The Creation Wiki is made available by the NW Creation Network
Watch monthly live webcast - Like us on Facebook - Subscribe on YouTube

Evidence for the Israelite Sojourn in Egypt

From CreationWiki, the encyclopedia of creation science
Jump to: navigation, search
Hi Res picture of the Mudbricks in the Amenemhet III pyramid at Hawara, Egypt. If you look carefully, you can see the straw within the bricks.

The histories of Israel, Egypt and Mesopotamia are interwoven. At various point in time, these ancient civilizations have interacted with one another as trade partners or in war.

The Israelites were in Egypt for some 430 years. They numbered only seventy when they first arrived in Egypt at the invitation of the Pharaoh whose acclaimed vizier Joseph (Israel / Jacob's eleventh son) was saving Egypt from a famine that had lasted several years. Joseph had interpreted the Pharaoh's dream and the Pharaoh had put him as second in charge of Egypt. Joseph had built grain silos during the years of abundance that had preceded the famine and had implemented a 20% tax on the grain that was produced to fill them. When the famine came, Joseph sold the grain to the Egyptians and surrounding countries who eventually had to part with their animals and land in order to buy enough food from Joseph to survive. The Israelites were allowed to settle in the best part of the land; Goshen. They multiplied quickly and soon became numerous.

Joseph died at the age of 110 years, 80 years after he first came into the service of the Pharaohs. He would have served several pharoahs. When Joseph died, he was given a royal Egyptian burial.

Many years after Joseph died, a pharaoh emerged who did not know Joseph and did not care that he had made the pharaoh's rich. He resented that Joseph's family, the Israelites, were becoming so numerous and feared that they would join their enemies. He decided to enslave them and make them work the fields or make mud bricks.

By the time of the Exodus, the Israelites had come to number over 2 million. There were 600,000 men of fighting age. If the Pharaoh made them produce just one mud brick per person per day for half of their time in Egypt, that would be 600000x365x200years =438,000,000,000 mud bricks. That's a lot of mud bricks.

If one was to look for some evidence of the Israelites in Egypt, something that we know they did or produced that would have survived the test of time (over 3500 years), it would have to be the 'grain silos' that Joseph made and 'millions of mud bricks' that the Israelites would have produced during the time of their slavery.

One would also expect to find evidence for Joseph in Egyptian records given the enormity of his achievements. One would also expect to find evidence of a mass Exodus of slaves and see what impact this had on the Egyptians.

As there were only some 200 pharaohs in Egypt, with similar number of viziers, one would think that it should be reasonably easy to come up with a short list of contenders for Joseph and Moses and their respective pharaohs.

Egyptian records, however, have not been as well preserved as one would hope. In fact many of the most useful historical documents were deliberately destroyed eg the works of Manetho which were lost when the Alexandrian Library was burnt down. Various wars, erosion and earthquakes have resulted in many of Egypts monuments being destroyed or defaced. Some pharaohs have even tried to whitewash their predecessors records leaving no trace of them.

In order to find evidence for the Israelites in Egypt, one needs to look in the right place in the right time period.

The only lasting legacy of the Israelites mentioned in the Bible may just be 'grain silos', 'mud bricks' and the embalmed bodies of Jacob and Joseph.

If the Egyptian identities of these Biblical figures were known, we may be surprised to learn what else they did that was not recorded in the Bible.

The truth is not always convenient or what we would have liked, but if it supports scripture, then Christians should celebrate because history and the Bible agree with one another.

Soleb and Amarah Inscriptions

The earliest mention of the Biblical God, Yahweh, has been discovered from two Egyptian descriptions, with the oldest, the Soleb Inscription, dating to 1400 B.C. In mentioning a list of lands campaigned against by Egypt, the Soleb Inscription refers to the "land of the Shasu of Yahweh" so it is clear Israel had become a nation by that time. This provides strong evidence that the Israelite Exodus had completed by 1400 B.C.[1]

Ipuwer Papyrus

The Ipuwer Papyrus provides evidence of the Biblical plagues. The ancient Egyptian document records events similar to the plagues of the Exodus.[2]

Israelite Houses Found in Egypt

The distinctive 4-room Israelite house has been discovered in Tell el-Daba, Egypt dating back to 1175 A.D.[3] What is more, found among these distinctive Israelite houses was one which may have been Joseph's containing a tomb that very unusually had the skeleton removed consistent with Exodus 13:19 and Genesis 50:25.[4]

One of the tombs was monumental in construction and totally unique in finds. Inside were found stone fragments of a colossal statue of a man who was clearly Asiatic, based on the yellow painted skin, the red-painted mushroom-shaped hairstyle and a throwstick on his right shoulder (the hieroglyph for foreigner). The statue had been intentionally broken in antiquity. While the other tombs nearby had intact skeletons, the only finds in the monumental tomb were fragments of an inscribed limestone sarcophagus and a few bone fragments. The body was gone! While it was common to plunder tombs in ancient Egypt, the bodies were usually not taken. Could this be the tomb of Joseph, from which he commanded his bones to be carried back to Canaan (Gn 50:25; Ex 13:19)?

~ Gary Byers, Associates for Biblical Research[5]

A 3rd century B.C. Egyptian historian named Manetho wrote that the Hyksos founded their capital at Avaris, also known as Tell el-Daba, where the Israelite houses were found. As noted by Noah Wiener of the Biblical Archaeological Society, "After the Hyksos were expelled from Egypt, Manetho reports that they wandered the desert before establishing the city of Jerusalem... The Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut (1489–1469 B.C.E.) recorded the banishment of a group of Asiatics from Avaris, the former Hyksos capital."[6]

Amarna Tablets

The Amarna Tablets record the Israelite takeover of Canaan. Letters such as those by Abdu-Heba and Rib-Addi show Canaanite kings pleading with Egypt to send them military aid to stop the Israelites from conquering the land.[7] Dating to the 14th century B.C., they provide strong evidence for an early date to the Exodus.

Exodus Graves Found in Saudi Desert

Those claiming the Exodus lacks graves evidencing the Exodus are not finding the graves because they are looking on the wrong peninsula, the Sinai Peninsula. The Exodus occurred across Saudi Arabia/the Arabian Peninsula, which does have thousands, possibly millions, of ancient graves supporting the Biblical Exodus.[8]

For the location of the Biblical Mount Sinai, see Jebel al-Madhbah. The Bible makes plain the Mount Sinai is in Seir or Edom. (Deuteronomy 33:2, Judges 5:4-5) As an interesting note, Edom or Esau literally means "red" and Jebel al-Madhbah is in Petra, a city that is one of the 7 wonders of the world, renowned for its blood-red stone and architecture.

Why are there so many different theories about the Egyptian correlates of Biblical Characters in Egypt?

Archaeologists have tried to use dates to know where to look for Egyptian correlates of Biblical characters such as Joseph and Moses.

The trouble is that the Egyptian dates are very inaccurate and they are constantly being revised as we learn more about the Egyptian timeline and how the various Egyptian dynasties fit together.

Clearly, we need something else other than dates in order to match Biblical Characters with their Egyptian counter parts.

The further back in history we go, the more unreliable the estimated Egyptian dates become.

The problem with Egyptian Records

We have no reason to doubt the Biblical record but every reason to doubt Egyptian record keeping.

The Egyptian chronology is constantly being revised as we understand more about how the dynasties were ordered.

Egyptian Pharaohs practiced co-regency; that means they reigned together with their successor for a number of years at the end of their reigns.

At certain periods in Egypt's history, there were different dynasties running in parallel in the North and the South.

Egypt had many provinces or 'Nomes' as they were called. These date back as far as the Old Kingdom and continued until the Roman times. The 42 provinces or 'Nomes' were governed by regional rulers called Nomarchs.

Much of what we know about the ordering of Egyptian dynasties comes from Manetho and the Turin King List.

Manetho was a priest/historian who lived in the time of Alexander the Great; over 1000yrs after the Exodus. He had access to the documents in the Alexandrian library. Unfortunately, the original documents, including Manetho's were lost when the Alexandrian library burnt down. All we have is some sketchy notes of third parties who read Manetho's work before it was destroyed. These notes, like the Turin king list, are just a list of rulers and how long they reigned and grouped into dynasties. In many cases, this is all that is known about a pharaoh.

It is possible that some of the Pharaoh's listed by Manetho and the Turin King list may turn out to be Nomarchs (or regional governors).

Dynasties 7-10 (also known as the First Intermediate Period) and dynasty 11 were contemporary with other dynasties and do not prolong the Egyptian Chronology. In other words, there was no First Intermediate Period.

