26. Appendix 1: The Date of Jacob’s Entry into Egypt (§412)

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26. Appendix 1: The Date of Jacob’s Entry into Egypt (§412)

412. The following are excerpts from “The True Date of the Exodus” at this link: http://​www.​christianhospitality.org/​resources/​exodus-online/. The references are to that article and the paragraph numbers refer to the same. The online article itself should be consulted for full details.




(See§S-202a Footnote 1)


Year BC

Events (Hyksos kings in underlined italics with reigns from Eusebius, Scholia)














1957 BC Salitis Occupies Memphis, Builds Avaris

1957 BC Phase 1 of Hyksos Presence
511th year before Exodus (1446 BC): Hyksos Occupation







1938 BC Bnon









1898 BC Archles







1875 BC 430th year before Exodus (1446 BC)


1868 BC Aphophis
1861 (to 1855 BC) 7 Years Plenty


1854 (to 1848 BC) 7 Years Famine














1808 BC 61st and final year of Aphophis (regnal figure from Josephus, Sothis)






























Hyksos kings of Avaris dominant over most of Egypt from this point on

Name of Jacob-Har attested in Egypt and Canaan

Phase 2 of Hyksos Presence: c. 1700-1570 BC Ascendancy of Avaris (nowadays incorrectly referred to as “DYNASTY XV”)





























War Breaks Out Between Sekenenre Tao of the House of Thebes and a Hyksos king of the later period, called Aphophis









c. 1570 BC Expulsion of Hyksos from Avaris by Ahmosis I (Tethmosis) of the House of Thebes





Year BC

Kings of Egypt




c. 1570 Ahmosis I (Tethmosis) assumes throne





Final Defeat of Hyksos in Egypt and Canaan. Oppression of Israelites and Other Remnant Hyksos



c. 1545 BC Amenophis I assumes throne








c. 1524 Thutmosis I assumes throne

Continued Persecution of Israelites

He is brought into the court by Hatshepsut, daughter of the great general Thutmosis (later Pharaoh, Thutmosis I) and his wife Ahmes, sister of Amenophis I











1499 BC Thutmosis III (Amosis) co-regent as minor
c. 1494 BC Makare Hatshepsut
having been granted throne by her father, marries
Thutmosis II
king in Memphis





c. 1486-1472 BC Ascendancy of Moses-Djehuty in Court of Makare




Retirement of Thutmosis II due to serious skin disease

c. 1473 BC Death of Thutmosis II by poison

Thutmosis III sole ruler c. 1471 BC

c. 1475 Rebuilding of Egyptian Shrines, Resettling of Avaris with remnant Hyksos
c. 1471 BC Death of Thutmosis II. Thutmosis III sole ruler







From c. 1456 BC Amenophis II co-regent with Thutmosis III

Campaigns of Victory in Canaan. Settling of Slaves in Avaris



1446 BC Amenophis II sole ruler

Death of Thutmosis III in Red Sea.
Amenophis II sole ruler flees to Ethiopia 13 years

Phase 3 of Hyksos Presence
: Subjection of Egypt by the Hand of God under Moses



c. 1440 BC Suppiluliuma I assumes throne of Hittites



c. 1430 BC Thutmosis IV assumes throne




c. 1420 BC Amenophis III assumes throne





From this period on el-Amarna letters sent by kings of Canaan to Amenophis III and Amenophis IV (Akhenaton), pleading for help against Hebrews









57. The Biblical dating of the Exodus is 15th Abib-Nisan. See Num. 33. 3: “And they departed from Raamses in the first month [Abib or Nisan]; on the fifteenth day of the first month, on the morrow after the passover [the slaying of the Passover Lamb, 14th Abib], the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.” The Israelites remained in their houses under the blood of the Passover Lamb until the morning of the 14th/15th Nisan (Ex. 12. 22), then left Egypt. They camped successively at Succoth, Etham and the Red Sea. Pharaoh was overthrown in the sea, according to Psalm 136. 15, when he attempted to follow the Israelites through the miraculously parted waters (cf. Ex. 14. 28, Ps. 106. 9-11). The best Biblically-based calculation of the year is 1446 BC, that is, exactly 480 years prior to the building of Solomon’s Temple (I Kings 6. 1), in the 4th year of Solomon, viz. 967/966 BC (according to Thiele’s chronology), the construction commencing in the month after Passover, 966 BC. In that year, 1446 BC, the first Full Moon after the equinox, i.e. the Passover Full Moon, on the 14th Abib-Nisan, was, according to the modern reckoning, March 25th (Julian) at 17.37 hrs. GMT, which is, for Northern Egypt, + 2 hours at the Cairo dateline, 19.37 hrs. This means the 14th Nisan, i.e. the day of the Full Moon, reckoning the day as the Hebrews did from sundown to sundown, would be, according to the modern calculation, sundown March 25th to sundown March 26th 1446 BC Julian, which corresponds to March 12th-13th Gregorian. On the morning of Thursday 26th March the Exodus occurred and the 15th Abib-Nisan began sundown that evening, 15th Abib = 26th-27th March Julian. In Rabbinic tradition it was a Thursday, and, indeed 26th March Julian was a Thursday. However, this modern calculation takes no account of the “approximately one complete day” during which the sun and moon stood stationary at Gibeon and Ajalon at the command of Joshua (Josh. 10. 12-14), of the retrogression of the sun’s shadow by 10 sun-dial degrees (hours) during the reign of Hezekiah, according to the word of Isaiah the prophet (2 Kings 20. 8-11), and the foreshortening by about 1 hr. of the day as a consequence of the disappearance and reappearance of the sun on the day of the Crucifixion AD 33. (See the chart following for a reconstruction of the chronology of the Exodus.) Taking these events into account, the modern calculation of the moon’s phase prior to the time of Joshua c. 1400 BC is out, too late, by around 33 hours (24 hrs. for Joshua’s “long day” + 10 hrs. for the retrogression under Hezekiah, minus 1 hr. for the Crucifixion event): i.e. the Passover Full Moon, on the 14th Abib-Nisan 1446 BC, was actually at 08.37 hrs. GMT, which is, for Northern Egypt, + 2 hours at the Cairo dateline, 10.37 hrs, March 24th Julian. Sundown would fall similarly around 33 hrs. earlier. This means the 14th Nisan, i.e. the day of the Full Moon, reckoning the day as the Hebrews did from sundown to sundown, spanned the two days nowadays referred to as 23rd and 24th March Julian. The 15th Abib-Nisan, therefore, when the Exodus was in progress, was sundown 24th to sundown 25th March Julian. This means the day of the Exodus can be termed “25th March Julian” whether or not 33 hours are deducted for Joshua’s “long day” and the other Biblical phenomena, because a portion of that day was included in the sundown to sundown Hebrew day of the Exodus, whichever way the interval is viewed. This helps with our conceptualization of the rather complex chronology. At around sunrise (“the morrow after the Passover”) on the 25th March Julian the Israelites left Egypt. On the Hebrew day 25th-26th March Julian they camped at Succoth, a region in the border land between Pithom in the Wadi Tumilat and the Gulf of Suez. Towards sundown the next day, 26th-27th March Julian, they camped at Etham, not far from the head of the Gulf of Suez. The next day, 27th-28th March Julian they “turned back” from Etham at the command of God, and by the 28th-29th March Julian they were camped at the Red Sea, “between Migdol (= ‘a military station’) and the sea”, also “opposite” Baal-zephon: the site opposite Baal-zephon was later occupied by the Greco-Roman military post Clysma (named from the area “washed by the waves” [Gk. klysma] where Baal-Zephon stood, cf. Eusebius Onomasticon, s.n. Beelsephon [Greek]), on the western shore of the Gulf of Suez, at latitude 28° 50´ (according to Ptolemy’s Geography IV. 5. 14), not far from the ancient monastery of the Coptic monk Paul on Mount Clysma, known today as Deir Mari Bolos (Antonine Itin. 43, ed. Geyer, 1898, p. 188 line 16). By the native Egyptian records of the date of the death of Thutmosis III (infra), we can conclude Pharaoh arrived at the Israelite camp around 29th-30th March Julian. The Israelites entered the Sea 30th-31st March Julian half a Roman mile, 500 paces, from Clysma (the location recorded in the epitome of the unidentified female pilgrim known as “Silvia” or “Egeria” in Petrus Diaconus, ed. Geyer, 1898, p. 117, line 9), and crossed over to the opposite shore of the Gulf. The drowning of the Egyptians occurred just before sunrise on 1st April Julian, in the last of the three watches of the night, approximately 2am to 6am (Ex. 14. 24-28). 1st April Julian is 19th March Gregorian. The Egyptians themselves reckoned their day from sunrise to sunrise, and the last day of the reign of Thutmosis III is stated to have been 30th Phamenoth. 30th Phamenoth in BC 1446 corresponds precisely to 1st April Julian or 19th March Gregorian (see the calculations infra). According to Breasted, in his translation of the Inscription of Amenemhab, Records §592, this official’s tomb inscription dates the last (complete) day of the reign of Thutmosis III to the 30th, or the “last day,” of the Egyptian month Phamenoth, viz. the “third month of the second season,” which is how the Inscription defines the day using the native Egyptian terminology. The inscription uses an Egyptian convention identifying Thutmosis III with the sun, and describes his death in terms of the disappearance of the night sun, which was believed in the native Egyptian theology to sink into the waters of the underworld. This is an appropriate, if somewhat euphemistic, metaphor in the circumstances. When the darkness of night was past, the inscription continues, the new “sun” arose, viz. Pharaoh Amenophis II (Breasted, Records §592): “Lo, the king {Thutmosis III} completed his lifetime of many years, splendid in valor, in [migh]t, and in triumph; from year 1 to year 54, third month of the second season, the last day (of the month) under [the majesty of] King Menkheperre (Thutmose III), triumphant. He mounted to heaven, [he] joined the sun; the divine limbs mingling with him who begat him.” The inscription continues as follows (Breasted, Records §808): “When the morning brightened, the sun arose, and the heavens shone, King Okheprure, son of Re, Amenhotep (II), given life, was established upon the throne of his father, he assumed the royal titulary ….” Thus Amenophis II succeeded to the throne the day following 30th Phamenoth, viz. 1st Pharmuthi, 1446 BC.

