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Egypt Amenhotep and the Bible

Amenhotep was the son of another Egyptian pharaoh named Amhose I. He came into power during the early part of the 15th century B.C. which is where he is found on the Biblical Timeline. Many speculate that he was a child when he took the throne. Scholars and historians cannot pinpoint the exact time of his reign because they are not able to accurately calculate the dates.

Historical records also point out the fact that his mother acted in his place as a ruler because of his extremely young age. When he was of age he married his sister Amhose-Meritamon. Amenhotep is also credited with subduing the Syrians early in his reign and as a result of his efforts he created an era of peace and prosperity which benefited all of the Egyptians.

During Amenhotep’s reign, he constructed many temples, public buildings and housing. The kingdom of Egypt wasn’t in any immediate threat from outside forces and invaders. Amenhotep had time to focus his efforts on building the Egyptian economy and infrastructure. He created the city which became known as modern day Luxor.

The Nile River was also used to expand trade within the area and to increase the revenues of the kingdom under his reign. He built a temple known as Malkata and the famous temple of Amun. He was also credited with creating artworks that would influence the New Kingdom and for creating two important literary pieces. One of these works was known as the Book of what is in the Underworld and this book influenced later Egyptian funeral rights. During his reign, the Ebers Papyrus was created and this was the foremost source of information for ancient Egyptian medical practices. Amenhotep supposedly had died from an unknown disease.

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Shortly after his death he was deified by some Egyptians and became the patron god of Deir el Medina which was the home to many artisans who worked in the Valley of the Kings. Amenhotep also had cultic following that sprang up once he was dead. He tried to make his tomb obscure in order to keep it hidden from grave robbers. His body was mummified and it was kept in perfect condition for many centuries. Once the New Kingdom had arrived his body was mummified once again in order to continue  to preserve its excellent condition.

Amenhotep also had a son that died early in childhood and since he didn’t have another heir to succeed his throne the position was given to a military commander named Thutmose. The reason why Thutmose had access to the throne was due to his marriage to Amenhotep’s sister.

During the 18th dynasty of rulers in Egypt, there were four pharaohs who were given the name of Amenhotep. Ahmose I started the line of succeeding rulers that had the name of Amenhotep and Amenhotep I was the succeeded his rule in 1524 B.C. Amenhotep II started his rule in 1424 B.C. and Amenhotep III took the throne in 1388 B.C. When the name Amenhotep is used by itself it usually indicates the first Amenhotep ruler during the 18th dynasty.

Amenhotep ruled Egypt around the time of the Jewish Exodus from the region which was in 1514-1493 B.C. The actual date of the Exodus is unknown by many scholars and historians, but many authorities place the event between the years of 1514 to 1212 B.C. The actual date of the Jewish Exodus cannot be agreed upon by historians. No one is sure. Amenhotep is listed as one of a few pharaohs from this time period who resisted God and Moses by not letting the Israelites go free.

The historical records of Amenhotep do not mention anything about the historical events of the Exodus. Keep in mind that many Egyptian priests or record keepers would probably not record the events surrounding the Exodus because it would have brought shame on Amenhotep and his dynasty. Kings, rulers and dynasties might have had bad events during their time in power but many of them would probably have been written out of its history because everyone tries to make their time in power one of greatness.  The fact that Amenhotep had a first born son that died at an early age could be proof of that he was the pharaoh of the Exodus, but once again this is purely speculative. Amenhotep is considered a popular pharaoh who emerged from the Middle Kingdom era.

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3 thoughts on “Egypt Amenhotep and the Bible

  1. The date of the Biblical exodus-conquest is clear. 1 Kgs 6:1 and 1 Chr 6:33–37 converge on a date of 1446 BC for the exodus and the Jubilees data and Judg 11:26 independently converge on a date of 1406 BC for the beginning of the conquest. The 1406 BC date is further confirmed by archaeological data from Jericho, Ai (Kh. el-Maqatir) and Hazor. See http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2009/03/30/The-Biblical-Date-for-the-Exodus-is-1446-BC-A-Response-to-James-Hoffmeier.aspx#Article

  2. Here is a link to a great site about the Exodus and the Pharaoh of that time.
    These guys are professional archaeologists and show plenty of evidence and reasoning. The site is extensive and is worth perusing if you enjoy biblical history and archaeology.

    Check this out:

    http://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-archeology-exodus-date-1440bc.htm

    I have encountered several independent sources that agree with their date within a few years. This appears to be the time frame of the Exodus…middle of the 15th c. BC. The Eul Brynner Hollywood Rameses is Hollywood and two centuries too late.

    Hatshepsut was “Pharoah’s daughter”

    Her monuments being defaced have much to do with what happened at that time. As was stated, it puts the pharaoh in a bad light.

