Appendix VII: Moses & the Exodus – Fabrication or Fact?

For those readers interested in the life of Joseph who preceded Moses, it is recommended to read Chapter XXXIII Manasseh & Ephraim, as well as Appendix VII Joseph & Imhotep: One man, different name? Similarly, readers seeking information on Moses’s early life, there is a section in Chapter XIII Cush & Phut, an article, The Military Man & the Queen of the South, as well as additional information in Chapter XXVII Abraham and Appendix IV, an unconventional chronology

The first Pharaoh of dynasty XII in Egypt was Amenemhet I [meaning ‘Amun is at the Head’], also known as Sehetepibre [meaning ‘Satisfied is the heart of Re’] and he began his rule in 1655 BCE, reigning for twenty-nine years. He had no royal blood per se, not being related to his predecessors of the XI Dynasty and had possibly overthrown the previous king. Amenemhet is believed to have been a Vizier for Mentuhotep IV; though scholars fluctuate on whether he actually murdered the Pharaoh. A stone plate found at Lisht, bears the names of Mentuhotep and Amenenmhet together; perhaps indicating a co-regency towards the end of Mentuhotep’s reign. 

Amenemhet’s father was a priest at Thebes called Senuseret and his mother was named Nefret. Their family is reported to have come from Elephantine – near modern Aswan – in southern Egypt. He was called ‘Amenemhet the Seizer of the Two Lands’ – Amenemhet-itj-tawy. Historian Mantheo states that the XII Dynasty was based in Thebes, though contemporary records reveal the first Pharaoh moved the capital to Itjtawy – somewhere between five to twenty years into his reign – and is thought to be near the Fayoum Oasis and the royal graveyards at el-Lisht and his Pyramid at el-Lisht, where his son also built a pyramid. This region was also near Memphis, just south of the apex of the Nile Delta.

The XII Dynasty was renowned for its wealth and stability – no doubt greatly contributed to by the enslavement of the Israelites – as evidenced by the quality of its statues, reliefs and paintings. Amenemhet I consolidated his power by retaining the monarchs who had supported him, strengthening a centralised government and increasing bureaucracy, while weakening the regional governors by appointing new officials. He diluted the army’s power and raised personnel for future conflicts by reintroducing conscription. His policy was one of conquest and colonisation, with the main aim to obtain raw materials, especially gold. During the XII Dynasty there was a decided increase in mineral wealth of the royal family as well as jewellery caches in their royal burials. The standard of living for all Egyptians was also seen to have improved during the XII Dynasty.

The XII Dynasty kings continued to rule Egypt with a firm hand from the central authorities down to the local administrations. They effectively imposed rule on northern Nubia – in large part credited to the military success of a man called Moses [refer Chapter XIII Cush & Phut] – and pacified the Arabian nations to the east as well as the people of Phut [Libya] to the west. Imposing fortresses were built past the southern border with Nubia [Cush] and in the east towards Canaan and Arabia.

Amenemhet appears to have been a wise leader, assuring a legitimate succession and protecting Egypt’s borders from potential invasions. Yet in possible irony to how he gained the throne, Amenemhet I was himself assassinated by his own guards in 1626 BCE, while his son was leading a campaign in Libya and buried at el-Lisht. His son and co-regent from 1635 was Senusret I or Kheperkare [meaning ‘the Ka of Re’], who reigned to 1590 BCE. His wife and sister Neferu was the mother of Senusret’s son and successor, Amenemhet II. He was the second king of the dynasty and was also known as Sesostris I or Senwosret I. 

He furthered his father’s aggressive expansionist policies against Nubia, in initiating two expeditions into this region in his 10th and 18th years of reign; establishing Egypt’s formal southern border near the second cataract, where he placed both a garrison and a victory stele. Senusret I established diplomatic relations with rulers in Syria and Canaan. He dispatched several quarrying expeditions to the Sinai and built numerous shrines and temples throughout Egypt and Nubia during his long reign. He rebuilt the important temple of Re-Atum in Heliopolis; the centre of the Sun cult. He erected two red granite obelisks in Heliopolis to celebrate his 30th year of rule in 1605 BCE. One of the obelisks still remains and is the oldest standing obelisk in Egypt; being 67 feet tall and weighing 120 tons. 

Senusret I was one of the most powerful kings of the XII Dynasty, taking a lead in military matters within his father’s government and would have known Joseph. For Joseph died in 1616 BCE at the age of 110 years, during the nineteenth year of Senusret I joint reigns. It would be 170 years until the Exodus of the Israelites from bondage. 

Intriguingly, Senusret I had two viziers during his lengthy reign. The first at the beginning was known as Intefiqer, who held office for a long time before the second vizier. Intefiqer is known from numerous inscriptions and tellingly from his tomb adjacent to the Pyramid of none other than Amenemhet I.

The Book of Jasher chapter 59 says: ‘And Joseph lived in the land of Egypt ninety-three years, and Joseph reigned over all Egypt eighty years… Joseph died in that year, the seventy-first year of the Israelites going down to Egypt. And Joseph was one hundred and ten years old when he died in the land of Egypt, and all his brethren and all his servants rose up and they embalmed Joseph, as was their custom, and his brethren and all Egypt mourned over him for seventy days. And they put Joseph in a coffin filled with spices and all sorts of perfume, and they buried him by the side of the river, that is Sihor, and his sons and all his brethren, and the whole of his father’s household made a seven day’s mourning for him. Andit came to pass after the death of Joseph, all the Egyptians began in those days to rule over the children of Israel, and Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who reigned in his father’s stead, took all the laws of Egypt and conducted the whole government of Egypt under his counsel, and he reigned securely over his people.’

Now, Joseph’s brother Levi, was the last sibling of Joseph and son of Jacob to die in 1611 BCE. The Book of Jasher chapter 63 states: ‘And… Levi was a hundred and thirty-seven years old when he died, and they put him into a coffin and he was given into the hands of his children. 

And it came to pass after the death of Levi, when all Egypt saw that the sons of Jacob the brethren of Joseph were dead, all the Egyptians began to afflict the children of Jacob, and to embitter their lives from that day unto the day of their going forth from Egypt, and they took from their hands all the vineyards and fields which Joseph had given unto them, and all the elegant houses in which the people of Israel lived, and all the fat of Egypt, the Egyptians took all from the sons of Jacob in those days.’

In Exodus chapter 1, it confirms: ‘Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses’ which was retrospectively named [Exodus 1:11].

