Talk:The Exodus

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Lede Edits Good To Go?[edit]

Anon editor, Fajkfnjsak, has made repeated edits that almost dramatically change the context of the lede. I haven't been as involved in this page as I used to be, but I know the lede went through a quite extensive overhaul and this one person has changed it on his own. Is everyone ok with that? It also seems odd that the contextual changes are similar to anon editor, Jgriffy98, who repeatedly had his changes reverted - is this a coincidence? Ckruschke (talk) 19:49, 1 July 2019 (UTC)Ckruschke

I personally do not like the changes but Fajknjsak has reverted me every time I've reverted anything he's done. As they aren't terrible, I let it go, but if other users prefer the old wording I certainly would as well.--Ermenrich (talk) 20:22, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
I agree that the changes aren't "terrible", but allowing an IP to run the page isn't how things are supposed to work. It seems very odd to me that several IP editors over the last 6 months have made very similar changes to this page. Smacks of Sock Puppetry especially since Fajknjsak hasn't been heard of since I brought this up... Ckruschke (talk) 13:30, 9 July 2019 (UTC)Ckruschke
Well, sockpuppetry issue aside, ideally it shouldn't matter if the IP is an IP or not. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:54, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
"Ideally" However, IP editors are often anon for a reason. Ckruschke (talk) 15:02, 10 July 2019 (UTC)Ckruschke
@Fajkfnjsak:, would you care to discuss your edits here?--Ermenrich (talk)
It doesn't look that different to me, & still contains howlers like the book being "published" in the 5thC BC! The escape from oppression theme was of great importance to Early Christians, and other Christian groups (under Muslim rule) etc, and if African-Americans are mentioned these should be too. Johnbod (talk) 17:38, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
I don't disagree with Fajkfnjsak's POV, but he edits too bluntly. Tgeorgescu (talk) 15:19, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
BTW, he's doing the exact same thing on Plagues of Egypt and also reverting long established editors. Ckruschke (talk) 19:05, 11 July 2019 (UTC)Ckruschke
He's currently blocked for 24 hours for edit warring. I'd just like him to use the talk page to discuss what he's doing. He hasn't responded to my ping and he completely removed my attempt at rewording to avoid saying the exodus "was published", taking out a long stable part of the text with reference in the process. I've tried a reworded version so hopefully he'll actually engage here when his block is up.--Ermenrich (talk) 19:44, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
This edit here [1] strikes me as far more problematic. He removed sourced material claiming it was unsourced.--Ermenrich (talk) 20:25, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
POV-pusher or straw-man sock? Tgeorgescu (talk) 20:59, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
Concerning the removed text, why are we quoting a news article from Haaretz in reference to Samaritan traditions? Don't we have better sources on the topic? Dimadick (talk) 19:22, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
I don't personally at the moment. I replaced like with like, but obviously we should look for better sources. I've noticed that Israeli newspapers get cited a lot in biblical articles where an academic source would be preferred so it's a fairly widespread problem.--Ermenrich (talk) 19:30, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── The lede is currently extremely emphatic that the Exodus is a myth, stating it three times in three different ways at the end of the first paragraph and the beginning of the second:

However, there is no evidence that the Israelites were ever enslaved in Ancient Egypt, or even lived there.[1][2][3] Scholars broadly agree that the Exodus has no historical basis and that the Israelites originated in Canaan and from the Canaanites.[1][4]

The consensus of modern scholars is that the bible does not give an accurate account of the origins of Israel, which formed as an entity in the southern Transjordan region by the 13th century BCE.[5][6][7] [...] The lack of historical evidence for any aspect of the Egyptian sojourn, exodus, or wilderness wanderings is what leads most scholars to omit them from comprehensive histories of Israel.[1]

Do we need all four of these? I personally feel that the senence at the beginning of the second paragraph is probably enough for the lede. That was the state of things prior to the most recent series of edits.

In addition, we currently say "the Exodus myth" or refer to "the myth" too frequently. Fajkfnjsak keeps changing any other word ("story" "narrative") to myth. In some cases, I think even just "the Exodus" would be more appropriate.--Ermenrich (talk) 23:55, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

You are way too interested in me. Also no need to tell on me, just talk to me.
I agree it could be slimmed down, but cutting out all form the lead except for the first sentence of the 2nd paragraph is way too extreme. You would be completely removing very different information instead of consolidating them.
I also agree that it says "the myth" too much. There are certain instances (ie the 1st paragraph - "The myth's message is that...." could just say "It's message...") where it could just say the Exodus. Fajkfnjsak (talk) 03:07, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
I am not "telling on you," I am bringing your edits up for discussion by the community. If I am "interested in you" it's because you've been making a series of very blunt edits to this article and others related to the Exodus topic. And I'm hardly the only one who has noticed this, as evidenced by this entire thread.--Ermenrich (talk) 03:17, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
@Ermenrich: Btw you just added the words "the myth" into the lead today. Changed "it" to "the myth" Fajkfnjsak (talk) 03:18, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
I did, yes, because otherwise I didn't think the referent was clear. But that was mostly because it was previously described as "the Exodus myth" where we could have simply said "the Exodus".--Ermenrich (talk) 03:21, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
No one made you write the word myth. Just 2 sentences prior to where you wrote "Exodus myth", I wrote "The Exodus" without the word myth. Fajkfnjsak (talk) 03:24, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
Look at the diff [2]. It already contains "the Exodus myth". If you look at my edit here [3] I originally changed myth to story, as it already was when I first made the change [4].--Ermenrich (talk) 03:29, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
Not sure how to link your edit. But just look at history page and look at the changes in your edit. You clearly changed "it" to "the myth". Enough with trying to blame others for your edit. I wrote "the Exodus" in the end of the 1st paragraph. You could have used that if you wanted to too. Fajkfnjsak (talk) 03:34, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
That doesn't affect anything about what I said before - you have been changing instances of story or narrative to myth. Is there some reason you don't want to just discuss that fact?--Ermenrich (talk) 03:38, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
You just did what you accuse me of. When you can see that I wrote "The Exodus" at the end of the 1st paragraph. And you went out of your way to change "it" to "the myth" which was totally unnecessary. Pot calling kettle black. Fajkfnjsak (talk) 03:42, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
@Ermenrich: Just fixed your excessive "myth" addition. Changed "myth" back to it. Also changed 2 other instances of "the Exodus myth" to "the Exodus", that some other editor added in the first place. Fajkfnjsak (talk) 03:47, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for making the changes, I'm doing a few more now. They generally restore the article's wording to that of c. June 6 of this year [5], when the term "the Exodus myth" only occurred once in the whole article (in the section on the Exodus as myth).--Ermenrich (talk) 12:50, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
I've made some further changes to the lede based on Fajkfnjsak's openness to cutting down the number of sentences devoted to historicity and some of the comments that were made earlier. I'm open to further ideas for improvement.--Ermenrich (talk) 20:56, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

I said I was open to consolidation. I specifically said I was against removing all these separate, sourced, pieces of info from the lead. You keep making edits without consensus. I made some good faith edits to address your concerns. Why don't you try some good faith edits, consolidate the sentences, don't remove them all in their entirety from the lead. Fajkfnjsak (talk) 22:18, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
Maybe we could consolidate the last sentences of the 1st and 2nd paragraph? Thoughts? Fajkfnjsak (talk) 22:24, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

If you'll review the edit, I think you'll see that's exactly what I did. I only cut one sourced piece of information and consolidated two sentences into one.
Compare the current wording:

The Exodus is the founding myth of the Israelites.[8][a] Spread over the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, it tells the story of the enslavement of the Israelites in Ancient Egypt, their liberation through the hand of their tutelary deity Yahweh, the revelations at biblical Mount Sinai, and their wanderings in the wilderness up to the borders of Canaan, the land their god has given them.[9] Its message is that Israel was delivered from slavery by Yahweh, and therefore belongs to him through the Mosaic covenant. The covenant's terms are that Yahweh will protect his chosen people, as long as they will keep his laws and exclusively worship him.[8][10] The Exodus and its laws remain central to Judaism, recounted daily in Jewish prayers and celebrated in festivals such as Passover, as well as resonating with non-Jewish groups, from early American settlers fleeing persecution in Europe to African Americans striving for freedom and civil rights.[11] However, there is no evidence that the Israelites were ever enslaved in Ancient Egypt or even lived there.[1][12][13] Scholars broadly agree that the Exodus has no historical basis and that the Israelites originated in Canaan and from the Canaanites.[1][14]

The consensus of modern scholars is that the bible does not give an accurate account of the origins of Israel, which formed as an entity in the southern Transjordan region by the 13th century BCE.[5][6][7] There is a widespread agreement that the composition of the Torah or Pentateuch, the biblical books which contain the Exodus, took place in the Middle Persian Period (5th century BCE),[15] although the traditions behind it are older and can be found in the writings of the 8th century BCE prophets.[16][17] The lack of historical evidence for any aspect of the Egyptian sojourn, exodus, or wilderness wanderings is what leads most scholars to omit them from comprehensive histories of Israel.[1]

to my version

The Exodus is the founding myth of the Israelites.[8][b] Spread over the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, it tells the story of the enslavement of the Israelites in Ancient Egypt, their liberation through the hand of their tutelary deity Yahweh, the revelations at biblical Mount Sinai, and their wanderings in the wilderness up to the borders of Canaan, the land their god has given them.[9] Its message is that Israel was delivered from slavery by Yahweh, and therefore belongs to him through the Mosaic covenant. The covenant's terms are that Yahweh will protect his chosen people, as long as they will keep his laws and exclusively worship him.[8][10] The Exodus and its laws remain central to Judaism, recounted daily in Jewish prayers and celebrated in festivals such as Passover, as well as resonating with non-Jewish groups, from early American settlers fleeing persecution in Europe to African Americans striving for freedom and civil rights.[18]

The consensus of modern scholars is that the bible does not give an accurate account of the origins of Israel, which formed as an entity in the southern Transjordan region by the 13th century BCE from the indigenous Canaanite culture.[5][6][7] There is no evidence that the Israelites were ever enslaved in Ancient Egypt or even lived there.[1][19][20] There is a widespread agreement that the composition of the Torah or Pentateuch, the biblical books which contain the Exodus narrative, took place in the Middle Persian Period (5th century BCE),[15] although the traditions behind it are older and can be found in the writings of the 8th century BCE prophets.[16][17]

The information on Canaan is now found in the first sentence of the second paragraph and I moved the sentence on slavery in Egypt to the second paragraph. The only thing removed is that historians don't include it in their histories, which I find to be redundant given that we've said historians don't hold it to have happened. Does anyone else have an opinion? @Ckruschke:, @Gråbergs Gråa Sång:, @Johnbod:, @Dimadick:?--Ermenrich (talk) 22:43, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
@Ermenrich: - can you archive most of this page except for maybe the last edit you made? Its getting hard to follow. I put your edit back in while including the part you removed about scholars agreement on the lack of historical basis. Thoughts? Fajkfnjsak (talk) 22:56, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

There was a mistake in his comment format, I have fixed it. It is clear now.
Ermenrich you can quote like this {{Bqoute|The text you want to quote}} or {{Cqoute|The text you want to quote}} etc.--SharabSalam (talk) 23:09, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

@Ermenrich: Some editor added "tutelary deity" Yahweh. Should we eliminate those 2 words? Seems true but kind of random.
also can you archive this page, its too much to follow. Fajkfnjsak (talk) 23:18, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

Hardly random. A tutelary deity is "a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation". That is Yahweh's role in this myth, the protector of the Israelites. Dimadick (talk) 06:25, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
I said it seemed true, just random because I thought describing Yahweh in this article's lead seems out of place. But I don't really care either way, so I'll just leave it in. Fajkfnjsak (talk) 03:14, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

