The Miracles of Exodus

The Exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt is one of the key events in history for people of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. But what likelihood is there that the miracles described the book of Exodus actually happened? In this entertaining account Colin Humphreys, a physicist and Professor of Materials Science at Cambridge University, leads us on a detective hunt looking for answers to the question ‘Is it possible to understand the miracles of Exodus as natural events with a scientific basis?’ His hunt draws upon geological, biological, archaeological and medical evidence to piece together a possible sequence of natural events matching the Exodus accounts.

The book is written in a conversational style with helpful maps and photographs of significant locations. Humphreys quotes experts in Hebrew, Egyptian and Arabic history whom he has interviewed whilst researching this topic. With their help he follows the events described in Exodus from the birth of Moses to the crossing of the River Jordan.

However this hunt for scientific answers is not an attempt to undermine the miraculous nature of these events. Humphreys is a committed Christian who sees God at work through these events and that their miraculous nature is centred on their providential timing and effect rather than on their scientific impossibility. At the end of the book Humphreys invites the reader to weigh the evidence he has presented and decide whether the Exodus sequence of miracles are described satisfactorily as the result of a chance combination of unusual events or whether a guiding hand (God) could be involved. If his account is correct, the believer’s Bible atlases and commentaries will need some significant revision. If he is right then the non-believer will also be given much pause for thought.

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