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Rameses II And The Exodus: A Case Of Mistaken Identity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on reading a narrative familar with identity of the various pharaohs of the early chapters of Exodus, the date of the Exodus, or even the historical factuality of the recorded events. It locates the canonical setting and the Bible's own historical background of the three major parts of the larger narrative (namely, the oppression, the Moses birth narrative, and the Exodus). The chapter addresses traditional understandings based on the interpretation of extra-biblical sources. It demonstrates that the biblical portrayal is at odds with the consensus model. The pharaoh of the original oppression would therefore have been someone other then Rameses, perhaps Amosis, the founder of Dynasty 18, or one of the Thutmosides. The king of Egypt of verse 15 (Rameses II by the consensus view) carried the program of oppression further by commanding the extermination of newborn male children.

Keywords: Exodus narrative; Moses birth narrative; pharaoh; Rameses II



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