"Does anyone else have an opinion?" That something is a myth, has nothing to do with its historicity. "many societies group their myths, legends and history together, considering myths and legends to be true accounts of their remote past." ... "One theory claims that myths are distorted accounts of historical events.[21][22] According to this theory, storytellers repeatedly elaborate upon historical accounts until the figures in those accounts gain the status of gods.[21][22] For example, the myth of the wind-god Aeolus may have evolved from a historical account of a king who taught his people to use sails and interpret the winds.[21] Herodotus (fifth-century BCE) and Prodicus made claims of this kind.[22] This theory is named euhemerism after mythologist Euhemerus (c. 320 BCE), who suggested that Greek gods developed from legends about human beings.[22][23]" Dimadick (talk) 06:30, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

Yes, of course. Do you have an opinion specifically on the manner this is presented in the lede now though?--Ermenrich (talk) 13:01, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
saying its "has nothing to do with its historicity" is black and white and as incorrect as saying "all myths are 100% false and every one is based on nothing". Clearly all myths are not created equal. Being a myth means they are to some significant degree, false, or at the least, supernatural (ie unfalsifiable/unverifiable). I'm sure some myths are distorted (ie false) accounts of historical events, while others are entirely made up.
One cannot borrow the historicity of the actual event and lend it to the false event (myth).
For example, if I make up a myth, "Australia enslaved millions of Finnish people." Then I said it was based on Americans enslaving Africans (real historical event). The historical event (the Americans enslaving Africans) does not make the myth (Finnish enslavement in Australia) true to any degree.
And the fact that some people consider myths and legends to be true has no academic relevance. some people believe in ghosts too, which like supernatural myths, are unfalsifiable/unverifiable
Some people believe in the Exodus, creation, etc myths but they're still considered myths (false) by academia
Fajkfnjsak (talk) 03:35, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Moore, Megan Bishop; Kelle, Brad E. (2011-05-17). Biblical History and Israel S Past: The Changing Study of the Bible and History. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 9780802862600.
  2. ^ Coogan, Michael David; Coogan, Michael D. (2001). The Oxford History of the Biblical World. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195139372.
  3. ^ Dever, William G. (2001-05-10). What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?: What Archeology Can Tell Us About the Reality of Ancient Israel. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 9780802821263.
  4. ^ Meyers, Carol (2005-07-11). Exodus. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521002912.
  5. ^ a b c Meyers 2005, pp. 6–7.
  6. ^ a b c Moore & Kelle 2011, p. 81.
  7. ^ a b c Faust 2015, p. 476.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Sparks 2010, p. 73.
  9. ^ a b Redmount 2001, p. 59.
  10. ^ a b Bandstra 2008, p. 28-29.
  11. ^ Berlin, Adele; Brettler, Marc Zvi (2004). The Jewish Study Bible: Jewish Publication Society Tanakh Translation. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195297515.
  12. ^ Coogan, Michael David; Coogan, Michael D. (2001). The Oxford History of the Biblical World. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195139372.
  13. ^ Dever, William G. (2001-05-10). What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?: What Archeology Can Tell Us About the Reality of Ancient Israel. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 9780802821263.
  14. ^ Meyers 2005, p. 5.
  15. ^ a b Romer 2008, p. 2.
  16. ^ a b Lemche 1985, p. 327.
  17. ^ a b Redmount 2001, p. 63.
  18. ^ Berlin, Adele; Brettler, Marc Zvi (2004). The Jewish Study Bible: Jewish Publication Society Tanakh Translation. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195297515.
  19. ^ Coogan, Michael David; Coogan, Michael D. (2001). The Oxford History of the Biblical World. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195139372.
  20. ^ Dever, William G. (2001-05-10). What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?: What Archeology Can Tell Us About the Reality of Ancient Israel. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 9780802821263.
  21. ^ a b c Bulfinch 2004, p. 194.
  22. ^ a b c d Honko 1984, p. 45.
  23. ^ "Euhemerism", The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions

Lede citations and mis-citations[edit]

Now that Fajkfnjsak has been blocked for contentious editing, I decided to have a look through some of the lede text again. I noticed that the sentence "There is no evidence that the Israelites lived or were enslaved in ancient Egypt." was cited directly to websites rather than using ref=harv, even though the references are all in the article under the correct format already. I've converted them, but Fajkfnjsak and the various IPs who have been editing the lede lately failed to provide page numbers. Someone will have to find them. Additionally, I read through Redmont for as much as google books would let me and it directly contradicts the text its being used to support. I quote:

To some, the lack of a secure historical grounding for the biblical Exodus narrative merely reflects its nonhistorical nature. According to this view, there was no historical Exodus and the story is to be interpreted as a legend or myth of origins. To others, still in the majority among scholars, the ultimate historicity of the Exodus narrative is indisputable. The details of the story may have become clouded or obscured through the transmission process, but a historical core is mandated by that major tenet of faith that permeates the Bible: God acts in history.

p 87

I think we need to check carefully if references are being misused on the article.

I might add that, just looking through some of the secondary literature, our section on the historicity of the Exodus is laughably small and could greatly be expanded.--Ermenrich (talk) 21:24, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

I've just reviewed the other sources cited on the origins of Israel and the Exodus. From Meyers (cited in lede): Although there is no specific historical grounding for the biblical account of descent, sojourn, and depature, these analogues [discussed above in the text] suggest a core of reality (p. 10). On the other hand Moore and Kelle do seem to reject the story and claim that the majority of histories of Israel do not include it (I only have a limited preview unfortunately). But even they note In other words, while the Egyptian features of the stories discussed here (names, place-names, and other details) are not enough for scholars to accept the stories unconditionally as factual reports, some believe they point to the inclusion of a group of Egyptian origin in earliest Israel. Faust, who I think was used to say that Israel developed from Canaan, in fact says: While there is a consensus among scholars that the Exodus did not take place in the manner described in the Bible, surprisingly most scholars agree that the narrative has a historical core, and that some of the highland settlers came, one way or another, from Egypt (p.476). Redmont, who I already note supports some sort of historical background, is cited in the article in a way to support the unreality of the Exodus. The statement "The Israelites originated from Canaan" appears to be a mis-citing of two sources saying that archaeology indicates continuity and thus a Canaanite origin.
In short, the article is not accurately reflecting what the sources actually say about the historicity of the Exodus. The article is in need of a rewrite on this matter.--Ermenrich (talk) 21:01, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I've decided to post notice of this to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ancient Egypt, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Jewish history, and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ancient Near East to get a broader range of opinions from people who hopefully a broader knowledge of this topic than I do.--Ermenrich (talk) 22:01, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I don't have all that many sources on biblical history, but I do have some of the most recent surveys of the scholarly field, including Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? by Lester Grabbe (2017 edition) and Israel's Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective by Thomas Levy et al. (2015), the latter of which includes Faust's paper and a couple of others cited in the article. Checking the citations for the historicity section via Google Books, they all jibe with the impression of the scholarly consensus that I get from Grabbe and Levy et al. The current text of this article isn't a gross distortion of that consensus, just an incomplete representation of it. The Israelites did originate natively in Canaan, probably out of a mixture of various West Semitic peoples. An Exodus like that described in the biblical text is utterly implausible and only defended by archconservatives, but many scholars have argued that one of the groups that made up the Israelites—perhaps the group that became the Levites?—could have migrated out of the Nile Delta, where we know Semitic communities lived during the New Kingdom. A cultural memory of their migration could have evolved into the Exodus story that we know. This seems to be the most widely accepted hypothesis, and it's certainly the one espoused by Faust and William Dever, but it's not the only one with significant support. Donald B. Redford thinks the Exodus tradition comes from the dim recollection of the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt into Canaan at the start of the New Kingdom, and Nadav Na'aman argues that the Exodus is a distorted memory of Egypt's rule over Canaan during the New Kingdom and the collapse of that rule as Egypt weakened. A. Parrot (talk) 00:07, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for your response. I certainly don't think that RS are saying that the Exodus happened as in the Bible, the sources are very clear on that. My concern is mostly that possibly for some sort of ideological reasons people have been overstating the case and not adding anything about scholarly theories on what caused the story to exist in the first place. See this rather strange conversation about the Exodus being racist against Egyptians started by a banned editor who kept emphasizing how mythical the Exodus was [6] [7]. I think the article needs to discuss those theories you mentioned above: at the moment, the impression given is just that the Bible is wrong, which is true, but is not the only thing RS are saying about this. We currently only mention the Egyptian oppression of Canaan theory, and that in a sentence.--Ermenrich (talk) 00:29, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree with most of that, but I don't think ideological editing is the sole reason why the section is so short and one-sided. Articles and sections on controversial subjects, which this one is, tend to go through cycles of bloating, as people add arguments and counterarguments, and shrinking as other editors cut out the excessive detail. But I agree that the section needs expansion; this is Wikipedia's primary article on the Exodus as an event, and the question of where the story comes from is endlessly debated. That debate should be covered here. I might be able to help with that over the weekend. A. Parrot (talk) 02:14, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
I've made a first go at it, but it obviously needs more work since I have only added what I found while researching the way that the sources already cited talked about the Exodus. think we should go a lot more in depth, personally: talking about problems like nameless Pharaoh, inability to identify Goshen, while also listing the reasons behind the theories in favor of some sort of historical kernel behind it all.--Ermenrich (talk) 13:54, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
"the Nile Delta, where we know Semitic communities lived during the New Kingdom." The so-called "Asiatic" ancestors of the Hyksos were probably already there during the Middle Kingdom of Egypt.:
  • "In recent years the idea of a simple Hyksos migration, with little or no war, has gained support.[1] According to this theory, the Egyptian rulers of the Thirteenth Dynasty were preoccupied with domestic famine and plague, and they were too weak to stop the new migrants from entering and settling in Egypt. Even before the migration, Amenemhat III carried out extensive building works and mining, through which the Hyksos might have arrived in Egypt and overthrown native Egyptian rule.[2] Supporters of the peaceful takeover of Egypt claim there is little evidence of battles or wars in general in this period.[3] They also maintain that the chariot didn't play any relevant role, e.g. no traces of chariots have been found at the Hyksos capital of Avaris, despite extensive excavation.[4] Janine Bourriau cites lack of Hyksos-style wares as evidence against a Hyksos invasion.[5][6] Archaeologist Jacquetta Hawkes stated that the Hyksos were migrating Semites rather than a conquering horde.[7] John Van Seters in his book, The Hyksos: A New Investigation, argues that the Ipuwer Papyrus does not belong to the First Intermediate Period of Egyptian history (c. 2300-2200 BC), as previously thought, but rather to the Second Intermediate Period (c. 1700-1600 BC). He sees a gradual settlement of the Hyksos from Phoenicia-Palestine.[8]" Dimadick (talk) 14:19, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
  1. ^ Booth, Charlotte. The Hyksos Period in Egypt. p.10. Shire Egyptology, 2005. ISBN 0-7478-0638-1
  2. ^ Callender, Gae, "The Middle Kingdom Renaissance," in Ian Shaw, ed. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press, 2003 ISBN 978-0-19-280458-7 p. 157. "The large intake of Asiatics, which seems to have occurred partly in order to subsidize the extensive building work, may have encouraged the so-called Hyksos to settle in the delta, thus leading eventually to the collapse of native Egyptian rule."
  3. ^ Booth, Charlotte. The Hyksos Period in Egypt. p.10. Shire Egyptology. 2005. ISBN 0-7478-0638-1
  4. ^ Bard, Kathryn (1999). Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt. Routledge. p. 225. ISBN 978-0-415-18589-9.
  5. ^ The Hyksos: New Historical and Archaeological Perspectives, ed. Eliezer Oren, University of Pennsylvania 1997. cf. Janine Bourriau's chapter of the archaeological evidence covers pages 159-182
  6. ^ The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, editor Ian Shaw, p. 195, Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-19-280293-3
  7. ^ Jacquetta Hawkes. (1963). The World of the Past, p. 444 "It is no longer thought that the Hyksos rulers ... represent the invasion of a conquering horde of Asiatics ... they were wandering groups of Semites who had long come to Egypt for trade and other peaceful purposes."
  8. ^ Seters, John Van (1 April 2010). The Hyksos: A New Investigation. Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. 191. ISBN 978-1-60899-533-2. On the basis of the archaeological investigation, the foreigners of Egypt are seen as a geographical extension of the corresponding culture of Phoenicia-Palestine in the MB II period, a culture with a highly advanced urban society. This civilization of the Levant has its roots in the Amurrite world of both Syria and Mesopotamia in the Old Babylonian period, and has a direct heir in the so-called Canaanite world of the Late Bronze Age. The MB II period began during the Middle Kingdom, and by the end of the Twelfth Dynasty the whole of Phoenicia-Palestine was under the influence of Egypt, with diplomatic ties and active cooperation between the rulers of the various city-states and the rulers of Egypt. During the early Thirteenth Dynasty, the foreigners had much freer access into Egypt. Many of them rose to places of high honor in the administration of the country.