Note: It must be remembered the terminology is technical. Breasted ibid., note c to Records §592, uses Meyer’s chronology to date the last day of Thutmosis III to 17th March “Julian”. (“Julian” here means the “Julian” terminology of the Gregorian calendar, compare the calculation supra for the same event, 19th March “Gregorian”.) This calculation of Meyer is based on an estimate of the astronomical sighting by the Egyptians of the heliacal rising of Sirius on 19th July (Gregorian) in the second millennium BC and 18th July (Gregorian) in the third millennium BC. But this should be corrected for the second millennium to 20th July, on the evidence of the only ancient source we have available to us, the Roman writer Censorinus, who knew how and precisely when, the very conservative Egyptian priests celebrated the heliacal rising of Sirius in Roman Imperial times. (See further infra.) In the unemended text of Censorinus the date is given as 21st July (XII Kal. Aug.), when a new Sirius Cycle began, and the preceding Cycle which he also refers to (beginning in our calendar in 1321 BC) would therefore have commenced on 20th July, as astronomical calculations demonstrate, given a shift back over the centuries of one day because of perturbations in the earth’s orbit. That means the heliacal rising of Sirius observed by the Egyptians for most of the second millennium, including the period of the XVIIIth Dynasty, fell on 20th July Gregorian, not Meyer’s 19th. The more correct date yields the results listed supra. The Egyptian civil calendar was hardly affected by Joshua’s “long day,” as it was fixed to the heliacal rising of Sirius, and not, like the Hebrew calendar, to the phases of the moon. The interval between each heliacal rising was divided into 12 months of 30 days, making 360 days in total, plus 5 intercalated days, and the calendar fell short of the date of the heliacal rising of Sirius one day every four years, returning to its original configuration after 1460 years (the Sothic or Sirius cycle, see further in the Extended Note, infra). On Joshua’s “long day” only the sun and moon were affected, since they remained in the same position in the sky. This could not have been the result of a pole-shift on earth, as the sun and moon would then have moved forwards or backwards, as the sun did on the occasion of Hezekiah’s retrogression, and as both celestial bodies did at the time of the Crucifixion. The continued rotation of the earth on Joshua’s “long day” would have meant the stellar positions in relation to the earth, the horizon etc., remained unchanged, and thus Sirius would have continued to rise at the normal time. The stellar background of the sun and moon also would have been almost, if not exactly, the same, as the phenomenon is said to have persisted for “approximately one complete (lit. “perfect”) day.” The sun and moon remained stationary almost exactly for one 24 hr. rotation, till the starry background behind them was nearly, if not precisely, the same when the phenomenon ceased. Thus the Egyptian calendar, fixed to a particular rising of the star Sirius above the horizon, would have continued in its normal course, and Pharaoh Thutmosis III still perished on 30th Phamenoth = 1st April Julian (19th March Gregorian).

57a. There is no contrary, chronological, evidence available to negate this conclusion: the only otherwise supposedly “fixed” point in New Kingdom chronology is the Sothic date found in the Ebers papyrus which locates July 3rd 1541 +/- 6 years within the ninth regnal year of Amenophis I (though that has increasingly been disputed, and only applies, in any case, if the observation upon which it is based was made in the region of Memphis or Heliopolis). “Ninth year of the reign of his majesty the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Djeserkare [= Amenophis I] — may he live forever! Festival of the New Year: third month of summer, ninth day — rising of Sirius.” On this date Grimal comments: “If this is evidence for a heliacal rising of Sirius, the astronomical calculation gives the date 1537 BC for the rising, and therefore 1546 BC for the beginning of Amenophis’ reign, but only if the astronomical observation was made at Memphis. If, however, the observation was made at Thebes — which would logically have been the reference point if it was the capital — twenty years have to be deducted from the figure, giving the date of 1517 BC for the astronomical event and 1526 BC for the coronation of Amenophis I.” 1537 BC is the date of Amenophis’ 9th year favored by Hayes. Most modern schemes would date the death of Thutmosis around 90 years subsequent to the ninth year of Amenophis I, depending on the particular interpretation of the sequence and lengths of reigns of the early XVIIIth Dynasty followed in each case. That puts the death of Thutmosis III at ca. 1451 +/- 6 years, and 1446 falls within the margin of error, even assuming, as the mean date here does, that the interval was precisely 90 years. Hayes’ calculation of the Sothic date for the ninth year of Amenophis I as 1537 BC differs by an insignificant single year from that estimated, according to this reckoning, if Thutmosis III perished in 1446 BC.

58. There are, in fact, only twenty-two years within the 15th century BC when the Passover Full Moon, viz. the moon of the 14th Abib-Nisan, fell in March, at least three days prior to the date of the death of Thutmosis III on 1 April (30 Phamenoth). This interval of three days allows sufficient time for the removal of Israel to the Red Sea etc. Since Thutmosis III, under his Horus name “Amosis” (Kha-em-waset, pronounced “Ha-em-ose”), is the only Pharaoh identifiable from the ancient sources as having perished in the Red Sea, and we know from inscriptional evidence that Thutmosis III “joined the sun” in departure from this world and passed the throne to his son, the new “sun”, Amenophis II, on that date, these are also the only possible years for the Exodus. Of these twenty-two, eight fall within the range of dates (between 1452 and 1413) where most

Timeline of the Exodus

Click the image above to see a higher quality version

modern Egyptologists place the final year of Thutmosis III. Of those eight one only, viz. 1446 BC, is part of a pattern of dates in which the new moon feasts recorded in Thutmosis’ 23rd and 24th regnal years coincide with astronomically computed new moons (in the manner demonstrated infra in the Extended Note). The other dates fall short of the astronomical new moons by an interval of several days, and in all cases by more than the two days allowed for because of the 33 hour backdating for Joshua’s “long day” and the other Biblical phenomena. 1446 BC happens also to be precisely the date 480 years before the building of the Temple of Solomon favored by the strict, conservative, Biblical, chronology. We have to dismiss the evidence of one or more of these witnesses, either of the Bible, or astronomy, or the native Egyptian history, or archaeology, or the post-Biblical sources, in order to evade the conclusion, and what reason is there to do that when they are all in harmony?

Extended Note on the Chronology of the Reign of Thutmosis III and the Exodus

The very handy javascript program “Calcalc” referred to in this note, created at fourmilab.ch, may be accessed freely at the following link in order to check the calculations yourself: https://www.christianhospitality.org/resources/calcalc/index.html. The equally handy chart of moon phases in the 15th century BC cited as “Astropixels” here, is found at http://www.astropixels.com/ephemeris/phasescat/phases-1499.html (online as at 0720).

The Egyptian civil calendar comprised 12 months (3 seasons containing 4 months each), each month being composed of 30 days. 12 × 30 = 360 days. There were 5 intercalary days inserted at the end of each year and a new year began on the first day of the month Thoth (1 Thoth). So a year was 365 (360 + 5) days long. As the earth actually revolves around the sun in approximately 365 and one quarter days, the Egyptian year was one quarter of a day short. 1 Thoth, the beginning of the new year, originally coincided with what is called the “heliacal rising of the star Sirius,” this star, the brightest fixed star in the sky, being known as “Sothis” to the Egyptians. The “heliacal rising” was when Sirius rose into sight for the first time just before sunrise, after a few weeks of invisibility below the horizon. In the second millennium BC, which is the period of our interest, it rose thus in the latter half of July. At that same time in the year the Nile swelled with water from the rains in the South, and this was an important time-marker for the agriculturalists of ancient Egypt. So the new year began originally at the time of the flooding of the Nile, more precisely at the heliacal rising of Sirius. But because the civil year was a quarter of a day short of the astronomical year, after a period of four years (called a “Tetraeteris” or “four-year period”), the civil year ended one complete day short of the heliacal rising of Sirius. After 8 years the civil year ended 2 days short of the heliacal rising of Sirius, and so on. After 1460 years the civil year calendar had slipped back to the point where it started originally and now coincided once again with the heliacal rising of Sirius. This period of 1460 years was known in Roman times as a “Great Year”. One such “Great Year” ended on XII Kal. Aug. = 21 July AD 139 according to Censorinus De Die Natali ch. xxi (sic in the two chief manuscript witnesses, ed. Hultsch mss. D and V, emended conjecturally by Scaliger to read XIII Kal. = 20 July), and that must have commenced therefore in 1321 BC. The previous cycle will have started in 2781 BC. The whole of the history of the XVIIIth Egyptian dynasty which we are interested in fell within that particular Sirius cycle or “Great Year” 2781-1321 BC, and by that time the heliacal rising of Sirius will have dropped back one day, as compared to AD 139, because of perturbations in the earth’s orbit, to 20 July. Though Sirius may have been visible in pure astronomical terms before that day in the month (most modern writers presume it was first visible on 19 July in the second millennium BC, but recent evidence points to some time on 17 July), we should take the only ancient witness we have for the date when the pagan system was still functioning in Egypt, viz. Censorinus, as it may have been based on something more than purely mathematical or astronomical considerations. Knowing the date for the heliacal rising accepted by the Egyptians themselves in the second millennium BC (viz. 20 July as calculated from the situation in Censorinus’ time) we can compute for that Sirius cycle the exact year when the civil calendar fell back one day, exactly when it fell back two days, etc. all the way through the cycle. Thus if a particular day and month in the Egyptian calendar is quoted by some writer in the XVIIIth Dynasty, say for the heliacal rising of Sirius, and the day and month quoted in that case is not 1 Thoth, which was the date when the cycle started, we know precisely how far back the calendar had slipped by that time in the XVIIIth Dynasty, and since the slippage was regularly one day every four years, we can compute which year BC that day and month fell to within a period of 4 years. Though each individual element in the chronological process outlined here might be, and is assailed from one rational angle or the other, and no estimation can be expected to be 100% accurate, the historical validity of these chronological calculations should be carefully weighed, when the results of two or more calculations within a single historical phase combine to verify eachother, and support historical conclusions drawn from them.

Before proceeding with the calculated dates for the reign of Thutmosis III, the terminology must be explained. “Julian Days” have (rather confusingly) nothing to do with the “Julian calendar”. The two are named after two different men called Julius. Julian Days are a relatively modern (Renaissance) invention used to number each individual day in history starting from an arbitrarily selected date 1 January 4713 BC. They start at midnight and are usually quoted in the manner nnnnnnn.5, for example 1136578.5, meaning 12 noon half way (“.5”) through the day 1136578. These day-numbers are extremely useful to avoid confusions which might arise, as we shall see, when dealing with different calendars covering the same point in history. The Julian Day-number is a very specific time-marker. The “Julian calendar”, on the other hand, is an ancient Roman invention, based on the earlier Egyptian calendar, but it added one day every four years (in the so called “leap year”) to cover that missing day every four years in the Egyptian scheme. The “Julian calendar” therefore had no such thing as a “Great Year”. This Roman calendar had 365 days in its ordinary year and 366 in the leap year. Generally that keeps time much better with what we may call the astronomical clock, but it too falls out of cater eventually because the year is not exactly 365 and one quarter days long. A slight correction to the calendar was added in the days of Pope Gregory in AD 1582 and that corrected calendar has since become adopted worldwide, being known after the Pope as the “Gregorian Calendar”. The convention in historical works is to use the Gregorian calendar back till 1582 and before that to use the Old Style Julian calendar for all dates in history, even back into the millennia before Christ, unless otherwise stated. But if, instead of doing that, we project the modern Gregorian calendar into the past, and use the Gregorian calendar to date historical events before 1582, it should be quoted as the “proleptic” (meaning “backdated” or “retroactive”) Gregorian date, which might be abbreviated to “prolep. Greg.” etc. Likewise when we use the Julian calendar and project it back, as is commonly done, into pre-Roman times, we are strictly speaking using the “proleptic” (“backdated”) Julian calendar (similarly abbreviated to “prolep. Jul.” etc.). These various terms crop up repeatedly in the following chronological summary. Another point to note is that the Gregorian calendar uses a year 0 at the transition from AD to BC and therefore years BC are stated with a minus sign in front of them, −5 being 6 BC and −1320 being BC 1321. The Julian calendar does not have a year 0, and therefore when the minus sign is employed, as it sometimes is, to express years BC in the Julian calendar, −1319 means 1319 BC in that calendar, not 1320 BC. This is the terminology employed in Calcalc. The same usage is not followed by all authorities, however, and in the Astropixels chart cited hereafter the Old Style Julian dates BC are cited as if there was a year 0 and BC 1320 Old Style Julian appears as −1319.

