A reader asked if the Exodus really happened, and, when I assured him it did, he then wondered why Moses is not mentioned in secular Egyptian history. Well, it’s quite possible that Moses is featured in the historical records of the eighteenth dynasty, and that he has been overlooked because historians and Bible scholars have not been using a correct Bible chronology for that period. Here’s what I think the correct chronology tells us …
Moses was born in the second year of Thutmose I, the first Egyptian king to have the nomen (birth name) Thutmose (meaning “born of Thoth”). Some have associated the name Moses with the last two hieroglyphs in the pharaoh’s name, which mean “bear” as in “bear a child,” and it is similar to the last syllables in the name Ramose (meaning “born of Ra”), which was the name of the father of Hatshepsut’s great steward Senenmut who lived about the same time as Moses.
Shown below is an expansion of Timeline B of Appendix Two in my book Sacred Chronology of the Hebrew Kings (page 138), which reveals some interesting chronological Senenmut-Moses correlations.
|b. Thutmose II (born at about the same time as Hatshepsut, see below).|
|b. Hatshepsut, daughter of the future Thutmose I (her birth can be estimated from her estimated age of about 52 years old at her death in 1482 BCE).|
|1524||Thutmose I became pharaoh, decreed death for all Hebrew male infants.|
|1523||b. Moses, Exodus 2; found by pharaoh’s daughter Hatshepsut when she was 12 or 13 years old.|
|1518||d. Thutmose I|
|1518||Thutmose II became pharaoh, with his sister Hatshepsut as wife-consort.|
|1516||Hatshepsut recognized as pharaoh in the second year of Thutmose II’s reign, according to an inscription in the Chapelle Rouge, block 287, that describes a festival of Amen during which Hatshepsut is made a pharaoh unified with the Ka in the presence of an unnamed king (her husband Thutmose II).|
|b. Thutmose III, son of Thutmose II and a secondary wife, Iset.|
|1504||d. Thutmose II|
|1504||Thutmose III became king as an infant (less than 2 years old).|
|1504||Hatshepsut continued as pharaoh, co-reigning with her step-son, Thutmose III, who, at less than 2 years old, was too young to rule as king.|
|1498||Hatshepsut assumes male pharaonic identity, ruling as primary king.|
|1486||Hatshepsut celebrated her “sed year” (her 30th year as a pharaoh)|
|1483||Hatshepsut’s great steward Senenmut, the person who supervised the building of her mortuary temple, disappeared from history (inscriptions place his disappearance in Hatshepsut’s sixteenth year as king).|
|1483||Moses (40 years old) fled to Midian, Exodus 2.|
|1482||Thutmose III became sole ruler when Hatshepsut died.|
Here’s my hypothesis:
Thutmose I became pharaoh in the year 1,524 BCE. The new king decreed that all male Hebrew infants be killed. The following year, 1,523 BCE, his twelve-or-thirteen-year-old daughter Hatshepsut rescued the infant Moses from the Nile River with the intention of raising him as a member of her household. When Thutmose I died in 1,518 BCE, his son Thutmose II became pharaoh and the new pharaoh’s half-sister Hatshepsut became his wife and queen.
In the second year of Thutmose II’s reign, according to your author’s interpretation of an inscription on block 287 from the Chapelle Rouge, a festival of Amen was celebrated during which Hatshepsut was recognized as a co-pharaoh, circa 1516 BCE. During their co-reign, Thutmose II produced no male heir with Hatshepsut, but he did sire a son, Thutmose III, with a secondary wife named Iset. When Thutmose II died in 1,504 BCE, Hatshepsut continued as a pharaoh, at first sharing her reign with her step-son Thutmose III, who, being less than two years old, was too young to rule.
Seven years later, in 1,498 BCE, Hatshepsut assumed a masculine public identity and reigned as king of Egypt for the next seventeen years, with her step-son Thutmose III serving in a subordinate role. Sometime after her recognition as pharaoh, Hatshepsut elevated Senenmut to be her chief steward (top official), primarily to oversee her extensive building projects, but he disappeared from the historical record in 1,483 BCE, about a year before Hatshepsut’s death. Senenmut exited from history at precisely the same time that the biblical Moses fled to Midian after murdering an Egyptian steward, as recorded in Exodus 2:11-15.
That simultaneous timing raises an interesting question. Did Moses kill Senenmut and then have to flee from Hatshepsut’s wrath before returning to Egypt forty years later as the prophet Moses? That scenario would explain why Moses, raised as a son of Hatshepsut and thus enjoying great privilege as son of the pharaoh, would then fear pharaoh for killing an Egyptian, in this case Hatshepsut’s most trusted advisor (and some historians claim her lover). Whatever the case, the synchronizations between Egyptian chronology and history as known from inscriptions and the Hebrew chronology and history as recounted in the Bible do reveal some interesting correlations.
- Thutmose I was the first Egyptian king to have the nomen (birth name) Thutmose ḏḫwty-ms (born of Thoth). Some have associated the name Moses with the last two hieroglyphs in the pharaoh’s name, ms, which mean “bear” as in “bear a child,” and it is similar to the last syllables in the name Ramose (born of Ra), which was the name of the father of Hatshepsut’s great steward Senenmut.
- “DNA bone samples taken from the mummy’s pelvic bone and femur are being compared to the mummy of Queen Hatshepsut’s grandmother, Amos Nefreteri, said molecular geneticist Yehia Zakaria Gad, who was part of Hawass’ team. The mummy identified as Hatshepsut shows an obese woman, who died in her 50s, probably had diabetes and is also believed to have had liver cancer, Hawass said. Her left hand is positioned against her chest, in a traditional sign of royalty in ancient Egypt.” … excerpt from an article © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved..
- Aaron, born in 1526 BCE (and thus three years older than Moses), was not included in the decree to kill all newborn Hebrew infants.
- An inscription from the Chapelle Rouge, block 287confirms a festival of Amen during which Hatshepsut is made a pharaoh unified with the Ka in the presence of and during the second year of an unnamed king (traditionally assumed to be her father Thutmose I, but interpreted by your author as probably being her husband Thutmose II instead, identifying her coronation as occurring in 1516 BCE).