Who Was the Pharaoh of the Exodus?

First off, I apologize for the long delay in getting this post up.

As promised, let us now consider what is perhaps THE greatest salvation event in the entire Old Testament – the Exodus. The Exodus is not just an old Hollywood movie in which Charlton Heston played Moses, it was an event grounded in history and is a record of the redemption of an entire nation based on God’s promises to Abraham centuries earlier (see Gen. 12; 18; & 22).


As many Christians are aware, the entire Old Testament predicts and anticipates Christ in type and in prophecy.[1]  The biblical Exodus and Passover, both point to Christ as the symbolic and true Passover lamb whose blood was shed to atone for the sins of the nation and redeem all those who believe – not just for Jews but anyone who will believe. The 64 million dollar question, however, is how do we know the exodus actually happened like the Bible says it did?  Most Christians take the biblical account at face value and believe that it happened as the Bible says, yet few can point to evidence outside of the Bible that it actually took place. Understandably, many skeptics are quick to point out that there is not a shred of historical evidence for any Israelite exodus from Egypt.

Let me state here that a blog article is certainly NOT the place to learn everything there is to know about all of the complex historical dimensions of the Exodus, but hopefully it will answer some of your questions and provide an answer to those who would question the biblical record.

As I have stated in my previous post, chronology is the key to unlocking the history of ancient Israel and to our understanding of how events recorded in the Bible parallel the histories of other nations in the Ancient Near East. If we assume an incorrect chronological date for a biblical event, then it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to locate that event in the past. Such is the case, not only with locating the biblical patriarchs, but also in discovering the exodus, the conquest, or Israelite kingdom under the rule of David and Solomon in the archaeological record. In truth, this is where much (but certainly not all) of the battle lies when it comes to debates in biblical archaeology [a term now abandoned by most scholars][2]

The Date of the Exodus

In his book on the Old Testament historical period, professor Eugene Merrill states,

“The date of the exodus, the most important event in Israel’s past, is so crucial to the rest of the story that it is mandatory to give some consideration to the problem of ascertaining that date and as many other important dates as possible. Obviously, there is no reckoning of time in the Old Testament with reference to B.C. or A.D. or any other point fixed and known to the Old Testament authors, so the matter is more complicated than it might ordinarily seem.”[3]

Most critical scholars and archaeologists today date the writing of the book of Exodus from around the time of the Babylonian exile (circa 586 B.C.), and usually hold that the Exodus is an etiological story created by Jewish scribes during Babylonian captivity to lend credibility and a sense of purpose to their plight. It certainly has no basis in history or fact. But if one uses the Bible’s own internal references concerning the Exodus then the date should be evident. Elsewhere Merrill explains:

“According to 1 Kings 6:1, the exodus occurred 480 years prior to the laying of the foundations of Solomon’s temple. This Solomon undertook in his fourth year, 966 B.C., so the exodus according to normal hermeneutics and serious appraisal of the biblical chronological data, took place in 1446 [B.C.].”[4]

IF this is the correct date of the exodus then, in theory, we should be able to locate archaeological remains of that event in ancient Egypt. But not so fast. Just because we might have the right date doesn’t mean that Egyptian evidence will be evident. More questions need to be asked. Before we look at some of those questions, let’s begin with what is probable: the identity of the pharaoh of the Exodus. Who was he? Furthermore, what do we know about him? This might seem like a simple question, but it is a bit more complex than one might imagine.

Who Was The Pharaoh of the Exodus? 

I find it rather interesting that the Exodus account in the Old Testament doesn’t mention the name of the pharaoh. Since Moses was the author, he certainly could have named him. So why didn’t he?  In short, I believe that pharaoh’s name is not mentioned on purpose. Throughout the Exodus narrative, the pharaoh either implies or asks “Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go” (Ex. 5:2). The irony, perhaps intentional, is that we don’t know pharaoh’s name, but we do know the Lord’s name (Yahweh – “I AM”).  The book of Exodus, was not written to exalt the Egyptian pharaoh (who was considered  “the divine god-king”), but rather the God of Israel.