Further Note: certain New Moon dates are used by historians to help calculate the terminal years of the reign of Thutmosis III and other Egyptian kings. These dates are commonly stated in terms of the proleptic (backdated) Julian calendar. That is, the Gregorian calendar is employed for New Moons after AD 1582, but before that “Old Style Julian” dates, all the way back through the Roman Empire and even into the first and second millennia BC and beyond, well before the Julian calendar was invented. Thus on the Astropixels chart the New Moon for Nisan 14 1446 BC (the first Passover), is stated to have transpired on March 25, 1446 BC (“−1445” in that chart), which is the prolep. Julian date. New Moons in Egyptian chronology would normally follow this convention, but calculations of slippages in the Egyptian civil calendar preferably employ proleptic Gregorian dates, based on the heliacal rising of the star Sirius for any given year: that event occurred on July 20 prolep. Greg. in the second millennium BC (supra). The reason is that the Julian calendar over time (backwards or forwards) gradually moves out of sequence with the astronomical year (c. 10 days by AD 1582) and is, therefore, not as suitable to define the date of the heliacal rising of a star, which occurs at almost exactly the same time each year. The Sothic dates for the Egyptian civil calendar may be stated in “Gregorian” or “Julian” terms, so that the heliacal rising of Sirius (Sothis) is reckoned to have occurred in the 15th century BC and thereabouts on “20 July Gregorian” or “20 July Julian” (see Parker Calendars, p. 32 [bis], 46, “Greg.”, Meyer, Chronologie, p. 48, “Juli juli.” though these writers presume the heliacal rising took place on 19 July) This means that the date employs the month names of the “Julian calendar” which were adopted later by the “Gregorian calendar”. When the term “Julian” is used, therefore, it does not necessarily mean that the proleptic Julian calendar is being employed, but merely the terminology borrowed from it.

The Egyptian civil calendar slipped back one day every four years in relation to the heliacal rising of Sirius (supra), and this period of four years is called a Tetraeteris. Meyer ibid. shows that some time during the reign of Thutmosis III (unspecified regnal year), the heliacal rising of Sirius is recorded as having occurred on 28 Epiphi. This Egyptian day and month shows that the civil calendar had slipped many days back in time by whatever year that was in the reign of Thutmosis III, because the heliacal rising of Sirius originally took place (at the beginning of the “Great Year” cycle) on 1 Thoth. It means, in fact, that the civil calendar had slipped 327 days back by that time. (Breasted, Records, vol I, p. 29.) That is so because Epiphi is the 11th month in the year, so 10 complete months of 30 days had passed since 1 Thoth (the first day of the year) = 300 days + another 27 days till 28 Epiphi, and the New Year’s day which in 2781 BC had been on 1 Thoth, now fell 327 days later in the calendar on 28 Epiphi. 327 × 4-year periods must have elapsed since 2781 BC. 327 × 4-year periods total 1308 years. BC 2781 − 1308 years = 1473 BC. In that or one of the following three years of the 4-year period (Tetraeteris), the heliacal rising of Sirius occurred on 28 Epiphi, having fallen back 327 days from the original 1 Thoth at the beginning of the Cycle. From this we can conclude one of the years 1473-1469 BC fell within the reign of Thutmosis III.

As regards the year date here suggested for the death of Thutmosis III, that is 1446 BC. Since 1446 BC is 27-23 years subsequent to 1473-1469, there would be 6 Tetraeteris periods in the interval (6 × 4 = 24). By that time, therefore, the slippage would be (327 + 6 =) 333 days. 1 Thoth had slipped back 333 days in that 4-year period from its position on 20 July (the heliacal rising of Sirius). 20 July BC 1446 is Julian Day 1193484.5, and 1193484.5 − 333 = 1193151.5 = 21 August BC 1447, which was 1 Thoth that year. The last day of the reign of Thutmosis III was the 30th day of the third month of the second season (30 Phamenoth) = 210 days into the year. That would be 210 days after 1 Thoth on 21 August BC 1447, the latter being Julian Day 1193151.5. 1193151.5 + 210 = 1193361.5, which is BC 1446 19 March prolep. Greg. or 1 April prolep. Julian, a Wednesday. That was the last day of the life and reign of Thutmosis III if he died in 1446 BC. Pharaoh perished not long before sunrise in the Red Sea, so that last day would be the Egyptian day sunrise Tuesday, 31 March to sunrise 1 April prolep. Julian. In that case, considering the events in reverse sequence: Tuesday 31 March Pharaoh entered the Red Sea, Monday 30 March he arrived at the Israelite camp, Sunday 29 March the Israelites were camped at the Red Sea near Clysma, having traveled a longer and more difficult route from Etham by the restricted seashore on Saturday 28 March, Friday evening 27 March they were stationed at Etham at the head of the Gulf, Thursday evening 26 March at Succoth at the exit from Wadi Tumilat, and the same Thursday was the day of the Exodus from Ramesses, Julian Day 1193355.5, March 13 prolep. Greg., or March 26 prolep. Julian, which is Nisan 15 (Calcalc). The Passover Full Moon was Julian Day 1193354.5 = March 12 prolep. Greg., or March 25 prolep. Julian, Abib (Nisan) 14.

Allowing a backdating of 33 hours for Joshua’s long day and the other Biblical phenomena, as explained in the main body of the text supra, the dates can be stated very similarly, and the death of Thutmosis III, employing the Egyptian civil calendar remains 1 April prolep. Julian (30 Phamenoth).

As regards the New Moon and other named dates in the reign of Thutmosis III, it may be questioned whether the comparative chronology of his reign supports the date for his death proposed here. We know a year between BC 1473 and BC 1469 fell some unspecified time before his last year and within his 54-year reign, by the heliacal rising of Sirius on 28 Epiphi referenced above. There are also two New Moon dates recorded in his 23rd and 24th regnal years. Meyer dated his death (and 54th year) to BC 1447 and his 23rd year to 1479/78. Therefore the New Moon feast recorded by Thutmosis III on 21 Pachon in his 23rd year Meyer dated to 15 May BC 1479, as that was when he calculated 21 Pachon to have fallen that year, with 1 Thoth having slipped back to 28 August 1480. Meyer noted, however, there was no astronomical New Moon precisely then, but there was one 2 days earlier on May 13 (prolep. Julian), and so he suggested the New Moon feast occurred on the day of first visibility of the new crescent a couple of days subsequent to, rather than on the actual day of, the astronomical New Moon. Parker, on the contrary, gave evidence to locate the feast of the New Moon on the day immediately following the last visible crescent, which is much nearer, and usually precisely on, the astronomical New Moon. Parker’s evidence seems convincing, and we will take it that the New Moon feasts (called “Pesdjentiu” in Egyptian) recorded by Thutmosis III fell very close to and more probably on the day of the astronomical New Moon.

Note: as regards the following calculations on the dates of the New Moon feasts, the use of the date 20 July as the fixed point from which to calculate the slippage in the civil calendar in any given year demonstrates that the calculation is based on the prolep. Gregorian calendar, as that gives a fixed date for the heliacal rising of Sirius because it is in very close sequence with the astronomical year. When we calculate a date for the 21 Pachon in BC 1479 or 1478 we use a calculation of the slippage based on the fixed date of 20 July prolep. Gregorian in the 2nd millennium BC as the original date of the heliacal rising of Sirius in that period of history.

According to Meyer’s chart p. 50, the regnal year of Thutmosis III began on 4 Pachon in any given calendar year. This means (by our chronological scheme) the 23rd regnal year of Thutmosis III began on 4 Pachon BC 1478. The New Moon feast recorded in his 23rd regnal year fell on 21 Pachon (9th month) which is the 261st day of the Egyptian civil year. The preceding 1 Thoth, the beginning of the civil year in BC 1479, had slipped back 325 days by that Tetraeteris or 4-year period (BC 2781 − 1479 = 1302, and 1302 ÷ 4 = 325.5). 325 days slippage from the original 20 July means 1 Thoth fell on 29 August BC 1479, which is Julian Day 1181471.5. 1181471.5 + 261 = 1181732.5 = 17 May BC 1478 prolep. Greg. So the New Moon feast in the 23rd regnal year of Thutmosis III = 21 Pachon = Julian Day 1181732.5 = 17 May BC 1478 prolep. Greg. = 30 May prolep. Julian.

The next 1 Thoth fell on 28 August BC 1477, because by that year a new 4-year-period (Tetraeteris) was initiated in the slippage of the civil calendar, which had fallen back now 326 days. (BC 2781 − 1304 = 1477 BC, and 1304 ÷ 4 = 326 without a fraction.) The 24th regnal year of Thutmosis III commenced on 4 Pachon BC 1477. That 24th regnal year spanned two Julian calendar years BC 1477-76 and the New Moon feast Pesdjentiu in his 24th regnal year occurred in the earlier part of BC 1476 on 30 Mecheir (6th month). 30 Mecheir is the 180th day into the Egyptian civil year beginning 1 Thoth = 28 August BC 1477 = Julian Day 1182201.5. 1182201.5 + 180 = 1182381.5 = 24 February BC 1476 prolep. Greg. So the New Moon feast in the 24th regnal year of Thutmosis III = 30 Mecheir = Julian Day 1182381.5 = 24th February BC 1476 prolep. Greg. = 9 March prolep. Julian.

Related calculations:

1. In the Egyptian civil calendar there were 11629 days between 21 Pachon (New Moon) in the 23rd regnal year and 30 Phamenoth (last day of reign) in the 54th and last year of Thutmosis III:

viz. there were 31 complete Egyptian years between the termini (31 × 365) = 11315 days, also

21 Pachon = day 261 into the year therefore the rest of that year comprises 365 − 261 = 104 days, and

30 Phamenoth = day 210 into the year, therefore

the total surplus days (over and above 31 complete years) = 210 +104 = 314, so

the total of days between the two Egyptian dates (New Moon in the 23rd regnal year and date of last day in 54th regnal year) = 11315 + 314 = 11629.

2. In the Egyptian civil calendar there were 10980 days between 30 Mecheir (New Moon) in the 24th regnal year and 30 Phamenoth (last day of reign) in the 54th and last year:

viz. there were 29 complete Egyptian years between the termini (29 × 365) = 10585 days, also

30 Mecheir = day 180 into the year therefore the rest of that year comprises 365 − 180 = 185 days, and

30 Phamenoth = day 210 into the year, therefore

the total surplus days (over and above 29 complete years) = 210 +185 = 395, so

the total of days between the two Egyptian dates (New Moon in the 24th regnal year and date of last day in 54th regnal year) = 10585 + 395 = 10980.