Do scholars agree or disagree as to when the story took its present form?[edit]

I recently deleted the sentence "Scholars disagree as to when the Exodus story took its present form" from the end of the Historicity section. User:Woscafrench undid the deletion with a note in edit summary that if I doubted the notability of the source I should discuss on Talk. The source was Collins' "The Bible After Babel", but while I certainly don't doubt that this book is reliable (it's a standard text), the citation as given had no page number and was impossible to verify. As it contradicts the first sentence of the section on Composition, "Scholars broadly agree that the publication of the first five books of the Bible took place in the mid-Persian period...", sourced to Romer's 2008 monograph "Moses Outside the Torah", I'm wondering what Collins actually says. If Woscafrench has the page number we can see what's going on.

My apologies, I just found it on page 46 of Collins' book (although it really needs a page reference in the source cite). Collins first writes of the scholarly consensus that the exodus story is a myth (he's talking in terms of genre and sitz em leben, the latter being the social situation in which a text arises), and then says "there is considerable disagreement as to when these myths became current and when they attained their present form". This does seem like something of a contradiction to what Romer says. So what are we to do?
I think Collins is referring to the existence of the Exodus story prior to to the creation of the Pentateuch. Oral myths aren't fixed entities, so any pre-Pentateuch version would have variants, but by "present form" he probably just means the basic elements: going into Egypt, slavery, Moses, and Exodus. Plagues seems like something that could be different in different versions (maybe that's why there are so many even, because different versions were combined - just my own OR though).
The whole article needs a lot of work I'd say. Just see the section I started above that no one's replied to yet. There clearly are scholars who support a vaguely historical notion behind the myth, which we barely get into.--Ermenrich (talk) 12:59, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I am just an amateur, but ISTM that one should make a distinction between "myth" and "falsehood". I would say that the Exodus and Conquest is a myth, a founding myth, whch tells us that it is very important, not just a story. Everybody agrees to that. The consensus of scholarship is that the is little, if anything, historical-archaelogical that can be discerned in the myth. For example, whether or not there was a real human being, of the 13th century BCE or so, behind the protagonist, Moses, nobody knows. Unlike the mythical figure George Washington, where we know a lot about the real GW, but that does not take away from his mythical status. IMHO. TomS TDotO (talk) 15:00, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I don't dispute the label myth, but I think we're giving the considerations made by scholars like Redmont about what sort of history lies behind the myth short shrift in the current article. She considers various possible historical analogues (the Hyskos, for instance), notes problems (no one can say where "the land of Goshen" is), etc. But she assumes that something about the story has a historical basis, and even claims that a majority of scholars do. Without actually looking at some more Exodus scholarship myself, I can't say whether that's true of course, but I think an expansion of the section is probably needed.--Ermenrich (talk) 15:13, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree that there is a distinction between when the general story took its present form and when the story was first written down, and so I do not see the contradiction in the sources. The historicity section briefly deals with some of the potential historical basis, such as oppression in Canaan, but this section definitely needs work, as Ermenrich has pointed out. I wonder whether the mention in the lead is WP:UNDUE, especially if it is not summarizing information already in the main body of the article as per WP:LEAD. I think that if the lead has confusing information, then that confusion should be addressed/resolved in the main body of the article, or else the material is not an appropriate summary for the lead. Of course, we also have the issue of inaccurate information that is not supported by the cited material (as discussed in the above section). Wallyfromdilbert (talk) 16:33, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
"no one can say where "the land of Goshen" is" See main article Land of Goshen:
  • "In 1885 Édouard Naville identified Goshen as the 20th nome of Egypt, located in the eastern Delta, and known as "Gesem" or "Kesem" during the Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt (672–525 BC). It covered the western end of the Wadi Tumilat, the eastern end being the district of Succoth, which had Pithom as its main town, extended north as far as the ruins of Piramesse (the "land of Rameses"), and included both crop land and grazing land.[1]" Dimadick (talk) 14:30, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
Alright, according to Redmount p. 65 it has "never been satisfactorally been localized", but I'm just going off her.--Ermenrich (talk) 14:33, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
  1. ^ John Van Seters, "The Geography of the Exodus," in Silberman, Neil Ash (editor), The Land That I Will Show You: Essays in History and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East in Honor of J. Maxwell Miller (Sheffield Academic Press, 1997) pp. 267–269, ISBN 978-1850756507

Content removal[edit]

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The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

I literally gave you the exact quote and you deleted it anyways. please stop doing that. thanks

Because it doesn't say what you says it says. Please have a look at the discussion above marked "Lede citations and mis-citations".--Ermenrich (talk) 21:36, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

I literally gave you the quote but here it is again: "Most important is the fact that no clear extrabiblical evidence exists for any aspect of the Egyptian sojourn, exodus, or wilderness wanderings." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Niaf7J1mdM (talkcontribs) 21:37, 10 August 2019 (UTC) I put this in the edit summary but the other guy removed it. I put it in the summary because you said it wasn't in the source. So now that you see it is literally in the source, can you please re add my 2 sentences? thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by Niaf7J1mdM (talkcontribs) 21:39, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

That is not the same thing as "there is no evidence that the Israelites ever lived in Egypt" which is a far more complicated matter.--Ermenrich (talk) 21:40, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

I made the edit according to the literal source. What do you want from me now?! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Niaf7J1mdM (talkcontribs) 21:49, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

The information you've added is useless and WP:UNDUE without a larger context of what historians actually think happened. The section is already abundantly clear that the Exodus did not happen in the Bible and already mentioned a primarily Canaanite origin for the Israelites.--Ermenrich (talk) 21:52, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

historians said in the sources that their is not any evidence for it. that is what I wrote. I would be happy if you expanded on what the historians think if you want to. It is not primarily Cananite. The Israelities came from Canaan. That was another sourced sentence that you delted.

i have gotten its "unnecessary" and its "bad writing" if we write: and does not accurately describe historical events it clearly implies that this is a historical event, which it is not if we write and can not be taken as history in any positivistic sense this is literally acurate and what the source says if we write and can not be taken as history that works too positivistism: a philosophical system that holds that every rationally justifiable assertion can be scientifically verified or is capable of logical or mathematical proof, and that therefore rejects metaphysics and theism. this means that the exodus is not verifiable at all

And yet you fail to mention all the ways that Redmont says that the Exodus does reflect history.--Ermenrich (talk) 21:54, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

The source is Collins and you changed what Collins said. Are you Collins?
And The sentence says "consensus", not name a fringe opinion
it is clearly academically fringe to say that the exodus is history

Do we need to mention that Moses is a mythical figure?[edit]

Do we need to have the tacked on thing about Moses being mythical in the historicity section? It does not strike me as entirely relevant for this article (or at least it needs to be given more context than it currently has). I'll note that it was copied over from Moses, probably by Fajskasafsa but maybe by one of the anti-Exodus IPs.--Ermenrich (talk) 13:45, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

If there ever was a "real" Moses, he is lost to history. That could be mentioned, but I wouldn't lose much space with it. Tgeorgescu (talk) 15:29, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
The article is fairly clear that the Exodus is a myth, that would reasonably make the named people in it mythical by default. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 15:34, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Not necessarily - it is quite possible that a myth is constructed around a historical figure - albeit a much-distorted story. It would be better to at least mention that, if there ever was a "real" Moses, he is lost to history. Wdford (talk) 22:28, 12 August 2019 (UTC)


but what about Moses himself surely 15:27 there must be some evidence for this 15:29 most famous Old Testament hero perhaps 15:32 the most famous of all Old Testament 15:34 figures even if there's no evidence of 15:37 the exodus they must surely be some 15:39 record of a leader as important as him 15:43 the name Moses is a name which is very 15:47 popular from early periods right down 15:51 into late periods so it's a fairly 15:54 common Egyptian name that's that's all 15:57 that we can say there is no text in 16:00 which we can identify this Moses or that 16:04 Moses as the Moses the question of the 16:08 historicity of Moses is the same as the 16:11 question of the historicity of Abraham 16:12 that is to say maybe there was a figure 16:16 maybe there was a leader I am NOT here 16:20 to 16:22 undermined historicity of Moses I think 16:25 that it is possible but I would say it's 16:27

beyond recovery

John Van Seters and Israel Finkelstein from Bible Unearthed Discoveries of Old versions of the bible) on YouTube. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:55, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I think those last two comments basically agree with each other. I'll try to think of a better way of mentioning that no one has been able to identify Moses as a historical figure.--Ermenrich (talk) 02:55, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

Expand section on Exodus narrative?[edit]

Does anyone else feel that this section could use some expansion? At the moment it doesn't even hit the "Clif's Notes" version:

It begins with the Israelites in slavery. Their prophet Moses leads them out of Egypt and through the wilderness to Mount Sinai, where Yahweh reveals himself to his people and establishes the Mosaic covenant: they are to keep his torah (i.e. law, instruction), and in return he will give them the land of Canaan.

