When Was the Exodus? Did it Occur?

By COGwriter

Many archeologists and Egyptologists deny that the account of the Exodus in the Bible is true. A YouTube video of related interest is titled: When was the Exodus?

Although this is happening in the 21st century, this is sadly not a new development.

Notice the following from the 20th century:

"There is no record of any Exodus in the Egyptian records." So thousands of students are assured by college professors. And few stop to question this blanket statement from such erudite scholars.

The Sunday school picture of Moses leading the Israelites through the Red Sea and receiving the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai is soon "dispelled" as the bright young student hits the higher criticism classes of college and university.

The following statement by an eminent historian summarizes the views of many:

The present century has brought extensive archaeological investigations in Egypt, the Holy Land, and adjacent countries which indicate that the Biblical account of the enslavement of the Children of Israel in Egypt and their exodus to the promised land of Canaan is traditional and legendary and without support of documentary archaeological evidence... no Egyptian records have been found relating to this early period of Hebrew history (Homer Hockett, The Critical Method in Historical Research and Writing, p. 52).
A bold statement. But is it backed up by "evidence" the Exodus is said to lack? So well-known and accepted a scholar as Professor William F. Albright takes the opposite view.
There has been a persistent effort by many scholars to discredit the Israelite tradition of a prolonged sojourn in Egypt before the time of Moses (The Biblical Period, p. 6).

Even though Dr. Albright himself does not accept word for word the account as found in the Bible, he is confident there is evidence to confirm the Exodus as a historic event.

Notice what one famous Egyptologist had to say about the common ancient Egyptian practice of inventing victories and completely overlooking defeats:

Every Egyptian king was represented as a conqueror alike in the ancient writings and in the reliefs on the temple walls. The model often goes back to the earliest times.... Such a disregard of reality was sometimes carried to absurd lengths. Who is going to believe that the eighteen-year-old Tut'ankhamun ever drove his chariot straight into an alien host killing a score of foes with the arrows from his bow, or again that he slaughtered unaided a whole pride of lions? Yet such are the scenes depicted on the wonderful painted box from the famous tomb (Sir Alan Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs, pp. 56-7).
   Yes, the ancient Egyptians ignored the real impact of the Exodus. (Grabbe L. The Exodus. Tomorrow's World, April 1971, pp. 28-29).

One of the reasons that many deny the Exodus is that they have assumed, for various reasons, that it supposedly occurred around 1250 B.C. (flawed Jewish chronology is sometimes used for this, see also Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?). Based upon that time period, there is no evidence that they see in Egypt or in the Palestinian/Canaan/Israel region that supports the view that great numbers of Israelites left Egypt and settled in the area that ancient Israel came to dominate.

Part of the problem is the assumption that Ramses was supposedly the Pharaoh that was the one that Moses dealt with. This misconception was carried forward in the popular 1956 movie The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston as Moses and Yul Brynner as Pharaoh Ramses, also spelled Ramesses (the 2014 movie Exodus: Gods and Kings also had Rameses as Pharaoh). Ramses II was pharaoh from about 1279 to 1213 B.C. and was part of the 19th dynasty in Egypt. The conclusion seems to have been since the children of Israel left an area called Rameses (Exodus 12:37) that it must have happened during the time of Ramesses I or II, with II the main suggested connection.

But what if that was not the case? What if the Exodus from Egypt took place earlier? What if it occurred during the time of Egypt's 18th dynasty?

Well, according to the Bible it absolutely did.

Biblical References to Rameses and the Year of the Exodus

The term Rameses is mentioned in the Bible several times. Three are in connection with the children of Israel leaving that area (Exodus 12:37; Numbers 33:3,5). But notice the first reference:

5 Then Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, saying, "Your father and your brothers have come to you. 6 The land of Egypt is before you. Have your father and brothers dwell in the best of the land; let them dwell in the land of Goshen. ...

11 And Joseph situated his father and his brothers, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. (Genesis 47:5-6, 11)

From the above account it looks as if it is possible that Rameses was the name of an area centuries before the Exodus.

The name Ramesses means "Ra [is] the one who gave birth [to] him". (Rameses, Wikipedia, viewed 03/08/15).

Since Ra was an important god to the Egyptians, perhaps because its location and where sunrise was perceived elsewhere in Egypt, the area could have been considered a 'child' of Ra. Ra was a god of the Egyptians for many centuries:

Ra /rɑː/[1] or Re /reɪ/ ... is the ancient Egyptian solar deity. By the Fifth Dynasty (2494 to 2345 BCE) he had become a major god in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the midday sun. (Ra. Wikipedia, accessed 03/14/15).

The Bible teaches:

40 Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years — on that very same day — it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:40-41)

Thus, the biblical chronology indicates that the children of Israel entered Egypt around 1876 B.C. (1446 B.C. plus 430 years). Ra was already a major god to the Egyptians for centuries before the children of Israel went to the area of Rameses.

The Bible also teaches:

8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, "Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; 10 come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land." 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. (Exodus 1:8-12)

Rameses looks like it was built before Moses was born (he is mentioned being born in Exodus 2:1-8).

In the 19th dynasty, its first leader took the name Ramesses for himself:

Originally called Pa-ra-mes-su, Ramesses I was of non-royal birth, being born into a noble military family from the Nile delta region. (Rameses I. Wikipedia, viewed 03/08/15).

Since Rameses I was not of royal birth and was starting his own dynasty (considered to be Egypt's 19th), he decided to take the name, which he would have heard of, to himself. He probably felt that name gave him the type of authority he wanted to project.

Rameses I and and his son Rameses II are believed to have reigned for 2 and 66 years (consecutively) respectively. The Bible shows that Moses was born (Exodus 2:1-8) after the city of Rameses was built (Exodus 1:7). The Bible also shows that Moses was eighty when he went to Pharaoh to ask for the departure of the children of Israel (Exodus 7:7). Thus, adding the reigns of the two Pharaoh Rameses together makes it impossible that either was the Pharaoh of the Exodus.

Thus, simply because the Israelites earlier left a region called Rameses does not mean that it had been named after a pharaoh of the 19th dynasty. Some have said that perhaps the Bible referred to Rameses in Genesis and Exodus as that was what the area was later known as, and that could be the case. Yet, the idea that Rameses had to be the pharaoh of Egypt certainly does not align with the Bible or secular history. The Pulpit Commentary on Genesis 47:11 indicates that the area of Rameses could have existed in the time of Joseph, but was later fortified by the Israelites while they were slaves in Egypt--and that may well have been the case. If may have also been because of its fortification that Pa-ra-mes-su decided to take the name Ramesses for himself.

As far as when the Exodus was, there is a clear numeric reference to the year of the Exodus in the Bible. Notice:

1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come 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, that he began to build the house of the Lord. (1 Kings 6:1)

So, 1 Kings 6:1 shows 480 years from the Exodus from Egypt to the fourth year of Solomon's reign. Knowledge of that date tells us when the Exodus began, as well as what Egyptian dynasty was involved.

When did Solomon's reign begin?

When did Solomon's reign begin?

That is a somewhat complicated question, though there are many opinions.

There are several scholar who believe that Solomon's reign began in 970 Here are four references that use that date:

Working back from these dates and the biblical references to the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah (78 years from the death of Ahab in 853/852 BC) the Kingdom of Solomon was divided in 931/930 BC, at the ascension of Rehoboam to the throne of Israel following the death of Solomon. Since Solomon reigned forty years (v. 42), he must have ascended the throne in 971/970 BC (Long, Jesse. 1 & 2 Kings: 1 and 2 Kings. College Press, 2002, p. 156)

SOLOMON (Reigned c. 970-c. 932 Bc) (Canning, John. 100 Great Kings, Queens, and Rulers of the World. Taplinger Pub. Co., 1967, p. 52)

SOLOMON THE KING Solomon's reign was long, lasting forty years (970-931) as had his father's before him (Leon James Wood & David O'Brien. A Survey of Israel's History. Zondervan, 1986, p. 253).