End of related calculations.

New Year’s Day (1 Thoth) occurred Julian Day 1181471.5 = 29 August BC 1479 prolep. Greg., having slipped back by that time 325 days. Pachon is the 9th month and 21 Pachon is the 261st day of the civil year (= 1181471.5 + 240 + 21), Julian Day 1181732.5, which is 17 May BC 1478 prolep. Greg. = 30 May BC 1478 prolep. Julian. This is two days prior to astronomical New Moon, on 1 June 1478 BC 07.47 (Cairo dateline) prolep. Julian (Astropixels chart “−1477”), when there happened to be also a total solar eclipse. But backdating 33 hours on account of Joshua’s long day and the other Biblical phenomena, this astronomical New Moon coincides precisely with the calculated date 30 May.

In the next year, BC 1477, 1 Thoth fell 28 August, having slipped back by that time 326 days. That is Julian Day 1182201.5. The New Moon feast Pesdjentiu occurred on 30 Mecheir following, Mecheir being the 6th month, so 30 Mecheir is the 180th day in the year, that is 1182201.5 + 180 = 1182381.5 = 24 February BC 1476 prolep. Greg. = 9 March BC 1476 prolep. Julian. This likewise is two days before the astronomical New Moon on 11 March BC 1476 at 22.32 (Cairo dateline) prolep. Julian (Astropixels chart “−1475”), so backdating 33 hours on account of Joshua’s long day and the other Biblical phenomena, the astronomical New Moon feast coincides precisely with the calculated date 9 March BC 1476 prolep. Julian.

The interval between the New Moon feast 21 Pachon BC 1478 in the 23rd regnal year of Thutmosis III and 30 Phamenoth BC 1446 the last day of Thutmosis III in his 54th regnal year is correctly 11629 days: 21 Pachon = 17 May BC 1478 prolep. Greg. or 30 May BC 1478 prolep. Julian = Julian Day 1181732.5, and 1181732.5 + 11629 = Julian Day 1193361.5 = 19 March BC 1446 prolep. Greg. or 1 April prolep. Julian BC 1446.

The interval between the New Moon feast 30 Mecheir BC 1476 in the 24th regnal year of Thutmosis III and 30 Phamenoth BC 1446 the last day of Thutmosis III in his 54th regnal year is correctly 10980 days: 30 Mecheir = 24 February BC 1476 prolep. Greg. or 9 March BC 1476 prolep. Julian = Julian Day 1182381.5, and 1182381.5 + 10980 = Julian Day 1193361.5 = 19 March BC 1446 prolep. Greg. or 1 April prolep. Julian BC 1446.

We now have a secure chronology of the reign of Thutmosis III locked into position within the wandering Egyptian civil calendar in the fifteenth century BC by the infallible Biblical account, by the Sothic date 28 Epiphi (= 20 July, some year between BC 1473 and 1469), by the two New Moon feasts in his 23rd and 24th regnal years, and by the day of his death in his 54th regnal year. Thutmosis III began his reign in BC 1499, his 23rd year was BC 1478/77, when he celebrated the New Moon feast on 21 Pachon = 30 May BC 1478 (prol. Julian), two days before the New Moon, as charted, on 1 June (but to be backdated 33 hours because of Joshua’s long day and the other Biblical phenomena), his 24th year was BC 1477/76, when he celebrated the New Moon feast on 30 Mechir = 9 March 1476 (prolep. Julian), two days before the New Moon, as charted, on 11 March (but to be backdated 33 hours because of Joshua’s long day and the other Biblical phenomena), and he died in the Red Sea on 30 Phamenoth = 1 April 1446 BC (prolep. Julian).

End of Extended Note

58a. Is there any physical evidence of the catastrophic judgment which fell on Egypt at the Exodus? The answer is — very significant evidence. A volcanic explosion of a magnitude greater than any other experienced in the heartland of the civilized world occurred during the latter part of the reign of Thutmosis III. That was the Santorini or Thera explosion in the Aegean Sea. Its effects worldwide are incalculable, but it is certain it caused a collapse of economies, cultures, and agricultural cycles, as well as tsunami and earthquake damage, in the immediate vicinity of the eastern Mediterranean. Pumice from the explosion has been found in the Hyksos capital of Avaris in a layer datable clearly to the reign of Thutmosis III. Precisely how and in what manner the natural disasters described in the Biblical account of the Exodus were interconnected with the Thera explosion is yet to be determined. That there was an interconnection seems undeniable. No other catastrophe of the requisite magnitude is known from extra-geological sources at the era indicated by the ash-layer deposits. Could it have been coincidence that just when the prophet Moses went down to Egypt, announcing God’s judgment on that mighty civilization, the biggest volcanic explosion ever to have struck the world’s cultural centers blew an ancient island off the map, obliterated the Minoan palaces of Crete, and deposited pumice right there in far-away Egypt? The modern debate about the date of this event, which is currently troubling the academic waters, resolves itself into a question about whether the ash-layers that were deposited in the time of Thutmosis III, and therefore the reign of Thutmosis III itself, are to be dated to c. 1620 or to c. 1450 BC. The former is the date favored by certain Radio-Carbon and other modern chronometric techniques, which are still in their developmental stage, the latter is the date established by historical analysis of the Egyptian evidence. That there may be something wrong with the modern chronometric techniques is suggested by the Radio-Carbon dating of Thutmosis III’s reign, using other materials discovered in Egypt, and after calibration, to 50 years more or less later than the historically computed date, with a considerable margin of error taken for granted. The uncalibrated Radio-Carbon date is 300 years later than the same historically computed date! But the absolute chronology in this respect is of no consequence. The era of the Exodus as demonstrated here was also the era of the Santorini explosion. For absolute dating we should look to our Absolute, the Word of God. That indicates a date of 1446 BC. According to Jean-Daniel Stanley, the Senior Scientist and Director of the Geoarchaeology Program at the Smithsonian, referring to his article in Nature 1986 (vol. 320, no. 6064, pp. 733-735), “volcanic ash from the Thera volcano about 500 miles northwest of the Nile Delta in Egypt was found in four out of five sediment cores we recovered for scientific study along the margins of the Manzala lagoon in the northeastern delta …. Our radiocarbon data indicate that the Thera ash settled in the delta about 3,500 years ago …. I leave to others the proving (or disproving) of any relation of this documented material and event with the Biblical Exodus and/or other associated natural episodes. However, as useful background … readers should know that this Thera volcanic eruption released one of the largest recorded volume of volcanic material in human history. Moreover, prevailing winds in northern Egypt are directed to the southeast, that is, quite directly from Thera to the Nile Delta. At the very least, important clouds of volcanic ash from this eruption would indeed have been seen, and perhaps felt, by those living at that time in Egypt’s Nile Delta.” (Biblical Archaeology Review Jan/Feb 2005 vol. 31 No. 1, p. 63 cols. ab, “Thera Eruption Seen in Egypt.”)


58c. Though no reliable dates for the history of Greece can be calculated before the First Olympiad in 776 BC, the traditional chronology of Argos, according to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, (§S-206c) was the most ancient, and that dated Inachus (the contemporary of Moses) to around 400 years before the Trojan War (ibid.) The traditional date of the fall of Troy is c. 1183 (Eratosthenes). Excavations at Troy confirm a destruction layer (Troy VIIa) at precisely this time. The Pharaoh Thuoris, who, according to Manetho, was Homer’s Polybus, and reigned in Egypt at the time of Troy’s fall, is the historical Tawaseret of the late XIXth Dynasty. Tawaseret’s 2-8 year sole reign terminated, according to a range of different authorities, c. 1201-1186 BC. These findings strengthen confidence in the traditional date of the fall of Troy, and give credence to the general reliability of the traditional Greek chronologies, such as that of Argos. According to the native Egyptian priest and historian, Ptolemy of Mendes, (§§S-204a, S-206a, S-206b, S-206c) Inachus, Pharaoh Amosis (Khaemwaset-Thutmosis III) and Moses were contemporaries, and according to Polemon (apud Africanus, §S-206a), the Exodus occurred in the time of Inachus’ grandson, Apis. That suggests the floruit of Inachus was contemporary with the earlier phase of Moses’ life. Inachus is dateable to c. 1580 BC (c. 400 years before the Trojan War) and Moses, according to this reconstruction, was born 1526 BC (see §59 below). These two dates are near enough for Moses and Inachus to have been contemporaries, as stated by Ptolemy of Mendes, and the synchronism suggested by the dates falls in Moses’ earlier years, as implied by Polemon. Moses was also a contemporary of Amosis (Thutmosis III), as demonstrated here passim. Interestingly, the recent excavations at Avaris (Tell el-Dab’a) have uncovered in the latest phase of occupation at the site, dateable to the reign of Thutmosis III and Amenophis II, Minoan frescoes of the highest quality, which demonstrate the presence at that time in Avaris of nobility from the area of the Aegean. The religion practiced by these foreign residents involved rituals including bull-leaping identical to those attested at Knossos in Crete. This is in the very era when, according to Greek legend (Aristippus and Aristeas apud Clement of Alexandria, §S-206c), Apis, the grandson of Inachus of Argos, migrated to Egypt from the Aegean region and established there a form of the Apis bull cult which was believed by later Greeks to be the origin of the Classical cult of Serapis.

