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The Identification Of Pharaoh During The Time Of Moses

M S M Saifullah, Abdullah David & Mohammad Ghoniem


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Assalamu ala/1um a rahamatullahi a bara1atuhu&
0" Introduction
$reated for the %ur%ose of evangelising the native %eo%les the colonialists ere
encountering as the/ e2%anded across the globe, the missions of the $hristian
missionaries ere one of the breeding grounds for biblical archaeolog/ in the nineteenth
centur/304 5 and remain so until this %resent da/" Although the earliest e2cavations in
6g/%t ere not %ur%osel/ develo%ed ith the intention to underrite the biblical
narrative, scholars ere cogni7ant of the fact that ancient 6g/%t had been mentioned in
the Old Testament, %articularl/ in the boo1s of Genesis and 62odus"3(4 As the mass
e2cavation of 6g/%t bec1oned, the colonial %oers rushed forth to anal/7e a countr/ full
of ancient treasures s%anning different religions and cultures over several millennia" In
8ictorian 9ritain much of the %o%ular interest revolved around the ancient 6g/%tian
connections ith the 9ible, es%eciall/ the 62odus narrative" It is in such a conte2t that
Amelia 6dards, an amateur 6g/%tologist, and !eginald Stuart Poole of the De%artment
of $oins and Medals at the 9ritish Museum, founded the 6g/%t 62%loration #und :no
6g/%t 62%loration Societ/; in 0**("3<4 Man/ of the earl/ financial donors to the fund
ere from the clerg/ and those interested in finding archaeological evidence that ould
su%%ort the biblical narratives in res%ect of ancient 6g/%t"3-4 Demonstrating the %oer of
the biblical motivations in the establishment of the #und, one need loo1 no further than
its first ob=ective, >""" to organise e2cavations in 6g/%t, ith a vie to further elucidation
of the ?istor/ and Arts of Ancient 6g/%t, and to the illustration of the Old Testament
narrative, in so far as it has to do ith 6g/%t and the 6g/%tians@ """A3B4 One of the first
%ublications of the #und as an e2amination of the geogra%h/ of the 62odus based on
their first e2%edition to the 6astern Delta of the Cile in the s%ring5time of 0**<"3D4 Over
0)) /ears later, it need hardl/ be stated the geogra%h/ of the 62odus still commands the
utmost attention amongst $hristians orldide, interested in under%inning the
archaeological stratum of the 62odus stor/ as found in the Old Testament"3'4
Intertined ith the geogra%h/ of the 62odus is the identification of the Pharaoh:s;
during the time of Moses in ancient 6g/%t 5 a sub=ect of intense debate amongst biblical
scholars" These $hristian scholars can be broadl/ divided into to grou%s& one hich
believes that the 9ible should be the sole basis of dating and the other grou% hich uses
ancient near eastern archaeolog/ to date the 62odus" 9oth these grou%s em%lo/ certain
assum%tions and overloo1 certain details in order to reach their conclusions" Eith regard
to the veracit/ and consistenc/ of the biblical te2t the choice of either %osition is
ultimatel/ immaterial@ ado%ting one of the to %ositions results in contradicting andFor
dismissing %arts of the biblical stor/ fundamental to the other %osition as e shall soon
observe" The $hristian missionaries and a%ologists shredl/ ignorant of the historical
%roblems associated ith the biblical stor/ of Moses as %resented in the 9ible, Guic1l/
turn their attention to the HurIan" According to them, the HurIan mentions that there as
onl/ one Pharaoh during the time of Moses, i"e", the Pharaoh ho as %resent during
the time of Moses as the same one ho died hile %ursuing the $hildren of Israel" The
9ible on the other hand mentions that Moses sa %arts of the reigns of to Pharaohs
:62odus (&(<;" Since the HurIan differs from the 9ible on this %oint, b/ the %oer of
circular argument, the resultant conclusion of missionaries and a%ologists is that there is
a historical contradiction in the HurIan" The relevant Guestion hich the/ forgot to
consider during their %eriods of contem%lation is hether the biblical stor/ has an/
historical basis to %rove this %oint" Eith this in mind, the identification of the Pharaoh:s;
during the time of Moses according to the 9ible and the HurIan forms the sub=ect of the
foregoing discussion"
(" The Pharaohs During The Time Of Moses According To The 9ible
There has been a long tradition of resolving the statements made in the Old Testament
ith actual archaeological discoveries"3*4 One of the most ve2ing Guestions is the
identification of the Pharaoh during MosesI e2odus from ancient 6g/%t, a sub=ect of
intense debate among biblical scholars from a ide variet/ of theological bac1grounds"
These scholars can be broadl/ divided into to grou%s& one hich believes that the 9ible
should be the sole basis of dating and the other grou% hich uses ancient near eastern
archaeolog/ to date the 62odus" 9oth these grou%s em%lo/ certain assum%tions and
overloo1 certain details in order to reach their conclusions" As one ill observe, %roving
the efficac/ of the statements contained in the Old Testament is not ithout %roblems"
Ehat at first a%%ears a seemingl/ harmless tas1 has no thrust itself into the limelight
once again and highlights the grave theological %roblems associated ith editorial
u%dating as ell as numbers in the Old Testament, and the modern scholarsI ingenious
attem%ts to harmonise them ith the archaeological data" There are to models current
for dating the 62odus, the earl/5date model and the late5date model"3J4 9oth models are
based on a considered amount of data both biblical and archaeological" Cevertheless,
each model contains a single Kfoundational te2tL that is a te2t on hich the %ro%onents of
each res%ective model %rinci%all/ ground their entire argument and it is to this e no
turn our attention"
E?6C IS A C,M96! COT A C,M96!M
Identif/ing the Pharaoh of the 62odus according to the NconservativeN evangelical
%osition, the earl/5date model, is relativel/ straightforard and is %rimaril/ based on a
set reading of a single verse from the ?ebre Masoretic te2t being the boo1 of I Oings
D&0,
In the four hundred eightieth /ear after the Israelites came out of the land of 6g/%t, in the
fourth /ear of SolomonIs reign over Israel, in the month of Piv, hich is the second
month, he began to build the house of the +O!D"30)4
It is generall/ agreed that Solomon ruled c" J') 9$6 due to s/nchronisms ith 6g/%tian
and Ass/rian historical records"3004 Therefore, according to the NconservativeN
evangelical %osition, one sim%l/ adds -*) to JDDF' 9$6 :fourth /ear of SolomonIs reign;
to arrive at the figure 0--DF' 9$6"30(4 All archaeological evidence is strictl/ inter%reted
in light of this date, i"e", one arrives at the date before one adduces su%%orting
archaeological evidence" The Pharaoh of the 62odus according to the ancient 6g/%tian
chronological data is thus Tuthmosis III :sometimes also ritten as Thutmose III; ho
reigned in the %eriod 0-'J50-(B 9$6 3#igure <:a;4" This sim%listic solution, a%%ealing
though it ma/ be, overloo1s a large number of %roblems that s%an a ide range of
disci%lines from te2tual criticism to archaeolog/, even contradicting certain verses
contained ithin the Old Testament itself" #irstl/, although 0--DF' 9$6 has been claimed
as Nthe biblicalN date,30<4 it is orth %ointing out that I Oings D&0 re%orts that the 62odus
ha%%ened -*) /ears ago in SolomonIs fourth /ear but it does not %rovide an actual date
for SolomonIs reign from hich one can rec1on bac1 in histor/ in order to establish the
date of the 62odus" Thus the 9ible alone does not %rovide a date for the event of the
62odus" Secondl/, let us no loo1 at the same verse again according to the Gree1
Se%tuagint III !eigns D&0,
And it ha%%ened, in the four hundred fortieth /ear of the de%arture of the sons of Israel
from 6g/%t, in the fourth /ear in the second month, hen Oing Salomon reigned over
Israel, that the 1ing commanded, and the/ too1 great, costl/ stones for the foundation of
the house, and unhen stones, and the sons of Salomon and the sons of $hiram heed
and laid them" In the fourth /ear he laid the foundation of the house of the +ord in the
month Ciso, the second month@ in the eleventh /ear in the month 9aal :this is the eighth
month; the house as finished in all its %lan and in all its arrangement"30-4
Does one follo the length of time %rovided b/ the ?ebre Masoretic te2t, -*) /ears, or
the Gree1 Se%tuagint, --) /earsM Ehat are the te2tual reasons for %referring one te2t
over the otherM Ehich reading is the ins%ired, infallible and inerrant NEord of GodNM
Thirdl/, irres%ective if one follos either of these numbers, none of them matches the
number tallied hen one ado%ts a straightforard literal reading of individual =udge
reigns and other %eriods of time given in the Old Testament from I Oings D bac1 to the
boo1 of 62odus" #ensham neatl/ summarises,
The %eriod of the =udges e2tends from the death of .oshua to the death of Samson or
the beginning of the activities of Samuel" The total of all the dates given in .udges is -0)
/ears" 9ut 0 O" D&0 states that the tem%le of Solomon as constructed in his fourth /ear,
-*) /ears after the 62odus" If e ta1e -0) /ears and add the -) /ears s%ent in the
desert, then the /ears of .oshua, 6li, Samuel, Saul, and David, then add SolomonLs
/ears, a figure of a%%ro2imatel/ BJJ /ears emerges, hich is 00J /ears in e2cess of the
