Friday, February 11, 2011

Numb & Numbers

Why would the 4th book of the Old Testament be called "Numbers?" Why not "Alphabet" or "Do-Re-Mi?" Even though the Hebrew title for this book means "in the wilderness," the ancient Greek version of the Old Testament called it "Numbers" (arithmoi) because of the counting of the people of Israel in two censuses.

The book title could have been shortened to "Numb" because Israel grew numb to God's provision (so much complaining!) and God's promise of their own fruitful land.  They were afraid of Giants in the land - and it was understandable - they just won the World Series!

Here's a rhyming survey:
  • Ch 1 As the population started to mount, a census was taken to take account. 
  • Ch 2 Real Estate is all about location, each of the tribes had their designated station. 
  • Ch 3-4 Less you think they’re out of sight, God has a place and role for each Levite
  • Ch 5 To keep things holy and not get wild, Israel was to send out anyone who was defiled.
  • Ch 6 The Nazarite vow made one very rare, no touching dead things, red wine or hair.
  • Ch 7 Each tribal leaders would give a gift to help the Levites with a lift.
  • Ch 8 Levites were purified to be spiritually nifty, they can serve in the Tabernacle from 25 to 50. 
  • Ch 9 The Passover reminded Israel God is on their side, then pillars of cloud and fire would guide. 
  • Ch 10 To alert Israel to gather, feast or warn, the alarm would be sounded by a silver horn. 
  • Ch 11a Mumbling started to grow , the food was just to plain, so they cried to Moses and started to complain. (1-10)
  • Ch 11b As the pressure mounted, Moses began to crack. Seventy elders were employed to get them off his back. (11-30) 
  • Ch 11c God was still very merciful and He showed He’d never fail, so God sent to the whining nation a whole lot of quail (31-35) 
  • Ch 12 Complaining is contagious, Miriam & Aaron now chimed in, God would judge Miriam with leprosy because of her bad sin. 
  • Ch 13 Twelve spies deployed to Canaan to give account about the land, 10 said it was horrible while 2 said it was grand
  • Ch 14a Though God would lead them to the Promised Land, Israel whined against God’s plan.
  • Ch 14b Joshua and Caleb knew God gave land to own, but the rebel crowd grew angry and responded to them with stone
  • Ch 14c Moses prayed to God for mercy to not kill of the flock, so God would thin out naturally through a 40 year wilderness walk.
  • Ch 15 God spared the people and reminded them about what to do, offerings, laws, and Sabbaths and where a tassel of blue. 
  • Ch 16 There arose Korah the rebel, he said Moses had too much on his table. Though privileged by birth, he was swallowed by earth. 250 other leaders were disabled. 
  • Ch 17 Each tribe was to bring up an almond rod, the one that would bud would get the nod.
  • Ch 18 The Levites were chosen to represent Israel, the nation was to take care of the priests without fail. 
  • Ch 19 A red heifer was offered as sacrifice to symbolize Jesus would pay the price.
  • Ch 20     Moses got frustrated and hit the rock, he told if he needed water just speak to the rock.  It was already tough his siblings had died, but now entrance to Canaan would now be denied.
  • Ch 21 Israel complained and got snaked alive, those who looked up to the snake pole would survive 
  • Ch 22 Balaam was hired to play Israel in the wrong key, but God would rebuke Him by speaking through a donkey
  • Ch 23-24 After four prophecies well rehearsed, Balaam knew Israel couldn’t be cursed 
  • Ch 25 Though Balaam couldn’t hit Israel with a curse, to get them to sin was actually worse. 
  • Ch 26 After years in the wild the with struggles that were tensest, it was time to count Israel again with another census. 
  • Ch 27a Moses was approached by the daughters of Zelophehad, they wanted the inheritance from their dad. 
  • Ch 27b Moses prayed to God as an intercessor, God appointed Joshua as Moses’ successor. 
  • Ch 28-29 God gave Israel offering instructions to be given in routine, Saturdays, Holy Days, Feasting Days and other times in between. 
  • Ch 30 God takes vows seriously unless the authority overrules, this way passionate youths won’t impulsively look like fools. 
  • Ch 31 Israel had victory in Midian and took their stuff as booty, then divided it up as their God instructed duty. 
  • Ch 32 There was a lack of appreciation for land granted to Reuben and Gad, God got angry at them for not trusting God with what they had. 
  • Ch 33 A record of the wilderness walk was marked from place to place, now as Israel would enter Canaan they were reminded of God’s grace. 
  • Ch 34 God mapped out the Canaan border, so the nation would settle in order. 
  • Ch 35 In God’s mercy so sin would deluge, God established Cities of Refuge. 
  • Ch 36 Manasseh asked for a ruling on female inheritance, Moses approved that daughters can be in the will from their loving parents.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Living La Vida Leviticus (in rhyme)

The 3rd book of Moses is titled after that which pertains to the Levite tribe (sons of Levi - it's in the genes - Levi genes).

