Paper Abstracts

The Ipuwer Papyrus and the Exodus

A. Habermehl

Discipline: Archeology

Abstract: Controversy surrounds the Ipuwer Papyrus, an Egyptian manuscript residing in the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, Netherlands. On the one side are those who claim that this manuscript describes chaotic conditions in Egypt at the time of the biblical Exodus. On the other side are those who deny this on the basis of disbelief that the Exodus ever took place, or who claim that the date of the events described in the manuscript are wrong for the Exodus. In this paper we show that this ancient document most likely describes Exodus conditions; and that the Ipuwer Papyrus therefore offers strong extra-biblical evidence for a historical Exodus. With respect to dating the events in this papyrus, it needs to be understood that the secular historical timeline diverges from the biblical timeline, and furthermore, that the Old Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom of Egypt ended at the same time (contrary to the standard history). This puts the manuscript's original date (as determined by scholars) exactly where it should be. The question of divergence of the secular and biblical timelines is a matter of enormous importance for biblical apologetics. Often secular scholars declare that biblical events like the Exodus cannot have taken place because there are no evidences of these at the time in history where the Bible places them. The Ipuwer papyrus therefore supports a divergence of several hundred years between the biblical and secular timelines at the time of the Exodus