It leaves out probably the most memorable parts of the narrative: Moses's struggle with Pharaoh, the demonstration of Yahweh's superiority over the Gods of Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea. It also fails to explain why the Bible says the Israelites were in Egypt, etc. If I came to this page without knowing these things, I would have a hard time figuring them out. I would also suggest renaming the section "Biblical Narrative" rather than just "Summary".--Ermenrich (talk) 20:52, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

I agree, although the I expect part of the reason those details were left out is to avoid overlap with Book of Exodus. However, I think the synopsis there could use some expansion, too. Neither article is anywhere near as long or detailed as it could reasonably be, given the enormous impact that the story has had over the millennia. A. Parrot (talk) 23:55, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
I think we should have an expanded section called "Biblical narrative", and perhaps include a section on the later Egyptian versions by Manetho and I-forget-his-name (Moses as leper) with some introduction to where they're from etc. Given that no one thinks any of them happened as described, I would say that they are of equal value to the biblical narrative at least. Alternatively they could go in their own section.--Ermenrich (talk) 17:46, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
I'd keep Manetho and Apion separate from the main summary, perhaps as a subsection of a much-expanded "cultural significance" section. Judging by the sources used at Osarseph, it's not 100% clear that Manetho did link the Hyksos to the Jews or whether that was a later interpolation, and even if he did, the name of Moses may have been grafted onto Manetho's original version. Moreover, I have a 2007 translation and commentary on Against Apion that argues, in one of the appendices, that the Egyptian "exodus" story was a collection of xenophobic Egyptian tropes about foreigners that was applied specifically to Jews at a later time; Hecataeus of Abdera, as reported by Diodorus Siculus (book 40, ch. 3), relayed a version of this story as encompassing a wide variety of foreigners who were expelled from Egypt, a variety that included ancestors of the Greeks as well as of the Jews. The upshot is that the Egyptian tradition is not independent evidence of the Exodus story, just something that got conflated with the Exodus story in or not long before early Ptolemaic times. A. Parrot (talk) 18:59, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm sure it's dependent in some way on the Exodus tradition, right. Cultural significance seems like a good place for it. I think Assmann has a lot on it and also general Egyptian-Judaean hostility (which isn't something I had thought much about before, but makes perfect sense).--Ermenrich (talk) 19:25, 17 August 2019 (UTC)

Article Bias[edit]

I understand that there is supposedly a "scholarly consensus" that the Exodus is a myth and has no historical basis. That being said, there are many scholars who would argue otherwise, and have published countless articles and books that make a case for its historicity. I think we should at least acknowledge that in the article summary. All that's present on the article are arguments that its a myth, and that there is no scholarly debate on the subject. I don't think it's fair to phrase things that way, and there are plenty of sources I could refer to that defend the historicity of the Exodus. Not the supernatural aspects of the story, mind you, but the history surrounding the story. I would like to add some counterarguments to the article. Would anyone object to that? Please note that I'm relatively new to editing, so I'm still trying to figure out how the community operates. Jgriffy98 (talk) 22:41, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Another problem I see with the article is the rather poor quality of the sources used. The claim that there's a "scholarly consensus" that the Exodus is fake comes from a questionable source to say the least. I looked up the book cited in the article for that claim, but the author of the source itself does not back up that claim with any empirical evidence. I have raised this issue before, but the response I got was that "any claim made by a scholar is true, because Wikipedia says they're true". In other words, as long as citations come from a scholarly source, Wikipedia says that every claim made by that scholar is truthful, and should be accepted at face value. If that's the case, then there are countless scholars who would argue that the Exodus actually happened. If I were to put that in the Wiki article, however, it would be taken down immediately. There seems to be a sort of anti-religious/anti-theistic narrative that this article is trying to push. Jgriffy98 (talk) 22:50, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Does anyone else have thoughts on this? Jgriffy98 (talk) 22:56, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

I would suggest actually reading what the article says (it emphatically does not say that no one believes the Exodus story is based on a historical event of some sort) and reading WP:RS. You can't just add your own observations/arguments to an article and if an RS says there's a scholarly consensus we report it as such.--Ermenrich (talk)
@Jgriffy98: It's not that "any claim that a scholar makes is true", but that positions must be represented on Wikipedia based on how much standing they have in the scholarly community. A significant minority may argue a viewpoint that the majority does not share, in which case both perspectives should be covered. If the consensus is overwhelming then the minority position is considered fringe and should either be excluded from mention entirely or (more rarely) described within the article and marked off as a fringe position rejected by most scholars. On Wikipedia this principle is known as "due weight"; see that page for more information.
There are many people who have argued for the historicity of the Exodus, but most of them are not scholars trained in the historical method, steeped in the evidence and arguments that have been made on this topic over the past several decades, and subjected to review by their peers. Whether you should add counterarguments depends on which sources you want to draw upon and how qualified they are. As far as I know, there are only two qualified scholars who argue that the Exodus as described in the Bible is plausible: James Hoffmeier and Kenneth Kitchen. But most scholars do not believe it is even plausible, and even Hoffmeier and Kitchen can't say that there's much positive evidence in its favor. I'm not sure which citation you're referring to when you call it "a questionable source to say the least", but from what I understand the consensus is strongly against the idea of a historical Exodus that's anything like the one described. Earlier generations of scholars did believe the story to be substantially more accurate than most do today, but careful reexamination, mainly of the archaeological evidence, made that position difficult to maintain. My understanding is based on only a few sources, but they're some of the most extensive and recent surveys of the scholarly literature (especially Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? by Lester Grabbe and Israel's Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective by Thomas Levy et al.). To argue that the sources used in this article are "low quality", you'll have to cite specific examples. Most of them are from highly qualified authors, and a few are studies within Levy's book.
That said, scholars don't regard the Exodus story as "fake" but as a cultural memory that may very faintly reflect some genuine historical event. I'm going to copy something I wrote in another recent comment, because I think this is a common problem for laypeople who read articles like this one. Many ancient texts describe events that happened centuries before they were written, which incorporate memories of genuine events along with legends. For instance, there really was some kind of attack on Troy in the 12th century BC, but people don't generally go looking for a historical Achilles. Scholars use the same criteria for analyzing the Bible that they use for these other ancient texts. To do otherwise would introduce bias by privileging the Bible above other ancient texts. Personally, I think anyone defending the accuracy of the early biblical books should read the Nibelungenlied and the Arthurian sections of Historia Regum Britanniae and compare them with what actually happened in northern Europe during the fifth century AD. Like those texts, the early biblical books represent a centuries-later understanding of a period of disorder and societal breakdown: the fall of the West Roman Empire in one case and the Bronze Age Collapse in the other. A. Parrot (talk) 00:02, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@Ermenrich: I appreciate the response, Ermenrich. You make some very good points. Thanks for clarifying a few of the misconceptions I had regarding Wikipedia guidelines. There are a few things you said that I have slight disagreements with, and I will follow up on them in due time. I definitely agree that there isn't a scholarly consensus that the Exodus actually happened. My point was that I don't think a scholarly consensus has yet been established at all. There hasn't really been any survey of scholarly opinion regarding the Exodus. That's why I think we should refrain from claiming that any such consensus actually exists yet. Jgriffy98 (talk) 00:20, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@Jgriffy98: How formal a "survey" are we talking about? Numerous sources refer to previous work on the subject, state what "many" or "most" scholars believe, and cite the most pertinent examples by name. The statement in the article lead that "The consensus of modern scholars is that the Bible does not give an accurate account of the origins of Israel" is backed up by two sources that do exactly that (Meyers 2005 and Moore & Kelle 2011). But scholars don't conduct regular polling of their own disciplines to establish what the consensus is for the benefit of Wikipedia. A. Parrot (talk) 00:29, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: First of all, I'd like to apologize. The last comment I posted was actually directed towards you and what you said. I got you confused with Ermenrich. Jgriffy98 (talk) 00:31, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: "But scholars don't conduct regular polling of their own disciplines to establish what the consensus is for the benefit of Wikipedia." True, they don't do it for the benefit of Wikipedia. I don't think any scholar cited in the article wrote about the Exodus with Wikipedia in mind. The point is that scholarly communities often do conduct polls to establish a consensus, depending on the specific field and subject matter of the question. I have read through the sources you have mentioned, and they do not provide any empirical evidence for a consensus. They simply claim that one exists. I do not think there is any consensus that the Exodus really occurred or did not occur. A consensus has not been properly established on the topic, and I think that's something a lot of people struggle with. At least, I think Wikipedia's guidelines are not geared towards that reality, the reality being that there can often be a lack of consensus among scholars. Jgriffy98 (talk) 00:40, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: My concern is that many editors I have talked to regarding this matter have told me that, "The scholars we cited do not need to provide evidence for their claim of consensus. The fact that they are scholars is evidence enough. Since this guy claims a consensus exists, we're going to state his claim as fact in The Exodus article." Jgriffy98 (talk) 00:49, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@Jgriffy98: Perhaps some disciplines conduct polling of that kind, but I very much doubt that they all do. If you find such a poll on this subject it would certainly be worth looking at, but the guidelines don't assume that such polls will be available. In most cases they're not necessary. People who are capable of analyzing a huge volume of detailed evidence—which is true of just about everybody who qualifies as an RS—are generally capable of assessing the state of their own scholarly disciplines. If a source like Moore and Kelle says "The majority of current scholars believe the historicity of the Egyptian sojourn, exodus, and wilderness wandering that the Bible remembers cannot be demonstrated by historical methods" (p. 91), that assessment is considered reliable unless another source of equal or greater qualifications contradicts it. If Moore and Kelle, Meyers, and Grabbe all say that, and Meyers further says "The vigorous attempts to show historicity for the exodus narrative at best [emphasis mine] can show plausibility, as even those who have made such efforts concede," and she cites a book by Hoffmeier specifically for that sentence, and Hoffmeier himself concedes exactly that in that book, that's pretty authoritative. And I can find more sources if I really need to. A. Parrot (talk) 00:58, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
"that the Exodus is a myth and has no historical basis" The two statements are not equivalent. Myths are typically sacred narratives. There are plenty of scholars who speculate that the Exodus narrative is based on poorly-remembered events from the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt and the New Kingdom of Egypt. Dimadick (talk) 06:19, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: Unfortunately, no such poll has ever been conducted. At least, not to my knowledge. If one did exist, it probably would be the best primary source to determine what most scholars think of the Exodus. Jgriffy98 (talk) 08:47, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: "The guidelines don't assume that such polls will be available." Forget about polls for one second. The claim that "most scholars believe the Exodus has no historical basis" is not backed by any empirical evidence, only the claim of an individual scholar. We're getting ready to go in a big circle here, so just follow my logic on this one. Imagine there is a scholar who is very religious, and he or she publishes an article claiming that "all scientists believe in the existence of God." Wouldn't that be a cause for skepticism, to say the least? If one biased academic publishes an article with made up claims of scholarly consensus, would it be logical to simply take his or her word at face-value? Jgriffy98 (talk) 08:49, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
There is the WP:PAG WP:RS/AC, so we do things around here. How a top professor knows what the consensus is: Video on YouTube. And, yes, we are biased for Ivy Plus. If you want to know what they teach there about the Exodus, see Tgeorgescu (talk) 09:05, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@Tgeorgescu: I watched the video you sent me, and it has absolutely no bearing on the discussion I'm having with editor A. Parrot. I'm willing to have a polite discussion with him regarding this matter, but not you. You have been rude as hell to me in the past, and I do not want your input. If you want to post something here, I can't stop you, but just know that you're wasting your time. I'm not going to listen to a single thing you say. I swear to God, you're the one editor on this website that I can't stand. For anyone else reading this, I don't usually talk to other editors this way. Tgeorgescu is rude and harrasses other editors, and I'm not putting up with him anymore. Jgriffy98 (talk) 09:17, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@Tgeorgescu: I wasn't asking if Wikipedia was biased for Ivy Plus. I'm biased for Ivy Plus too. I'm biased for science, logic, and reason. Apparently, you are as well. Good for you! Now, please don't shove it in my face. Being biased for Ivy Plus doesn't make you special, and it doesn't make you sound smart when you tell other people that. Jgriffy98 (talk) 09:32, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
While I agree that Tgeorgescu's repetitive polemics are far from helpful, may I remind you that Wikipedia:Civility is part of Wikipedia's policy? If you feel that Tgeorgescu is harassing you, perhaps you should try reportng this to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents. Dimadick (talk) 09:47, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@Dimadick: Apologies for my language. I have dealt with Tgeorgescu in the past and it was rather irritating. I can have a short temper at times, and should not resort to ad hominem or vulgarity. Thank you for the suggestion. If Tgeorgescu continues this sort of behavior, I will report him, but it's not worth my time right now. Jgriffy98 (talk) 10:08, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── @Jgriffy98: I strongly suggest striking that language about Tgeorgescu. Such comments can quickly lead to blocking.--Ermenrich (talk)