Bill T. Arnold & Bryan E. Beyer: “Leviticus is one of the most neglected books of the Bible. This is true for two main reasons. First, the book seems quite strange to modern readers. The sacrificial worship it describes is so far removed from today’s believers that its very unfamiliarity prevents some from reading Leviticus. Second, Leviticus appears at first glance to interrupt the flow of events in the story of God’s people" …  “Yet Leviticus plays an essential role in God’s word and makes a vital contribution to our understanding of God’s relationship with humankind.” (Encountering The Old Testament, Baker Books, 1999, p. 118)

I told myself I wouldn't rhyme Leviticus, after surveying Genesis & Exodus in poem.  But I couldn't help myself (even after I taught the Leviticus class last week without it).

Ch 1-7        Before a holy God men falter, so 5 types of offerings went to the alter.
Ch 8-10      Priestly duties the Levite tribe would share in, the special duties went to the family of Aaron
Ch 10a       Nadab & Abihu bent priestly rules with coals from a strange fire, the consequences for Aaron’s sons were extremely dire.
Ch 11         Being ceremonially pure included what you eat, no pork, no reptiles or animals with uncloven feet.
Ch 12-15    Other laws for purity dealt with birth and leprosy, to be clean before you serve God takes seriously.
Ch 16         Once a year Yom Kippor is of note,
                   The High Priest goes to the Ark pure from head to coat,
                   Two goats are subject to a casting lot vote,
                   One animal’s sacrificed, the other a scapegoat.
Ch 17-20    Various laws of holiness govern how we relate, by this holiness is defined because God says separate
Ch 21-22    Priests had certain rules on what they must abstain, don’t touch the dead, bad girls, or shave and don’t be in open pain.
Ch 23         Israel remembers God through numerous a feast, Passover, Pentecost and Bread without yeast.
Ch 24         A man from Dan with got heated and cursed out with God’s name, Blasphemy & murder are punished by death, God isn’t playing a game.
Ch 25         What God prescribed was agriculturally best, after farming six years give the land a year rest.
Ch 26         God would bless you if He found that you were obedient, To rebel against His holiness wouldn’t be expedient.
Ch 27         You better think through and carry out whatever you may vow, God takes it seriously and to flake you’ll get a “Pow!”

The Tabernacle: Worship Matters

When growing up, we would spend dinner as a family watching "M.A.S.H." which stood for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.  Because Israel was wandering in the wilderness, God instructed them to build a Mobile Worship Center.  Exodus 25-31, 35-40 might read like a Real Estate Appraisal Report and could possibly be boring unless we understand how each part of the Tabernacle is a type and symbol of the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving work.
Wilmington Guide To The Bible

Jesus Christ in John’s Gospel and Hebrews symbolized in Exodus:
1. The Door/Gate
2. The Sacrificial Lamb
3. The Water Of Life
4. The Bread Of Life
5. The Light Of The World
6. The Interceding High Priest
7. Our Access To God

 I. M. Haldeman writes:  “… no matter whether you take up the Framework, the Coverings, the Curtains, or the Hangings; whether you consider the Priesthood, the Priestly Robes, or the successive Offerings, you will find the Person, the Work and the Glory of Christ confronting you at every turn and the fullness of these facts inwrought, more or less, with every type of symbol.”  (The Tabernacle, Priesthood and Offerings, Fleming H. Revell Co., 1925, p.3)

The Tabernacle was in the center of the camp for Israel with 3 tribes positioned on each of the 4 sides of the 150' x 75' rectangle surrounded by a linen fence 7½’ high held up by 60 pillars of acacia wood covered with bronze.  The priests were hard at work performing sacrifices for around 500,000 families (population 2.5 - 3 million).

The Outer Court

1.  The Single Gate was 30' wide.  There was a single access point.  Christ is the sole access to God.  (Jn 14:6; Jn 10:1-2)

2.  The Altar For Burnt Offerings (Ex 27:1-8) was 7.5' x 7.5' and 4.5' high.  "Altar" means "high place" giving us a picture of Christ being "lifted up" on the cross (Jn 3:14) when the animal without blemish was lifted to the high place to be sacrificed, have its blood sprinkled and to be consumed by fire.

