For his graduate work he switched to the Bible Department and completed his PhD in under the supervision of Moshe Greenberg , with a dissertation on the relationship between the Pentateuchal Priestly source and the Holiness code. Knohl lives in Jerusalem and is the father of the three children. Academic career[ edit ] Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton he joined the faculty of the Bible Department at Hebrew University, where he served as the Chair of the Department from Views and opinions[ edit ] Knohl identifies as a religious Jew and claims that biblical criticism is not necessarily at odds with traditional Jewish beliefs. He points out that the view that the Pentateuch was composed by multiple authors is supported by a number of Jewish authors, beginning in the Bible itself, and culminating with Abraham ibn Ezra and Hasidei Ashkenaz.

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This means there was no years of slavery, no Passover, and no exodus to the Promised Land. In other words, the foundational narrative of Judaism is bunk. That is, Knohl has found evidence supporting the idea that Moses actually existed, and that the exodus was real — though not as we know it.

This famine lasted for about 50 years, and affected the entire Mediterranean region, causing a mass migration of people all over the ancient near and middle East. Most of these groups headed to Egypt, where food could still be grown. War was raging everywhere, with groups like the Philistines migrating from Greece to Canaan, devastating populations on the way.

According to Egyptian sources from the same period, a tribe from the Edom region in the Transjordan north of Arabia called Jacob-El took their flocks down to Egypt during the famine, and, as starving migrants, served as cheap labor for the building public projects for the Egyptians. Knohl sees this tribe as the biblical sons of Jacob.

The last ruler of his dynasty was a Queen named Tausret, who died around BCE with no descendants. The document says this Haru brought with him a large group of followers, who objected to the Egyptian gods and their rituals, and that he and his followers ruled the country for a time, exploiting it economically.

The Setnakhte monument also says that the Haru gave silver and gold to mercenaries he invited from other countries to help him rule over Egypt. A similar story is told by Mantheo, who writes about a group of so-called lepers in Egypt whose leader was named Osarseph. Mantheo says Osarseph gave the group a new religion that disrespected the Egyptian gods and sacred animals, which the lepers slaughtered, roasted, and ate. This blasphemy was too much for the Pharaoh, who decided to cleanse the kingdom of these lepers.

The lepers were attacked, and Osarseph went to Jerusalem to enlist the help of mercenaries. He came back down with tens of thousands of soldiers, looted the Egyptian temples, profaned the idols, and slaughtered and ate the sacred animals. They insulted the Egyptian gods and sacrificed the sacred animals. Finally, they and their allied mercenaries were expelled from Egypt. Putting the story these sources tell together with a few key phrases from the Bible, Knohl determines the Exodus was not oppressed slaves fleeing for their life, but essentially a military evacuation of foreign soldiers, after their failed attempt to rule the country.

What are these key phrases? So Knohl thinks this passage means the Israelites went up from Egypt and many foreign mercenaries went with them. You guessed it: Osaresph, who, Mantheo writes, was also called Moses. Moses and his men lost, were expelled from Egypt, and retreated to Canaan. All rights reserved.


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