Dynasty 12, although it emerged out of the 11th dynasty, seems to have followed on from the Old Kingdom (6th dynasty).

These new dates serve to compress the total timeframe of Egyptian culture such that it commenced well-after the termination of the Great Flood (2450 BC) and the Confusion of Tongues at Babel (before 2350 BC).

The Egyptian dates derived from the traditional Egyptian chronology are no longer valid. The dates of Egyptian dynasties, therefore, need to be revised in the light of this modern understanding of the Egyptian dynasties. We need some other means of identifying biblical characters in secular history without relying heavily on dates that become quite unreliable, the further back we go. The Biblical accounts however, remain the standard by which the Egyptian chronologies are measured.

The destruction of Egypt's monuments

The Arabian Tectonic plate borders on the Gulf of Aqaba, the Red Sea and the Dead Sea.

Many of Egypt's monuments have been destroyed by earthquakes. Statues, buildings with limestone columns and pyramids faced with limestone bricks are very vulnerable to earthquakes.

A few hundred years before the first dynasty of Egypt, the Earth's crust ruptured releasing water onto the surface of the Earth from subterranean reservoirs (the Flood of Noah). The Earth's crust buckled, fracturing it into large tectonic plates. The cracks between these tectonic plates are called fault lines. Earthquakes occur when there is movement of tectonic plates at fault lines. Mountain ranges tend to occur at fault lines where tectonic plates bump together and over ride each other.

There is a fault line that extends from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea passing right along the line of the Gulf of Aqaba. Consequently, Egypt and Mt Sinai in Arabia are prone to earthquakes.

Earthquake Epicenters from 1963-1998

The pyramids of the 12th dynasty had cores that were composed of mud bricks but they were faced with a limestone veneer and beautifully adorned. With silting and erosion of the mud brick cores, the outer veneers became quite unstable and vulnerable to earthquakes. As a result the outer veneer has fallen down exposing the inner mud brick cores of these pyramids. Much of the limestone has been pilfered and used for other purposes.

Fortunately, there is very little rainfall (less than 20mm/year) in the Saqqara region where most of the 12th dynasty pyramids were built. As a result, the exposed mud brick cores of the 12th dynasty pyramids are in surprisingly good condition given that they are over 3500 years old!

Even the pyramids of the old kingdom, made from solid limestone blocks, have been damaged by earthquakes. For example, the limestone casing of the burial chamber in the Step Pyramid of Djoser (designed by Imhotep) caved in crushing the sarcophagus of Djoser around 500BC. Much of the nicely faced limestone veneer of the Step Pyramid has also been lost (as is the case with other Old Kingdom Pyramids) even though the core was made of solid limestone blocks.

Many of Egypt's monuments have been damaged by grave robbers or knocked down by Egypt's conquerors.

Some pharaohs have tried to white wash their predecessors from history by destroying their monuments. Many Egyptian monuments have been destroyed by war, earthquakes and thieves and then buried in sand storms. Many statues that were made from stone would have fallen over during earth quakes and been buried in the sand.

For much of the last 2000 years, the art of reading Egyptian heirogylphs was lost. It was not until the discovery of the Rosetta stone that scholars were able decipher Egyptian writings again.

The problem with the Biblical Chronology

While the Biblical Chronology can be determined fairly reliably from the Biblical account, there are two schools of thought regarding the length of time that Israel was in Egypt.

This would affect the Biblical dates prior to the Exodus by 230 years depending on whether there was a long or a short Sojourn of Israel in Egypt.


The Genealogy of Israel

Abraham to Moses - according to the Bible

When did Israel's Sojourn in Egypt begin?

Israel's Sojourn in Egypt began when Jacob and his son's moved to Egypt. This occurred not long after Jacob's youngest son Joseph was appointed as second in charge of Egypt (Vizier/Sage/Viceroy) under the Pharaoh himself.

Joseph had been the vizier for at least seven years when he invited his family to come and live in Egypt.

Joseph helped to save Egypt from a seven year famine by building grain silos in key Egyptian cities during the seven years of abundance that preceded the seven year famine. Joseph also helped to ensure the survival of his family and protected them as they grew to be a great nation in Egypt.

How long did the Israelites Sojourn in Egypt?

The Bible says that the Israelites sojourned in Egypt for 430 years. (Exodus 12:40-41 )

God foretold Abraham that his offspring would serve as slaves in a foreign land for 400 years. (Genesis 15:13 Acts 7:6 )

While the Bible has fairly precise genealogies and often gives the ages that people were when they had children, there are two schools of thought regarding how long the Israelites were in Egypt. (see Sojourn of Israel in Egypt)

Going by the times given in the Old Testament, the Israelites were in Egypt 430 years.

How many Israelites were there?

While Joseph was alive, the Israelites multiplied and filled the land.(Exodus 1:1-7 )

Joseph was 110 years old when he died. (Genesis 50:22-26 ) He was 30 years old when he came to Egypt. (Genesis 41:46 )

Joseph would have been the vizier over all Egypt for 80 years and served more than one pharaoh. During this time, the Israelites would have enjoyed the protection of the Hebrew Vizier Joseph for around 70 years (110-30-7 ~= 70 years).

It was not til after Joseph's death that the Israelites were made slaves in Egypt by a new Pharaoh that did not know Joseph. (Exodus 1:8-14 ) All Joseph's other brothers were dead by the time the Israelites became slaves (Exodus 1:6-7 ) including Levi who lived until the age of 137 years. (Exodus 6:16 )

The Israelites were then forced to make mud bricks. (Exodus 1:14 )

The Israelites grew to number over 2 million (with over 600000 men of fighting age) (Exodus 38:26 Numbers 1:46 ) by the time of the Exodus (which occurred 430 years after Jacob entered Egypt Exodus 12:40-41 ) despite the Pharaoh trying to murder their offspring (Exodus 1:15-22 ).

What evidence is there for Joseph in Egypt?

Main article: Joseph and Imhotep
The first grain silo built in Egypt - hidden under the Step Pyramid. It became a burial chamber for the Pharaoh Netjerikhet (Djoser) and a mastaba was built on top of it. Successive mastabas were added first to the side and then on top of one another for Netjerikhet's three wives and 11 daughters. The result was the Step Pyramid.
A second generation grain silo at Saqqara
A third generation grain silo at Saqqara.
An open stairwell used to retrieve grain from a second generation silo in Saqqara

Large pits can be found within the Step Pyramid complex at Saqqara designed by Imhotep in the 3rd dynasty. The bottom of the pit can be accessed form stairs in an adjacent pit. It would have been ideal for storing grain and most likely, it was used for this purpose. Similar pits can be found in other cities in Egypt that were clearly used to store grain.

Joseph is likely to have acquired his masonry skills whilst in prison. If Joseph was Imhotep, he should also be considered the father of modern medicine, science and architecture. He would not have been taught these skills but rather have learnt them through divine inspiration and experience.

The Bible places Joseph around 1900BC. This is at considerable odds with the conventional Egyptian dates of the third dynasty, however, it is likely that the traditional dates are quite inaccurate. New insights into the arrangement of Egyptian Dynasties has resulted in considerable shortening of the Egyptian Chronology such that it may be possible to resolve this issue of discrepant dates.

The Bible does not say what Joseph did with the last 66yrs of his life but it does say that Joseph was so respected by the Egyptians, that he was given a royal Egyptian burial and his body was embalmed. Joseph's body was removed in the Exodus. Imhotep's tomb was located close to the Ibis Galleries in Saqqara, however, his sarcophagus was empty and his mummy has never been located.

Imhotep was eventually deified but how he was perceived by the Egyptians and the Greeks has no bearing on who he was.

Who was the Pharaoh of Joseph?

The Famine stele. There is an inscription on the Island of Sihiel, near the first cataract of the Nile known as the Famine Stele (Moeller). It is a copy of a manuscript written a thousand years earlier. It tells of Imhotep and Pharaoh Djoser in the 18th year of Djoser's reign and has striking parallels with Biblical story of Joseph. The inscription states "seven meagre years and seven rich years". Commenting on the inscription, Moeller writes, "Pharaoh Djoser asks Imhotep to help him with the coming seven years of famine. All the components of the Biblical story of Joseph are there, except for listing the "meagre" years before the years of plenty. The famine years were, of course, the event of significance, saving everyone from starvation and bringing in much wealth to Egypt.