-*) /ears given in Oings"30B4
Similar calculation b/ ?offmeier of reigns derived from tall/ing the /ears in retrograde
order from I Oings D bac1 to the boo1 of 62odus gave D<< /ears"30D4 This number as
achieved b/ assuming a minimal number here the 9ible does not s%ecif/ an/ number
for a reign or =udgeshi%" This discre%anc/ beteen counting the /ears in the above
fashion and I Oings D&0 has led to a number of ingenious solutions of overla%%ing reigns
being read dogmaticall/ into the te2t, hich, ultimatel/, bases its authorit/ on the
creative inter%retation of its theori7er"30'4 9/ doing this, one abandons a straightforard
and literal reading of the .udges through 62odus narratives" In essence, e have three
dates for the 62odus, i"e", from the ?ebre Masoretic te2t, -*) /ears, the Gree1
Se%tuagint, --) /ears, and c" D)) /ears, the %eriod derived from tall/ing the /ears
bac1ards from I Oings D to the boo1 of 62odus" These chronologies b/ themselves do
not give an absolute date for the 62odus because the biblical data does not disclose
hen Solomon reigned" These dates, hen combined ith c" JDDF' 9$6, the fourth /ear
of SolomonIs reign :as obtained from s/nchronisms ith 6g/%tian and Ass/rian historical
records discussed earlier;, ould give the date of the 62odus as 0--DF' 9$6, 0-)DF'
9$6 and c" 0BDDF' 9$6, res%ectivel/" The rulers of ancient 6g/%tian for these dates
ould be Tuthmosis III :0-'J50-(B 9$6;, Amenhote% II :0-(B50-)) 9$6;, both from the
Ce Oingdom Period, and A%o%his :c" 0B'B50B-) 9$6;, a ?/1sos ruler from the Second
Intermediate Period, res%ectivel/"30*4 The $hristian missionariesI tacit %reference
hoever is Amenhote% II"
If the numbers re%orted in the ?ebre 9ible do not add u% or cannot be harmonised in a
fashion suitable for the conte2t, then the various theories of biblical ins%iration, infallibilit/
and inerranc/ are necessaril/ rendered void and the divine authorshi% of the Old
Testament overstated" Additionall/, one should note the theological convictions and
%resu%%ositions of those %ro%onents of the earl/5date model mean the/ dogmaticall/
adhere to the Masoretic te2t re%orting of numbers and are unable to %rovide a
reasonable e2%lanation of their %reference for the numbers re%orted there as o%%osed to
the Se%tuagint or Dead Sea Scrolls" The folloing to re%resentative e2am%les ill
serve to illustrate the fact that such an a2iomatic standard cannot be ado%ted ithout
difficult/" In 0 Samuel 0'&-, is Goliath si2 cubits and a s%an tall :c" JI JN;, or four cubits
and a s%an tall :c" DI JN;M The Se%tuagint and the oldest e2tant ?ebre itness Dead
Sea Scroll -HSama, hich %redates the oldest Masoretic ?ebre manuscri%t b/ around
0,))) /ears, agree ith each other against the Masoretic Te2t"30J4 !emaining in the
boo1 of 0 Samuel, ho man/ vessels are re%orted in verse (&0-F0DM Given the choice of
to vessels as %er Dead Sea Scroll -HSama, three vessels as %er the Se%tuagint and
four vessels as %er the Masoretic te2t, Parr/ o%ts for one vesselQ3()4 Such e2am%les
could easil/ be multi%lied manifold"
E?6C IS A P+A$6 CAM6 COT A P+A$6 CAM6M
The %roof te2t of those scholars ado%ting the late5date model is based on a set reading
of the boo1 of 62odus 0&00,
Therefore the/ set tas1masters over them to o%%ress them ith forced labor" The built
su%%l/ cities, Pithom and !ameses, for Pharaoh"3(04
!amesses II as 1non to have constructed the cit/ of Pi5!amesses :or Pr5!amesses,
lit" Nhouse or delling of !amessesN; and it became the ca%ital of his 1ingdom" 9/
stud/ing the usage of the name Pi5!amesses in its eg/%tological conte2t, scholars of
ancient near eastern archaeolog/ Guic1l/ identified the residence named in 62odus 0&00
must be referring to the same cit/" Attem%ts have been made b/ those scholars ho
su%%ort the earl/5date model to N%roveN that the name !amesses e2isted before the
advent of !amesses"3((4 ?oever, of those cities that used the name !amesses, none
of them %redate the reign of !amesses II" This %articular issue as studied in5de%th b/
%rominent 6g/%tologist Sir Alan Gardiner over J) /ears ago"3(<4 ?e concluded that&
To sum u%& hether or no the 9ible narrative be strict histor/, there is not the least
reason for assuming that an/ other cit/ of !amesses e2isted in the Delta besides those
elicited from the 6g/%tian monuments" In other ords, the 9iblical !aamses5!ameses is
identical ith the !esidence5cit/ of Pi5!amesses near Pelusium"3(-4
The Pentateuchal occurrences of !amesses omits the initial element Pr5FPi5" This should
not seen as a reason for distinguishing the biblical references from the !amesside
residence of the northeast Delta as the riting K!amessesL is attested in 6g/%tian
records and as a ell51non abbreviation for this cit/"3(B4 $onseGuentl/, ith this data
in hand, %ro%onents of the late5date model hold the Pharaoh of the 62odus to be
!amesses II ho reigned from 0('J50(0< 9$6" This dating of the 62odus en=o/s
%o%ularit/ among scholars"3(D4
A%%reciating their %osition is confounded b/ the numerical data given in the Masoretic
and Se%tuagint te2t of 0 Oings D&0, the %ro%onents of the late5date model deal ith this
contradiction b/ resorting to a numerical substitution theor/ as follos" #irst, the/ start
ith the number -*) as re%orted in the Masoretic te2t of the Old Testament" Second, -)
/ears is =udged as being the KidealL generation, giving -*) F -) R 0( generations in total"
?oever, the value -) is substituted for its actual real mathematical value of (B, as this
is NcloserN to the NactualN length of a generation" Third, the mathematical calculation
continues to its conclusion giving 0( 2 (B R <))" One is thus treated to a master class of
number transformation hereb/ the number -*) reall/ re%resents the actual
mathematical numerical value <))" SubseGuentl/, this actual mathematical numerical
value <)) is added to the fourth /ear of SolomonIs reign JDDF' to give the date 0(DDF'
9$6 or 0(-0F( 9$6 if one follos the Se%tuagint S a date in consonance ith the data
%rovided in 62odus 0&00" The value (B has been chosen due to its %o%ularit/" One ill
sometimes find ((, () and other numbers of the inter%retersI choosing"3('4 The
%ro%onents of the earl/5date model argue that should the numerical substitution theor/
be carried forard to its logical conclusion, other numbers contained in the Old
Testament become meaningless and o%en to inter%retation according to the him and
fanc/ of the inter%reter" Therefore, dogmaticall/ ado%ting the earl/5date model becomes
the onl/ meaningful solution for them"
!ealising the %roblem such an inter%retation of 62odus 0&00 %oses in that it directl/
contradicts the data %rovided elsehere in the Old Testament regarding number of /ears
ela%sed since the Israelites came out of 6g/%t, the %ro%onents of the %reviousl/
discussed earl/5date model, in order to esca%e the charge of historical contradiction or
anachronism, affirm that Neditorial u%datingN has occurred"3(*4 According to them, this
means that the name of the storeFsu%%l/ cit/ built b/ the Pharaoh called !ameses in
62odus 0&00 as originall/ named something else" That is, the theoretical original
reading, hich is %resentl/ un1noable and cannot be ascertained from the e2tant
biblical manuscri%ts, has in fact been u%dated b/ an un1non, unnamed editor:s;
centuries after Moses allegedl/ com%osed his te2t" Other ell51non historical
anachronisms in the 9ible due to Neditorial u%datingN, to name but a fe, are mention of
the Pharaohs hen the rulers of ancient 6g/%t ere not even called Pharaohs,
a%%earance of the name Poti%har in the time of .ose%h hen the name Poti%har itself
%ost5dates both .ose%h and Moses, and the anachronistic mention of the coin daric in
the time of David" Thus the issue of Neditorial u%datingN leaves Moses seeing %arts of the
reigns of to Pharaohs as mentioned in the 9ible :62odus (&(<; in a %osition here its
historicit/ is as dubious as the numbers and the names mentioned in the stor/"
?o can %ro%onents of the earl/5date model acce%t that boo1s of the Old Testament
have been edited after their su%%osed com%letion b/ their ins%ired authorsM The anser
is Guite sim%le& Nins%ired te2tual u%datingN"3(J4 Scholars of all theological %ersuasions
have long since acce%ted that boo1s of the Old Testament have been u%dated and
changed long after their su%%osed com%letion b/ their ins%ired authors" Ceedless to sa/,
the multitude of creeds arising from the Protestant !eformation, some of hich the
$hristian missionaries and a%ologists affirm as %art of their $hurch constitutions and
membershi%s, contain no hint of Nins%ired te2tual u%datingN and im%licitl/ teach
otherise"3<)4 +et us consider the folloing statements of three creeds %o%ular amongst
the 6nglish s%ea1ing evangelical %rotestant $hurches of hich man/ of the modern da/
$hristian missionaries and a%ologists are an integral functioning %art" A%art from minor
s%elling and %unctuation differences and the :unintentionalM; omission of a single ord
in the Savo/ Declaration, article 8III of the Eestminster $onfession of #aith, the Savo/
Declaration and the 9a%tist $onfession of #aith states,
The Old Testament in ?ebre :hich as the Cative +anguage of the %eo%le of God of
old,; and the Ce Testament in Gree1, :hich at the time of the riting of it as most
generall/ 1non to the Cations; being immediatel/ ins%ired b/ God, and b/ his singular
