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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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Amenhotep I image

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.