Leviticus 17:11  For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.  (cf. Heb 9:22)

3.  The Bronze Laver
(Ex 30:17-21) was a bronze basin with water where the priests would wash their hands and feet before the spiritual service.  The bronze, donated from the women's mirrors brought from Egypt, represented self-reflection.  The water brought cleansing.  Christ is the Living Water through whom we are washed from our sins.  The one time a year the High Priest would wash fully was on the Day of Atonement, otherwise the basin just washed hands and feet.

When Jesus washed the disciples' feet (Jn 13:1-10), Peter wanted a full bath.  Jesus stated that Peter is already cleaned (saved) and only needed his feet washed for service.  Christ cleansed us fully with our salvation.  We wash our hands and feet in being sanctified to serve Him.
The Holy Place

Worship in the Holy Place (30' x 15') was where the priests did the work before God on behalf of man (cf. Heb 10:19-22; 1 Pet 2:9).

1.  The Golden Lampstand (Ex 25:31-40; 37:17-24; 39:37) was the only source of light in the Tabernacle - Jesus is the only Light of hope for men (Jn 1:4-9; 8:12; 14:26).  Hammered out of solid gold, the lampstand symbolizes the Kingship of Christ (gold) and His suffering (beaten - Isa 53).

2. The Table Of Showbread (Ex 25:23-30; Lev 24:5-9) was made of acacia (hard, incorruptible wood grown in Sinai desert overlaid with gold (gold & wood picture the 2 natures of Christ). Six pounds of flour was used to make 12 loaves of unleavened bread, each representing the 12 tribes of Israel. The lack of leaven (yeast represented sin in Ex 12:8, 15-20; Mt 16:6) represented the sinlessness of Christ (2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 1:19). The bread is symbolic of Jesus being the Bread of Life (John 6)

C. The Altar Of Incense (Ex 30:1-10; 34-38) was 36” high, 18” square and made of acacia wood and covered with gold.  It was placed before the veil (Ex 30:6) where God’s presence was in the Holy of Holies.  The Priest took a censer filled with burning coals from brazen altar and prepared the sweet incense in the other hand by sprinkling it over the coals (Lev 16:12-13).  God loves the sweet savor of worship like I love the sweet aroma of barbecue.  We are to be a sweet savor of worship even through our witness (2 Cor 2;14-16).

Prayer was offered at the altar of incense by the purified priest (Heb 10:22) for the people.  Psalm 141:2 "Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice! "  The Altar of Incense is a picture of Christ as the ultimate intercessor (Heb 7:25 "he always lives to make intercession").

The Holy Of Holies

1.  The Veil (Ex 26:31-35; 36:35-38) literally means "separate" (Heb. paroketh).  It separated God from His creatures.  It was 30' (7.5' high) of fine-twined linen in blue, purple, scarlet (Ex 38:18).  During Christ's crucifixion, the curtain of the Temple was torn miraculously (Mt 27:51)

2. The Ark Of The Covenant (Ex 25:10-22; 37:1-9) was only seen by 2 people: Moses (Ex 25:22) who could approach God anytime, and the High Priest (Lev 16) who came once a year on Yom Kippor (Day of Atonement). The Ark contained 3 Items:
  • Manna (cf. Ex 16:33) – Christ is the Bread of Life (Jn 6:35ff) 
  •  Aaron’s staff that budded (Num 17:11) – Aaron’s priesthood was confirmed with this rod – Christ is the ultimate Priest.  The Rod blossomed with almonds picturing the resurrection of Christ.
  • Tablets of the Law (Dt 10:5) – Christ fulfills the Law (Mt 5:17)
3.  The Mercy Seat (Ex 25:17-22; 37:6-9) was constructed with gold cherubim angels on top.  During the annual Day of Atonement, the priest would give an offering and purify himself.  Then sprinkle the blood of the sacrificial goat before the mercy seat.  The word for "mercy seat" in Heb 9:5 is also used to describe "propitiation" which is the satisfaction God has when He accepts the sacrifice of Christ for our sins.

Don't let reading through Exodus be as boring as reading an appraisal report or real estate portfolio.  It is exciting to see Christ and our salvation in the Tabernacle.  After all, Christ is the Tabernacle.

Revelation 21:3  "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God."