These cities were built in Goshen located in the southeastern Nile Delta, where the Israelites dwelt [Genesis 45:10-11]. Excavations at the site of Tell ed-Daba at Raamses or Pi-Ramesse have shown that though built by the XIX Dynasty Pharaoh Ramesses II, it was built upon an older city called Avaris. Archaeologists have confirmed a number of salient points. The people who once lived there were ‘Semitic in origin’, pottery finds include those of a Levantine or land of Canaan source and the remains of a large amount of sheep were discovered, indicating a shepherding people [Genesis 30:43; 31:17].

As Pharaoh’s command to execute male newborns is recorded in Exodus 1:22, there are an abnormal amount of burials for children 18 months or younger at 65% of total burials; far exceeding the average death rate at the time of 20 to 30%. Along with this is a higher than normal number of women buried too, indicating they died while protecting their children.

It was in 1593 BCE, when Amenemhet II or Nubkhaure [meaning ‘Golden are the Souls of Re’] succeeded his father Senusret I; though he had been co-regent for two years prior as recorded on the stele of Wepwaweto. Amenemhet II was an imperialistic Pharaoh, launching mining expeditions to the Sinai and military expeditions against Kush and into Asia. It was this Pharaoh who is recorded in the Books of Jasher and Exodus – for he was likely born after Joseph’s death – when the change of attitude towards the Israelites arose, their lands were taken, their wealth confiscated and their subjugation began. 

Pharaoh Amenemhet II – first king to not know Joseph and enslave the Israelites

The Israelite affliction beginning some 23 years after Joseph’s death and 18 years after Levi’s death. The reign of Pharaoh Amenemhet II lasted until 1558 BCE and so by this time the Israelite enslavement was complete [Genesis 50:24-25, Exodus 1:8-22]. Giving 147 – the age of Jacob when he died – years of affliction until the Exodus. 

Thus it is feasible that Moses would have recognised the affliction of his own people from about 1516 BCE, when he was 10 years old. The Israelites had already served 77 years of slavery; with 70 years of captivity remaining. 

The most important monument of Amenemhet’s reign are the fragments found at Memphis of an annual stone, reused in the New Kingdom. It reports events of the early years of his reign; including donations to various temples as well as a campaign to Southern Palestine and the destruction of two cities. Nubians bringing tribute are recorded. His White Pyramid was constructed at Dahshur. Why he chose the location  associated with the IV Dynasty and not el-Lisht remains unanswered. Next to the pyramid, tombs of several royal women were found and some of them were undisturbed, still containing golden jewellery of excellent craftsmanship as indicative of the era. 

An online comment: “There has been evidence brought forward that shows that the face of the Great Sphinx of Giza is that of Amenemhat II. The evidence includes statements made by German Egyptologist Ludwig Borchardt suggesting that the eye-paint cosmetics seen on the Sphinx were not seen before the 6th Dynasty (making it unlikely to have represented Khafra as typically assumed) and that the pleated stripes on the nemes headress are in groups of three, a very specific style seen exclusively during the 12th Dynasty. The same stripes, eye-paint, and facial structure are present on Amenemhat’s sphinx statue in the Louvre. It is concluded by this evidence that the statue[s]… original head was damaged beyond repair, and that Amenemhat II carved his own likeness into the existing head and neck to save the structure (explaining why the Sphinx’s head is so disproportionately small).”

Senusret II [meaning ‘Man of Goddess Wosret’] or Khakheperre [meaning ‘Soul of Re comes into Being’] was the son of Amenemhet II and co-regent for two years from 1560 BCE, ruling until 1548 BCE – the 4th king of the XII Dynasty. 

An online comment: “Of the rulers of this Dynasty, the length of Senusret II’s reign is the most debated amongst scholars. The Turin Canon gives an unknown king of the Dynasty a reign of 19 Years, (which is usually attributed to Senusret II), but Senusret II’s highest known date is currently only a Year 8 red sandstone stela found in June 1932 in a long unused quarry at Toshka. Some scholars prefer to ascribe him a reign of only 10 Years and assign the 19 Year reign to Senusret III instead. Other Egyptologists, however… have maintained the traditional view of a longer 19 Year reign for Senusret II given the level of activity undertaken by the king during his reign… [noting] that limiting Senusret II’s reign to only 6 or 10 years poses major difficulties… Senusret II may not have shared a coregency with his son… unlike most other Middle Kingdom rulers. Some scholars are of the view that he did, noting a scarab with both kings names inscribed on it, a dedication inscription celebrating the resumption of rituals begun by Senusret II and III, and a papyrus which was thought to mention Senusret II’s 19th year and Senusret III’s first year. None of these… items, however, necessitate a coregency. 

Moreover, the evidence from the papyrus document is now obviated by the fact that the document has been securely dated to Year 19 of Senusret III and Year 1 of Amenemhet III. At present, no document from Senusret II’s reign has been discovered from Lahun, the king’s new capital city.” 

Senusret II

Senusret’s pyramid was constructed as El-Lahun, close to the Fayoum Oasis. Senusret II took interest in the Faiyum oasis region and initiated work on an extensive irrigation system from Bahr Yusuf to Lake Moeris through the construction of a dike at El-Lahun and a network of drainage canals, turning a vast area of marshlands into agricultural land; thereby increasing the area of cultivable land. The importance of Senusret’s project is emphasised by his decision to move the royal necropolis from Dahshur to El-Lahun. This location would remain the political capital for the XII and XIII Dynasties of Egypt. The king also established the first known ‘workers’ quarter’ in the nearby town of Senusrethotep, also known as Kahun.

Like his father, Senusret II’s reign is considered a peaceful one; using diplomacy with neighbours rather than warfare, as there are no recoded military campaigns during his reign. His trade with the Near East was particularly prolific. His great interest in the Fayoum, elevated the region in importance. Its growing recognition is attested to, by a number of pyramids built both before and after his reign in or near the oasis [though the Fayoum is not a true oasis]. As kings usually built their royal palaces near their mortuary complexes, many of the future kings also made their home in the Fayoum. 

Senusret II is further attested too, with a sphinx, which is now in the Cairo Egyptian Antiquity Museum and by inscriptions of both himself and his father near Aswan. The pyramid town associated with Senusret II’s complex, Lahun or Kahun after the nearby modern village, provided much valuable information to archaeologists and Egyptologists on the common lives of Egyptians. Pyramid towns were comprised of communities of workmen, craftsmen and administrators associated with any given king’s pyramid project.