@Dimadick: When confronted with cases such as Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Barok777, my view is that there is a group of editors unwilling to accept our WP:RULES, namely that one should not make a mockery of the historical method in historical articles ("just the historical facts" kind of articles). So this is the cause of my polemics: recurring similar edits from "newbies" (although I'm skeptical that all of them are truly newbies). I mean: such group of troublemakers are flatly unaware that the historical method itself rejects their POV as not done (no supernatural in history, that's the mandatory rule since the Enlightenment). Every reasonable human being would have got that point from the talk page of that article. Other than that, it is fairly simple to get a compromise solution from me, while the other party behaves reasonably. Between us: edits like [8] seem like shameless POV-pushing, while bashing (or misunderstanding) basic WP:RULES. E.g. I don't really care what "we" thinks. I am not obligated to follow the rules that "we" decides upon. You are citing misinformation. You are citing an unreliable source. Wikipedia's policy that these qualify as reliable sources is factually incorrect. Please stop citing misinformation and pushing an ideological narrative. Again, Wikipedia's standard for what constitutes a "reliable source" is incorrect, and it only serves to mislead people who visit the website. It is not right for you to justify the spread of misinformation with an incorrect notion of what constitutes truth, just because of a bogus policy guideline that is only in place to be used as a pathetic justification. I find it very ironic that you are citing sources from the academic community (which you claim to be "reliable"), but are using a completely different definition for "truth" and "reliability" than the academic community uses. Such edits promise nothing good, if you ask me. Otherwise, Peter Der Manuelian told as indicated at that there is zero evidence for the Exodus as told in the Bible. Shaye J. D. Cohen agreed with him. Tgeorgescu (talk) 17:24, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
I'll respond to Jgriffy's latest reply to me. If a religious scholar claimed "all scientists believe in God", the claim wouldn't hold up because it's contradicted by a mountain of evidence and reliable sources to the contrary. But, generally speaking, there's a presumption that a reliable source is accurate unless other reliable sources contradict it. Here, we have multiple reliable sources asserting the same thing. Moreover, they do cite some empirical evidence, namely other scholarly works that do indeed express skepticism about the Exodus story. For example, a single sentence from Grabbe, p. 93: "Whatever the reality [of the Exodus story], it is clothed in a thick layer of mythical interpretation (cf. Assmann 2015; Berner 2015; Finkelstein 2015; Hendel 2015; Maeir 2015; Propp 2015; Römer 2015; Russell 2015; Schmid 2015)." That's quite a list, and it doesn't even mention the studies by Dever, Faust, Na'aman, and Redford found within the same volume, let alone numerous other works. But standard Wikipedian practice doesn't even require that level of support. If a scholar in a relevant field says "Most scholars in my field believe X", then that scholar is treated as reliable unless other scholars in the same field contradict that assertion. If you can cite scholars who do so, produce them and we can evaluate whether they meet the criteria for reliability—but even if they do, it would take an awful lot of them to outweigh the multitude of sources to the contrary. Tgeorgescu's approach may be high-handed, but at some point you do have to accept Wikipedian standard practice if you want to work here. You can't arbitrarily raise the standard of proof. A. Parrot (talk) 17:44, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: I appreciate your response. I probably should have brushed up on Wikipedia guidelines before I jumped into this discussion. You're clearly a well-informed editor, and you definitely have a much better understanding of the policy guidelines than I do. That being said, I have not violated any of the rules. Please don't come at me with, "At some point you do have to accept Wikipedian standard practice if you want to work here. You can't arbitrarily raise the standard of proof." I wasn't trying to arbitrarily raise the standard of proof. In my opinion, there is no "higher standard" of proof. Facts are facts. Also, I have never once stated that I do not accept Wikipedian standard practice. I actually want to follow that practice, which is why I'm turning to editors like you to ask questions. I should read up more on the guidelines, but I have not violated them or said that I was planning on violating them in this discussion. I feel like we had a really good exchange yesterday. I'm just trying to better educate myself as an editor. I may disagree with some of Wikipedia's guidelines, but I have no intention of breaking the rules. Jgriffy98 (talk) 19:02, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: Moving on. You said that scholars are "treated as reliable unless other scholars in the same field contradict that assertion." I could provide you with reliable sources that state an opposing point of view and have a much different opinion on the scholarly consensus of the historicity of the Exodus. Perhaps we should redirect our conversation and begin discussing these sources? How should we proceed? Jgriffy98 (talk) 19:14, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@Jgriffy98: By all means, list those sources and quote what they say. You may not need to be told this, but just in case: it's better to have sources as recent as possible. The field has changed a lot in the past few decades. A. Parrot (talk) 19:33, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Scholarly Consensus on the Historicity of the Exodus[edit]

@A. Parrot: Sorry it took me so long. Here is the evidence I was referring to earlier.

I am disputing the Wiki article's claim that "The consensus of modern scholars is that the Bible does not give an accurate account of the origins of Israel". This is simply not true. No such consensus exists. We need to make that clear in the Wiki article.

The source I am using is an article on the official website of the Biblical Archeology Foundation. The article itself is a free abstract from Manfred Bietak’s article “On the Historicity of the Exodus: What Egyptology Today Can Contribute to Assessing the Biblical Account of the Sojourn in Egypt” in Thomas E. Levy, Thomas Schneider and William H.C. Propp, eds., Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective: Text, Archaeology, Culture and Geoscience (Cham: Springer, 2015). In Bietak’s article, the scholarly debate about the archaeological remains and the onomastic data of Wadi Tumilat is more elaborately treated.

The name of the BAS article is titled, "The Exodus: Fact or Fiction? Evidence of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt".

Here is the link to the article:

The following are excerpts from the article by the Biblical Archeology Society:

"Is the Biblical Exodus fact or fiction? This is a loaded question. Although Biblical scholars and archaeologists argue about various aspects of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt, many of them agree that the Exodus occurred in some form or another."

"Although there is much debate, most people settle into two camps: They argue for either a 15th-century B.C.E. or 13th-century B.C.E. date for Israel’s Exodus from Egypt." Jgriffy98 (talk) 22:49, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

This view is already represented in the article - see the second paragraph in historicity.--Ermenrich (talk) 00:01, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @Jgriffy98: The "Exodus: Fact or Fiction" page links to the Bietak extract, which isn't publicly accessible, and it is not simply based on the extract. It is written anonymously by the magazine's staff, and their assessment of the field is not as reliable as that of a named and qualified scholar (particularly because, according to the WP article for Biblical Archaeology Review, the magazine has been criticized for some level of hostility toward minimalist viewpoints). "Although there is much debate, most people settle into two camps: They argue for either a 15th-century B.C.E. or 13th-century B.C.E. date for Israel's Exodus from Egypt" is misleading, assuming "most people" is intended to imply "most scholars". I don't know of anybody with standing in the field who argues for a 15th-century date. The 13th century is more plausible if one qualifies what one means by "the Exodus". I'll clarify what I mean by that in a moment.
I have Bietak's full article. Bietak argues that the place-names in the Egyptian portion of the Exodus story match the circumstances in the 13th century and later. Just about every one of his arguments is contested by somebody else, but even if he is right, that doesn't mean the Exodus happened as the biblical text describes it. There is nothing comparable in Egyptian records to the level of destruction inflicted on Egypt in the biblical text. No archaeological evidence from the Sinai region points to a mass migration in this time period. Moreover, the conquest narrative that follows the Exodus story is wildly incompatible with the political situation of the 13th century, when Canaan was ruled by several sophisticated city-states that were vassals of a very strong, very wealthy Egypt. The conquest narrative doesn't even seem to fit in the Bronze Age Collapse that followed, because there is little archaeological evidence for violent conquest in the cities that later formed the core of the Israelite nation.
The most accepted hypothesis for how Israel formed is the "mixed multitude hypothesis": several groups of Semitic peoples, from varying backgrounds, coalesced into a nation. (The name "Israel" is attested earlier, on the Merenptah Stele, but that presumably refers to one of the groups that later formed the kingdom, which did not exist in Merenptah's time.) Many scholars believe that some group of Semitic people living in the Nile Delta could have migrated out of it and later become one of the groups in that mixed multitude. A small migrant group like this would be impossible to prove or disprove. At some point much later, the dim memory of this migration—a cultural memory—was formed into the founding myth of the nation. That is why this article calls the Exodus a "founding myth", even if it is true in some manner, and why I pointed out the comparable examples of the Iliad, the Nibelungenlied, and the Historia Regum Britanniae. They are all based, to varying degrees, on cultural memories of this sort, from similar situations. If Bietak is right that the place-names in the Exodus story reflect the 13th century, it is still possible that those place-names survived in the Israelites' cultural memory.
Not all scholars think the Exodus story originated this way. Redford argues the story originated with dim memories of the expusion of the Hyksos from Egypt, back in the 16th century, and Na'aman argues that the memory of Egyptian rule over Canaan was enough to inspire it, which eliminates any migration by Israel's ancestors out of Egypt. Bietak rejects Redford hypothesis but doesn't entirely dispute Na'aman's: "According to Na'aman, the oppression of Egyptian rule in Canaan found its way into the Hebrews' collective memory in an altered form, with Canaan and Egypt interchanged, and it is in this 'reversed' route that it made it into the Biblical text. Na'aman also expressed the opinion that the narrative was remodeled according to the realities of the late eighth and seventh centuries in Canaan, integrating the experience with the Assyrian oppression and deportations. As explained in the following, the experience of severe domination in Canaan may have been integrated and fused into a single collective memory together with a real history of ordeals in Egypt itself" (p. 18). That is, Bietak is arguing that the biblical narrative is more accurate than many scholars believe it to be, but he is not disputing that it is a collective or cultural memory. The scholarly consensus stands. A. Parrot (talk) 00:13, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: Why does it say "This BAR article is a free abstract from Manfred Bietak’s article" at the bottom of the webpage? Did it not occur to you that Bietak may be a staff member of BAR? If the article, as you claimed, was written by BAR staff, it would mean that Bietak is a member of BAR, because the article clearly states that, "THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM BIETAK'S ARTICLE". Jgriffy98 (talk) 02:43, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
I found your response to be very annoying and biased. Given the clear anti-religious attitudes of every single Wiki editor I've talked to so far, I'm really not surprised that you're trying to derail this conversation and are now resorting to strawman arguments. Allow me to start over and address some of the things you just said.
“I have Bietak's full article.” I’m not taking your word at face-value. Please verify that you have access to this source. Any claim that you make about the content of Bietak’s article must also be verified. If the source is inaccessible to the general public, then it might be a good idea to share the article with your fellow editors.
“Just about every one of his arguments is contested by somebody else.” That’s not a good counterargument. You have neglected to mention any specific scholars who have directly contested Bietak’s claims. Every single argument in the history of the world has been contested by one person or another. That doesn’t it’s wrong or unbelievable.
You’re clearly very confused at the moment and have missed my points entirely. Please stay on track. My argument is that there is no clear scholarly consensus about the Exodus. I’m not arguing that the Biblical story of the Exodus actually occurred. You’re either trying to strawman me, or you simply have no clue what this entire discussion was about in the first place. Do you recall why we are having a dialogue with each other? Yes or no?
“I have Bietak's full article.” I’m not taking your word at face-value. Please verify that you have access to this source. Any claim that you make about the content of Bietak’s article must also be verified. This is a pretty good example of not assuming good faith. I've read Bielek's article too, it's not impossible to get. I think it might even be linked in this article's bibliography. Frankly you're not going to get any traction here making accusations when you discover your argument doesn't hold. The views of scholars who believe the Exodus has some historical basis or other are already represented (and labeled as the majority position) in the article, so it's not really clear what you are arguing for except for us to say that Exodus of the Israelites happened as in the Bible (although you claim not to be). Instead of throwing around accusations of bias, you need to make concrete suggestions beyond "the scholarly consensus quoted in the article is wrong", because it clearly isn't, nor does Bielek say it is.--Ermenrich (talk) 02:48, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Unicorns are real and 2+2=5. Oh, what's that? You don't believe me? I'm sorry. Please see our policy guidelines on assuming good faith. Do you see how fucking stupid that policy is? You have got to be kidding me. I don't know you, pal. I'm not going to believe a single word you say without EVIDENCE. Jgriffy98 (talk) 02:55, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
I saw a dragon yesterday. You can't disprove a negative. Please remember the we must assuming good faith here on Wikipedia. Yeah, if that's how Wikipedia operates, then fuck Wikipedia. This is getting ridiculous. Jgriffy98 (talk) 02:58, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