Solomon 40 C. 970-931 BCE (Israel Finkelstein & Neil Asher Silberman. David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition. Simon and Schuster, 2007, p. 20).

But not scholars agree with that. However, if it was 970 B.C., four years later would be 966 B.C. If one adds 480 years from 1 Kings 6:1 to 966 B.C., this leads to the view that the Exodus was 1446 B.C.

Evidence that the Israelites Were in Egypt Earlier and Left Earlier

Some have claimed that there was no evidence that the children of Israel were in Egypt. And that if Rameses was the pharaoh of Egypt that the Israelites did not come to Egypt prior to around 1620 B.C.

But that is not the case. Notice something about the Brooklyn Papyrus:

The most important text recounts the efforts of a Thirteenth Dynasty Theban noblewoman named Senebtisi to establish legal ownership of ninety-five household servants, whose names indicate that forty-five were of Asiatic origin. The presence of so many foreigners in a single household suggests that the Asiatic population was increasing rapidly in Thirteenth Dynasty Egypt. ...

DATES ca. 1809-1743 B.C.E.
DYNASTY XII Dynasty-XIII Dynasty
PERIOD Middle Kingdom
(Historical Papyrus in Five Pieces. https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/3369/Historical_Papyrus_in_Five_Pieces accessed 11.07/15)

A section of Papyrus Brooklyn 35.1446 contains a list of 95 servants, many of whom are specified as "Asiatic" or coming from western Asia (i.e. Canaan). The servants with foreign names are given Egyptian names, just as Joseph was when he was a household servant under Potiphar (Genesis 41:45). The majority of the names are feminine because domestic servants were typically female, while the male servants often worked in construction or agricultural tasks. Approximately 30 of the servants have names identified as from the Semitic language family (Hebrew is a Semitic language), but even more relevant to the Exodus story is that several of these servants, up to ten, actually have specifically Hebrew names. The Hebrew names found on the list include: Menahema, a feminine form of Menahem (2 Kings 15:14); Ashera, a feminine form of Asher, the name of one of the sons of Jacob (Genesis 30:13); Shiphrah, the name of one of the Hebrew midwives prior to the Exodus (Exodus 1:15); ‘Aqoba, a name appearing to be a feminine form of Jacob or Yaqob, the name of the patriarch (Genesis 25:26); ‘Ayyabum, the name of the patriarch Job or Ayob (Job 1:1); Sekera, which is a feminine name either similar to Issakar, a name of one of the sons of Jacob, or the feminine form of it (Genesis 30:18); Dawidi-huat a compound name utilizing the name David and meaning “my beloved is he” (1 Samuel 16:13); Esebtw, a name derived from the Hebrew word eseb meaning “herb” (Deuteronomy 32:2); Hayah-wr another compound name composed of Hayah or Eve and meaning “bright life” (Genesis 3:20); and finally the name Hy’b’rw, which appears to be an Egyptian transcription of Hebrew (Genesis 39:14). Thus, this list is a clear attestation of Hebrew people living in Egypt prior to the Exodus, and it is an essential piece of evidence in the argument for an historical Exodus. Although it appears that the Israelites were centered around the northeast Nile Delta area—the regions of Goshen and Rameses and the cities of Rameses, Pithom, and On—this document is from the area of Thebes to the south and includes household servants like Joseph in his early years rather than building and agricultural slaves of the period of Moses. Thus, the list appears to be an attestation of Hebrews in Egypt in their earlier period of residence in the country, prior to their total enslavement, and perhaps shows that a group may have migrated south or was taken south for work. (Hebrews in Egypt before the Exodus? Evidence from Papyrus Brooklyn. http://www.apxaioc.com/article/hebrews-egypt-exodus-evidence-papyrus-brooklyn accessed 11/07/15)

The above is consistent with the being written shortly after the time that Joseph went to Egypt. This puts the Israelites in Egypt prior to the time that they could have been there if Rameses was pharaoh of Egypt.

There is also evidence that the Israelites left Egypt and were in the area of Canaan earlier than the reign of Rameses. Notice:

The "Israel" name ring in the Berlin Statue Pedestal Relief (1350 BC) was purchased by Ludwig Borchardt from a merchant named M. Nachman in 1913 AD and sat undiscovered in the Berlin Museum until Manfred Gorg published a paper in 2001 AD. In 2010, Peter van der Veen, Christoffer Theis and Manfred Gorg conducted a more detailed study of the object. In 2012 Peter van der Veen conducted further studies that included 3-D scans. In the end it is clear that the correct reading is "Israel" in the right hand name ring. This fragment dates from 1350 - 1213 BC. (The "Israel" Name Ring in the Berlin Statue Pedestal Relief (1350 BC). http://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-archeology-victory-stele-of-merneptah-israel-1205bc-israel-berlin-statue-pedestal-relief-1350bc.htm accessed 11/07/15)

The chronological data in the Bible, however, clearly indicates that these events transpired in the 15th century BC, the Exodus occurring in 1446 BC and the Conquest 1406–1400 BC (Wood 2008: 100). Now, for the first time, we have evidence from an Egyptian source which supports the earlier Biblical dating.

Ludwig Borchardt

That source is an inscription housed in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin. It appears on a gray granite block 18 in (46 cm) high, 16 in (39.5 cm) wide and of unknown thickness since it was cut from a larger piece. According to the Museum’s records, the block, most likely part of a statue base, was acquired in 1913 by Ludwig Borchardt from an Egyptian merchant. Borchardt (1863–1938) was a German Egyptologist who is best known for his excavations at Tell el-Amarna where he discovered the famous bust of Nefertiti, queen of Akhenaten (ca. 1350–1334 BC).

The inscription is comprised of three name rings superimposed on Western Asiatic prisoners, the rightmost of which is only partly preserved due to substantial damage, probably incurred when the block was removed from its original context. Above the heads of the prisoners is a partial band of hieroglyphs which reads “…one who is falling on his feet…” The inscription was first published in 2001 by Manfred Görg, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Theology and Egyptology at the University of Munich (Wood 2005a). The first two names are easily read—Ashkelon and Canaan. The name on the right, however, is less certain. Görg restored the right name as Israel and dated the inscription to the reign of Ramesses II (ca. 1279–1212 BC) in the Nineteenth Dynasty, based on a similarity of names to those on the Merenptah Stela (ca. 1210 BC).1 Görg also concluded, based on the spellings of the names, that they were copied from an earlier inscription from around the time of Amenhotep II (ca. 1453–1419). Israeli Egyptologist Raphael Giveon (1916–1985) previously dated the inscription to the reign of Amenhotep III (ca. 1386–1349 BC) (1981: 137). If these two scholars are right, this extra-Biblical Egyptian inscription would place Israel in Canaan at about the time of the Biblical date for the Conquest.

Since the conquest on the Berlin Pedestal is believed to be around 1350 B.C., and this is about 100 years before Israel left Egypt according to the Ramese pharaoh exodus theory, it shows that the Rameses theory is wrong.

Biblically-Oriented Researchers Point to the Exodus near 1446 B.C.

The late Dr. Herman Hoeh was with the Radio Church of God and then the Worldwide Church of God. He did a lot of historical research throughout his lifetime.

