Exodus Explained ???

Published on September 29, 2016
Caribbean news now
Dear Sir:
My little nephew has told me about a play “Moses” that a church group is now having about the bible story “Exodus”. No doubt, that church group will go all out to stage the play within the context of the popular view as described in the bible, or even that popular movie, “The Ten Commandments”. However, while it is indeed possible that the exodus is based on fact, the popular accounts about the story are far from factual. Indeed, the bible itself gives clues as to what most likely could have happened.

However, there are at least two things of interest that aren’t widely known about the Exodus story. First, the story as we have come to know it was written some 800 years after the supposed events. This long time span between the supposed events and recording would have undoubtedly allowed for much embellishment. Secondly, Moses himself, if he did exist at all, was a very educated man – perhaps way ahead of his time. Notice, ironically, from the bible itself, how dismissive the Egyptian Pharaoh was when Moses threatened to turn the river Nile red “with blood” with the first plague? That was because both Moses and the Pharaoh were well aware that the Nile turning red was nothing odd. Indeed, such an event had happened before and elsewhere. In fact, just a few weeks ago, a river in Russia also turned red. Anyway, with the Nile, the lifeline of the deserted Egypt, heavily polluted, it was of very little surprise that the other plagues followed: the frogs, the flies, death of animals and even humans (the first born dying), among others. Again, notice that when Moses claimed that his god was responsible, the Pharaoh was wise enough to know that this was not the case? Indeed, he began to consider Moses as some sort of quack.
Of course, Moses, being the highly educated man that he was, used this knowledge of the Nile to maximum effect – by convincing at least some of his people, who clearly were not that smart, that the “plagues” were not of natural causes, but due to the power of his god.
The crossing of the Red Sea is also surprisingly simple to explain. In fact, the original documents detailing the exodus did not refer to the Red Sea at all, but the “Sea of Reeds”. The Red Sea is a mistranslation that has come down to us in our time. The Sea of Reeds was in fact a swamp that was no more than a foot deep at most, so crossing it would not have required any “miraculous parting”, as we have been taught. It was this Sea of Reeds that the Hebrews crossed. Moses’ miracles outside of Egypt are also simple to understand. His getting “water from the rock”, for instance, was his way of exploiting the knowledge that he had about those rocks. They were very porous and held a lot of water and a good smack would cause the water in them to come out. Moses was fully aware of this. Now, the fact that the Hebrews were able to break free of Egyptian bondage is indeed great (assuming, of course, that it even happened), but there was clearly nothing supernatural about it. Like the virgin birth and the resurrection, the exodus, once studied in detail, is easily explainable.


Michael A. Dingwall