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59. Given 1446 BC as the date of the Exodus, the birth of Moses can be dated 80 years earlier, as he was 80 years old at the time of the Exodus (cp. Deut. 34. 7 and Deut 29. 5 etc.). Moses was born, therefore, in 1526 BC. This would be the twentieth year of Amenophis I, assuming, with Hayes, that the latter’s ninth year, and its associated Sothic date, was 1537 BC. That is, Thutmosis III is taken to have perished at the Exodus 1446 BC, and the ninth year of Amenophis I is assumed to have been precisely 91 years earlier, 1537 BC, as suggested by the Sothic date of 1541 +/- 6 years for that regnal year (on the understanding that the Sothic observation was made from Northern Egypt). The birth of Moses within the reign of Amenophis I confirms the account of Artapanus, in which Amenophis I appears as “Palmanothes.” By implication, he is identified by Artapanus as the oppressive Pharaoh of Exodus 1. 11. In the Bible this particular Pharaoh is said to have built, by Hebrew slave-labor, “Raamses,” i.e. Rameses, and Pithom. The Biblical Rameses corresponds to “Kessa” in Artapanus, which is said similarly to have been built by Palmanothes. “Kessa” and “Gesse” are alternative forms of the Biblical name Goshen. The “land of Goshen” and the “land of Rameses” are synonyms in Genesis (Gen. 47. 6 and 11). Faqus, near Tell el-Dab’a, the Greek Phakousa, according to an early church source c. AD 385, was the Biblical Goshen (Gesse) and the capital of the so-called “Arabian nome” (cf. Arabs = Hyksos in Manetho). The proximity of Faqus to Tell el-Dab’a (Avaris) tends to confirm the traditional identification. The names Goshen and Rameses are used in the Bible to designate the district inhabited by the Israelites in the Hyksos and early New Kingdom periods. That was the district whose capital at the time was Avaris. The Biblical name Pithom represents the native Egyptian “Per-Atum,” meaning “House/Temple of (the god) Atum.” There were several Temples in Egypt so named, but one of the chief ones was in Heliopolis. In Artapanus, accordingly, Palmanothes is said to have built “the temple in Heliopolis.” The identification of the Biblical Pithom with the Temple of Atum in Heliopolis, presumed to underlie this statement, explains the occurrence in the Septuagint at Ex. 1. 11 of the additional city name “Heliopolis.” It is, seemingly, the same cruel Pharaoh in the Bible who ordered the destruction of all the Hebrew male children (Ex. 1. 15-22) and whose decree led to the exposure of the newborn Moses (Ex. 2. 1ff.). The destruction of male children is attested archaeologically as characteristic of this era. The Pharaoh to whom, according to Artapanus, Palmanothes betrothed his daughter Merrhis, viz. Chenephres, is the Pharaoh known nowadays as Thutmosis II. He, like his father-in-law, is said in Artapanus to have been a persecutor of Jews. An inscription from the reign of Thutmosis II, describing his campaign against Cush (Ethiopia), records that this Pharaoh ordered as a mode of oppression and subjugation of that country all the males of Cush, young and old, to be destroyed, and all were, except for a single child of the chief of Cush, who, presumably for mere political reasons, was taken back to Egypt alive.

60. According to Artapanus, this same Chenephres-Thutmosis II first tried to kill Moses by sending him on what he hoped would be a disastrous military-cum-agricultural Ethiopian expedition. In the light of Thutmosis’ earlier work in Ethiopia it is remarkable indeed that the outcome of Moses’ expedition was propitious. When this first attempt failed, he tried other means, and finally commissioned Chanethothes to murder him. According to Exodus 2. 11, it was only after Moses’ second stage of physical growth (cp. ibid. v. 10), when he slew an Egyptian who was oppressing an Israelite, that Pharaoh became suspicious of Moses and sought a pretext to slay him. In Acts 7. 23 the slaying of the Egyptian by Moses is dated to Moses’ fortieth year, this presumably being the interpretation of the second stage of physical growth referred to in Ex. 2. 11. Hence we can conclude that the various events outlined by Artapanus, including the Ethiopian expedition, and the subsequent building of the Temple of Apis and the building of the Meroe complex, occurred when Moses had already passed his fortieth year. The Ethiopian war alone is said to have lasted 10 years. This means that Moses was somewhat past his fiftieth year when he fled into the wilderness of Sinai after the death of Merrhis-Makare. In the Armenian version of the Chronicle of Michael Syrus are preserved fragments of Artapanus and the following chronology is offered (trans. Bedrosian 2013, section 20): “In the 28th year of Moses they built the city of Hermopolis. The Cushites made war with the Egyptians, conquered them, and took captive Hr’ak’usa, Moses’ adoptive mother {Hr’ak’usa is Ragusa, viz. Tharmuthis}. And they married her. In Moses’ 38th year Yesu, son of Nawea {Joshua son of Nun} was born, and Moses built Hermopolis. He warred with At’iubas, king of the Philistines for 10 years, defeated him, and retrieved [his adoptive mother] Hr’ak’usa from him. Now K’amp’ara {Chenephres}, T’ermotis’ husband, had a grudge against Moses and wanted to kill him. He was angry because of [Moses’] success, but was unable to accuse him [of anything] because of T’ermot’is, who was Moses’ adoptive mother, and whom he had brought back from captivity. But as soon as his wife died, he sent Xanthus (K’sant’is) {Chanethothes} to kill Moses. Moses learned about this and quickly killed him. Then he himself fled, going to Arabia, to Raguel of the Midianites.” If the chronology is dependent on Artapanus the Ethiopian war (in this section associated with the Philistines) is dated by him between the 38th and 48th year of Moses or an undetermined period subsequent to those years, viz. c. 1489-1479 BC, or a little later.

61. The era of Moses’ activity as a member of royal circles in Egypt, between his fortieth year and his early fifties, is datable, therefore, to the period 1486 to somewhat later than 1476 BC. Thutmosis III perished in the 54th year of his rule, the start of which he backdated to before the obliterated reign of Makare. The notional commencement of the reign of Thutmosis III (who does, in fact, appear to have reigned for a few years as a young man before he was sidelined by Makare) is therefore 1499 BC. According to Manetho, the actual (sole) rule of “Misphrag-muthosis,” i.e. Thutmosis III, was 26 years, which means that period — the period following the death of Merrhis-Makare and of Moses’ exile in the wilderness — was c. 1471-1446 BC. In the interval between 1499 BC and 1472 BC falls the reign of Makare herself (usually taken to be 22 years), followed a short while thereafter, if Artapanus’ account is taken seriously, by the death of the sickly Thutmosis II. In the same interval, according to this reconstruction, falls the era of Moses’ activity in Egypt (1486 to somewhat later than 1476 BC). This is historically precisely the period of the ascendancy of Djehuty in the court of Makare. The Punt expedition took place in Year 9 of Makare, i.e. towards the midpoint of her reign, and therefore some time in the mid 1480s, according to this computation. It is precisely as one would expect, if Djehuty-Moses, at age 40 in 1486, began to be eyed with suspicion by Thutmosis II, and was commissioned in consequence to lead the expedition to Ethiopia. There is no trace in the monumental record of any claim on the part of Djehuty to have had more than a ministerial relationship to Makare, and that is as it should be, since, on the evidence of the Bible, Ex. 2. 11 and Heb. 11. 24, Moses, even whilst in favor in Egypt and from at least his fortieth year, refused to be treated as a son of Pharaoh’s daughter, and chose to be classed with his enslaved Israelite brethren.

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