care and %rovidence 1e%t %ure in all Ages, are therefore authenticall@ so as, in all
$ontroversies of !eligion, the $hurch is finall/ to A%%eale unto them"3<04
All three confessions s%ea1 about the eternal %urit/ and ins%iration of the biblical te2t
and the absence of an/ errors therein as a function of GodIs singular care and
%rovidence" #or the %ur%oses of our discussion, one ill also note the final a%%eal in an/
religious controvers/ should be to the ?ebre te2t of the Old Testament" Eith a head
start of a fe hundred /ears of biblical criticism, modern declarations such as the 0J'*
$hicago Statement on 9iblical Inerranc/ are ver/ carefull/ orded so as to avoid
%resent and %otential %roblems in light of current and future biblical research" One need
loo1 no further than the %enultimate sentence of the denial clause :i"e", the Kget outL
clause; of the final article TIT,
Ee den/ that such confession 3of the full authorit/, infallibilit/, and inerranc/ of Scri%ture4
is necessar/ for salvation" ?oever, e further den/ that inerranc/ can be re=ected
ithout grave conseGuences, both to the individual and to the church"3<(4
The framers of the confession, the International $ouncil on 9iblical Inerranc/ :I$9I;
%ublished their official commentar/ on the statement in 0J*) after it as decided in 0J'J
b/ a draft committee of the I$9I that the statement itself should not be modified" This
commentar/ is es%eciall/ useful in that its stated intention is to clarif/ the %recise
%osition being %roclaimed in the nineteen articles of affirmation and denial" Eith regard
to the denial statement of article TIT, the author of the commentar/ and the first draft of
the nineteen articles !" $" S%roul sa/s,
The denial in Article TIT is ver/ im%ortant" The framers of the confession are sa/ing
unambiguousl/ that confession of belief in the inerranc/ of Scri%ture is not an essential
of the $hristian faith necessar/ for salvation""" Ee do not regard acce%tance of inerranc/
to be a test for salvation"3<<4
Ehen one reflects on the statement one can better understand h/ the $hristian
missionaries and a%ologists are comfortable in their on self5%roclaimed faith hilst
ac1noledging there are grave %roblems and insoluble errors in the 9ible" +et us no
move from the last article to the first article" ?ere the I$9I %ur%osefull/ omitted reference
to the number of boo1s com%rising the canon of the 9ible due to established historical
variances on the com%osition of the canon throughout $hristendom"3<-4 Ehat remains is
a cleverl/ develo%ed %ragmatic solution hereb/ one ma/ believe in an undelineated
9ible that contains errors hilst maintaining oneIs right to NsalvationN S a %arado2ical
com%romise, one though that is heartil/ acce%ted" As Kinerranc/L has been dubbed the
NshibbolethN of the Protestant evangelical communit/, it is recognised there are a
multitude of different e2%lanations of Kinerranc/L, its relevance and sco%e" The I$9I
statement en=o/s %o%ularit/ and ide acce%tance among %rominent evangelical leaders
hom the missionaries and a%ologists regularl/ reference as s%iritual and academic
authorities"
As has been observed, Neditorial u%datingN and Nins%ired te2tual u%datingN function as
to o%%ortune devices to e2%licate the Old Testament from historical, geogra%hical and
linguistic errors, and becomes an indis%ensable tool for those %ro%onents of the earl/5
date model" Integrated ithin a fle2ible creedal s/stem of beliefs, this inherentl/
contradictor/ %osition is mitigated b/ the %ros%ect of NsalvationN"
T?6 KC6E $?!OCO+OGUL ACD T?6 DAT6 O# 6TOD,S
One of the hallmar1s of the $hristian a%ologistsI claim about the NhistoricalN dating of the
event of 62odus is inconsistenc/" 6arlier, e have seen ho the missionaries tacitl/
subscribe to the earl/5date model, hich, according to them, gives Amenhote% II as the
Pharaoh of the 62odus" This conclusion is arrived at b/ using the acce%ted chronolog/
of the rulers of ancient 6g/%t" At the same time the missionaries also subscribe to the
Nne chronolog/N of ancient 6g/%t as %ut forth b/ David !ohl"3<B4 The reason for their
acce%tance of the Nne chronolog/N is Guite sim%le 5 giving historical credence to the
events mentioned in the 9ible" !ohl attem%ted to %roduce a revision of the acce%ted
chronolog/ of ancient 6g/%t that ould ma1e %ossible the s/nchroni7ation of events
found in 6g/%tian te2ts ith those in the 9ible" In doing so, he ma1es a drastic revision
of the acce%ted ancient 6g/%tian chronolog/"
#igure 0& The Nne chronolog/N :left column; as %ro%osed b/ David !ohl and the biblical
chronolog/ :right column;"3<D4
!ohl uncriticall/ acce%ts the chronolog/ of the 62odus mentioned in the ?ebre 9ible
even though there e2ists serious contradictions" Therefore, not sur%risingl/, according to
him, the 62odus ha%%ened c" 0--' 9$6 3#igure 04" In effect, !ohlIs attem%t ma/ be
considered as a subset to the earl/5date model" Eith his Nne chronolog/N the ruler
during the event of the 62odus as not Amenhote% II as tacitl/ subscribed to b/ the
missionaries, but Dudimose from the 0<th D/nast/ of the Second Intermediate Period"
The %recise dates of the reign of Dudimose in the acce%ted chronolog/ of ancient 6g/%t
are uncertain"3<'4 ?oever, according to !ohlIs Nne chronolog/N, Dudimose lived
around c" 0-B) 9$6" 6ven more startling is the case of the idel/5acce%ted
identification of NShishaG :or IShisha1I;, 1ing of 6g/%tN :I Oings 0-&(B, II $hronicles 0(&(5
J; ith the 6g/%tian ruler ShoshenG I of the ((nd D/nast/ in the Third Intermediate
Period" !ohl argues instead that ShishaG should be identified ith !amesses II,3<*4
hich ould move the date of !amesses IIIs reign forard b/ almost <)) /earsQ
E?AT A9O,T T?6 A!$?A6O+OGI$A+ 68ID6C$6M
As %reviousl/ mentioned, the archaeological evidence adduced b/ both grou%s is
%receded b/ certain te2ts in the Old Testament" Ceither grou% can function in a vacuum
and must adduce the biblical evidence first hich directs one to the relevant time %eriod
from hich one can begin to assess the archaeological evidence" This is not something
unusual and is the methodolog/ utilised in this article for identif/ing the Pharaoh
according to the HurIanic data" #or an in5de%th discussion of the strengths and
ea1nesses of the archaeological assessments made b/ both grou%s 5 in %articular b/
those ho still believe the Old Testament to be the ins%ired, infallible and inerrant ord
of God S as ell as those to%ics covered above, one can consult the folloing recent
flurr/ of discussion"3<J4 In short, hether one ascribes to the earl/ or late5date model,
certain assum%tions are em%lo/ed and certain details are overloo1ed in order to arrive at
the dating" In either case the doctrines of biblical ins%iration, infallibilit/ and inerranc/
become confusing and ineffectual as numbers mean other different numbers and %lace
names mean other different %lace names" Although certain assum%tions must be formed
in absence of information su%%lied, inter%reting the HurIan does not reGuire one to
de%end u%on Neditorial u%datingN, Nins%ired te2tual u%datingN, assigning different
numerical values to m/sterious numbers or deciding beteen hich t/%e of manuscri%ts
and translations to rel/ u%on to calculate those numbers"
Cotithstanding the e2istence of dubious data in the Old Testament, the $hristian
missionaries su%erciliousl/ claimed that the Pharaoh de%icted in the HurIan as NA
Pharaoh Eho #orgot to Die in TimeN" The missionaries, hoever, did not realise that the
la of unintended conseGuences ould result in their on %erceived Schadenfreude
encom%assing them" As it turns out, the contradictor/ data in the ?ebre 9ible ma1es
their %referred dating of the 62odus c" 0--B 9$6 intrinsicall/ defective" ,sing the
missionaries on language, one ma/ characterise the Pharaoh of the 9ible as not onl/
Na Pharaoh ho failed to a%%ear on timeN but also Na Pharaoh ho forgot to a%%ear at
the right %laceN"
<" The HurIan And The Pharaoh During The Time Of Moses
+i1e the 9ible, the HurIan does not mention the name of the Pharaoh during the time of
Moses" ?oever, it does %rovide sufficient clues to or1 out hich Pharaoh it could be"
In the sub5sections belo, e ill anal/se various clues offered b/ the HurIan to identif/
the ruler of 6g/%t" At the outset, e ould li1e to sa/ that our a%%roach involves starting
from a broader %ers%ective, ultimatel/ narroing don the name of the ruler" After that
e ill use the su%%orting evidence from the HurIan itself to strengthen our case" It ill
be seen that the evidence from the HurIan hardl/ reGuires an/ su%%ort from the 9ible to
inter%ret the data" In fact, much of the HurIanic information can be inter%reted from the
eg/%tological data to arrive at a firm conclusion"
T?6 S6TTICG O# T?6 STO!U& P?A!AO? 5 T?6 !,+6! O# 6GUPT
The 1ings of ancient 6g/%t during the time of Abraham 3Genesis 0(&0)5()4, .ose%h
3Genesis -04 and Moses 3e"g", 62odus (&0B4 are constantl/ addressed ith the title
NPharaohN in the 9ible" The HurIan, hoever, differs from the 9ible& the sovereign of
6g/%t ho as a contem%orar/ of .ose%h is named NOingN :Arabic, mali1;@ hereas the
9ible has named him NPharaohN" As for the 1ing ho ruled during the time of Moses, the
HurIan re%eatedl/ calls him NPharaohN :Arabic, fir an;" Ehat do modern linguistic
studies and 6g/%tolog/ reveal about the ord NPharaohN and its use in ancient 6g/%tM