A statue of Imhotep in the Louvre.
Main article: Pharaoh Djoser (Netjerikhet) was the Pharaoh of Joseph
Pharaoh Djoser - Sakkara

Imhotep was the vizier of Pharaoh Djoser of the 3rd dynasty. He was responsible for designing the Step Pyramid Complex at Saqqara. The complex not only contains the Step Pyramid which can be seen from afar, it contains many buildings which are part of the walls that surround the Step Pyramid. Within the walls are a number of open pits which are interconnected at the bottom and accessible from an ajoining pit that has stairs leading down to the bottom. These pits are very similar to others found in many other cities in Egypt from the same time period used to store grain.

The "Famine stele", found near the first cataract of the Nile tells the story of Djoser's dream and how Pharaoh Djoser asked Imhotep to help save Egypt from a coming seven year famine. It mentions seven meagre years and seven years of plenty. It has all the components of the Biblical story of Joseph, except for the fact that in the story of Joseph the seven years of famine would come after the seven years of plenty. Also that Imhotep actually stopped the famine by appealing to the god of Khnum, which some scholars believe is a reference to building up a structure to capture water for stopping the famine.

Imhotep came to Djoser in the 18th year of his reign according to the Famine Stelle.

Pharaoh Djoser reigned for 29 years and was succeeded by Sekhemkhet who reigned for 6 yrs and then was succeeded by Khaba who reigned for 6 yrs and then was succeed by Huni who was the last pharaoh of the third dynasty and reigned for 24 years.

Besides saving Egypt from a seven year famine, Imhotep was the author of many literary works, he was the first to use papyrus, the first to design buildings with columns, he performed operations, developed preservation techniques and probably had a role in building more than one pyramid. After his death he was even worshiped as a God by Greeks and Egyptians.

What other evidence is there that the Israelites lived in Egypt?

The exposed mudbricks in the core of the Amenemhet III pyramid at Hawara. The limestone veneer has fallen away exposing the core of mudbricks. It is over 3450 years old. It has been relatively well preserved because of the low rainfall in this part of Egypt.
Closeup showing bricks of Amenemhet III pyramid at Hawara

The Bible says that the Israelites were enslaved by a pharaoh who knew not Joseph and were cruely treated and made to make mud bricks.

If the Israelites just produced one mud brick per day per person this would be 200x365x2000000 = 146 billion mud bricks. That's a lot of mud bricks!

The 'signature' or 'legacy' of Israelites the was, therefore, 'lots of Mud Bricks' that contained straw.

Where can we find this many mud bricks? The answer is 'the pyramids of the 12th dynasty each contain millions of mud bricks'. There were seven such pyramids built over a 200 year period. Another 12th dynasty structure, considered to be one of the great wonders of the world, called the Labyrinth also contained millions of mud bricks produced with slave labor.

The Israelites were in Egypt for 430years. Under the protection of the vizier Joseph-Imhotep, they multiplied rapidly and became numerous during dynasties 4-6. The 11th dynasty in Upper Egypt (Thebes) also ran concurrently with the 6th dynasty in Lower Egypt (Memphis) and dynasties 9 & 10 based in Herakleopolis. After the death of Joseph, a pharaoh emerged who neither knew or respected Joseph-Imhotep. This was Amenemhet I. He was the vizier of Mentuhotep IV of the 11th dynasty in Upper Egypt. Amenemhet I lead a rebellion against Mentuhotep IV and assassinated Mentuhotep IV. Amenemhet I started the 12th dynasty which was the main dynasty of the Middle Kingdom controlling Upper and Lower Egypt.

The Pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom were different to the Pharaohs of the Old Kingdom (dynasties 3-6). They did not appreciate what Imhotep had done. They saw the Israelites as a threat and treated them like slaves. The pyramids of the 12th dynasty were made from mud bricks and then a limestone veneer was applied to the mud brick core. A large slave labor force was required to make the mud bricks for the 12th dynasty pyramids. Seven great pyramids were built during the 12th dynasty. The sixth pharaoh of the 12th dynasty built two pyramids and another structure called the Labyrinth. The Labyrinth was a mud brick structure that was regarded as one of the great wonders of the world in its time.

As the Israelites had grown to number over 2 million by the time of the Exodus (Exodus 38:26 Numbers 1:46 ), one would expect to find some evidence that this many Semitic slaves existed in Egypt.

Flinders Petrie did find a workers village at Kahun in 1890. Scarabs found in the town indicate that it was occupied during the 12th dynasty from the reign of Senusret II up until the reign of Neferhotep I of the 13th dynasty. Petrie also found tools used to make mud bricks. The town appeared to have been suddenly vacated in the 13th dynasty as so many tools and artifacts were left behind.

The pyramids of the 12th dynasty and the labyrinth would have contained millions upon millions of mud bricks. While mud bricks were a common building material, the pyramids and the Labyrinth were exceptional in that they would have required a very large work force to produce the mud bricks, let a lone assemble them into a pyramid and face them with limestone (quite a feat in itself).

If the Exodus of the Israelites occurred early in the 13th dynasty, then the Israelites would be the best candidate to be the slaves that produced the mud bricks for the 12th dynasty pyramids and the Labyrinth. The Bible itself tells us that the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians and forced to produced mud bricks reinforced with straw. (Exodus 1:11-14 Exodus 2:23 Exodus 5:1-21 )

Houses and many other structures were also made out of mud bricks. A Jewish historian by the name of Josephus, who lived around the time of Christ, records that "The Israelites were given the task of making pyramids". However, pre-Alexandrian Jews would never have used the word "pyramid" to describe their work. The best we can surmise is that they participated in mudbrick construction of large structures, such as mustabas or towers.

Chariot Wheels

The Bible records that Joseph was given a chariot to travel through Egypt.

Most historians, however, would claim that the chariot was not introduced to Egypt until the Hyksos in the 15th dynasty.

If Joseph and Imhotep were the same person, this would mean that chariots existed in Egypt as early as the third dynasty.

In the third dynasty, only high officials like the pharaoh and his chancellor / sage / vizier were afforded a chariot to travel in.

'Chariots' in the 3rd dynasty, used by royalty, were not horse drawn; they were carried by a procession of servants.

The Hebrew word (merkabah) in the Bible can be translated as ‘chariot’ or ‘riding seat’. It does not distinguish between a vehicle that is horse drawn or a vehicle that is carried.

The enigma of chariots in the third dynasty is, therefore, easily explained.

The horse drawn chariot with wheels, used for military purposes was not introduced until several centuries later.

The introduction of the horse draw chariot is also an important landmark in the Egyptian chronology as the horse drawn chariot was in common usage at the time of the Exodus.

The Bible records that all of the 600 chariots belonging to the pharaoh were lost in the Red Sea at the time of the Exodus.

No discoveries horse drawn chariots have been found prior to the 15th dynasty (except for those found by Wyatt at the bottom of the Red Sea in 1978). This would tend to suggest that the Exodus took place just before the 15th dynasty. One would not expect to find chariots of dynasties prior to the Exodus because they were all destroyed at the time of the Exodus.

Wyatt found chariot wheels covered with coral strewn across the bottom of the Red Sea. There was a well preserved golden 4 spoked chariot wheel. He also found six and eight spoked chariot wheels covered with coral from one side of the Red Sea to the other (in the Gulf of Aqaba where there is a large beach and a natural land bridge at the opening of the Wadi Wadir, just a little bit north of Jabel Lawz on the opposite side). Wyatt also found a pair of columns which appeared to have been left by Solomon to mark the site of the Red Sea crossing at this point.

Unfortunately, as no other examples of 12th dynasty chariots have been found, the chariot wheels found by Wyatt were dated (by experts in antiquity) to the 18th dynasty. This has lead many an archaeologist to go looking for the Exodus in the 18th dynasty. There is no evidence for a mass Exodus in the 18th dynasty. There was an Exodus at the end of the Second Intermediate Period but this is when the Hyksos kings were evicted from Egypt and is clearly not the Israelite exodus.

The Bible states that the Exodus Pharaoh pursued the Israelites with all of Egypt's chariots and that these were lost in the Red Sea. One would, therefore, not expect to find a chariot that predated the Exodus. One would expect that if a chariot was found, other than in the Red Sea, then it must have been produced after the Exodus.

If the Hyksos (15th dynasty) did use chariots to invade and occupy lower Egypt, they were only able to do this because the Egyptian army had been decimated by the Exodus and all of its chariots were at the bottom of the Red Sea.

