By Russell Gmirkin

Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus proposes a provocative new idea concerning the date and situations of the composition of the Pentateuch. Gmirkin argues that the Hebrew Pentateuch was once composed in its entirety approximately 273-272 BCE by way of Jewish students at Alexandria that later traditions credited with the Septuagint translation of the Pentateuch into Greek. the first facts is literary dependence of Gen. 1-11 on Berossus' Babyloniaca (278 BCE) and of the Exodus tale on Manetho's Aegyptiaca (c. 285-280 BCE), and the geo-political info inside the desk of countries. a few symptoms aspect to a provenance of Alexandria, Egypt for a minimum of a few parts of the Pentateuch. That the Pentateuch, drawing on literary resources came upon on the nice Library of Alexandria, used to be composed at virtually an identical date because the Septuagint translation, offers compelling facts for a few point of communique and collaboration among the authors of the Pentateuch and the Septuagint students at Alexandria's Museum. The past due date of the Pentateuch, as tested by means of literary dependence on Berossus and Manetho, has vital results: the definitive overthrow of the chronological framework of the Documentary speculation, and a overdue, third century BCE date for significant parts of the Hebrew Bible which convey literary dependence at the Pentateuch.

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Extra resources for Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus. Hellenistic Histories and the Date of the Pentateuch

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See Chapter 6, §1. 90. Redford, Egypt, Canaan and Israel, 305. 20 Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus preconceptions of terminus a quo and ad quern, when other periods not considered might provide equally good or better parallels. Van Seters, for instance, arbitrarily took the historiographical data to indicate a date of composition of the sixth century BCE. As Lemche pointed out, the historiographical data equally or better fit the Hellenistic period. Redford admirably considered data from all Egyptological periods and found the Joseph and Exodus stories to correlate with Saite, Persian and Ptolemaic data.

Hebrew inscriptions of ca. 78 The proposition that LBH replaced CH in the exilic period is not similarly supported by inscriptional evidence: there are simply no Hebrew inscriptions of sufficient length in the period ca. 79 The idea that LBH prevailed in the exilic period appears to be grounded on early dates assigned to LBH texts such as Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah. 80 A different linguistic argument was made by Dever, who argued that the lack of Greek loanwords in Biblical Hebrew dated these texts (Daniel excluded) to 76.

Many of the Elephantine Papyri were dated in terms of the regnal years of the Persian kings who then ruled Egypt. The collection as a whole came from the period 494-ca. 400 BCE. Most of these were letters, legal documents, supply accounts and the like, but one (no. 21) contained an order from Darius II in 419 BCE to the Jews at Elephantine enjoining them to observe the Days of Unleavened Bread, while a second series (nos. 27, 30-34) documented the Egyptian destruction of a Jewish temple at Yeb in 411 BCE and the fruitless efforts of the colonists during the years 410-407 BCE to secure permis sion to have it rebuilt.

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