Exodus and the Bronze Age Collapse


This post is not well researched. It is just an idea.

Lately I’ve been listening to a podcast that is helping me tremendously to understand the world of the Old Testament. http://ancientworldpodcast.blogspot.ca/  There it is if you are interested.  It traces the first civilizations from pre-history to 500BC.

Here is the most interesting topic and my thoughts on it so far.

The Bronze Age Collapse was the major event of the 12th century BC.  Nearly every near eastern civilization was destroyed or fell into dark ages for a few hundred years. Some of these civilizations had been around for thousands of years previously. It effectively ended the world dominating power of the Pharaohs in Egypt. Hundreds of major cities were burned and destroyed.  Who caused all this destruction?

The word habiru, which is our word Hebrew, was not applied only to the Israelites.  It referred to marginal groups of people that moved outside the bounds of established empires in the 12th century BC.  These groups lived as brigands and nomads.  Why does the word refer specifically to groups in the 12th century?  Because before that there were no groups like this.  These groups are not just nomads. They are civilized people who LEFT.

That means the Hebrews of the Bible were not the only ones.  

These groups are probably responsible for the Bronze Age Collapse. In the face of political and economic repression large groups of people started leaving civilization.  Once they were outside the empires they banded together, despite being from many different races, and then invaded and destroyed the empires they came from.  It was like the first Arab Spring or like the Occupy Movement on steroids.

The question in my mind is how did something like that get started?  No one had ever heard of something like this before.  Ancient peoples believed that their kings were gods.

 What made so many people all at the same time believe they could defy and defeat the gods?

The best date we have for Moses is in the late 13th century BC.  That means all this craziness happened in the aftermath of the Exodus of Israel.  What if the Exodus is what caused all these people to believe they could challenge the gods? What if the Exodus inspired a century of revolutions that took down the entire ancient world.

Check out ancient world episode 9 for the podcast that got me thinking about this.

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