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What is the date of the Exodus?

Usshers chronology places the date of Exodus in April of 1491 BC.  His dates were published in the King James Authorized Bible as early as 1701 AD and are the ones used on the Bible History Timeline above.

Thiele, a modern Biblical chronologist,  calculates it to 1446 BC – a date often used by modern Evangelicals.

Josephus relates it to the expulsion of the Hyskos from Egypt circa 1552 BC

The Septuagint, on which the Catholic Bible is based, makes it 1512 BC

That gives a hundred year range of dates.  That’s not bad when you consider how hard it is to date ancient history.  For instance Egyptologists suggest a 2300 year range of dates (from 2450 BC to 5004 BC) when trying to date the first Egyptian King, Menes.

The original inspired Bible text does not include dates – these have been added by man- although it does include the number of years between events.  However, not all events are linked so that dates have to be calculated using historical events mentioned in the Bible that have secular dates associated with them.  How the dates of Bible events are calculated is another question.

Related article:
The Three Bible Timelines:  Why and How They Differ

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12 thoughts on “What is the date of the Exodus?

  1. Hello

    Concerning the Exodus, Jewish tradition places it in 1312 BC, but my belief (based on calculation explained in the specific page below) is that it was in 1308 BC. Not a big margin though. From my study, it places the Exodus in the last year of reign of Pharaoh Horemheb. With his death ended the 18th Dynasty of Egypt too.

    I am not familiar with the Usshers and Thiele computations. If there is a web site describing them, I would be happy to look into it.

    Kind regards
    Albert

    1. Hi Albert
      Here’s information on Bishop Ussher, the seventeenth century historian whose date calculations were included in the King James Authorized version of the Bible. His calculations are generally considered to be the most accurate for Christian historians.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ussher_chronology

      Thanks for commenting and sharing your work

  2. Hello Margaret
    I found another source, from Jewish literature, that proposes a date for the Exodus: it is the Book of the Jubilees, which clearly states that it took place at the end of 49 jubilees since Creation + the 2nd year from it: this makes 49*50 +1 = year 2451 AM (or 1309 BCE). This is an attractive explanation due to the significance of the cycle of jubilees because it sets the Exodus within the 50th Jubilee as a matter of fact. For more details, see my web site at http://www.seder-olam.info/seder-olam-g31-hasmonean1.html#book_of_jubilees

    This is very close to the traditional Jewish figure of 2448 AM but this figure falls before the 50th Jubilee: less attractive than the previous one.

    My own estimate is 2454 AM (or 1306 BCE) for the reasons I explain in http://www.seder-olam.info/seder-olam-g21-exodus.html#the_exodus ; the interest is that this estimate also falls in the 50th Jubilee, along with the 40 years in the desert and the main conquest of Canaan: an eventful Jubilee in fact.

    Yet, readers must understand that the exact date of the Exodus will always be shrouded with some uncertainty. The fact, for Jewish tradition, is that it doesn’t matter too much, if the correct figure is a few years different: the Torah (the Jewish Bible) is not a history book ! So events are only important for the relations they have one to another: for example, it is more important to know when a man has a son or heir, or how old was he when a given circumstance occurred to him, or how long did he live compared to stating his year of birth or year of death. Yet, with some patience and some calculation, we can reconstruct a pretty good idea of the Biblical chronology. All the Jewish chroniclers give the Exodus within a small number of years bracket, which indicate that this event happened at a time when the 18th dynasty of Egypt collapsed.

    I cannot say much of the Christian chronologies (such as Ussher) but know that some of them got the start of AM wrong due to a mistake with one of the early Biblical character. Also, you stated that The Septuagint gives the date of 1512 BC for the Exodus… It is not the original Septuagint, which was a mere translation in Greek of the Jewish Torah by Jewish scholars: so there was no date stated in the original Septuagint, dating some 350 years before Christ. But, what happened is that Constantine ordered to re-write this text and fixed it as the only official version of the “Old Testament”: all original versions of the Septuagint must have been destroyed at that time. Only remain the versions post 300 CE (the oldest ones being the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, both being among the copies that Constantine ordered, as far as I know).