Annex - Brynner, Yul (Ten Commandments, The)_NRFPT_06

Yul Brynner as Ramesses I in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 epic movie, “The Ten Commandments”

An additional problem in ascertaining the exact pharaoh of the Exodus has to do with a debate within Egyptology itself. The debate concerns assigning correct dates to the reigns of Pharaohs. The dating of Egypt’s pharaohs comes primarily (although not exclusively) from the 3rd century B.C. Egyptian priest & historian Manetho who ordered the reigns of the pharaohs into thirty dynasties or families, in his work Aegyptiaca (History of Egypt).[5] The ancient Egyptians themselves kept record of time according to an astronomical cycle called the Sothic cycle. One of the reasons why many scholars today argue for a revised chronology of ancient Egypt is the question of whether or not the Sothic cycle is a reliable method for dating.[6] To make a very long and complex story short, I’ll state here that I hold to the revised chronology which makes minor adjustments on dates and therefore affects the identity of the pharaoh.

According to the standard chronology, most critical scholars believe that Rameses II (ca. 1304-1236 B.C.) was the pharaoh of the exodus. There are, however, many problems with identifying Rameses II as the pharaoh of the exodus, one of which is  that he was one of the longest reigning kings in ancient Egypt. As Merrill points out, “If Rameses’ death had brought Moses back to Egypt, the exodus would have taken place after 1236, a date too late to satisfy anybody.”[7] But perhaps, more importantly, there is no archaeological or inscriptional evidence in Egypt or ancient Canaan which fit the biblical descriptions.

But, don’t despair! With a little detective work; a starting point of around 1446 B.C.; and a knowledge of the Egyptian 18th Dynasty, it is possible to ascertain the probable identity of the pharaoh in the book of Exodus. Interestingly, there are about three pharaohs whose lives parallel and interact with the OT Exodus narrative: (1) the pharaoh who issued the decree to kill the firstborns; (2) the pharaoh of the oppression of Israel and (3) the pharaoh of the actual exodus event itself. Because of space, we’ll look at the first and last one.

The Pharaoh Who Decreed to Kill the Firstborn Jewish Children

From chronological considerations found in the biblical text[8], it is very possible that Amenhotep I was the pharaoh who issued the decree in Exodus 1:15-16 to kill all male Hebrews. As we look closer at this time frame in Egyptian history we also discover that Thutmose I (1528-1508 B.C.), the son of Amenhotep I, had a daughter named Hatshepsut. Hatshepsut is fairly well known from historical and archaeological sources and has a very interesting story herself. In order to secure royal inheritance rights for herself, Hatshepsut married her half-brother Thutmose II. When Thutmose II died prematurely, Hatshepsut assumed the role of pharaoh along with and her younger (male) nephew (& stepson) Thutmose III. As William Murnane observes, “Although Hatshepsut did not dethrone her nephew, she asserted a claim to royal power equal to his and, as senior coregent, took precedence over him in contemporary monuments.”[9] During her co-regency with the younger Thutmose III, Egypt enjoyed a time of prosperity and great building. One of the most well known structures which survives today is the queen’s mortuary temple (also called Deir el-Bahari) located in the Valley of the Kings.


Deir el-Bahari or Hatshepsut’s temple located near Luxor, Egypt (Wikipedia)

It is very possible that when she was younger, it was this bold young queen who drew Moses from the Nile (Ex. 2:5-10). In another touch of irony, Hatshepsut is said to be one of the first women in ancient history of whom we are well informed.[10] If she is the daughter of pharaoh who rescued Moses from the Nile against the decree of her grandfather Amenhotep I, then it seems appropriate that she is remembered in both Egyptian and biblical history.