Senusret II was succeeded by his son Senusret III or Khakaure, who ostensibly reigned to 1529 BCE as the 5th king and considered the most powerful of the Middle Kingdom Pharaohs. World History Encyclopedia says: ‘His reign is often considered the height of the Middle Kingdom which was the Golden Age in Egypt’s history in so far as art, literature, architecture, science, and other cultural aspects reached an unprecedented level of refinement, the economy flourished, and military and trade expeditions filled the nation’s treasury. In Senusret III the people found the epitome of the ideal warrior-king… whose reign was characterized by military skill, decisive action, and efficient administration. At the head of his army, he was considered invincible… the Nubians so respected him that he was venerated in their land as a god… The Egyptians conferred upon him the rare honor of deifying him while he still lived…’ 

Among his achievements was the building of the Sisostris Canal and due to the peace achieved after his military campaigns; a revival in craftwork, trade and urban development. Senusret III relentlessly expanded his kingdom into Nubia, erecting massive river forts. He conducted at least four major campaigns into Nubia in his reign years 8, 10, 16 and 19 respectively. Senusret III Year 8 stela at Semna documents his victories against the Nubians, whereby he is thought to have made the southern frontier secure; preventing further incursions into Egypt. A great stela from Semna dated to the third month of Year 16 of his reign, records his military accomplishments against the lands of Nubia and Canaan. In it, he admonishes his future successors to maintain the new border which he had created. 

The Year 16 border stela of Senusret III in the Altes Museum, Berlin

It is plausible that Senusret III reigned longer that 19 years and shared a co-regency with his son for 20 years. The reason being the length of the Temple work for Senusret III. An online comment: “Wegner stresses that it is unlikely that Amenemhet III, Senusret’s son and successor would still be working on his father’s temple nearly 4 decades into his own reign [of 46 years]. He notes that the only possible solution for the block’s existence here is that Senusret III had a 39-year reign, with the final 20 years in coregency with his son Amenemhet III. Since the project was associated with a project of Senusret III, his Regnal Year was presumably used to date the block, rather than Year 20 of Amenemhet III. This implies that Senusret was still alive in the first two decades of his son’s reign [1529 to 1509 BCE].” Senusret III, unlike his immediate forbears built his pyramid at Dashur. It was the largest of the XII Dynasty pyramids, but as with others with a mudbrick core, it deteriorated considerably once the casing stones were removed.

This is the background of the family that Moses was thrust into from a babe, radically changing his destiny and altering his life forever. It was during the Pharaoh Senusret III’s reign that big sister Miriam was born in 1536 BCE. She would have been merely 10 years old when she witnessed her mother hide Moses in the bulrushes of the River Nile and watched closely while the Egyptian princess and daughter of the new Pharaoh, rescued little baby Moses [Exodus 2:1-10]. It was three years earlier in 1529 BCE that Senusret III’s son, Amenemhet III or Nimaatre [meaning ‘Belonging to the Justice of Re’], ascended the throne as the 6th king of the XII Dynasty. It was also the same year that Moses’s brother Aaron was born. 

Moses was born three years later in 1526 BCE, exactly 90 years after the death of Joseph. There are two Pharaoh’s of considerable significance in Egyptian history by virtue of their relationship with the Eternal’s servant Moses. 

They are firstly, the Pharaoh of the Exodus and secondly, the Pharaoh who was the father of the Princess Sobeknefru who adopted Moses as her own son. Both these Pharaoh’s identities have been shrouded in mystery; yet revised and accurate chronologies now testify to the real personalities that existed in this prominent and dramatic epoch of both the well-established Egyptian and fledgling Israelite histories. 

The latest known date for Amenemhet III was found in a papyrus dated to Regnal Year 46 of his rule. Amenemhet is regarded as the greatest monarch of the Middle Kingdom. He built his first pyramid at Dahshur, called the ‘Black Pyramid’ but construction problems meant it was abandoned. About year 15 of his reign in 1514 BCE, the king decided to build a new pyramid at Hawara; while the pyramid at Dahshur was used as burial ground for several royal women. 

An online comment: “His mortuary temple at Hawara, is accompanied by a pyramid and may have been known to Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus as the “Labyrinth”. Strabo praised it as a wonder of the world. The king’s pyramid at Hawara contained some of the most complex security features of any found in Egypt… Nevertheless, the king’s burial was robbed in antiquity. The pyramidion of Amenemhet III’s pyramid tomb was found toppled from the peak of its structure and preserved relatively intact; it is today located in the Egyptian Cairo Museum. The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus is thought to have been originally composed during Amenemhat’s time.” 

The military exploits of his predecessors allowed Amenemhet III a peaceful reign upon which to concentrate on building projects, exploit the mineral wealth of the quarries and conduct successful diplomatic relationships with neighbouring states. It is said that he was honoured and respected from Kerma to Byblos and during his reign many eastern workers, including peasants, soldiers and craftsmen, moved to Egypt. The extensive building works, together with possibly a series of low Nile floods, may have placed a strain on the economy by the end of his reign. Upon the king’s death, he was buried in his second pyramid at Hawara. 

An online comment: “Amenemhet III is also attested to by an unusual set of statues probably of Amenemhet III and Senusret III that shows the two in archaic priestly dress and offering fish, lotus flowers and geese. These statues are very naturalistic but show the king in the guise of a Nile god. There was also a set of sphinxes… believed to have been built on the orders of Amenemhet III… all these statues were discovered reused in the Third Intermediate Period temples at Tanis.”

Nigel Hawkins remarks: “Modern thinking using the revised chronology results in [a] much clearer picture with the history [of] Israel and Egypt lining up and matching archaeological records. This would fit with the theory that Amenemhet III was the Pharaoh of Moses who oppressed the Israelites… Also of note is that… After Joseph’s death, the Israelites were given the task of making mud bricks. 

Interestingly, the core of the Pyramid of Amenemhet III is made of mud bricks containing straw… Amenemhet III… had only daughters who had a son (Amenemhet IV) who disappeared before he could become King. It has been suggested that Amenemhet IV was Moses.”

And for good reason, as Amenemhet IV is a rather enigmatic figure during the XII Dynasty period of Egypt. There are a number of anomalies that belie the identity of this personage and Moses being one and the same. Anne Habermehl brings to attention key points: “… an unsuccessful search for the pharaoh’s body (Sparks, 1986). The reign of Amenemhat IV was brief; many believe that he reigned for a total of nine years (Gardiner, 1964, page 140). Edwards (1988, page 223) suggests that he might not have reigned separately at all, but only as a co-regent with the previous pharaoh, his father, Amenemhat III. Amenemhat IV had a son, Ameni, whose name appears along with that of his father on a glazed steatite plaque in the British Museum; in the inscription this son is called “The son of the Sun of his body” (Budge, 1902; British Museum, 1891). This is of note because Amenemhat IV does not appear to have left any known male heirs (Salisbury, 2001, page 327).”