In December 1983, Dr. Herman Hoeh wrote:

Exodus date 1443 occurred at end of ninth year, beginning of tenth year of Amenhotep II who reigned jointly two and a half years with Thutmose III. Thutmose III reigned 54 years 1504-1450 B.C. Amenhotep II began to reign in 1453 B.C. Daughter of Thutmose I (a pharaoh) was Hatshepsut, who adopted Moses. She ruled jointly with her nephew Thutmose from 1504 to 1483 B.C. In the year 1483 Moses' stepmother and protector died. This agrees with Moses' flight 40 years before Exodus. (Hoeh H. Notes on the Reign of Kings. December 1983)

Notice that the belief was that it was Amenhotep II, not Ramses II, that was the pharaoh that Moses dealt with.

Although in 1983 he was leaning towards a date of the Exodus in 1443 B.C., in a conversation on December 3, 1997, he changed that date to 1446 B.C. according to the following:

There are notes from a phone conversation with Dr. Hoeh from December 3, 1997 that speak of a kings chronology beginning in 930 B.C.

CHRONOLOGY UPDATE FROM A PHONE CONVERSATION (Dec 1997)

Dr. Hoeh: he is in a position to support a "change of my perspective" of Israel

    — can prove date "about" 930 B.C. is a correct date

    — Edwin Thiele — first year of Rehoboam was 930 B.C.

       - spring to spring not autumn to autumn
- cannot move this date up or down
- Jews recognized autumn to autumn

             Harvard Sem. Monograph #48
"Studies in the Chronology of the Divided Monarchy of Israel"
by William Hamilton Barnes
Scholars Press 1991 Harvard Univ.

       - Kings of Tyre are linked with building of temple — Solomon 1561 (?)

    — 1446 date of Exodus
— 1406 Jordan crossing
— 3983 Creation
— 2328 Flood * 2327 end of Flood
— 1975 Abraham's birth
— 1800 Abraham's death
— 6 1/2 years after crossing of Jordan land was divided after 400 years

A correction is in order

    — beginning of Jeroboam's/Rehoboam's reign(s) = 930 B.C.

    — 3983 B.C. = Creation

    — 2328-2327 B.C. = Flood

    — End of 6,000 = 2018 A.D.

    — Edwin Thiele:

    Thiele has correct date at the beginning of Jeroboam's/Rehoboam's reigns.

    Spring to Spring "STUDIES ON THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE DIVIDED MONARCHY OF ISRAEL" by Edwin Thiele

    — 1446 = Exodus
— 1406 = Entry into Promised Land

    — Jehu = "Yahu" (Assyrian records)

    — Spring of 930 B.C. = Beginning of Jeroboam's reign

    — Velikovsky & Amalekites:

So, Herman Hoeh came to a 1446 B.C. date for the Exodus.

Notice also the following:

Biblical Chronology: Dating the Exodus

The central text for establishing the exact date of the exodus, 1 Kgs 6:1, connects it to later Israelite history by noting that Solomon began constructing the Temple in the 480th year a fter the exodus, signifying an elapsed time of 479 years. 12 All but the minimalists agree that the 479 years begin with May of 967 or 966 B .C., depending on whether one accepts Young’s or Thiele’s version of Solomon’s regnal dates. 13 Thus the 479 years began in either 1446 or 1445 B .C., either of which can be substantiated by the biblical text and agree with the conclusions of this article. [Petrovich D. AMENHOTEP II AN D THE HISTORICITY OF THE EXODUS- PHARAOH. The Master's Seminary Journal. TMSJ 17/1 (Spring 2006) 81-110. http://www.tms.edu/m/17f.pdf viewed 03/07/15]

1446 is possible.

Notice the following:

17 "But when the time of the promise drew near which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt 18 till another king arose who did not know Joseph. 19 This man dealt treacherously with our people, and oppressed our forefathers, making them expose their babies, so that they might not live. 20 At this time Moses was born, and was well pleasing to God; and he was brought up in his father's house for three months. 21 But when he was set out, Pharaoh's daughter took him away and brought him up as her own son. 22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.

23 "Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian. 25 For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand. 26 And the next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and tried to reconcile them, saying, 'Men, you are brethren; why do you wrong one another?' 27 But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Do you want to kill me as you did the Egyptian yesterday?' 29 Then, at this saying, Moses fled and became a dweller in the land of Midian, where he had two sons. (Acts 7:17-29)

7 And Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh. (Exodus 7:7)

Looking at these passages, we can see that Moses was in Midian for 40 years.

Now, I would add that according to certain readings of an inscription on the "Merneptah Stele," the ancient Israelites already occupied the land of Canaan during the 1213-1203 B.C. reign of Merneptah (Jürgen von Beckerath, Chronologie des Pharaonischen Ägypten, Mainz, (1997), pp.190). The "Merneptah Stele" was discovered in 1896. It tells of a battle, shows people dressed like Canaanites, and tells of Egypt's destroying seed of Israel. This seed would likely be grain as Egypt did not destroy all of Israel then.

Anyway, the "Merneptah Stele" basically means that idea that the Exodus happened during the time of Ramses II impossible.

Why?

Ramesses II allegedly reigned until 1213 B.C. and the Bible shows that the children of Israel wandered for forty years in the wilderness (Numbers 14:34-35; 32:13) before settling in the land of Canaan. It would make no sense that a defeated Ramses II could have reigned for at least 30 years (40 years, less the ten of Merneptah) after experiencing the plagues and loss of armies as described in the account in the Book of Exodus.

Here is something from an old Jewish source on Exodus related evidence:

Ancient Non-Jewish Statements Concerning the Exodus:

Manetho (Josephus, "Contra Ap." i. 26-29) relates that a certain King Amenophis had banished a leprous and impure people to do hard labor in the quarries in eastern Egypt. Later, settled in the city of Avaris, they chose for their chief a Heliopolitan priest by the name of "Osarsiph," subsequently called "Moses." Rising in rebellion against Egypt, they were defeated by an Egyptian-Ethiopic army, the fugitives finding safety in the Arabian desert. Charemon (cited ibid. i. 32), with some variations, reiterates the foregoing account. According to Lysimachus (cited ibid. i. 34), King Bocchoris drowned those of the Jews that were afflicted with leprosy and scabies, and drove the rest into the desert. These non-Jewish accounts are plainly inspired by hatred of the Jews, and display a strange mixture of blurred Biblical facts and free fiction. (Exodus. 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/5939-exodus accessed 03/12/15)

King Amenophis could possibly have been Amenhotep I or II. It was a normal practice of Egyptian leaders to not admit failures. Some records may have stated that the some of the Jews drown, when the Egyptians had (Exodus 14:26-28), and certainly the Jews were sent to the desert.

Evidence From Archeology

But if 1446 B.C., or some date near that is correct, is there any historical or archaeological evidence outside of the Bible to support that something serious happened in Egypt at the time and that the children of Israel left then?

Notice:

The Identification of the Pharaoh – Amenhotep II

From this date (circa, 1446 B.C.), and knowledge of the 18th Dynasty in ancient Egypt (which we discussed in a previous post), it was Amenhotep II who was the Pharaoh of the Israelite exodus and not Rameses II as many people currently believe. When we explore further into the life of Amenhotep II, a picture emerges which is quite consistent with what the Bible states concerning this king and some of the momentous events which happened during his reign. From what we know of Egypt’s pharaohs, inscribed on tombs, walls, and monuments, they didn’t record military losses, only victories. So it is highly unlikely that some future archaeologist is going to find an inscription where Amenhotep II touts that a foreign “god” [i.e. Yahweh of the Jews] made a mockery of the Egyptian gods (including the Pharaoh who was himself considered a god), defeated his armies in the desert, and safely delivered an enslaved people to freedom. What we do see in Amenhotep II, however, is a radical change in his foreign policy (which was very much unlike him), a re-alignment of his Naval forces which he used to launch military forays into Asia, and a religious “crisis” which led to the defacement of many Egyptian “gods” in the 9th year of his reign.  Hmmm… I wonder what that crisis could have been?