The Pharaoh of the Exodus

Finally, we consider the identity of the famous pharaoh of the biblical exodus. Following the conclusions of the above discussion, and if the revised chronology of Egyptian history is correct, then Amenhotep II (1450-1425 B.C.) must be the pharaoh of the biblical exodus. Merrill elaborates:

Our identification of Amenhotep II as the pharaoh of the exodus is supported by two other considerations. First, although most of the kings of Dynasty 18 made their principle residence at Thebes, far to the south of the Israelites in the Delta, Amenhotep was at home in Memphis and apparently reigned from there most of the time. This placed him in close proximity to the land of Goshen and made him readily accessible to Moses and Aaron. Second, the best understanding suggests that Amenhotep’s power did not pass to his eldest son, but rather to Thutmose IV, a younger son. This is at least implied in the so-called dream stela found at the base of the Great Sphinx near Memphis.[11]

Other inscriptional evidence outside of the biblical record gives us a picture of what Amenhotep was like. According to Alfred J. Hoerth,

Amenhotep II was a famous sportsman in his youth and he left several stories of his physical abilities (ANET 243-45). For example, it was recorded that no one else was strong enough to draw his bow. One day he tested two hundred stiff bows and then began riding his chariot around a series of copper targets, each about three inches thick. According to the story, every shot hit the mark, and the arrows fell through the back of the targets.[12]

In addition to these and other traits of bravado and military prowess, it is understandable why Moses was reluctant to confront the pharaoh as God had commanded him. Yet, as the story unfolded in Exodus and the Lord God sent the ten plagues to Amenhotep II, we read that the he “hardened his heart” against God and against setting the Jews free. This seemingly benign statement – “the hardening of pharaoh’s heart” – is also an argument for the authenticity of the biblical account. If (or since) Moses was the author of the Pentateuch, and he had first-hand knowledge of Egyptian culture and religion, then he certainly would have understood that the “hardening of the heart” was not a good thing. This is according to the Egyptian Book of the Dead (Papyrus of Ani). This document was a religious text which describes what happened in the afterlife according to Egyptian religion. After death, the pharaoh’s heart was weighed in a scale balance by Anubis (the god of the underworld) against the feather of ma’at or truth.[13] To have a heavy heart or a hardened heart (i.e. a stubborn/proud heart) would have condemned the pharaoh in the afterlife. Interestingly, most ancient Egyptian mummies (especially pharaohs) have been found buried with sacred trinkets and scarabs (dung beetles)[14] made from gold or other materials, and would have been placed over the heart to protect it in the afterlife. These scarabs were inscribed with spells from the Book of the Dead.[15]

There is so much more that I could mention here, but as you can see from the above discussion, this is just the tip of the iceberg (as they say) of evidence for the biblical exodus. There is actually much more internal textual and literary evidence that the Exodus account is genuine, but space and time will not allow us to review it here. For more detailed information I would recommend two of the best sources I know of which are accessible to most people: (1) Ancient Egypt and the Old Testament by John D. Currid, and (2) Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition by James K. Hoffmeier.

I think it’s probably safe to say that many biblical skeptics demand spectacular evidence and spectacular evidence may be forthcoming. Research is continuing in this fascinating field and new discoveries are being made every year. One thing I can say confidently, is that so far, the Egyptian evidence, when properly understood is consistent with the biblical record. Even our adherence to the new chronology is within the pale of academic respectability and orthodoxy.

In my final blog on this subject (which hopefully will not be this long!), we’ll examine other evidences of the Exodus as well as evidence for the military conquest of Canaan under Joshua.

[1] See, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.’s, The Messiah in the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing, 1995) & Sam Nadler’s, Messiah in the Feasts of Israel (Charlotte, NC: Word of Messiah Ministries, 2006).

[2] See Ziony Zevit, “The Biblical Archaeology versus Syro-Palestinian Archaeology Debate in Its American Institutional and Intellectual Contexts,” in James K. Hoffmeier and Alan Millard, Eds, The Future of Biblical Archaeology: Reassessing Methodologies and Assumptions (Grand Rapids, London: Eerdmans  Publishing Company, 2004), 3-19.