58d. There are two indicators that the Amosis of Ptolemy of Mendes is Khaemwaset-Thutmosis III, the contemporary of Moses, not Ahmosis I, the founder of Dynasty XVIII. These are in addition to the direct assertion of Syncellus which identifies the Amosis of Polemon and Apion at the time of the Exodus with Misphragmuthosis-Thutmosis III (§50), not Ahmosis I, and his claim that Ptolemy of Mendes was in full agreement with these authors (ed. Mosshammer, 72. 13 = ed. Dindorf 120). One indicator is that Africanus, who knew and used Ptolemy of Mendes’ reference to Amosis, also used “Amosis,” in his epitome of Manetho’s king-list, as an alternative name for Misphragmuthosis, the 6th king of the XVIIIth Dynasty (i.e. Thutmosis III), and called Ahmosis I, the first king of that Dynasty, “Amos,” not Amosis (§S-207a). The second is that, according to Ptolemy of Mendes, Amosis demolished Avaris (§S-204a). In historical fact, though Ahmosis I, the founder of the Dynasty, fought against the Hyksos at Avaris, the city still stood, according to Manetho, till the time of Misphragmuthosis (Thutmosis III, the Amosis of Africanus). Furthermore, Theophilus of Antioch informs us that Tethmosis (= Ahmosis I) actually built Rameses, (§S-205a) which is the usual Biblical name for Avaris, rather than demolish it. This is confirmed by recent excavations at the site. After defeating the Hyksos, the earliest kings of the New Kingdom, i.e. Ahmosis I and his successors, probably Ahmosis I himself, built a great royal citadel at Avaris, whilst large areas of the residential districts seem simply to have been left to go to ruin. The city is only known from the ancient sources to have been found abandoned some time between the Hyksos campaign of Thutmosis III and the pre-Exodus reign (co-regency) of Amenophis II, when the latter resettled the Hyksos in their ancient, but by then deserted, city. (See further §51b). According to Ptolemy of Mendes, Avaris was demolished by Amosis (as is here demonstrated = Thutmosis III). That would be presumably during the period he was “removing the footprints” of the Asiatics from the land. The archaeological excavations at Avaris have revealed that after the initial building phase ascribed to Ahmosis I, the founder of the XVIIIth Dynasty, other building projects were commenced some time later, but still within the first half of the XVIIIth Dynasty, which cut into and overlaid the earlier phase. The New Kingdom scarabs found on the site start with Ahmosis I and cease with Amenophis II. This new building work in Avaris, therefore, commenced no later than the reign of Amenophis II, and it is in his reign, during his pre-Exodus co-regency with Thutmosis III, that the Hyksos are said by Manetho to have been readmitted into the deserted Avaris. This would be an obvious time for the newer building works to have commenced. The destruction of the earlier buildings at Avaris, into which these new buildings cut, was either done at this same time, during the co-regency of Thutmosis III and Amenophis II, or somewhat earlier, and we have the testimony of Ptolemy of Mendes that it was in fact done in the time of Thutmosis III (Amosis). Thus the general outline of events described here is confirmed. Also, the earlier and original building, or rather rebuilding, of Rameses (Kessa, Avaris) by Tethmosis (Ahmosis I), according to Theophilus of Antioch, and by Palmanothes (his successor, Amenophis I, see §59 following), according to Artapanus, is now proven to reflect the historical situation in Avaris immediately following the expulsion of the main body of the Hyksos and of their Hyksos kings. These Pharaohs, the first Pharaohs of the New Kingdom, are said to have used Hebrew slave-labor in that building project, and are identified implicitly with the oppressive new government of Exodus 1 which arose in Egypt just prior to the birth of Moses. Ahmosis I is clearly the new Pharaoh, the founder of the New Kingdom, who “knew not Joseph” (Ex. 1. 8), and he and his successor are represented as harshly subduing and enslaving the Hebrew population, because of the likelihood they would ally themselves with Egypt’s enemies (Ex. 1. 10). Such a scenario is realistic in view of the recent expulsion of the main body of Hyksos from Egypt, and their scattering into Canaan and neighboring districts by the follow-up campaigns of Ahmosis I.



S-202a. [Josephus Contra Apionem I. 14ff.] 14. I shall begin with the writings of the Egyptians; not indeed of those that have written in the Egyptian language, which it is impossible for me to do. But Manetho was a man who was by birth an Egyptian, yet had he made himself master of the Greek learning, as is very evident; for he wrote the history of his own country in the Greek tongue, by translating it, as he saith himself, out of their sacred records; he also finds great fault with Herodotus for his ignorance and false relations of Egyptian affairs. Now this Manetho, in the second book of his Egyptian History, writes concerning us in the following manner. I will set down his very words, as if I were to bring the very man himself into a court for a witness: “Some (god) or other, the god of Timai — I know nothing more than this of (his) name — blasted against us {Greek: tou Timaios onoma epi toutou ouk oid’ ‘opôs ‘o theos antepneusen, Footnote 1}, and there came, after a surprising manner, men of ignoble birth out of the eastern parts, and had boldness enough to make an expedition into our country, and with ease subdued it by force, yet without our hazarding a battle with them. So when they had gotten those that governed us under their power, they afterwards burnt down our cities, and demolished the temples of the gods, and used all the inhabitants after a most barbarous manner; nay, some they slew, and led their children and their wives into slavery. The end result was that they made one of themselves king, whose name was Salitis {var. Saites}; he also lived at Memphis, and made both the upper and lower regions pay tribute, and left garrisons in places that were the most proper for them. He chiefly aimed to secure the eastern parts, as foreseeing that the Assyrians, who had then the greatest power, would be desirous of that kingdom, and invade them; and as he found in the Sethroite nome a city very proper for this purpose, and which lay upon the Bubastic channel, but with regard to a certain theologic notion was called Avaris, this he rebuilt, and made very strong by the walls he built about it, and by a most numerous garrison of two hundred and forty thousand armed men whom he put into it to keep it. Thither Salitis came in summer time, partly to gather his corn, and pay his soldiers their wages, and partly to exercise his armed men, and thereby to terrify foreigners. When this man had reigned nineteen years, after him reigned another, whose name was Bnon {var. Beon}, for forty-four years; after him reigned another, called Apachnan, thirty-six years and seven months; after him Apophis {vars.: Aphophis, Aphobis} reigned sixty-one years, and then Iannas fifty years and one month; after all these reigned Assis forty-nine years and two months. And these six were the first rulers among them, who were all along making war with the Egyptians, and were very desirous gradually to destroy them to the very roots. This whole nation was styled HYK[OUS]SOS, (Footnote 2) that is, Herder-kings: for the first syllable HYK, according to the sacred dialect, denotes a king, as is SOS a herder; but this according to the ordinary dialect; and of these is compounded HYK[OUS]SOS: but some say that these people were Arabians.” Now in another copy it is said that this word does not denote Kings, but, on the contrary, denotes Captive Herders, for in Egyptian HYK, and HAK {Egyptian hak, booty, prisoners of war}, with the aspiration, expressly denote Captives; and this to me seems the more probable opinion, and more agreeable to ancient history. [But Manetho goes on]: “Now these before-named kings, and those of the so-called Herders, and their descendants, held sway over Egypt, he says, during a period amounting to five hundred and eleven years.” (Footnote 3) Thereafter he says, “That the kings of the Thebaid and the other parts of Egypt made an insurrection against the Herders, and that there a terrible and long war was made between them.” He says further, “That under a king, whose name was Misphragmuthosis, the Herders were subdued by him, and were indeed driven out of other parts of Egypt, but were shut up in a place that contained ten thousand arûrae {1 arûra = approx. half an acre}; this place was named Avaris.” Manetho says, “That the Herders built a wall round all this place, which was a large and a strong wall, and this in order to keep all their possessions and their prey within a place of strength, but that Thummosis the son of Misphragmuthosis made an attempt to take them by force and by siege, with four hundred and eighty thousand men to lie round about them, but that, upon his despair of taking the place by that siege, agreements were reached, that they should leave Egypt, and go, without any harm to be done to them, whithersoever they would; and that, after this composition was made, they went away with their whole families and effects, not fewer in number than two hundred and forty thousand {seemingly a reminiscence of the Hyksos population of Avaris above}, and took their journey from Egypt, through the wilderness, for Syria; but that as they were in fear of the Assyrians, who had then the dominion over Asia, they built a city in that country which is now called Judaea, and that large enough to contain this great number of men, and called it Jerusalem. Now Manetho, in another book of his, says, “That this nation, thus called Herders, were also called Captives, in their sacred books.” And this account of his is the truth; for tending herds was the employment of our forefathers in the most ancient ages and as they led such a nomadic life in this occupation, they were called Herders. Nor was it without reason that they were called Captives by the Egyptians, since one of our ancestors, Joseph, told the king of Egypt that he was a captive, and afterward sent for his brethren into Egypt by the king’s permission. But as for these matters, I shall make a more exact inquiry about them elsewhere. {Josephus’ epitome of Manetho is continued after the following three footnotes at §S-202b.}

