The Pharaoh of the Exodus

The Exodus
 
Modern archaeologists claim there is no evidence of a mass exodus of any group from Egypt and they generally assign the Biblical Exodus to the reign of Rameses the Great. They don’t seem to realize that there are a number of Pharaohs mentioned in the story of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt. First of all there is the Pharaoh who didn’t know Joshua and he assigns the Israelites to hard labour. It is his daughter who takes Moses into the royal family. Then we have the Pharaoh who sought to kill Moses when he was about 40 years of age and finally the Pharaoh of the Exodus some forty years later. Moses was 80 years of age when he came back to Egypt to free his people from slavery.
 
Many see the similarities between the name of Moses and the Thutmosid dynasty names. It might seem too obvious just to examine the Thutmoses and identify which one could have been Moses. I previously I fell into this trap and identified Thutmoses IV as the Pharaoh of the Exodus, but the problem with this identification is that his successor Amenhotep III’s reign was very prosperous the opposite of what should have happened if the Israelites fled in the reign of Thutmoses IV.
 
The Pharaohs seem to think they were gods themselves as Thutmoses IV’s throne name was Menkheperure, meaning “Established in forms is Re.”1 Thutmose III in older historical works was Thothmes meaning "Thoth is born"2
 
For decades various people have told us that the Exodus was in the time of Rameses because of this verse.

Exodus 1:11 "Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses."

You have to actually add 80 years to this verse to get to the date of the Exodus. Rameses only reigned for 66 years so the Pharaoh of the Exodus would have to be the Pharaoh who reigned 14 years after the death of Rameses the Great and that was Seti II.



Possible Pharaohs

Thutmoses III’s reign c.1458–1425 BC (Egyptian Early Dating Method, EEDM) was a long one and he can be counted as being a possible identification for being the Pharaoh who sought to kill Moses. But the prophecy tells us that there was more than one person who wanted Moses dead so we have to consider other Pharaoh’s as well. It is right to say that all the family members of the thutmosid dynasty after Thutmoses III probably sought to kill Moses. So we have Thutmoses III c.1458-1425 BC (EEDM), Amenhotep II c.1427-1401 BC (EEDM), Thutmoses IV c.1401 – 1391 BC (EEDM) and Amenhotep III 1391-1353 (EEDM). So we can fairly easily say that when Amenhotep III died all the men who sought to kill Moses should have been deceased.
 
Josephus actually tells us Moses was born in the reign of Thutmose, but he doesn’t tell us which one. He also tells us that it was Thutmose himself who gave Moses his name a common practice in the past.
 
“Hereupon it was that Thermuthis imposed this name Mouses upon him.”3
 
I believe Amenhotep III is the Pharaoh of the Exodus mainly because he is mentioned by Manetho (revealed further down), according to Josephus. Amenhotep died c.1353 BC (EEDM).
 
1353 + 40 = 1393 BC
 
1393 BC lies in the middle of the reign of Thutmose IV who reigned c.1400-1390 BC (EEDM). This means that Thutmose IV is the Pharaoh who sought to kill Moses. If we add 40 years to this date we find out who the Pharaoh was whose daughter took Moses out of the river.

1393 + 40 = 1433 BC

1433 BC is in the middle of the reign of Thutmose III. Thutmose III's daughter took Moses out of the ark and raised him in the royal palace, thus Moses became an heir to the throne. In 2012 a young girl discovered a cartouche of Thutmose III while sifting through rubble reportedly from the temple mount.4

Have a look at this website ( http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/rekhmire.htm ) and in particular the images of the tomb of Rekhmire who was the vizier of Thutmose III. The asiatics who built the tomb and the storage houses in these images were probably the Israelites.

In the reign of Thutmose IV Moses fled Egypt and lived in the land of Midian for forty more years. Thutmoses IV reign was a fairly prosperous one and he generated a huge force and led many military campaigns into the Levant and the Holy Land possibly seeking after Moses as Moses was in line for the throne even though he was an Israelite. He wouldn’t have known that Moses went to Midian rather than the traditional homeland of the Semitic peoples in Canaan.
 

Amenhotep III

The Pharaoh who wouldn’t let the Israelites go free was Amenhotep III. Amenhotep III is famous in his own right, but more so for being the father of Akhenaten who built his own city out in the desert and abandoned the old gods establishing a new system of worship. Akhenaten began worshiping the sun god which he called the Aten. Something drastic must have happened during Akhenaten’s life to make him abandon the city of Thebes and the old gods and start afresh. I believe the event known as the Exodus and the revolt of the Israelites is the reason for this dramatic change. You know people say there is no evidence for any exodus from Egypt, but we now know the Hyksos ruled Lower Egypt for a substantial period and not much is written about them by the Egyptians either.