  3. The actual date of the Exodus is unknown by many scholars and historians, well duh, It was 1513 BCE want proof read the Bible, Exodus 12:40, 41: “The dwelling of the Israelites, who had dwelled in Egypt, was 430 years. At the end of the 430 years, on this very day, all the multitudes of God went out of the land of Egypt”.
    The apostle Paul shows that this 430-year period (at Ex 12:40) began at the time of the validation of the Abrahamic covenant and ended with the Exodus. Paul says: “Further, I say this: As to the [Abrahamic] covenant previously validated by God, the Law that has come into being four hundred and thirty years later [in the same year as the Exodus] does not invalidate it, so as to abolish the promise. . . . whereas God has kindly given it to Abraham through a promise.”—Ga 3:16-18.
    How long was it, then, from the validation of the Abrahamic covenant until the Israelites moved into Egypt? At Genesis 12:4, 5 we find that Abraham was 75 years old when he left Haran and crossed the Euphrates on his way to Canaan, at which time the Abrahamic covenant, the promise previously made to him in Ur of the Chaldeans, took effect. Then, from the genealogical references at Genesis 12:4; 21:5; 25:26; and Jacob’s statement at Genesis 47:9, it can be seen that 215 years elapsed between the validation of the Abrahamic covenant and the move of Jacob with his family into Egypt. This would show that the Israelites actually lived in Egypt 215 years (1728-1513 B.C.E.). The figure harmonizes with other chronological data.
    Then there is Paul’s speech to an audience in Antioch of Pisidia recorded at Acts 13:17-20 in which he refers to a period of “about four hundred and fifty years.” His discussion of Israelite history begins with the time God “chose our forefathers,” that is, from the time that Isaac was actually born to be the seed of promise (1918 B.C.E.). (Isaac’s birth definitely settled the question, which had been in doubt because of Sarah’s barrenness, as to whom God would recognize as the seed.) From this starting point Paul then goes on to recount God’s acts in behalf of his chosen nation down to the time when God “gave them judges until Samuel the prophet.” The period of “about four hundred and fifty years,” therefore, evidently extends from Isaac’s birth in 1918 B.C.E. down to the year 1467 B.C.E., or 46 years after the Exodus of 1513 B.C.E. (40 years being spent in the wilderness wandering and 6 years in conquering the land of Canaan). (De 2:7; Nu 9:1; 13:1, 2, 6; Jos 14:6, 7, 10) This makes a total number that clearly fits the apostle’s round figure of “about four hundred and fifty years.” Both these chronological references therefore support the year 1513 B.C.E. as the year of the Exodus and harmonize as well with the Bible chronology concerning the kings and judges of Israel.
    Another way to calculate the date for the Exodus, 1513 B.C.E., and consequently the Israelite invasion of Canaan and the fall of Jericho in 1473 B.C.E., 40 years after the Exodus, has been considered far too early by some critics, who would place these events as late as the 14th or even the 13th century B.C.E. However, while some archaeologists place the fall of Jericho down in the 13th century B.C.E., they do so, not on the basis of any ancient historical documents or testimony to that effect, but on the basis of pottery finds. Such calculation of time periods by pottery is obviously very speculative, and this is demonstrated by the research at Jericho. The findings there have produced contradictory conclusions and datings on the part of the archaeologists.
    An objection against the Exodus account has been that the Pharaohs of Egypt did not make any record of the Exodus. However, this is not unusual, for kings of more modern times have recorded only their victories and not their defeats and have often tried to erase anything historical that is contrary to their personal or nationalistic image or to the ideology they are trying to inculcate in their people. Even in recent times rulers have tried to obliterate the works and reputations of their predecessors. Anything regarded as embarrassing or distasteful was left out of Egyptian inscriptions or effaced as soon as possible. An example is the chiseling away by her successor, Thutmose III, of the name and representation of Queen Hatshepsut on a stone monumental record uncovered at Deir al-Bahri in Egypt.
    Problems of Egyptian chronology. Uncertainties are multiple. The works of Manetho, used to give order to the fragmentary lists and other inscriptions, are preserved only in the writings of later historians, such as Josephus (first century C.E.), Sextus Julius Africanus (third century C.E., hence over 500 years from Manetho’s time), Eusebius (fourth century C.E.), and Syncellus (late eighth or early ninth century C.E.). As stated by W. G. Waddell, their quotations of Manetho’s writings are fragmentary and often distorted and hence “it is extremely difficult to reach certainty in regard to what is authentic Manetho and what is spurious or corrupt.” After showing that Manetho’s source material included some unhistorical traditions and legends that “introduced kings as their heroes, without regard to chronological order,” he says: “There were many errors in Manetho’s work from the very beginning: all are not due to the perversions of scribes and revisers. Many of the lengths of reigns have been found impossible: in some cases the names and the sequence of kings as given by Manetho have proved untenable in the light of monumental evidence.”—Manetho, introduction, pp. vii, xvii, xx, xxi, xxv.
    Greater confidence is placed by Egyptologists in the ancient inscriptions themselves. Yet, the carefulness, truthfulness, and moral integrity of the Egyptian scribes are by no means above suspicion. As Professor J. A. Wilson states: “A warning should be issued about the precise historical value of Egyptian inscriptions. That was a world of . . . divine myths and miracles.” Then after suggesting that the scribes were not above juggling the chronology of events to add praise to the particular monarch in power, he says: “The historian will accept his data at face value, unless there is a clear reason for distrust; but he must be ready to modify his acceptance as soon as new materials put the previous interpretation in a new light.”—The World History of the Jewish People, 1964, Vol. 1, pp. 280, 281
    Absence of information concerning Israel. This is not surprising, since the Egyptians not only refused to record matters uncomplimentary to themselves but also were not above effacing records of a previous monarch if the information in such records proved distasteful to the then reigning pharaoh. Thus, after the death of Queen Hatshepsut, Thutmose III had her name and representations chiseled out of the monumental reliefs. This practice doubtless explains why there is no known Egyptian record of the 215 years of Israelite residence in Egypt or of their Exodus.
    The pharaoh ruling at the time of the Exodus is not named in the Bible; hence, efforts to identify him are based on conjecture. This partly explains why modern historians’ calculations of the date of the Exodus vary from 1441 to 1225 B.C.E., a difference of over 200 years.
    Bottom line is: Looking at the Bible gives you more of an accurate timeline.

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