@Jgriffy98: I have the whole book. Obtaining books on ancient religions, by scanning them or by spending my spare money on them, has kind of become my schtick. If I put the whole article here it would be a copyright violation, not to mention a huge block of text to stick into a talk page just to prove a point, but I can paste selected passages if you so desire.
The BAR page is written confusingly, but it says "The article 'Exodus Evidence: An Egyptologist Looks at Biblical History' from the May/June 2016 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review wrestles with both of these questions—'Did the Exodus happen?' and 'When did the Exodus happen?' In the article, evidence is presented that generally supports a 13th-century B.C.E. Exodus during the Ramesside Period, when Egypt's 19th Dynasty ruled." The footnote that says "This BAR article is a free abstract from Manfred Bietak's article 'On the Historicity of the Exodus'" immediately follos the words "from the May/June 2016 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review". The title "Exodus Evidence" links to this page, which is subscriber-only. The accessible page is not the text of Bietak's article, so I have to assume that Bietak's work is behind the paywall.
The accessible page does repeat the conclusions in Bietak's article, but the claim that most people favor a 15th- or 13th-century date is not drawn from his study, and we do not know who its author is. Moreover, it goes against the many reliable sources that are already linked in this article: Anderson & Gooder 2017, Barnash 2015b, Collins 2005, Killebrew 2005, Meyers 2005, Moore & Kelle 2011, and so on. I don't know if you can access the Google Books previews for those, as Google Books access varies regionally, but I just checked them, and they all paint the same general picture: evidence for the biblical Exodus is hard to find, and most scholars today believe it is collective memory/cultural memory/myth with some vague and hard to discern historical basis. A. Parrot (talk) 02:59, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Please try to follow along: I...DO...NOT...AUTOMATICALLY...BELIEVE...YOU. You may have the article. You may not have the article. There's no point in continuing this discussion any further. You are way too biased to have an honest discussion. Jgriffy98 (talk) 03:02, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Bro, I really did see a dragon yesterday. Why don't you believe me? This is an outrage! You're not assuming in good faith. The fact that you keep saying that 2+2=4 is also an outrage. Please see our Wikipedia guidelines on 2+2=5. Jgriffy98 (talk) 03:04, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@Jgriffy98: Ye gods. I went on a tangent describing the historical situation to illustrate why scholars disbelieve the Exodus story, because you don't seem to have any familiarity with the field, and to show how Bietak fits into it. You repeatedly refuse to address the sources that are already in the article, which you may be able to access yourself—have you tried?—and when I try to show you why the one source you've provided isn't as reliable as those sources are, you call me a liar, even though I have already quoted from the article that you think I'm lying about. A. Parrot (talk) 03:14, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: Please see our Wikipedia guidelines on how familiarity with fields is unnecessary. You might also want to check out our guidelines on how making shit up is preferable to facts. Lastly, I would highly recommend you scan through our guidelines on how to pull things out of your ass and claim them to be true. We assume in good faith here, sir. Jgriffy98 (talk) 03:36, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: Did I just call you "sir"? I'm so sorry. I should have followed Wikipedia's guidelines on not assuming a person's gender. Jgriffy98 (talk) 03:38, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: "Ye Gods"? Really? Ok. You clearly did not read Wikipedia's guidelines on Monotheism. Jgriffy98 (talk) 03:43, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@Jgriffy98: Have you checked whether you can access the books linked in the works cited? They're handily linked, and I just now pointed out to you which ones establish that the scholarly consensus is indeed what I have said it is. If you barge in on the article about an extremely complex topic, accuse its editors of bias, can't be bothered to do the research on the topic, and respond with juvenile snark when people try to inform you about it, don't be surprised when editors like Tgeorgescu are "rude as hell". (He wasn't nearly as rude as you're being right now.) A. Parrot (talk) 03:52, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: I did check that. I actually found the super-duper special version of that article. Just so you know, it has way more information in it than the version you have. In this super version of the document, there's a direct quote from Albert Einstein that says 2+2=5. We assume in good faith here, sir. Jgriffy98 (talk) 03:56, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: In case I haven't made it abundantly clear at this point, I'm through with this exchange. You asked for evidence. I provided you evidence. You responded with dishonesty and strawman arguments. Also, you have no idea what went down between me and Tgeorgescu, so don't act like you know anything. He's a condescending asshole who bullies new editors. I don't care what you think about him. As for the "complexity of the article topic", there is none. The entire article was written by angsty atheist editors who love to jerk themselves off, and I'm fucking sick of dealing with it. I'm not religious, but I can recognize ignorant bias when I see it. Jgriffy98 (talk) 04:02, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── @A. Parrot: It's clear Jgriffy just wants to argue. We shouldn't oblige him.--Ermenrich (talk)

There's really no point in continuing this discussion. And with Jgriffy98's behavior, I'd say an indef. block is justified. — JudeccaXIII (talk) 04:08, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

@JudeccaXIII: That's what I just said, smart guy. I said I'm done with this discussion. Please, for the love of God, block me. It would be an honor. You guys really do a disservice to the general public by allowing the spread of misinformation and propaganda on this website. I gave Wikipedia a shot, and I now realize how fucked it is. Please block me. Have fun with your circle jerk. Jgriffy98 (talk) 04:12, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

@Jgriffy98: You gave one piece of evidence that you honestly believed was from Bietak. It's an understandable mistake because of the confusing way the page was written, but it's not his work, and the crucial passage you cited was not derived from his work. When I pointed that out, you threw a tantrum and called me a liar. The article topic is complex because it's based on reams and reams of research into place-names, personal names, textual analysis, the nature of cultural memory, and archaeological evidence from Egypt, Israel, and the Sinai. The biblical text cannot be assumed to be accurate because many other texts from similar situations are wildly inaccurate, even if they are built around small cores of truth. And the great majority of scholars have concluded, based on all those reams of research, that the book of Exodus is much like those texts are. But it has a privileged position in our culture because of its religious significance, so people furiously reject that conclusion, even though nobody reacts the same way when presented with the truth about the Nibelungenlied. A. Parrot (talk) 04:14, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: Bro, I found that article in the span of 30 seconds. If I wanted to, I could give you a hundred different articles by Biblical archeologists and historians who argue in favor of the Biblical Exodus. It doesn't matter if I sent you a thousand sources, you would have rejected them instantly without a second thought, regardless of weather the information was reliable or not. Jgriffy98 (talk) 04:17, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: All it takes is one Google search to realize that there are thousands of scholars who don't agree with the bullshit "consensus" that the Biblical Exodus does not have a historical basis. Yet you people are desperately pushing this narrative that "most scholars say the Bible is full of lies and nothing it says is true." Jgriffy98 (talk) 04:20, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: This is a joke, right? Please tell me this is all a big joke. I GAVE YOU AN ARTICLE FROM THE FUCKING BIBLICAL ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY. And you come back saying how it's a bad source, and that it's not better than the ones that push your atheistic narrative. It's disgusting. Given the very short amount of time that transpired between me posting the article and you responding to it, I know for a fact that you never even bothered reading half of it. Sorry it didn't fit your political narrative. Jgriffy98 (talk) 04:31, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot: Fuck it. I'm going to say one more thing. Just for the record, I tried to respond to your comments politely and maturely. I was doing that until you responded back with "You're not believing everything I say. You're not acting in good faith". THAT'S WHAT PISSED ME OFF. It wasn't the fact the we disagree over this issue. It wasn't anything else you said. It was that you made a baseless claim, and then threw Wikipedia guidelines in my face for why I have to believe everything you say, even if you don't provide evidence for it. Why the fuck is that a policy guideline? Who was the fucking idiot who decided, "Hey, if other editors don't believe me, I should be able to accuse them of not following Wikipedia guidelines." And now you people are trying to portray ME as the bad guy here. Threatening to have me permanently blocked. I SAY GOOD RIDDANCE. Nothing about Wikipedia is honest or has the slightest tinge of academic integrity. If this was a fucking college exam, and you told your professor half the excuses you told me tonight, you would be kicked out of the university immediately for sounding like a dumbass. "Hey, professor. I'm sorry you didn't like my essay. I know I didn't back up any of my claims with primary sources, but you're not behaving in good faith. I deserve an A+." Jgriffy98 (talk) 04:47, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Funnily enough, I wasn't even the one who brought up the "assume good faith" guideline. I've mentioned specific sources repeatedly, and a comprehensive list shouldn't be necessary when a bunch of them are already there in the article and linked for you to read. A. Parrot (talk) 04:52, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

Uh, newsflash: You are the one who brought that up. Here's the direct quote, "This is a pretty good example of not assuming good faith." You said that to me, because I was unwilling to assume that you had a source that could not be publicly accessed. What is wrong with you? Jgriffy98 (talk) 04:57, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

You even had a link directing me to the page of that specific policy guideline. Did you forget about our previous conversation, or what happened? Jgriffy98 (talk) 04:59, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

