After the flood, the most rapid, massive cultural change on record is the Exodus. The time of the Exodus was a dramatic change for every culture on earth that we know about. Thousands of years before the label “Second Intermediate Period” existed, Jews, then Christians, then Muslims, understood that the Exodus was the destruction of all of Egypt. Understanding that the Second Intermediate Period was a result of the Exodus validates not only the Exodus, but the entire Old Testament as an accurate historical record. Secular Humanists refuse to acknowledge that the Exodus and the Second Intermediate Period are linked because the link validates the history of the entire Old Testament.
The Exodus ended Egypt’s thirteenth dynasty. The Exodus ushered in the Second Intermediate Period (SIP). An Egyptian document, the Ipuwer papyrus, describes conditions similar to several of the plagues and an invasion unopposed by an Egyptian army. The Exodus records both the destruction of the Egyptian army in the Red (Reed) Sea and the Amalekites moving west toward Egypt. During the Second Intermediate Period Egypt was controlled by foreign Asiatic invaders. The loss of the entire Egyptian army explains why chariots and horses have never been found in any Middle Kingdom tomb.
The Exodus, which destroyed Egypt’s Middle Kingdom, left Egypt open to the Hyksos invasion. Foreign Asiatic invaders ruled Egypt during the SIP, with a capital just south of modern Cairo. Using a term from Josephus, modern archaeologists name these foreign rulers Hyksos. If they were the Amalekites, that certainly explains Balaam saying that Amalek was first of the nations (Numbers 24:20 NASB). Also, Amalek was headed towards Egypt when they met the Israelites as they left Egypt. With the CC date for the Thera eruption by 14C dating in the middle of the 17th century BC and the margin of error for 14C dating in the middle of 2nd millennium BC is roughly 100-150 years before than the actual date, that would place the Thera eruption at roughly the same time as not only the Exodus but also the Hyksos invasion of Egypt.
The Exodus began what archaeologists call the Second Intermediate Period for Egypt. This world wide cultural change fits well with Ussher’s 1491 BC date for the Exodus. The eruption of Thera destroyed not only the Aegean Sea Cycladic and Minoan civilizations, leaving the Mycenaean dominant but damaged every culture of the Mediterranean and Mesopotamian world. The Exodus was near the beginning of what is known in China as the Shang dynasty. The unknown beginnings of the Shang empire are centuries earlier. But China sees the Shang dynasty replacing the Xia empire about 1491 BC. The rest of Asia, the rest of Europe, the Americas, Africa, Australia, Japan, and Oceania still have no written documents. In these areas, our understanding of life after the Exodus is just as obscure as life before the Exodus. The many artifacts are difficult to interpret and date. Perhaps they were Ice Age, while Israel was in Egypt, or even after Israel was a nation.
The Second Intermediate Period in Egypt and the conquest of Canaan and the Judges for Israel was a time of severe upheavals for the subcontinent of India. India still had no written language that we know of. But this is the time of constant, pervasive warfare recorded centuries later in the Rigveda and the Mahabharata. Whether the Harappans were destroyed by Aryan invaders, internal warfare, natural disasters, or simply intermarried peacefully into the Vedic Culture, the Harappan or Indus Valley Civilization was gone by (perhaps because of?) the Exodus 1491 BC. Without any certain links to other cultures outside of India at this time, it is impossible know if the Harappan culture still existed at this time. The CC views the era after the Exodus as the Vedic Age throughout India.
It is not even possible to agree on a name for this age for the Indian Subcontinent. Some scholars insist that this is the Aryan Age. Others, infuriated with this title, insist that there never were any Aryans in India. They believe this is the Vedic Age and only the Vedic Age. Still others, in an attempt to placate both, call this the Aryan/Vedic Civilization, which infuriates both groups. Still others call this time the Hindu Vedas period. Whatever you choose, many knowledgeable scholars will strongly disagree with your choice.
We know that the Indus Valley Civilization ceased to exist somewhere around this time. The major civilization moved from the modern southern Afghanistan/Pakistan/ Northwest India region east across the Himalayan mountains to the modern Bangladesh region and the Ganges River. It is impossible to be certain if this was a sudden or gradual transition. The Dravidian culture began during this time farther south in the area of modern central India.It is likely that the Exodus coincided with the eruption of a volcano on the island of Thera in the Aegean sea. This eruption, which destroyed much of the existing Cycladic and Minoan cultures, made the Mycenaean culture dominate in the Aegean Sea. The Mycenaean culture, which already existed, controlled the Aegean Sea after this eruption. The Second Intermediate Period in Egypt, the period of the Judges in Israel, the rise of the Mycenaean culture in the Aegean, and the rise of Phoenician culture in the eastern Mediterranean were all a result of the Thera eruption and the Exodus.
The historic birth of the nation of Israel, the Exodus, was not two million people walking nearly single file. It was a mass of terrified people with carts and animals (carts were mentioned as given to Lord at Sinai And they brought their offering before the LORD, six covered wagons… Numbers 7:3) crossing all at the same time. Unlike the Hollywood movies and Bible story books (which at times make the Bible seem like a fairy tale), they crossed en masse. Only a massed crossing would allow two million people with animals and carts to travel ten to fifteen miles in a single night.
Organization came later. Anyone who could not travel quickly rode in a cart or on an animal. They had an opening wide enough for all of children of Israel, about two million plus animals, to cross at nearly the same time. According to one manual of the USMC, one day’s forced march carrying gear is about twenty miles. It is a reasonable assumption that the wagons and pack animals made this a light crossing. That is, the children of Israel carried very little gear on their persons. Also, as slaves, they were used to hard work. Since parts of the Red (Reed) Sea are less than 15 miles across, this is a possible, though very difficult, crossing in a single night.
A very wide pathway also explains why Pharaoh’s army was deceived into following them. It was large enough to appear to be a permanent, or at least long term change to the sea. Pharaoh would have caught the Israelites before they reached the far shore. Except the dry ground Israel walked on turned to mud under the wheels of the Egyptian chariots.
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