The famous 9ritish 6g/%tologist Sir Alan Gardiner discusses the term NPharaohN and
cites the earliest e2am%le of its a%%lication to the 1ing, during the reign of Ameno%his I8
:c" 0<B< 5 0<<D 9$6; as recorded in the Oahun Pa%/rus" !egarding the term Pharaoh,
Gardiner sa/s&
#igure (& Sir Alan GardinerIs discussion on the ord NPharaohN"3-)4
Gardiner also cites to %ossible earlier e2am%les under Tuthmosis III :0-'J 5 0-(B 9$6;
and Tuthmosis I8 :0-)) 5 0<J) 9$6; :as mentioned in his footnote 0) above;, hile
?a/es has %ublished an ostracon from the =oint reign of ?atshe%sut :0-'J50-B* 9$6;
and Tuthmosis III that tice refers to the latter sim%l/ as NPharaohN" Therefore, the
setting of the HurIanic stor/ of Moses is from the time hen rulers of ancient 6g/%t ere
addressed as Pharaohs, i"e", from the 0*th D/nast/ of the Ce Oingdom Period :c" 0B<J
5 0)'' 9$6; onards until the Third Intermediate Period :c" 0)'D 5 '-D 9$6;" After the
Third Intermediate Period, 6g/%t as ruled b/ ea1 (Bth and (Dth D/nasties and later
b/ the Persians and then the !omans" These %eriods ill not be ta1en into consideration
for our stud/" So, e have narroed almost c" <))) /ears of ancient 6g/%tian histor/ to
a s%ecific timescale, i"e", Ce Oingdom Period :c" 0B<J 5 0)'' 9$6; and the Third
Intermediate Period :c" 0)'D 5 '-D 9$6; hich is c" 'J) /ears, for the setting of the
HurIanic stor/ of Moses"
9efore e go an/ further, a valid Guestion to as1 is ho can e trust the chronolog/ of
the Ce Oingdom Period :c" 0B<J 5 0)'' 9$6; of ancient 6g/%t mentioned hereM
!ecentl/, !amse/ et al" %resented a com%rehensive and so%histicated radiocarbon
dating stud/ on the chronolog/ of ancient 6g/%t, involving (00 sam%les"3-04 The short5
lived %lant sam%les for 0-$ dating ere selected from individual funerar/ conte2ts in
various museum collections" 6ach sam%le could be associated ith the reign of a
%articular ruler or ith a s%ecific section of the historical chronolog/" More s%ecificall/,
the Ce Oingdom dating, based on 0(* 0-$ dates, had an average calendrical %recision
of (- /ears" Modelling of the date ith JBV confidence suggests the beginning of the
Ce Oingdom Period ith the 0*th D/nast/ beteen 0B') 9$6 and 0B-) 9$6"3-(4
Giving and ta1ing a fe /ears, the Ce Oingdom chronolog/, suggested b/
eg/%tologists, is no validated scientificall/ using 0-$ dating"
T?6 P?A!AO? E?O !6IGC6D +OCG
Co that e have identified the s%ecific timescale for the stor/ of Moses, let us 1no
loo1 into the ne2t and %erha%s the most im%ortant of all clues" ,nli1e the 9ible, the
HurIan s%ea1s about onl/ one Pharaoh ho ruled 6g/%t before the birth of Moses until
the 62odus and his :i"e", PharaohIs; death" The evidence for this comes from the HurIan
(*&'5J and HurIan (D&0*5(("
So Ee sent this ins%iration to the mother of Moses& NSuc1le :th/ child;, but hen thou
hast fears about him, cast him into the river, but fear not nor grieve& for Ee shall restore
him to thee, and Ee shall ma1e him one of Our messengers"N Then the %eo%le of
Pharaoh %ic1ed him u% :from the river;& :It as intended; that :Moses; should be to them
an adversar/ and a cause of sorro& for Pharaoh and ?aman and :all; their hosts ere
men of sin" The ife of Pharaoh said& N:?ere is; =o/ of the e/e, for me and for thee& sla/
him not" It ma/ be that he ill be use to us, or e ma/ ado%t him as a son"N And the/
%erceived not :hat the/ ere doing;Q 3HurIan (*&'5J4
?ere God is narrating the event after the birth of Moses and ho he as cast in the river
onl/ to be %ic1ed u% b/ %eo%le of the Pharaoh" Part of the dialogue beteen Moses after
his return from Midian and Pharaoh, as cited in the HurIan (D&0*5((, ma1es it %erfectl/
clear that this Pharaoh is the same Pharaoh ho too1 custod/ of Moses in his infanc/"
:Pharaoh; said& NDid e not cherish thee as a child among us, and didst thou not sta/ in
our midst man/ /ears of th/ lifeM NAnd thou didst a deed of thine hich :thou 1noest;
thou didst, and thou art an ungrateful :retch;QN Moses said& NI did it then, hen I as in
error" NSo I fled from /ou :all; hen I feared /ou@ but m/ +ord has :since; invested me
ith =udgment :and isdom; and a%%ointed me as one of the messengers" NAnd this is
the favour ith hich thou dost re%roach me,5 that thou hast enslaved the $hildren of
IsraelQN 3HurIan (D&0*5((4
?ere Pharaoh reminds Moses of the time that he s%ent as a child in his household and
the event hen he 1illed a man 3HurIan (*&<<4 that led to his flight to Midian" The anser
of Moses to PharaohIs argument is a clear confirmation that this Pharaoh is the same
one in hose %alace he as brought u%" #urthermore, Moses re=ected PharaohIs claim
that he had done him a favour b/ letting him live in his household" ?e reminded Pharaoh
that the reason h/ he ended u% in PharaohIs household as because the latter had
enslaved the $hildren of Israel, hich included the %rohibition of the $hildren of Israel
leaving 6g/%t and 1illing of their ne born males" In essence, the same Pharaoh ho
enslaved the $hildren of Israel as in %oer hen Moses ent bac1 to 6g/%t"
Oee%ing in mind that Moses as born hen Pharaoh as alread/ in %oer and that the
latter died in his %ursuit of Moses and the $hildren of Israel, the length of PharaohIs
reign can be estimated b/ adding together the folloing&
The number of /ears that Pharaoh reigned before Moses as born@
The age of Moses hen he left for Midian@
The number of /ears he sta/ed in Midian@ and
The length of Moses second so=ourn in 6g/%t after returning from Midian"
#irstl/, the HurIan does not state in hich /ear of rule of Pharaoh that Moses as born"
This means that e can onl/ or1 out the minimum length of the reign of the monarch"
Secondl/, the age of Moses hen he left for Midian can be dran from the
commentaries of the HurIan (*&0-"
Ehen he reached full age 3balagha ashuddah4, and as firml/ established :in life;
3istaW4, Ee bestoed on him isdom and 1noledge& for thus do Ee reard those ho
do good" 3HurIan (*&0-4
The HurIanic %hrase balagha ashuddah in the above verse has given rise to differences
in inter%retation of hat e2act age is meant b/ it" #urthermore, this %hrase is con=oined
ith the ord istaW meaning settled or firml/ established" This suggests that the %hrase
balagha ashuddah a istaW refers to a stage of Moses life in hich he attained his full
%h/sical as ell as s%iritualF%s/chological strength" The commentators inter%ret this as
bestoing of Pro%hethood on Moses and the corres%onding age of -) /ears :See the
commentaries such as TafsXr al5TabarX, TafsXr al5HurtubX, TafsXr al5.alal/n, Al5OashshWf of
al5Pama1hsharX, etc";"
Thirdl/, after 1illing of one of the 6g/%tians, Moses immediatel/ fled to Midian after
learning that the officials in 6g/%t ere %lanning to sla/ him" ?oever, hat is not clear
is the time that ela%sed beteen the conferment of isdom and 1noledge on Moses
and his 1illing of the 6g/%tian"
Ehen he reached full age, and as firml/ established :in life;, Ee bestoed on him
isdom and 1noledge& for thus do Ee reard those ho do good" And he entered the
cit/ at a time hen its %eo%le ere not atching& and he found there to men fighting,5
one of his on religion, and the other, of his foes" Co the man of his on religion
a%%ealed to him against his foe, and Moses struc1 him ith his fist and made an end of
him" ?e said& NThis is a or1 of 6vil :Satan;& for he is an enem/ that manifestl/
misleadsQN ?e %ra/ed& NO m/ +ordQ I have indeed ronged m/ soulQ Do Thou then
forgive meQN So :Allah; forgave him& for ?e is the Oft5#orgiving, Most Merciful" ?e said&
NO m/ +ordQ #or that Thou hast bestoed Th/ Grace on me, never shall I be a hel% to
those ho sinQN So he sa the morning in the cit/, loo1ing about, in a state of fear, hen
behold, the man ho had, the da/ before, sought his hel% called aloud for his hel%
:again;" Moses said to him& NThou art trul/, it is clear, a Guarrelsome felloQN Then, hen
he decided to la/ hold of the man ho as an enem/ to both of them, that man said& NO
MosesQ Is it th/ intention to sla/ me as thou sleest a man /esterda/M Th/ intention is
none other than to become a %oerful violent man in the land, and not to be one ho
sets things rightQN And there came a man, running, from the furthest end of the $it/" ?e
said& NO MosesQ the $hiefs are ta1ing counsel together about thee, to sla/ thee& so get
thee aa/, for I do give thee sincere advice"N ?e therefore got aa/ therefrom, loo1ing
about, in a state of fear" ?e %ra/ed NO m/ +ordQ save me from %eo%le given to rong5
doing"N Then, hen he turned his face toards :the land of; Mad/an, he said& NI do ho%e
that m/ +ord ill sho me the smooth and straight Path"N 3HurIan (*&0-5((4
The events surrounding the conferment of isdom and 1noledge on Moses and his
1illing of the 6g/%tian in the HurIan are mentioned successivel/ suggesting that the/
ere %erha%s se%arated b/ a shorter %eriod of time" As it stands, this %eriod of time is an
un1non" In Midian, Moses offered to hel% to girls to ater their floc1s" The father of
the girls agreed to marr/ one of them to Moses under the condition that he serves him
for * /ears and voluntaril/ for ( more /ears to ma1e it 0) /ears as stated in HurIan
(*&(B5(J"
Afterards one of the :damsels; came :bac1; to him, al1ing bashfull/" She said& NM/
father invites thee that he ma/ reard thee for having atered :our floc1s; for us"N So
hen he came to him and narrated the stor/, he said& N#ear thou not& :ell; hast thou
