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Did the Exodus Really Occur?

Posted by mjadmin on 14 November 2020

Did movie producer Cecille B. DeMille’s blockbuster Hollywood production of the movie “The Ten Commandments” have any historical basis? Did numerous catastrophic events befall Egypt at the time of an exodus of a very large number of people from the ancient land of Egypt? As described in the Bible as well as depicted in DeMille’s production, momentous catastrophic events occurred: a frightful destruction of national wealth from numerous unnatural calamities; loss of 2-3 million people used as slaves to build huge public works projects; the death of all the firstborn of the entire land, of man and beast; the death of its most powerful rulers; the destruction of a powerful army. Can these events not have been recorded in history?

Historians have looked in vain for signs of the Exodus sometime in the eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties of Thebes. They have never found any of these signs. Why? Because the evidence (some rejected by historians) shows that the Exodus occurred not in the eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties, but at the end of the fifth dynasty, and during the sixth, thirteenth and fourteenth! Every one of these dynasties preserves the record of the calamity, whereas the eighteenth and nineteenth do not.

Why were and are historians looking in the wrong place for these events? Firstly, because attempts past and present have been made to conceal evidence proving the veracity of the Biblical record. And secondarily, because assumptions put in place in the eighteenth century by German literary higher critics caused a domino effect that forced a false interpretation of history to be accepted as fact. Archeological and historical records contrary to this interpretation are labeled myth or erroneous, and rejected.

As shown in a reconstruction of world history by Dr. Herman L. Hoeh in his doctoral dissertation (“Compendium of World History”, Herman L. Hoeh, Ambassador College, 1965), in the eighteenth century German literary scholars needed a “new discovery” to maintain absolute educational domination of the world. This “new discovery” necessitated assailing a commonly accepted idea which people believed to be true, but that had not yet been subjected to higher criticism till that time. The Bible!

Hoeh points out that Protestant Germany had since the days of Martin Luther assumed the absolute authenticity of Scripture. So all methodology and reasoning which had been applied to the criticism of classical literature some years earlier, would now be applied to an assault on the authenticity and historicity of Scripture. But if the Bible were removed as the chronological underpining of ancient history, how were the historians to reconstruct it? What framework would they use to date events because history must have some kind of chronological basis? Numerous problems had to be circumvented to facilitate this major departure from historical reckoning. Hoeh reconstructs world history using extensive historical writings, archaeological evidence, and the Bible. What follows is mostly excerpted from his unbiased examination of the facts of history.

The Biblical Record Removed From History

To remove the supernatural (the Biblical record) from history, “prehistory” was invented (theorized without factual basis) to bolster the concept of “ancient man” as subhuman and clothe him in the garb of a savage barely beyond the capabilities of the ape. “Prehistory” was invented (with no basis in fact) to explain history without God: “The first step was the realization that non-documented antiquity could in fact exist at all: that the whole creation and the sum of human history was not in fact contained within the Biblical narrative. This was the repudiation of the theological model of the past…” (Stuart Piggott, Approach to Archaeology, pp 53).

“…it is no longer accurate or logical to use the term ‘prehistoric,’ unless it is employed to designate that vague and hypothetical period in the beginnings of human development of which there exists no positive or tangible record…” (Encyclopedia Americana, Article “History, its rise and development”).

Without the Biblical record, the chronological means to date specific events was “repudiated” (not disproved). And the required chronological basis to support the farcical inventions of “prehistory” and “uniformitarianism” became astronomy and the history of ancient Egypt. All supernaturalism in history had to be dismissed without basis in this furtherance of domination and control of education by ambitious literary critics and those behind them. Uniformitarianism (opposing supernaturalism) also became a key basic concept. But can astronomy and ancient Egypt factually replace Biblical chronology?

Although astronomical movements repeat themselves in varying cycles, no ancient date can be determined by astronomical means alone unless the approximate date had already been determined by historical methods. Linking “prehistory” (an invention) to modern history via ancient Egypt puts an incredible stress on credibility! And the absolute honesty, integrity, and objectivity of the single historian on whose work this basis is being formulated must be beyond reproach.