Habermehl continues: “… Sobekneferu reigned for about four years (Shaw, 2003, page 482), and the 12th Dynasty ended. A mystery associated with her is that as pharaoh, she does not mention Amenemhat IV, her predecessor, in the various inscriptions; she associates herself only with her father, Amenemhat III, andcalls herself “king’s daughter,” never “king’s sister” or “king’s wife” (Callender, 1998, pages 230–31). The “disappearance” of Amenemhat IV from the space between Amenemhat III and Sobekneferu is a peculiarity of history that has given Egyptologists much leeway for speculation. Callender (1998, page 230) suggests that by linking herself to Amenemhat III, Sobekneferu intended to strengthen the legitimacy of her reign. Some suggest that there may even have been a family feud (Gardiner, 1964, page 141). Courville (1971, volume 1, page 224) notes that Amenemhat IV is not recognized in the Sothis king’s list “for reasons which can only be speculative at this time.” 

It is completely understandable that Moses’s adoptive mother did not mention her son, Amenemhet IV; as he was not her brother or husband. Sobekneferu associating herself with her predecessor and father, Amenemhet III is only natural in the succession. Yes, there had been a family feud, in that Moses spectacularly murdered an Egyptian guard and fled Egypt in 1486 BCE [Exodus 2:11-15]. This was three years before his adoptive father died and Queen Sobekneferu became Pharaoh.

In 1494 BCE Moses co-ruled as Amenemhet IV and was also known as Amenemes IV or Maakherure; being the 7th king of the XII Dynasty, for eight years from the age of 32. Old records from the Alexandria Library in Egypt, recount an Egyptian ruler who commanded a successful military campaign against the land of Kush [refer Chapter XIII Cush & Phut and The Military Man & the Queen of the South]. 

The Jewish historian Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews also refers to a campaign by Moses who invaded the country by way of the Nile Valley, heading southwards pass the Third Cataract. An earlier Jewish historian Artapanus in Peri Ioudaion, stated that ‘Mousos’ popularity had grown with the conquest of Ethiopia.’ 

Amenemhet IV completed Amenemhet III’s temple at Medinet Maadi, which is “the only intact temple still existing from the Middle Kingdom” according to Zahi Hawass, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities [SCA]. “The temple’s foundations, administrative buildings, granaries and residences were… uncovered by an Egyptian archaeological expedition in early 2006. Amenemhat IV likely also built a temple in the northeastern Fayum at Qasr el-Sagha.” The Turin Canon papyrus records a reign of 9 Years 3 months and 27 days for Amenemhat IV. His short reign was peaceful and uneventful. A handful of dated expeditions were recorded at the Serabit el-Khadim mines in the Sinai. It was after his disappearance that the gradual decline of the Middle Kingdom is believed to have begun.

Prior to this, Egypt’s wealth and power had reached a peak during the reigns of Senusret III and his son Amenemhet III and this economic wealth is in direct correlation to the incrementally increasing abuse inflicted upon the Israelites as they were subjugated to provide the labour involved in bringing the grandiose building projects of the XII Dynasty kings to fruition, including the pyramids. Yet in stark contrast to the benefit the Hebrews were bringing to Egypt, the Pharaoh felt the pressurising need to cull the the Israelite population before they outnumbered the Egyptians. For their population was at least 2 million people or above in Egypt and as confirmed later in a census, where they numbered 600,000 men [Exodus 12:37, Numbers 1:46] of fighting age [20 to 50 years, Numbers 1:45; 4:47].

Moses was born at this crucial juncture in time; though as Amenemhet III had no sons of his own he allowed his daughter Sobekneferu, to adopt this attractive and wonderful little baby boy that she had found left in a basket among the bullrushes of the Nile. 

Thus the Hebrew slaves who lived in Kahun were given the task of producing mud bricks containing straw to then be used in the varied building projects of the Pharaohs of the XII dynasty. The mud bricks were integral in the construction of the pyramid cores. There were at least seven pyramids constructed during the XII dynasty which spanned about 180 years. The Labyrinth at Hawara, constructed by Amenemhet III contained millions of mud bricks and with over a thousand rooms, it was considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. A very large slave labour force was required to support these building exploits and the number of Israelite slaves meant there were more than enough to meet the successive Pharaoh’s expectations. 

These Pharaohs of the XII Dynasty had forgotten what Joseph or Imhotep had done for Egypt and had therefore exerted an increasing oppression towards his family’s descendants as they grew in size. 

The XIII dynasty pharaohs did not undertake on the same scale the massive construction projects of their XII dynasty predecessors, but they continued in harshly oppressing the descendants of Jacob. The Eternal saw their suffering and remembered his promise to Abraham [Exodus 6:1-12]. 

And so from the age of forty, Amenemhat IV lived with Jethro of Midian and married his daughter Zipporrah, who was his second wife. According to the Egyptian priest Manetho, Moses’s original name in Egypt was purportedly Osarsiph or Auserre-Apophi; but when he departed Egypt his name was supposedly changed, to Moses [Against Apion I:250].

In 1483 BCE, just three years after Moses’s disappearance, Amenemhet III died and from 1483 to 1479, a mere four years, possibly as little as three, Queen Sobekneferu or Sobekkare and Neferusobek, ‘the beauty of Sobek’ was the 8th and final ruler of the XII Dynasty. Sobekneferu had an older sister, Nefruptah who might have been the intended heir though she died at an early age. Neferuptah’s name was enclosed in a cartouche and she had her own pyramid at Hawara. Sobekneferu is the first ever known archeologically attested female Pharaoh. According to the Turin Canon, she ruled for 3 years, 10 months, and 24 days. She died without an heir and the end of her reign spelled the conclusion of Egypt’s brilliant XII Dynasty and the Golden Age of the Middle Kingdom.

The suddenness of Amenemhet’s death and the brevity of Sobekneferu’s reign may be indicators of the heartfelt sorrow and mourning they both experienced after Moses’s shattering and hasty departure. Even though Pharaoh had initially shown rage and had sought to kill Moses [Exodus 2:15]. 