The Abandonment of Avaris During the Reign of Amenhotep II

Archaeologist, Douglas Petrovich at the University of Toronto has written a fascinating article (Douglas Petrovich, ‘Toward Pinpointing the Timing of the Abandonment of Avaris During the Middle of the 18th Dynasty,’ in Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections, Vol. 5:2, 2013, 9-28) which explores the precise timing of the abandonment of the ancient Egyptian city of Avaris during the Egyptian 18th Dynasty. In the article, Petrovich explores the various theories about the exact timing of the abandonment of the city of Avaris which seems to coincide with Amenhotep II. The significance of this and its possible relevance to the exodus, is that it is indirect evidence of a major crisis event which happened in the 9th year of Amenhotep’s rule. That event could very well be the Israelite exodus. This is not exactly what Petrovich is stating in the article, but it could be what he is implying. The timing is exactly in line with the “Early-Date Exodus/Conquest” model.

At the end of the article Petrovich makes some starling observations in his conclusions:

More inscriptional evidence may attest directly to the Year-9 crisis is Amenhotep II’s commissioning of a decree for his couriers to destroy all the images of the gods, singling out Amun-Re in particular. Given that Thutmose III and Amenhotep II expressly ascribed praise to Amun-Re for military victories on their Asiatic campaigns, and that Amenhotep II originated and/or perpetuated the desecration of Hatshepsut’s images throughout Egypt, there is plenty of reason to hypothesize that the religious crisis—and subsequent decree to destroy all the “bodies” of Egyptian deities throughout the land—may be intricately bound to the military and political turmoil of his Year-9. Moreover, a potential interruption in the high priesthood of Amun during this time may also attest to this “perfect storm” of events. Therefore, a religious crisis focused on Amun-Re at this time may have been initiated by Amenhotep II as a result of a devastating loss in battle which coincided with the abandonment of their principle naval base from which military operations into Asia were launched, and led to an unavoidable shift in foreign policy. (Ibid., 22)

Why would Amenhotep II order the destruction of the images of Egyptian gods? Why was there major turmoil & upheaval in Egypt’s religious practices? Why was there a complete change of foreign policy with regard Egypt’s nearest neighbors in Asia [in the Levant] in the later part of Amenhotep II’s reign? This evidence alone does not prove the exodus, but it is certainly consistent with the behavior of an autocratic & military ruler such as Amenhotep II, if such an event such as the biblical exodus took place. The exodus was an event in which Egypt’s gods were rendered impotent and pharaoh’s military forces were drastically reduced. I submit that the exodus, as it is exactly described in the Bible, is the most reasonable explanation for this turn of event’s Amenhotep II’s rule. (Wright T. Was There an Exodus & Conquest? July 20, 2013. http://crossexamined.org/was-there-an-exodus-conquest/#_ftn11 viewed 03/01/15)

Here is another report:

Egyptian Chronology: Dating the Pharaonic Reigns

Before determining whether Amenhotep II is a viable candidate for the exodus-pharaoh, one must synchronize the date of the exodus with Egyptian history. Though inspirati on does not extend to extra-biblical literature or ancient inscriptions, some extant writings are trustworthy. Several factors are relevant.

First, the Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egypti an manuscript that dates the heliacal rising of Sothis in Year 9, Month 3, Season 3, Day 9 ( ca . 15 May) of Amen- hotep I’s reign, records this astronomical even that assigns its composition to an identifiable time in the Eighteenth Dynasty. [26 The Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt (ca. 1560-1307 B.C)...]

Since astronomers can pinpoint this event by charting the positions of stars in antiquity, the papyrus can be dated to ca . 1541 B.C., making the initial regnal year ca. 1550 B.C.. This widely accepted dating is based on the ancient capital of Memphis as the point of observation, despite the Theban provenance of the papyrus. A Theban point of observation, which is accepted by other Egyptologists, dates the papyrus to c a. 1523 B.C. [27 William A. Ward, “ The Present Status of Egyptian Chronology,” BASOR 288 (Nov 1992):58-5 ...] Though the Egyptians never stated where they observed the Sothic rising, Olympiodorus noted in A.D. 6 that it was celebrated at Alexandria, after being observed at Memphis. [28 Ibid., 59.]

Therefore, Memphis is the probable correct point of observation for the rising. Second, even without astronomical dating, the chronology of Egypt in the mid- 1400s B.C. remains sure. Ward notes that “New Kingdom chronology can be fairly well established on the basis of the monuments and synchronisms, without recourse to the astronomical materia l.” [29 Ibid., 56. Egypt’s New Kingdom (ca. 1560-1069 B .C.) consists of Dynasties 18-20.] As for the Eighteenth Dynasty, he adds that the 25-year gap separating current theories on its starting date narrows to a scant three or four years by the middle of the dynasty, meaning that most mainstream Egyptologists consider the dating of Egypt’s exodus-er a history to be fixed and reliable. [30 Ibid.]

Last, regnal dates of Eighteenth-Dynasty pharaohs from the Ebers Papyrus to the exodus are fixed with relative certainty. With firm regnal dates for Amenhotep I, the reigns of the subsequent Eighteenth-Dynasty pharaohs down to Amenhotep II are as follows: Thutmose I (ca. 1529 -1516 B.C.), Thutmose II ( ca . 1516-1506 B.C.), Queen Hatshepsut (ca. 1504 -1484 B .C.), Thutmose III (ca . 1506-1452 B.C.), and Amenhotep II (ca. 1455-1418 B.C.). [31 Egyptologists disagree over the year of Thutmose III’s accession, with three views predominant: ca. 1504 B.C., ca .1490 B.C., and ca. 1479 B.C. (Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel 104). The year 1504 is prefer red because of its exclusive agreement with the Ebers Papyrus when assuming a Memphite point of observation for the rising of Sothis. Shea agrees (William Shea, “Amenhotep II as Phar aoh,” Bible and Spade 16/2 [200 3]:43 ).] With these reigns chronologically ordered, a positive evaluation of Amenhotep II’s candidacy for the exodus-pharaoh is possible.

III. The Tenth Plague and the Firstborn Son of Amenhotep II

God told Moses that he would harden pharaoh’s heart and that pharaoh would refuse to free the Israelites (Exod 4:21). God then instructed Moses to tell pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Israelis my son, my first born. And I said to you, “Let my son go, that he may serve me.” But you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your first born’” (Exod 4:22b- 23). After the ninth plague, God repeated this prediction: “[A]ll the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of the pharaoh who sits on his throne” (Exod 11:5). The challenge is to identify the eldest son of Amenhotep II. Several candidates are possible.

Was it Thutmose IV? For the exodus-pharaoh, the worst part of God’s prediction of judgment was that his own firstborn son would die. If Amenhotep II was the exodus-pharaoh, his firstborn son had to die before ruling, which the historical record should confirm. The son who succeeded Amenhotep II was Thutmose IV (ca. 1418 -1408 B.C.), whose Dream Stele— which is located between the paws of the Great Sphinx—reveals that he was not the original heir to the throne. [32 Peter Der Manuelian, Studies in the Reign of Amenophis II (Hildesheim: Gerstenberg, 1987) 40] Moreover, inscriptional and papyritious evidence confirms that Thutmose IV was not the eldest son of Amenhotep II. Was it Prince Amenhotep? The papyrus British Museum 10056 (here inafter BM 10056) speaks of “Prince Amenhotep.” The only title used of him, apart from “king’s son,” is “ sm-priest.” [33Donald B. Redford, “The Coregency of Tuthmos is III and Amenophis II,” JEA 51 (Dec 1965):111.] To which Amenhotep is the scribe referring? Although the year is completely lost from the regnal date on this m anuscript, the surviving month (4) and day (1) mark precisely the date of Amenhotep II’s accession, implying that Prince Amenhotep was his son. [34 Ibid., 110.] This prince almost certainly resided in or near Memph is, [35 Upon Amenhotep I’s death, Thebes was the most prominent city of the native Egyptians, but Thutmose I, who did not descend from his predecessor, moved the chief residence of the Egyptian court from Thebes to Memphis, where he constructed a royal palace that was used until the reign of Akhenaten (ca. 1369-1352 B.C.)...] due to his office being connected to the high priesthood of Ptah. [36 Other New-Kingdom princes who were sm-priests also functioned as chief pontiffs at Memphis, such as “the king’s son and sm-priest, Thutmose,” who appears with his father, Amenhotep III, at his burial in the Serapeum (Redford, “Coregency of Tuthmosis III ” 111)] ...

