The Parting of the Sea: How Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Plagues Shaped the Story of Exodus

Barbara J. Sivertsen, Author
Barbara J. Sivertsen, Author Princeton University Press $29.95 (239p) ISBN 978-0-691-13770-4
Open Ebook - 264 pages - 978-1-4008-2995-8
Paperback - 239 pages - 978-0-691-15021-5
Open Ebook - 239 pages - 978-1-282-15747-7
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Sivertsen, long-time editor of the Journal of Geology, has combed the scientific literature-including Near Eastern and Egyptian archeology, Biblical studies, anthropology, biochemistry and medicine-to answer the question, is the Bible's Exodus story based in historical events? While her affirmative conclusion may not be surprising, the evidence that takes her there is. Her most revolutionary discovery is that the original, oral history of the Exodus story conflates two historical events, separated by several hundred years-clarifying what had been a major chronological obstacle to previous efforts trying to correlate it with the volcanic eruption of the Santorini-Thera in 1625 B.C. Siversten locates a different eruption, the 1450 B.C. submarine explosion of the island of Yali, which would have caused the tsunami that inundated Egyptians in the ""Sea of Reeds."" Providing what may be the most coherent correlation yet of ancient Egyptian history, the archeology of both Egypt and Palestine, and the biblical traditions of pre-literate Israel, Sivertsen also thoroughly documents and explains each interdisciplinary facet (including volcanism and tectonics as well as oral transmission in non-literate societies). This outstanding accomplishment should be a source of research direction for years to come.
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