While some may think history contradicts the Bible we actually see that history is found in the Bible. That the Bible actually proves history and history proves the Bible. Thanks to archeology we trust the Bible even more that it’s accurate and true. Take a look at Exodus for example.

We know the date for the Exodus is 1445/1446 BC. based on 1 Kings 6:1 and Judges 11:26. Archaeology also aids in supporting this date. You can look at the excavation at Jericho and Hazor, the Amarna Tablets, and the order of events in Egypt’s history. I like to look at the annals of pharaoh. For now, let’s just look at our best source the Word of God and one of my favorite sources the annals of the pharaoh.

1 Kings 6:1

“In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the Lord.”

The author of 1 Kings records that the Exodus happened 480 years before the 4th year of Solomon’s reign which has been calculated to be 966/5 BC. [2] So, take the year of Solomon’s reign add 480 years and you get the year of the Exodus. 966+480=1446 BC   965+480=1445 BC

Judges 11:26

“While Israel lived in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, 300 years, why did you not deliver them within that time?”

Here’s the context…the Ammonite king came to attack Israel. Jephthah (Israel’s 8th judge) told the king to withdraw from their land. The king of Ammon demanded that Israel return the land that they took from them. Verse 26 is part of Jephthah’s response telling the king of Ammon the Israelites had controlled that territory since Moses led the people through the land (Num 21:21-32), and if the Ammonites had not been able to take back the land in the 300 years, he saw no reason to willingly return it now.

We can roughly place the time of Jephthah around 1100/1105 B.C. Counting back from there 300 years we get the time of Moses’ conquest of Heshbon around 1400/1405 BC. If we add 40 years for the wilderness wandering this give us about 1440/1445 BC. for the Exodus. [3]

The chart below is from A Survey of Israel’s History p70

Exodus 12:40

“The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years.”

If we take the date of the Exodus add the time Israel lived in Egypt 1445+430 that will give us a rough estimate of when Jacob moved to Egypt with his family, 1875 BC. Joseph lived in what Egypt’s history calls the Middle Kingdom Era (about 2050-1786 BC).  The Middle Kingdom was followed by the Second Intermediate Period or the “Hyksos Period” (about 1786-1550 BC). The Middle Kingdom is described to have reached its zenith in material wealth and power, but that came to an end when the Hyksos invaded Egypt.[4][5] Let me explain it this way. Joseph lived under a native Egyptians dynasty. After Joseph died, the Hyksos people came from the north and took over Egypt. The Hyksos ruled in the north and pushed the true Egyptians to the south. They liked how the Egyptians ran things, so they kept the title pharaoh and a few other Egyptian practices. This is why the new king did not know Joseph (Ex 1:8) and why he feared Israel may join their enemy, the true Egyptians, so he enslaved Israel (Ex 1:10,11).

Since we have a good idea when Joseph and his family were in Egypt and how long their family stayed, we can look at the annals of the pharaoh and have a good idea of the identity of the different pharaohs mentioned from Genesis 46 to Exodus 14.[6]

Sesostris III (1878-1841) was probably the pharaoh when Jacob and his family entered Egypt to live out the rest of the famine in the land of Goshen in 1875 BC (Gen 46).

Amenemhet III (1841-1797) was pharaoh when Joseph died (Gen 50:26).

Ahmose I (1570-1548 BC) was the pharaoh who “did not know Joseph” (Ex 1:8).

Amenhotep I (1548-1528) may have been the pharaoh of Exodus 1:15.

Thutmose I (1528-1508) is probably the best fit for the pharaoh of Exodus 1:15. Moses was born in 1525 BC. We can calculate the year of his birth thanks to Exodus 7:7. Moses was 80 years old at the time of the Exodus. 1445+80=1525

Also Thutmose I had only one daughter.

Hatshepsut was the only surviving daughter of Thutmose I. She married her little brother Thutmose II (1508-1504). Hatshepsut is the “daughter of pharaoh” in Exodus 2:5. She is a very interesting person to study. For a time, she ruled Egypt as pharaoh for her brother. Hatshepsut’s step-son Thutmose III was the next pharaoh and she co-ruled with him until her death.

Thutmose III (1504-1448) was the pharaoh who oppressed Israel to the point they cried out to God (Ex 23b-24). He was also the pharaoh who wanted to kill Moses for killing another Egyptian (Ex 2:15). After his death, Moses could return to Egypt with not death threat on his life (Ex 2:23a; 4:19).

Amenhotep II (1448-1423) was the pharaoh Moses told “Let my people go” in 1445 (Ex 3-14). He is the one who chase Israel into the Red Sea (Ex 14). Interesting to note Amenhotep II is the only pharaoh in the annals of the pharaoh not to have a first-born son become the next pharaoh after him.

Thutmose IV ascended the throne after his father Amenhotep II. He was the post-Exodus pharaoh. He was not the eldest son nor was he next in line to the throne. Thutmose IV claimed his right to the throne was given to him by the god Harmakhis in a dream. Harmakhis told him he could have the throne on condition that he restore the Sphinx of Gizeh that was covered by sand. Thutmose IV dug up the Sphinx and between its paws was found the “Dream Stela”. A document that legitimatized his right to his father’s throne.

 

God is a God of His word. What God says happens. Everything that happened in Egypt surprised people but not God. We can learn that God knows our future even though we don’t. God has a plan and purpose for you, it’s our job to follow God as he unveils his plans and purposes in our life.

 

* God bless you in your personal study of His Word! Remember do not just be hearers of the Word but also doers (James 1:22-24). Live a life of obedience. Be amazed by Him. Fall in love with God over and over again! God bless!

-Holly Carter

 

For further study on this topic check out some of these sources

Website

http://www.biblearchaeology.org/ for many great articles

Books

A Survey of Israel’s History by Leon J. Wood

Survey of the Old Testament by Paul N. Benware

A Popular Survey of the Old Testament by Norman L. Geisler

The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck

Moses and the Gods of Egypt by John J. Davis

DVDs

Patterns of the Evidence: Exodus

Expedition Bible: Jericho Unearthed (currently it is free to watch on Amazon Prime video)

The Fall of Jericho: Unearth one of the Bible’s greatest mysteries