Biblical chronology and the oldest ‘Yahweh’ and ‘Israel’ inscriptions: their significance for the traditional 1446 BC Exodus date.
This article discusses how biblical chronology is constructed and how the traditional Exodus date of 1446 BC is calculated and corroborated. Four pieces of supporting evidence are discussed, which can be dated to Egypt’s 18th Dynasty onwards. Specifically, inscriptions bearing the divine name ‘Yahweh’, and the earliest inscription of ‘Israel’ appear at the right time for the early Exodus date.
1) The oldest Egyptian inscription referring to ‘nomads of Yahweh’ occurs at Soleb, Nubia.
2) A Book of the Dead papyrus (Princeton Pharaonic Roll 5) bears a theophoric personal name utilizing ‘Yahweh’, likely meaning the owner was a ‘Semitic’/Jewish elite, buried in Egypt.
3) The oldest proto-Hebrew inscription, mentioning Yahweh, comes from Mount Ebal, Israel.
4) The oldest Egyptian inscription of national ‘Israel’ is dated between 18th–19th Dynasties.
The combined evidence strongly militates against the late Exodus date of 1267 BC and supports the Biblical Exodus date.