Gerard Gertoux discusses Moses’s name and early life: “… As Pharaoh’s daughter was not able to speak Hebrew, the name Moses must be Egyptian. One can notice that in Hebrew this name probably means “pulled out (mosheh)” (the word “water” is missing), whereas in Egyptian it means “Water’s son (mu-sa)”. Moses did not receive this Egyptian name from his parents, but from Pharaoh’s daughter after his “baptism” in the Nile. As it was received after the age of 3 months (the text of Exodus 2:10 even suggests after his weaning), it was therefore a nickname and not a birth name (like Israel is the nickname for Jacob, his birth name). The name of Hebrew children was given by parents based on a striking condition at birth. As Moses was beautiful at his birth, which is emphasized by biblical texts (Exodus 2:2) as by Josephus (Jewish Antiquities II:231), “divinely beautiful” in Acts 7:20, he had to have been called “very beautiful”. In Hebrew “beautiful” is rendered as Ioppa (Joshua 19:46) and “splendid” as iepepiah (Jeremiah 46:20).”

Gertoux continues: “Moses was adopted as [the] king’s son through Pharaoh’s daughter (Exodus 2:10). Adoption in the royal family conferred on its holder the honorific title of “king’s son.” If the daughter of Pharaoh had the prestigious position of Wife of the god, she would have been able to confer dynastic position to his son who could have been considered not just a king… but as a co-regent. Some Egyptian accounts show that women of royal origin could play an important role in the choice of future pharaohs. 

The Bible speaks little of the royal position of Moses during the first 40 years of his life, but one can guess it implicitly in the following texts: The man Moses too was very great in the land of Egypt, in the eyes of Pharaoh’s servants and in the eyes of the people (Exodus 11:3); the daughter of Pharaoh picked him up and brought him up as her own son. Consequently Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. In fact, he was powerful in his words and deeds (Acts 7:21-22); By faith Moses, when grown up, denied to be called the son of the daughter of Pharaoh, choosing to be ill-treated with the people of God rather than to have the temporary enjoyment of sin, because he esteemed the reproach of the Christ as riches greater than the treasures of Egypt (Hebrews 11:24-26). 

Renunciation [by] Moses of the treasures of Egypt makes sense only if he really had them thanks to his royal status. Something can be denied only if it has been owned… [after] he struck the Egyptian down and hid him in the sand… Moses now got afraid and… ran away from Pharaoh that he might dwell in the land of Midian… About this new period of 40 years… in the 120 years of Moses’ life… very little is known.”

It was while Moses was living in Midian from 1486 to 1446 BCE, that his father, Amram died in 1455 BCE at the age of 137 years. 

We discovered the intimate relationship the Eternal had with Abraham, calling him his friend [refer Chapter XXVII Abraham]. An online comment regarding the similar friendship between Moses and the Eternal: “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. These words are spoken of Moses in Exodus 33:11, The Lord spoke with Moses face to face… The Hebrew word for “friend” used here is the word, rea (H7453). This word suggests intimacy, companionship, and reciprocal relationship. Numbers 12:8 says this of Moses, I speak with him directly, openly, and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. 

Throughout the life of Moses we see over and over again, this open conversation with God. It is important to note, that this level of relationship/friendship requires intentionality and regular communication.  Moses did not only speak to God once in a while, or only when he needed something, but as a friend, he maintained regular and open communication with God. When Moses is forced to flee Egypt he ends up in Midian at the home of the priest of Midian, Jethro (… his father-in-law). The family name of Jethro is, Reuel (Exodus 2:18). In Hebrew the name Reuel means, “friend of God” (H7467). The years spent working for Jethro were formative to Moses understanding of who God is. 

Moses was able to do what he was called to only after his time spent learning who God is, and establishing this friend relationship. I find it interesting that the man who would be known as a friend of God, Moses, spent more than 40 years learning of God at the feet of a man whose name is, “friend of God”, Reuel.” 

After the short reign of Moses’s mother, Queen Sobekneferu the XII Dynasty came to an abrupt end, though the unrelenting captivity of Moses’s people remained unabated. A new era after the stability of the XII Dynasty was in stark contrast for its instability, caused by famine, intrigue, chaos and disorder during the XIII Dynasty era. A correct chronology is difficult to discern as there were few monuments from this period. The kings had very short reigns, did not descended from single family lines and many were not royalty and deemed commoners.

It is next to impossible to compile a comprehensive list of the number of rulers or the length of their reigns and hence an accurate chronology for the XIII Dynasty. It is difficult to determine because many of the kings’ names are only drawn from fragmentary inscriptions or scarabs. Therefore, the placement of many kings attributed to this dynasty is very uncertain and disputed among Egyptologists. It is clear that the XII and XIII dynasties were closely aligned and the XIII may not have lasted very long at all. With its final 33 years occurring from the the end of Queen Sobekneferu’s reign to the end of the Exodus Pharaoh. Any ‘documentation of the 13th dynasty is in shambles which would not be unexpected if it ended in such disaster.’

Nigel Hawkins states: “The Exodus took place during the Reign of Neferhotep I during the 13th dynasty…”

Neferhotep I

Other notable Pharaohs of this Dynasty are the founding and first Pharaoh of the XIII Dynasty, Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep or Wegaf, who ruled for 4 years – notice the similarity between his name and his predecessor Queen Sobek-neferu – Sobekhotep IV, who was the brother of Neferhotep I and possibly ruled for 10 to 20 years; as well as Sobekhotep III who preceded Neferhotep I, ruling for 4 years and the purportedly final kings of the Dynasty, Dudimose I and Dudimose II for less than a year. 

An online comment: “A [tattered] papyrus scroll [fragment] (Brooklyn 35:1446) acquired by Charles Wilbur in the 19th Century and now in the Brooklyn Museum dates to the 13th Dynasty under Pharaoh Sobekhotep III [1461-1457 BCE]… Essentially it is a [royal] decree from the pharaoh authorizing the transfer [ownership] of slaves; of the 95 slaves mentioned by name, approximately 46 of them have their original Semitic names [such as Menahem (a king of Israel), Issachar and Asher] in addition to their Egyptian names each were assigned, something the Bible records as a common practice (Genesis 41:45).”

Neferhotep I was the son of a temple priest in Abydos. Notice the first part of his name is the same as the last part of Queen Sobek-nefer-u’s name. His father’s position helped him to gain the royal throne as the king, as he did not have aristocratic heritage or royal blood in his family line. Neferhotep I was from a family with a military background. His grandfather Nehy, held the title ‘officer of a town regiment’. Nehy married a woman called Senebtysy. Nothing is known about her, other than that she held the common title ‘lady of the house’. The only known son of their marriage, was called Haankhef. He is always in sources, enigmatically described as ‘God’s father’ and he married a woman called Kemi. Haankhef and Kemi were the parents of Neferhotep I. 