That was Ermenrich's comment, not mine. I did express irritation at the implication that I am a liar, but I also offered to quote selected passages from the article to demonstrate that I have it (and had already quoted one such passage in a prior comment). A. Parrot (talk) 05:01, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
You know what? I really couldn't care less. When there's a total of five different editors posting comments directed towards me at the same time, it's not that hard to see why I would get you guys mixed up. Try juggling a conversation with 5 fucking people and not accidently misquoting someone. Literally the definition of an honest mistake. Jgriffy98 (talk) 05:06, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
You can go ahead and quote passages from the article. How am I supposed to verify that those passages are actually from the article, and not something you wrote to fit a narrative? Oh, that's right. It all comes down to good faith. Silly me. Jgriffy98 (talk) 05:10, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
I was NOT implying for one second that you were a liar. I was trying to imply to you that I do not accept claims without evidence. You keep saying that "I gave you direct quotes from the article", but I have no way of knowing if those quotes actually came from there. Maybe they did. I'M NOT CALLING YOU A LIAR. Jgriffy98 (talk) 05:12, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Well, I can't paste the whole thing here because it's a copyright violation. If we could all paste our sources into Wikipedia, verification would be a lot easier. Of course, you could look at those Google Books links. A. Parrot (talk) 05:15, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Look, I know I've already gone way too far in terms of ranting. I do feel like my concerns are justified though. A person would have to be very simple-minded to not think that the Exodus article is biased. It's one of the most openly anti-religious articles I've come across on Wikipedia. Many of the editors I've talked to either don't seem to care, or are openly antitheistic and damn proud of it. I'm just going to walk away from this discussion now, even though I've already said that three times now. I'm probably going to get banned anyway, but I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. Again, I'm not taking back what I said about Wikipedia, but insulting you was not the right way to vent my frustration. Jgriffy98 (talk) 05:21, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Now, Tgeorgescu is going to post something in response like, "We ARE biased for Ivy League. We are biased for science and blablabla. Derp." Jgriffy98 (talk) 05:24, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
You haven't hurt my feelings, aside from the aforementioned irritation, but given your latest remark, I think now would be a good time for you to disengage. To other editors, I actually wonder if the archconservatives like Hoffmeier and Kitchen are worthy of mention, while being bracketed as a minority view, within the article. Are there more qualified scholars like them? Are they numerous enough to warrant mention here? A. Parrot (talk) 05:42, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
It depends on how many you would consider to be numerous enough. During our exchange, you quoted quite a few reliable sources, but it was still only a handful of scholars. That seems to be the problem here. I could easily give you another source from someone across the aisle. Going back to the first one I gave you; My understanding of that article is the same as yours. It was written by the staff of the BAR. The only reason I attributed it to Biatek was because the article itself said that it was written by Biatek. Yes, it was very confusing for me at first. Let's set aside Biatek for a moment. We have the Biblical Archeological Society on record saying, in a 2019 article, that most scholars are divided on the historicity of the Exodus and fall into separate camps. I don't understand why that's any different from an article that claims the exact opposite (like the one cited in the Wiki article). In answer to your question, yes. There are numerous scholarly sources that believe the Biblical narrative of the Exodus holds water (not the supernatural aspects, mind you). I'm afraid now's not the time for me to start searching for more articles to give you. I'm tired and burnt out from this discussion. I will try to provide you with some more sources we can discuss (assuming I'm not banned). Hopefully, I can be a little more civil next time. Jgriffy98 (talk) 06:28, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Forget about Oxford University Press, Harvard University Press and Princeton University Press, which are among the most reputable academic publishers. Do you think that Augsburg Fortress Publishers, Eerdmans, Westminster John Knox, Society of Biblical Literature, Paulist Press, Eisenbrauns, etc., are anti-theistic? Because they are all WP:CITEd in our article, that's why. And you accuse the article of being openly antitheistic. If you ask me it is not antitheistic in the same sense that MythBusters is not antitheistic. Tgeorgescu (talk) 10:32, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
You're just name-dropping different organizations to prove a point. That's not actually the official stance of Oxford, Harvard, or Princeton University Press. Jgriffy98 (talk) 20:04, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
@Tgeorgescu: Forget about the Biblical Archeology Society. Jgriffy98 (talk) 16:39, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────@Jgriffy98:, I'm a completely uninvolved editor on the subject here via the discussion at WP:AN. Regardless of the point you're trying to make or "side" you're on, the manner in which you're doing it is completely inappropriate. The incessant swearing, hostility, and incivility is not conducive to the goals of Wikipedia. Regardless of the actions of others, maintain your civility or you will be blocked. Buffs (talk) 16:02, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

@Jgriffy98:, Ditto. Your poor attitude, "head in the sand" and "fingers in the ears / I CAN'T HEAR YOU" communcation style and vulgur mouth just need to stop. Ckruschke (talk) 19:21, 5 September 2019 (UTC)Ckruschke

@Ckruschke: It sounds like you really don't know what you're talking about. Saying that "my hand is in the sand" is just as pointless and meaningless as me telling you that your head is stuck in the sand. See how empty words accomplish nothing? Also, you're a little late to the party, my dude. This exchange happened days ago. I've moved passed it. I'm not really sure why you felt the need to say anything. You're like the 50th editor to come at me in this discussion. I know you probably feel self-righteous and brave for "standing up" to me, but, in reality, you just saw other editors arguing with me and decided to jump on the bandwagon. Don't you people have something better to do with your lives? It seems like the only thing you people care about is my attitude and cursing. It's not my fault you're a sensitive woose. Again, this conversation ended days ago. Stop trying to start shit up again. Oh, I'm sorry. Did I say another naughty word. Shame on me. Jgriffy98 (talk) 19:47, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Quote from up above: "You haven't hurt my feelings, aside from the aforementioned irritation, but given your latest remark, I think now would be a good time for you to disengage. To other editors, I actually wonder if the archconservatives like Hoffmeier and Kitchen are worthy of mention, while being bracketed as a minority view, within the article. Are there more qualified scholars like them? Are they numerous enough to warrant mention here?" (By A. Parrott)

Answer (a personal one of course): No, they're not worth mentioning at all, because they represent about the same position in biblical studies as flat earthers represent in geography. The mainstream ignores them and doesn't bother to answer their books and articles - there is no debate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:12, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

That's not strictly true. There are certainly fewer of them than of minimalists though. I dont think Bielek counts as a "maximalist" though, technically. I wouldn't object to a short paragraph, in proportion to their support and including why they aren't generally accepted; at the moment they're just mentioned in as "the most conservative scholars". Also, on the 15th c date: Redmount does mention that date as a possibility.--Ermenrich (talk)
Yup, except he declared to a documentary that Exodus in the 15th century BCE would have meant that the Israelites were fleeing from Egypt to Egypt (Canaan was occupied by Egypt). Oops, I have conflated her with Donald B. Redford. Tgeorgescu (talk) 15:45, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
I've found why some advocate a date in the 15th century: this paper by Hoffmeier, which rejects such a date, points out that those who advocate it are basing it on 1 Kings 6:1. This is obviously not a plausible date (not only does the political situation in Canaan in the 15th century make no sense for an Exodus, but who would have kept records during those 480 years, and in what script?), and even Hoffmeier recognizes it as symbolic, but that's where the date comes from. Bryant Wood, whose arguments Hoffmeier is specifically addressing, is... well, for those not familiar with him, look at the WP article about him. On p. 231 of Hoffmeier's paper, he lists several conservative scholars who support a 13th century date (some of whom are now dead). Many of those names are the same as the participants in this book, which seems to be the most forceful recent effort to defend the Exodus' historicity: [9]. No, I don't have the book this time. A. Parrot (talk) 15:47, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, Redmount says that the 15th century is based on a literal reading of the Bible on page 78, and she points out all the problems with that. She also says lists a 16th century dating for those who believe that the Exodus=the Hyksos, but argues for the thirteenth century as the most likely one.--Ermenrich (talk) 21:04, 2 September 2019 (UTC)


I do not study this area regularly, but I have a question to the people here that do. Are there any RS studies that argue from the position of the complete dissonance between the Hebrew Bible and Egyptian archeology? I mean, the exodus could never have happened because the Hebrews were really never in Egypt at all. On the one hand, the Hebrew Bible does not mention the pyramids that are there clearly visible in Egypt for any one to see. When the Hebrew Bible describes the supposed slavery in Egypt it refers to mud and straw buildings and to cities, not to stone structures such as the pyramids that are now there visible. There is no Hebrew term in the Hebrew Bible to describe a pyramid at all. In modern Hebrew, the pyramids are called just that, pyramids (from the Greek geometrical term). And, on the other hand, the pyramids themselves never mention any Hebrew slaves that may have built them. Pyramid hyerogliphical studies cannot even identify any paleographic evidence that really explains or refers to how the structures were built at all. This is what I refer to as the complete and utter dissonance between Hebrew Bible myth, on the one hand, and modern archeological studies, on the other. I am assuming there are no studies cited in Wikipedia yet that start from such a purely skeptical point of view? Thanks, warshy (¥¥) 18:34, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

@Warshy: The pyramids aren't relevant here because large-scale pyramids, the kind that were state-managed constructions, were all built during the Old and Middle Kingdom, too early for any possible date for the Exodus, which is pretty much limited to the New Kingdom. The biblical text refers to mud-brick, but virtually all buildings in Egypt other than temples and tombs were built of mud-brick and not stone, so any major city-building project would have included mud-brick construction. The biblical text describes a setting in the Nile Delta, and there were Semitic-speaking peoples, akin to those in Canaan, living in the Nile Delta in the right timeframe. So the disjunction between Egyptian archaeology and the biblical account isn't as large as you're suggesting. That said, the points I just listed are just about the only ones that the defenders and skeptics all agree on. A. Parrot (talk) 19:05, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Thank you A. Parrot, for your learned response. What "setting in the Nile Delta" would the biblical text be referring to according to this hypothesis? warshy (¥¥) 19:53, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@Warshy: Broadly speaking, the Land of Goshen; there's dispute over where that name comes from, but nobody seems to argue that it's not the Nile Delta, no doubt partly because that's the part of Egypt proper that's closest to the Sinai. Exodus 1:11 refers specifically to the cities of Pithom and Rameses. The location of Pithom is, as that article indicates, disputed. Rameses is often identified as Pi-Ramesses, the capital built by Ramesses II. In that case this name would seem to be a genuine memory of the late New Kingdom, because the harbor at Pi-Ramesses silted up at the end of that period, and the local rulers who succeeded Ramesses XI abandoned it and moved their capital to Tanis. However, Donald B. Redford argues that place-names incorporating the name "Rameses" existed elsewhere for centuries after that, so the city-name could have been incorporated into the story at a much later time. Others have disputed this claim, based on detailed linguistic arguments that are too complicated to stick in my head. A. Parrot (talk) 20:20, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Thank you again A. Parrot. You have satisfied my curiosity on the issue for the time being with your clear erudition on the area. warshy (¥¥) 20:32, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

The "overwhelming" "consensus" among scholars phrase in the Historicity section[edit]

  • "Overwhelming" is a term that does fall into the usage of subjective point of view.
  • Biblical scholars are also scholars.
  • It is true that the section should refer to the view that scholars in the field of History have about the topic, and that they mostly reject the idea of something like an "Exodus" having taken place.
  • Something is a Myth if it is studied by Anthropologists and declared as such.
  • Something is Historical for History scholars only if there is written or oral record. Or it can be Historical for Archeologists if there is record to support the idea of the event.

However, the reference provided to the work of Collins, for the alleged consensus among "scholars", needs at least a secondary source (and even a tertiary source) to attest the supposed consensus statement validity.

Also you need to know that scholars in other fields of knowledge have spoken favorably towards the idea of an Israelite Exodus having taken place from Egypt in the middle Kingdom (Egypt). Outside the biblical scholars you have Freud, an Scholar in the Field of Psychology, who wrote at length at the possibility of the Pharaoh Amenhotep IV being the pharaoh of Exodus or even the religious/social leader Moses himself; All of that from the Psychological point of view.

So the first line in the section of Historicity should be tweaked a little like this:

The consensus among scholars in the fields of History, Archeology, and Anthropology is that the Exodus story is best understood as a myth and does not accurately describe historical events.[1][citation needed][citation needed]

OR much better:

The consensus among scholars in the field of History is that the Exodus is not a historical event. [1][citation needed] (talk) 18:06, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

You do not make the WP:RULES. Part of the WP:RULES is WP:RS/AC, which the cited source passes with flying colors. End of the story, proposed edit thus rejected. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:35, 3 September 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b Collins 2005, p. 46.
I had not noticed you had another talk section about that same topic. I didn't check before posting on this Israel/Egypt topic.
Just as a means to point some minor changes, you look into it to see if you like an flamboyant style of writing for an encyclopedia or not:
the terminology "Overwhelming" does not comply with Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view (NPOV).
If most scholars or scientists in a field hold a common view, then that type of wording is the one that has to be accepted. Besides, as per WP:RS/AC: "A statement that all or most scientists or scholars hold a certain view requires reliable sourcing that directly says that all or most scientists or scholars hold that view." It is clear you have to specify the scope of the scholarship. History scholars cannot say the Dinosaurs are historical animals, as per the lack of written or oral traditions, but archaeologists can say the animals existed and thus it is considered pre-history. Academic Consensus about the Historicity of the Dinosaurs shouldn't be referenced in WP by History Scholars sources but by Archaeological scholars sources.
  • The terminology "overwhelming" should be removed as per WP:NPOV
  • The consensus for the Exodus to be considered a myth has to be properly referenced from Anthropological sources, which Collins is not. as per WP:RS/AC (User:ctmv) (talk) 20:18, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

(I thought this topic was Egypt/Israel but seems WP has placed it within Christianity category as well. Then my last suggestion for you.)

