Posts Tagged With: 400 years

Moses was the only Israelite in the Bible who was in a position to become a Pharaoh. While he may have been a junior co-regent (Amenemhet IV) he never got to rule alone. This was so he could achieve what God had destined him to do.

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 Joseph-Imhotep’s 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 practiced 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 IV’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 (Amalekites) 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 Egypt, (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.

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Categories: 12th dynasty, 13th Dynasty, Birth Pharaoh, Egypt, Israel, Israelite Slaves in Egypt, Kahun - Worker Village of the Middle Kingdom, Moses, Mud bricks containing straw, Pharaoh of the Exodus, Pharaohs of the Oppression, Pyramids | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moses was born during the co-regency of Senusret III and Amenemhet III in the 12th dynasty during the Israelite Oppression. The 12th dynasty was doomed when Moses (Amenemhet IV) went into exile and it was crippled by the Exodus of the Israelites 40 years later.

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.

Sesostris III - (The father of Amenemhet III)

Senusret III (Sesostris III) – (The father of Amenemhet III)

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 plagues 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.

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Categories: 12th dynasty, 13th Dynasty, Egypt, Israel, Israelite Slaves in Egypt, Kahun - Worker Village of the Middle Kingdom, Pharaoh of the Exodus, Pharaohs of the Oppression | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Did the Israelite Sojourn in Egypt last 400 Years or 430 years?

It was foretold to Abraham in a dream that his descendants would serve as slaves in a foreign land for 400 yrs (or 4 generations of priests).  Genesis 15:12-16

Yet the Bible also tells us that the Israelites lived in Egypt for 430 years to the very day. Exodus 12:40-41

The Israelite Oppression ended when the 12th dynasty ended, about 10 years after Moses / Amenemhet IV went into exile at the age of 40 years.  This was 400 years after Jacob and his family came to Egypt.  The Exodus did not take place until 30 years into the 13th dynasty when Moses / Amenemhet IV returned to confront Neferhotep I at the age of 80 years.

The Israelite oppression lasted 400 years – it ended when the 12th dynasty ended.  No more pyramids were built after the 12th dynasty.  The 13th dynasty was very chaotic and the Pharaohs did not focus on oppressing the Israelites because their thrones were not stable enough and maybe their attitude towards the Israelites was slightly more sympathetic than that of the 12th dynasty pharaohs.  The Exodus occurred 30 years into the 13th dynasty during the reign of Neferhotep I who was the longest ruling pharaoh of that dynasty (11 years).

Amenemhet III would have reigned between 2-6 years after Moses fled to Midian and Sobekneferu would have reigned between 4-8 years after her father Amenemhet III and then she died.  When she died, the 12th dynasty ended as there was no heir to the throne.  The result was that Egypt fell into Chaos.  There was a rapid succession of Pharaohs in the 13th dynasty and as a result, the Israelites were not oppressed during this time.  They were able to keep multiplying and prepare to leave Egypt.

The Exodus occurred exactly 40 years after Moses fled to Midian and about 30 years after the 12th dynasty ended with the death of Sobeknefru.

Categories: 13th Dynasty, Israel, Israelite Slaves in Egypt, Moses, Pharaoh of the Exodus, Pharaohs of the Oppression, Pyramids, Timelines | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An ancient historian by the name of Josephus records that the Israelites were given the task of building pyramids.

The 12th dynasty pyramid of Sensuret II (Sesostris II) at Lahun.

The Works of Josephus

Antiquities of the Jews – Book II






1. NOW it happened that the Egyptians grew delicate and lazy, as to pains-taking, and gave themselves up to other pleasures, and in particular to the love of gain. They also became very ill-affected towards the Hebrews, as touched with envy at their prosperity; for when they saw how the nation of the Israelites flourished, and were become eminent already in plenty of wealth, which they had acquired by their virtue and natural love of labor, they thought their increase was to their own detriment. And having, in length of time, forgotten the benefits they had received from Joseph, particularly the crown being now come into another family, they became very abusive to the Israelites, and contrived many ways of afflicting them; for they enjoined them to cut a great number of channels for the river, and to build walls for their cities and ramparts, that they might restrain the river, and hinder its waters from stagnating, upon its running over its own banks: they set them also to build pyramids, (17) and by all this wore them out; and forced them to learn all sorts of mechanical arts, and to accustom themselves to hard labor. And four hundred years did they spend under these afflictions; for they strove one against the other which should get the mastery, the Egyptians desiring to destroy the Israelites by these labors, and the Israelites desiring to hold out to the end under them.