Another candidate for the eldest son of Amenhotep II is an unattested “Thutmose.” Redford, who considers the exodus as mythical, may supply the answer: “The fact that he (Prince B/Amenhotep) was named Amenhotep like his father might be taken to indicate that he was not the firstborn, that an older son named Thutmose had been born to Amenhotep II. It would be necessary to assume, however, that this Thutmose had passed away in childhood without leaving a trace.” [40 Ibid., 114.] Redford suggests that the practice of these pharaohs was not to name their firstborn sons after themselves, but to use the alternate birth-name. If Prince Amenhotep was not the eldest son of Amenhotep II, who by cust om would have named his firstson “Thutmose,” then the Thutmose sitting on the lap of Hekreshu, the royal tutor, on the wall of Tomb 64 in Thebes may be “the eldest son” of the king. [41 Ibid., 114-15] Therefore, if Amenhotep II was the exodus-pharaoh, perhaps his eldest son Thutmose died early in the reign without leaving a trace, thus satisfying both the historical and biblical records (Exod 12:29). ...

For brevity, the first campaign of Amenhotep II will be referred to as A1, while his second campaign will be called A2. As indicated, he launched A1 in Year 3, and the dating of events related to this campaign is as follows: (1) Thutmose III died on ca. 22 March 1452 B .C.; (2) Amenhotep II presided over the funeral and was confirmed as sole ruler; (3) the Syro-Palestinian city-states rebelled after hearing of Thutmose III ’s death; (4) Amenhotep II assembled his army from throughout Egypt and nearby garrisoned cities; and (5) Amenhotep II launched A1, arriving at his first destination on ca. 15 May 1452 B .C. ...

Amenhotep II indisputably launched A2 in Year 9. If his reign began in ca. 1455 B .C., which harmonizes with the Ebers Papyrus and the regnal lengths of the intervening pharaohs, his ninth year lasted from ca. 22 November 1447 – 22 November 1446 B.C. Therefore, the exodus date of ca. 25 Apri l 1446 B.C. should be placed within this particular regnal year, unless the Year-9 reading on the Memphis Stele is ever proven to be an inaccurate reconstruction. ...

Change in Foreign-Policy after the Second Asiatic Campaign

Another oddity of A2 is that after its conclusion, the Egyptian army—estab-lished by Thutmose III as the fifteenth-century-B.C.’s most elite fighting force—went into virtual hibernation. Its previous policy of aggressiveness toward Mitanni became one of passivity and the signing of peace treaties. The reason for this new policy is missing from the historical record, but Amenhotep II evidently was the pharaoh who first signed a treaty with Mitanni, subsequent to A2. [99 Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel 163] ...

This mysterious reversal in foreign po licy would remain inexplicable if not for the possibility of a single, cataclysmic event. If the Egyptians lost virtually their entire army in the springtime disaster at the Red Sea in Year 9, a desperate reconnaissance campaign designed to “save face” with the rest of the ancient world and to replenish the Israel ite slave-base would be paramount. Certainly the Egyptians needed time to rally their remaining forces together, however small and /or in shambles their army may have been, and it would explain a November campaign that was nothing more than a slave-raid into Palestine as a show of force. ...

Egyptian history itself may confirm Amenhotep II as the exodus-pharaoh. At the death of Thutmose II, the throne was given first to his son, Thutmose III, and later also assumed by his widow, Hatshepsut. ...

Moses evidently was born during the reign of Thutmose I, whose daughter, Hatshepsut, qualifies as a legitimate candidate for the pharaoh’s daughter who drew Moses from the Nile River (Exod 2:5). [139 Rea, “ Oppression and Exodus” 10] ...

Hatshepsut ... could have been the daughter of Amenhotep I. . In addition, the uncertainty about when Thutmose II’s reign began means that he may have served as co-regent with his father, Thutmose I, for several years. Hatshepsut thus would have been old enough to draw Moses out of the Nile during her father’s second regnal year, so she is a legitimate candidate for Moses’ Egyptian adoptive-mother, since her father was already over 35 years old when he assumed the throne.

All the evidence points to Hatshepsut as the most likely candidate for Moses’ stepmother, because her blood-sister, Princess Akhbetneferu, died in infancy, because Lady Mutnofret— according to existing records— never bore a daughter to Thutmose I, [141 Tyldesley, Hatchepsut 65, 77] and because Exod 2:10 states that after “ the child [Moses] grew, she [his mother] brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son.” Therefore, Moses’ Egyptian stepmother lived long enough after she retrieved him from the Nile, increasing the likelihood that an account of this “ daughter of Pharaoh” (Exod 2: 5) would be documented somewhere in the Egyptians’ detailed records, a qualification held by Hatshepsut alone

The Defacer of Hatshepsut’s Image

Some indeterminable time after Hatshepsut’s death, someone attempted to obliterate any historical record of her. Many inscribed cartouches of her were erased, while her busts were smashed or broken into pieces, perhaps by workmen dispatched to various cites throughout Egypt. In some cases, the culprits carefully and completely hacked out the silhouette of her image from carvings, often leaving a distinct, Hatshepsut-shaped lacuna in the middle of a scene, often as a preliminary step to replacing it with a different image or royal cartouche, such as that of Thutmose I or II. [142 Ibid., 79.] At Karnak, her obelisks were wall ed-up and incorp orate d into the vesti bule in front of Pylon V, while at Djeser-Djeseru her statues and sphinx es were rem oved , smashed, and cast into trash dump s. [143 Tyldesley, Hatchepsut 114-15, 216.]

According to most Egyptologists, this massive effort to destroy all records of Hatshepsut was launched by Thutmose III, with a predictable motive: out of sexist pride, he attempted to eliminate every trace of this dreaded female pharaoh’ s rule, intending to rewrite Egyptian history to portray a smooth succession of male rulers from Thutmose I to himself. [144 Hallo and Simpson, Ancient Near East, 259, 261; Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel, 156; Tyldesley, Hatchepsut, 216.] ...

Amenhotep II was the sole culprit in the campaign to destroy Hatshepsut’s image. The responsible individual likely possessed pharaonic authority, and one legitimate motive for Amenhotep II to have committed this act is Hatshepsut’s rearing of Moses as her own son in the royal court (Acts 7:21). After the Red Sea incident, Amenhotep II would have returned to Egypt seething with anger, both at the loss of his first born son and virtually his entire army (Exod 14: 28 ), and he would have just cause to erase her memory from Egypt and remove her spirit from the afterlife. The Egyptian people would have supported this edict, since their rage undoubtedly rivaled pharaoh’s because of their mourning over deceased family members and friends. The nationwide experience of loss also would account for the unified effortt hroughout Egypt to fulfill this defeated pharaoh’s commission vigorously. A precedent exists for Amenhotep II’s destruction of her monuments early in his reign: “ At Karnak Hatshepsut left . . . the Eighth Pylon, a new southern gateway to the temple precinct. . . . Ironically, evidence of Hatshepsut’s building effort is today invisible, since the face of the pylon was erased and redecorated in the first years of Amenhotep II.” [155 Brya n, “Eighteenth Dynasty” 240.] Perhaps Year 9 was when it all began.