Amenhotep III also known as Amenhotep the Magnificent was the ninth pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty. Amenhotep III ruled Egypt from 1391–1353 BC (EEDM). Amenhotep III was the son of Thutmose by a minor wife Mutemwiya. 5
 
The first born son of Amenhotep III was Thutmose who predeceased his father, I believe this Thutmose was the first born son who died during the Exodus.
 
Thutmose III reigned from c.1479-1425 BC, 54 years (EEDM). Amenhotep III is credited with reigning from c.1391 -1353 BC (EEDM) almost forty years. These are the only two possible pharaohs who sought to kill Moses other Pharaohs didn’t reign long enough to be counted as possibilities. I think this is why so many historians prefer Ramses the Great because of his extraordinary long reign, but his reign is far too late to be counted as a possibility. Thutmose III is counted out too because his predecessors were prosperous when there should have been a decline or at least a change in Egyptian lifestyle.
 
“Amenhotep’s reign was a period of unprecedented prosperity and artistic splendour, when Egypt reached the peak of its artistic and international power. When he died in the 38th or 39th year of his reign, his son initially ruled as Amenhotep IV, but then changed his own royal name to Akhenaten.6


 

























We are not given any reason in Egyptian history to understand why Akhenaten changed his royal name. All we know is that prior to his reign Egypt had been very prosperous and many believe this was a golden age of Egyptian history. Other golden ages include the reign of another Pharaoh while Joseph was vizier of Egypt, and the reign of Ramses the Great.
 
Amenhotep III was the father of two sons with his Great Royal Wife Tiye. Their first son, Crown Prince Thutmose, predeceased his father and their second son, Amenhotep IV, later known as Akhenaten, ultimately succeeded Amenhotep III to the throne. Amenhotep III also may have been the father of a third child—called Smenkhkare, who later would succeed Akhenaten and briefly ruled Egypt as pharaoh.7
 
Amenhotep first born son was the crown prince Thutmose and he was according to Egyptologists the son of Amenhotep’s Great Royal Wife, Tiye. This Thutmose predeased his father, but we are not told the date.
 
“Prince Thutmose served as a priest of Ptah in ancient Memphis. His full royal titles are given in the sarcophagus of his pet cat: " Crown Prince, Overseer of the Priests of Upper and Lower Egypt, High Priest of Ptah in Memphis and Sm-priest (of Ptah)." A small schist statuette of the prince as a miller is in the Louvre Museum.”8
 
“Amenhotep III has the distinction of having the most surviving statues of any Egyptian pharaoh, with over 250 of his statues having been discovered and identified. Since these statues span his entire life, they provide a series of portraits covering the entire length of his reign.”9
 
































“Another striking characteristic of Amenhotep III's reign is the series of over 200 large commemorative stone scarabs that have been discovered over a large geographic area ranging from Syria (Ras Shamra) through to Soleb in Nubia.”10 These scarabs are equivalent to today’s newspapers or the internet and they demonstrate the scope of Amenhotep’s empire.
 
The pharaoh's reign was relatively peaceful and uneventful. The only recorded military activity by the king is commemorated by three rock-carved stelas from his fifth year found near Aswan and Saï (island) in Nubia. The official account of Amenhotep III's military victory emphasizes his martial prowess with the typical hyperbole used by all pharaohs.11
 

Legends of Moses

“Osarseph is a legendary figure of Ancient Egypt who has been equated with Moses. His story was recounted by the Ptolemaic Egyptian historian Manetho in his Aigyptiaca (first half of the 3rd century BC); Manetho's work is lost, but the 1st century AD  Jewish historian Josephus quotes extensively from it.
 
The story depicts Osarseph as a renegade Egyptian priest who leads an army of lepers and other unclean people against a pharaoh named Amenophis; the pharaoh is driven out of the country and the leper-army, in alliance with the Hyksos (whose story is also told by Manetho) ravage Egypt, committing many sacrileges against the gods, before Amenophis returns and expels them. Towards the end of the story Osarseph changes his name to Moses.”12
 
The similarities between the Exodus story and this one is striking. Amenhotep is obviously the Pharaoh Amenophis. But this isn’t the only story which has similarities with the Biblical account.
 
