Posts Tagged With: Upper Egypt

Nebhepetre – Mentuhotep II – was a pharaoh when the Israelites were in Egypt.

Mentuhotep II of the 11th dynasty was only king of Upper and Lower Egypt for part of his reign – at a time when the Israelites were in Egypt.

Mentuhotep II wearing the crown of Upper Egypt

Mentuhotep II wearing the crown of Upper Egypt

Mentuhotep II was the 5th Pharaoh of the 11th dynasty which as based in Thebes. The son of Intef III. He reigned for 51 years. Around the 14th year of his reign, he defeated the Herakleopolitans (10th dynasty) and was able to consolidate his reign. Around his 39th year on the throne he reunited Egypt. He is considered by many to be the first pharaoh of the Middle Kingdom.

Mentuhotep II wearing the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt.

Mentuhotep II wearing the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt.

Manetho’s statement that the 11th Dynasty consisted of 16 kings, who reigned for 43 years is contradicted by contemporary inscriptions and the evidence of the Turin King List, whose combined testimony establishes that this kingdom consisted of seven kings who ruled for a total of 143 years.

The 11th dynasty seem to have originated with a Nomach from Thebes “Intef the Great”. His son Mentuhotep I is regarded as the first king of the dynasty.  Intef II, son of Mentuhotep I, was the first king of the dynasty to lay claim to ruling Upper and Lower Egypt but only managed to take as far North as Abydos where he came into conflict with the 10th dynasty kings of Herakleopolis. His son Intef III was the father of Mentuhotep II.

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Ancient Egypt had 42 provinces or ‘Nomes’ as they were called. These were divided into those of Upper Egypt and those of Lower Egypt. Each province or ‘Nome’ had a Govenor or ‘Nomarch’.

Dynasties refer to a line of rulers who were related to one another. Dynasties often ran in parallel in different parts of the country. Potentially, there could be 42 dynasties running in parallel at one time in Egypt if each Nome had a series of leaders from the one family line.

The 11th dynasty, based in Thebes, was contemporary with dynasties in other parts of the country. In particular, the 9th and 10th dynasties, based in Herakleopolis, often referred to the as the First Intermediate Period (when Lower Egypt had no King), were contemporary with the 11th dynasty. The 9th and 10th Dynasties lasted only 20 years and followed the sixth dynasty which was also contemporary with the 11th dynasty but in a different part of the country (Memphis).

The principal dynasties that were recorded by Manetho refer to the families that ruled Upper and Lower Egypt or both (ie Kings).

Mentuhotep II defeated the Herakleopolitians in the 14th year of his reign. This ended the First Intermediate Period when Lower Egypt had no King.  Egypt was not unified, however, until the 39th year of his reign.

At what point did Mentuhotep II become the King of Upper and Lower Egypt? Was it by force when he defeated the Herakleopolitians or was it in the 39th year of his reign when Egypt became unified?

Assuming that there was continuity of the Kingship, the chronology of Egypt would be considerably shorter if the dynasties were aligned according to when a change of Kings occurred without shortening the dynasty as there would, no doubt, be much more overlap of dynasties.

When Pharaohs (Kings) took the reign by force, they would subjugate the other Nomarchs, killing those who would not submit and allowing those who did to continue their dynasty in parallel.

After all, there were 42 Nomes and 42 Nomarches and potentially there could have been 42 dynasties running at one time. Only the major dynasties were recorded by Manetho. These were the more important dynasties in which a Nomarch ruled Upper or Lower Egypt and sometimes both Upper and Lower Egypt. What’s more, these Nomarchs could have reigned considerably longer than the period that they wore the crown of Upper or Lower Egypt or both. Failure to understand this would grossly prolong the Egyptian Chronology.

There may have been times that Egypt had no native king to unite it’s 42 Nomes. This was most likely the case during the first intermediate period even though it was contemporary with the 11th dynasty. The second intermediate period was a time when Lower Egypt was ruled by foreign invaders from Arabia (the Hyksos).

Geography

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The History of Egypt synchonises well with that of Israel as recorded in the Bible.

Amenemhet IV – Amenemhat IV – Maakherure – Moses

The ?adopted son of Amenemhet III, (the 6th Pharaoh of the 12th dynasty).  He co-reigned with Amenemhet III for 9 years over Upper and Lower Egypt, Elephantine and Lower Nubia and then suddenly disappeared.  His ancestry is not recorded in Egyptian records.  (Many believe him to be the Moses of the Bible who was born {1526BC}, raised by a princess in Pharaoh’s household, went into exile in Midian at the age of 40yrs {1486BC} and then returned to Egypt at the end of the 13th dynasty at the age of 80yrs to confront Neferhotep {1446BC} and lead the Israelites out of Egypt but died at the age of 120yrs before the Israelites entered the ‘Promised Land’ (Canaan) {1406BC}.)  Sobekneferu, the daughter of Amenemhet III may have been the Princess that found him in a basket in the Nile and, being childless, raised him as her own. Amenemhet III had no sons to inherit the throne so when he died Sobekneferu, in the absence of Amenemhet IV, became the next Pharaoh.  When she died, after reigning only 4 years, the 12th dynasty ended and Egypt was destabilized and eventually over run by the Hyksos {1444BC} bringing an end to the 13th dynasty. The revised dates of his reign: 1495-1486BC (approximately).

