Friday, 5 February 2021

Middle Kingdom of Egypt and the Israelites

The documentary Patterns of Evidence uses the principle of finding similarities between events which must be synchronous, rather than trying to patch events that historians happen to think occurred about the same time. Findings in Egypt and Canaan that match the biblical record are identified. The movie discusses the epoch of Joseph, of Moses, and Joshua; matching archeological discoveries in Avaris and Jericho to the events in Scripture. Much of the documentary follows the chronology of David Rohl.

Egyptian chronology is divided into
  1. Old Kingdom
  2. First Intermediate Period
  3. Middle Kingdom
  4. Second Intermediate Period
  5. New Kingdom
Following Rohl, but using biblical dating we have
  1. Pharaoh who Joseph served: Amenemhat III, Dynasty 12, c. 1675 BC
  2. Vizier of Amenemhat: Joseph c. 1675
  3. Joseph dies c. 1600 BC
  4. King who did not know Joseph: Sobekhotep III, Dynasty 13, c. 1550 BC
  5. Adoptive grandfather of Moses: Neferhotep I, Dynasty 13, c. 1530
  6. Pharaoh from whom Moses fled to Midian: Khanefere Sebekhotep IV (brother and successor of Neferhotep), Dynasty 13, c. 1490 BC
  7. Pharaoh of the Exodus: Tutimaeus = Dedumose II, Dynasty 13, c. 1450 BC
  8. Hyksos invasion and the beginning of the second Intermediate Period, c. 1450 BC
This compares to secular dating of these pharaohs c. 1850–1650 BC; a 200 year difference.

There have been a range of suggestions for the Pharaoh of the Exodus. But it seems likely that the time that the Israelites were in Egypt corresponds to part or all of the Middle kingdom: Dynasties 11, 12 and 13. Dynasties 12 and 13 collapsed at the time of the Exodus and the Middle Kingdom came to an end. Then begins the rule of the Hyksos who rapidly conquered Egypt who had been bereft of her king and army.

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