The Ten(der) Commandments

(title taken from Ron Mehl, The Ten(der) Commandments, Multnomah, 1998)

Amy Chua, a.k.a. “The Tiger Mom” has been popularized in recent days because of her book chronicling her strict parenting style to make the her daughters the best they can be.  Whether you agree or disagree with her rules, she does love her girls and uses her rules to shape them.

God gives us His rules and commandments because He loves us and wants us to love Him. Love is governed by rules – fidelity, trust, sacrifice. One who cheats on a spouse or a significant other breaks the rules of the love relationship. The Holy God gave Israel His law so that He would be worshipped in a holy way and loved in a way specific to Him.

The 10 Commandments are summed up in loving God and loving man. The first four govern how we love God and the next six govern how we love man.

Matthew 22:37-40 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

John Saddington shares:  If God Text Messaged the 10 Commandments

1.             no1 b4 me. srsly.
2.             dnt wrshp pix/idols
3.             no omg's
4.             no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
5.             pos ok - ur m&d r cool
6.             dnt kill ppl
7.             :-X only w/ m8
8.             dnt steal
9.             dnt lie re: bf
10.         dnt ogle ur bf's m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.
M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl
ttyl, JHWH.

The moral climate we live in winks at the law, avoids duty and repels obligations. God’s 10 Commandments are thus relegated to an antiquated code clouded by a smoky haze of relativism. Without a moral compass, we will be morally lost.

Yet God gave us a moral compass, a roadmap of righteousness, a G.P.S. of divine guidance. Similar to when we use a Global Positioning System, God’s laws are concise, guiding and timely. But how many of us think that the G.P.S. is not always accurate. We take a detour and here the reminding drones of “recalculating.”  “Though the Law is an indivisible unit—there are three parts or elements:
  •  Codex I = The Commandments: The moral law governing the moral life guiding man (Israel) in principles of right and wrong in relation to God and with man (Exodus 20:1-17).
  •  Codex II = The Judgments: The social law governing Israel in her secular, social, political and economic life (Exodus 21:1–23:13).
  • Codex III = The Ordinances: The religious law which guided and provided for Israel in her spiritual relationship and fellowship with God. It included the priesthood, tabernacle and sacrifices (Exodus 25:31: Leviticus).
“Christ, the Fulfillment of the Law
  • Christ fulfilled Codex I by living a perfect and sinless life. Thus, when man trusts in Christ, Christ’s righteousness is imputed to that individual so we have justification. We have Christ’s righteousness so the Law can’t condemn us (Rom. 8:1; 7:1-6; Rom. 5:1; 4:4-8).
  • Christ fulfilled Codex III, the spiritual ordinances, by dying on the cross for us and in our place. This showed that God was also perfect justice and sin must be judged, but God provided a Lamb. The penalty which the Law exercised was paid. Again there is no condemnation because the believer is in Christ (Col. 2:14; Rom. 3:24-25).
  • Christ also fulfills Codex II, the social law. He replaces it with a new way of life fitting to our new salvation. He gives provision for the inner man—the Holy Spirit who makes one spiritual and enables him to produce the righteousness of the Law (Rom. 8:2-4). a. Believers are not under Law but under grace (Rom. 6:143. b. Believers are under a new law, the grace provision of a new law, the principle of the Spirit Controlled Walk which provides the power and energy to produce the righteousness of the Law. c. Now our obligation is to walk by the Holy Spirit. To think, do, and say by His power so we can produce the righteousness of the Law. This gives victory, or better appropriates Christ’s victory and resurrection life over the power of the sin nature and the law of sin and death with the Holy Spirit inside, controlling.”

Alistair Begg states what happens in contemporary evangelicalism when we no longer value God’s law:
  • “An absence of a true and realistic understanding of the seriousness of sin 
  • Superficial preaching that appeals to man’s felt needs and affection 
  • A general listlessness and lawlessness in the lives of professing Christians 
  • An absence of the fear of God in public worship and private living 
  • A wholesale capitulation to the culture on the matter of the Lord’s Day 
  • Churches relying on strategies borrowed from business and psychology 
  • A growing confidence in ourselves and an accompanying loss of confidence in God and His Word”
          (Pathway To Freedom: How God’s Laws Guide Our Lives, Moody Publishers, 2003, pp. 21-22)

Phinding Pharaoh

The Egyptian King & I
So who was the Pharaoh of Egypt who scuffled with Moses?  NO - it wasn't Yul Brynner!  That's another "King and I" ;)

Identifying the Pharaoh is quite simple if you believe the Bible and compare it to Egyptian history.