esca%ed from un=ust %eo%le"N Said one of the :damsels;& NO m/ :dear; fatherQ engage
him on ages& trul/ the best of men for thee to em%lo/ is the :man; ho is strong and
trust/N ?e said& NI intend to ed one of these m/ daughters to thee, on condition that
thou serve me for eight /ears@ but if thou com%lete ten /ears, it ill be :grace; from thee"
9ut I intend not to %lace thee under a difficult/& thou ilt find me, indeed, if Allah ills,
one of the righteous"N ?e said& N9e that :the agreement; beteen me and thee&
hichever of the to terms I fulfill, let there be no ill5ill to me" 9e Allah a itness to
hat e sa/"N Co hen Moses had fulfilled the term, and as travelling ith his famil/,
he %erceived a fire in the direction of Mount Tur" ?e said to his famil/& NTarr/ /e@ I
%erceive a fire@ I ho%e to bring /ou from there some information, or a burning firebrand,
that /e ma/ arm /ourselves"N 3HurIan (*&(B5(J4
It is not clear from the above verses if Moses fulfilled * or 0) /ears in Midian" In an/
case, e can ta1e a minimum of *50) /ears as MosesI sta/ in Midian"
#ourthl/, there is no mention of an e2%licit length of Moses second so=ourn in 6g/%t after
returning from Midian" Conetheless, there are number of verses in the HurIan hich can
hel% to give us an idea of the length of time of Moses second so=ourn in 6g/%t"
Said the chiefs of PharaohIs %eo%le& NEilt thou leave Moses and his %eo%le, to s%read
mischief in the land, and to abandon thee and th/ godsMN ?e said& NTheir male children
ill e sla/@ :onl/; their females ill e save alive@ and e have over them :%oer;
irresistible"N Said Moses to his %eo%le& NPra/ for hel% from Allah, and :ait; in %atience
and constanc/& for the earth is AllahIs, to give as a heritage to such of ?is servants as
?e %leaseth@ and the end is :best; for the righteous" The/ said& NEe have had :nothing
but; trouble, both before and after thou camest to us"N ?e said& NIt ma/ be that /our +ord
ill destro/ /our enem/ and ma1e /ou inheritors in the earth@ that so ?e ma/ tr/ /ou b/
/our deeds"N Ee %unished the %eo%le of Pharaoh ith /ears :of droughts; and shortness
of cro%s@ that the/ might receive admonition" 9ut hen good :times; came, the/ said,
NThis is due to us@N Ehen gri%%ed b/ calamit/, the/ ascribed it to evil omens connected
ith Moses and those ith himQ 9eholdQ in truth the omens of evil are theirs in AllahIs
sight, but most of them do not understandQ The/ said :to Moses;& NEhatever be the
Signs thou bringest, to or1 thereith th/ sorcer/ on us, e shall never believe in thee"
So Ee sent :%lagues; on them& Eholesale death, +ocusts, +ice, #rogs, And 9lood& Signs
o%enl/ self5e2%lained& but the/ ere stee%ed in arrogance,5 a %eo%le given to sin" 6ver/
time the %enalt/ fell on them, the/ said& NO MosesQ on /our behalf call on th/ +ord in
virtue of his %romise to thee& If thou ilt remove the %enalt/ from us, e shall trul/
believe in thee, and e shall send aa/ the $hildren of Israel ith thee"N 9ut ever/ time
Ee removed the %enalt/ from them according to a fi2ed term hich the/ had to fulfil,5
9eholdQ the/ bro1e their ordQ So Ee e2acted retribution from them& Ee droned them
in the sea, because the/ re=ected Our Signs and failed to ta1e arning from them" And
Ee made a %eo%le, considered ea1 :and of no account;, inheritors of lands in both east
and est, 5 lands hereon Ee sent don Our blessings" The fair %romise of th/ +ord
as fulfilled for the $hildren of Israel, because the/ had %atience and constanc/, and Ee
levelled to the ground the great or1s and fine buildings hich Pharaoh and his %eo%le
erected :ith such %ride;" 3HurIan '&0('50<'4
Several %ieces of information can be obtained from the above verses hich suggest that
Moses sta/ed in 6g/%t for a considerable %eriod of time, measured in /ears" #irstl/, the
reference to the affliction of /ears of droughts and shortage of cro%s 3HurIan '&0<04 and
then a %eriod of good time" Thus the %eo%le of Pharaoh had changing s%ells of bad and
good fortune so that the/ might receive admonition" Instead the/ blamed Moses and his
%eo%le for their calamities and claimed the good times ere due to them" Secondl/,
%lagues 3HurIan '&0<<4 themselves must have e2tended over a certain %eriod of time"
Thirdl/, a catastro%he li1e a flood or sarm of locusts leaves effects, including indirect
effects, that last for several months at least"3-<4
:a;
:b;
#igure <& :a; The timeline of the Ce Oingdom Period in ancient 6g/%t and :b; the reign
of rulers therein"3--4
+et us no reca%itulate the time %eriod of the reign of the Pharaoh during the time of
Moses" 62clusivel/ rel/ing on data found the HurIan and its commentaries, e have an
account of -*5B) /ears of reign of the Pharaoh" This gives the minimum length of the
reign of the Pharaoh" Ehat is unaccounted for is the number of /ears that the Pharaoh
reigned before Moses as born, the %eriod beteen the conferment of isdom and
1noledge on Moses and his 1illing of the 6g/%tian, and the length of Moses second
so=ourn in 6g/%t after returning from Midian" ,sing the data in hand, let us e2amine the
length of the reign of the Pharaohs in the Ce Oingdom and the Third Intermediate
Periods" #igures <:a; and <:b; give the timeline of the Ce Oingdom Period in ancient
6g/%t and the reign of rulers therein, res%ectivel/" It is observed that the rulers of 6g/%t
ho had reigned for close to B) /ears are Tuthmosis III :YB- /ears, 0-'J50-(B 9$6;
and !amesses II :YDD /ears, 0('J50(0< 9$6;" In the Third Intermediate Period, the rule
of Psusennes I :Y-B /ears, c" 0)B050))D 9$6; comes close 3#igure -4"
#igure -& The length of reign of rulers in the Third Intermediate Period"3-B4
If e consider the case of Tuthmosis III from the Ce Oingdom Period, e find that -5'
/ears are not enough to account for the PharaohIs reign before Moses as born, the
%eriod beteen the conferment of isdom and 1noledge on Moses and his 1illing of the
6g/%tian, and the length of Moses second so=ourn in 6g/%t after returning from Midian"
#urthermore, there are other %roblems associated ith this %eriod too" Tuthmosis III as
still a /oung child hen he succeeded to the throne of 6g/%t after the death of his father
Tuthmosis II :0-*(50-*) 9$6;" ?oever, ?atshe%sut :0-'J50-B* 9$6; as a%%ointed
regent due to the bo/Is /oung age" The/ ruled =ointl/ until 0-'< 9$6 hen she declared
herself a Pharaoh" She is shon dressed in menIs attire and administered affairs of the
nation ith the full su%%ort of im%ortant officials" ?atshe%sut disa%%eared in 0-B* 9$6
hen Tuthmosis III, anting to reclaim the throne, led a revolt" After Tuthmosis III
became the sole ruler, he had her statues and reliefs mutilated" Thus the actual reign of
Tuthmosis III as for onl/ Y<< /ears"
It must be added that in the +ate Period :c" '((5<<( 9$6; com%rising of (Bth and (Dth
D/nasties and later the Persians and then the !omans, there e2isted no ruler ho could
match the length of reign of !amesses II" The longest reign during the +ate Period as
that of Psamti1 I :YB- /ears, DD-5D0) 9$6;"3-D4 This is a ver/ late and im%robable date
for the 62odus and the length of reign suffers from similar %roblems as that ith
Tuthmosis III :i"e", ithout considering the issue of coregenc/ ith ?atshe%sut;
discussed earlier" That leaves us onl/ ith !amesses II"
As mentioned earlier, !amesses II ruled for the longest %eriod of time as com%ared to
an/ other Pharaoh 5 a total of YDD /ears" To this e can also add !amesses IIIs
%ro%osed co5regenc/ ith this father Seti I hich lasted for about 0 to ( /ears before the
former formall/ assumed the duties of rulershi% of 6g/%t after the latterIs death"3-'4 This
ould e2tend the reign of !amesses II to around D* /ears" Oitchen and others %refer not
to tal1 of co5regenc/ but of %rince5regenc/ hich meant !amesses II had all the
attributes of 1ingshi%, including his on harem, e2ce%t his on regnal /ears"3-*4
Ehatever the case ma/ be e can account for -*5B) /ears of his reign from the HurIan"
Ee are still left ith about 0*5() /ears of !amesses IIIs reign before his death, hich
can be used to account for the PharaohIs reign before Moses as born, the %eriod
beteen the conferment of isdom and 1noledge on Moses and his 1illing of the
6g/%tian, and the length of Moses second so=ourn in 6g/%t after returning from Midian"
Thus ith the available evidence !amesses II a%%ears to fit ell ith the statements
mentioned in the HurIan" In order to further strengthen the case that the HurIan indeed
s%ea1s of Pharaoh !amesses II, let us loo1 at the su%%orting evidence from the HurIan
and see if it fits the descri%tion of !amesses II of histor/"
T?6 P?A!AO? AS T?6 P!IC$IPA+ GOD O# AC$I6CT 6GUPT
One of the %rinci%al themes hich a%%ear in the HurIan in the stor/ of Moses is that of
Pharaoh claiming himself to be the %rinci%al god" Does !amesses II fit the descri%tion of
a Pharaoh ho claimed to be %rinci%al god of 6g/%tM +et us investigate"
Ehen Moses calls Pharaoh to orshi% one true God, the call is re=ected" Instead
Pharaoh collects his men and %roclaims that he is their +ord, most high"
?as the stor/ of Moses reached theeM 9ehold, th/ +ord did call to him in the sacred
valle/ of Tua, NGo thou to Pharaoh for he has indeed transgressed all bounds& And sa/
to him, KEouldst thou that thou shouldst be %urified :from sin;M 5 And that I guide thee to
th/ +ord, so thou shouldst fear ?imMIN Then did :Moses; sho him the Great Sign" 9ut