Footnote 1: (For a Timeline of the Hyksos Period see §62). The Greek here clearly includes the word onoma. The common modern emendation — Toutimaios, epi toutou, ouk oid’ ‘opôs,‘o theos antepneusen (“Tutimaeus. In his reign, I know not how, God blasted against us”) — as well as omitting the word onoma, introduces a king Tutimaeus, who is otherwise unlisted in Manetho, at least in the extant sources, and also, on the face of it, represents Manetho as an advocate of monotheism, which he clearly was not. The emendation should therefore be rejected. The translation offered here, which makes perfect sense of the Greek as it actually appears in the manuscripts, is preferable. Though Manetho knew nothing specific about this god, he knew he was referred to as the “god of Timai.” The name Timai looks like a tribal or a geographical name, and it would be natural if it represented the tribal or geographical origin of at least some elements of the Hyksos. It was as traders that the historical Hyksos (“sheikhs of foreign countries”) first made contact with Egypt. Most of their names, as recorded on the Egyptian monuments, are Semitic, and the language in which they are written is related to Arabic and Hebrew. The Hyksos are sometimes referred to simply as “Arabs.” Though their first kings, according to Manetho (Dynasty XV [apud Africanus] or Dynasty XVII [apud Eusebius], Waddell, LCL Manetho, Frs. 43, 48, 49), originated from the Levantine coast (Phoenicia), the Hyksos themselves migrated into Egypt from a part of the Sinai desert traditionally associated with the Ishmaelites. That was the wilderness of Shur. The Ishmaelites traced their descent from Ishmael, the son of Abraham’s Egyptian serving-girl, Hagar. The area in the northern Nile Delta eventually settled by the Hyksos, the Avaris region, is marked today by numerous Arabic place-names commemorating the name of Hagar. One of the principal Ishmaelite tribes descended from Hagar was Tema. The first occurrence of this name in Genesis (25. 15) connects it precisely with the Sinai area bordering on Egypt to the east, the wilderness of Shur. It seems probable, therefore, that the “god of Timai” referred to by Manetho, and of whose proper name he was ignorant, was the unnamed (or unnameable) God of Abraham worshiped by the Ishmaelite tribe of Tema. The name Tema means “South.” It was also the designation of the hot desert wind that originated from that region. It may be that Manetho is deliberately playing on this tribal name and connecting the arrival of the Hyksos with a time of drought, caused by the “blast” of the desert wind. In that case his account is reminiscent of the Biblical account. That depicts the Israelites as arriving in Egypt during a period of severe drought, which affected all lands (Gen. 41. 57ff.), and also represents the episode as engineered by the God of Abraham to preserve the lives of the patriarchs (Gen. 45. 5). Ishmaelites are recorded as being in regular trade with Egypt in this area at the time of Joseph (Gen. 37. 25-28, 39. 1), which is traditionally, i.e. in the Christian transmitters of and commentators on Manetho’s king-list, the time of the first Hyksos kings. (See also §S-300 for Artapanus’ dating of Joseph’s presence in Egypt to the period when “Syrians” or ‘Ermiouth [= native Egyptian ‘Amu = Asiatics?] were in power there). Joseph is dated by Eusebius to his XVIIth Dynasty, the only Hyksos Dynasty in his epitome of Manetho, and more specifically in the Book of Sothis preserved by Syncellus to the reign of Aphophis, one of the first six Hyksos rulers (Waddell, LCL Manetho, pp. 96f., 238ff., Eusebius [epitome of Manetho Dynasty XVII in his Chronicle, in Greek apud Syncellus, and in the Armenian version] and Syncellus [Book of Sothis, s.n. 29. Aphophis, the Ap(h)ophis of Josephus’ epitome and Africanus’ Dynasty XV who ruled 61 years, see further Footnote 3 below.]) The kings of this Dynasty are described in Eusebius’ Manetho as follows: “The Seventeenth Dynasty consisted of Herders who were brothers from Phoenicia and foreign kings: they seized Memphis. The first of these kings, Saites, reigned for 19 years: from him, too, the Saite nome derived its name. These kings founded in the Sethroite nome a town {viz. Avaris}, from which they made a raid and subdued Egypt. The second king was Bnon, for 40 years. Next, Archles, for 30 years. Aphophis, for 14 years. Total, 103 years. It is under these kings that Joseph arises, to rule over Egypt {Greek apud Syncellus: “It is in their time that Joseph is, to all intents and purposes, king of the Egyptians [lit. is shown forth (as) king of the Egyptians],” cp. Gen. 41. 40}. (Eusebius’ epitome of Manetho, in the Armenian translation, Waddell, LCL Manetho, Fr. 48b, following Karst’s interpretation of the last sentence, and Greek apud Syncellus, Fr. 48a). The entry in Syncellus’ Book of Sothis reads: “26. Silites (the first king of the 6 kings of the Seventeenth Dynasty in Manetho), 19 years. 27. Baion, 44 years. 28. Apachnas, 36 years. 29. Aphophis, 61 years. Some say that this king was first called Pharaoh, and that by [or, in] the 4th year of his reign Joseph had come into Egypt as a slave. This [king] did make Joseph lord of Egypt, and of his whole kingdom, by [or, in] the 17th year of his rule, because of the fact that he learned from him the interpretation of the dreams, and had had experience of his divine wisdom. But the Holy Scriptures also call the king in the time of Abraham Pharaoh.” The Biblical question aired here whether the Pharaoh of Joseph’s time or the Pharaoh of Abraham’s time is the first so called in the Bible is a moot point. The Pharaoh in the time of Joseph’s imprisonment is the first referred to as Pharaoh in direct speech, Gen. 40. 11, that is, 2 years before Joseph’s release, cf. Gen. 41. 1, implying the title was in popular use at that period. However, as this entry notes, the Pharaoh in Abraham’s time is the first referred to as Pharaoh in the text of the Bible itself, Gen. 12. 15, 17, 18, 20, but not in direct speech. The usage in those passages could be conventional and retroactive. The chronological statements respecting the 4th and 17th years of Aphophis could be translated differently to read “in the 4th year … in the 17th year. “ However, the temporal dative of the word “year” (Gk. etei) is used elsewhere in the Book of Sothis only once, and there it means “by” that year, not “in” that year: the other phrase reads: “By this 5th year of Concharis … 700 years are fulfilled” (s.n. 25, Concharis, Waddell, LCL Manetho pp. 236ff.) Contrariwise when the Book of Sothis wants to express the meaning “in” a year, it uses the preposition en (“in”) (ibid., p. 238). The statements of Eusebius and the Book of Sothis are consistent with the chronology of Manetho’s account in Josephus. Manetho there reckons 511 years from the earliest of the first 6 Hyksos kings (Salitis) to the final departure of the Hyksos from the land. The latter he dates to the reign of Misphragmuthosis (Thutmosis III) and his son. Other evidence provides a more precise date for this departure, viz. the final year of Thutmosis III, the year of the Exodus, 1446 BC (§57, §51b). Therefore the first Hyksos king is dateable to 1446 + 511 = 1957 BC. This is precisely the era, during what is known as the First Intermediate Period, around 1950 BC, when Asiatics penetrated Egypt and took control of some areas of the country. They were most prominent in the Delta, and Memphis was abandoned to them by the native Egyptians. Later they made Avaris their capital. These findings corroborate the account of Manetho. According to Josephus’ epitome, which claims to represent Manetho’s exact words, king Ap(h)ophis succeeded to the throne 99 years 7 months after the beginning of the Hyksos rule, viz. some time in 1858 BC, and reigned for 61 years, i.e. till 1797 BC. Joseph can be proved from the data given in Genesis and Exodus to have been in power in Egypt at this very period. According to the Bible, the children of Israel dwelt in Egypt for 430 years before the Exodus (Ex. 12. 41), viz. the Entry into Egypt was the 430th year before 1446 = 1875 BC. Joseph was the first child of Israel to dwell in Egypt and his two children, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were likewise reckoned amongst the “children of Israel” (cf. Gen. 48. 5), were born in Egypt during the 7 years of abundance, after Joseph was exalted to power by Pharaoh (Gen. 41. 48-50). These, beginning with Joseph, were the first of Israel’s children to dwell in Egypt (Gen. 50. 22), and the 430 years of Exodus 12. 41 must, therefore, begin with the arrival of Joseph in Egypt as a slave in 1875 BC. Joseph was at least 16 years old (i.e., in his 17th year, according to Hebrew usage) when he related the dreams which caused his brethren to be jealous of him (Gen. 37. 2), and he was in his 30th year (age 29 modern style) when he “stood before Pharaoh” (Gen. 41. 46). There was a minimum of 2 years inclusive imprisonment prior to this (Gen. 41. 1). Joseph, therefore, was 16 or older, but younger than 28 years of age, when he arrived in Egypt in 1875 BC. The earliest possible age is the most probable, as there seems no other clear reason for the Bible to specify his age at this juncture in the narrative, except for the purpose of highlighting the crucial year in which he was taken down into Egypt, to initiate a new era in the Divine history. Nevertheless, even if Joseph had attained the latest possible age of 28 at that point, he would have been only 45 years old 17 years later at the beginning of the reign of Aphophis, 1858 BC, and would thus have lived the major part of his life till his expiration at 110 (Gen. 50. 26) during the 61 year reign of the same king. By this simple comparison of the Biblical data and Josephus’ epitome of Manetho, we find the general chronology of Eusebius’ Chronicle and the Book of Sothis, as they relate to Aphophis and Joseph, confirmed. A more detailed analysis also highlights: 1) the 4th year, 2) the 14th year, and 3) the 17th year of Aphophis, which all feature in the epitomes of Manetho preserved by Eusebius and Syncellus as important years in the history of Joseph. Joseph was in his 17th year in 1875 BC and in his 30th year in 1862 BC. In his 30th year he was promoted from prison and set by Pharaoh over the whole of Egypt. Immediately thereafter followed 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine, spanning the years 1861 to 1848 BC inclusive. Through his management of the famine relief Joseph brought 100% of the silver of both Egypt and Canaan, and of the Egyptian livestock and real estate, into the royal treasury, apart from what belonged to the priests, and negotiated a 20% income tax on the whole population for the future (Gen. 47. 13-27). In the 2nd year of famine, 1853 BC, Joseph’s father, Jacob-Israel, and Joseph’s brethren came down into Egypt. From the immediately succeeding period (Middle Bronze II, or Middle Bronze IIB, as it is also known, see Hyksos Timeline §62, above, >>) dates a scarab from a cave tomb in the Shiqmona suburb of Haifa inscribed with the name “Jacob” (y‘kb ‘r, Ya‘kub, followed by Er, otherwise written y‘kb hr) in Egyptian hieroglyphics. According to Petrie (History of Egypt, vol. 1, 3rd ed., New York, 1897, Addenda p. xxi, n. to p. 122) the fabric of one scarab with the throne name of Ya‘kub-Har”, viz. “Mery-User-Re” (see infra), inscribed on it, is identical to that of scarabs made around the time of Sesostris (Petrie’s “Usertesen”) I, that is at the beginning of Dynasty XII, c. 1850-1800 BC, which is precisely the era of Jacob and Joseph. The same combination y‘kb ‘r has been found in Egypt, too, and is generally ascribed, rather loosely, to the Hyksos period. The initial element is identical to the Biblical Jacob. The second element ‘r or hr is most easily explained as a Semitic root, Ugaritic ‘r (Hebrew ‘yr), meaning “to be excited, fervent, roused, aggressive, contentious,from which is derived the name Er of Judah’s firstborn (Gen. 38. 3ff.) and of Judah’s grandson by Shelah (I Chron. 4. 21). A throne name appears on this and other scarabs, Mery-User-Re, “Beloved of User-Re.User-Re is perhaps a translation of Isra-el, in which the name of the High God Re stands in place of the Hebrew El, and the Egyptian “user” (wsr) corresponds to the Hebrew isra-, “he is powerful.” El is a sun-god in Canaan and Canaanites may even have read the hieroglyphic sign for Re on this scarab as El, employing their customary name for the sun-god, rather than the foreign Egyptian name. It was a daughter of a priest of Re of Heliopolis whom Joseph married, according to Gen. 41. 45, 50, 46. 20. The inscription on the Shiqmona scarab reads therefore: “Er, beloved of IsraelJacob, given life.” The scarab was found in a tomb, and it may actually mark the site of Er’s tomb. Er was the son of a Canaanitess. He was “wicked in the sight of the Lord” according to Genesis 38. 7, and was slain by God in consequence. Canaanite idolatry rose to the level of evil indicated by those statements, and the scarab on the face of it is an idolatrous memento. We would expect Egyptian and Hyksos forms of Jacob’s name to occur in the archaeological record at just this point in time, in the generation following his sojourn in Egypt. The year of Jacob’s arrival in Egypt is an important chronological marker in Biblical history because from it — the 130th year of his life (Gen. 47. 9) — the Patriarchal generations back to the Flood and Adam can be calculated, with the precise genealogical data supplied in Genesis. However, the Christian chroniclers make nothing of this, the 6th year of Aphophis, 1853 BC, but instead highlight the 4th year of Aphophis, 1855 BC. According to the Biblical chronology, that would be the last year of plenty, when Joseph was in power in Egypt. Contrariwise, the Book of Sothis makes it the year by which (or in which) Joseph had come into Egypt as a slave. More agreeable with the Biblical scheme is the alternative Hyksos king-list preserved by Eusebius (Dynasty XVII, in the Armenian translation, and in scholia on Plato’s Timaeus derived from an identical source, Waddell, LCL Manetho, Fr. 48b, 49, pp. 96ff.) In that the reign of Aphophis begins in the 90th year of Hyksos rule (1868 BC), commencing immediately after the 30 year reign of Archles, and the 40 year reign of Bnon, rather than after the 36 year 7 month reign of Apachnan and the 44 year reign of Bnon as in Josephus’ epitome. According to that scheme, Aphophis ruled 14 years (viz. from 1868 to 1855 BC) then Joseph “was, to all intents and purposes, king over the Egyptians.” Once again the crucial year is 1855 BC, though it is here treated as the 14th year of Aphophis, because this scheme dates the beginning of Aphophis’ rule earlier, rather than the 4th year of Aphophis, and it is not the year Joseph arrived in Egypt but more correctly a point in time in which Joseph had all but total power over the country. The idea that Joseph was a slave in Egypt in the 4th year of Aphophis seems also to be derived from an entry connected originally with this other scheme preserved by Eusebius. In that, the 4th year of Aphophis corresponds to 1865 BC, and then Joseph was still in prison. In fact, 1865 BC was separated by an interval of precisely 2 years from the year of Joseph’s promotion out of prison by Pharaoh in 1862 BC. The Bible records that Joseph was left in prison 2 years after interpreting the dreams of Pharaoh’s butler and baker before Pharaoh granted him freedom when he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream (Gen. 41. 1). For some Christian chroniclers, therefore, the 4th year of Aphophis was the year Joseph interpreted the dreams in prison. That synchronism is historically viable. The same synchronism elucidates the reference to the “17th” year of Aphophis in the Book of Sothis as the year in which Joseph was exalted to power over all Egypt. This occurred historically, as we have seen, after an interval of 2 years following the 4th year of Aphophis in Eusebius’ scheme, viz. 1862 BC. But the same interval of 2 years following the 4th year of Aphophis in Josephus’ scheme would yield a result of 1852 BC. Reckoning the regnal years anomalously by the Eusebian scheme, 1852 BC is the 17th year of Aphophis. I.e. that entry originated by a confusion of the two Manethonian king-lists preserved by the Christian chroniclers. It is likely, therefore, that the original notes were as follows (with figures still surviving in the extant sources underlined): 1) 4th year of Aphophis [= 1865 BC], Joseph, a prisoner in Egypt, interprets the dreams (> 14th year); 2) 7th year of Aphophis [= 1862 BC], Joseph exalted to power in Egypt (> 17th year). Both entries are correct by the strict Biblical chronology, given regnal figures for the first four Hyksos kings like those found in the epitome of Manetho preserved in Eusebius’ Chronicle (Armenian version) and in the scholia on Plato’s Timaeus, and a 511 year Hyksos era, as in Josephus’ epitome of Manetho, terminating at the Exodus in 1446 BC.

