The article shows, that the stories of the Patriarchs as well as the Exodus-story are allochthonous
traditions of origin. We find comparable stories in the neighboring cultures of Israel. Egypt as
origin of human culture was of utmost importance in the Levant. Herodotus reports a myth
of origin of the Phoenicians which is of particular interest in this respect. As far as it can be
seen there are affinities between this tradition and the Exodus motif from the Hebrew Bible.
This raises the question if we should read the Biblical traditions as part of the comprehensive
cultural context of the Levant.
Dr Raik Heckl is a research
associate of the Department
of Old Testament Studies,
Faculty of Theology,
University of Pretoria.