:Pharaoh; re=ected it and disobe/ed :guidance;@ #urther, he turned his bac1, striving
hard :against God;" Then he collected :his men; and made a %roclamation, Sa/ing, NI am
/our +ord, Most ?ighN" 3HurIan 'J&0B5(-4
#urthermore, hen Moses goes to Pharaoh ith clear signs, the/ are re=ected as being
Nfa1eN" Pharaoh then addresses his chiefs b/ sa/ing that he 1nos of no god for them
e2ce%t him"
Pharaoh said& NO $hiefsQ no god do I 1no for /ou but m/self""" 3HurIan (*&<*4
The last statement comes in connection ith the victor/ of Pro%het Moses" Since the
setting of the stor/ of Moses and Pharaoh in the HurIan is in the Ce Oingdom Period, it
is orthhile mentioning one of the characteristics in this %eriod as deification of the
Pharaohs and ho it started to become the norm"
9/ the earl/ Ce Oingdom, deification of the living 1ing had become an established
%ractice, and the living 1ing could himself be orshi%%ed and su%%licated for aid as a
god"3-J4
During the time of !amesses II, the deification of the Pharaoh reached its %ea1 as
evidenced in numerous cult statues as ell as su%%orting hierogl/%hs and %a%/ri"3B)4
The hierogl/%hs give good information about the him" +et us consider three hierogl/%hs
from the time of !amesses II :ho had %renomen ,sermaatre5sete%enre and nomen
!amesses mer/amun;"
Stela no" -0) of ?ildesheim Museum shos to %eo%le, one is standing earing the
double cron ith the uraeus, a short s1irt, a nec1lace and holds the so5called
hand1erchief or seal in one hand 3#igure B:a;4" ?e is called& NOing of ,%%er and +oer
6g/%t, the +ord of the To +ands K!amesses5mer/amun, the GodLN"3B04
:a;
:b;
:c;
#igure B& Stela no" :a; -0), :b; 0)'J of the ?ildesheim Museum" :c; These have an
im%ortant inscri%tion sa/ing N!amesses5mer/amun, the godN" This inscri%tion is mar1ed
inside a red bo2 in both the stelas :a; and :b;"3B(4
On stela no" 0)'J of ?ildesheim Museum a man is de%icted earing a long garment tied
at the aist, offering to floers ith his right hand" In front of him is a table laden ith
various 1inds of offerings, and to stands ith a vase beteen them 3#igure B:b;4"
O%%osite him are to statues, each earing a short 1ilt, an artificial beard and the cron
of ,%%er 6g/%t, ith uraeus in front" Above these to statues and before them are the
ords& N+ord of the to +ands K,sermaatre5set%enreL Monthu5in5the5To5+andsN and
N+ord of the diadems K!amesses5mer/amunL, the GodN"3B<4
#igure D& A relief in the Great Tem%le of Abu Simbel shoing !amesses II venerating
!amesses II"3B-4
Our last e2am%le of the divine 1ingshi% in ancient 6g/%t comes from the Great Tem%le at
Abu Simbel 3#igure D4" An interesting relief in the Great Tem%le of Abu Simbel shos the
N+ord of To +ands K,sermare5set%enreLN :R !amesses II; offering to N!amesses5
mer/amunN :R !amesses II;" Obviousl/, !amesses II is orshi%%ing !amesses II here"
?oever, e also note that the orshi%%er and the one ho is orshi%%ed have to
different names and that these names are %ronomen and nomen of !amesses II,
res%ectivel/" A closer loo1 at the iconogra%h/ reveals that the orshi%%er and he ho is
orshi%%ed are not identical" ?e, to hom the offering is made, is adorned ith a sun5
dis1 and has a curved horn around his ear, de%icting his divinit/" Therefore, !amesses II
is not sim%l/ orshi%%ing himself, but his divine self"3BB4 $oncerning the Pharaoh, the
HurIan also mentions that he e2alted himself in the land and that he as e2travagant"
9ut none believed in Musa e2ce%t the offs%ring of his %eo%le, on account of the fear of
Pharaoh and their chiefs, lest he should %ersecute them@ and most surel/ Pharaoh as
loft/ in the land 3Arabic& fir an la5 Wlin fi5al5ardh4@ and most surel/ he as of the
e2travagant 3Arabic& innahu lamin al5musrifXn4" 3HurIan 0)&*<4
Ee have alread/ seen ho !amesses II e2alted himself as the %rinci%al god of 6g/%t
[OR AN INCGODARNATED PRINCIPLE ]. Ehat are the other a/s he could have
e2alted himselfM The anser to this Guestion comes from Pa%/rus Anastasi II dated to
the time of Merne%tah, successor of !amesses II"3BD4 Pa%/rus Anastasi II begins b/
NPraise of the Delta !esidenceN of the !amesside 1ings" The te2tual content of this
section is similar to that of Pa%/rus Anastasi I8, :D,05D,0);" Ehat is interesting in this
%a%/rus is the mention of e2alted %osition of !amesses II"
:0,0; 9eginning of the !ecital of the 8ictories of the +ord of 6g/%t" ?is Ma=est/ :l"%"h; has
built himself a castle hose name is Great5of58ictories" :0,(; It lies beteen D=ah/ and
To5meri, and is full of food and victuals" It is after the fashion of On of ,%%er 6g/%t, and
its duration is li1e :0,<; that of ?e5Oa5Ptah" The sun arises in its hori7on and sets ithin
it" 6ver/one has foresa1en his :0,-; :on; ton and settled in its neighbourhood" Its
estern %art is the ?ouse of Amun, its southern %art the ?ouse of Seth" Astarte is :0,B;
in its +evant, and 6d=o in its northern %art" :0,D; !amesse5miamum :l"h; is in it as god,
Mont5in5the5To5+ands as herald, Sun5of5!ulers as vi7ier, .o/5of56g/%t :(,0; 9eloved5of5
Atum as ma/or" The countr/ has gone to its %ro%er %lace"3B'4
?ere e see !amesses II in e2alting himself in four different as%ects, vi7", as god,
herald, vi7ier and ma/or" This is as if to sho that he as ever/thing to the ca%ital, and
commanded ever/thing"
#igure '& Portra/al of !amesses II as the living god at the Great Tem%le of Abu Simbel"
?o as !amesses II e2travagantM The Arabic ord musrifXn is derived from the root
sarafa hich means Nto e2ceed all bounds, be immoderate, be e2travagant"""@ to aste,
sGuander, dissi%ate, s%end lavishl/N"3B*4 In order to %romote himself as the living god,
!amesses II built colossal monuments throughout 6g/%t, hich he furnished ith
numerous large5scale images of himself" Perha%s the best e2am%le of his e2travagant
a/s to %romote his divinit/ comes from the Great Tem%le at Abu Simbel here
!amesses II is de%icted as god, and the deit/ !e5?ora1ht/ is %ortra/ed on a diminutive
scale in the centre of the 1ingIs four colossal statues 3#igure '4" It is here, the cult of the
living god as %racticed"3BJ4 Thus, !amesses II a%%ears to fit the HurIanic descri%tion of
the Pharaoh ho e2alted himself and as e2travagant in his a/s to de%ict himself as a
divinit/" The issue of !amesses II building colossal structures brings us to another
im%ortant statement made in the HurIan concerning the Pharaoh 5 he is called the
Pharaoh of the atWd or +ord of the sta1es"
P?A!AO? 5 +O!D O# T?6 AETZD
The HurIan %rovides another ver/ uniGue and interesting descri%tion of the Pharaoh
hich can be shon to be %articularl/ a%%licable to !amesses II" This is the HurIanic
reference to Pharaoh in a cou%le of verses as dhul5atWd :Nof the atWdN or usuall/
translated as N+ord of the sta1esN;" The relevant verses are&
Or have the/ the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all beteenM If so, let them
mount u% ith the ro%es and means :to reach that end;Q 9ut there 5 ill be %ut to flight
even a host of confederates" 9efore them :ere man/ ho; re=ected messengers,5 the
%eo%le of Coah, and KAd, and Pharaoh, the +ord of Sta1es, and Thamud, and the %eo%le
of +ut, and the $om%anions of the Eood@ 5 such ere the $onfederates" 3HurIan <*&0)5
0<4
Seest thou not ho th/ +ord dealt ith the KAd :%eo%le;,5 Of the :cit/ of; Iram, ith loft/
%illars, the li1e of hich ere not %roduced in :all; the landM And ith the Thamud
:%eo%le;, ho cut out :huge; roc1s in the valle/M 5 And ith Pharaoh, lord of sta1esM :All;
these transgressed be/ond bounds in the lands, and hea%ed therein mischief :on
mischief;" Therefore did th/ +ord %our on them a scourge of diverse chastisements"
3HurIan *J&D50<4
The commentators of the HurIan have %ut forth different vies for the meaning of the
HurIanic descri%tion of the Pharaoh as dhul5atWd :Nof the atWdN;, as the ord atWd,
%lural of atad, has different meanings" The o%inion hich attracted most agreement is
that the Pharaoh used the sta1es to torture and crucif/ his o%%onents, es%eciall/ those
ho abandoned him and converted to the religion of Moses" Perha%s the idest %ossible
inter%retation of HurIan <*&0( comes from al5HurtubX" ?e sa/s in his commentar/ of
HurIan <*&0(&
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... He described Pharaoh as (the lord) of the stakes. This statement received various
interpretations. Ibn Abb s said: It means the lord of the secure building. Al!"ah"h"k said:
He o#ned man$ buildings% buildings are called a#td. Also according to Ibn Abbs as
#ell as &atdah and At" _: He o#ned stakes and ropes and pla$grounds #here he #as
entertained. According to al!"ah"h"k also (it means): the one #ho has strength and
strong hand. Al'alb( and )u*til said: He used to torture people #ith the stakes. +hen
he got angr$ #ith someone, he #ould la$ him do#n on the ground and fasten him to four
stakes. Then he #ould release scorpions and snakes onto him until he died. It #as also
said: he #ould stretch the tortured bet#een four pillars, each of his limbs #ould be nailed
to that pillar #ith an iron stake and he #ould be left to die. It #as also said: the lord of the
stakes means the lord of man$ soldiers #here the soldiers #ere called stakes because
the$ uphold his command like the stakes uphold the house. Ibn &uta$bah said: The
Arabs sa$, -their po#er has got stable stakes-, meaning that it is strong and permanent.