Table of Synchronisms Between Joseph and the Reign of the Hyksos King Aphophis

Year BC

Year of Hyksos Era Commencing 1957 BC

Regnal Year of Aphophis (Eusebius, Scholia)

Regnal Year of Aphophis (Josephus, Sothis)

P=Plenty F=Famine


Biblical Era




















Joseph arrives in Egypt as a slave in his 17th year

430th Year Before Exodus (1446 BC)





































































Joseph interprets the dreams in prison in his 27th year





















Joseph exalted to power in his 30th year































































Jacob-Israel and his household arrive in Egypt

130th year of Jacob-Israel


















































Scarab from a Burial Cave at Shiqmona near Haifa, in the land of Israel, ancient Canaan, reading “Er, beloved of User-Re (= Isra-El) Jacob, Given Life.”

Footnote 2: Hyksos: Eusebius §S-206d has Hykoussos, Gk. Hukoussôs. The word is composed of two elements: 1) huk, plural hukou, = heka, plural hekau, sheikh, king, ruler, 2) (s)sôs = hase, foreign country. In the “ordinary dialect,” as in many Coptic dialects, the word hase could be pronounced like the word shasu (Coptic shôs), “bedouin, nomadic pastoralists, herders, shepherds.” This latter term was used to describe the kind of Asiatics with whom the Hyksos were bracketed and hence the form Hyk(ou-s)sos came into use and the second element was interpreted as though it actually was shasu. Wordplay seems to have played a part in the process, as also in the interpretation (or reinterpretation) of the first element as hak, captives, booty. The “sheikhs of a foreign country” became by wordplay, and when enslaved by the New Kingdom Pharaohs, the “bedouin booty.”

Footnote 3: This period of 511 years is much longer than modern historians allocate by custom to the Hyksos Dynasties. When they refer to the Hyksos, most modern historians mean the Asiatic kings of what they call Dynasty XV, who ruled large parts or all of Egypt at various times from their capital at Avaris in the interval between c. 1700 and 1550 BC. These people were ousted from power by Ahmosis I of the XVIIIth Dynasty c. 1570-1550 BC and their remnant population was enslaved and oppressed for the next 100 years or so up to the time of the co-regency of Thutmosis III and Amenophis II. However, Manetho is referring here to something else. He is tracing the origin of these people back to their very first appearance in the Delta, which occurred historically 500 years and more before their final departure from Egypt in the reign of Thutmosis III and his son. If Manetho is read closely, it can be seen that he nowhere specifies that the Hyksos ruled the whole of Egypt for the whole of that period. He implies a substantial degree of power was exercised over the native Egyptians by some at least of the first 6 kings, particularly by the first of them. He then refers to an undetermined period when the Hyksos gained the mastery over the native Egyptian rulers. Manetho tells us that Ahmosis I (Tethmosis) broke that political stranglehold. Finally he describes here and in the following sections of his work how the last of the Hyksos departed from Egypt, during a period when they again, for a short period at least, had ascendancy over the native Egyptian population. These three phases of Hyksos power are listed in order in this section of Manetho’s account: “Now these before-named kings {Phase 1: the 6 Phoenician kings, from c. 1960 BC}, and those of the so-called Herders {Phase 2: what modern historians refer to as Dynasty XV, the period of control from Avaris over much or all of Egypt, c. 1700-1570 BC; Manetho says “so-called” Herders because the element sôs in the name Hyk-sos meant “herders” only in the “common dialect,” as he himself points out, whereas originally it represented the Egyptian hase, “foreign country,” see Footnote 2 above}, and their descendants {Phase 3: the Exodus period at the end of the reign of Thutmosis III}, held sway over Egypt, he says, during an interval {accusative} amounting to five hundred and eleven years. Modern historians have come to designate as the Hyksos period Phase 2. Because the rulers or one ruler of that period bore the name Aphophis (Apopi), it has been wrongly concluded that the 6 original Phoenician kings, including the Aphophis mentioned by Manetho, which Manetho bracketed in his Dynasty XV (according to Africanus’ epitome) or Dynasty XVII (according to Eusebius’ epitome), are to be dated to that phase. Such a reconstruction is refuted by the literary evidence (The Prophecy of Neterty and the Admonitions of Ipuwer), which shows that Asiatics were present in overwhelming force in the North already in the First Intermediate Period c. 2000 to c. 1850 BC, and that this, as the Bible describes the era of Joseph, was a time of severe hardship caused by drought and associated natural calamities. The term hekau hase (Hyksos) was used already to describe such Asiatics in the Middle Kingdom period from at least c. 1850 BC. The findings of the excavators at Tell el-Dab’a further prove there was a settlement at the site later known as Avaris already one hundred years or so before the reign of Amenemhat I, the founder of Dynasty XII, i.e. before c. 1850 BC. Africanus represents Manetho as placing the 6 Phoenician kings including Aphophis, the last with a long reign of 61 years, in Dynasty XV, and as designating all Dynasties XV through XVII as Hyksos. Eusebius represents Manetho as designating Dynasties XV through XVI as native Egyptian and Dynasty XVII only as Hyksos (including at the beginning some only of the 6 Phoenician kings and ending with Aphophis’ truncated 14, not 61, year rule: the most probable explanation for this is that Amenemhat I, the native Egyptian founder of Dynasty XII, then began to reign, from 1854 BC, viz. the first year of the 7 years of famine, with an overlapping of reigns with some of the later Hyksos kings). Therefore we should accept the arrangement of the Dynasties in Africanus’ epitome of Manetho as better expressing the historical facts of the case and list these 6 kings as Dynasty XV, located chronologically at the beginning of the period of Hyksos infiltration. Clearly Manetho’s native Egyptian Dynasties XIII and XIV, and perhaps sections of the other Dynasties preceding Dynasty XVIII, were composed of native Egyptian rulers who ruled at various times, contemporaneously in some cases with Hyksos kings. However, Dynasty XVII is likely to have been mainly, if not wholly, Hyksos, and this was the Dynasty of the Apopi (Aphophis) who came in conflict with the rising House of Thebes. Dynasty XVII would then be defined as the line of dynasts ousted by Ahmosis I. Phase 1 of this redefined scheme would be Hyksos Dynasty XV, when the 6 Phoenician kings exercised more or less control over greater or lesser parts of the country, and Dynasty XVI of occasional or partial Hyksos dominance in the remainder of the period up to c. 1700 BC. Phase 2 would be Hyksos Dynasty XVII, c. 1700-1570 BC, composed of Hyksos kings ruling large parts of the country from Avaris, more or less continuously. Phase 3 would be the very brief Exodus Phase in the early XVIIIth Dynasty c. 1446 BC. An alternative Manethonian scheme preserved in Eusebius and partially in the Book of Sothis (s.n. 26, Silites, Waddell, LCL Manetho, p. 238f.) brackets both Phases 1 and 2 as Hyksos Dynasty XVII and labels two dynasties of native Egyptian leaders as Dynasties XV and XVI.

Supplementary Note


{Note: Manetho’s figures and reigns should not be understood as running in sequence: there were overlapping dynasties and reigns, but the details are still obscure.}

The most probable reconstruction of Manetho’s scheme:

At the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrhah c 2044 BC, Dynasty VI came to an end.

There was an interlude of chaos: Dynasty VII of 70 kings for 70 days (alt. 5 kings for 70 days, or for 75 years).

Dynasty VIII of 5 kings ruled in Memphis for 100 years till c. 1960 BC when the Hyksos kings arrived in the Delta and Memphis area.

The Hyksos overthrew the current native Egyptian dynasty (presumably the latter kings of Dynasty VIII, or an ephemeral or nominal hegemony exercised by the earliest Heracleopolitan kings of Dynasty IX and earliest Theban kings of Dynasty XI), but some Memphites claimed to rule for another 46 years (Africanus), making a total of 27 Memphite kings for 146 years.

The native Egyptians were compelled to cover the period of intermittent Hyksos incursion and occasional ascendancy by emphasizing the relatively continuous line of Dynasty IX and Dynasty X of Heracleopolitan kings (Dynasty IX comprising 19 kings for 409 [!] years, or 4 kings for 100 years, followed by Dynasty X comprising 19 kings for 185 years), who ruled from a region in Middle Egypt at Ihnasya (Heracleopolis, the Egyptian Hat-nen-nesut, the Biblical Hanes, Isaiah 30. 4), near the entrance to the Fayum, where they built a new capital, and were therefore not so readily under Hyksos suzerainty. These ruled for a total of 285 (one variant reads 594 years), viz. from c. 1900 BC. (If Manetho’s tradition reflects any chronological reality, some kings may have reigned to as late as c. 1570 BC, when the New Kingdom was inaugurated.) The principal and earliest Heracleopolitan rulers, Achthoes I etc., flourished before the rise of the more powerful Thebans of Dynasty XI, and there was rivalry initially between the two houses.

Dynasty XI of 16 kings for 43 years ruled in Thebes well outside of the Hyksos zone, preceding Amenemhat I, the earliest of them perhaps c. 1950 BC, and up to c. 1830 BC.

