The Israelites were slaves in Egypt during the 12th dynasty and left Egypt at the End of the 13th dynasty before the Hyksos took over

This article looks at the Egyptian identity of Moses in the light of new insights into Egypt’s History and better understanding of the Egyptian chronology.

The Bible is a reliable source of historical information. It contains the historical records and the chronicles of Israel. It is not just a record of God’s dealings with mankind. It is God’s word. The Exodus of Israel can be dated to 1446BC as the Bible records that there were 480 years from the Exodus to the buiding of the Temple by Solomon (1Kings 6:1 ) and the date that the foundations of the Temple were laid by Solomon is agreed upon by most Archaeologists to be 966BC. (seeArchaeological Evidence for Moses and the Israelites in the 12th dynasty of Egypt) Moses was 80 yrs old at the time of the Exodus of Israel ( ).

If the Chronology of Egyptian History was as reliable as the Bible then it would be fairly easy to ‘look up’ Egyptian records and see which Pharaohs were ruling at the time. Unfortunately, the dates of Egyptian dynasties and the dates of Pharaohs reigns (the Egyptian chronology) based primarily on Manetho’s records has turned out to be quite erroneous because some of the dynasties ran in parallel (in the north and south of the country) and Pharaohs often co-reigned together at the beginning and end of their reigns. Consequently, the time frame of Egyptian history is substantially shorter than the Traditional Chronology which was based on sequential dynasties, some of which have been counted twice (see David Down).

Due to the inaccuracies of the Traditional Chronology, a number of Egyptian correlates of Moses have been put forwards by various people over the ages. Better understanding of the Egyptian Chronology requires a reassessment of the Archaeological Evidence. Candidates that were identified according to dates alone, that were a poor character profile match for Moses can now be excluded. And candidates that seemed to match the character profile of Moses exactly but were thought unlikely to be Moses based on the dates can now be reconsidered. Amenemhet IV of the 12th dynasty of Egypt is one such candidate that is a very good Character Profile match for Moses but thought to be unlikely because the Traditional Egyptian Chronology dated his reign to be around 1798-1786BC.

In a revised Egyptian Chronology the dates of Amenemhet IV‘s co-regency are likely to be around 1495-1486BC making it highly likely that Amenemhet IV was Mosesof the Bible. This is supported by strong archaeological evidence that the Israelites were slaves in Egypt during the 12th dynasty and left Egypt in the 13th dynasty before the Hyksos invaded (or took over) Egypt to start the 15th dynasty (the second intermediate period).

18th dynasty candidates for Moses can now be excluded. Israel had little to do with the Hyksos when they were in Egypt and the defeat of the Hyksos at the beginning of the 18th dynasty was NOT the Exodus of Israel. The first 18th dynasty Pharaohs were contemporaries of Saul, David and Solomon. Saul seems to have encountered the Hyksos (the Amelekites) after they were ejected from Egypt; 400yrs after they took power! This was the end of the second intermediate period and the beginning of Egypt’s New Kingdom (the 18th dynasty). The second intermediate period, when the Hyksos were ruling in Egypt (dynasties 15 & 16), coincides with the period of the Judges in Israel.

Israel’s Sojourn in Egypt coincides with the Pyramid age. The Israelites had a profound effect on Egyptian History.

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

If it is true that Joseph and Imhotep were the same person, then the first pyramid (the Step Pyramid in Saqqara) was designed by an Israelite at the beginning of Israel’s Sojourn in Egypt. What’s more, if the last of the great pyramids (those of the 12th dynasty) were constructed with a core made from mudbricks which were made by Israelite slave labour, then the Israelites were in Egypt while all of the great pyramids were being constructed. After the Israelites departed from Egypt at the end of the 13th dynasty, lead by Moses, there were not enough slaves left in Egypt to construct pyramids any more. The pyramid age coincides with Israel’s sojourn in Egypt. The pyramids were, therefore, constructed over a period of around 400 years.

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

Egypt’s borders, 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. After killing an Egyptian, Amenemhet IV (Moses) had to flee to Midian at the age of 40 years. As a result of his exile to Midian, there was suddenly no successor for Amenemhet III. Sobekneferu (Amenemhet III’s daughter) had to take over the reigns when Amenemhet III died. She only lived for another 4 yrs and when she died, the 12th dynasty ended, Egypt fell into turmoil and became politically unstable. There was a quick succession of Pharaohs in the 13th dynasty until Neferhotep who was the Pharaoh who was ruling when Moses (Amenemhet IV) returned from exile in Midian. After a series of ten plagues that were inflicted on Egypt, Neferhotep let Moses take the Israelities into the desert. When they did not return, he pursued them with his army. The Israelites were able to cross the red sea at the Gulf of Aqaba but Neferhotep and his army drowned when they tried to follow.

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

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

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

The Israelites, therefore, had a profound influence on Egypt having designed the first pyramid (in the third dynasty) and having provided slave labour for various public works which included making mudbricks for the construction of the last of the great pyramids (those of the 12th dynasty). The country was destabilised when Moses (Amenemhet IV) went into exile as there was nobody to continue the 12th dynasty. Egypt suffered massive losses as a result of the Exodus 40 years later (1446BC) and as a result became vulnerable to invasion. The Hyksos took over and ruled Egypt for the next 400 yrs (the second intermediate period).