The best estimate date of the Exodus is precisely the time when Egypt was in it's zenith of power and glory.
This would not have been possible if they had just lost all their livestock, all their crops, all their slaves, and 1/3 of their population.
The exact date of the Exodus is in dispute. The traditional bible chronology dates the Exodus to c.1447 BCE.
The range of dates I have found are from 1628 BCE to 1200-1250 BCE. The uncertainty about the dates is caused by different biblical scholars attempts to calibrate the biblical discription with archiological findings. None of the events described in the Bible can be associated with what we know about what really went on in Egypt during the period 1628 - 1200 BCE. That is why scholars have such a hard time agreeing on the date of the Exodus!
Since 1447 is the "traditional" date and since it is near the midpoint of the range of possible dates, I will use it.
So here's the best evidence I have for my claim that the book of Exedous is totally without merit:
With respect to the Egyptians, in 1447 BCE, immediately after gawd pulled of his tenth plague, the Egyptians....
had no water:
7:19 All their their rivers, their ponds, and all their pools of water,became blood and the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.
NOTE: all the rivers would include the Nile River, the acknkowledged source of Egypts developed civilization.
were infested with lice:
8:16 ... lice came upon men and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became lice.
lost all their livestock:
9:6 all the cattle of Egypt died
had all their trees and crops destroyed by hail:
9:25 And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.
had their (remaining?) crops devoured by locusts
10:15 For they covered the face of the whole earth*, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left**: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt.
* "the face of the whole earth"?
** the BIBLE says that the hail smote "all that was in the field".
had all their firstborn killed (the passover - i.e gawd's genocide of Egyptians)
12:29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle*.
12:30 ... and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
(gawd kills the cattle a third time - I guess they got resurrected so he could kill them again.)
Summary: Think about this... fully one third of the Egyptian population would be killed, just drop dead instantly over night!
Every household experienced at least one dead.
Babies, slaves, soldiers, you name it. Imagine the stench, the disease, the vermin, the dead bodies (people, livestock, plants) everywhere.
For my household, the dead people would have included me, my wife, my first daughter, my first grandchild, my son-in-law, my second daughter's daughter Lucy. All drop dead - instantly - at the stroke of midnight - for no apparent reason.
And yet... there is no mention of a calamity of this magnitude anywhere other than the bible.
If a calamity of this magnitude did occur in Egypt, they would have attributed it to THEIR gawd's displeasure and there would have been a great deal of evidence that it happened.
If taken literally the total number involved, the 600,000 "fighting men" plus wives, children, the elderly, and the "mixed multitude," would have been two million or more, equivalent to more than half of the entire Egyptian population of around 3-6 million.The loss of such a huge proportion of the population would have caused havoc to the Egyptian economy, but no evidence of such effect has been found.
Think of it this way... if, in the United States, approximately 20 million workers of the lowest job skills suddenly disappeared tomorrow and, at the same time, one/third of our population suddenly dropped dead, don't you think this would have some effect on the economy that would be noted in the newspapers?
YET at this same time in history, it is well documented that...
Egypt was in what is known as The New Kingdom (1570-1070 BC) period.
It was Egypts most prosperous time and marked the zenith of its power.
(See >http://www.touregypt.net/hdyn18a.htm for details)
In fact, 1447 falls right in the middle of the 18th Dynasty (1580-1350 BCE) which is THE MOST promenent dynasty in the New Kingdom.
(I did not plan it this way... I picked the date AND THEN investigated the state of Egypt at that time-truth.)
"The pharaoh in 1447 was Thutmose III who was the sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. He created the largest empire Egypt had ever seen; no fewer than seventeen campaigns were conducted, and he conquered from Niy in north Syria to the fourth waterfall of the Nile in Nubia. Officially, Thutmose III ruled Egypt for almost fifty-four years, and his reign is usually dated from April 24, 1479 BC to March 11, 1425 BC."
Widely considered a military genius by historians, Thutmose III made 16 raids in 20 years. He was an active expansionist ruler, sometimes called Egypt's greatest conqueror or "the Napoleon of Egypt". He is recorded to have captured 350 cities during his rule and conquered much of the Near East from the Euphrates to Nubia during seventeen known military campaigns. He was the first Pharaoh after Thutmose I to cross the Euphrates, doing so during his campaign against Mitanni. His campaign records were transcribed onto the walls of the temple of Amun at Karnak, and are now transcribed into Urkunden IV. He is consistently regarded as one of the greatest of Egypt's warrior pharaohs, who transformed Egypt into an international superpower by creating an empire that stretched from southern Syria through to Canaan and Nubia.
See the extensive description of his battles here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thutmose_III
The pharoah at the time is supposed to have drowned with his army at the Red Sea. However, all the pharoahs during that time period are accounted for in their Pyramids.
COULD THUTMOSE HAVE MADE 16 RAIDS IN 20 YEARS IF EGYPT HAD JUST HAD 1/3 OF ITS POPULATION INSTANTLY DIE, HAD NO FOOD OR WATER AND NO CROPS AND NO LIVESTOCK AND ALL OF ITS SLAVES DISAPPEAR INTO THE DESERT?
NO, think Haiti, think Tsunami
In addition, the Pharaohs that succceded Thutmose continued to build their Pyramids, cities, temples and monuments.
In addition, one of the Pharaohs that succeded Thutmose, Akhenaten, presided at a time when "Egyptian art flourished and attained an unprecedented level of realism". None of this realistic art depicts any of the events of Exodus.
Ramesses II, the greatest Pharaoh of Egypt, reigned less than 150 years after the Exodus.
There is no question about the power and success of the Egyptians in that time period. It is well documented (in more than one chapter of a collection of chapters).
None of this would have been possible of a people who had just lost one third of their population, had no food, water or livestock and all of their slaves (i.e. the 2.5 million jews who exodused Egypt).
How can you believe that Exodus actually happened?
What is your evidence?
The strength of this evidence is the fact that you can't invoke gawd here. Gawd certainly wouldn't have intervened on behalf of the Egyptians, so they had to do all that they did on their own without any miracles from gawd.
Point Two of my Proof: There is no way that Egypt could have become the power it was in 1447 BCE if it had suffered the damage described by the 10 plagues.
QUESTION: Instead of "hardening the heart of the Pharaoh", (4:21, 7:3, 7:13, 9:12, 10:1, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, 14:4, 14:8) why didn't gwad just soften the heart of the Pharaoh?
Want more evidence? Read on...