IX. Conclusion

Now it is possible to answer the questions posed earlier. Could the eldest son of Amenhotep II have died during the tenth plague, which must be true of the exo dus-pharaoh’s son? The answer is yes. In fact, none of Amenhotep II’s sons claimed to be his firstborn, and one Egyptologist theorizes that the eldest son died inexplicably during childhood. ...

Can any of Amenhotep II’ s military campaigns be related to the exodus events? Yes, his second Asiatic campaign coincides extremely well with the exodus events, and many of the details related to it and Egypt’s post-exodus future cannot be explained without these connections. Can the loss of over two million Hebrew slaves, certainly Egypt’s “slave-base” at the time, be accounted for in the records of Amenhotep II’s reign? Yes, the loss of the Israelite slaves can be accounted for by Amenhotep II’s acquisition of 101,128 slaves in Canaan during his second Asiatic campaign, the only such campaign of its era that was launched in late fall and took many captives. Is there any evidence to confirm that Amenhotep II interacted with the Hebrew s after they left Egypt? Yes, Amenhotep II captured 3,600 “Apiru” (Hebrews) during his second campaign, which was launched just under seven months after the exodus. Despite attempts to disprove the association of the Hebrews with the Apiru of the New Kingdom, more evidence favors their being the same people. If Amenhotep II is the exodus-pha raoh, could the obliteration of Hatshepsut’s image from many Egyptian monuments and inscriptions be attributed to backlash from the exodus events? Yes, Amenhotep II surfaces as the most logical candidate for the pharaoh who ordered this nationwide campaign of desecration. If Hatshepsut indeed was Moses’ Egyptian stepmother — and she is the most legitimate candidate —Amenhotep II and all of Egypt had adequate motive to remove her image from Egypt and her spirit from the afterlife. These answers identify Amenhotep II as the most legitimate candidate for the exodus-pharaoh, but that biblical chronology of that era funct ions as a canon with which Egyptian history may be synchronized.

[Petrovich D. AMENHOTEP II AN D THE HISTORICITY OF THE EXODUS- PHARAOH. The Master's Seminary Journal. TMSJ 17/1 (Spring 2006) 81-110. http://www.tms.edu/m/17f.pdf viewed 03/07/15]

Notice the following:

Thutmose IV was born to Amenhotep II and Tiaa but was not actually the crown prince and Amenhotep II's chosen successor to the throne. Some scholars speculate that Thutmose ousted his older brother in order to usurp power and then commissioned the Dream Stele in order to justify his unexpected kingship. Thutmose's most celebrated accomplishment was the restoration of the Sphinx at Giza and subsequent commission of the Dream Stele. According to Thutmose's account on the Dream Stele, while the young prince was out on a hunting trip, he stopped to rest under the head of the Sphinx, which was buried up to the neck in sand. He soon fell asleep and had a dream in which the Sphinx told him that if he cleared away the sand and restored it he would become the next Pharaoh. After completing the restoration of the Sphinx, he placed a carved stone tablet, now known as the Dream Stele, between the two paws of the Sphinx.The restoration of the Sphinx, and the text of the Dream Stele would then be a piece of propaganda on Thutmose's part, meant to bestow legitimacy upon his unexpected kingship. (Thutmose IV, Wikipedia, viewed 03/08/15)

Biblically, we know the firsborn son of Pharaoh died:

29 And it came to pass at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. (Exodus 12:29)

Thus, it does make sense to conclude that there are many reasons to believe that Amenhotep II was the Pharaoh of the Exodus.

Notice that the Pharaoh and the other Egyptians then wanted the children of Israel to depart:

30 So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead. 31 Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the Lord as you have said. 32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also." 33 And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they said, "We shall all be dead." 34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. 35 Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. 36 And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. 37 Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. (Exodus 12:30-37)

There is a record in the Ipuwer papyrus that seems to tell of the loss of gold from the Egyptians:

Papyrus 3:6-10: "Gold is lacking, the..... of all handicrafts is at an end (?). The..... of the king's palace is despoiled (?)." 9:6: "Behold, no craftsmen work. The enemies of the land have spoilt (?) its crafts (?) [impoverished its craftsmen — Faulkner)." 6:3-5: "(People) are stripped of clothes, spices (?) and oil. Everybody says: there is none." (Grabbe, p. 30)

Notice also the following:

38 A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds — a great deal of livestock. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves. (Exodus 12:38-39)

There is a record in the Ipuwer papyrus that seems to tell of Egyptians who became foreigners:

4:1: "Those who were Egyptians (?) have become foreigners (?)."(Grabbe, p. 30)

IV:1: Indeed, every dead person is as a well-born man. Those who were Egyptians [have become] foreigners and are thrust aside. (The admonitions of Ipuwer. http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/texts/ipuwer.htm viewed 03/17/15)

V:2-3 Indeed, magnates are hungry and perishing, followers are followed [. . .] because of complaints. Indeed, the hot-tempered man says: "If I knew where God is, then I would serve Him." (The admonitions of Ipuwer. http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/texts/ipuwer.htm viewed 03/17/15)

The "mixed multitude" the Bible refers to seems to include Egyptians (cf. Numbers 11:4-5). The slaves that were followers became followed by some of the Egyptians.

As far as further written evidence for the Exodus, notice the following related to the the Greek historian Hecataeus of Abdera, the Egpytian priest and teacher (pedagogue) Chaeremon, Roman historian Tacitus, and the Greek historical philosopher Strabo:

The author of the earliest non-Biblical account of the Exodus is Hecataeus of Abdera, who acame to Egypt in about 320 BCE; In his version, the story begins at a moment of distress: a plague is ravaging Egypt. The Egyptians interpret this as divine punishment for the presence of aliens and the introduction of alien rites and customs. Consequently the aliens are expelled. Some, under the leadership of Kadmos and Danaos colonize Greece, while others, under the leadership of Moses, colonize Palestine. ...

According to Hecataeus, Moses forbade the making of divine images...

Chaeremon, an Egyptian who lived in the first half of the first century ... as a priest and pedagogue in Alexandria and after 49 in Rome as the tutor of Nero, gives yet another version of the story. The goddess Isis appeared to King Amenophis in a dream and reproached him because of the destruction of her temple in times of war. The priest and scribe Phritibantes ("the chief of the temple") advised him to propitiate the goddess by "purging" Egypt of the lepers. The King gathered 250,000 lepers and expelled them from Egypt. Their leaders were Moses and Joseph, whose Egyptian names were Tisithen and Peteseph. ...

A very interesting variant of the Moses tradition can be found in Pompeius Trogus' Historicae Philippicae. Here Moses appears not as an Egyptian but as the son of Joseph. But the cult he initiates in Jerusalem is characterized as "sacra Aegyptia." When leaving Egypt, Moses "secretly took the sacred objects of the Egyptians. In trying to recover these objects by force, the Egyptians were forced by storms to return home." ... "The reason for the Exodus is the same as in most of the other sources: an epidemic. "But when the Egyptians were exposed to the scab and to a skin infection, and had been warned by an oracle, they expelled [Moses] together with the sick people beyond the confines of Egypt lest the disease should spread to a greater number of people. ...

