Posts Tagged With: Egyptian
Neferhotep I was the Exodus Pharaoh
Neferhotep I was one of the last Pharaohs of the 13th Dynasty. He reigned for 11 years according to theTurin 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 Haankhef (Wahneferhotep). 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. 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 (seeRevised Chronology) Following Neferhotep I‘s death at the time of the Exodus, the Hyksos (Amalekites) were able to invade Egypt with very little resistance.
The Thirteenth Dynasty – Egypt’s Demise
Egypt’s wealth and power reached a peak during the reigns of Sesostris III and Amenemhet III of the 12th dynasty.Sesostris III and Amenemhet III had a coregency lasting about 20 years. It was during their coregency that Moses was born to the Hebrew slave Jochebed (1526BC). Moses was born at a time when Amenemhet III was trying to kill the Hebrew babies to stop the Hebrews from outnumbering the Egyptians. Amenemhet III had no sons of his own and so he allowed his daughter Sobekneferu to adopt a little baby that she found left in basket among the bullrushes of the Nile. Moses was raised in Pharaoh’s household and would have become the next Pharaoh except he showed his allegiance to the Hebrews by killing an Egyptian taskmaster. Moses(Amenemhet IV) had to flee to Midian where he remained in exile for 40 years. During this time,Amenemhet III died and his daughter Sobekneferu had to assume the throne. She only reigned for 4 yrs and then she died, so ending the 12th dynasty. The 13th dynasty is tradionally thought to have begun with Sobekhetep I. It is often described as a time of chaos and disorder with a rather quick succession of pharaohs. Itj-tawy near the Faiyum was the center of government for most of the dynasty. Many of the Pharaohs were know only from an odd fragmentary inscription or from scarabs. Little is known about the chronology of this period as there were few monuments or stellas. Neferhotep I was one of the longest ruling pharaohs of that dynasty, reigning for 11 years according to the Turin King List. Neferhotep was the pharaoh who was ruling when Moses(Amenemhet IV) returned from exile in Midian, age 80 years, in 1446BC, to team up with his brother Aaron to deliver God’s message. There are numerous inscriptions in the Aswan region mentioning Neferhotep I’s name, as well as the names of family members and officials serving under this king. It is from these inscriptions that we know the name of his wife (Senebsen) and his son Haankhef and his daughter Kemi.
Amenemhet IV (Moses) in Exile
Moses remained in exile for much of the 13th dynasty until the reign of Neferhotep I.
Flinders Petrie found a semetic workers village at Kahun which is situated close to Dashur and Hawara where many of the 12th dynasty mud brick pyramids are situated. Kahun was constructed during the time of Sesostris II to house the workers who built the pyramids at Dashur and Hawara. Scarabs found in the village indicate that it was occupied up until the time of Neferhotep I. As so many tools and manuscripts were left behind, Petrie concluded that the village must have been evacuated fairly quickly.
The Hebrew slaves who lived in Kahun were given the task of making mudbricks containing straw for the Pharaohs of the 12th dynasty. The mudbricks were used to construct the cores of the 12th dynasty pyramids. There were at least seven pyramids constructed during the 12th dynasty which spanned about 200 years. The Labyrinth at Hawara, constructed under Amenemhet III, also contained millions of mudbricks. The Labyrinth contained over a thousand rooms and was considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. A large slave labour force was needed to support the building exploits of the 12th dynasty pharaohs.
The Israelites had grown to number around 2 million. Even if the Israelites only produced one mud brick per day per person, there were more than enough Hebrew slaves in Egypt to meet the building needs of the 12th dynasty pharaohs. The Egyptions were worried that the Jews may rebel and join their enemies. The pharaohs of the 12th dynasty oppressed the Hebrews, forcing them to be slaves.
When Amenemhet III was co-reigning with his father Sesostris III, he tried to have the male babies of the Hebrew slaves killed. Moses was born during this time and was found and adopted by the princess Sobekneferu. She raised him as her own which means he would have been an heir to the throne because Amenemhet III had no other male heirs and a women had never taken the throne before. It appears that Moses, as Amenemhet IV, helped Amenemhet III reign for about 9 years before having to go into exile. Sobekneferu did eventualy succeed Amenemhet III but only because Moses / Amenemhet IV had to flee to Midian after revealing his loyalty to the Hebrews. Moses / Amenemhet IV was 40 years old when he fled to Midian. Amenemhet IV had a coregency with Amenemhet III of 9 years according to the Turin King List but he never reigned by himself. Moses / Amenemhet IV remained in Midian for 40 years when had an encounter with God on Mt Sinai (the burning bush) and was told to return to Egypt and lead the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land of Canaan. (Exodus 3:1-22 ) He also met his wife Zipporrah in Midian. Zipporrahwas the daughter of the High Prist of Midian Jethro with whom Moses / Amenemhet IV stayed.
