Integrating biblical accounts with substantive archaeological evidence, The Parting of the Sea looks at how natural phenomena shaped the stories of Exodus, the Sojourn in the Wilderness, and the Israelite conquest of Canaan. Barbara Sivertsen posits that the Exodus was in fact two separate exoduses stemming from two volcanic eruptions which over time, were combined in Israelite oral tradition into the Exodus narrative known today. According to this argument the first exodus followed a 1628 B.C.E Minoan eruption that produced all but one of the first nine plagues. The second exodus followed an eruption of a volcano off the Aegean island of Yali almost two centuries later, creating the tenth plague of darkness and a series of tsunamis that "parted the sea" and drowned the pursuing Egyptian army. It's fascinating stuff, and a good deal more scholarly than all this sounds, taking into account recent theory on oral transmission, and integrating archaeological, geological and literary research.
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