The anachronisms in the story of Exodus have long complicated claims to its historicity, yet some of the “usual suspects” endure. Scholarly tradition has generally argued that the expulsion of the so-called Hyksos rulers of Egypt in the sixteenth century BCE was the foundation for the Israelite cultural memory of liberation from Egypt. With the shift in biblical scholarship toward the Persian and Hellenistic periods regarding the crystallization of the biblical texts, scholarship has moved away from extrabiblical correlations pertaining to more ancient contexts. This trend, combined with locating earliest Israel within a generic “Canaanite” milieu, has led to the devaluation of the place of Egypt in discussions of Israel’s origins. In this article, I reexamine the “Hebrew–Hyksos” correlation, with a view to defending the great antiquity of memories of interaction with Egypt that were appropriated by developing Israel.

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