(From The Bible)
CA 2000 - 1430 BCE
The name Israelites did not come into use until later but it seemed less confusing to call the people by their final name throughout.
When the Amorites invaded the Tigris-Euphrates valley and set up their capital in Babylon some of the native Akkadians-Sumarians, including Abraham's father Telah and his family, were either forced to or chose to leave.
These led a nomadic existence, moving on when the pasture land became depleted. One of the stops Abraham and others made was in Egypt and, while Abraham and others moved on, some elected to stay.
Their date of entry into Egypt can be calculated from information in the Bible. The exodus from Egypt took place 480 years before Solomon built the temple, (K6.1) CA950BCE that is, CA1430BCE. They were in Egypt for 430 years (EX 12.40) therefore the date of entry was CA1860BCE
The longevity claimed for the Patriarchs has been dismissed as fiction and, in some cases, used as evidence that the Pentateuch is nothing but a myth. For those doubters, the following explanation might be acceptable.
Great events and the people involved are remembered. When nothing noteworthy is happening names are quickly forgotten. In order to present a continuous narrative the writer(s) of the Pentateuch, the ages of the people of a remembered event were lengthened to bridge the gap to the next remembered event. The ages can therefore be used as a useful tool in establishing the chronology of events during the Patriarchal period.
It seems generally accepted that Abraham left Harran early in the second millennium BCE. I have taken the date as 1950BCE. At that time he was 75 years old so his date of birth was 2025BCE.
Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old so his date of birth was 1925BCE.
Esau and Jacob were born when Isaac was 60 so their dates of birth was 1865BCE. It was during Jacob's lifetime these Akkadian-Sumarians adopted the name Israelites.
CA1765BCE Joseph was "set over all the land of Egypt", that is made Grand Vizier to the Pharaoh.
Jacob was 130 years old when Joseph introduced him to the Pharaoh in 1735BCE and some 14 years before that, 1749 BCE "the land became the Pharaoh's, and, as for the people he (Joseph) made slaves of them from one end of Egypt to the other".
The situation changed abruptly CA1536BCE when the Egyptians rose up, expelled the occupying army of the Babylonians, and reduced their former masters, the Israelites, to slavery.
They remained thus until Moses led them out of the country CA1430BCE, a hundred years later.
Go to Babylonians
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