The meaning #hich #e are concerned #ith here is the description of the Pharaoh being
-of the buildings-. The &ur.an.s choice of this phrase could not have been more
accurate. This is #hat distinguishes /amesses II from all other Pharaohs. /amesses II
#as involved in more building pro0ects than an$ other Pharaoh throughout the histor$ of
ancient 1g$pt. 2ommenting on /amesses II.s incredible obsession #ith building, 'itchen
notes that:
He desired to #ork not merel$ on the grand scale #itness the /amesseum, 3u4or, Abu
5imbel, and the no# vanished splendours of Pi/amesse but on the #idest possible
front as the $ears passed.... 6ut certainl$ in his building #orks for the gods the entire
length of 1g$pt and 7ubia, /amesses II surpassed not onl$ the 1ighteenth !$nast$ but
ever$ other period in 1g$ptian histor$. In that realm, he certainl$ fulfilled the d$nast$.s
aim for satiet$.89:;
5imilarl$, 2la$ton ackno#ledges /amesses II as a preeminent builder among the
Pharaohs of ancient 1g$pt and states that his greatest feat #as the building of t#o
temples at Abu 5imbel, especiall$ the <reat Temple.
As a monument builder /amesses II stands preeminent amongst the pharaohs of
1g$pt. Although 'hufu had created the <reat P$ramid, /amesses. hand la$ over the
#hole land. True, he thought nothing of adding his name to other kings. monuments and
statues right back to the )iddle 'ingdom, so that no#ada$s the ma0orit$ of cartouches
seen on almost an$ monument proclaim his throne name =sermaatre (.the 0ustice of
/e is strong.). >et his genuine building achievements are on a Herculean scale. He
added to the great temples at 'arnak and 3u4or, completed his father 5eti.s mortuar$
temple at <ourna (Thebes) and also his Ab$dos temple, and built his o#n temple nearb$
at Ab$dos. ?n the #est bank at Thebes he constructed a giant mortuar$ temple, the
/amesseum. Inscriptions in the sandstone *uarries at <ebel el5ilsila record at least
@::: #orkmen emplo$ed there cutting the stone for the /amesseum alone. ?ther ma0or
mortuar$ temples rose in 7ubia at 6eit el+ali, <erf Hussein, +adi es 5ebua, !err and
even as far south as 7apata.
/amesses. greatest building feat must be counted not one of these, but the carving out
of the mountainside of the t#o temples at Abu 5imbel in 7ubia. The grandeur of the
larger, the <reat Temple, is over#helming, fronted as it is b$ four colossal 9:ft (ABm)
high seated figures of the king that flanked the entrance in t#o pairs. It is strange to
reflect that #hilst the smaller temple, dedicated to Hathor and /amesses. favourite
*ueen 7efertari, has lain open for centuries, the <reat Temple #as onl$ discovered in
ABA@ b$ the 5#iss e4plorer Cean 3ouis 6urckhardt and first entered b$ <iovanni 6elDoni
on A August ABAE. A miracle of ancient engineering, its orientation #as so e4act that the
rising sun at the e*uino4 on FF Gebruar$ and FF ?ctober flooded directl$ through the
great entrance to illuminate three of the four gods carved seated in the sanctuar$ over
F:: ft (9: m) inside the mountain (the fourth of the seated gods, Ptah, does not become
illuminated as, appropriatel$, he is a god associated #ith the under#orld).89A;
It is also #orth noting that the phrase -Pharaoh, 3ord of the a#td- is mentioned along
#ith Iram #hich had loft$ pillars, most likel$ cut from rocks, and people of Thamud #ho
built houses in the mountains. This suggests that Pharaoh /amesses II also did
something similar, i.e., built structures out of rocks. Indeed /amesses II built t#o
temples at Abu 5imbel in 7ubia #hich #ere cut in the living rock of the mountainside
8Gigure B;. ?ne is called the <reat Temple, a huge building #ith four colossal statues of
seated figures of /amesses II, about F: meters high, flanking its entrance. The other is
the 5mall Temple dedicated to Hathor and 7efertari, about one hundred meters
northeast of the <reat Temple of /amesses II and #as dedicated to the goddess Hathor
and /amesses II.s chief consort, 7efertari. These temples are considered to be
/amesses II greatest building achievements. 5ince /amesses II #anted to eternaliDe
himself, he also ordered changes to the methods used b$ his masons. =nlike the
shallo# reliefs of previous Pharaohs #hich could easil$ be transformed, #ith their
images and #ords easil$ erased, /amesses II had had his carvings deepl$ engraved in
stone, #hich made them less susceptible to alterations.
Gigure B: The <reat Temple (left) and the 5mall Temple (right) at Abu 5imbel.
To understand the importance of the t#o temples at Abu 5imbel, it is #orth#hile adding
that the =7152? made an international appeal bet#een AH9: and AHB: to save the
monuments in 7ubia #hen the$ #ere threatened b$ submergence as a result of the
As#an High !am. The response to the appeal came fast and the international
communit$ contributed mone$ and effort to relocate the historic sites. To create a
#orld#ide a#areness for saving the 7ubian monuments, a philatelic campaign featuring
the temples at Abu 5imbel, /amesses II and his *ueen 7efertari #as launched in #hich
numerous countries participated 8Gigure H;.89F; The operation, inter alia, included
dismantling Abu 5imbel Temple, and moving it to another area to be reassembled once
again. Abu 5imbel Temple #as completel$ dismantled to A:@9 pieces, each #ith average
of E to @: tons, as the$ #ere rebuilt on the top of the mountain overlooking the genuine
spots, dra#n b$ the ancient 1g$ptians @,::: $ears ago. It is not surprising that the
operation of saving the 7ubian monuments #as described as the greatest in the histor$
of saving monuments.
Gigure H: A philatelic melange sho#ing the campaign to create #orld#ide a#areness to
save the anti*uities of 7ubia. /amesses II and his temples at Abu 5imbel #ere
prominentl$ featured on the stamps in man$ countries. 5ome stamps also sho# his
*ueen 7efertari. In the above figure, the are stamps from (from top ro#, left to right)
1g$pt (=A/), 5omalia, )onaco, the Iatican, Ira*, 7igeria, <hana, /epublic of 2entral
Africa, &atar, Pakistan and Argentina. ?ther countries such as )orocco, 2Jte d.Ivoire
(Ivor$ 2oast), <uatemala, <abon, )aladive Islands, /epublic of <uinea among others
also issued stamps.89@;
Apart from the <reat Temple at Abu 5imbel, the cit$ of Pr/amesses founded b$
/amesses II must stand out as one of the most ambitious construction efforts the #orld
has ever kno#n. Previousl$ Pr/amesses had been variousl$ placed at Tell er/etabeh,
Pelusium, Tanis and Tehel in 3o#er 1g$pt.89K; Ho#ever, archaeological e4cavations b$
the 1g$ptian scholars 3abib Habachi and )ahmoud HamDa identified modern da$ cit$
'hatana&antir as the prime candidate 8Gigure A:;.89L; 5ubse*uentl$ due to the 0oint
cooperation of the 1g$ptian Anti*uities ?rganisation, the Austrian mission headed b$
)anfred 6ietak of the universit$ of Iienna and the <erman mission headed b$ 1dgar
Pusch of the PeliDaeus )useum, modern archaeological investigations also converge on
the cit$ of &antirMTell el!abNa899; #hich is in agreement #ith the descriptions of Pr
/amesses gathered from the literar$ evidence and other primar$ and secondar$ sources
from that period.
Gigure A:: 3ocation of Pithom and Pi/amesses in the 7ile delta region.
=phill noted the follo#ing nine ke$ features of Pr/amesses from said sources including:
a cit$ containing monuments naming Pr/amesses, a central position for ro$al residence
and governance, access route to Asia for the armies, suitabl$ large area for
correspondingl$ large population, suitable for the core functions of the Arm$ such as
head*uarters etc., monuments of /amesses II, relevant deities present, scale of site and
monuments ade*uate and containing a river port.89E; In the timeline of the ancient near
east, the construction of Pr/amesses is certainl$ unprecedented as =phill informs us,
Per /amesses #as probabl$ the vastest and most costl$ ro$al residence ever erected
b$ the hand of man. As can no# be seen its kno#n palace and official centre covered an
area of at least four s*uare miles, and its temples #ere in scale #ith this, a colossal
assemblage forming perhaps the largest collection of chapels built in the preclassical
#orld b$ a single ruler at one time.89B;
+ith the use of a caesium magnetometer, the first geoph$sical measurements of Pr
/amesses took place in AHH9.89H; =sing the data gathered from the recent
magnetometer inspections, the latest pro0ections have sho#n the cit$ centreMro$al
residence comprised at least A: s*uare kms, around @.L s*uare kms more than had
been previousl$ estimated. It is hoped that continued magnetic investigation #ill
eventuall$ lead to a map of Pr/amesses covering at a minimum the cit$ centreMro$al
residence.8E:; +ith all the focus on the cit$ centreMro$al residence, one should also not
forget to consider the large suburban Done, #hich, #hen factored into the calculations,
sho#s the ancient cit$ of Pr/amesses comprised at least @: s*uare kms.8EA;
5ometimes numbers alone do not conve$ the sheer scale of the construction. If #e
consider the area of Pr/amesses in comparison to other celebrated cities in the ancient
near east such as the famous ancient )esopotamian cities of 'horsabad, 7imrud,
7ineveh and 6ab$lon, the area bounded b$ Pr/amesses easil$ eclipses them all.8EF;
2ommenting on such a gigantic feat of human engineering =phill further remarks,
The uni*ue feature about Per /amesses is that it is the onl$ cit$ of imperial siDe in the
ancient near east, rivalling Heliopolis, )emphis and Thebes in splendour, kno#n to have
been entirel$ planned, built and full$ completed under one 'ing.8E@;
Pr/amesses, #hich once had magnificent splendour, no# lies in ruins. )ost likel$, the
destruction of this magnificent cit$ is alluded to in the &ur.an E:A@E and <od kno#s best:
And +e made a people, considered #eak (and of no account), inheritors of lands in both
east and #est, lands #hereon +e sent do#n ?ur blessings. The fair promise of th$
3ord #as fulfilled for the 2hildren of Israel , because the$ had patience and constanc$,
and +e levelled to the ground the great #orks and fine buildings #hich Pharaoh and his
people erected (#ith such pride) 8m kna $as"na u fir a#na #a *a#humO #a m knO
$a rishOn;. 8&ur.an E:A@E;
<od sa$s that He levelled to the ground the great #orks and fine buildings #hich
Pharaoh and his people erected. It is interesting this verse is tied to the period of
#eakness of the 2hildren of Israel #hich the$ endured #ith patience and steadfastness%
the time #hen the$ #ere under Pharaoh, toiling for him. Grom the discussion, it is
undoubtedl$ clear that /amesses II fits the description of the Pharaoh of the a#td.