According to Josephus the Ethiopians had been sacking Egypt and they were ravaging the countryside. The Egyptians needed help and they sought after Moses.13
 
“The Egyptians, under this sad oppression, betook themselves to their oracles and prophecies; and when God had given them this counsel, to make use of Moses the Hebrew, and take his assistance, the king commanded his daughter to produce him, that he might be the general of their army.”
{Antiquities of the Jews - Book II, Chapter 10, HOW MOSES MADE WAR WITH THE ETHIOPIANS, Flavius Josephus, http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/ant-2.htm}
 
“When he had therefore proceeded thus on his journey, he came upon the Ethiopians before they expected him; and, joining battle with them, he beat them, and deprived them of the hopes they had of success against the Egyptians, and went on in overthrowing their cities, and indeed made a great slaughter of these Ethiopians. Now when the Egyptian army had once tasted of this prosperous success, by the means of Moses, they did not slacken their diligence, insomuch that the Ethiopians were in danger of being reduced to slavery, and all sorts of destruction; and at length they retired to Saba, which was a royal city of Ethiopia,”
{Ibid}
 
“Tharbis was the daughter of the king of the Ethiopians: she happened to see Moses as he led the army near the walls, and fought with great courage; and admiring the subtility of his undertakings, and believing him to be the author of the Egyptians' success, when they had before despaired of recovering their liberty, and to be the occasion of the great danger the Ethiopians were in, when they had before boasted of their great achievements, she fell deeply in love with him; and upon the prevalency of that passion, sent to him the most faithful of all her servants to discourse with him about their marriage. He thereupon accepted the offer, on condition she would procure the delivering up of the city; and gave her the assurance of an oath to take her to his wife; and that when he had once taken possession of the city, he would not break his oath to her. No sooner was the agreement made, but it took effect immediately; and when Moses had cut off the Ethiopians, he gave thanks to God, and consummated his marriage, and led the Egyptians back to their own land.”
{Ibid}
 
What Josephus tells us is backed up by the Bible itself in Numbers
 
Numbers 12:1 “Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman.”
 
Now Moses killed an Egyptian and Pharaoh sought his life so he fled Egypt and in the process he fled from his new wife who probably went back home to Ethiopia/Nubia.
 
Josephus and the Bible both tell us that Moses then married Zipporah the daughter of the priest of Midian.
 
Zipporah is mentioned in the Book of Exodus as the wife of Moses, and the daughter of Reuel/Jethro, the priest or prince of Midian and the spiritual founder and ancestor of the Druze.14
 
Exodus 2:16-17 “Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. And they came and drew water, and they filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. Then the shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.”
 
Exodus 2 21-22 “Then Moses was content to live with the man, and he gave Zipporah his daughter to Moses. And she bore him a son. He called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a stranger in a foreign land.”
 
Exodus 2:23-25 “Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.”
 























 
Amenhotep had probably just become Pharaoh when Moses killed the Egyptian. Josephus tell us that Amenhotep sought to kill Moses because of his military prowess demonstrated in the war against the Nubians.15
 
"Viceroy of Kush was Merimose. He was a leading figure in the military campaigns of the king in Nubia." {Amenhotep III, The Court, Wikipedia, 2016}
 
Scientists believe that in his final years Amenhotep suffered from arthritis and became obese.16
 
Akhenaten became king and he wanted to distance himself from his predecessors both literally and spiritually. There is a royal sarcophagus located in the Egyptian Museum of Cairo which may belong to Amenhotep.
 
“The coffin had been desecrated and the name of the owner removed, but was in the Rishi style of the 18th Dynasty. It is generally accepted that the coffin was originally intended for a female, possibly Akhenaten's wife Kiya, and later reworked to accommodate a male. Over the past century, the chief candidates for this individual have been either Akhenaten or Smenkhkare.”17
 
The desecration of the coffin could be a clue that Amenhotep’s own subjects despised him. The coffin being meant for a female also might be an indication that Amenhotep died suddenly.

Probably the best evidence for the Exodus at this time is the fact that five years after Akhenaten came to power he forsook the Egyptian gods and the Egyptian capital of Thebes and he went and built his own capital in the desert, a completely new city with temples dedicated to the sun god Aten.


The Amen

In the Bible YHWH makes it quite clear that He was and is the Amen.
 