TACITUS gives us a summary that combines many aspects of the Exodus tradition. Egypt is stricken by an epidemic that leads to bodily deformities; King Bocchorus consults the oracle and learns he must "purge" the country of this race (genus) because the gods detest it (ut invisum deis). The Jews are driven into the desert, but find a leader in Moses who brings them to Palestine and founds Jerusalem. In order to consolidate his authority, Moses institutes a new religion, which is the exact opposite of all other religions (novos ritis contrariosque ceritis mortalibus indidit). Tacitus, as well as Hecataeus and Strabo, characterizes the Jewish concept of god monotheistic and aniconic: "The Egyptians worship many animals and monstrous images; the Jews conceive of one god, and that with the mind only: they regard those that make representations of god in man's image from perishable materials as impious; that supreme and eternal being is incapable to them of representation and is without end."...

According to Strabo, an Egyptian priest named Moses, who felt dissatisfied with the Egyptian religion, decided to found a new religion and emigrated with his followers to Palestine. (Assmann J. Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism. Harvard University Press, 2009, pp. 34, 35-36, 37, 38)

35. An Egyptian priest named Moses, who possessed a portion of the country called the Lower Egypt, being dissatisfied with the established institutions there, left it and came to Judaea with a large body of people who worshipped the Divinity. He declared and taught that the Egyptians and Africans entertained erroneous sentiments, in representing the Divinity under the likeness of wild beasts and cattle of the field; that the Greeks also were in error in making images of their gods after the human form. For God [said he] may be this one thing which encompasses us all, land and sea, which we call heaven, or the universe, or the nature of things. . . . 36. By such doctrine Moses persuaded a large body of right-minded persons to accompany him to the place where Jerusalem now stands. ... Instead of arms, he taught that thier defence was in their sacred things and the Divinity . . . (Strabo. The Geography of Strabo, Volume 3. Translated by H.C. Hamilton and W. Falconer. Bell, 1889, pp. 177-178)

Of course, the true Christian religion is the opposite of Satan's religions. It is based on truth, love, and the give way of life (cf. James I:27; 2:8; Acts 20:35) and not lust (cf. John 8:42-47) and idols (1 John 5:21).

As far as travel related to the Exodus, notice:

If the dating of archaeological sites should be based on pottery and other historical considerations (such as the chronology of Egypt’s pharaohs), then all of the evidence from Tell Jericho argues for its destruction and burning around 1401-1406 B.C. All of the evidence from Jericho at this time (ca. 1401-6 B.C.) fits the biblical record in an amazing way, from the details about the city being burned along with everything in it [offered to God as a burnt offering] (see Joshua 6), to the walls having dwelling places [houses] where Rahab helped the Jewish spies enter the city to spy its defenses (Joshua 2).

Continuing research at Jericho and now new research at Tel-el Maqatir (biblical Ai?) is yielding results that confirm the biblical record of Joshua’s conquest in amazing ways. Most critical scholars place Ai at et-Tell but there is no archaeological evidence of a destruction there which fits the biblical description. However, just one kilometer west is another site (Tel el-Maqatir) which very well could be the biblical site of Ai. This conclusion is based, once again, not on opinion but on hard evidence. (see, Bryant Wood’s, ‘The Search for Joshua’s Ai,’ in Richard S. Hess, Gerald A. Klingbeil and Paul K. Ray Jr., Editors, Critical Issues in Early Israelite History (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2008), 205-40.) (Wright T. Was There an Exodus & Conquest? July 20, 2013. http://crossexamined.org/was-there-an-exodus-conquest/#_ftn11 viewed 03/01/15)

I would add if the Exodus did take place in 1446 B.C., forty years of wilderness wandering would bring us to 1406 B.C. as a likely time for the destruction of Jericho.

A researcher named John Garstang, who excavated the site of ancient Jericho (city "D" in his survey), came to the conclusion that the destruction of the city took place around 1400 B.C. (Garstang, The Story of Jericho, 1948, p. 122). He also concluded that the walls of the city toppled outward, which would be consistent with Joshua 6:20. Here is another report about it:

n 1930 John Garstang, a professor at England's Liverpool University, took a team to Israel in hopes of shedding new light on the ruins of Jericho. His excavation, more thorough than either of the previous ones, lasted until 1936, and turned up considerable new findings. His diggings reached down into the Neolithic period, to the very beginnings of settlement at Jericho, and covered four successive incarnations of the city. His main concern was with the fourth city--that reportedly destroyed by Joshua--but his excavation led to many discoveries in all periods of occupation. ...

Garstang found what he believed to be a temple, whose foundations reached through all the ages of the city, and which seemed to have been rebuilt in each successive age. From its continual reconstruction and from the many animal figurines found there, he inferred that it was a temple of some sort, whose religion had a pastoral focus.

The other notable building found was a palace structure, standing on the highest point within the city walls. The area was actually home to three different palaces over the course of the city's history; it had to be rebuilt after each destruction of the city.

Another important find was a necropolis 250 yards to the west of the city mound, which yielded artifacts as well as information on burial customs. The tombs were either small grotto-like chambers or shallow, round graves. They contained pottery and other offerings, which could be used for rough dating, and in some cases to establish ties to Egypt and Babylonia. From the pottery and scarabs found at the necropolis, Garstang concluded that its use was continuous from the third millennium BCE until the city's final destruction around 1400 BCE. (Garstand's evacuation. http://faculty.vassar.edu/jolott/old_courses/class%20of%2051/jericho/garstang.html viewed 03/08/15)

Notice also the following:

The first major excavation of the site of Jericho, located in the southern Jordan valley in Israel, was carried out by a German team between 1907 and 1909. They found piles of mud bricks at the base of the mound the city was built on.

It was not until a British archaeologist named Kathleen Kenyon reexcavated the site with modern methods in the 1950s that it was understood what these piles of bricks were. She determined that they were from the city wall which had collapsed when the city was destroyed!

The story in the Bible goes on to say that when the walls collapsed, the Israelites stormed the city and set it on fire. Archaeologists found evidence for a massive destruction by fire just as the Bible relates. Kenyon wrote in her excavation report,

“The destruction was complete. Walls and floors were blackened or reddened by fire, and every room was filled with fallen bricks, timbers, and household utensils; in most rooms the fallen debris was heavily burnt.” ...

Rahab's house was evidently located on the north side of the city. She was the Canaanite prostitute who hid the Israelite spies who came to reconnoiter the city. The Bible states that her house was built against the city wall. Before returning to the Israelite camp, the spies told Rahab to bring her family into her house and they would be saved. According to the Bible, Rahab's house was miraculously spared while the rest of the city wall fell.

This is exactly what archaeologists found. The preserved city wall on the north side of the city had houses built against it. (Is the Bible accurate concerning the destruction of the walls of Jericho? http://www.christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a011.html viewed 03/08/15)

Kathleen Kenyon had another view of the timing, which lead to others looking at this:

In the March/April 1990 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review conservative Biblical archaeologist Bryant G. Wood argued for a redating of the destruction of the so-called "City IV" at Jericho. The consensus of modern scholarship dated this destruction to ca. 1550 B.C., but Wood shrugged the consensus aside. Wood's desire was to bring this destruction into temporal coincidence with the Biblical account of the destruction of Jericho by Joshua at the traditional Biblical date of the Conquest of ca. 1400 B.C. (Figure 2). Wood was trying to solve a serious problem in his bid to redate this destruction of Jericho. He described the problem thus:

Kenyon concluded that her field work confirmed her earlier review of Garstang's work. ... The destruction of Garstang's City IV, which he had dated to about 1400 B.C.E., occurred, according to Kenyon, at the end of the Middle Bronze Age, about 1550 B.C.E.

In short, there was no strongly fortified Late Bronze Age city at Jericho for Joshua to conquer. The archaeological evidence conflicted with the Biblical account---indeed, disproved it.