Why was Egypt chosen? Egypt appeared to provide the best solution because the warm, dry climate was more likely to promote the preservation of the earliest documents. But archaeology could not always determine which Egyptian artifacts came first. Everything was above ground, there was no stratigraphy (such as in layers of buried cities like Troy) to determine the order of events. Therefore, the traditional dynastic history of Egypt had to be adopted as foundational. Traditional Egyptian dynastic history was developed by the ancient Egyptian priest, Manetho. He drew up the history of Egypt under thirty dynasties.

The influence of Manetho in formulating the basis of all ancient history is confirmed by Sir Alan Gardiner, one of the most famous Egyptologists of the twentieth century. He states: “That I have devoted so much discussion to what survives of Manetho…will need no excuse for those familiar with the evolution of our science; no Egyptologist has yet been able to free himself from the shackles imposed by the native annalist’s thirty Dynasties, and these are likely to remain the essential framework of our modern expositions” (Sir Alan Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs, Oxford, 1961, pp viii).

The universal assumption of the accuracy of the dynastic history of Egypt (by Manetho) led to the acceptance of Manetho’s historical constructions. However, Manetho and a contemporary, Berossos of Babylon, were engaged in a competition to promote the antiquity of their respective lands (Egypt and Babylon). To justify their claims to antiquity, Berossos and Manetho utilized their early records (primarily dynastic lists of reigning kings) and connected the dynasties consecutively rather than placing contemporary dynasties in correct chronological order. This fraudulent placement of the dynasties indicated a greater antiquity, but destroyed the fact of contemporary dynasties ruling or governing in a confederated manner. Such an obvious fraud in this vital link between an invented “prehistory” and modern history places this entire “framework” and its’ “expositions” into unintelligible controversy.

The framework of all history, which now derived from Egypt, was distorted: “In the arrangement of …Egyptian materials within a framework of consecutive dynasties, all modern historians are dependent upon an ancient predecessor. This was an Egyptian priest and writer Manetho who lived under Ptolemy II Philadelphius (285-246 B.C.). Manetho was born at Sebennytus (now Samannud) in the Delta. Eventually he rose to be high priest in the temple at Heliopolis. Berossos of Babylon was practically a contemporary, and the two priests became rivals in the proclamation of the antiquity and greatness of their respective lands.” (Jack Finegan, Light for the Ancient Past, pp. 65-66)

Manetho summarized the history of Egypt under the rule of 33 dynasties, or ruling houses, from the royal cities of Thinis, Thebes, Memphis, Tanis, Elephantine, Heracleopolis, Abydos, Xois, Bubastis, Sais, and other cities. It was made to appear that each city and family dominated all Egypt, and each ruler governed a unified Egypt at any given time. This fiction falsely established the antiquity of Egypt, distorted the dating of historical events, and implied a unity in Egyptian political affairs that did not in reality exist. Just as throughout the history of man, Egypt was a confederation of several dynastic families from different cities, with only one being the supreme Pharaoh. In Biblical accounts, many lands and empires had not one king, but several:

– “Lo the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians.” (II Kings 7:6).

– “At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him.” (II Chronicles 28:16).

All the great empires had federations of rulers, governing contemporaneously in a hierarchical structure. One may add, is it any different today? Thus the fraud perpetrated by Manetho, implying greater antiquity for Egypt, also conveniently casts aspersions on the accuracy of the Biblical record. In order to get at the truth of history, the king lists, records, archeological data, and the Bible must be carefully examined, compared, and analyzed (as Hoeh has done) to understand the true chronology of historical events.

Babel, the Beginning of All Human Civilization and Governance

The King Lists and historical records of Babylonia, Assyria, Egypt, China, Rome, Greece, and other nations begin at an event described as the building of a tower and the beginning of imperial governance. The reign of a father and a son are associated with this tower. The Bible records these two men as Cush and Nimrod: “And Cush begot Nimrod, he began to be a mighty one in the earth.” (Genesis 10:8). In the Compendium it is proven that Nimrod is identified in history as the Assyrian king Ninus.