Corinthians 1:20 “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”
 
Revelation 3:14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:‘”
 
 Amun was considered a special patron of the poor and one who was merciful to the penitent. A stelae records:
“[Amun] who comes at the voice of the poor in distress, who gives breath to him who is wretched..You are Amun, the Lord of the silent, who comes at the voice of the poor, when I call to you in my distress You come and rescue me...Though the servant was disposed to do evil, the Lord is disposed to forgive. The Lord of Thebes spends not a whole day in anger, His wrath passes in a moment, none remains. His breath comes back to us in mercy..May your ka be kind, may you forgive, It shall not happen again.”
{Amenhotep III, Wikipedia, 2016, "Ancient Egyptian Literature", Miriam Lichtheim, pp. 105-106, University of California Press, 1976, ISBN 0-520-03615-8}
 

Conclusion

Thutmose IV was the Pharaoh when Moses was born it was Thutmose IV’s daughter who took Moses in. Thutmose III was the Pharaoh who wanted to kill Moses. Amenhotep III is the Pharaoh who wouldn’t let the Israelites go free and he died during the Exodus and the Red Sea Incident c.1353 BC.


























The Israelites had previously helped to build in the traditional style before they left Egypt. Akhenaten changed the Egyptian religion to that of sun worship a common form of worship seen throughout the world in the Iron Age and beyond even to this day. The sun was recognized as providing life to most things on planet earth in many pre-history civilizations. The sun having a physical presence like the God of the Israelites whom the Egyptians felt the presence of during the ten plagues of Egypt and the final Exodus from Egypt.

People today within the Catholic Church and other churches are still worshiping the sun. The sun rays dominate many church backgrounds but what they tell us is that the rays of light are coming from the head of Christ, the apostles or even from God Himself. God is light, but He is not the sun He created it along with everything else in the universe.
 
 
References
1. Clayton, Peter. Chronicle of the Pharaohs, Thames & Hudson Ltd., 1994. p.112
2. Thutmose III, Wikipedia, 2016
3. Antiquities of the Jews, Book Two, CHAPTER 8. OF THE DEATH OF JACOB AND JOSEPH, Josephus

4. http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-near-eastern-world/amulet-with-cartouche-of-thutmose-iii-discovered-in-jerusalem/?mqsc=e3834184
5. Amenhotep III, Wikipedia, 2016
6. Amenhotep III, Wikipedia, 2016
7. Ibid
8. Thutmose, Wikipedia, 2016
9. Amenhotep III, Wikipedia, 2016
10. Ibid
11. Ibid
12. Osarseph, Wikipedia, 2016
13. Amenhotep III, Wikipedia, 2016
14. Zipporah, Wikipedia, 2016
15. Antiquities of the Jews - Book II, Chapter 10, HOW MOSES MADE WAR WITH THE ETHIOPIANS, Josephus.
16. Smenkhkare, Wikipedia, 2016
17. Smenkhkare, Death and burial, Wikipedia, 2016

Image Attribution
18. Statue of Akhenaten, Photo personal of Gérard Ducher, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic
19. Amenhotep III and Sobek, Markh at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
20 One of the two Colossi of Memnon:
colossal statues of PharaohAmenhotep III that still stand in the Theban Necropolis. Photo taken by Hajor, December 2002. Released under cc-by-sa and/or GFDL.

21. Fragmentary statite statue of Queen Tiye, By Jon Bodsworth, January 11, 2008.
22. View of a mountain over desert shrubbery from a creek bed, Wadi Rum, By Daniel Case (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
23. Pharaoh Akhenaten (center) and his family worshiping the Aten, with characteristic rays seen emanating from the solar disk. By UnknownJean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France [Public domain or CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Statue of Akhenaten in the early Amarna style, Personal picture of Gérard Ducher.18
  

Amenhotep III and Sobek, from Dahamsha, now in the Luxor Museum, Markh at English Wikipedia.19
The northern Colossus of Memnon, Photo taken by Hajor, December 2002.20
  

Queen Tiye, whose husband, Amenhotep III, may have been depicted to her right in this broken statue, Photo by  Jon Bodsworth. 21
  

View of a mountain over desert shrubbery from a creek bed, Wadi Rum, courtesy of Daniel Case, 2016. 22
  

Pharaoh Akhenaten (center) and his family worshiping the Aten, with characteristic rays seen emanating from the solar disk.  Panel with adoration Scene of Aten (detail) Tell el-Amarna, Egypt, photgraph coutesy of Jean-Pierre Dalbéra Paris, France. 23