IPUWER PAPYRUS – LEIDEN 344 – The Exodus of the Israelites recorded in Egyptian records

References the to the Exodus in Egyptian Records





Neferhotep I was the Pharaoh of the Exodus

Neferhotep I was the Exodus Pharaoh

Neferhotep I was one of the last Pharaohs of the 13th Dynasty. He reigned for 11 years according to the Turin King List; longer than any other Pharaoh of that dynasty. There were a number of other Pharaohs in this Dynasty but they only reigned for very short periods. Neferhotep I was succeeded by his brother Sobekhotep IV rather than his son Haankhef[1] (Wahneferhotep).[2] He was probably the ‘Pharaoh of the Exodus’. The Pharaoh that refused to ‘let the Israelites go’. Moses (at the age of 80 years) and Aaron (aged 83 years) would have contronted Neferhotep in 1446BC which is when the Exodus occurred. Neferhotep I‘s mummy has never been found because he drowned in the Red Sea when pursuing the Israelites who were leaving Egypt (the Exodus). The semitic slave villages of Kahun and Tel ed-Daba were occupied up until the time of Neferhotep IScarabs of the 12th and 13th dynasty pharaohs from Sesostris II up until Neferhotep I were found by Flinders Petrie at Kahun indicating that it was Neferhotep I who was reigning when the Exodus occurred.[3] These towns were suddenly evacuated near the end of the 13th dynasty. As the Exodus took place in 1446BC, the Dates of his reign are likely to be: 1457-1446BC (seeRevised Chronology) Following Neferhotep I‘s death at the time of the Exodus, the Hyksos (Amalekites) were able to invade Egypt with very little resistance.

The Thirteenth Dynasty – Egypt’s Demise

Neferhotep I

Egypt’s wealth and power reached a peak during the reigns of Sesostris III and Amenemhet III of the 12th dynasty.Sesostris III and Amenemhet III had a coregency lasting about 20 years. It was during their coregency that Moses was born to the Hebrew slave Jochebed (1526BC). Moses was born at a time when Amenemhet III was trying to kill the Hebrew babies to stop the Hebrews from outnumbering the Egyptians. Amenemhet III had no sons of his own and so he allowed his daughter Sobekneferu to adopt a little baby that she found left in basket among the bullrushes of the NileMoses was raised in Pharaoh’s household and would have become the next Pharaoh except he showed his allegiance to the Hebrews by killing an Egyptian taskmaster. Moses(Amenemhet IV) had to flee to Midian where he remained in exile for 40 years. During this time,Amenemhet III died and his daughter Sobekneferu had to assume the throne. She only reigned for 4 yrs and then she died, so ending the 12th dynasty. The 13th dynasty is tradionally thought to have begun with Sobekhetep I. It is often described as a time of chaos and disorder with a rather quick succession of pharaohs. Itj-tawy near the Faiyum was the center of government for most of the dynasty. Many of the Pharaohs were know only from an odd fragmentary inscription or from scarabs. Little is known about the chronology of this period as there were few monuments or stellas. Neferhotep I was one of the longest ruling pharaohs of that dynasty, reigning for 11 years according to the Turin King ListNeferhotep was the pharaoh who was ruling when Moses(Amenemhet IV) returned from exile in Midian, age 80 years, in 1446BC, to team up with his brother Aaron to deliver God’s message. There are numerous inscriptions in the Aswan region mentioning Neferhotep I’s name, as well as the names of family members and officials serving under this king. It is from these inscriptions that we know the name of his wife (Senebsen) and his son Haankhef and his daughter Kemi.

Amenemhet IV (Moses) in Exile

Moses (Amenemhet IV) was in exile in Midian for the last few years of Amenemhet III‘s reign and during the reign of Sobekneferu.Exodus 2:23-25

Moses remained in exile for much of the 13th dynasty until the reign of Neferhotep I.

Flinders Petrie found a semetic workers village at Kahun which is situated close to Dashur and Hawara where many of the 12th dynasty mud brick pyramids are situated. Kahun was constructed during the time of Sesostris II to house the workers who built the pyramids at Dashur and Hawara. Scarabs found in the village indicate that it was occupied up until the time of Neferhotep I. As so many tools and manuscripts were left behind, Petrie concluded that the village must have been evacuated fairly quickly.