After the building of this tower, there is a dispersion. The king lists indicate the father and son governed jointly. Then after 62 years, the son’s sole reign begins. The exact date of this event (beginning of sole reign) was preserved down to Roman times. The Roman historian Velleius Paterculus cites in his Roman history from another ancient writer, Aemilius Sura: “Between this time (when Rome conquered Philip, king of Macedonia) and the beginning of the reign of Ninus (Nimrod) king of the Assyrians, who was the first to hold world power, lies an interval of 1995 years.” (Velleius Paterculus, Roman History, Book I, Section VI)

Philip (not the father of Alexander) was conquered in 197 B.C. Therefore, Ninus (Nimrod), began his sole reign in 2192 B.C. According to Julius Africanus, the sole reign of Nimrod followed a joint reign of 62 years with his father (Cush). Thus going back 62 years places one at the beginning of imperial government at Babel (2254 B.C.). The building of the tower took 2 years (2256-2254 B.C.), and the dispersion took place after the tower was built. The dispersion is not dated in the Bible, but its occurrence is noted: “And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided…” (Genesis 10:25).

The cause of the dispersion is also noted in the Bible: “…and they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. …So the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.” (Genesis 11:3-8) As recorded in the Bible, God caused the family groups to speak different languages (Genesis 11:7). Thus, this first attempt to build a world empire (Genesis 11:4) ceased for a time, and the divided family groups began migrating to different parts of the world.

The Chinese begin their authentic history at 2254 B.C., which corroborates this date. Their first king is called “Shun”. He is black, and his eyes shine with a “double brightness” (this has theological significance – i.e. demon possession). His father’s name is spelled Chusou or Khusou (Cush). And in his days lived a famous woman whose name may be translated “the mother of the king of the west” or “the queen mother of the west” (James Legge, The Chinese Classics, “The Annals of the Bamboo Books”, vol III, part I, pages 114-115). Chinese history is preserved without alteration from this date to modern times.

Early history in the west is preserved in the records of Babylonia and Egypt. Egyptian history begins with Dynasty I (capital at Thinis) which includes four kings: Menes, Athothis, Kenkenes, and Uenephes. The spellings of the names are in Greek from Manetho. The second king is identified as Osiris, who is deified after death and worshipped as a god (Arthur Wiegall, A History of the Pharaohs, vol I, page 111). The Egyptian god Osiris is also the Baal of the Phoenicians, the Marduk of the Babylonians, the Tammuz of the Semites, and the Nimrod of the Bible.

The father of Athothis is Meni or Mena (Menes in Greek), Egypt’s first king. His name means “the establisher” (George Rawlinson, History of Ancient Egypt, vol II, page 26), or “the everlasting” (W.G. Wadell, Manetho, page 215). Menes was the first to establish himself as king in place of the Everlasting God (thus the reason for his title as “the everlasting”). Menes is the father of Athothis, therefore the Cush of the Bible. Note that despite the glowing titles these ancient men gave themselves, they only exist in the records of history. They were not “everlasting” after all was said and done. And they died as all men do, without exception.

Recontruction of Dynasty I through Dynasty XV

Beginning at the beginning, this reconstruction of early Egyptian history shows the definite imprint on the early past of Biblical figures such as Shem, Cush, Nimrod, Joseph, Job, Moses, and many others. Of Manetho’s 33 dynasties, 25 are reproduced below in very condensed form from the reconstruction in Compendium Volume one. Only vital events, rulers that directly relate to this paper, some particulars about them, and their dates of reign are included. As is shown below, the dynasties did not rule Egypt sequentially and in the numbered order of Manetho. Dynasties I (Thinis), XI (Thebes), XII (Thebes), and VI (Memphis) successively united and ruled Egypt, respectively, in the order shown (Figure 1 below).