Eighteenth and Nineteenth Dynasties of Egypt
Eighteenth Dynasty
Amenhotep I
Thutmose I
Thutmose II
Thutmose III
Amenhotep II
Thutmose IV
Amenhotep III
Amenhotep IV (Ikhnaton)
Nineteenth Dynasty
Rameses I
Seti I
Rameses II
(Eugene H. Merrill, Kingdom Of Priests: A History Of Old Testament Israel, 2nd edition, Baker Academic, 2008, pp. 75-76)

Reasons For A 1446 Exodus

1.  1 Kings 6:1  In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the Lord.  (ESV)

Merneptah Stele, Cairo Museum
Eugene Merrill writes:  “The first is the statement of 1 Kings 6:1 that the exodus preceded the founding of Solomon’s temple by 480 years. Granting for now that Solomon began to build in 966, simple mathematics suggests that the exodus took place in 1446.”  (Kingdom Of Priests, p. 83)

 2.  Jephthah (Judg 11:15-27) cites that the Ammonites have no basis to be hostile with Israel since it had been 300 years since Israel defeated them at Sihon which occurred 40 years after the Exodus.  Jephthah defeated the Ammonites at 1100 BC putting about 340 years since the Exodus (1440’s BC).

3.  The Merneptah Stele is a record of the Pharaoh Merneptah's (son of Rameses II) military conquests in the 13th century.  The stele dates about 1230 B.C. and was found in Thebes, Egypt in the late 1800's.  This is one of the earliest non-biblical records of Israel being a significant nation that was defeated by Merneptah.  Thus the nation of Israel was already well established which supports an early date for the Exodus, not a late 13th century date.  

John J. Davis points out:  "Merneptah took the throne approximately 1234 B.C. and shortly thereafter conducted campaigns in Palestine which were generally successful.  In this victory stela he claims to have encountered the people of Israel and to have defeated them.  This information implies that Israel was alread in Palestine and to some degree had expanded its land holdings toward the west."  (Moses And The Gods Of Egypt, Baker, 1971, p. 32)  The brief mention of Israel on the stela states:  "Israel is laid waste, its seed is not."

i i z
Z1s Z1s
i A r
T14 A1 B1



4.  The excavations of Jericho by John Garstang point to the city's destruction at about 1400 BC.  If the  Exodus was c. 1446-1406, then Joshua's conquest of Jericho would match the archaeological findings.

5.  Acts 13:18-20 describes 450 years from Canaan through the Judges to Samuel.  If Samuel dates around 1000 B.C., then 450 + 1000 takes us to the mid-1400's. 

Thus Moses was born 1526 in the year of Amenhotep I’s death.   Moses was 80 at exodus (Ex 7:7). Moses was 120 at death (Dt 34:7) – 1406.

Amenhotep I's successor, Thutmose I (1526-1512) was not of royal blood, but had married the king’s sister.  Thutmose I probably decreed the infanticide which forced Jochebed to send her baby Moses up the river.

Thutmose II (1512-1504) married his half-sister Hatshepsut but died mysteriously.  He appointed his son, Thutmose III (1504-1450), as Pharaoh when he was a minor and would have been younger than Moses.  Thutmose III was probably the Pharaoh of the Egyptian Moses.  He was son of Thutmose II and a concubine and had married his half sister (born to Thutmose II and Hatshepsut).

Hapshepsut was the daughter of Thutmose I, wife of Thutmose II, mother-in-law to Thutmose III.  That qualified her to be a powerful co-regent with the brashness to raise a Hebrew child despite Pharaoh's order for the death of Hebrew baby boys.  Hatshepsut was probably the pharaoh’s daughter who rescued Moses.  The time frame for Moses and Hatshepsut's age fit well.
Hatshepsut & Hat

Eugene Merrill comments:  “The general picture of Hatshepsut leads to the possibility that this bold queen was the pharaoh’s daughter who rescued Moses. Only she, of all known women of the period, possessed the presumption and independence to violate an ordinance of the king, and under his very nose at that. Although the birth date of this daughter of Thutmose I is unknown, she was probably several years older than her husband, Thutmose II, who died in 1504 while in his late twenties. She may have been in her early teens by 1526, Moses’s birth date, and therefore able to effect his deliverance.” (Kingdom of Priests, p. 76)

Allen P. Ross:  “This powerful man Thutmoses III became a great rival of Hatshepsut; when he reigned in his own right he killed off her court (1462 B.C.) and tried to rid the country of any memory of her. He died in 1450 B.C. In this time we would find a natural backdrop for the flight of Moses out of Egypt. Moses would have returned from the desert when he heard that the king had died.”  (“Exodus,”