[3] Eugene H. Merrill, An Historical Survey of the Old Testament, Second Ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1991), 97.

[4] Eugene H. Merrill, Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1993), 58.

[5] See, William W. Hallo & William Kelly Simpson, The Ancient Near East: A History (London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, 1971), 210-213.

[6] For more on this, see David M. Rohl’s book, Pharaoh’s and Kings: A Biblical Quest (New York: Crown Publishers, 1995). In this book Rohl argues for a revised chronology of ancient Egypt based on refinements in archaeology and inscriptional evidence.

[7] Merrill, Kingdom of Priests, 62.

[8] Such as the reference in 1 Kings 6:1 and Ex. 7:7 which states that Moses was 80 years old when he led the people from Egypt (assuming an approximate exodus date of 1446 B.C.)

[9] William J. Murnane, “New Kingdom (Dynasties 18-20)” in David Noel Freedman, Editor in Chief, The Anchor Bible Dictionary, Volume 2 D-G (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 348-53.

[10] Attributed to Egyptologist, James Henry Breasted – not sure of the original source.

[11] Merrill, Kingdom of Priests, 63.

[12] Alfred J. Hoerth, Archaeology and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998), 161.

[13] For very rich and enlightening discussion on this topic see, John D. Currid’s excellent book, Ancient Egypt and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997), especially his discussion ‘The Hardening of the Pharaoh’s Heart’ pp. 96-103

[14] Considered sacred in ancient Egypt. Thousands of these have been discovered in the Ancient Near East.

[15] See, The Book of the Dead (The Papyrus of Ani) Egyptian Text Transliteration and Translation by E.A. Wallis Budge (New York: Dover Publication, 1967). This work contains many fascinating details on Egyptian culture, religion and beliefs about the afterlife.

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22 replies
  1. frostback says:

    The Bible doesn’t go into detail about the names of pharaohs and other foreigners because their formal names – in later times, pharaohs had five of them – were expressions of worship to their gods.

    Merneferre Ay, my pick for the pharaoh of Exodus, was the last securely-dated king of the 13th Dynasty. He ruled about 24 years. After a series of pharaohs who all ruled for only one year, the dynasty ends. Ay’s tomb was found with all of its seals intact, but it was empty. There is no sign that Merneferre Ay’s sarcophagus ever held his mummy. His name means ‘great is the beauty of Re.’

    Repeating such a name could be construed as an act of worship. The Bible therefore features corruptions such as ‘Shishak’ – the ‘plunderer’, for the pharaoh who stripped the gold from Solomon’s temple – and abbreviations like ‘So.’ Some names, like ‘Jezebel,’ were deliberate insults. Her real name held some reference to Baal, her god. But the corruption ‘Jezebel’ meant ‘where is the dung?’

    Ramses is often suspected to be the pharaoh of the Exodus, but that is based simply on the references to that name in the Bible. For example, Exodus 12:27 says that the Israelites left Ramses for Succoth. Actually there is a city of Ramses II the pharaoh, called Pi-Ramesse, and a district of Ramses which had its name long before Ramses II was born. Genesis 47:11 reports that Joseph’s family settled in that district, over two hundred years before the Exodus. The name means ‘born of Re, the sun god.’ Sun worship had been practiced there from the earliest days of the Old Kingdom.

    • frostback says:

      Unlike the names of rulers, the strictures against using the names of pagan gods did not apply, when these were the names of geographic places. We only have to recall the large number of Bible place-names that contain the word ‘Baal’ to see that this is the case. It therefore seems quite probable that the ‘Ramses’ mentioned in Genesis and Exodus was the name of a geographic location rather than that of a particular pharaoh.

