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Israel in EgyptThe Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition$
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James K. Hoffmeier

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780195130881

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130881.001.0001

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Moses and the Exodus

Moses and the Exodus

(p.135) 6 Moses and the Exodus
Israel in Egypt

James K. Hoffmeier

Oxford University Press

No figure casts a greater shadow in the pages of the Old Testament than Moses. While the Exodus narratives clearly attribute the “signs and wonders on the land of Egypt” to God, Moses is portrayed as the human agent through whom they were effected, resulting in the liberation of the Israelites from Pharaoh's clutches. Because of his role in Israel's exodus from Egypt and his receipt of divine laws at Sinai, Moses has had a unique status throughout Jewish and Christian canonical and noncanonical literature. One of the results of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century scholarly preoccupation with the quest for Pentateuchal sources and the history of the traditions is a renewed skepticism about the historicity of the stories and the person of Moses himself. Martin Noth, for instance, after studying the Moses narratives in the Pentateuch, concluded that the lone historical tradition is the death and burial of Moses in Deuteronomy.

Keywords:   Old Testament, Moses, Exodus, Egypt, Israelites, divine laws, Martin Noth, Pentateuch, Deuteronomy

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