Many historians and archaeologists believe that the horse drawn chariot was introduced to Egypt by the Hyksos because there are no findings of 12th and 13th dynasty chariots. If all of Egypt's chariots were lost at the time of the Exodus, the finding of 15th dynasty chariots should suggest that the Exodus occurred prior to the 15th dynasty, namely the 13th dynasty. It also follows that the chariot wheels found in the Red Sea by Wyatt were from the 12th and 13th dynasties.

The Hyksos were credited with having introduced the chariot to Egypt only because no 12th and 13th dynasty chariots have been found (until 1978 when Wyatt discovered chariot wheels covered with coral strewn across the bottom of the Red Sea at Nuweiba). The fact that Hyksos chariots are the earliest surviving chariots to have been found means that the Exodus took place immediately before the Hyksos entered Egypt. This would further support a 13th dynasty Exodus.

Also supporting a 13th dynasty exodus is the prolific use of mudbricks in the 12th dynasty and the finding of a slave village at Kahun that was rapidly evacuated in the 13th dynasty when Neferhotep I was ruling (as evidenced by scarabs found by Petrie). Amenemhet III has the credentials to be the pharaoh of Moses birth and the pharaoh that Moses fled from. Sobeknefru has the credentials to be Moses foster mother and Amenemhet IV has the credentials to be Moses himself!

Historians and archaeologist have, therefore, erroneously credited the Hyksos (15th dynasty) with the introduction of the horse drawn chariot to Egypt.

Chariot wheels found at the bottom of the Red Sea were incorrectly dated because of this assumption.

Horse drawn chariots used for military purposes were not introduced until the late 12th dynasty or 13th dynasty.

Most of the chariots of the 12 & 13th dynasty were lost in the Red Sea at the time of the Exodus. Paintings depicting horse drawn chariots in the 12th dynasty have not been preserved.

It is hardly surprising then that there are no findings of horse draw chariots before the Hyksos (15th dynasty) unless, of course, one accepts that the chariot wheels found in the Red Sea by Wyatt in 1978 were from the 12th and 13th dynasty.

A workers village built during the time of Senusret II was discovered by Petrie at Kahun

Scarab of King Neferhotep. One of two currently in the [Los Angeles County Museum of Art]. [See scarabs from the Second Intermediate Period]
The floor plan of Kahun, drawn by Petrie 1897

Flinders Petrie, discovered a workers village at Kahun, just south of Hawara in Egypt in 1890. He found numerous tools and artifacts in the village. He even found boxes containing the remains of babies up to 3 months old under the floors of the houses in the workers village at Kahun. There were numerous boxes sometimes containing the skeletons of 3-4 babies in many of the houses in the village. He suspected that these may be the remains of Israeliete Babies that were killed on Pharaoh's orders around the time of Moses' birth. He drew a floor plan of the village and documented the artifacts that were found there. Many of these artefacts are now in the Petrie Museum. Various scarabs and other artifacts that were found in the village indicate that it was constructed during the time of Senusret II and was occuppied up until the time of Neferhotep I of the 13th dynasty.

The pyramid of Sesostris II

How is it possible for Joseph to be in the 3rd dynasty and Moses to be in the 12th dynasty?

The Bible records that the Exodus occurred 480 years before Solomon laid the foundations of the temple. This means that the Exodus would have taken place around 1446BC.

If the traditional dates of the Egyptian dynasties were right, one might expect to find evidence for Moses and the Israelites in the 18th dynasty, however, no such direct evidence has been found.

If Moses was in the 18th dynasty, it does not make sense that 17th and 18th dynasty Pharaohs would be named after him.

However, if Moses was born in the 12th dynasty and lead the Israelites out of Egypt in the 13th dynasty, crippling Egypt and making it vulnerable to invasion by the Hyksos, then it would make sense that the 17th and 18th dynasty pharaohs might be named after Moses (eg Ahmose I Kahmose Thutmose I Thutmose II Thutmose III).

The Bible also mentions that the Israelites settled in the 'land of Rameses' or what is more likely, the 'land of Ra' (the fertile Nile Delta / Goshen) (Genesis 47:11 )and later built the towns of Rameses and Pithom (Exodus 1:11 ). The Pharaohs were usually named after the god of the Egyptians, Ra. 'Rameses' means 'son of Ra'. Rameses was also a pharaoh in the 19th dynasty but he had no association with the 'town of Rameses'. We now that the town of Rameses was built by Senusret III (5th Pharaoh of the 12th dynasty). 'Rameses' was also used generically as a title for addressing Pharaohs.

Chariot wheels with 8 spokes, covered with coral have been found at the bottom of the Red Sea in the gulf of Aqaba near Nuweiba (Wyatt 1978). This has also provoked a search for Moses in the 18th dynasty as 8 spoked chariot wheels were thought to have been used only in the 18th dynasty. Chariot wheels with 4 and 6 spokes were also found strewn across the bottom of the Red Sea by Wyatt in 1978. There is, however, no evidence of a mass exodus of slaves in the 18h dynasty. Perhaps 8 spoked chariot wheels were used in earlier dynasties or maybe they were deposited there after the Exodus.

The point in time at which the chariot was introduced to Egypt has been been a source of contention for many archaeologists and historians. Joseph was given a chariot to move around Egypt but this may not have been the sort of chariot that had wheels and was horse drawn. It may have been a chariot that was carried by servants. Horse drawn chariots were clearly available to the Egyptians at the time of the Exodus. The Bible records that the Pharaoh pursued the Israelites with his army including 600 chariots. These were lost in the Red Sea when Pharaoh's army attempted to follow the Israelites. It would, therefore, follow that there would be no evidence of chariots in that dynasty as they were all destroyed in the Red Sea. The fact that the chariot only dates back to the Hyksos 15th and 16th dynasty should not be surprising as the Exodus was in the 13th dynasty.

Egypt was crippled by the plagues that preceded the Exodus and the loss of it's army, pharaoh, transportation system and it's slaves at the time of the Exodus.

Following the Exodus, the Hyksos used the chariot to invade and occupy Lower Egypt for the next 400 years.

The 18th dynasty was preceded by the Second Intermediate Period which comprised dynasties 15-17. The Hyksos were foreigners to Egypt who took over and ruled Lower Egypt after the 14th dynasty (15th and 16th dynasty) for around 400 years.

The 17th dynasty was contemporary with the 15th and 16th dynasties. The last pharaohs of the 17th dynasty based in Thebes (Upper Egypt), Sequenre Tao and his son Kahmose, rebelled against the Hyksos who were occupying and controlling Lower Egypt. Sequenre Tao and Kahmose were killed fighting the Hyksos. The Hyksos (Amalekites) were eventually driven out of Egypt and were all by destroyed when they encountered King Saul of the newly formed Israel. Ahmose I, the brother of Kahmose, started the 18th dynasty (Egypt's New Kingdom) at the age of 8 years. He was co-regent with his mother Queen Aahotep initially.

Some archaeologist thought that the Hyksos leaving Egypt could have been the Exodus that they were searching for. The Hyksos, while they were foreigner to Egypt like the Israelites, they were not slaves. The Hyksos were rulers of Egypt during the 15th and 16th dynasty (the Second Intermediate Period) and so they could not have been the Israelites leaving Egypt.

Others suggest that the Hyksos appear to have invaded Egypt not long after the Israelite Exodus which left Egypt crippled. The Hyksos settled in the recently vacated town of Tel ed Daba previously occupied by the Israelites. They built a forte there and it was renamed Avaris.

The pyramids of the 12th dynasty were constructed out of mudbricks and then faced with limestone. Archaeologists have generally discounted the possibility that the Israelites had anything to do with the building of the pyramids because of the issues of chariots and dates.

The issue of chariots and dates, discussed elsewhere, should no longer be considered a barrier to placing Joseph in the third dynasty (Imhotep) and Moses in the 12th dynasty (Amenemhet IV).

If the Exodus did take place during the 13th dynasty, then it is quite likely that the Israelites were enslaved during the 12th dynasty and were required to make the mud bricks that went into the 12th dynasty pyramids.

A large slave labor force was required to make this many mud bricks and we know from the Bible that there were around two million Israelites in Egypt by the time of the Exodus.

The Bible also says that the Israelites were given the task of making mud bricks that contained straw.

Josephus even tells us that the Israelites were given the task of making Pyramids, but the word "pyramid" would never have been used by pre-Alexandrian Jews, so the best we can surmise is that they were constructing things for the Egyptians, including towers, large structures and housing.

Flinders Petrie found a workers village in 1890 at Kahun. It seem to have been occupied from the time of Senusret II (2nd pharaoh of the 12 dynasty) until the 13th dynasty.

