Dating the exodus
The Stela of Merneptah, the son and successor of Ramesses II, records the only known mention of Israel from ancient Egypt.
This reference suggests that by 1208 BC when this inscription was carved, the Israelites were already in the land of Canaan.
Working backwards from this datum, the exodus would have taken place no later than 1250 BC and not before 1270 BC, a two-decade period during the reign of Ramesses II.
A stela is a stone column that records the conquering of a ruler.
I highly reccomend to the reader, "Dating the Exodus," a Th D dissertation by Dr. Meyers (1997, Trinity Evangelical Seminary, Florida), which discusses various proposals for the Exodus' date using Jewish and Non-Jewish sources in addition to the biblical evidence.
He favors the Hyksos Expulsion as being behind the Exodus traditions, and notes this was the common understanding of the Early Christian period. the following url: Another reccomended article is by David Goldstein (published 24 July 2006) titled "Of Pharaohs and Dates: Critical Remarks on the Dating and Historicity of the Exodus From Egypt." He calculates an Exodus as occurring circa 1447 or 1528 BCE (the latter of which by _my calculations_ falls in the reign of Pharaoh Ahmose I who expelled the Hyksos). E.=Before the Common Era, an alternate scholarly designation for B. Jacobovici was apparently aware that some scholars dated the Exodus to circa 1446 BCE on the basis of 1 Kings 6:1 chronology.
Naturally, this scenario is untenable as Jephthah lived long before Solomon (or Saul, for that matter) was born. Even allowing for a possible overlap of the reigns of the judges, the activities and times specified in the book of Judges don’t compress well into a 180-year time-span. The Merneptah Stele is dated to approximately 1210BC and states that the nation of Israel was destroyed by Pharaoh Merneptah.
With a late-date Exodus, Joshua would have had less than 20 years to establish the nation of Israel in time for Merneptah to destroy it.
That historical study focused on two distinct aspects, the study of ancient documents and the study of actual historical artifacts such as the ruins of ancient cities.
It is not that people had failed to ask historical questions before the 19th century, only that specific methods of research emerged then as the primary tools of historians.
The particular ways of examining ancient documents that came to be called historical-critical investigation and the emergence of archaeology and related fields shifted the historical questions into a new arena.
b) The ~120 years for Saul, David and Solomon’s combined reigns; and c) the 40 years of wilderness wanderings immediately after the Exodus.
The only variable is the time-span of Joshua and the Judges.Merneptah was the son of Rameses II, and his stela records his victory over the Canaanites and Syrians (1212-1209 BC).