Douglas Petrovich:  “If Hatshepsut is identified with the biblical Moses’ adoptive mother, attempts to erase her memory from Egyptian records may have come from efforts of Amenhotep II because of her part in rescuing Moses when he was a baby and becoming his adoptive mother.”  (“Amenhotep II And The Historicity Of The Exodus-Pharaoh,” The Masters Seminary Journal, Vol. 17/1, Spring 2006, pp. 81-110)

Thutmose III relief @ Karnak
Thutmose III would be younger than Moses and may have seen his older rival as a threat since Hatshepsut had no natural born son.  This may have made the situation tense and be the reason why Moses had to flee after killing the taskmaster.  History shows Thutmose III had a contentious relationship with his half-sister and mother-in-law.   Hatshepsut’s name was erased by Thutmose III in many of the ancient writings – perhaps because he never liked her relationship with Moses, as one of the reasons he disliked her (besides being his mother-in-law).

Contention For A 1200 B.C. Exodus
  • Liberal critics contend that Rameses II (1304-1236) was Moses’ pharaoh, but that is far too late in time
  • The earliest mention of Israel in Canaan, aside from the Bible, is the Merneptah Stele (c. 1219 B.C.)
  • There is a lack of evidence, outside of the Bible, that Israel was in Canaan between 1400-1200 B.C..  Yet, outside of the 1200 B.C. reference, there is another silence about Israel in Canaan from 1200 – 1000 B.C. in non-biblical evidence.  Two more centuries of prolonged silence about Israel (1400-1200) would not be much of an issue.
  • Another critical claim is that Raamses, the city built by Israel (Ex 1:11) is thought to be the city Pi-Ramesses which had its hey-day between 1270-1100 B.C. and was named after Ramses II (c. 1290-1223).  But no one knows for sure if Pi-Ramesses is the same city as Raamses.

I always look at how an author dates the Exodus (1400's or 1200's) to determine whether a commentary is generally conservative or liberal.  The conservative date (1400's) takes the biblical record literally.  The liberal date discards biblical accuracy.  The strength of the liberal contention lies mainly on connecting Rameses II with the city.  But there are several explanations for that and the biblical and extra-biblical arguments for the early date is strong.

Gleason Archer suggests that the city of Rameses was prior to Moses' birth:  "As the narrative is related in the Hebrew text, this forced labor at Raamses (previously thought to be Tanis or Zoan, but, more likely shown to be Qantir, 12 miles south of Tanis) took place before the birth of Moses (which is not mentioned until the next chapter). But if the exodus took place around 1290 (as most modern scholars suppose), and if Moses was eighty at that time, his birth took place in 1370, or a good sixty years before a Nineteenth Dynasty Rameses ever sat on the throne of Egypt. Therefore it could not have been at a city named after Rameses II (1299–1232 b.c.) that the Israelites worked (prior to the birth of Moses). Furthermore, it is doubtful whether the city of Tanis (or Zoan or Avaris, as it is variously called) could have been built during the Eighteenth Dynasty."  (Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 3rd ed., Moody Press, 1998, p. 231).  

Eugene Merrill suggests that the city was named after the Ramessides of the 19th Dynasty (Historical Survey of the Old Testament, p. 107).  It is also possible that editors renamed the city in to update the city's reference for later readers (like editing a 1960 document that had “Brewer Island” updated as “Foster City” so readers in 2010 had a sense of identification).

The Pharaoh of Moses confronted at the Exodus was most likely Amenhotep II
Amenhotep II
  • Amenhotep II (1450-1425) succeeded his father
  • While most 18th Dynasty kings reigned in Thebes (far South), Amenhotep II ruled in Memphis (close to Goshen where the Jews were)
  • Amenhotep’s eldest son did not succeed him, but Thutmose IV, his younger son did.  His eldest son was probably the son of the plague of the first born (Exod 4:22-23; 12:29).
  • Petrovich:  “If this Amenhotep was the exodus pharaoh, biblical data about the perishing of his army in the Red Sea should not be understood as an account of his death. His second Asiatic campaign very possibly came as an effort to recoup his reputation as a great warrior and recover Egypt’s slave-base after the loss of two million Israelite slaves through the exodus. The record of 3,600 Apiru on the booty list for his second Asiatic campaign appears to be a small number of the escaped Hebrews whom he recaptured and brought back to Egypt.” (p. 81)
I hope this is phair about Pharaoh.