    Many thanks
    Albert

    1. however, the Hebrew dates for creation are off by some 245 years. Your calculations and certain others, which place the Exodus around 1250 BC are naturally off. I have never been able to understand according to the Biblical facts of the genealogies how Hebrew historians could miss the years by so far

  3. If you use 1550 and realize that Santorini volcano exploded with a 200ft plus or minus tsunami you can reconcile the exodus with the scientific record.

    1. The problem with the so-called Santorini Scientific explanation for the Exodus is that it implies that the Santorini event surrounding All of Moses biblical actions around this view, such as the plagues, the rivers turning blood red etc., means that Moses would have had to have Prior knowledge about the pending Santorini event before hand, so that he could effectively use ithis to his advantage in convincing the Egyptians to let his people go free. Furthermore, Moses would have had to have a great understanding of what events were likely to occur around the So-called Sientific Santorini event in order to perform the apparent miraculous tasks commanded of him by God.
      Given this fact therefore, The so-called Scientific Santorini explanation could not have occured at the time of Moses.
      Paul November 2019

  4. Where is your proof that the “original inspired Bible text does not include dates – these have been added by man?”

  5. When did the Exodus end?

    1. Hi, you asked: “when did the Exodus end…”

      Well if you read the Bible correctly and not fall into the issue of making assumption about the exodus as many do, you will find that the Exodus ended after Moses was taken by God to mount Nebo so he could view the Land of Canaan (the Land of Promise) where he consequently dies ( 2438 years after the death of Adam). This was as a result of his apparent disobedience to God which was sadly caused by the murmurings of the people he had saved from the Egyptians in the year (*2398 AA) when Moses was Eighty years old. this period brought about the end of Israels 40 year wanderings in the Negev desert etc., thus the Israelites settled along the Arnon River for approximately 390 years after the Exodus. * please note that the dates I have given are calculated According to the forward progression of chronology after Adam and not according to the dating system of The Julian or Gregorian calendars fo the so called periods BC and BCE which is a backward progression system full of errors historically as archeologists today are finding that they have to push back the dates futher back in time when finding newer evidence that contradicts faculties BC mindset for a shorter creation theory.

      I hope this explanation helps you to get a more accurate biblical view of things.

      Paul

  6. An Exodus date of ca. 1446 BC seems to work out just fine when one adds ca. 966 BC (temple started) + 480 years. This was too easy. But getting more exact, what does one do adding 966 BC to:
    + 86y (kings Saul, David, 4 yrs Solomon) *
    + 430y (judges/foreign kings) 450-20 =Samson lived during time of Philistines
    + 17y? (generation of elders judged-estimate)
    + 28y (Joshua judged, etc.)
    + 40y (in wilderness)
    + 1y (in Wilderness of Sinai & Paran after the Exodus)
    = Exodus ca. 1568 BC
    Then there’s the problem that one cannot stretch the generations Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, and David over 528 years and still have these persons born in the correct places if one uses ca. 1568 BC for the Exodus (One can barely stretch them using the 1446 BC date.) 1446 BC doesn’t work with years of the judges, etc.. Anywhere around 1568 BC doesn’t work with David and his ancestors. Help!

    1. Linda,
      Recommend using the Septuagint timeline as discussed in the link below. Setterfield has a discussion about the differences you have noted and cites Luke as implying 573 years in the following link:
      http://www.setterfield.org/scriptchron.htm#tabletwo
      Setterfield states: “There we find that the 573 years is made up of 40 wilderness years (Acts 13:18); 450 years under the Judges (Acts 13:20); 40 years under Saul (Acts 13:21); 40 years under David (l Kings 2:11); and 3 years under Solomon before the Temple construction commenced (1 Kings 6:1). This totals 573 years, or 93 years longer then stated in l Kings 6:1.” He cites the omission principle as a plausible explanation.

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