Early Dynastic History of Egypt Re-constructed (From Hoeh)

Dynasty I (Thinis) 2254-1993 (261) First Ruling Dynasty

1) Menes (Cush) 60 2254-2194 Manetho

2) Athothis (Nimrod) 27 2194-2167 Athothis slain in Italy 2167

Ishtar flees to the delta

3a) Uenephes (Ishtar) 12 2137-2125 Ishtar returns with a son

4) Kenkenes (Horus) 31 2125-2094 Horus leaves in 2094

3b) Uenephes (Ishtar) 11 2094-2083

7) Semempses (Shem) 18 2037-2019 Semsem slays Miebis

Shem leaves Egypt – 2019

War in Egypt ensues after his departure and Dynasty I collapses

Thebes begins to attempt to fill the vacuum left by Shem and Dynasty I

Dynasty II (Thinis) 1993-1737 (256) Politically Insignificant

Dynasty XI (Thebes) 2035-1892 (143) Second Ruling Dynasty

2) Wahankh Inyotef 49 2019-1970 Comes to power in Thebes

4) Nebhepetre Mentuhotpe 51 1962-1911 War w/Heracleopolis 1954

First conquest of Heracleopolis by Thebes – 1954

Final conquest of Heracleopolis by Thebes and uniting of Egypt (Mentuhotpe) – 1935

Thebes dominates Egypt 43 years (Africanus/Eusebius) – 1935-1892

Dynasty IX (Heralceopolis) 2035-1935 (100)

Manetho – 2035-1626 (409) Length of power – 100years

Dynasty X (Heracleopolis) (1954-1750) (204) Manetho

Dynasty X (Heracleopolis) (1935-1750) (185) Manetho

(204-185=19 years, compare to Mentuhotpe’s conquests 1954-1935=19)

Dynasty XII (Thebes) 1892-1680 (212) Third Ruling Dynasty

Sesostris (Senwosre III 38 1779-1741

Lachares (Amenemhe III) 49 1741-1692 Joseph & 7yrsfamine

Dynasty III (Memphis) 1737-1663 (74)

Dynasty IV (Memphis) 1755-1605 (150) Manetho

2) Suphis (Cheops, Job) 63 1726-1663 Manetho

3) Suphis (Joseph) 66 1734-1668 Manetho

Dynasty V (Elephantine/Memphis) 1627-1486 (140)

9) Onnos (Unis, Unas) 30 1516-1486 Subsidiary to Pepi II

Dynasty VI (Memphis) 1626-1445 (181) Fourth Ruling Dynasty

4) Phiops (Neferkare) 94 1581-1487 Arch/Turin Canon (Pepi II)

5) Menthesuphis (Merenre) 1 1487-1486 Antyemzaef – Exodus

Dynasty XIII (Thebes) 1680-1227 (453)

17) Userkare Khendjer 4 Manetho

18) Semenkhkare Mermeshoi ? Turin Canon

Dynasty XIV (Xois) 1663-1179 (484) Hyksos (from 1479)

Dynasty XV (Hyksos) 1486-1227 (259) Invasion of Hyksos!

Book of Sothis 2254-1553 (701) @Zoan(Delta) Mestraim

1) Mestraim 35 2254-2219 Biblical Mizraim

18) Rameses 29 1744-1715 Subsidiary to Dynasty XII

4 Kings of Tanis 1553-1299 (254)

The V, VI, VIII, X111, XIV Dynasties of Egypt

The proper dating of Dynasty V of Egypt reveals kings ruling that are subsidiary to the Pharaoh. The last king in this dynasty, Onnos or Unis (1516-1486, from the Turin Cannon and Palermo Stone) is the ninth king to reign in Dynasty V (From Elephantine, though the government was centered in Memphis). Unis was a cannibal who commenced the practice of eating the firstborn of his enemies after Moses fled Egpyt (prior to the Exodus). Unis was a firstborn: “Behold, Unas hath arrived at the height of heaven…Unas hath weighed his word with the hidden god who hath no name, on the day of hacking in pieces the firstborn…Unas devoureth men…Unas is the great Form, the Form of forms, and Unas is the chief of the gods in visible form. Unas is the firstborn of the firstborn…the period of his life is eternity, and the duration of his existence is everlastingness…and the offerings made unto him are more than those made unto the gods… ” (E.A. Wallis Budge, A History of Egypt, vol II, pp 83-88). Unas makes blasphemous claims including eternal divinity. A highly sanitized version of his life is given in internet accounts of Pharaonic history (“Egyptian Journey 2003: History” Website:

