Historians have erroneously credited the Hyksos with the introduction of the horse drawn chariot to Egypt.

The Bible records that Joseph was given a chariot to travel through Egypt.300px-Lawrence_Alma-Tadema_The_Finding_of_Moses

If Joseph and Imhotep were the same person, this would mean that chariots existed in Egypt as early as the third dynasty.

In the third dynasty, only high officials like the pharaoh and his chancellor / sage / vizier were afforded a chariot to travel in.

Chariots in the 3rd dynasty were not horse drawn, they were carried by a procession of servants.

The Hebrew word (merkabah) in the Bible can be translated as ‘chariot’ or ‘riding seat’.  It does not distinguish between a vehicle that is horse drawn or a vehicle that is carried.

The enigma of chariots in the third dynasty is, therefore, easily explained.

thut3_chariotHorse drawn chariots were used for military purposes and were not introduced until the 12th dynasty.   Most of the chariots of the 12 & 13th dynasty were lost in the Red Sea at the time of the Exodus and paintings depicting horse drawn chariots in the 12th dynasty would not have survived.

It is hardly surprising then that there are no findings of horse draw chariots before the 15th dynasty unless, of course, one accepts that the chariot wheels found in the Red Sea by Wyatt in 1978 were from the 12th and 13th dynasty.

Chariot wheels found in the Red Sea predate the Exodus. Chariots that were not destroyed in the Red Sea post date the Exodus.


The oldest well preserved horse drawn chariots that have been discovered by archaeologists date back to the Hyksos period.  Rather than suggest that the Hyksos introduced chariots to Egypt it would seem more likely that the Exodus immediately preceded the arrival of the Hyksos.

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.

Evidence of Israel in Egypt

Sometimes we miss the obvious

The pyramids of the 12th dynasty had an inner core that was made of mudbricks.  They had an outer veneer of  limestone.  Over the years, the outer veneer has fallen away or been stolen exposing the inner core made of mudbricks resulting in considerable erosion.

4 spoke, 6 spoke and 8 spoke chariot wheels have been recovered from the bottom of the Red Sea

A painting by Edward Poynter in 1867 entitled "Israel in Egypt". (Click to enlarge)


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.