Amenemhet IV

 

Sphinx made of gneiss, which has Amenemhet IV inscribed on the side. The face was reworked during Roman times leaving its features uncertain.

Amenemhet IV was a pharaoh of Egypt who served as a junior co-regent under Amenemhet III during the Twelfth Dynasty. According to the Turin Canon papyrus, the full term of his reign is said to have been just over 9 years.[1] His ancestry to his precedessor is enigmatic, and there are no records of Amenemhet III having any sons. Furthermore, he mysteriously disappeared before the death of Amenemhet III, resulting in Sobekneferu (one of Amenemhet III’s daughters) ascending to the throne and becoming Egypt’s first female ruler.[2]

Biblical synchrony

Main Article: Evidence for the Israelites (JEWS) in Ancient Egypt

Main Article: Moses and Amenemhet IV

Some believe that Amenemhet IV should be identified as the Moses of the Biblical Exodus.[3]

Moses was born to a Hebrew slave Jochebed during the first six years of the reign of Amenemhet III when Amenemhet III was co-reigning with his father Sesostris IIIAmenemhet III (or mayby his father Sesostris III) ordered the Egyptian midwives to kill the male babies of the Hebrew slaves when they were born.  The midwives resisted doing this.  Moses was hidden by his sister Miriam amongst the reeds of the Nile in a basket only to be found by the pharaoh’s daughter Sobekneferu.  She being childless, adopted him and raised him in her own household, no doubt training him to be the next pharaoh Amenemhet IV.

Sobekneferu is often listed as Amenemhet IVs sister and also his wife, but it seems to have been she who found Moses in the Nile River. It is known that she had no children, which may explain why Amenemhet III was willing to accept him as heir to the throne. But when Moses came of age and identified himself with the people of Israel, he was forced to flee from Egypt, leaving way for Sobekneferu to take the throne. When Sobekneferu died the 12th dynasty ended and was succeeded by the 13th dynasty.

The pharaohs of the 13th dynasty had very short reigns.  The 13th dynasty ended with the invasion of the Hyksos not long after the Exodus of Israel.

Egypt’s wealth and power reached it’s peak in the 12th dynasty under Sesostris III and his son Amenemhet III.  By the end of the 12th dynasty, the Jews had come to number about 2 million.  They had been in Egypt for 400 years and they had served as slaves for about half of this time.  The 12th dynasty pharaohs had long forgoten Joseph / Imhotep of the 3rd dynasty and were becoming fearful of the Jews because they were so numerous.  The 12th dynasty pharaohs decided to oppress the Jews and made them in to slaves.  They were forced to work the fields and make mudbricks for the inner core of the 12th dynasty pyramids.

As Amenemhet III was left with no male successor, the Middle Kingdom started to fall apart when he died. Amenemhet III hoped that Moses, an Israelite baby, adopted by the Princess Sobekneferu and groomed to be the next Pharaoh (Amenemhet IV) would be able to continue the 12th dynasty. Amenemhet IV did in fact co-reign with Amenemhet III for a period of 9 yrs, but when he revealed his affections towards his biological kindred (the Hebrew slaves), he had to flee to Midian (when 40 years of age).  Suddenly, there was no male successor for Amenemhet III. Sobekneferu, the princess that found Moses amongst the reeds of the Nile and raised him as her own, had to take over the reigns herself when Amenemhet III died. She only lived for another 4 yrs (maybe 8 years) 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 his exile in Midian.

Moses (Amenemhet IV) brought God’s message to the Pharaoh (Neferhotep); namely, “Let My People (The Israelites) Go“.  Supported by his biological brother Aaron and his biological sister Miriam who were Hebrew slaves, Moses alias Amenemhet IV became the God ordained leader and spokesman of the Israelites who had grown in number to 2 million and had been serving the 12th dynasty pharaohs as slaves for around 200 yrs; making mubricks for the inner core of the 12th dynasty pyramids and working the fields.  The pharaoh of the time, Neferhotep would not listen to Moses and is brother Aaron.  After a series of ten plagues that were inflicted on Egypt, Neferhotep let Moses (Amenemhet IV) 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 firstborn, it’s entire army and it’s transportation system. It was a massive defeat and not something that Egyptian historians would want to memorialize. In fact, much has been don’t to white wash this defeat from their records.

