The Book of Exodus, 3-4 in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

III. Historical Character. 1. General Consideration: The fact that extra-Israelitish and especially Egyptian sources that can lay claim to historical value have reported nothing authentic concerning the exodus of Israel need not surprise us when we remember how meager these documents are and how one-sided Egyptian history writing is. Whether the expulsion of the lepers and the unclean, who before this had desolated the country and acquired supremacy over it as reported by Manetho and other historians, is an Egyptian version of the exodus of Israel, cannot be investigated at this place, but is to the highest degree improbable. If Israel was oppressed by the Egyptians for a long period, then surely the latter would not have invented the fable of a supremacy on the part of Israel; and, on the other hand, it would be incomprehensible that the Israelites should have changed an era of prosperity in their history into a period of servitude. Over against this the remembrance of the exodus out of Egypt not only is re-echoed through the entire literature of Israel (compare I, 4, above), but the very existence of the people of God forces us imperatively to accept some satisfactory ground for its origin, such as is found in the story of the exodus and only here. In addition, the Book compare Exodus shows a good acquaintance with the localities and the conditions of Egypt, as also of the desert. It is indeed true that we are still in doubt on a number of local details. But other statements in the book have in such a surprising manner been confirmed by discoveries and geographical researches, that we can have the greatest confidence in regard to the other difficulties: compare e.g. Naville's The Store-city of Pithom (Ex 1:11). In general, the opening chapters of Ex, especially the narratives of the different plagues, contain so much Egyptian coloring, that this could scarcely have resulted from a mere theoretical study of Egypt, especially since in the narrative everything makes the impression of resulting from recent experience. The fact that Israel from its very origin received ordinances in regard to religion, morality, law and cults, is explained from the very conditions surrounding this origin and is indispensable for the explanation of the later development of the nation. None of the later books or times claim to offer anything essentially new in this respect; even the prophets appear only as reformers; they know of the election of Israel, and, on the other hand, everywhere presuppose as something self-evident the knowledge of a righteous, well-pleasing relation with God and chide the violation of this relation as apostasy. Ethical monotheism as the normal religion of Israel is reflected in the same way in all the sources of Israel's history, as has been proven in my work ("Die Entwicklung der alttestamentlichen Gottesidee in vorexilischer Zeit," in the May, 1903, issue of Beitrage zur Forderung christlicher Theologie). And the idea that an oriental people, especially if they came out of Egypt, should have had no religious cult, is in itself unthinkable. If all of these norms, also the direction for the cults in the Books of Covenant, of the Priestly Code, or D, at least in the kernel, do not go back to the Mosaic times, then we have to deal with an insoluble problem (compare my work, Are the Critics Right?)...

Link: https://bible-history.com/isbe/E/EXODUS,+THE+BOOK+OF,+3-4/