Amenemhet IV (Moses) Returns to Egypt
After Moses (Amenemhet IV) had been in Midian for 40 years, the LORD (Yehovah) appeared to Moses on Mt Sinai. Moses was told to go back to Egypt and tell the new Pharaoh to let the Israelites go.Exodus 3:1-22
The Israelites had been in Egypt 430 years. It was time for them to return to Canaan and take possession of it. Yehovah had promised to give Canaan to the Israelites after they had served as slaves in a foreign land for 400 years (4 generations).Genesis 15:12-16 Acts 7:6
The pharaohs of the 12th dynasty had forgotten what Joseph (Imhotep) had done for Egypt. The Jews, who had come to number around 2 million posed a threat to the Egyptians and so the 12th dynasty pharaohs oppressed the Jews and forced them to make mudbricks and work the fields. The 12th dynasty ended with the death of Sobekneferu; the princess that found Moses and raised him as her own.
The 13th dynasty pharaohs did not undertake massive construction projects like their 12th dynasty predecessors but they continued to oppress the Israelites. Yehovah saw their suffering and remembered his promise to Abraham. Exodus 6:1-12
Yehovah appeared to Aaron (the brother of Moses) and sent him to fetch Moses and be his spokesman. Moses returned to Egypt and appeared before the Elders of Israel. He told them what Godhad said and Moses (Amenemhet IV) performed the signs that were given to him. The Israelites believed and accepted Moses and Aaron as their leader and spokesman.Exodus 4:18-31
The Exodus of the Jews
Moses and Aaron went before the Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) and presented the message that God had given them. Moses was 80 yrs old when he was sent to Pharaoh (Neferhotep I).Exodus 7:7 The Pharaoh’s heart was hard and so God had to inflict 10 plagues upon Egypt before the Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) would finally agree to let the Israelites go.
Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) and perform Miraculous Signs and delivered God’s Message : “Let My People Go into the Desert to Worship Me“.Exodus 7:1-13 Ten Plagues were inflicted upon Egypt because Pharaoh Neferhotep I would not soften his heart and let the Israelites go: Blood – Exodus 7:14-25 Frogs – Exodus 8:1-15 Gnats – Exodus 8:15-19 Flies – Exodus 8:20-32 Livestock – Exodus 9:1-7 Boils – Exodus 9:8-12 Hail – Exodus 9:13-33 Locusts – Exodus 10:1-20 Darkness – Exodus 10:21-29 Egypt’s Firtsborn –Exodus 11:1-10 Amazingly, none of these plagues affected the Israelites who were living in the country. The last plague in which all of Egypt’s firstborn died is commemorated by the Jews today: The Passover. Exodus 12:1-30
The loss of Egypt’s first born (Including Neferhotep I‘s son Haankhef) was the ‘final straw’. After this Pharaoh Neferhotep I summoned Moses and Aaron and told the the Israelites to GO (and take their flocks and herds). The Egyptians even gave the Israelites considerable amounts of gold and sliver and clothes. Exodus 12:31-50
The Israelites assembled at Succoth. That night, the Israelites set off, taking with them unleavened bread as well as their flocks and herds and the gold and silver that the Egyptians had given them. Exodus 12:33-39 The Israelites had over 600000 men of fighting age. Exodus 12:37 The Israelites had been in Egypt for 430 years.Exodus 12:40
Flinders Petrie found evidence to suggest that the town of Kahun was suddenly vacated. He also found the scarabs of various pharaohs including those of Sesostris II (the earliest) and Neferhotep I (the latest). The the most recent (latest) scarabs would indicate which pharaoh was ruling when the town was vacated, particularly if the pharaoh had been ruling for a while. The most recent scarabs found at Kahun were those of Neferhotep. Neferhotep also has the necessary credentials to be the Pharaoh of the Exodus in that he was reigning at the right time, his body (mummy) was never found and he had a son but his son did not succeed him. Neferehotep I was succeeded by his brother Sobekhotep IV who would not have normally been next in line to the throne but for the fact that Neferhotep’s firstborn son Haankhef was killed in the last of the ten plagues that befell Egypt.
The Red Sea Crossing
The Israelites assembled at Succoth and headed towards Etham and the Red Sea thus avoiding Philistine territory.Exodus 13:17-22 Moses took Joseph‘s (Imhotep‘s) bones with him.Exodus 13:19 The Israelites were guided by a pillar of fire by night and pillar of cloud by day.Exodus 13:21-22 The Israelites camped at Etham on the edge of the desert.Exodus 13:20 Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) changed his mind and pursued the Israelites with his army and all of Egypt’s chariots.Exodus 14:1-31 The Israelites were able to miraculously cross the Red Sea on dry ground but Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) and his army were drowned when they tried to follow.Exodus 14:21-31 The mummy of Neferhotep has never been found.