Wood argued that Kenyon had misdated the City IV destruction and that Garstang had been right all along. He claimed that detailed excavation reports, which had only recently become available, subsequent to Kenyon's death, showed that her date for the final destruction of City IV Jericho was flawed. He argued that: a reanalysis of pottery shards excavated from City IV; stratigraphic considerations; scarab evidence; and a single radiocarbon date all converged "to demonstrate that City IV was destroyed in about 1400 B.C.E., not 1550 B.C.E. as Kenyon maintained". (Aardsma GE. The Route of the Exodus. The Biblical Chronologist Volume 2, Number 1, 1996. http://www.biblicalchronologist.org/products/archives/vol2.php#num3 viewed 03/08/15)

So although there is evidence of the Exodus consistent with the account in the Bible, but not all agree with the dating of it. I would add that even though some artifacts were possibly 150 years older as some have claimed, older artifacts certainly could have been found as some items are kept a long time.

Controversy Surrounding Dates of Amenhotep II's Reign

There is controversy associated with the dates of reign of Amenhotep:

Amenhotep's coronation can be dated without much difficulty because of a number of lunar dates in the reign of his father, Thutmose III. These sightings limit the date of Thutmose's accession to either 1504 or 1479 BC.[15] Thutmose died after 54 years of reign,[16] at which time Amenhotep would have acceded to the throne. Amenhotep's short coregency with his father would then move his accession two years and four months earlier,[6] dating his accession to either 1427 BC in the low chronology,[17] or in 1454 BC in the high chronology. The length of his reign is indicated by a wine jar inscribed with the king's prenomen found in Amenhotep II's funerary temple at Thebes; it is dated to this king's highest known date—his Year 26—and lists the name of the pharaoh's vintner, Panehsy.[18] Mortuary temples were generally not stocked until the king died or was near death; therefore, Amenhotep could not have lived much later beyond his 26th year.[19] There are alternate theories which attempt to assign him a reign of up to 35 years, which is the absolute maximum length he could have reigned. In this chronology, he reigned from 1454 to 1419.[6] However, there are problems facing these theories which cannot be resolved.[20] In particular, this would mean Amenhotep died when he was 52, but an X-ray analysis of his mummy has shown him to have been about 40 when he died. [21] (Amenhotep II. Wikipedia, viewed 03/10/15)

So, apparently based on an X-ray analysis, many scholars do not accept that Amenhotep II was pharaoh around the time that makes biblical sense. But, at least some scholar realize that it is truly possible. Lunar dates, of course, are very certain. Yet, an X-ray analysis as well as the length of his coregency and other assumptions could have off (and are assuming he began his reign no later than age 14). But the Bible would not be.

Thutmose, Hatshepsut, and Moses

During the reign of Thutmose I, a woman, probably Hatshepsut his daughter, pulled Moses from the Nile River. It could be that part of the reason that she named the Hebrew baby she pulled out Moses was to add a connection to her father. Removing the “Thut” from Thutmose’s name, leaves “mose.”

It may well be that Moses was named after Thumoses. The timing of Thutmose is also consistent with the Exodus being around 1446 B.C.

Josephus wrote the following:

5. Thermuthis was the king's daughter. She was now diverting herself by the banks of the river; and seeing a cradle borne along by the current, she sent some that could swim, and bid them bring the cradle to her. When those that were sent on this errand came to her with the cradle, and she saw the little child, she was greatly in love with it, on account of its largeness and beauty; for God had taken such great care in the formation of Moses, that he caused him to be thought worthy of bringing up, and providing for, by all those that had taken the most fatal resolutions, on account of the dread of his nativity, for the destruction of the rest of the Hebrew nation. Thermuthis bid them bring her a woman that might afford her breast to the child; yet would not the child admit of her breast, but turned away from it, and did the like to many other women. Now Miriam was by when this happened, not to appear to be there on purpose, but only as staying to see the child; and she said, "Itis in vain that thou, O queen, callest for these women for the nourishing of the child, who are no way of kin to it; but still, if thou wilt order one of the Hebrew women to be brought, perhaps it may admit the breast of one of its own nation." Now since she seemed to speak well, Thermuthis bid her procure such a one, and to bring one of those Hebrew women that gave suck. So when she had such authority given her, she came back and brought the mother, who was known to nobody there. And now the child gladly admitted the breast, and seemed to stick close to it; and so it was, that, at the queen's desire, the nursing of the child was entirely intrusted to the mother.

6. Hereupon it was that Thermuthis imposed this name Mouses upon him, from what had happened when he was put into the river; for the Egyptians call water by the name of Mo, and such as are saved out of it, by the name of Uses: so by putting these two words together, they imposed this name upon him. (Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews - Book II. Chapter 9, verses 5-6).

But also notice:

Josephus says the daughter of pharaoh was Thermuthis..., very similar to the royal name Thutmose.

-         According to history, Pharaoh Thutmose and his wife Queen Ahmose had one child, a daughter, Hatshepsut, who later became supreme ruler. Hatshepsut married her stepbrother Thutmose II as arranged by her father. After her father’s death, her husband Thutmose II became pharaoh, but Hatshepsut was really in power. She co-reigned with her husband from approximately 1504-1482 BC. She was one of Egypt’s greatest rulers.

(Moses. Biblical Archeology of the Exodus. http://www.truthnet.org/Biblicalarcheology/5/Exodusarcheology.htm accessed 03/21/15)

There is evidence that continues to point to the time of the 15th century B.C.

What About the Ten Plagues?

God caused Egypt to suffer ten plagues prior to the departure of the children of Israel. Is there any evidence outside the Bible that they occurred?

There certainly appears to be.

There is an ancient Egyptian poem called the Ipuwer that seems to describe some of the plagues that hit Egypt in the 7th through 12th chapters of the Book of Exodus.

Concerning the Ipuwer papyrus and the ten plagues, the old Worldwide Church of God wrote:

"The account is found in what is called the "Ipuwer papyrus." ... It matches the Biblical record in detail. ... The phrase "all is ruin" occurs at least twice ... In Upper Egypt, Pharaoh's servants asked him, "Do you not yet understand that Egypt is ruined?" (Exodus 10:7, Revised Standard Version...) (Grabbe L. The Exodus. Tomorrow's World, April 1971, pp. 28-30).

The Ipuwer has many details that align with the record of the Bible, and many of those in the Bible can be taken literally. More details can be found in the article Reasons, Proofs, and Ramifications of the Ten Plagues of Exodus.

Furthermore, there is also information related to the Exodus in an ancient Egyptian document called the Destruction of Mankind--details can be found in the article Reasons, Proofs, and Ramifications of the Ten Plagues of Exodus.

Concluding Verses

When was the Exodus?

Probably around 1446 B.C.

As for others who do not believe it occured because of looking at dates about two centuries later, understand that the Bible teaches:

4... Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)

20... Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge — 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. (1 Timothy 6:20-21)

The Bible also tells of people who are "always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:7).

So, when you hear the opinion of 'scholars' when they blatantly contradict the Bible, realize that the Bible is still true.

As the Apostle Paul wrote:

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV)

When it comes to historical events and the Bible, do not believe alleged historical accounts do not square with the Bible.

Just because there were pharaohs of the 19th dynasty named Ramesses, does not mean that the Exodus occurred during that dynasty. The Bible tells of the existence of a region called Rameses centuries before the Exodus.

Historical events related to Amenhotep II, Hatshepsut, and Jericho are consistent with the biblical account.

There is evidence that the Exodus happened and it happened over 3400 years ago.

A YouTube video of related interest is titled: When was the Exodus?

Thiel B. When was the Exodus? http://www.cogwriter.com/when-was-the-exodus.htm COGwriter (c) 2015/2016/2017 0722

Back to home page