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When a nation suffers an embarrassing defeat, they usually whitewash the mistakes and destroy the evidence.This idea has significant ramifications for archeology and the Exodus.A storm of debate has erupted in the Jewish world, following the well-publicized assertion by Rabbi David Wolpe of Los Angeles that "the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way it happened, if it happened at all." Wolpe made his declaration before 2,000 worshippers at the Conservative Sinai Temple, and the speech was reported on the front page of the Los Angeles Times.
The British Museum in London displays inscriptions from the walls of the palace of the Assyrian Emperor, Sancheriv.Interestingly, the Torah is unique among all ancient national literature in that it portrays its people in both victory and defeat.The Jews -- and sometimes their leaders -- are shown as rebels, complainers, idol-builders, and yes, descended from slaves.To date, only a tiny fraction of archeological sites related to the Bible have been excavated.This thin archeological record means that any conclusions are based on speculation and projection. Yet that has not stopped some archeologists from making bold assertions.
Admittedly, however, there is a shortage of Egyptian documentation of the Exodus period. We need to understand how the ancient world viewed the whole idea of recording history.