The Pharaoh who built the last pyramid (Amenemhet III) had no sons; just a daughter named Sobeknefru. When he died, his daughter had to take over the throne but she only lived for 8 yrs and when she died the 12th dynasty ended. This of course draws no connection to the Hebrews.

There was another figure in the 12th dynasty Amenemhet IV who seems to have been adopted and raised by Sobeknefru. He may even have helped Amenemhet III rule for a period of 9 yrs. He seemed to suddenly disappear before Amenemhet III's death and was not heard off again. Nobody knows where he was buried. This revised chronology attempts to link Amenemhet IV with Moses.

It would seem likely that if the Israelites who numbered around 2 million by the time of the Exodus were enslaved during the 12th dynasty. Amenemhet III would have been the pharaoh that Moses fled from. Sobeknefru would have been the princess that adopted him. Neferhotep (13th dynasty)would have been the pharaoh Moses confronted and the Pharaoh that chased Moses in the desert and tried to pursue the Israelites across the Red Sea.

Some scholars claim that these same parallels exist in the 18th Dynasty if Moses is aligned with TutMosis-I, however, the archaeological evidence is lacking. There is no evidence for an exodus in the 18th dynasty. What's more, the Israelites were based in Lower Egypt while the 18th dynasty was based in Upper Egypt. Mudbricks were not used prolifically in the 18th dynasty. The 'acid test' is trying to fit this into the big picture. Placing Moses in the 18th dynasty does not fit with any other known synchronisms.

Given that the Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years, this would mean that the Joseph would have arrived in Egypt around 1890BC.

If Joseph and Imhotep were the same person, Djoser (Netjerikhet) would have been the Pharaoh of Joseph and his reign would have began 18 years earlier (according to the Famine Stele around 1908BC.

We know Joseph lived for 80 years after he came to Egypt and the Israelites were not afflicted during this time. Maybe, it took another century after Joseph died for the Egyptians to forget what Joseph had done for them. As Joseph lived until the age of 110 years, he would have served more than one pharaoh.

One conjecture in particular removes the first intermediate period, suggesting that the 11th dynasty was contemporary with the 6th dynasty and the 12th dynasty started when Amenemhet I became pharaoh and took over all of Egypt.

Amenemhet I was the vizier for Mentuhotep IV who was the last Pharaoh of the 11th dynasty. Amenemhet I may even have assasinated Mentuhotep IV. Amenemhet I may have had a different attitude towards the Israelites. He could have felt threatened by the Israelites as they had grown numerous and filled the land. He seems to have decided to make them into slaves to support his building projects and work the fields.

A revisionist schematic diagram illustrating the relationship between the Egyptian Kingdoms and dynasties and the various phases of Israel as the Israelites grew to be a nation while they were in Egypt and then traveled to the promised land where they were ruled initially by Judges and later by Kings. The nation of Israel became divided into North (Israel) and South (Judah) after Solomon. There was no first intermediate period. History aligned with the Bible.

The 12th dynasty more or less followed directly on from the 6th and the 11th dynasties which were contemporary with one another. Dynasties 9 & 10 were based in Herakleopolis were also contemporary with the 6th dynasty based in Memphis and the 11th dynasty based in Thebes.

If the 12th dynasty lasted almost 200 years, this leaves just over 200 years for the remainder of the 3rd dynasty, the 4th dynasty, the 5th dynasty and the 6th dynasty during which there were, supposedly, 22 pharaohs which means an average reign of only 10 years (if there was no co-regency).

From the Famine Stella, we have evidence that Imhotep came to be the vizier during the 18th year of Djoser which was near the end of his reign.

It may also be that some of the Pharaoh's of the 3-6th dynasties were co-regent with one another and maybe, just maybe, a few of the candidates who were thought to be Pharaohs may turn out to be Nomarchs or other high ranking officials (particular in dynasty 5-6). This is of course strong speculation with specious support.

Pepi I and Pepi II of the 6th dynasty are said to have reigned for an extra-ordinarily long period of 49 years and 94 years respectively. Maybe, when Amenemhet I started the 12th dynasty, he let these pharaohs stay on as regional governers (or Nomarches).

It is hard to reconcile all this information at this point in time. We need more light on the subject.

In short, there are a number of reasons for believing that Joseph and Imhotep were the same person. If Joseph was Imhotep, this would mean that Netjerikhet was the Pharaoh of Joseph and this would explain why he subsequently came to be know as Djoser (or Zozer in Greek). The 12th dynasty was characterized by the prolific use of mud bricks to construct pyramids and structures like the Labyrinth. Given that the Exodus took place in the 13th dynasty and the Israelites were slaves in Egypt for the 400yrs that preceded the Exodus, It is quite likely that the Israelites made the mud bricks for the 12th dynasty pyramids and the Labyrinth and Amenemhet III was Moses's Pharaoh. The Israelites numbered around 2 million at the time and so it was quite feasible for them to have made the enormous numbers of bricks that went into these structures over a 200 yr period. It also explains why no more pyramids were constructed after the Exodus. The revised chronology has gone a long way towards resolving the problem with discrepant dates and the issue of 'chariots' (or more precisely, riding seats) in Joseph's time should no longer be considered a barrier to equating Joseph and Imhotep. Horse drawn chariots of the 12th and 13th dynasties were destroyed during the Exodus. It is not surprising then that the chariot did not reappear until the 15th dynasty.

Who were the Pharaohs of the Oppression?

Sesostris III, 5th Pharaoh of the 12th dynasty of Egypt. Father of Amenemhet III. He reigned for 37 yrs but seems to have had a long co-regency with his son Amenemhet III of perhaps 20yrs.
Amenemhet III, 6th Pharaoh of the 12th dynasty of Egypt. Father of Sobekneferu. He reigned for 46 yrs and had a co-regency with Amenemhet IV for up to 9yrs.

The Israelites numbered about 70 when they first came to live in Egypt at the invitation of the Pharaoh whose vizier was Jacob's 11th son Jospeh-Imhotep. They were allowed to live in the best part of the land; Goshen. Here they flourished and multiplied under the protection of Joseph who was second in charge of Egypt and had saved the country from a seven year famine by storing up grain to sell before the famine started. Joseph had brought up all the land of Egypt and had made the Pharaoh very rich and powerful. Joseph lived until the age of 110 years and served several pharaohs. When he died, he was embalmed and given a royal Egyptian burial - some 80 yrs after he first entered Egypt.

The Israelites came to Egypt in the 3rd dynasty when Netjerikhet was the Pharaoh. Pharaoh Netjerikhet came to be know as Pharaoh Djoser as time went by (the pharaoh of Joseph). The Israelites flourished and multiplied during the 3rd & 4th dynasties while Joseph was alive and continued to multiply during the 5th & 6th dynasties after his death. The 6th dynasty, which was based in Memphis in Lower Egypt, was contemporary with the 9th and 10th dynasties based in Herakleopolis and the 11th dynasty based in Thebes.

About 100 years after Joseph's death, a pharaoh who did not know Joseph came to power. Amenemhet I was the vizier of Mentuhotep IV of the 11th dynasty based in Thebes (Upper Egypt). He assassinated Mentuhotep IV of the 11th dynasty and took over both Upper and Lower Egypt to start what is known as the 12th dynasty (or Egypt's Middle Kingdom). The pharaohs of the middle kingdom did not like the Israelites and felt threatened by them. Fearing that they would join their enemies, they forced the Israelites into slavery.

The 12th dynasty pharaohs constructed their pyramids from mud brick with only a veneer of limestone. The 12th dynasty pharaohs needed a large slave labor force to make the mud bricks required for their pyramids. This became the task of the Israelites who by the time of the Exodus had come to number over two million. The 12th dynasty lasted some 200 years and during this time, 7 pyramids were constructed as well as the Labyrinth. The Labyrinth was considered one of wonders of the ancient world by Heroditis. See the Pyramid Age

Moses was born during the co-reign of Sesostris III and Amenemhet III about 4yrs into Amenemhet III's reign. Amenemhet III built two pyramids and the Labyrinth. He was very cruel to the Israelites and it was probably he who ordered the midwives to kill the Hebrew baby boys. His daughter Sobeknefru was childless and there was no male heir to the throne. Sobeknefru adopted a Hebrew baby Moses that she found in a basket amongst the reeds of the Nile and she brought him up as her own in her household. He was known as Amenemhet IV.