Banned editor[edit]

According to Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Fajkfnjsak, a certain editor is banned and thus may no longer suggest edits. Yup, there is some amount of WP:DUCK involved. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:44, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

I don't think this is Fajkfnjsak. His big thing was removing the idea that anyone thought the Exodus was based on any sort of historical event and adding cherry-picked information saying the Exodus was completely fake to various other articles.
If the IP is a sock, it's more likely of Jgriffy, but he hasn't been blocked, meaning he doesn't really have much motive. Given the number of people who are really invested in the Exodus having occurred, it could just as easily be a random IP.
This article gets attacked by both the fundamentalists and the people who are really invested in the Exodus having no basis for ideological reasons, unfortunately.--Ermenrich (talk) 20:38, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
WP:NPOV and "subjective" at [10]. "Subjective opinion" and NPOV at [11]. Tgeorgescu (talk) 20:42, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
That doesn't really strike me as conclusive, and why why Fajknjsak now argue the opposite of what he's always been arguing?--Ermenrich (talk) 23:28, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
The IP address mentioned User:Ctmv as if trying to sign. Maybe Ctmv lost the account password. In any case, it doesn't seem like Jgriffy's writing style. A. Parrot (talk) 01:19, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Style aside, I already said that Fajknjsak might be a strawman sock, see [12]. He had a weird criticism of removing "subjective" scholarly opinions in the name of objectivity and NPOV. As if all people wouldn't be subjective. Or, as Bart Ehrman said, all people are biased in some way or another. I think he conflates objectivity with "the view from nowhere" instead of "intersubjectively valid". Going on wild tangents about objectivity at [13], [14] and [15]. See Doug Weller's criticism at [16]. Tgeorgescu (talk) 03:33, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
The IP editor does not have any similarities to Fajkfnjsak's editing style that I see, and I don't think the diffs you have provided are helpful to establishing any sort of case. However, if you disagree, then you should start a new thread on the SPI page you provided, rather than continue any discussion of the topic here. – Wallyfromdilbert (talk) 03:41, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Correction needed in lead[edit]

The first sentence of the third para of the lead currently reads:

The consensus of modern scholars is that the Bible does not give an accurate account of the origins of Israel, which formed as an entity in the central highlands of Canaan by the 13th century BCE from the indigenous Canaanite culture.[5][6]

The sources are Carol Meyers' "Exodus", pp.6-7, and Moore and Kelle's "Biblical History...", p.81. My first problem is that in neither of these can I find a reference to the consensus of scholars, or words to that effect - I can't even see that Moore/Kelle is relevant to this sentence. My second is with the wording to the effect that Israel formed in the highlands "by the 13th century BCE" - again, neither source seems to say this, and to the contrary, Meyers on page 6 implies to my mind that they formed in the 12th/11th centuries, which is substantially later. (She does mention the 13th century on p.7, but says this was a time of turmoil which preceded the emergence of the highland settlements that became Israel.) I leave it to others to make any edits, as the article is locked to unregistered users and I have no intention of registering. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:39, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

The stuff about Canaan was probably added by Fasjkjnak, so it makes sense if its inaccurate. The sources were originally just for the Exodus being inaccurate history, I bet. We could just delete that part, but I'm sure there are better sources for the canaanite origins of Israel already in the article somewhere.--Ermenrich (talk)
In any case, I've found a passage that states the consensus in the field more explicitly than anything I remember seeing in this argument so far. From Grabbe 2017, p. 36: "The impression one has now is that the debate has settled down. Although they do not seem to admit it, the minimalists have triumphed in many ways. That is, most scholars reject the historicity of the 'patriarchal period', see the settlement as mostly made up of indigenous inhabitants of Canaan and are cautious about the early monarchy. The exodus is rejected or assumed to be based on an event much different from the biblical account. On the other hand, there is not the widespread rejection of the biblical text as a historical source that one finds among the main minimalists. There are few, if any, maximalists (defined as those who accept the biblical text unless it can be absolutely disproved) in mainstream scholarship, only on the more fundamentalist fringes." Might be worth adding this source to the article. A. Parrot (talk) 06:45, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
I've added a citation to this passage to this sentence, and I've adjusted the date to "the late second millennium BCE". The reason somebody specified the 13th century is probably the Merenptah Stele, which shows that the name "Israel" existed then, but the formation of Israel as we think of it seems to have been after the collapse and would thus have taken place during the 12th, 11th or 10th centuries—the earliest contemporary records of it date to the ninth century. For now, "late second millennium BCE" seems safely vague. A. Parrot (talk) 04:24, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Re-organization of historicity section[edit]

Based on A. Parrot's recent edit on the basis of Grabbe, I wonder if it might be best to edit the historicity section as follows:

  1. As an opening paragraph, using Grabbe, state: "There are two main positions on the historicity of the Exodus in modern scholarship. The majority position (citations to Redmount, Sparks, Faust) is that the biblical Exodus narrative is based on a real event, but one that was quite different from what is described in the Bible. The other main position, often associated with the school of Biblical minimalism, (cite to Graham Davies) is that the Exodus has no historical basis. Both positions are in agreement that the biblical Exodus narrative is best understood as a founding myth, not an accurate depiction of the history of the Israelites.(cite Collins, Sparks) A third position, that the biblical narrative is essentially correct ("Biblical maximalism"), is today held by "few, if any [...] in mainstream scholarship, only on the more fundamentalists fringes." (cite to Grabbe 2017, p. 36)."
  2. Second paragraph (minus myth sentences): why the majority believes that the biblical narrative is implausible.
  3. Third paragraph: why a majority believes that some sort of event lies behind it nevertheless.
  4. fourth paragraph: outline the minimalist position, possibly include some criticism as currently from Graham Davies.

We could potentially add a fifth paragraph briefly dealing with those maximalists who belong to mainstream scholarship, emphasizing their near-fringe status.--Ermenrich (talk) 12:55, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

I support the outline, but when you're talking about "historical basis" you have to specify what you mean. We have at least three hypotheses: a migration out of Egypt toward the end of the New Kingdom by a very small group who later became part of Israel (Faust and others); a much older folk memory of the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt at the beginning of the New Kingdom (Redford); and a folk memory of Egyptian rule in Canaan during the New Kingdom (Na'aman, with Bietak supporting a combination of this and the first hypothesis). Technically, all three of those count as "a historical basis". There may well be other scholars who argue the story was made completely out of whole cloth, but I don't know who they are. A. Parrot (talk) 17:34, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
What about Niels P. Lemche, Thomas L. Thompson, and Phillip R. Davies? And also Israel Finkelstein, of course. These are all in my basic minimalist reading list, whenever I can get to it. Am I missing anyone? Thanks, warshy (¥¥) 18:04, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
@A. Parrot:, I think it's best to leave the further explanation of the positions to the individual paragraphs/sections. How about adding something like

Scholars are divided on what exactly this historical basis might have been, however

after the statement about it? We have enough material that we could even transform each paragraph into a subsection of the historicity section if we added a bit more.--Ermenrich (talk) 19:20, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes, "Scholars are divided about what this historical basis may have been" works fine. A. Parrot (talk) 19:51, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
I've added the text as discussed here (slightly different wording in some cases). A. Parrot, would you be able to add a citation to Redford's Hyksos theory to the what is now the third paragraph? I don't have access to him (or an indirect citation) of him, but his theory is obviously important and should be mentioned. I think Jan Assmann is probably also worth mentioning: if I understand correctly, he thinks the exodus is a mishmash of various events, including Atenakhen. I haven't found his thesis expressed succinctly anywhere though.
Given the amount of material, we may want to think of splitting the third paragraph into multiple paragraphs.--Ermenrich (talk) 13:01, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
Redford points to the memory of the Hyksos expulsion as the source for the Exodus, which is already mentioned in the third paragraph, so I just added a citation to Redford 1992 to the end of that sentence. As for Assmann, getting him to express a thesis succinctly is no small task. (His main area of expertise is ancient Egyptian religion, in which field he is a giant, so I know his style all too well.) But I don't think he actually has a thesis about what inspired the Exodus. He's interested in the impact of the story, not its origins. From his paper in Levy et al. 2015, p. 5: "The decisive property of a myth is that it is a well known and widely shared foundational story irrespective of its historical or fictional base. Golgatha is a myth, but few people doubt that a historical person by the name of Jeshua ha-Nosri has in actual fact been executed by crucifixion. The same may apply to the Exodus from Egypt of a tribe by the name of Yisrael. But this is exactly the kind of question that I would like to put in brackets. My question, again, is not what really happened but who told the story, why, when, to whom, and how?" A. Parrot (talk) 05:38, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
A. Parrot, he has a chapter here specifically on the historical background of the Exodus, some of which can be seen in the preview, but he does sort of dismiss the question in his opening pages. Then again, he lists several events that could have inspired in the table of contents. I'll see if I can get a hold of the full chapter so that it can be cited in some way. Just the preview has already included some really cool insights: Assmann suggests a connection between Yahweh and "Seth-Baal", the God of the Hyksos, for instance (p. 36). Assmann's books look like great sources for expanding other areas of this article as well, which is woefully compact.
Ideally, I think we should keep expanding this section and potentially sub-section it for historical theories and minimalists in the future.--Ermenrich (talk) 15:36, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
I see. I don't have that one, but I might get around to obtaining it sometime. Expanding the section over the long term sounds like a good idea. There's one edit I can suggest now: moving the historicity section before the one on cultural significance. I can see why historicity comes after the summary and the composition history—because we today start from the extant text and have to work backwards to figure out how it came to be—but I don't see why it goes before cultural significance. (That section also deserves a lot of expansion, but I have even fewer sources on it.) A. Parrot (talk) 16:48, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Just got Assmann's book from the library. There is just a ton that can be added from it, I'll be making additions, large and small, like I just did with a note on the magicians. Assmann connects them to Egyptian traditions of dueling magicians - not sure where that would fit in the article...--Ermenrich (talk) 21:44, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

The long notes in the Composition section[edit]

I wonder if we shouldn't bring parts of the two long notes in the composition section into the text or (and I think this is the case for most of the information in them, unfortunately) delete them. The first note in particular appears to be making an argument (rather than neutrally presenting facts) about the historicity of the Exodus rather than its date of composition. Some of the information might fit into the historicity section. The second appears unnecessary - we can just have a citation to a source saying that the line in Micah is an interpolation.--Ermenrich (talk) 00:45, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

Looking at it some more, I think the whole section needs some serious re-writing. It's focused mostly on the final assembly of the Pentateuch, while almost everyone acknowledges that the Pentateuch had older sources. It mentions earlier mentions of the Exodus, but does not clearly differentiate them from the final product. As I've found more and more about sources for the Pentateuch containing portions of the Exodus, I think this information needs to be reframed.--Ermenrich (talk) 13:34, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Agree Ckruschke (talk) 15:56, 18 September 2019 (UTC)Ckruschke
I think the section should be renamed something like "Development and composition", which allows us to deal with the pre-Pentateuch biblical mentions, some of which vary from what is actually in the Pentateuch, and then the sources that formed the Pentateuch. This removes the focus on the Pentateuch (which is something for the article Torah anyway). I guess there are a few minimalists who think nothing in the bible is older than the sixth century, but they seem to be a very tiny minority.--Ermenrich (talk) 01:26, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Agree with this as well. Ckruschke (talk) 14:04, 19 September 2019 (UTC)Ckruschke

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