One of the most bizarre and intriguing sessions … a meeting of the American Society for Oriental Research in which the speaker showed what he claims are Egyptian records of the Exodus! These are not new discoveries, but known material which has just never been connected with the Exodus. It has to do with paintings and inscriptions on the walls of the tomb of Thutmose III (ca. 1500 B.C.) which show (in color!) waters parting and Egyptian soldiers and the Pharaoh himself being drowned. There are references to the Nile’s being turned to blood and other aspects of the biblical account. Typically, these Egyptian narratives are taken to refer to some primordial event in Egypt’s mythological past. But the speaker said that at the very least they falsify the conventional wisdom that there is just nothing in Egyptian records like the Exodus. An archaeologist I spoke with denounced the claims as baloney (he was considerably less polite), but it will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. David Noel Friedman, a highly respected Jewish scholar, is helping to publish these findings very soon.
It will be very interesting to see if more comes of this.