In Worlds in Collision, Velikovsky postulated that sometime in the fifteenth century B.C. the comet/proto-planet Venus swept through the inner Solar System, causing chaos on the earth and elsewhere. The nations of the earth observed the celestial drama in awe and horror, dreading any return of the 'cosmic serpent' or dragon, which Venus, with its massive tail of debris, appeared to be. Several centuries, he postulated, passed without major incident; though in the eighth century B.C. the dragon-serpent again approached our world. Before any major damage could be done however, the proto-planet encountered Mars, which was itself then dislodged from its accustomed solar orbit and rendered dangerous. In the ensuing decades, Velikovsky said, the newly unstable planet Mars came dangerously close to the earth on several occasions, causing widespread disruption and chaos.
Because Velikovsky accepted biblical chronology as it stands, he did not doubt that the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt occurred in the fifteenth century B.C., where the Hebrew Bible places it. Because of this, he argued that the god/planet which caused the catastrophes associated with the Exodus, was Venus. In doing so, he had to ignore Mesopotamian and Egyptian myth and tradition which clearly identified Venus (Ishtar/Hathor) with the great Deluge which had occurred immediately prior to the rise of literate civilization. This is seen graphically in the stratigraphy of Ur (Lower Mesopotamia), where the flood event associated with Ishtar lies immediately below the first literate culture (Jamdat Nasr). Even Velikovsky accepted that the first civilization of Ur long predated the Exodus.
In actual fact, the Book of Exodus clearly identifies Mars as the predominant deity during the Exodus, and this is a remarkable fact completely overlooked by Velikovsky. (He overlooked it, of course, because biblical chronology is wrong: the Exodus did not occur in the fifteenth century B.C., as the Bible states, but in the ninth - in the Age of Mars).
There are clues throughout the Book of Exodus strongly identifying the catastrophic events of the time with the god and planet Mars, and in addition identifying Moses himself with his Graeco-Roman equivalents, Ares and Hercules.
The parallels between Moses and Ares/Hercules are numerous and precise; here are a few: The birth of both Hercules and Moses was mysterious; Hercules strangles two serpents sent to destroy him in his cradle, whilst the staff of Moses turns into a serpent which devours the two serpents conjured up by pharaoh's magicians. Moses 'pushes apart' the waters of the Red Sea, whilst Hercules pushes apart the rock pillars (Abila and Calpe) at the Strait of Gibralter. Moses is the enemy of the cow goddess Hathor (the 'Golden Calf'), whilst Hercules is the inveterate enemy of the mistress of the gods, Hera. Moses destroys the 'fiery serpents' sent to kill the Israelites, while Hercules slays the serpent-headed hydra. At the end of his life, Moses climbs a high mountain (Mount Nebo), where he meets his God. In the same way, at the end of his life, Hercules ascends Mount Oeta, where he meets his father Zeus.
Other characters and events from Moses' time or shortly thereafter are equally linked mythically to the Greek Age of Heroes, the Age of Hercules. So for example, the story of Phinehas, the nephew of Moses, is clearly cognate with that of Phineus, a contemporary of the heroes Jason and Perseus. Again, the Judge Samson displays obvious parallels with Hercules. And during the Exodus from Egypt, the Archangel Michael - the dragon-slaying hero par excellence - plays a pivotal role. It is Michael, for example, who places the protective Pillar of Fire between the pursuing Egyptians and the fleeing Israelites as they approach the Sea of Passage.
The Exodus then belongs mythically to the same epoch as Hercules and the Age of Heroes - the Age of Mars. Velikovsky placed this epoch in the eighth century B.C. and had it terminate in the early seventh century. For various reasons, however, it is clear that the catastrophe associated with the Exodus, as well as Labours of Hercules, occurred in the earlier part of the ninth century B.C., and as such it is there that the Exodus must be located.