Toward the end of Dynasty V, 3 kings with parallel reigns are followed by Onnos (Unis). After (5) Cheres, the line of Elephantine (Dynasty V) branches off into (6) Rathures and (8) Tancheres, both with length of reign 44 years (1563-1519 and 1560-1516, respectively) in Manetho. Both reigns end with the beginning of Onnos (1516-1486). From the Canon of Turin, Rathures (6), Mencheres (7), and Tancheres (8) are followed by Onnos (9). Since both Rathures and Tancheres 44 year reigns stop at Onnos, both kings reigned jointly. Mencheres (Turin Canon) is not mentioned in Manetho.

Dynasty VI, although it follows dynasty V, has contemporaneous kings. Unis was recorded in the Bible as Jannes (II Timothy 3:8), magician and priest of Egypt who resisted Moses and Aaron. He was a contemporary of both Pepi II (4th in Dynasty VI) and his son, Merenre II (5th in the list of Dynasty VI, 1487-1486, length of reign – 1 year). Both Merenre II of Dynasty VI of Memphis and Unis of Dynasty V of Elephantine, die in 1486 (The year of the Exodus). Merenre II of Dynasty VI followed the longest lived Pharaoh of Dynasty VI, Neferkare (1581-1487) who reigned 94 years. This long lived Pharaoh is also called Pepi II. During the reign of Pepi II, Moses is banished or flees Egypt after his tenure as “The General” (when he helps Egypt subdue Ethiopia). Moses is identified in Egypt as “The General”.

Josephus the Jewish historian writes about the life of Moses before he fled Egypt at age 40. The Egyptians had just been overrun by Ethiopians from the south. Josephus records Moses participation in the Ethiopian wars: “The Egyptians, under this sad oppression, betook themselves to their oracles and prophecies; and when God had given them this council, to make use of Moses the Hebrew, and take his assistance, the King commanded his daughter to produce him, that he might be the general of their army.” (Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book II, chapter x, part 2). Moses martial tenure as the General of Egypt is recorded in Josephus. The final victory at the city of Saba occurs after Tharbis, the daughter of the Ethiopians, turns the city over as the price of her marriage to Moses. In Numbers 12:1, the Bible records Aaron and Miriam, Moses siblings, quibbling over Moses marital connection to an Ethiopian woman. This was probably Tharbis.

In Exodus 2:23, it says “And in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died”. This was Neferkare (more commonly called Pepi II). It was then that God calls Moses to go back to Egypt: “Go, return unto Egypt; for all the men are dead that sought thy life.” (Exodus 4:19). Merenre II was now reigning, the Pharaoh that dies at the Red Sea. Merenre II did not return to Egypt, as did “Rameses” in the movie “The Ten Commandments”. Historically, Merenre II died at the Red Sea with his troops and did not return to Egypt. Cecil B. DeMille’s depiction of Rameses to the contrary, Moses did not deal with a Pharaoh called “Rameses”. Moses dealt with Merenre II, son of Pepi II. Pepi II was a powerful and long reigning monarch that historically had other lessor Pharaohs associated with him on the throne of Egypt (as shown in Egyptian scarabs and other archeological evidence), including the Pharaoh of dynasty XIII that was Moses’ step grandfather.

Josephus records that the king had a daughter, but no other heirs except Moses, the adopted grandson: “If Moses had been slain (after his adoption), there was no one, either akin or adopted, that had any oracle on his side for pretending to the crown of Egypt.” (Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Chapter ix, end of book II). This king could not have been Pepi II. Hoeh points out that there was a dynasty in which Moses was a General, and one which was broken at the very point in history that Moses fled Egypt! This Dynasty exercised jurisdiction (subsidiary to Pepi II) in the northeastern Delta where Israel dwelt and Moses was found! That would be Dynasty XIII of Thebes!