(16) As to the affliction of Abraham’s posterity for 400 years, see Antiq. B. I. ch. 10. sect. 3; and as to what cities they built in Egypt, under Pharaoh Sesostris. and of Pharaoh Sesostris’s drowning in the Red Sea, see Essay on the Old Testament, Append. p. 132-162.
(17) Of this building of the pyramids of Egypt by the Israelites, see Perizonius Orig. Aegyptiac, ch. 21. It is not impossible they might build one or more of the small ones; but the larger ones seem much later. Only, if they be all built of stone, this does not so well agree with the Israelites’ labors, which are said to have been in brick, and not in stone, as Mr. Sandys observes in his Travels. p. 127, 128.
Categories: 12th dynasty, Egypt, Israel, Israelite Slaves in Egypt, Kahun - Worker Village of the Middle Kingdom, Moses, Mud bricks containing straw, Pharaohs of the Oppression, Pyramids, slavery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Israelites had a significant impact on Egyptian History. Their sojourn in Egypt co-incides with the Pyramid age.

Djoser Pyramid Complex at Saqqara, Egypt. Note the large man made holes in the ground near the Step Pyramid that were used to store grain. They were most likely made by Joseph, the designer of the Step Pyramid, also known as Imhotep.

If it is true that Joseph and Imhotep were the same person, then the first pyramid (the Step Pyramid in Saqqara) was designed by an Israelite at the beginning of Israel’s Sojourn in Egypt. What’s more, if the last of the great pyramids (those of the 12th dynasty) were constructed with a core made from mudbricks which were made by Israelite slave labour, then the Israelites were in Egypt while all of the great pyramids were being constructed. When the Israelites departed from Egypt in the 13th dynasty, lead by Moses, there were not enough slaves in Egypt to make construct pyramids any more.   If this is correct, the Pyramid Age coincides with Israel’s sojourn in Egypt and all of the Great Pyramids would have been constructed over a period of around 430 years.

The Black Pyramid of Amenemhet III. The inner core made of mud bricks is exposed. Josephus records that the Israelite slaves were given the task of building the Pyramids. The Pyramids of the 12th dynasty had an inner core that was made of mud bricks.

Egypt’s wealth and power reached it’s peak in the 12th dynasty under Sesostris III and his son Amenemhet III but as they had no successors, the Middle Kingdom started to fall apart when they died. Moses, an Israelite baby, was adopted by the Princess Sobekneferu and groomed to be the next Pharaoh (Amenemhet IV). Amenemhet IV did in fact co-reign with Amenemhet III for a period of 9 yrs but when he had to flee to Midian at the age of 40 years, there was suddenly no successor for Amenemhet III. Amenemhet III’s daughter Sobekneferu had to take over the reigns when Amenemhet III died. She only lived for another 4 yrs and when she died, the 12th dynasty ended, Egypt fell into turmoil and became politically unstable. There was a quick succession of Pharaohs in the 13th dynasty until Neferhotep who was the Pharaoh who was ruling when Moses (Amenemhet IV) returned from exile in Midian. After a series of ten plagues that were inflicted on Egypt, Neferhotep let Moses take the Israelities into the desert. When they did not return, he pursued them with his army. The Israelites were able to cross the red sea at the Gulf of Aqaba but Neferhotep and his army drowned when they tried to follow.

Moses and the Israelites Crossed the Red Sea at Nuweiba in the Gulf of Aqaba in 1446BC.

Not only did Egypt lose its slave labour force, it lost it’s monarch, it’s entire army and it’s transportation system. It was a massive defeat and not something that Egyptian historians would want to memorialize.

When the Israelites left Egypt, Pharaoh and his son died and all the Egyptian army drowned in the Red Sea taking all of Egypts chariots with them. Egypt was then thrown into turmoil. Thy Hyksos were able to take power and Egypts second intermediate period followed (until the Hyksos were finally defeated in the 18th dynasty).

The Israelites, therefore, had a profound influence on Egypt having designed the first pyramid (in the third dynasty) and having provided slave labour for various public works which included making mudbricks for the construction of the last of the great pyramids (those of the 12th dynasty). The country was destabilised when Moses (Amenemhet IV) went into exile as there was nobody to continue the 12th dynasty. Egypt suffered massive losses as a result of the Exodus and as a result became vulnerable to invasion. The Hyksos took over and ruled Lower Egypt for the next 400 yrs (the second intermediate period).

Categories: 12th dynasty, 13th Dynasty, Egypt, Israel, Israelite Slaves in Egypt, Moses, Pharaoh of the Exodus, Pharaohs of the Oppression, Red sea | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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