When Amenemhet IV was old enough, 30yrs, he began a co-regency with Amenemhet III. This lasted 9 yrs and then Amenemhet IV suddenly disappeared. This left no male heir to the throne. Consequently, Sobeknefru had to assume the throne but she only lived for 8yrs and then she died. When she died, the 12th dynasty ended and Egypt became unstable. There was a rapid succession of pharaohs in the 13th dynasty. The longest ruling was Neferhotep I who reigned for 11 years. It was Neferhotep who was the pharaoh when Moses-Amenemhet IV returned from exile. Neferhotep was the Exodus Pharaoh who chased the Israelites and whose army and chariots were drowned in the Red Sea.

Egypt was crippled by the Exodus of the Israelites and became vulnerable to invasion. Not long after the Exodus, the Hyksos, shepherd kings from Arabia, invaded Egypt and built a fort at Avaris. From there, they occupied and controlled Lower Egypt for the next 400 years.

What evidence is there for Moses?

Moses was an Israelite who was adopted by the Pharaoh's daughter and raised as her own. Moses spend the first 40 years of his life growing up in Pharaoh's household. There was no change of pharaoh during this time. As the princess did not have any other children, Moses would have become the next pharaoh if he did not have to flee to Midian after showing his loyalty to the Israelites.

Moses was born 80 years before the Exodus and fled to Midian 40 years before the Exodus.

Moses was born during the Israelite Oppression at a time when the Pharaoh was trying to kill all the Hebrew baby boys.

The Israelites had been in Egypt for 430-80=350 years and had been forced into slavery for about 150 years since the start of the 12th dynasty.

Amenemhet III, the 6th pharaoh of the 12 dynasty, the last pharaoh to build a great pyramid, had an ambitious building program. His first pyramid at Dashur had flawed foundations and so he built a second pyramid at Hawara. He also build the Labyrinth considered, in it's day, to be one of the great wonders of the world by Heroditis. Both of his pyramids were constructed with a core that contained millions upon millions of mud bricks (as was the case for all the pyramids of the 12th dynasty). The labyrinth was a mortuary building that had over one thousand rooms. It was also built from mud bricks and was equal in grandeur to the pyramids themselves.

The Israelites now numbered around 2 million and the Bible says that their chief occupation was making mud bricks for the Pharaoh.

Petrie found a workers village at Kahun, not far from Hawara, where the 12th dynasty pyramids were centered. From his detailed collection of scarabs found in the village, he was able to determine that the village had been occupied from the time of Sesostris II (Senusret II) up until the time of Neferhotep I. The village appeared to have been evacuated fairly suddenly. Petrie also found numerous boxes containing the skeletons of one, two or three babies at a time. The boxes were found under the floors of the houses in the village and were left almost to commemorate the deaths hundreds of babies in the town.

The thirteenth dynasty was only a short dynasty but there was a quick succession of Pharaohs. Neferhotep I was the longest ruling pharaoh of that dynasty, ruling 11 yrs. His body was never found. As the slave village at Kahun was occupied up until the time of Neferhotep I and Neferhotep I ruled 20 to 30 years after the end of the 12th dynasty, it is likely that Neferhotep I was the Exodus Pharaoh whom Moses confronted when he returned from Exile.

There was a large Exodus of slaves during the reign of Neferhotep I according to Petrie. These slaves lived in Kahun which was a workers village for the builders of the 12th dynasty pyramids.

It is quite likely that these slaves were the Israelite slaves who were lead out of Egypt by Moses when he was 80yrs old, 30 years after the 12th dynasty ended.

The 6th pharaoh of the 12th dynasty Amenemhet III, the last pharaoh to construct any pyramids, constructed 2 mud brick pyramids and the labyrinth. He reigned for 46 yrs and so he was reigning long enough to have seen Moses adopted by his daughter (Sobeknefru) and reach 40 years of age.

Amenemhet III did have a 9 year co-regency with a figure called Amenemhet IV whose ancestry is not recorded in Egyptian records. Amenemhet IV suddenly disappeared and never got to reign over Egypt by himself.

When Moses-Amenemhet IV fled to Midian, the 12th dynasty continued for another 10 years. When Amenemhet III died 2 yrs after Moses fled to Midian, Sobeknefru had to assume the throne as there were no other heirs. She only lived for another 8 yrs and when she died, the 12th dynasty ended. Egypt became unstable and there was a rapid succession of pharaohs in the 13th dynasty until Neferhotep I.

The loss of Moses-Amenemhet IV in itself was a big blow to Amenemhet III as it meant that he had no male successor to the throne. His daughter Sobeknefru had to take over when he died. She did not build a pyramid and there are very few monuments commemorating her. Amenemhet IV's tomb and mummy have never been found. This is likely to be because Amenemhet IV was Moses who fled to Midian and then returned 40 years later to confront a different pharaoh (Neferhotep I), and lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

The Exodus of the Israelites was an even bigger blow to Egypt because Egypt lost not only it's slave labor force, it lost it's army, it's pharaoh, it's transportation system, it's firstborn children and much of it's crops and animals. It is little wonder that Egypt was not able to undertake massive projects like the construction of pyramids after the Exodus had taken place. What's more, Egypt had lost all of it's defenses and was recovering from the plaques that had besmitten it. Consequently, Egypt was vulnerable to invasion and this is just what happened. Egypt was invaded by the Hyksos (also known as the Amu or the Amalekites) shortly after the Exodus. The Hyksos set up a fort at Avaris where they occupied and controlled Lower Egypt for the next 400 years. During this time, the Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 years and then in the Promised Land where they were ruled by a series of Judges.

Which Princess found Moses in a basket amongst the reeds of the Nile?

Sobekneferu, the last Pharaoh of the 12th dynasty. She was probably the Princess that found Moses and adopted him; raising him as her own.

Sobeknefru was the daughter of Amenemhet III who reigned over Upper and Lower Egypt for 46 yrs. It was Amenemhet III and his father Senusret III who were co-reigning at the time when Moses was born to the Hebrew slave Jochebed. A decree was given by the pharaoh that the midwives kill and male babies born to the Hebrew slaves. Moses was found hidden among the reeds of the Nile by the Princess (Sobeknefru)when she went down to the Nile to bathe.

Sobeknefru had no children and so there were no male heirs to the throne to continue on from Amenemhet III. Sobeknefru ended up adopting Moses, raising him as her own and grooming him to be the next pharaoh Amenemhet IV.

Amenemhet IV did in fact co-reign with Amenemhet III for 9 years, however, Amenemhet IV seems to have disappeared from the record because when Amenemhet III died, his daughter Sobekneferu had to take the throne. Sobeknefru reigned for 8 yrs and then she died. When she died, the 12th dynasty came to an end.

Was Moses raised to become the next Pharaoh?

The Bible says that Moses was 40 yrs old when he fled to Midian. Prior to this, Moses lived in Pharaoh's house and was raised by the Princess (Sobekneferu) as her own. It was more than likely that Moses would have been groomed to be the next Pharaoh as Amenemhet III did not have any sons and Sobekneferu was childless.

Moses could have been a junior co-regent with the Pharaoh of the day (Amenemhet III) and this would be entirely consistent with the Bible.

Could Amenemhet IV actually be Moses?

Amenemhet IV is the most likely candidate for Moses. His father was not recorded in Egyptian records. He did co-reign with Amenemhet III for 9 yrs according to the Turnin king list. He suddenly disappeared before Amenemhet III died. Sobekneferu, the princess who found him and raised him as her own, became Pharaoh after Amenemhet III died.

Moses is the only Israelite in history who was in a position to become a Pharaoh of Egypt. Not even Joseph could lay claim to this although he came very close, becoming a vizier to Pharaoh Netjerikhet in the 3rd dynasty. Joseph, having saved Egypt from a seven year famine and having brought up all the land of Egypt for the Pharaoh was, however, a very prominent person in Egyptian History to the extent that the Egyptians and the Greeks almost deified him (Imhotep). As time went by, Netjerikhet started to become known as the Pharaoh of Joseph (Djoser). Temples were built in his name and pilgrims would bring mummified animals to offer to his tomb in the hope of being healed over a 1000 years after his death.

Moses was an equally prominent figure in Egyptian History, not because he made it to the top job, but because of the impact that his disappearance had on the 12th dynasty and because of the impact that the Exodus had on Egypt. In the first half of their sojourn, the Israelites were well received and well treated by the Egyptians. As they flourished and grew in number, the Egyptians began to feel threatened. At the end of the Old Kingdom there was an uprising in Upper Egypt. Amenemhet I, the vizier of Mentuhotep IV of the 11th dynasty, based in Thebes, assassinated Mentuhotep IV and gradually took over the rest of the country. This was the beginning of Egypt's Middle Kingdom or the 12th dynasty as it was called by Manetho. The pharaohs of Egypt's Middle kingdom had a very different attitude towards the Israelites to the extend that the Israelites were enslaved and forced to make mud bricks for the public works of the 12th dynasty pharaohs. Eventually, the 12th dynasty pharaohs became so oppressive that they even practice genocide by killing the male infants of the Israelites. 65% of the graves in Tel ed Daba where the Israelites lived were for infants and many coffins containing babies were found in Kahun which was also an Israelite village.