    • truestory says:

      The pharaoh of exodus is merenra 2, the pharao of the exil of moshe is pépi 2 and the pharaoh killer is merenra 1.
      In -2142 (in official calendar qho is wrong), and 40 years in -2100 in canaan west semitic people destroyed the cities in canaan. this is the hebrew people/

      This period who the archeologist say in -2100 -1900 is 50 years (1473-1423, the yeohshouah conquest).

  2. Steve Winkler says:

    Thutmose III was a cunning and shrewd military strategist who won colossal military victories. This is why he is sometimes called the “Napoleon” of ancient Egypt. This would fit perfectly with the Biblical narrative of just how prideful and stubborn the Exodus Pharaoh was. It is also interesting to note that one of Thutmose III greatest victories was at Megiddo. So if he was the Exodus Pharaoh, his greatest victory at what would later become part of the Israelite kingdom would have been followed by his greatest defeat at the Red Sea. That defeat is a foreshadowing of a massive future battle that will one day happen at the very place where he had his greatest victory.

    • BT says:

      Thutmoses III also lost his eldest son and appointed heir, Amenemhat, which matches with The Plague on the Firstborn. “Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well.” Exodus 11:5. In addition, Thutmoses III’s successor, Amenhotep II, carried out slave raids, likely to replenish the numbers of slaves as that had diminished due to The Exodus.

    • LoveHistory says:

      amazin! this tie to megiddo may be the strongest evidence ever prophetically…I am going to dig into this. Great connection.

  3. DJ says:

    One of the biggest problems for believers is not necessarily identifying which pharaoh oppressed the Hebrews (Even if one could not discover the name of a single president from the time when slavery was legal in America, they could still find overwhelming evidence that slavery took place in the United States), but rather, proving that the “nation of Israel” was ever in Egypt to begin with. If believers could prove that a large number of Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt, they’d still have to prove that pharaoh’s army was destroyed. Frank Turek says that Pharaoh never would have written about such a defeat, and he’s probably right. Writing about such a military disaster would have been very bad for his image. But even if Pharaoh didn’t write about it, his allies and enemies most certainly would have written about it and one of them probably would have capitalized on the disaster by filling the power vacuum. Egypt wasn’t some backwater, one-pony town; it was a superpower! And it wasn’t the only superpower either. Hatti, the kingdom of the Hittites, was another superpower. In 2 Kings 7:6, God causes the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses so that the Arameans said to one another “Behold, the king of the Israelites has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians.” That the Hebrews used the imagined presence of the Hittites and Egyptians to illustrate the fear of the Arameans should tell a person that those two kingdoms weren’t small time. If the armies of either of those nations were destroyed, the greatest spin doctor in the world could not have kept the destruction under wraps. The economic and political repercussions of that kind of military loss would have been colossal, but we see no such interruption in the records during the time that the Exodus supposedly took place. For a better understanding of how powerful the Egyptians actually were and of how they interacted with other superpowers of the day, read Trevor Bryce’s “Letters of the Great Kings of the Ancient Near East: The Royal Correspondence of the Late Bronze Age”. In the book, Bryce introduces the great powers of the day (Egypt, Hatti, Babylon, Mitanni, and Assyria) and you can actually read the words of the kings and queens for yourselves. In some of the letters they talk about who’s marrying whom, what gifts they’re sending to each other, reconciliations, treachery, etc. (they also had foreign ambassadors living at each other’s courts). When you consider the openness of the correspondence, the lack of evidence, and the position that the Egyptians held among other Near Eastern kings, the Exodus becomes quite laughable.