The family of Neferhotep I appear to have originally come from Thebes. Neferhotep I’s brother, king Sobekhotep IV, stated that he was born there, on a stela that was placed during his reign in the temple of Amun at Karnak. However, the capital during the XIII Dynasty remained at Itjtawy in the north of Egypt, near the modern village of el-Lisht. Neferhotep’s wife was called Senebsen and they had a son called Haankhef or Wahneferhotep and a daughter called Kemi, after their grandparents.

Neferhotep I is inscribed on some stones discovered near Byblos*. Numerous other stones throughout Egypt and Lower Nubia, including in Aswan were carved with texts which document his reign – as well as family members and officials serving under the king – and that his power reached the Delta in the north and the Nubian Nome in the south. “The most important monument of the king is a large, heavily eroded stela dating to year two of the king’s reign, found at Abydos. The inscription on the stela is one of the few ancient Egyptian royal texts to record how a king might conceive of and order the making of a sculpture.” 

It is not known under what circumstances Neferhotep I died and it remains a mystery; for his mummy has never been uncovered. A statue of Neferhotep was discovered beneath the temple of Karnak at Luxor as was another previously in 1904 in Luxor, now on display in the Egyptian Museum. His supposed successor was his brother, Sobekhotep IV – which may indicate that Haankhef was Neferhotep’s only son who died during the tenth plague – yet there are several monuments mentioning Neferhotep I and Sobekhotep IV together. This could well mean that they reigned for a period together. 

Regardless, the reigns of the two brothers during the Thirteenth Dynasty marks the peak before a sudden collapse of this turbulent Egyptian dynasty. Pharaoh Neferhotep I or Khasekhemre was a powerful ruler of the XIII Dynasty and reigned 11 years from 1457 BCE until the Exodus – purportedly the 21st king of the XIII Dynasty. Only 22 years separated Neferhotep I from Queen Sobekneferu’s reign. 

Gerard Gertoux adds: “The fact that the rulers of Byblos* used specific title suggests therefore that they regarded Byblos as an Egyptian domain and saw themselves as its governors on behalf of the Egyptian king. This situation is substantiated by two sources of a different nature, a relief found at Byblos” and a cylinder-seal of unknown provenance. The relief depicts the ‘Governor of Byblos Yantinu (in-t-n) who was begotten by Governor Yakin (y3-k-n)’ seated upon a throne in front of which is inscribed a cartouche with the prenomen and nomen of Neferhotep I. The cylinder-seal is inscribed for a certain Yakin-ilu in cuneiform on one side and the prenomen of king Sewesekhtawy on the other side. The fact to record the name of the Egyptian king within those specific context strongly suggests that they regarded themselves officially as subordinates of the Egyptian king. It is notable that it was the Egyptian king (13th dynasty) rather than the Canaanites kings (14th dynasty) who were recognized as the superiors at Byblos.”

Pharaoh Djedhotepre or Dudimose I – also known as Tutimaeus and Tutimaos by Mantheo – is accredited as ruling from 1450 to 1446 BCE in the New Chronology, or for the four years prior to the Exodus and is viewed as the 30th King of the unstable Thirteenth Dynasty. 

Yet this dating is speculative. His similarity of name, Dudi-mose with Moses is noteworthy but not reason alone that he was contemporaneous with Moses. Aside from this, there is little support for him being the Pharaoh of the Exodus; but rather a later ruler in Egypt. Thus the catastrophe of the ten plagues and Exodus events brought collapse not just for Neferhotep I, but both the  XIII and XIV Dynasties of Egypt in 1446 BCE. Thus ushering in the opportunistic Amalekite Hyksos, who invaded Lower Egypt during the demise of the XIII and XIV Dynasties. They constituted the rulers of the subsequent XV and XVI Dynasties. 

The dramatic events that led to the Exodus comprised a series of disasters or plagues caused by the Eternal to drive the Pharaoh and Egyptian nation to despair and thereby release their captive Israelite slaves. The hardness of Pharaoh’s heart [Exodus 11:10] meant a diabolical tenth plague was required wherefore the eldest child of every Egyptian family died during the passing over of the Lord’s Death Angel [Exodus 11:4-5; 12:23, Hebrews 11:28, 2 Samuel 24:16-17]. 

The Ten Plagues are recorded in Exodus 7:14-25, 8:1-29, 9:6-31, 10:13-23, 12:28-26 and 14:7-28. The first plague occurred on the 7th day of the 12th month of Adar corresponding to February 11th and was the turning of the River Nile into blood. The second plague eight days later were a pestilence of frogs and on the 18th day of the 12th month it was lice. On February 25th, the fourth plague were swarms of flies and 3 days later there was the Great Murrain where Egypt’s livestock of cattle likely died from babesiosis. On the 25th day of Adar, the Egyptians were inflicted with boils; and then the seventh plague involving hail and fire, destroyed the mainstay crops of Barley and Flax and lasted from March 4th to the 5th. The eighth plague on the 2nd day of the first month, Nisan or Abib were swarms of locusts. The penultimate plague of complete  and utter pitch black darkness began on March 12th and lasted for three days. 

The tenth and final plague was savagely brutal and finally broke the resolve of the obstinate and stubborn Pharaoh. On the night of the 14th of Nisan or March 21st after midnight, the first born children of the Egyptians died [Exodus 12:29-30]. It was on this day that there was a Hybrid Solar Eclipse number 01321 at 09:05:39 and it lasted for 1 minute and 9 seconds. ‘Eclipses of the Sun can only occur during the New Moon phase. It is then possible for the Moon’s penumbral, umbral or antumbral shadows to sweep across Earth’s surface thereby producing an eclipse.’ There are four types of solar eclipses: Partial, Annular, Total and a Hybrid, where the ‘Moon’s umbral and antumbral shadows traverse Earth (eclipse appears annular and total along different sections of its path). Hybrid eclipses are also known as annular-total eclipses.’ 

