Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition

Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition

by James K. Hoffmeier


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Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition by James K. Hoffmeier

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195155464
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 10/06/2005
Pages: 284
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Professor of Old Testament and Near Eastern Archaeology, Trinity International University. He is the author of Israel in Egypt (OUP 1997).

Table of Contents

Foreword by Kenneth A. Kitchen
Chronological Charts
The Wilderness Tradition
The Wilderness Tradition and the Historian of Religion
Sinai: The Great and Terrible Wilderness
The Geography of the Exodus: Ramesses to the Sea
The Location of the Re(e)d Sea
The Mountain of God
From Egypt to Mt. Sinai: Traveling and Living in the Wilderness
The Sinai Legislation
Israel's Desert Sanctuary
Egyptian Personal Names and Other Egyptian Elements in the Exodus-Wilderness Narratives
The Wilderness Tradition and the Origin of Israel
Photo gallery

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