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Thutmose I Egypt and the Bible

Thutmose I was the 18th-dynasty king of ancient Egypt whose reign spanned from 1493-c. 1482 BC which is where he appears on the Bible Timeline. Thutmose was also known as Thutmosis or Tuthmosis. He came to power after the reign of Amenhotep I who reigned from 1525 BC – 1504 BC. Biblical references of Thutmose I can particularly be found in the Psalms of David. The length of his reign is uncertain with nine years being the highest attested number of years.

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Thutmose I is believed to have been the son of his predecessor Amenhotep I who was otherwise known as Amenophis. His mother was Semiseneb and his chief wife and consort was Queen Ahmose. He is known to have fathered five children. They were Thutmose II, Hatshepsut, Amenmose, Wadjmose, and Nefrubity.

Thutmose_I, Egyptian_Pharoah
Thutmose I

Contradictory Information

Some seem to be of the opinion that Thutmose was not the son of Amenhotep, but rather the son of an unknown military man and a mother whose name was Seniseneb. The name Seniseneb is documented on the “Accession Announcement” of Turi, vice king of Nubia. There are also schools of thought that Thutmose I was the alter ego of King David of Israel.

It is said that Thutmose I, being the son of a non-royal mother may have strengthened his claim to the throne by marrying Queen Ahmose who was perhaps of relation to his predecessor Amenhotep. Other views are that he might have come to power after serving with Amenhotep as coregent for an unspecified period. This view is supported by a chapel found at Thebes. In a letter to the viceroy of Nubia, he communicated his new titulary and coronation on his accession day.


The achievements of Thutmose I the 18th king of Egypt included expanding the Egyptian empire in Nubia (now known as Sudan) and also penetrating deep into Syria. He accomplished this by defeating the Syrians and quelling a rebellion in Nubia. Following his conquest of Nubia, he sought to provide an easier means of traveling upstream from Egypt to Nubia by building a canal. Some monuments of note that he built under his architect Ineni were temples, obelisks, pylons shrines and statues which were located at the temple complex of Karnak.

During his Reign

During his second reign Thutmose I, led a river bourne expedition beyond the boundaries his predecessor crossed and went deep into Nubia. One reason for targeting this area was to access its rich gold deposits. This gold source was greatly exploited during the 18th dynasty (1539 – 1292 BCE).

Another main reason for the venture was that the hostile Kushite kingdom, centered near the Third Cataract, had been a major problem for Egypt during the 17th dynasty (c. 1630 – 1540 BCE).  Inscriptions which can be found along the way indicates that he went past the Fourth Nile Cataract and set up a new boundary at Kurgus. The biographies of two Upper Egyptians, who were among the forces that made this campaign, bear testimonies of the venture.

After conquering Nubia, Thutmose went on to penetrate the Euphrates River in the vicinity of Carchemish in Syria. He was in pursuit of the Hyksos, Asiatic rulers who had recently dominated Egypt. One of the text in Nubia records that while, before the Syrian foray, Thutmose claimed the Euphrates as his border. There is no other existing evidence that there were earlier victorious campaigns, but the Nubian text indicates that a there had already been a deep penetration of Syria.

Once in Egypt Thutmose I carried out a thorough renovation of the Middle Kingdom (1938-c. 1630 BCE) temple of Amon at Thebes. An enclosure wall was erected and two pylons were erected at the western end with a small pillared hall in between. He added two obelisks in front of the outer pylon and created the axial temple, which became a standard for the New Kingdom (1539-1075 BCE).

Thutmose appointed two crown princes who predeceased him. One was appointed a commander of the armies and was sent to Memphis, located close to Cairo. This became a military operations center in the New Kingdom and later kings followed Thutmose example and assigned their crowned princes to Memphis where they were trained in the military arts.

Tomb/Burial Site

Thutmose I died in the year 1492BC and was buried at Valley of the Kings. He is said to be the first king to cut his tomb in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes possibly as a means of obtaining greater security for it. He expanded the cemetery workers’ village at Dayr al-Madinah in western Thebes. He was also responsible for the completion of the organization of the necropolis staff that was started by Amenhotep his predecessor. His tomb bears the reference number KV38 and was discovered during the years 1859 – 1946 by the Egyptologist Victor Loret.