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Papyrus Anastasi V, c. 1200 BCE

“I was sent forth from the broad halls of the palace… following after two slaves. Now when I reached the enclosure-wall of the Tjeku… they told [me] they were saying to the south that they had passed by on the third of the month of the third season, day 10. [Now] when [I] reached the fortress, they told me that the scout had come from the desert [saying that] they had passed the walled place north of the Migdol of Seti-Mer-ne-Ptah.”

Papyrus Anastasi

A text known as Papyrus Anastasi 5, which dates to the 13th century B.C.E., contains a report from an Egyptian officer on the eastern frontier who is trying to track down two runaway slaves who have escaped into the wilderness. A scout has seen them near Migdol (one of the sites mentioned in Numbers 33-7 on the route of the Exodus). The Egyptian report has a dramatic immediacy that rivals the Bible- “When my letter reaches you, write to me about all that has happened to them and how many people you send out after them.” This surely does not confirm the Israelite Exodus. But it does provide a context for the Israelite escape, and perhaps even makes the story more plausible.

Shanks, Hershel, ed. Ancient Israel From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple. Washington DC- Biblical Archaeology Society, 1999.

See also:

Slaves escape and are seen at Migdol, 1250 BCE

Posted in: Exodus, The Exodus

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