The total length of Dynasty XIII according to Manetho was 453 years under 60 rulers. But the version of Barbarus provides a detail missing from Manetho: The court was not only at Thebes, but at Bubastis in the Delta for 153 years (Alfred Schoene, Eusebius, page 214). “The General” is listed in the Turin Canon catalogue of kings of the XIII dynasty as 18th with the throne name of “Semenkhkare” (Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharoahs, page 440) and (Weigall, History of the Pharaohs, pages 136, 151-152). The Egyptian word for “General” was “Mermeshoi”. This title as the personal name of a ruler of Egypt does not appear again in all dynastic history. Two large granite statues of “Mermeshoi” have been found in excellent condition in the Delta at Tanis.

Since only kings could have supreme command of the army in ancient Egypt, when Moses was made General he inherited royal authority. The 17th king of Dynasty XIII, Userkare Khendjer, ruled over the Delta and Upper Egypt. No descendant of his is known to have succeeded to the throne. This is the king whose daughter is mentioned in Exodus 2:10 (The Bible). Within a few years the influence of this dynasty (which was contemporary but subsidiary to Dynasty VI) in the eastern Delta ceased. The kings of this period often have their names associated with king Neferkare (PepiII, long reigning Pharaoh of Dynasty VI of Memphis) on royal seals. This is proof that these rulers of Dynasty XIII were contemporary with the last great Pharaoh of Dynasty VI of Memphis, Pepi II. Hundreds of such seals have been found, but they are generally treated with discreet silence because the implication would revolutionize the history of Egypt! (William C. Hayes, The Sceptre of Egypt, Volume I, page 342). The pyramid of the Pharaoh of Dynasty XIII (Userkare Khendjer) was found in North Saqqara (Egypt) situated between the pyramids of Pepi II (Dynasty VI) and Sensuret III (Dynasty XII).

About 40 years after the reign of The General (Moses returns to Egypt at 80 years of age), Egypt collapses. With the reign of the 25th king of dynasty XIII, contemporary evidence ceases and foreigners invade Egypt. This period is summarized by the dismal words: “…darkness descends upon the historical scene, leaving discernible in the twilight little beyond royal names…” (Sir Alan Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs, page 155).

After the Exodus, an invasion of the Delta occurred. The story of the Exodus and of the invasion are recounted in the “Admonition of Ipu-wer.”, a translation by John A. Wilson (Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Texts, pages 441-444). Manetho also wrote an account of this event preserved in Josephus: “…for what cause I know not, a blast of God smote us; and unexpectedly, from the regions of the East, invaders of obscure race marched in confidence of victory against our land. By main force they easily seized it without striking a blow, and having overpowered the rulers of the land, they burned our cities ruthlessly, razed to the ground the temples of the gods, and treated all the natives with a cruel hostility, massacring some and leading into slavery the wives and children of others. Finally they appointed a king of one of their number whose name was Salatis. He had his seat at Memphis, levying tribute from Upper and Lower Egypt, and always leaving garrisons behind in the most advantageous positions.” (Flavius Josephus, Against Apion, book I, chapter 14, parts 73-92).

The name “Salatis” comes from a Semitic root meaning “prince”. It is the root word of “Sultan”. These invaders came from the East and must have passed to Egypt from the Sinai. They made Egyptians, slaves. The Bible records a people who suddenly gained prominence in that part of the world – the Edomite Amalekites (Amalek was a son of Edom or Esau). As late as the days of Saul, the Egyptians were still subject to these people: “And they found an Egyptian in the field…And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? And whence are thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days ago I fell sick.” (I Samuel 30:11-13).

The Amalekites seized the Delta after the Exodus. They are mentioned in the Bible around the time of Moses in the words of Balaam: “Amalek the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish forever.” (Numbers 24:20). “First of the nations” refers to their position and ranking at that time, since they were not great in earlier times (their forbearer was Esau) like the Bablylonians, Assyrians, and Egyptians. Also, the first people to attack the children of Israel in Sinai after the Red Sea crossing were the Amalekites: “Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim” (Exodus 17:8).