The Israelite oppression ended when the 12th dynasty ended (marking 400 years in Egypt) but the Israelites did not leave Egypt until 30 years later when Moses returned to confront Neferhotep I of the 13th dynasty.

Moses-Amenemhet's disappearance at the age of 40 was bad news for the 12th dynasty when Egypt's wealth and power was at a peek because there was nobody to continue the 12th dynasty when Amenemhet III died other than his daughter Sobeknefru. Sobeknefru only reigned for 8 years and then she died. Egypt became politically unstable and began to decline. When Moses-Amenemhet IV returned to Egypt to confront the pharaoh (Neferhotep), inflicting the ten plagues and then leading the Israelites (numbering 2 million) out of Egypt, Egypt was crippled due to the loss of it's firstborn, the loss of it's army, chariots, crops and animals; not to mention it's SLAVES. Egypt became easy pickings for foreign invaders. It was not long after the Exodus that the Hyksos invaded Egypt and built a fort at Avaris (previously called Tel ed Daba) which was where the Israelites had lived. From Avaris, the Hyksos occupied and controlled lower Egypt for the next 400 years until Sequenre and Kahmose in Thebes, Upper Egypet, (17th dynasty) mounted a rebellion to force the Hyksos to leave Egypt where they were to encounter Saul of Israel who all but wiped them out. The 18th dynasty, or Egypts New Kingdom had begun. Many of the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom seem to have been named after Moses perhaps indicating that the Egyptians had considerable respect for Moses.

Given the enormous impact Moses had on Egyptian History and the fact that he was in a position to become a pharaoh at the end of a mud brick making empire in which his family were the major mud brick producers, it is very plausible and in deed, highly likely that Moses did manage to get to the top job, even if only as a junior co-regent. Things may have been different if he was allowed to rule by himself but then Moses-Amenemhet IV may not have achieved what God had intended for him. God had allowed the Israelites to grow into a nation in Egypt and it was Moses' job to lead the Israelites back to the promised land as God had promised he would to Abraham.

Which Pharaoh did Moses flee from?

Amenemhet III - 6th Pharaoh of the 12th dynasty of Egypt

Amenemhet III was the last pharaoh of the 12th dynasty to build a pyramid. He was succeeded by his daughter Sobeknefru even though Amenemhet IV co-reigned with him for a period of 9 years.

There is no Egyptian record of Amenemhet IV's parentage. He is sometimes considered the husband or brother of Sobeknefru. His mummy and his tomb were never found. It is possible that he may be the Moses of the Bible.

Moses was raised in the household of the Pharaoh as the Princess's own. The Israelite slaves were being forced to make mud bricks and the pharaoh was trying to control the growth of the Hebrew population by killing newborn male babies. Moses somehow retained his Hebrew identity and one day, this caused him to defend a Hebrew slave who was being beaten by a Egyptian task master. He ordered that the Egyptian task master be killed and in so doing made it plain to all where his loyalties lay. When the pharaoh, Amenemhet III found out, Moses-Amenemhet IV feared for his life. He was forced to flea to Midian where he took refuge and met with God for the next 40 years. During this time, Aaron prepared the Israelites to return to promised land while Moses was being prepared to lead them.

After Moses fled to Midian, the 12th dynasty continued for another 10 years until Sobeknefru died. The thirteenth dynasty saw a rapid turn over of pharoahs. When Moses returned at the age of 80 years, a new pharaoh was in charge. This was Neferhotep I.

There would be almost 40 yrs between the death of Amenemhet III and the death of Neferhotep I accounting for the time Moses-Amenemhet IV spent in Midian.

The Israelite oppression really ended when the 12th dynasty ended marking 400yrs in Egypt. The Israelites, however, did not leave Egypt for another 30 years until Moses returned to lead them out of Egypt through the Red Sea.

When did the Exodus occur?

A scarab of King Neferhotep. One of two in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Also see Petrie Museum

It is recorded in the Bible that Solomon began to build the Temple 480 years after the Exodus (1Kings 6:1 ). The date that Solomon commenced building the Temple (966BC) is not disputed even by secular archaeologists.

Archaeologists and scholars generally agree that the Exodus occurred in 1446BC, 480 years before Solomon began building the temple (1Kings 6:1).

Flinders Petrie found a Workers village at Kahun in 1890. He found scarabs in the village indicating that it was occupied from the time of Sesostris II up until Neferhotep I of the 13th dynasty. He concluded that the village had been evacuated rapidly as so many tools and artifacts were left behind.

A large slave labour force was needed in the 12th dynasty to make mudbricks for the inner core of the 12th dynasty pyramids.

The 12th dynasty lasted almost 200 years. The 13th dynasty lasted about 30 years.

If the Exodus occurred at the end of the 13th dynasty in 1446BC, one would expect to find Joseph in approximately 1886BC which was about 200 years before the beginning of the 12th dynasty if the Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years (the Long Sojourn).

Which Pharaoh did Moses confront?

Neferhotep I of the 13th dynasty. 'The Pharaoh of the Exodus'. The Pharaoh that Moses (Amenemhet IV) confronted. The Pharaoh who suffered the ten plagues and lost his son in the last plague. The Pharaoh who drowned along with his army when he pursued the Israelites into the Red Sea.

Neferhotep I was one of the last Pharaohs of the 13th Dynasty. He reigned for 11 years according to the Turin King List; longer than any other Pharaoh of that dynasty. There were a number of other Pharaohs in this Dynasty but they only reigned for very short periods. Neferhotep I was succeeded by his brother Sobekhotep IV rather than his son Wahneferhotep.[9] He was probably the 'Pharaoh of the Exodus'. The Pharaoh that refused to 'let the Israelites go'. Moses (at the age of 80 years) and Aaron (aged 83 years) would have contronted Neferhotep in 1446BC which is when the Exodus occurred. Neferhotep I's mummy has never been found because he drowned in the Red Sea when pursuing the Israelites who were leaving Egypt (the Exodus). The semitic slave villages of Kahun and Tel ed-Daba were occupied up until the time of Neferhotep I. Scarabs of the 12th and 13th dynasty pharaohs from Sesostris II up until Neferhotep I were found by Flinders Petrie at Kahun indicating that it was Neferhotep I who was reigning when the Exodus occurred.[10] These towns were suddenly evacuated near the end of the 13th dynasty. As the Exodus took place in 1446BC, the Dates of his reign are likely to be: 1457-1446BC (see Revised Chronology) Following Neferhotep I's death at the time of the Exodus, the Hyksos (Amalekites) were able to invade Egypt with very little resistance.

Where did Moses Cross the Red Sea?

Discovered by Ronn Wyatt in 1978. A pair of pillars on the Egyptian side (Nuweiba) and the Saudi side of the the Gulf of Aqaba - The Red Sea. The one on the Egyptian side had fallen over and was in the sea. It's inscriptions had worn off. The one on the Saudi side was inscribed with the words: Yahweh, Pharaoh, Mizraim, Moses, Death, Water, Solomon, Edom. The Saudi pillar has now been removed by the Saudi's but the one on the Nuweiba side is still standing and can be visited. Wyatt also found 4, 6 and 8 spoked chariot wheels covered with coral strewn across the bottom of the Red Sea at this point.

In 1978, Ronn Wyatt found two pillars with inscriptions on them indicating that they were left by Solomon to mark the site of the Red Sea crossing. It is quite conceivable that Solomon would do this as the Bible actually records that Solomon commenced building the temple 480yrs after the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt (1Kings 6:1 ) and Solomon built his ships in the Red Sea (1Kings 9:26 2Chron 8:17 ).

Wyatt found the pair of pillars, (with Solomon's name still inscribed legibly on one) on opposite sides of the Red Sea at the Gulf of Aqaba. The pillars were found at the Gulf of Aqaba (The Red Sea) - one on the Egyptian side (at Nuweiba) and one on the Saudi side not far from the Real Mount Sinai which is in Arabia. It is thought that King Solomon, who had a fleet of ships that were based at the Red Sea (1Kings 9:26 2Chron 8:17 ) left the pillars to mark the site of the Red Sea Crossing. This would make sense as the Bible links and references the date that Solomon began building the Temple to the date of the Exodus (1Kings 6:1 ) .