The 14th Dynasty – Egypt Crippled
The Hyksos Invasion – The 15th Dynasty – The Second Intermediate Period
Egypts New Kingdom – The 18th Dynasty
Exodus 1:1-22 The Israelites were oppressed after the death of Joseph (Imhotep)
Exodus 2:1-10 Moses birth and adoption by pharaoh’s daughter
Exodus 3:1-22 Moses and the Burning Bush
Exodus 4:1-17 Signs for Moses
Exodus 5:1-23 Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) but he does not obey
Exodus 6:1-12 God remembers his Promise to Abraham
Exodus 6:13-30 Genealogy of Moses
Exodus 7:6 Moses was 80 yrs old when he was sent to Pharaoh (Neferhotep I)
Exodus 7:1-13 Moses and Aaron sent to Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) to perform Miraculous Signs and deliver God’s Message : “Let My People Go into the Desert to Worship Me”
Ten Plagues inflicted upon Egypt because Pharaoh would not soften his heart and let the Israelites go:
Blood – Exodus 7:14-25 Frogs – Exodus 8:1-15 Gnats – Exodus 8:15-19 Flies – Exodus 8:20-32 Livestock – Exodus 9:1-7 Boils – Exodus 9:8-12 Hail – Exodus 9:13-33 Locusts –Exodus 10:1-20 Darkness – Exodus 10:21-29 Egypt’s Firtsborn – Exodus 11:1-10
Exodus 12:1-30 The Passover
Exodus 12:31-50 The Exodus
Exodus 12:33-39 The Israelites took unleavened bread and large droves of livestock with them. The Egyptians also gave them considerable amounts of silver and gold and clothings.
Exodus 12:37 The Israelites assembled at Succoth
Exodus 12:37 The Israelites had over 600000 men of fighting age
Exodus 12:40 The Israelites had been in Egypt for 430 years
Exodus 13:17-22 The Israelites assembled at Succoth and headed towards Etham and the Red Sea thus avoiding Philistine territory
Exodus 13:19 Moses took Joseph’s (Imhotep’s) bones with him
Exodus 13:21-22 The Israelites were guided by a pillar of fire by night and pillar of cloud by day
Exodus 13:20 The Israelites camped at Etham on the edge of the desert
Exodus 14:1-31 Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) changes his mind and pursues the Israelites with his army and all of Egypt’s chariots
Exodus 14:21-31 The Israelites were able to miraculously cross the Red Sea on dry ground but Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) and his army were drowned when they tried to follow
Exodus 15:22-27 After crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites bypassed Marah where the waters were bitter and camped at Elim where there were 12 springs and 70 palms
[The Exodus ]
The Israelites had a significant impact on Egyptian History. Their sojourn in Egypt co-incides with the Pyramid age.
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.
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.
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).
Placing Joseph in the 3rd dynasty and Moses in the 12th dynasties not only fits very well with the archaeological evidence, it fits very well with the Biblical account and shows how Majestic God is.
Many scholars now realize that Moses was born during the 12th dynasty when Amenemhet III was pharaoh and the Exodus occurred around 1445bc during the 13th dynasty when Neferhotep was Pharaoh.
There is much archaeological evidence to support this revelation, however, it means that the traditional dates of the 12th and 13th dynasties need to be revised.
When it comes to locating Joseph in the history of Egypt, there are two schools of thought.
The Bible says that the Israelites sojourned in Egypt for 430 years. Exodus 12:40 says “the length of time that the Israelites live in Egypt was 430 years.”
The New Testament also refers to this 430 years. Galations 3:17 says ” The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. “
Because of this many scholars believe that the 430yrs commenced with the promise being given to Abraham 215yrs before Jacob and his family moved to Egypt.
The result of this is that some scholars believe that Joseph came only 215 years before Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
Other scholars believe that the Joseph was 430 years before the Exodus.
Joseph went to Egypt some 9-10 yrs before Jacob did.
When Jacob and his family went to Egypt, the Israelites numbered about 70. When they left Egypt they numbered around 2 million. They needed time time multipy to this number. Not withstanding this, it is obviously very important to know whether the Isralites were in Egypt for 430 years or 215 years so that we know in which dynasty to look for Joseph.
It is also important to know how the Egyptian dynasties are ordered.
People who believe in a 215 yr sojourn in Egypt look for Joseph earlier in the 12th dynasty and have nominated Mentuhotep as a possibility.
People who believe in a 430yr sojourn in Egypt look for Joseph in an earlier dynasty and given the similarities between Joseph and Imhotep, have tended to place Joseph in the 3rd dynasty.
Placing Joseph in the 3rd dynasty would require an even greater revision of Egyptian history and a complete revision of the Chronology to allow for parallel dynasties running concurrently in the North and the South and also for the common practice of coregency.
This would bring Egyptian history into complete agreement with the Bible.
One of the problems of placing Joseph in the 12th dynasty means that the flood of Noah would most likely have occurred during during one of the earlier dynasties (2450bc) and this is not only out of keeping with the Bible but there is no archaeological evidence of a worldwide flood during any Egyptian dynasty.
The Bible records that Noah had a grandson named Mizraim who seems to be one of the Patriarchs of Egypt. The flood would, therefore, have preceded even the predynastic periods of Egyptian History.
Even Manetho, whom most archaeologist regard as the most authoritative source of information on the chronology of Egyptian history, believed that Mizraim and Menes (the first Pharaoh) were the same person.
Placing Joseph in the 3rd dynasty and Moses in the 12th dynasties not only fits very well with the archaeological evidence, it fits very well with the Biblical account. What we know about these people from the Historical records can then be used to fill in the gaps in the Biblical record revealing how miraculous, amazing and glorious the Hand of God has been in dealing with mankind.