Biblical Archaeology Review 14:4, July/August 1988
Redating the Exodus—The Debate Goes On

A Reply to Baruch Halpern’s “Radical Exodus Redating Fatally Flawed”

By John J. Bimson

“Radical Exodus Redating Fatally Flawed,” BAR 13:06, Baruch Halpern’s swashbuckling response to our article, “Redating the Exodus,” BAR 13:05, was disappointing in its refusal to consider the issues more open-mindedly. In some instances Halpern’s polemic actually misrepresents our arguments instead of engaging them. We are grateful for space to answer bravado with fact.

We argued that the destruction of Canaanite cites at the end of the period known as Middle Bronze II (MB II) occurred around 1420 B.C. instead of the GAD (Generally Accepted Date) of around 1550 B.C. Halpern tries to show that this redating plays impossible havoc with the following period, Late Bronze I (LB I). He says that LB I cannot be compressed into a mere 20 years, and that it cannot end any later than 1400 B.C. (He says the latter is a fact conceded in our paper; actually we avoided raising the issue for the sake of simplicity, and the date can easily be contested, as shown below.) In the course of this argument Halpern makes several misleading statements.

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