These pillars are strong evidence not only that this is the site of the Red Sea crossing, but also that the Exodus occurred in 1446BC (480 yrs before the building of the temple in 966BC).

The Bible also records that there was a 'pillar to the Lord erected at Egypt's border' (Isaiah 19:19 )

The Exodus Route. Mt Sinai and site of the Red Sea Crossing. Solomon left pillars at this site Nuweiba to mark the site of the Red Sea Crossing.

Which People did the Israelites fight with before arriving at Mt Sinai?

Statue Head of Ahmose I - Founder of the 18th dynasty of Egypt

Not long after the Israelites left Egypt, they had an encounter with the Hyksos (Amalekites).[11][12][13] Exodus 17:8-16

This happened in the second month after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea (the Exodus), when they were camping at Rephidim after passing through the Desert of Sin. This was before they arrived at Mount Sinai.

The Hyksos (Amalekites) attacked the Israelites but Joshua and his men prevailed as Moses, standing on a hill, held his arms up for the men to see. Exodus 17:8-16 The Amalekites fled and eventually ended up going to Egypt. Moses prophesied that they would always be at war with Israel until their final destruction. Exodus 17:14-16 Numbers 24:20

The Hyksos (Amalekites) took over and ruled Lower Egypt for the next 400 yrs (the Second Intermediate Period). The Hyksos (Amalekites) were 'foreigners' to Egypt known as the 'Amu'.[12] The 'Hyksos' were nomadic shepherds originating from Arabia. They were able to take over Lower Egypt with very little resistance. [12][13]

The Bible records that the Amalekites (Hyksos) would often attack Israel during the time of the Judges along with other nations such as Midian. Judges 6:1-10 Judges 10:1-18 Judges 12:15

How does Egyptian History fit with the Bible?

The Israelites lived in Egypt for around 400 years. They came to Egypt just over 200yrs before the 12th dynasty. During this time, they flourished and multiplied and, by the 12th dynasty, had grown to number around 2 million. They lived in the most fertile part of the country and enjoyed the protection of the Hebrew vizier, Joseph/Imhotep.

The pharaohs of the 12th dynasty (Middle Kingdom) had a different attitude towards the Israelites compared to the Pharaohs of the 3rd - 6th dynasties (Old Kingdom). The Israelites were forced to work as slaves during the 12th dynasty, making mud bricks for the inner core of the 12th dynasty pyramids.

The Israelites served as slaves in the 12th dynasty for around 200 years.

If Amenemhet III was the pharaoh that Moses fled from at 40 years of age, the the Exodus would have occurred 30-35 years into the 13th dynasty as the 12th dynasty continued for about 5-10 years after Moses would have fled to Midian.

When Moses returned to Egypt at the age of 80 years, he most likely confronted Neferhotep of the 13th dynasty.

The Egyptians suffered massive losses as a result of the Exodus in the 13th dynasty and as a consequence, they were easy pickings for the Hyksos who invaded Egypt shortly after the Exodus. The Hyksos ruled Lower Egypt for some 400yrs.

After spending 40 years in the Wilderness around Mt Sinai, the Israelites eventually made it to the Promised land (Canaan).

The Period of the Judges in Israel (Canaan) was contemporary with the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt (dynasty 15-16) when the Hyksos (Amalekites) reigned in Lower Egypt.

Eventually Ahmose I's family lead a upheaval which forced the Hyksos (Amalekites) to leave Egypt where they encountered Saul, the first king of Israel who was instructed by Samuel (the last Judge of Israel) to wipe them out.

Ahmose I became the first pharaoh of the New Kingdom of Egypt (18th dynasty) and was a contemporary of Saul.

The New Kingdom of Egypt thus began around the same time as the Kingship of Israel / United Kingdom of Israel.

Summary

The Israelites Leader Pharaohs
Joseph (Imhotep) invites Jacob to come to Egypt. Jacob and his sons move to Egypt and settle in the land of Ra. Netjerikhet / Djoser (3rd dynasty)

Vizier: Imhotep = Joseph

The Israelites Multiply in Egypt The Hebrews multiply and become numerous. Joseph / Imhotep protects them for 70 years. 3rd Dynasty 4th dynasty 5th dynasty 6th dynasty

(dynasties 7-11 are contemporary with other dynasties)

Oppression Moses raised by Sobeknefru in Pharaoh's household until 40 years old during the reign of Amenemhet III. Moses co-reigns with Amenemhet III for 9 years as Amenemhet IV during this time Amenemhet I Sesostris I Sesostrist II Amenemhet II Sesostris III Amenemhet III (12th dynasty)
Waiting Moses (Amenemhet IV) flees to Midian where he lives with Jethro for 40 years Amenemhet III Sobekneferu (12th dynasty)

Sobekhotep I to Neferhotep I (13th dynasty)

Exodus Moses becomes the leader of the Israelites and Aaron their spokesman Neferhotep I (13th dynasty)
Wilderness Moses leads the Israelites in the Wilderness for 40 years. During this time, Moses receives the Law on Mt Sinai, sets up the Sanctuary and positions the Israelites to take the Promised Land Sobekhotep IV (13th dynasty)

14th dynasty

Canaan - Judges Moses dies on Mt Nebo in Moab just before the Israelites invade Canaan (The Promised Land)

Israel is ruled by 'Judges'

Hyksos (15th dynasty))

(16th and 17th dynasties contemporary with 15th)

Israel United - Kingship Saul David Solomon Ahmose I Amenhotep I Thutmose I Thutmose II Hatshetsup (18th dynasty)

Timelines

Timeline from Noah to Christ with important landmarks in the Biblical Chronology (long sojourn) aligned with the Revised Egyptian Chronology. [History aligned with the Bible expanded.]
Timeline-Israelite-oppression.png


References

  1. Aling, Charles, & Billington, Clyde (2010, March 8). The Name Yahweh in Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts. Associates for Biblical Research.
    Argubright, John (2013). Bible Believer's Archaeology, Volume 3: Behold the Man! p. 108. BibleHistory.net. ISBN: 978-09792148-2-0.
  2. Becher, Mordechai. The Ten Plagues - Live From Egypt. Ohr Somayach.
  3. Bietak, Manfred (2003). Israelites Found in Egypt. Biblical Archaeology Society. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  4. Wood, Bryant G. (1998). Is there evidence that the Israelites once lived in Egypt as the Bible says? Has Joseph's original tomb been found? Associates for Biblical Research. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  5. Byers, Gary (2008, September 24). Israel in Egypt. Associates for Biblical Research. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  6. Wiener, Noah (2014, February 11). The Expulsion of the Hyksos. Biblical Archaeological Society. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  7. Dollinger, Andre. The Amarna Letters. Reshafim.org.il.
  8. Kessler, Rebecca (2011, February 15). Thousands of Tombs in Saudi Desert Spotted From Space. LiveScience.
  9. Ken Ham Q&A Creation Ken Ham
  10. The Exodus of Israel Terry Hurlbut The Exodus of Israel Terry Hurlbut
  11. The Hyksos identified Terry Hurlbut http://www.examiner.com/article/the-hyksos-identified
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Debbie Hurn - The Amelekites - Were they the Hyksos? Debbie Hurn - The Amelekites - Were they the Hyksos?
  13. 13.0 13.1 Who were the Hyksos? Save-Soderbergh, t. (1951) The Hyksos rule in Egypt, The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Egypt Exploration Society.

External links

Videos

Discovering the Route of the Exodus and the True Mt Sinai in Arabia - Jabel Lawz

[Wyatt 1][Wyatt 2][Wyatt 3][Wyatt 4][Wyatt 5][Wyatt 6]

The Exodus and the Red Sea Crossing

[1][2][3][4] [5 The Exodus - Wyatt Archaeological Research]

Archaeologist Jonathan Gray: The site of the Red Sea Crossing

[1][2][3][4][5][6 [The Empty sarcophagus of Imhotep in a funery chamber connected to the animal gallery. His tomb was orientated to the North and dates to the third dynasty of Djoser.]

Flinders Petrie

[Discovery of the Famine Stella by Flinders Petrie in 1887.]


Imhotep, Djoser and the Step Pyramid

[The Burial Chamber of Djoser]

[Tomb of Imhotep with thousands of Ibis bird mummies]

[The Tomb of Imhotep - Documentary]

[Exploring the Step Pyramid. Dr Zahi Hawass]