The Hebrew slaves who lived in Kahun were given the task of making mudbricks containing straw for the Pharaohs of the 12th dynasty. The mudbricks were used to construct the cores of the 12th dynasty pyramids. There were at least seven pyramids constructed during the 12th dynasty which spanned about 200 years. The Labyrinth at Hawara, constructed under Amenemhet III, also contained millions of mudbricks. The Labyrinth contained over a thousand rooms and was considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. A large slave labour force was needed to support the building exploits of the 12th dynasty pharaohs.

The Israelites had grown to number around 2 million. Even if the Israelites only produced one mud brick per day per person, there were more than enough Hebrew slaves in Egypt to meet the building needs of the 12th dynasty pharaohs. The Egyptions were worried that the Jews may rebel and join their enemies. The pharaohs of the 12th dynasty oppressed the Hebrews, forcing them to be slaves.

When Amenemhet III was co-reigning with his father Sesostris III, he tried to have the male babies of the Hebrew slaves killed. Moses was born during this time and was found and adopted by the princess Sobekneferu. She raised him as her own which means he would have been an heir to the throne because Amenemhet III had no other male heirs and a women had never taken the throne before. It appears that Moses, as Amenemhet IV, helped Amenemhet III reign for about 9 years before having to go into exile. Sobekneferu did eventualy succeed Amenemhet III but only because Moses / Amenemhet IV had to flee to Midian after revealing his loyalty to the HebrewsMoses / Amenemhet IV was 40 years old when he fled to MidianAmenemhet IV had a coregency with Amenemhet III of 9 years according to the Turin King List but he never reigned by himself. Moses / Amenemhet IV remained in Midian for 40 years when had an encounter with God on Mt Sinai (the burning bush) and was told to return to Egypt and lead the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land of Canaan. (Exodus 3:1-22 ) He also met his wife Zipporrah in MidianZipporrahwas the daughter of the High Prist of Midian Jethro with whom Moses / Amenemhet IV stayed.

Amenemhet IV (Moses) Returns to Egypt

After Moses (Amenemhet IV) had been in Midian for 40 years, the LORD (Yehovah) appeared to Moses on Mt Sinai. Moses was told to go back to Egypt and tell the new Pharaoh to let the Israelites go.Exodus 3:1-22

The Israelites had been in Egypt 430 years. It was time for them to return to Canaan and take possession of it. Yehovah had promised to give Canaan to the Israelites after they had served as slaves in a foreign land for 400 years (4 generations).Genesis 15:12-16 Acts 7:6

The pharaohs of the 12th dynasty had forgotten what Joseph (Imhotep) had done for Egypt. The Jews, who had come to number around 2 million posed a threat to the Egyptians and so the 12th dynasty pharaohs oppressed the Jews and forced them to make mudbricks and work the fields. The 12th dynasty ended with the death of Sobekneferu; the princess that found Moses and raised him as her own.

The 13th dynasty pharaohs did not undertake massive construction projects like their 12th dynasty predecessors but they continued to oppress the IsraelitesYehovah saw their suffering and remembered his promise to AbrahamExodus 6:1-12

Yehovah appeared to Aaron (the brother of Moses) and sent him to fetch Moses and be his spokesman. Moses returned to Egypt and appeared before the Elders of Israel. He told them what Godhad said and Moses (Amenemhet IV) performed the signs that were given to him. The Israelites believed and accepted Moses and Aaron as their leader and spokesman.Exodus 4:18-31

The Exodus of the Jews

Moses and Aaron went before the Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) and presented the message that God had given them. Moses was 80 yrs old when he was sent to Pharaoh (Neferhotep I).Exodus 7:7 The Pharaoh’s heart was hard and so God had to inflict 10 plagues upon Egypt before the Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) would finally agree to let the Israelites go.

Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) and perform Miraculous Signs and delivered God’s Message : “Let My People Go into the Desert to Worship Me“.Exodus 7:1-13 Ten Plagues were inflicted upon Egypt because Pharaoh Neferhotep I would not soften his heart and let the Israelites go: Blood – Exodus 7:14-25 Frogs – Exodus 8:1-15 Gnats – Exodus 8:15-19 Flies – Exodus 8:20-32 Livestock – Exodus 9:1-7 Boils – Exodus 9:8-12 Hail – Exodus 9:13-33 Locusts – Exodus 10:1-20 Darkness – Exodus 10:21-29 Egypt’s Firtsborn –Exodus 11:1-10 Amazingly, none of these plagues affected the Israelites who were living in the country. The last plague in which all of Egypt’s firstborn died is commemorated by the Jews today: The Passover. Exodus 12:1-30

The loss of Egypt’s first born (Including Neferhotep I‘s son Haankhef) was the ‘final straw’. After this Pharaoh Neferhotep I summoned Moses and Aaron and told the the Israelites to GO (and take their flocks and herds). The Egyptians even gave the Israelites considerable amounts of gold and sliver and clothes. Exodus 12:31-50

The Israelites assembled at Succoth. That night, the Israelites set off, taking with them unleavened bread as well as their flocks and herds and the gold and silver that the Egyptians had given them. Exodus 12:33-39 The Israelites had over 600000 men of fighting age. Exodus 12:37 The Israelites had been in Egypt for 430 years.Exodus 12:40

Flinders Petrie found evidence to suggest that the town of Kahun was suddenly vacated. He also found the scarabs of various pharaohs including those of Sesostris II (the earliest) and Neferhotep I (the latest). The the most recent (latest) scarabs would indicate which pharaoh was ruling when the town was vacated, particularly if the pharaoh had been ruling for a while. The most recent scarabs found at Kahun were those of NeferhotepNeferhotep also has the necessary credentials to be the Pharaoh of the Exodus in that he was reigning at the right time, his body (mummy) was never found and he had a son but his son did not succeed him. Neferehotep I was succeeded by his brother Sobekhotep IV who would not have normally been next in line to the throne but for the fact that Neferhotep’s firstborn son Haankhef was killed in the last of the ten plagues that befell Egypt.

The Red Sea Crossing

The Israelites assembled at Succoth and headed towards Etham and the Red Sea thus avoiding Philistine territory.Exodus 13:17-22 Moses took Joseph‘s (Imhotep‘s) bones with him.Exodus 13:19 The Israelites were guided by a pillar of fire by night and pillar of cloud by day.Exodus 13:21-22 The Israelites camped at Etham on the edge of the desert.Exodus 13:20 Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) changed his mind and pursued the Israelites with his army and all of Egypt’s chariots.Exodus 14:1-31 The Israelites were able to miraculously cross the Red Sea on dry ground but Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) and his army were drowned when they tried to follow.Exodus 14:21-31 The mummy of Neferhotep has never been found.

The 14th Dynasty – Egypt Crippled

The Hyksos Invasion – The 15th Dynasty – The Second Intermediate Period

Egypts New Kingdom – The 18th Dynasty

Biblical References

Exodus 1:1-22 The Israelites were oppressed after the death of Joseph (Imhotep)

Exodus 2:1-10 Moses birth and adoption by pharaoh’s daughter

Exodus 2:11-25 Moses (Amenemhet IV) has to flee to Midian

Exodus 2:23-25 The Pharaoh (Amenemhet III) dies while Moses is in exile

Exodus 3:1-22 Moses and the Burning Bush

Exodus 4:1-17 Signs for Moses

Exodus 4:18-31 Moses (Amenemhet IV) returns to Egypt

Exodus 5:1-23 Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) but he does not obey

Exodus 6:1-12 God remembers his Promise to Abraham

Exodus 6:13-30 Genealogy of Moses

Exodus 7:6 Moses was 80 yrs old when he was sent to Pharaoh (Neferhotep I)

Exodus 7:1-13 Moses and Aaron sent to Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) to perform Miraculous Signs and deliver God’s Message : “Let My People Go into the Desert to Worship Me

Ten Plagues inflicted upon Egypt because Pharaoh would not soften his heart and let the Israelites go:

Blood – Exodus 7:14-25 Frogs – Exodus 8:1-15 Gnats – Exodus 8:15-19 Flies – Exodus 8:20-32 Livestock – Exodus 9:1-7 Boils – Exodus 9:8-12 Hail – Exodus 9:13-33 Locusts –Exodus 10:1-20 Darkness – Exodus 10:21-29 Egypt’s Firtsborn – Exodus 11:1-10

Exodus 12:1-30 The Passover

Exodus 12:31-50 The Exodus

Exodus 12:33-39 The Israelites took unleavened bread and large droves of livestock with them. The Egyptians also gave them considerable amounts of silver and gold and clothings.

