Friedman-did love really trump hate?


Richard Elliot Friedman’s book, The Exodus has the subtitle, How it Happened and Why it Matters.

How it happened, according to him, was that the Levites were the people Moses led out of Egypt.  This means that “all Israel” was not in Egypt at the time of Moses.  Most of the tribes were already somewhere in Canaan.

Also it means that there was no huge number of people–like millions–who came out of Egypt  The impossibility of those numbers has been one of the main reasons some say the Exodus never happened.  But if only the Levites left Egypt with Moses, the exodus may have happened on a smaller scale.

Friedman doesn’t say exactly how small.  But Nehemiah 7:43-45 apparently says that only 360 Levites returned from the Babylonian Exile.  There were more Levites who did not go into exile; and some, like  Jeremiah, who went to Egypt. There were people…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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