A New Continuous Narrative
© Charles Chandler
Having thoroughly dissected the Torah, and having found lots of pieces that can be aligned to archaeological and/or extra-biblical literary evidence, we now have just so many pieces, and in an unfamiliar order. It's hard to estimate the plausibility of such a thesis when the whole thing is in so many pieces. So in the end, we have to see if it all fits back together again into a continuous narrative that is at once politically and economically plausible, faithful to the secular evidence, and considerate of the high quality of Hebrew scholarship, that such detail would be preserved from so long ago.
The pieces do, indeed, fit neatly together — so much so that it establishes a great deal more credence for the Torah than any other secular analysis. Rather than being mainly lore, with a few juicy facts, it actually appears to be mainly fact. We simply have to bear in mind that the details of several different conquests of Canaan were compressed into one story.
Figure 1 shows who was in power, and in which regions, including Egypt and the Levant (S/W and N/E). All of the migrations shown are between these two regions (with the exception of the Hebrews migrating from the East Bank into North Canaan in ), though it doesn't specify which part of the Levant was the origin or destination. For that, see the text below. And while the Plagues appear to have originated in Egypt, they were then spread throughout the Middle East via the caravan routes, and surely re-entered Egypt several times.
So here's what it sounds like, when all of the parts of the story are retold in linear sequence.
Please note that all of the dates are approximate, and were derived by a variety of means.
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