    • BT says:

      To be fair the Arameans were not a powerful group at the time, in the 11th century BC they had only a patchwork of small Aramaic kingdoms in the Levant (modern Syria), then known as Eber-Nari and Aram). Thus Egypt would still be a superpower they feared, even if the army of Egypt had been diminished; note how 2 Kings 6:7 says “For the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” ” It would make sense for the Arameans to refer to both the Egyptians AND the Hittites if they knew that Egypt’s army had been diminished. Furthermore, that depends on whether the enemies of Egypt that were legitimately a threat to Egypt, such as the Nubians and the while the kingdoms did communicate with each other, the communication was not quick. Even what we call “snail mail” today is faster than what they had. The other nations would have to hear about Egypt’s situation themselves then verify it (then one must consider whether the Egyptians themselves suppressed the information, as it would’ve been in their best interests to do so). As a final point, most of Egypt’s conflicts with the Asiatic enemies (Mitanni, Hatti and Assyria) revolved around Egypt’s attempted control the Syrian area of Canaan, and the various city states of that region along the Mediterranean coast north of the Sinai. Those enemies would’ve been happy to just take advantage of the absence of Egypt’s armies, or fought with each other, rather than go on the offensive into Egypt.

    • JW says:

      Prof. Bob Brier ((1) a very well-known Egyptologist specializing in paleopathology, (2) not a Christian or observant Jew as far as I am aware, and (3) a skeptic at least of the numbers of Israelites reported in the Exodus account) has an audiocourse about the history of ancient Egypt, including a lecture entitled, “The Exodus – Did it Happen?” He offers much supporting the general historicity of the Exodus, including among other things that “Moses” is actually an Egyptian name meaning “is born” (it shows up as part of other well-known Egyptian names such as Tuth-Moses: “Toth is born,” and in fact Ramses’ name is actually “Ra-Moses”: “Re is born”) and that the direction that Egyptian midwives “watch the stones” is consistent with Egyptian birthing practices of the time. (I commend the course and the lecture to you for the rest of his argument.) To the question of Egyptian or other reports about the destruction of the Egyptian army, he repeats throughout the course that Egyptian records NEVER recorded defeats. Further, the destruction of an Egyptian army does not have to mean the destruction of ALL Egyptian military land forces; just as the US current has “the Army” (the overall institutional land component fighting force) but separate numbered “armies” (1st Army in CONUS, 3rd Army in the Middle East, 8th Army in Korea, etc.), Egypt had separate named units (at least four – named after Egyptian gods – are identified at the battles of Megiddo and / or Kadesh), and a fairer translation of the biblical text might be the “Egyptian force”; so while divine deliverance from “Pharoah’s army” (“Egyptian unit”) was a great sign and wonder to the Israelites, it might not have been all that significant to foreign powers in the ancient near east. Beyond that, any nation that was on good terms with Egypt (or wanted to be) would not be likely to stick their finger in Egypt’s eye by bringing up a defeat in diplomatic correspondence, even with another regional power (such information tends to spread – remember what happened with WikiLeaks and the US listening in on foreign leaders’ private conversations?). With all sincere respect, the historical method you’re adopting – arguing something DIDN’T happen because of a LACK of extra-biblical, 4,000-year-old Bronze Age documentary evidence for it, while discounting the extant report (the biblical account) smacks of argumentum ex silentio.

      Two other observations re: the topic:
      (1) Timekeeping is notoriously slippery. The post-Roman West has had its own gyrations (e.g., the Gregorian calendar), and that was with a single ordinal index that became our current AD (CE) annual system. Not all cultures have followed or do follow a 365-day solar year, and when years are marked by the reign of a particular king (and reset every time there’s a new one), things can get chaotic. Ancient Egypt, for example, started with a purely lunar calendar, and then transitioned to a 360-day calendar of three seasons, which still eventually got way out of synch. During some of the “Intermediate Periods” kings in one part of Egypt actually marked their reign by the years of the king in the other part. Then, of course, there are periods of historical revisionism (like the obliteration of the records of the reigns of Akhenaten, Tutankamen and Ay), and general loss of records during periods of unrest (the “Intermediate Periods”). The point here is to be historically prudent with the evidence (one might say “humble before the text”) in calculating dates. ASSUMING 966 B.C. is the correct year for Solomon starting his temple (and what does “starting” mean?), 480 “years” could be significantly before or after what we might think of as 480 solar years. (We’re also assuming certainty about the dating of all the Egyptian dynasties and their kings.) Further, will we permit the biblical authors to round numbers? Interpreting the Bible “literally” means interpreting it “as literature,” so perhaps historical passages may be allowed some degree of approximation. Faithfulness to the text (rather than Cecil B. DeMille) is both historically and theologically more sound – after all, the Israelites crossed at the “Sea of Reeds,” not the “Red Sea.”

