>Ancient Israel in Sinai

>I have been making a list of the books I am planning to read this summer. One of the books in my list is James K. Hoffmeier’s Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition. James K. Hoffmeier is Professor of Old Testament and Near Eastern Archaeology, Trinity International

The following is a description of the book supplied by the publisher:

In his pathbreaking Israel in Egypt James K. Hoffmeier sought to refute the claims of scholars who doubt the historical accuracy of the biblical account of the Israelite sojourn in Egypt. Analyzing a wealth of textual, archaeological, and geographical evidence, he put forth a thorough defense of the biblical tradition. Hoffmeier now turns his attention to the Wilderness narratives of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. As director of the North Sinai Archaeological Project, Hoffmeier has led several excavations that have uncovered important new evidence supporting the Wilderness narratives, including a major New Kingdom fort at Tell el-Borg that was occupied during the Israelite exodus. Hoffmeier employs these archaeological findings to shed new light on the route of the exodus from Egypt. He also investigates the location of Mount Sinai, and offers a rebuttal to those who have sought to locate it in northern Arabia and not in the Sinai peninsula as traditionally thought. Hoffmeier addresses how and when the Israelites could have lived in Sinai, as well as whether it would have been possible for Moses to write down the law received at Mount Sinai. Building on the new evidence for the Israelite sojourn in Egypt, Hoffmeier explores the Egyptian influence on the Wilderness tradition. For example, he finds Egyptian elements in Israelite religious practices, including the use of the tabernacle, and points to a significant number of Egyptian personal names among the generation of the exodus. The origin of Israel is a subject of much debate and the wilderness tradition has been marginalized by those who challenge its credibility. In Ancient Israel in Sinai , Hoffmeier brings the Wilderness tradition to the forefront and makes a case for its authenticity based on solid evidence and intelligent analysis.

The published also included reviews of the book written by K. Lawson Younger, Jr., co-editor of Mesopotamia and the Bible: Comparative Explorations; Richard H. Wilkinson, Professor and Director, Egyptian Expedition, The University of Arizona ; Ellen F. Morris, Department of Classics, Ancient History, and Egyptology, University of Wales Swansea; and Baruch Halpern, Chaiken Family Chair in Jewish Studies, Penn State.

Later in the summer, I will write a post and review the claims of the book.

I want to thank Kevin at biblicalia for the tip about the book.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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4 Responses to >Ancient Israel in Sinai

  1. D. P. says:

    >I hope you’ll share some of what you learn from this book. It sounds very interesting. Do you know what Hoffmeier does with chronology? Is he working on the basis of a 15th-century or a 13th-century Exodus, for example, and does he relate his findings to a high, middle, or low (or “ultra-low”) Egyptian chronology?


  2. >D. P.,Hoffmeier accepts the higher chronology for the Bible; thus he accepts the 15th century date for the Exodus. In fact, I once saw a TV program in which he associated the events of the Exodus with the eruption of the Santorini volcano.I will write a post after I finish reading Hoffmeier’s book.Claude Mariottini


  3. >You’re very welcome, Professor Mariottini!In this book, he prefers the 13th century date for an Exodus, though with the information on the sites, a 15th century date is also possible. The sites in question were in use only during those two periods, and the branch of the Nile adjacent to them migrated north by the early first millennium BC, toward the area of Tanis, the area of which had been open ocean before.There is a companion book, some of the issues in which were clarified in this one, Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition, from 1999. It’s also good.


  4. >Kevin,Thank you for this information. I am happy to know that Hoffmeier has accepted the 13th century date for the Exodus. I want to know what changed his mind.I was also planning to read Israel in Egypt this summer. Thank you for the recommendation anyway.Claude Mariottini


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