Two of the best-known stories in the Bible are those of Moses leading his people out of Egypt and Joshua's conquest of the Promised Land. Indeed, they form one of the cornerstones of the Judeo-Christian tradition. But is the Bible a reliable source of information for Israel's early history? Are the Exodus and Conquest actual historical events? And if they are, when and where did they occur? "Out of the Desert?" rigorously examines accounts of these historic events and traces the authenticity, dates, and explanations for the Israelites' departure from Egypt and subsequent conquest of Canaan. Clarifying these events in a straightforward, informative manner, "Out of the Desert?" includes a generous number of charts and illustrations.William H Stiebing, Jr. places the Exodus within its cultural context during the beginning of the Iron Age (1200-1100 BC), a time of drought, famine and collapse of social order, which gave way to the emergence and dominance of the tribes that joined forces to become the confederation of Israel. Many conventional ideas concerning the Exodus and Conquest are radically challenged in "Out of the Desert?".
Stiebing's accounts of archaeological digs and rival theories make the narrative lively and engrossing; his unique insight into the field of modern archaeology provides a rare glimpse into the wonders of man's history.
William H. Stiebing Jr. is Professor Emeritus of Ancient History at the University of New Orleans. He is the author of Ancient Near Eastern History and Culture (3rd edition, with Susan N. Helft), Out of the Desert?, Uncovering the Past, and Ancient Astronauts, Cosmic Collisions.