      (2) Brier observes in his lecture that “Pharaoh” is not the Egyptian word for “king” – it appears to be a Hebriazation of the Egyptian words for “the palace” (“the great house”). Thus, biblical references to “Pharaoh” would be more akin to how Americans today talk of “the White House” or “the Administration.” One interesting implication of this is that when the story of Joseph records that a “Pharaoh” came along who “knew not Joseph,” that might have been a complete dynastic change – a “new house” (or perhaps even a transition into or out of an “Intermediate Period”) rather than just the ascension of a new king. A tantalizing possibility here involves Akhenaten, the “heretic pharaoh” who — wait for it — abolished all of the old Egyptian gods and declared there was only one god. Brier’s theory is that Jewish monotheism might trace its roots to this era; but might he have the causation backwards? Might some “Asiatic” (let’s call him “Yusef”) have come to the Egyptian court with ideas of one god, and so impressed the king with his ability to interpret dreams, and gained influence over things like agricultural policy that the king converted (at least in some respects) to the Asiatic’s religion? It certainly would have enraged the religious establishment, and could have led to the turmoil causing the regime to revert to the old ways and the dynasty finally to fall as the XVIIIth Dynasty did. Might those “Asiatics” who had led the king astray be persecuted, and perhaps enslaved?

      • Sceptic says:

        Now this theory makes sense, a lot more sense than one of the oldest example of propaganda offered to justify invasion and land rights. I mean, if someone came to your house demanding with menace, the title deeds, on the grounds that their deity told them it was their house, would anyone here accept it as reasonable? I think not, so why should it be considered reasonable because it happened in the past?

  4. A brother in Christ says:

    The documentary, exodus patterns of evidence, gives an interesting take on the dating and archeological evidence in the area along with the ancient city if Jericho.

  5. Brad Nitzsche says:

    I recently watched the documentary “Patterns of evidence, Exodus” and became interested in the egyptologist David Rohl. I finally acquired his 4 books and have studied them. His proposition of the “New Chronology”, really makes sense. His revision of the dates between the second and third intermediate periods closes some of the gaps in the dating record.The pharoahs of Josephs times wer e Senuseret III and Amenemhat III who were co-regents for 20 yrs. The pharoah of the Exodus was Dudimose1 the last of the 13th dynasty.Akhenaten was contemporary with King Saul, the “Labaya (Lion) of the Armana letters from his vassals in the levant region. Neferneferuaten and Tutenkhamen were contemporary with King David. Haremheb was contemporary with King Solomen who also married Haremhebs daughter forming an allience. That makes Ramesses II the pharoah “Shishak of the Bible who looted Jerusalem during the reign of Rehoboam, 5 yrs after the death of Solomon. Shishak is a hypocoristicon of the name SYSW or SYSA which is how RAmesses is named in cuniform Akkadian. You should check it out. His work makes a lot of sense, and fits the Bible timeline perfectly.

  6. talithacumi says:

    No one has considered the ingenuity of the devil, who was the ‘god’ (and still is) of all past and present pagan cultures/false religions. The devil can cleverly expunge facts, and twist them to create confusion. Someone made a very good point: Egypt was so powerful that no other nations would cross them by exposing a major military defeat at the Hand of a ‘foreign god’. If you think archaeology is clean, you’re mistaken. It has always been full of thieves, conspiracies, and racketeering. So it boils down to Amenhotep 2 or Thutmose 1. The Jews were, after all, only slaves and considered sub-human by the Egyptians. No big news story would be published by the archaic methods of the time.The devastation and humiliation cast upon them by the Lord would likely be suppressed, I understand that there is satellite evidence of the Jews’ exact journey and the path remains. Jesus said ‘the rocks and stones’ would cry out in support of Him, even when people wouldn’t believe. Through research I have come to see that Tut was the firstborn of the sitting Pharaoh, and was killed, as per the Lord’s threats. Do your homework.