Gerard Gertoux in The Pharaoh of the Exodus Fairy Tale or Real History, states: “The text of Ezekiel mentions the tragic end of a pharaoh and associates it with a cloudy sky and a solar eclipse (Ezekiel 32:2,7-8). This text targets the Pharaoh of the Exodus, the only one known for ending tragically (Psalm 136:15), because the terms “crocodile dragon/marine monster” always refer to this ruler (Isaiah 51:9-10) as an avatar of the sliding snake, Leviathan (Isaiah 27:1, Ezekiel 29:2-5, Psalm 74:13-14) and not Apries, the Pharaoh of that time whose name is given (Jeremiah 44:30). This process of assimilation between two rulers from different eras is to be found again with the king of Tyre who was assimilated to the original serpent in Eden (Ezekiel 28:12-14). The expression “All the luminaries of light in the heavens – I shall darken them on your account, and I will put darkness upon your land” has a symbolic meaning, but could be understood only if it had also a literal meaning (solar eclipse). The Pharaoh was considered a living god by the Egyptians, the son of Ra the sun god, thus the solar eclipse as a moonless night would have to have marked them.”

On the morning of the 15th of Nisan – in the year 1446 BCE on March 22nd – the Israelites hurriedly took leave from Egypt [Exodus 12:39, Numbers 33:3; 1 Kings 6:1, Psalm 105:23-45]. Two weeks later, the Israelites made it on foot to the Red Sea in Sinai and miraculously crossed [Exodus 14:21-22]. Pharaoh Neferhotep I and his pursuing army of 600 plus chariots [Exodus 14:5-8] perished the 30th day of Nisan or April 6th, when the walls of the Red Sea either side, collapsed in on them [Exodus 14:27-28].  Proving that Pharaoh Neferhotep I* was not a firstborn, as he did not die during the tenth plague. 

Anne Habermehl adds: “This mystery of the pharaoh who went missing is a matter of great significance because the Egyptians did not normally lose track of their pharaohs. Indeed, they believed that the king’s ka (breath of life) contained the life force of all his living subjects. The pharaoh’s physical body was therefore needed for transfer of the kingship from the dead pharaoh’s body to the body of the new living pharaoh through rituals carried out at his pyramid. In addition, there were other religious implications of the dead mummified pharaoh preserved in his tomb. In causing the pharaoh’s physical body to be lost in the Red Sea, God dealt a major blow to the whole fabric of Egyptian belief and priestly practice. Not having the pharaoh’s body in hand was an unthinkable catastrophe. It appears that what happened (no doubt after desperate attempts to find the drowned pharaoh’s body) was that the transfer of kingship was now officially made from [Neferhotep I to his brother, Sobekhotep IV*]…”

Manfred Bietek, in his burrow at Tel ed-Baba, discovered in stratum G/1 an overwhelming number of shallow mass graves pits throughout the city of Avaris, where hundreds of bodies had been thrown in on top of each other. Clear proof of a sudden major calamity remarkably reminiscent of the scriptural Tenth Plague demise of the Egyptian firstborn. Site prehistoric studies also propose that the rest of the populace had surrendered their homes rapidly, coinciding with the simultaneous abandonment of the city by the people en-masse.

Creation Wiki states: “[English Egyptologist Sir] Flinders Petrie [1853-1942] found evidence to [support] that the town of Kahun was suddenly vacated… As so many tools and manuscripts were left behind, Petrie concluded that the village must have been evacuated fairly quickly. He also found the scarabs of various pharaohs including those of [Senusret II] (the earliest) and Neferhotep I (the latest). 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… [who] has the necessary credentials to be the Pharaoh of the Exodus…”

The simple triumph of the invading Amalekite Hyksos into Egypt can be readily explained with the sudden and dramatic loss of Egypt’s whole armed forces. Avaris was completely resettled, as the archaeological record reveals an Asiatic people in origin had plundered Egyptian tombs for relics in their own and who also practiced human sacrifice as evidenced by the large number of female ritual burials. The conquering Hyksos inherited an Egypt brought to its knees, for the large-scale departure of the Hebrew slave work force from Goshen, meant a severely weakened economy. Added to this was the psychological blow of losing all the firstborn of Egypt, whether high born or low. 

Josephus quoted Mantheo regarding the sudden destruction and ensuing Amalakite invasion: “In his reign, for what cause I know not, a blast of God smote us; and unexpectedly, from the regions of the East, invaders of obscure race marched in confidence of victory against our land. By main force they easily seized it without striking a blow and having overpowered the rulers of the land, they then burned our cities ruthlessly, razed to the ground the temples of the gods and treated all our natives with cruel hostility, massacring some and leading into slavery the wives and children of others.’  

“Discovered by Ronn Wyatt in 1978. A pair of pillars on the Egyptian side (Nuweiba) and the Saudi side of the the Gulf of Aqaba – The Red Sea. The one on the Egyptian side had fallen over and was in the sea. It’s inscriptions had worn off. The one on the Saudi side was inscribed with the words: Yahweh, Pharaoh, Mizraim [refer Chapter XIV Mizra], Moses, Death, Water, Solomon, Edom. The Saudi pillar has been removed by the Saudi’s but the one on the Nuweiba side is… standing and can be visited.”

The Ten Plagues of Egypt are recorded outside of the Biblical account. The Tempest Stele: “[Then] the gods [made] the sky come in a storm of r[ain, with dark]ness in the western region and the sky beclouded without [stop, loud]er than [the sound of] the subjects, strong[er than …, howling(?)] on the hills more than the sound of the cavern in Elephantine. Then every house and every habitation they reached [perished and those in them died, their corpses] floating on the water like skiffs of papyrus, (even) in the doorway and the private apartments (of the palace), for a period of up to […] days, while no torch could give light over the Two Lands. Then His Incarnation said: How much greater is this… Hence the magic-practicing priests said to Pharaoh: than the impressive manifestation of the great god, than… It is the finger of God! the plans of the gods! Then His Incarnation commanded to make firm the temples that had fallen to ruin in this entire land: to make functional the monuments of the gods (…) to cause the processional images that were fallen to the ground to enter their shrines.” 

The Admonitions of Ipuwer state: “[Nile] River is blood: Admonitions 2:6,10: pestilence is throughout the land, blood is everywhere (…) O, yet the [Nile] river is blood and one drinks from it; one pushes people aside, thirsting for water. 

Hail and fire: Admonitions 2:10-11; 7:1: 0, yet porches, pillars and partition walls(?) are burnt, (but) the facade(?) of the King’s Estate (l.p.h.) is enduring and firm (…) For look, the fire is become higher. 

Magic is ineffective: Admonitions 6:6-7: O, yet the sacred fore hall, its writings have been removed; the place of secrets and the sanctuary(?) have been stripped bare. O, yet magic is stripped bare; omens(?) and predictions(?) are made dangerous because of their being recalled by people. 

