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However, THE TEXTS IN QUESTION WERE MOST PROBABLY WRITTEN IN LIGHT OF THE SETTLEMENT CONDITIONS THAT PREVAILED IN THE IRON II PERIOD AND PROBABLY TOWARDS THE END OF THAT PERIOD. anonmyous Exilic author "thought" were in existence in the timeframe (1512/1446 B. As already noted by Finkelstein and Mac Donald not even the Late Iron Age II has _all_ the sites appearing in the narratives occupied.
Thus, the assumption here is that although the biblical writer may have used material that predates his time, he set that material into a context, namely, the Iron II AND LATER PERIODS, that would be meaningful to his readers." If Finkelstein and Mac Donald are right, and I believe they are, then this means that those scholars who are seeking to establish the "route" of the Exodus from its itinerary preserved in Numbers 33:1-50 have a daunting task before them. Anyone seeking to find sites in existence before the 7th-6th centuries B. for their Exodus will hit a brick wall: the fact that _no_ archaeological time period has _all_ the sites in existence and occupied.
However, recent archaeological evidence indicates that opposition to such a passage would be understandable during the Iron II period.
Thus, the narratives relative to the Exodus best fit the settlement history of the area during the Iron II rather than the previous two archaeological periods.
This means that the biblical narrator and his audience were _unaware_ that there were no Philistines for Israel to fear and thus no need to have Israel travel south to the Red Sea (gulf of Suez) and the southern Sinai (Mt.There were _no_ Philistines in Canaan to harass Israel in a 1512 or 1446 B. Consequently, this massive military facility would have had troops stationed continuously throughout the New Kingdom.Therefore, it is most unlikely the Israelites would have taken this way out of Egypt...Similarly, the narrative of Israel's defeat of Sihon and the capture of his capital city of Heshbon would fit better the archaeological history of this site during the Iron II rather than the Late Bronze-Iron I period.This does not mean that the present writer denies that there are older traditions behind the biblical narratives.