  7. talithacumi says:

    This link will provide further elucidation that Tut was a prince, and was buried in his father’s, (the Pharaoh), tomb, Amenhoptep 3. Obviously the Pharaoh was killed during the Exodus; this is why neither his mummy or tomb was ever identified by archaeologists excavating in the Valley of the Kings. In my previous comment I meant Amenhotep 3 but put 2 by accident.


  8. Jerimiah says:

    There is an excellent very readable resource on this topic. It’s a book called “My professor says: The Bible is a Myth”. Dr. Thomas Tribblehorn walks the reader through the tough questions in archeology and how when taken with a fair unbiased hand, the Bibles timelines make the most sense for exodus and the canaanite conquest. It’s both on Amazon and the link in this post.

  9. Michael D Cochrane says:

    according to the most recent data their were two Amunhotep 11 pharoahs . The first died in the sea of reeds: A royal mummy was found in the burial catch among the others but was mislabeled. It had abrasions on face and hands due to sand and was about 20 years old. It was entombed in haste without the traditional 70 days of embalming and royal mourning. The Egyptian state could not admit they were humbled by a Hebrew God so his brother assumed the throne bearing his brother titles and no one was the wiser.

  10. Michael D Cochrane says:

    There is also a later to the Govenor of Nubia from the new ASSUMED pharoah Amunhotep 11 expressing his anti-semitic hate and warning the govenor to “Beware all magicians”. Amunhotep was there to gather slaves to fill a critical shortage of man power due to the jewish exodus.

  11. Gregory Bradley says:

    Moses was most likely the adopted son of Akhenaten who imposed monotheism on Egypt.
    Upon his death, Tutankhamun returned Egypt to polytheism and persecuted those who believed in just one god.

    That would put the Exodus from 1341 BCE to 1323 BCE.

  12. Martha Atkins says:

    I know in Exodus 4:19 everyone that sought Moses’ life was dead. In the post on Dec. 16, 2014 it says, “The Bible itself indicates the Hebrew exodus took place in 1446 BC.” Would you mind sharing with me where in the word it indicates this? Thank you.

  13. Valerie says:

    It’s not a matter of dates, per se. The Bible generally doesn’t give dates in the Gregorian calendar – and really, that would be a reason to disbelieve it if it did, considering when our current calendar system came into use.
    But if you take an event whose date is agreed upon by historians, such as Solomon’s laying of the Temple foundations (see above, quote from Merrill), then subtract the number that the Bible says was the number of years from the other date, then you should come up with the date Event 2 happened.
    In the above example, you take the 966 date, do whatever you do with negative numbers to go back the number of years indicated by the Bible (480 years before), and you come up with 1446BC, And coincidentally (God-incidentally, if the figures are correct), events recorded in Egyptian history of that time give a political and social climate like that in which we might expect the Bible’s events to have occurred.
    Does it prove the Bible? I rather think God doesn’t want the Bible “proved,” in this sense, but some of us need (and all of us should require) a consistency of the known-outside-the-Bible to support the Bible’s time sequences.
    One part of this is looking for what we can know, and discarding made-up congruencies, no matter who comes up with them.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Another problem I have with Exodus: Gods and Kings is the timing of the exodus. Like Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments as well as DreamWorks’ The Prince of Egypt, Scott places the exodus at the time of Ramses II. The Bible itself indicates the Hebrew exodus took place in 1446 B.C. That would place the exodus during the reign of Thutmose III or Amenhotep II. (For more on this topic, check out Ted Wright’s “Who Was the Pharaoh of the Exodus?”) […]

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