Vegetation perished: Admonitions 4:14; 6:2-4: O, yet [t]rees are swept away, plantations laid bare (…) O, yet one eats(?) plants and one drinks down water. No meal or bird-plants can be found; seed is taken from the pig’s mouth. There is no bright face because of bowing down(?) before hunger. O, yet barley has perished everywhere (…) everyone says. ‘There is nothing!’ – the storehouse is razed. 

Cattle perished: Admonitions 5:6: O, yet all herds, their hearts weep; cattle mourn because of the state of the land. 

Disaster on the whole country: Admonitions 5:6; 6:4; 9:6; 10:4: Officials are hungry and homeless (…) everyone says: There is nothing! The storehouse is razed (…) Look, the strong of the land, they have note reported the state of the subjects, having come to ruin (…) The entire King’s Estate is without its revenues. 

Darkness: Admonitions 9:11,14; 10:1: Wretches […] them(?); day does not dawn on it. Destroyed (…) be]hind a wall(?) in an office, and rooms containing falcons and rams(?) [… till] dawn. It is the commoner who will be vigilant; day dawns on him. 

Death of the firstborn: Admonitions 2:6-7; 3:13-14; 5:6-7: there is no lack(?) of death; the (mummy)-binding speaks without approaching it. O, yet the many dead are buried in the river; the flood is a grave, while the tomb has become a flood (…) What may we do about it, since it has come to perishing? O, yet laughter has perished [and is no] longer done. It is mourning which is throughout the land mixed with lamentation (…) O, yet the children of officials are thrown against walls; children of prayer are placed on high ground. Khnum [god of fertility and connected with water – “father of the fathers” and represented as a ram with horizontal twisting horns, or a ram headed man] mourns because of his weariness. O, yet terror slays. 

Pharaoh is fallen down: Admonitions 7:4: the Residence has fallen down in an hour. [Psalms 136:15: ‘And who shook off Pharaoh and his military force into the Red Sea’]. 

Egyptians stripped: Admonitions 2:4-5; 3:1-3: O, yet the poor have become the owners of riches; he who could not make for himself sandals is the owner of wealth (…) the outside bow-people have come to Egypt. O, yet [… Asiatics] reach [Egypt] and there are no people anywhere. O, yet gold, lapis lazuli, silver, turquoise, garnet, amethyst, diorite(?), our [fine stones(?),] have been hung on the neck(s) of maidservants; riches are throughout the land, (but) ladies of the house say: ‘Would that we had something we might eat!’” 

Anne Habermehl writes: “All this had to have caused a total collapse of Egypt. That such a collapse did actually occur can be seen from a study of historical sources – in fact, secular historians believe that Egypt collapsed not once, but twice: once at the end of the 6th Dynasty of the Old Kingdom (followed by the First Intermediate Period), and again at the end of the 12th Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom (followed by the Second Intermediate Period). Which collapse was precipitated by the Exodus? It is likely there was only one collapse, with the 6th and 12th Dynasties running concurrently and ending in chaos at the same time. Gardiner (1964, page 147) compares the traditional two intermediate periods with a very interesting description, and inadvertently backs the idea that these two periods were one: 

‘… it will be well to note that the general pattern of these two dark periods is roughly the same. Both begin with a chaotic series of insignificant native rulers; in both, intruders from Palestine cast their shadow over the delta, and even into the Valley; and in both relief comes at last from a hardy race of Theban princes, who after quelling internal dissention expel the foreigner and usher in a new epoch of immense power and prosperity.’ 

“Secular scholars apparently believe that the same strange series of events happened in Egyptian history twice and do not consider the statistical improbability of this. The collapse of the Old Kingdom at the end of the 6th Dynasty appears to be the big event to most Egyptologists. Erman (1966, page 93), says that at the end of the 6th Dynasty ‘Egypt is suddenly blotted out from our sight in obscurity, as if some great catastrophe had overwhelmed it.’ Both historians and scientists continue to wonder exactly what caused this collapse, and to offer theories. To a Bible believer, it is amazing how the events leading up to the Exodus, and the Exodus itself, are basically invisible to secular historians.”

It was 430 years from Abraham’s 100th year, when he was 99 years old to the Exodus [Exodus 12:40-41, Genesis 17:1-13, Galatians 3:15-17]. The count of 400 years as per Genesis 15:13-14 and Acts 7:6-7 was the 130th year of Abraham and the 30th of Isaac in 1847 BCE. An online comment confirms: “Thus, all one has to do is to add 430 years to Abraham’s year [100] and there is a grand total of [530] years from Abraham’s birth [1977 BCE] to the Exodus [1446 BCE]. Then add [45] years to the time that Joshua divided the land of the Amorites [1406 to 1400 BCE] (Joshua 14:7-10) and the number 575 is reached from Abraham’s birth. But remember that Abraham lived to be 175 years of age (Genesis 25:7). So, one simply needs to subtract 175 from 575 and we arrive at exactly 400 years from Abraham’s death [1802 BCE] and the year when the sins of the Amorites reached maturity [1402/1 BCE]. This means that both the “400 years” in Genesis 15:13 are literal (to the very year), but that also the “430 years” of Moses (Exodus 12:40,41) and referred to by the apostle Paul (Galatians 3:14-19) are literal (to the very year).”  

There is confusion to when the 430 years applies as the Bible indicates the whole period lasted from entry into Egypt by Jacob and the exit of the Israelites during the Exodus. Jacob came to Egypt with his family in 1687 BCE and so the Exodus was 240 years later in 1446 BCE. 

The issue is that modern translations are based on the Masoretic text which dates from the 4th Century CE. Older manuscripts agree that the 430 years begins with Abraham’s arrival in Canaan and not Jacob’s move to Egypt. 

David Reagan states: “The three older sources are The Septuagint (the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek in about 280 BC), the writings of Josephus (who quotes the verse in his First Century AD writings, stating that he is quoting from Temple documents), and The Samaritan Version of the Torah (which dates from the 2nd Century AD). The Septuagint version reads as follows: “And the sojourning of the children of Israel, that is which they sojourned in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, was four hundred and thirty years.” Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews (Chapter XV:2) puts it this way: “They (the Israelites) left Egypt in the month of Xanthiens, on the fifteenth day of the lunar month; four hundred and thirty years after our forefather Abraham came into Canaan…”It appears that in the compilation of the Masoretic text, the phrase “and in the land of Canaan” was dropped either because of a scribal error or because of an exercise in interpretation.”

© Orion Gold 2020-2022 – All rights reserved. Permission to copy, use or distribute, if acknowledgement of the original authorship is attributed to orion-gold.com

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