When the Israelites left Egypt (the Exodus), the Pharaoh Neferhotep and his son died and all the Egyptian army drowned in the Red Sea taking all of Egypt’s chariots with them.  Egypt’s first born were dead.  Their slave labour force had gone. Egypt was then thrown into turmoil.  Egypt was no longer able to undertake major constructions and so no more pyramids were built.  The Egyptians were not able to defend themselves.  They became vulnerable to invasion and they were easy pickings for any of their neibours.

Not long after the Exodus, the Amalekites / Hyksos were able invade Egypt and take contol of Lower Egypt.  This was the beginning of  Egypt’s Second Intermediate Period / the 15th dynasty.  Just as if by chance, as Israel was leaving Egypt (lead by Amenemhet IV / Moses), the Hyksos were on there way in.  In fact, the Hyksos / Amalekites had a brief battle with the Israelites at Rephadim in which the Israelites prevailed and sent the Hyksos / Amalekites packing.  The Hyksos / Amalekites eventually went to Egypt where they constucted a fort on Egypt’s boundary at Avaris.  From there, they mounted a campain to take over the rest of the country.  They controlled Lower Egypt for the next 400 years (corresponding to the Israelite’s 40 years in the Wilderness and the  period when the Judges ruled in Israel).  They were eventually defeated in a rebellion starting in Upper Egypt lead by Kahmose of Thebes with the assistance of King Saul of Israel, ushering in the 18th dynasty Ahmose I).

The Israelites, therefore, had a profound influence on Egypt.  Joseph (Imhotep) saved Egypt from a seven year famine and acquired all the land of Egypt, making the pharaohs wealthy and powerful.  He designed the first pyramid (in the third dynasty) and was the first to build with columns and write on papyrus.  Later in Israel’s sojourn, the Israelites 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). Egypt was destabilised when Moses (Amenemhet IV) went into exile as there was nobody to continue the 12th dynasty. Egypt suffered massive losses 40 years later as a result of the Exodus at the end of the 13th dynasty (1446BC) 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). [F] .[4]

There is now quite a lot of evidence to suggest that the Hyksos of Egypt were the Amalekites. The Amalekites captured Egypt without a fight and became its aristocracy, until Ahmose I would capture their capital city of Avaris[5] and throw them out with the help of King Saul of Israel.

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 begining of Israel’s Sojourn in Egypt and 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. After the Israelites departed from Egypt in the 13th dynasty, lead by Moses (Amenemhet IV), there were not enough slaves left in Egypt to construct pyramids any more. The Pyramid Age, therefore, coincides with Israel’s sojourn in Egypt. The Pyramids were thus constructed over a period of around 400 years and no more large pyramids were built after Moses (Amenemhet IV) lead the Israelites out of Egypt in 1446BC.

Amenemhet IV, if he was the Moses of the Bible, would have continued to lead the Israelites for another 40 years in the Wilderness.  He would have received the Law on Mt Sinai in Arabia (Jabel el Lawz) not long after the Exodus of Israel through the Red Sea (1446BC) at the age of 80 years.

If Amenemhet IV was Moses, he would have spent the first 40 years of his life growing up in Pharaoh’s household being groomed to be the next pharaoh by Sobekneferu.  This would include 9 years co-reigning with his adoptive father Amenemhet III.  He would have spent the next 40 years of his life in exile in Midian.  The final 40 years of his life would have been spent in the wilderness leading the Israelites and preparing them to enter the Promised Land.  If Amenemhet IV was Moses, he would have died at the age of 120 years and never got to enter the ‘Promised Land’ (Canaan).

Thus, the History of Egypt synchonises well with that of Israel as recorded in the Bible.

References

  1. Amenemhat IV
  2. Searching for Moses by David Down. Journal of Creation 15(1):53–57. April 2001
  3. Ashton, John F., and Down, David. Unwrapping the Pharaohs: How Egyptian Archaeology Confirms the Biblical Timeline p.92, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2006.
  4. Who were the Hyksos? Save-Soderbergh, t. (1951) The Hyksos rule in Egypt, The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Egypt Exploration Society.
  5. the Hyksos identified  Terry Hurlbut http://www.examiner.com/article/the-hyksos-identified

 

Links

A   [The Pharaohs of the oppression]

B   [The Exodus and the Red Sea Crossing]

C   [The Israelites had a profound influence on Egyptian History]

D   [How long did the Israelites sojourn in Egypt?]

E   [The true mount Sinai]

F   [[http://www.bukisa.com/articles/210623_who-were-the-hyksos Save-Soderbergh, t. (1951) The Hyksos rule in Egypt, The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Egypt Exploration Society. Follow us: @bukisa on Twitter  bukisa on Facebook ]]

G   [The Hyksos Identified]

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