Exodus 12:37 The Israelites assembled at Succoth

Exodus 12:37 The Israelites had over 600000 men of fighting age

Exodus 12:40 The Israelites had been in Egypt for 430 years

Exodus 13:17-22 The Israelites assembled at Succoth and headed towards Etham and the Red Sea thus avoiding Philistine territory

Exodus 13:19 Moses took Joseph’s (Imhotep’s) bones with him

Exodus 13:21-22 The Israelites were guided by a pillar of fire by night and pillar of cloud by day

Exodus 13:20 The Israelites camped at Etham on the edge of the desert

Exodus 14:1-31 Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) changes his mind and pursues the Israelites with his army and all of Egypt’s chariots

Exodus 14:21-31 The Israelites were able to miraculously cross the Red Sea on dry ground but Pharaoh (Neferhotep I) and his army were drowned when they tried to follow

Exodus 15:22-27 After crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites bypassed Marah where the waters were bitter and camped at Elim where there were 12 springs and 70 palms


[The Exodus of Israel Terry Hurlbut]

[The Pharaoh of the Exodus]

[Searching for Moses David Down]


[The Exodus ]

[Pyramids of Ancient Egypt Answers in Genesis David Down]

[The Mysterious Hyksos Answers in Genesis John Ashton & David Down]

[The Pharaoh of the Exodus]

[Q&A Creation Ken Ham]

[Egyptian history and the Biblical record. ? A perfect match. Daniel Anderson]

[Scarab of Neferhotep I]

Evidence for the Israelites (JEWS) in Ancient Egypt

[Egypt suffered massive losses 40 years later under Neferhotep]

[The True Mt Sinai]

Moses and Amenemhet IV


  1.  Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, 231
  2.  Ken Ham Q&A Creation Ken Ham
  3.  The Exodus of Israel Terry Hurlbut The Exodus of Israel Terry Hurlbut

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).

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)


Moses was raised as an Egyptian prince yet retained his Hebrew identity.

Moses was raised in pharaoh’s household and was probably groomed to be the next Pharaoh (Amenemhat IV). This may be what he looked like.

This may be a statue of Amenemhet IV

Amenemhet IV was the adopted son of Sobeknefru who was the last Pharaoh of the 12th dynasty

He never got to rule Egypt – he is a bit of an enigma

Many historians and theologians believe that he was Moses of the Bible

Moses was adopted by the Princess Sobeknefru and was raised as an Egyptian in Pharaoh’s household up until the age of 40. He identified with the Hebrew people even though he was raised as an Egyptian. He had to flee to Midian after killing an Egyptian. He returned to Egypt 40 years later when Neferhotep of the 13th dynasty was ruling. God told Moses to tell Pharaoh to “Let My People go” but Pharaoh did not listen. God inflict several plagues upon Egypt and eventually, Neferhotep let Moses take the Israelites into the desert. As they did not come back, Neferhotep pursued them with his army. The Hebrews were able to cross the Red Sea at the Gulf of Aquaba – Nuweiba Beach to be precise. (We know the location because Solomon left pilars to mark the site of the Red Sea Crossing and many artifacts have been recovered from the bottom of the Red Sea at this point. Mount Sinai in Arabia is not far from the crossing site.) When Pharaoh and his army tried to follow, they drowned. After the Exodus through the Red Sea, Moses received the Law – the Ten Commandments – on Mount Sinai. Moses lived in the Wilderness for another 40 years (until the age of 120). He never got to enter the promised land.

Moses was raised as an Egyptian prince yet retained his Hebrew identity.

The statue of the young man in the picture above is Amenemhet II.
Moses was raised in pharaoh's household and was probably groomed to be the next Pharaoh (Amenemhat IV). There are not many statues of Amenemhet IV.