua 24:32).
-There is evidence for tons of infant burials (Egypt demanded that all male-infants be killed due to the size of Israel, Ex. 1:22).
Read further in the scholarly writings of Manfred Bietek, Kent Weeks, David Rohl, Charles Aline, and Bryant Wood.