Amenemhat I inaugurated the strong and independent Theban Dynasty XII (7 kings ruling 160 years or 245 years), which overthrew the Hyksos suzerainty for more than a hundred years till c. 1700 BC. Joseph served the latter part of his time in Egypt under Amenemhat I till c. 1782 BC, though he was first exalted to power earlier in his career by the fourth of the original six Hyksos kings, Aphophis (see infra). (Africanus’ Manetho makes Aphophis the sixth and last king of Hyksos Dynasty XV.)

Dynasty XIII of Thebans (60 kings for 453 years) was considered to represent the legitimate Egyptian line thereafter, even during times of Hyksos pre-eminence, and contemporaneously, or nearly or partly so, a Dynasty XIV (76 kings for 184 or 484 years) ruled at Xois (Sakha), in the Western Delta, during the principal period of Hyksos ascendancy c. 1700-1570 BC.

In Africanus’ Manethonian scheme Dynasty XV through Dynasty XVII were all Hyksos (from c. 1960 BC to c. 1570 BC). Africanus’ Dynasty XV comprised the original 6 Hyksos or Phoenician kings (for 284 years), the last of them being the king Aphophis who exalted Joseph to power in Egypt: these reigned from c. 1960 BC to c. 1830 BC. Dynasty XVI comprised those Hyksos kings, it may be, who were considered legitimate during the Dynasty XII Theban or other native Egyptian ascendancy following that (Dynasty XVI of 32 Hyksos kings for 518 years), say from c. 1830 BC to c. 1750 BC. Dynasty XVII represented the Hyksos Ascendancy (43 Hyksos kings and 43 kings at Thebes, for 151 years), from c. 1700 BC to c. 1570 BC.

In the alternative Manethonian scheme, Dynasty XV and Dynasty XVI of Theban kings (Dynasty XV comprising an unrecorded number of kings for 250 years, and Dynasty XVI, 5 kings for 190 years) followed on at Thebes after Dynasty XIII. These dynasties ruled from just before, till the end of, the Hyksos Ascendancy, that is from just before c. 1700 BC to c. 1570 BC.

In archaeological terms, Dynasties VII through XI (c. 2044 BC to c. 1850 BC), including the arrival and reign of the first Hyksos kings up to Aphophis, represent the First Intermediate Period; Dynasty XII (c. 1850 BC to c. 1700 BC) the Middle Kingdom; and Dynasty XVII (the Hyksos Ascendancy c. 1700 BC to c. 1570 BC) the Second Intermediate Period.

Joseph’s native Egyptian name:

Joseph is traditionally credited with the construction of the canal feeding Lake Moeris, otherwise known as the Fayum, in Middle Egypt, hence the water-system is known to this day amongst the Egyptian Arabs as Bahr Yusuf, “Joseph’s Lake.” The construction of the lake commenced historically in the reign of Amenemhat I, called Meny by the Egyptians and Mendes by the Greeks, in the Middle Kingdom period c. 1830 BC. The date synchronizes with the latter period of Joseph’s exaltation in Egypt, according to the strict, conservative, Biblical chronology (which dates the Exodus to 1446 BC and the entry of Joseph into Egypt to 1875 BC). From papyrus remains unearthed in Egypt it is known Amenemhat I had in his court a notable official whose name matches Joseph’s Egyptian name Zaphenath, and who appears (see infra) to have come into Egypt as a foreign slave from Canaan. This person’s name was Sinuhe, otherwise written, more properly, Sa-nahat. It means “Son [sa] of the sycamore [nahat].” The name Sa-nahat, like any such Egyptian personal name, might also appear in the form Sa-pa-nahat, with the addition of the definite article “pa:” “Son (sa) of the (pa) Sycamore (nahat).” Since the initial “s” was pronounced something like an “s” or “z,” the name might be transcribed in Hebrew as Za-phe-nath, which is precisely the Egyptian name said to have been given to Joseph, Genesis 41. 45. The name Zaphenath in that passage is followed by a second element “Paaneah.” This represents the definite article (pa) followed by the word for “living one” (aneah, pronounced with a guttural final consonant, Egyptian “ankh”). Joseph was “Zaphenath (Sa-pa-nahat = “Sinuhe”) the Living One (Pa-ankh)” the latter being an honorificum, or honorary title, bestowed on gods and pharaohs, describing its bearer as a partaker of the everlasting life enjoyed by the divinity. It is confirmation that Joseph had quasi-royal status. The Egyptian name may have been a phonetic echo of the Hebrew name Joseph, the latter being in its full form “Yoseph ben aher” (“He [God] will add [= Yoseph] another [aher] son [ben]”): in the Egyptian form the contiguous pe and beth (the pe or ph-sound at the end of Yoseph, and the beth or b-sound at the beginning of ben) merged into one sound, and was represented by the “p” of “pa,” and the “-n aher” at the end, with a medial aspirated heth, or h-sound, and an hardly pronounced final resh, or r-sound, was represented by the name of the sycamore tree “nahat,” in which the medial “h” was aspirated, and the final “t” might, or might not, be dropped in pronunciation. Thus: Yoseph-ben-aher > [Yo]seph-[b]en-ahe[r] > Sa-pa-naha[t]. The meaning of the name was nicely retained, as the sycamore represented a reinvigorating of natural powers, or renewal of life, therefore, “Son of the sycamore” could be interpreted to mean “son of renewal,” i.e. “an additional son.” The whole name Zaphenath Paaneah was translated traditionally “Savior of the world,” which probably goes back to an ancient Hebrew interpretation of the Egyptian name-cum-title as “mihyat-olam” meaning “Everlasting Life-preserver.” See Genesis 45. 5: Joseph said God brought him down to Egypt as a “way to preserve life” (mihyah). The element “mihyah” translates the Egyptian “son of the sycamore” as a metaphor: “he that has the quality of the sycamore,” that is, “life-preserver” (in the same way that “son of the north-wind” in Egyptian means “northerner”). The sycamore, because of its refreshing and curative fragrance, was a symbol of health-giving, restorative, power. The other element “olam” means eternity, everlastingness, or the world of time, and is grammatically in a construct relationship with the first element: it should properly, therefore, have been translated as an adjective, the “everlasting” one, corresponding to the Egyptian Pa-ankh (= Paaneah), but it could also be understood as a noun (“olam” = “the world of time”) and hence the interpretation “Savior of the world:” 1) “Savior” = Heb. “mihyat” or “preserver of life,” corresponding to the Egyptian “son of the sycamore,” meaning “life-preserver,” Sa-pa-nahat, Zaphenath; 2) “of the world” = Heb. “olam,” understood as a simple noun instead of what it was originally, that is, an adjectival noun meaning “world-enduring,” or “everlasting,” corresponding to the adjective “everlasting,” viz. the Egyptian title “Living/Everlasting One,” Pa-ankh, Paaneah.

A famous story, the so called “Tale of Sinuhe,” which was popular in post-Middle-Kingdom Egypt, told of a servant of the royal household who slipped away secretly to Canaan when king Amenemhat I died, because he feared for his safety till the succession was settled. (See §1025ff., below, >>, for the text.) This servant prospered in Canaan, then returned to Egypt after many years, by personal request of the new king Sen-wosret (Sesostris) I of Dynasty XII, for ultimate burial in Egypt. The time and circumstances of this tale match those of Zepho the servant of Joseph, according to post-Biblical Rabbinic legend. The name Zepho is a nominal formation from the root z-ph-h, “watch, attend to, guard,” so Zepho is the “watcher,” “attendant,” or “guard.” The hero of the Egyptian tale refers to himself as Shemsu, and this means precisely “the Attendant,” corresponding to the Hebrew Zepho. The phrase “I Shemsu …” occurs prominently in the introductory section of the tale (ms.: Berlin 104998, line 2). However, because the servant also describes himself as “shemsu Sa-nahat” it has been presumed by modern translators that shemsu in the latter phrase is in apposition to Sa-nahat and means “the attendant Sa-nahat,” as if Sa-nahat (Sinuhe) was his personal name. Notwithstanding the universality of this understanding, the more usual construction in ancient Egyptian is shemsu governing a genitive: “shemsu Har” means “the attendant of Horus,” “shemsu Asari,” “the attendant of Osiris,” etc., so “shemsu Sa-nahat” would mean “the attendant (shemsu) of Sa-nahat.” In that case the hero of the tale is not Sa-nahat himself, but the attendant [shemsu] of Sa-nahat, whose personal name happens also to be Shemsu, as indicated in the phrase in the introductory passage already referred to, “I Shemsu ….” This Shemsu describes himself, accordingly, a little later in the story, as the “servant of the great household (bak ah) of Sa-nahat.” (Though here too the phrase has been taken to be appositional, as if it meant, “servant of the great household, Sa-nahat.”) It is presumed throughout the tale that Shemsu’s master Sa-nahat was well known to Pharaoh, that he was a member of the court elite, and that he was deceased at the time of the relation, since he nowhere features in the action of the story. Indeed in one passage Sa-nahat is proclaimed by Pharaoh to have “come again” in the form of Shemsu on the latter’s return to Egypt, this time as an “Amu [‘Asiatic’] produced by Setians [‘Syrians’].” This implies Sa-nahat entered Egypt like Shemsu, and that would be: from Canaan, as a servant, of foreign stock (an Habiru [Eg. prw], or ‘Hebrew,’ to use the later terminology, but evidently not ‘Setian,’ whatever precisely that meant), and in favor with Pharaoh. Sa-nahat is the Biblical Zaphenath (Joseph), for the reasons given, and all those conditions are met in the case of Joseph. Since further Shemsu translates Zepho, the Egyptian story of Shemsu the servant of Sa-nahat might be expected to mirror the Rabbinic legend of Zepho, the servant of Joseph. According to the Rabbinic legend Joseph led an expedition into Canaan at the time he buried his father Jacob there, which resulted in a conflict between Joseph’s attendants and the Edomites, and in the slaughter of Joseph’s uncle Esau. Other battles ensued between the parties, and Joseph triumphed each time over his Edomite enemies and their allies. He also brought back Edomite captives to Egypt, including Esau’s grandson, Zepho, who remained thereafter his servant in Egypt. On the death of Joseph, Zepho fled Egypt for the land of the Latins (the Latins being equated in Rabbinic literature with the Lotanites of Mount Seir), married the daughter of the king of the Latins (Lotanites), overmastered and slew a monstrous robber single-handed, and then became king of the Latins (Lotanites), and the founder of Rome (Rome being equated in Rabbinic literature with the Edomite Iram). He was worshiped subsequently as a god under the names Janus and Saturnus, the most ancient divinities of Rome. In the Egyptian legend, Shemsu similarly fled Egypt (on the death of Amenemhat I, viz. around the time of the death of Joseph), settled in the land of Retenu (the tribal name Retenu = Lotan, l > r in Egyptian), married the daughter of the king of Retenu, became a Canaanite kinglet himself, fought single-handed and then slew a monstrous robber chief, and returned finally to Egypt in triumph at the invitation of Sen-wosret I, attended by a Canaanite retinue. The precise accord with the story of Zepho confirms that Shemsu is Zepho and Shemsu’s (deceased) master Sa-nahat the Biblical Zaphenath-Joseph.

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