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Despite the Exodus story, a majority of scholars do not believe that the Passover festival originated as described in the biblical story. The first of these, Persian Imperial authorisation, advanced by Peter Frei in 1985, holds that the Persian authorities required the Jews of Jerusalem to present a single body of law as the price of local autonomy. The second theory, sometimes called the "Citizen-Temple Community", proposes that the Exodus story was composed to serve the needs of a post-exilic Jewish community organised around the Temple, which acted in effect as a bank for those who belonged to it. In Levy, Thomas E.; Schneider, Thomas; Propp, William H. Israel's Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective: Text, Archaeology, Culture, and Geoscience. The history of the Exodus story stretches back some two hundred years before the achievement of its current form, to a point in the late 7th century BCE when various oral and written traditions were drawn together into written works which were the fore-runners of the Torah we know today. Despite the Bible's internal dating of the Exodus to the 2nd millennium BCE, details point to a 1st millennium date for the composition of the Book of Exodus: Ezion-Geber (one of the Stations of the Exodus), for example, dates to a period between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE with possible further occupation into the 4th century BCE, Similarly, the Pharaoh's fear that the Israelites might ally themselves with foreign invaders seems unlikely in the context of the late 2nd millennium, when Canaan was part of an Egyptian empire and Egypt faced no enemies in that direction, but does make sense in a 1st millennium context, when Egypt was considerably weaker and faced invasion first from the Achaemenid Empire and later from the Seleucid Empire. The mention of the dromedary in Exodus 9:3 also suggests a later date of composition – the widespread domestication of the camel as a herd animal is thought not to have taken place before the late 2nd millennium, after the Israelites had already emerged in Canaan, The chronology of the Exodus story likewise underlines its essentially religious rather than historical nature. Israel's Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective: Text, Archaeology, Culture, and Geoscience Geraty, L. Spread over the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, it tells of the events that befell the Israelites following the death of Joseph, their departure from Egypt, and their wanderings in the wilderness, including the revelations at Sinai, up to their arrival at the borders of Canaan.
It tells of the events that befell the Israelites following the death of Joseph, their departure from Egypt, and their wanderings in the wilderness, including the revelations at Sinai, up to their arrival at the borders of Canaan.
The crossing of the Red Sea has been variously placed at the Pelusic branch of the Nile, anywhere along the network of Bitter Lakes and smaller canals that formed a barrier toward eastward escape, the Gulf of Suez (south-southeast of Succoth), and the Gulf of Aqaba (south of Ezion-Geber), or even on a lagoon on the Mediterranean coast. Exodus in the Jewish Experience: Echoes and Reverberations.
The Biblical Mount Sinai is identified in Christian tradition with Jebel Musa in the south of the Sinai Peninsula, but this association dates only from the 3rd century CE and no evidence of the Exodus has been found there. "Out of the Mists of History: The Exaltaion of the Exodus in the Bible".
The consensus of modern archaeologists is that the Israelites were indigenous to Canaan and were never in Egypt, and if there is any historical basis to the exodus it can apply only to a small segment of the Israelites.
Yet there are indications that some historical basis underlies the story: the name of Moses is Egyptian, for example, and many scholars have found it improbable that a humiliating tradition of slavery would simply be invented. Giving the Sense: Understanding and Using Old Testament Historical Texts.