Thus we see that Pepi II was the father of the Pharaoh of the Exodus, not the father of Moses’ step-mother. But the Pharaoh (Userkare Khendjer) who was the father of the “daughter of Pharaoh” (Exodus 2:10) that adopted Moses, was a contemporary of and a subsidiary to Pepi II. Note that the pyramids of Pepi II and Khendjer were found close together.

Who Was Rameses?

In the DeMille production of the Ten Commandments, the Pharaoh who takes Moses to greatness (whose sister becomes Moses adopted mother) is called “Seti”. And this Pharaoh also has a biological son called “Ramesses”, played by the now deceased movie star Yul Brynner. According to the Jewish historian, Josephus, the Pharaoh who had a daughter had no other heirs or offspring. This Hollywood implementation by DeMille is a historical corruption of the real Pharaoh Ramesses. This corruption combines the historical and personal attributes of two contemporary ruling kings of Egypt from dynasties VI and XIII, and ascribes their combined historical and personal attributes to the father of Ramesses of Dynasty XX of Thebes (who is dated 700-1000 years too early by historians). Ramesses of Dynasty XX of Thebes is preceded by “Setnakhte” in the king lists (Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs, page 299). “Setnakhte”, or as he is called in the movie “The Ten Commandments”, Seti, is mis-identified as Userkare Khendjer of Dynasty XIII of Thebes (Moses step-grandfather) and also given historical characteristics of Pepi the Great of Dynasty VI of Memphis, the father of the Pharaoh of the Exodus (Merenre II of Dynasty VI of Memphis).

There actually was no king by the name of Rameses at the time of Moses. But the “land of Rameses” referred to in Genesis 47:11 was the area of the Delta where Israel dwelt. This particular piece of real estate does have its own exclusive history prior to the Exodus apart from Dynasty I of Menes (Cush). And it was referred to as the “land of Rameses” because of a royal predecessor who lived long before the time of Moses.

Long before Ramesses the Great (who was a contemporary of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon) was born, there where a number of kings with some form of the name “Rameses”. The record of these kings is preserved by Syncellus in the Book of Sothis (W.G. Waddell, Manetho, page 235). The line of kings begin with “Mestraim” (this is the Mizraim of Biblical record, who is the brother of Cush – Genesis 10:6). Historians reject the Book of Sothis and mis-identify “Mestraim” as “Meni” (Cush). Mestraim founded a dynasty at Zoan in the Delta apart from the dynasty of Cush and Mimrod. Among those rulers was a Rameses (18th Rameses, 29 years, 1744-1715) who lived in the time of Joseph and dynasty III and IV (Manetho).

Dynasty IV (Souphis – 1684-1668) and III (Zozer I, 1737-1718) together tell the full story of Joseph’s public service (Souphis – Joseph, 66 years, 1734-1668). These years overlap the years of Rameses (1744-1715). The end of a seven year famine occurs at the close of year 18 of Zozer I (end of winter of 1719). No other seven years famine is reported during the entire history of the Pharaohs. An account of the 7 year famine is found on the rocks of the island of Sehel, at the First Cataract (G. Earnest Wright, Biblical Archeology, page 56).

The fact that the name of “Rameses” appears on many public buildings of the III and IV dynasties puzzles historians. Is it possible that Rameses assisted in the erection of these monuments? The ruling Pharaoh at this time was not Rameses. It was Lachares (Amenemhe III) of Dynasty XII of Thebes, the ruling dynasty at this period of time (see Figure 1, page 6). So Souphis or Zozer I (Joseph) was given the “land of Rameses” prior to the time of Moses and in the time of Rameses. Rameses was a lesser king under the Pharaoh of the seven years famine, Lachares (Amenemhe III).

It is reasonable to believe that Cecil B. DeMille simply used the most authoritatively available information to produce the movie “The Ten Commandments”. And yet his depiction may have come dramatically close to providing insight into the original event.

Source by David Froloff

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