The Mystery of Israel in Ancient Egypt


The Mystery of Israel in Ancient Egypt: The Exodus in the Qur’an, the Old Testament, Archaeological Finds, and Historical Sources


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A comprehensive scriptural and historical analysis of the exodus of Israel from ancient Egypt:

  • The Israelites in ancient Egypt
  • The Qur’anic and Biblical accounts of the exodus
  • Historical problems in the Biblical narrative
  • The exodus in archaeological finds
  • The exodus in historical sources
  • Identifying the Pharaoh of the exodus

This Book

Few events in history have fascinated the layperson and the scholar as much as the exodus of the Israelites from ancient Egypt. This phenomenal interest has led to extensive research into scriptural, historical, and archaeological sources. The Qur’an, however, has been completely ignored by Western researchers because of the faith put in the Biblical narrative and the prejudiced view that the Qur’an’s account is based on Jewish sources, including the Bible.

This book examines in detail the Biblical narrative of the exodus, showing that it contains a substantial amount of inaccurate and false information. It also shows that the similarities between the Qur’anic exodus and its Biblical counterpart are very limited and the differences between the two scriptures are much greater in number and detail. Particularly significant is the fact that the Qur’an is free of the erroneous and inaccurate Biblical statements that have contributed to the rejection of the historicity of the exodus by many scholars. The book demonstrates that the Qur’anic account is consistent with what we know today from archaeological finds and historical sources. This pioneering study is an attempt to create what might be called “Qur’anic archaeology.”

Detailed but easy-to-read, this book it intended for both the general reader and the expert. Informative and thought-provoking, this study is for those with interest in the exodus in scriptures, archaeological finds, and historical sources; comparative studies of the Qur’an and the Bible; and modern Qur’anic exegesis. No specialist knowledge is required for reading the book.

Book Details

Author: Louay Fatoohi & Shetha Al-Dargazelli

Pages: 228

Size: 229mm x 152mm

Publication Date: November 2008

Publisher: Luna Plena Publishing, UK

ISBN: 978-1-906342-03-6

Table of Contents



1. Joseph: The First Israelite in Egypt

1.1 The Biblical Story of Joseph

1.2 The Qur’anic Story of Joseph

1.3 Joseph’s Age

1.4 Problems in the Biblical Story of Prophet Joseph

 2. Locating and Dating Israel’s Entry into Egypt

2.1 The Silence of History on Joseph

2.2 The Biblical Location of Israel’s Entry into Egypt

2.3 The Biblical Dating of Israel’s Entry into Egypt

2.4 The Qur’anic Location and Dating of Israel’s Entry into Egypt

2.5 What Position Did Joseph Occupy?

 3. The Exodus in the Bible

3.1 The Biblical Narrative

3.2 Problems in the Biblical Exodus

3.2.1 The Length of the Israelites’ Sojourn in Egypt

3.2.2 The Number of Israelite Generations in Egypt

3.2.3 The Israelite Population

3.2.4 Controlling the Israelite Population by Slavery

3.2.5 Controlling the Israelite Population by Massacre

3.2.6 The Etymology of “Moses”

3.2.7 Moses’ Father-in-law

3.2.8 The Command to Return to Egypt

3.2.9 Moses’ Age

3.2.10 Other Contradictions

 4. The Exodus in the Qur’an

4.1 The Qur’anic Account

4.2 Biblical Claims Unsupported by the Qur’an

4.3 The Bible’s “Israelization” of God and Religion

 5. Biblical Dating of the Exodus

5.1 The Silence of History on Moses

5.2 The Pharaoh of Oppression and the Pharaoh of the Exodus

5.3 Historical Egyptian Elements in the Biblical Narrative

5.4 Contradictions in the Biblical Dating of the Exodus

5.5 Liberal consideration of the Biblical Narrative

6. The Qur’anic Identification of Pharaoh

6.1 One Pharaoh Not Two

6.2 A Long Reigning Pharaoh

6.3 The Pharaoh “of the awtad”

6.4 A Mummified Pharaoh

6.5 Miscellaneous Notes

7. Who Was Haman?

7.1 The Qur’anic Egyptian Haman

7.2 The Biblical Persian Haman

8. Leaving Egypt

8.1 Dispersed Enslaved Israel

8.2 Gathering Israel for the Exodus

8.3 A Night Escape

8.4 Going East

8.5 A Small Isolated Group

9. Post Exodus

9.1 Polytheistic Behaviors

9.2 Inscription of the Tablets

9.3 The Holy Land

9.4 The Failure to Enter the Holy Land

9.5 Entering the Holy Land

9.6 Miracles

9.7 Merneptah’s “Israel Stela”

10. Pharaonic Massacres

10.1 The Motive of Pharaoh’s First Massacre

10.2 The Second Massacre

10.3 The First Massacre: History or Literary Motif?

11. Scriptural Names of the Israelites

11.1 Who Were the ‘Apiru/Habiru?

11.2 Hebrews Hijack ‘Apiru

11.3 Jews: Moses’ Followers

12. The Historical Exodus

Appendix A: Qur’anic Verses on Moses

A.1 The Chapter of al A‘raf (the Heights) (7.103-137, 7.159-166)

A.2 The Chapter of TaHa (20.9-97)

A.3 The Chapter of al-Qasas (the Stories) (28.2-46)

A.4 The Chapter of ash Shu‘ara’ (the Poets) (26.10-66)

A.5 The Chapter of Baqara (The Cow) (2.47-71)

A.6 The Chapter of Ghafir (Forgiver) (40.23-46)

A.7 The Chapter of Yunus (Jonah) (10.75-93)

A.8 The Chapter of Isra’ (The Night Journey) (17.4-7, 17.101-104)

A.9 The Chapter of Dukhan (Smoke) (44.17-33)

A.10 The Chapter of Zukhruf (Ornaments) (43.46-55)

A.11 The Chapter of Ma’ida (The Table) (5.20-26)

A.12 The Chapter of Naml (Ants) (27.7-14)

A.13 The Chapter of An-Nazi‘at (The Snatchers) (79.15-25)

Appendix B: Egyptian Dynasties and Kingdoms


Works in English

Works in Arabic

Index of Qur’anic Verses

Index of Biblical Passages

Index of Names and Subjects


Copyright © 2008 Louay Fatoohi and Shetha Al-Dargazelli
All Rights Reserved

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