The stories of the exodus from Egypt and the conclusion of the covenant on Sinai are the central stories of the Old Testament and their meaning is comparable to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus in the New Testament. They create the identity of the people of Israel and their faith. Accordingly, they are mentioned frequently in the Old Testament.

But since the rise of Bible criticism in the 18th century , these stories have been called into question in university theology . Many believe that they are not historical at all, but that the Israelites lived in Canaan from the beginning. Those who the biblical version concede a certain historical core, believe that a small group like EGYPTIAN origin to the living in Canaan Israelites joined. The doubts about the biblical representation are based on the miraculous elements of the stories, on the lack of extra-biblical sources, on the complexity of the Mosaic Law that did not seem to fit the time, and on the unrealistically large numbers of people who, according to the Bible text, left Egypt.

Today I would like to address the last of these criticisms. I am reluctant to take the biblical accounts of the exodus and desert wandering of the people of Israel as stories largely constructed during and after the Babylonian captivity. When reading the texts, it is noticeable that records are conscientiously kept of travel routes, rest areas and names and numbers of people. This gives me the impression that the biblical texts available to us are based on original records from that time. The reconstructions of the origins of the Bible text that I read in theological treatises seem to me to be only one of several possible explanations.