PTHI5 !A> 5HA33 +1 5AI1 >?= I7 TH1 6?!>, THAT >?= )A>15T 61 A 5I<7 T?
TH?51 +H? 2?)1 AGT1/ >?=...Q
+e took the 2hildren of Israel across the sea: Pharaoh and his hosts follo#ed them in
insolence and spite. At length, #hen over#helmed #ith the flood, he said: -I believe that
there is no god e4cept Him +hom the 2hildren of Israel believe in: I am of those #ho
submit (to Allah in Islam).- (It #as said to him): -Ah no#R 6ut a little #hile before, #ast
thou in rebellionR and thou didst mischief (and violence)R -This da$ shall +e save thee in
the bod$, that thou ma$est be a sign to those #ho come after theeR but veril$, man$
among mankind are heedless of ?ur 5ignsR- 8&ur.an A::H:HF;
The &ur.an and the 6ible 814odus AK:FA@: and 14odus AL:AHFA; state that the
Pharaoh #as dro#ned in the sea. Ho#ever, the &ur.an differs from the 6ible and it
makes a ver$ uni*ue statement that the bod$ of the dro#ned Pharaoh #as saved as a
sign for future generations. The &ur.anic statement about rescuing Pharaoh.s bod$
#ould be in total agreement #ith the fact that the bod$ of /amesses II has survived in a
mummified form. It #as discovered in ABBA among a group of ro$al mummies that had
been removed from their original tombs for fear of theft. Priests of the FAst !$nast$ had
reburied them in a cache at !eir al6ahari on 3u4or.s #est bank.8EK; The mumm$ of
/amesses II formed one of the cache and its resting place #as Tomb 'IE in the Ialle$
of 'ings. 7othing #hatsoever #as kno#n at the time of the revelation of the &ur.an
about the mumm$ of /amesses II.
A fe# #ords also need to be said about the preservation of the mumm$ of /amesses II
8Gigure AA;. In AHEK, 1g$ptologists at the 1g$ptian )useum, 2airo, noticed that the
mumm$.s condition #as #orsening rapidl$. The$ decided to fl$ /ameses II to Paris so
that a team of e4perts could give the mumm$ a medical e4amination. ?n 5eptember F9,
AHE9, a Grench Air Gorce plane touched do#n at 3e 6ourget airport 0ust outside Paris
carr$ing the mummified bod$. /amesses II ma$ have been dead for more than @,:::
$ears but his mummified bod$ #as #elcomed #ith a ceremon$ fit for an$ living head of
state.
(a)
(b)
Gigure AA: )umm$ of /amesses II sho#ing (a) top and (b) side vie#s.
The idea of bringing the mumm$ of /amesses II to Paris for an e4haustive scientific
investigation #as the brainchild of !r. )aurice 6ucaille. The pro0ect #as codirected b$
2hristiane !esroche7oblecourt, curator of 1g$ptian Anti*uities at the )usSe du 3ouvre,
and Professor 3ionel 6alout, !irector of the )usSe de l.Homme.8EL; ?ne of goals of the
pro0ect #as to stud$ the remains of the Pharaoh.s mumm$ for evidence that #ould
complement that from other archaeological and #ritten sources. Ho#ever, the main
mission #as to rescue the mumm$ from ph$sical deterioration caused b$ fungus,
bacteria and insects.8E9; !uring the e4amination, scientific anal$sis revealed battle
#ounds and old fractures, as #ell as other medical conditions. Grom the 4ra$ anal$sis, it
#as concluded that /amesses II #as suffering from atherosclerosis and an 4ra$ of his
pelvis sho#ed calcification of both femoral arteries.8EE; In the last decades of his life,
/amesses II #as apparentl$ crippled #ith arthritis and #alked #ith a hunched back.8EB;
It #as suggested that /amesses II suffered from ank$losing spond$litis, no# part of
rheumatologic folklore.8EH; All these led 6ucaille to infer that /amesses II could have not
pla$ed an$ role in the 14odus as he #as crippled.8B:; He claimed, using the biblical data
(14odus F:F@), that his son )erenptah #as the Pharaoh involved in the 14odus after
/amesses II.s death. Ho#ever, a recent stud$ using better 4ra$ imaging and
unpublished radiographs has concluded that the diagnosis of ank$losing spond$litis as
reported in the literature is unsupported. The authors prefer a diagnosis of diffuse
idiopathic skeletal h$perostosis8BA; (or !I5H) #hich is corroborated b$ the
archaeological and historical studies about the ph$sical attributes and e4ploits of
/amesses II.8BF; Thus, the possibilit$ cannot be re0ected out of hand that /amesses II
#as the Pharaoh #ho perished in the sea #hile chasing the 2hildren of Israel.8B@;
Ho#ever, it must be emphasiDed that the process of mummification itself convolutes the
information of actual cause of death. Therefore, the cause of death of /amesses II can.t
be verified from his mumm$.
<od refers in the &ur.an to man$ peoples #hom He had punished, for e4ample, of TAd
and Thamud (&ur.an FH:@B, FE:LALF), and #hom He made signs for later generations.
Ho#ever, #ith the sole e4ception of Pharaoh, <od never stated that He #ould save the
bodies of those people and make their bodies signs for future generations. In the case of
Pharaoh.s bod$ being saved for future generations, this is a statement #hich is not 0ust
confined to the people of 1g$pt or to those #ho lived at that time, but to all people #ho
came after him. The mumm$ of /amesses II is available even toda$ for people from
ever$#here to see at the 1g$ptian )useum in 2airo.
)?/1 1<>PTIA7 )I52133A7I15 G/?) TH1 &=/.A7
There are other details too #hich the &ur.an mentions about the Pharaoh. Ho#ever, the
identification of these using the ancient 1g$ptian histor$ remains elusive or incomplete.
Gor e4ample, the &ur.an sa$s that the Pharaoh had companions called Haman and
&arun. The name Haman #as alleged to be a historical contradiction in the &ur.an
because the 6ible places it in the stor$ of 1sther. 7ot#ithstanding the fla#ed logic of
using a fictitious book to find a historical character, it #as noted that Haman ma$ be
simpl$ an ArabiDed version of the ancient 1g$ptian amana. The ancient 1g$ptian deit$
NI)7 (or amana) #as used in the title for a High Priest as #ell as an architect. It #ould be
akin to the king #ho ruled during the time of )oses being called fir a#n #hich is the
ArabiDed form of the ancient 1g$ptian #ord PperaaQ, the title used to refer to the king of
1g$pt from the 7e# 'ingdom Period on#ards. 5hould our proposed identification of
/amesses II be correct, a historical investigation has sho#n that 6akenkhons, the High
Priest of Amun during /amesses II reign, can be considered a good candidate for
Haman mentioned in the &ur.an.
Another interesting detail #hich the &ur.an mentions is the da$ of encounter bet#een
)oses and the magicians.
-6ut #e can surel$ produce magic to match thineR 5o make a tr$st bet#een us and thee,
#hich #e shall not fail to keep neither #e nor thou in a place #here both shall have
even chances.- )oses said: ->our tr$st is the !a$ of the Gestival 8$aum alD(na;, and let
the people be assembled #hen the sun is #ell up.- 8&ur.an F::LBLH;
The da$ of the encounter in the &ur.an is called $aum alD(na. U(na means a thing #ith
#hich or b$ #hich one is adorned, ornamented, decorated, etc.8BK; 5o, the phrase $aum
alD(na can mean a da$ #hen people are dressed up smartl$, or the cit$ is adorned or
perhaps both. It could even mean a da$ of pompous celebration or more precisel$ a da$
of festival.8BL; 2ould it refer to the Heb5ed (or simpl$ 5ed) festivalV The Heb5ed
Gestival,8B9; also called a 0ubilee, #as usuall$ celebrated @: $ears after a king.s rule and
thereafter, ever$ three $ears. /amesses II celebrated a record AA or AF of these after his
Heb5ed festival in $ear @:. It #as to rene# the potenc$ of the Pharaoh and to assure a
long reign in the afterlife. ?ne of the most important aspects of this festival is that it #as
probabl$ #itnessed b$ ordinar$ citiDens onl$ ver$ rarel$.
K. 2onclusions
Those 2hristian scholars #ho date the 14odus can be broadl$ divided into t#o groups:
one #hich believes that the 6ible should be the sole basis of dating and the other group
#hich uses ancient near eastern archaeolog$. 6oth these groups emplo$ certain
assumptions and overlook certain details in order to reach their conclusions. As #e have
observed, proving the efficac$ of the statements contained in the ?ld Testament is
problematic. The biblical account is inherentl$ contradictor$ as the information provided
simultaneousl$ points to#ards divergent time periods and thus divergent Pharaohs. The
2hristian scholars, #hom the missionaries and apologists depend upon, rush to e4plain
a#a$ these contradictions b$ making ingenious reinterpretations of the te4t and using
concepts such as -editorial updating- and its corollar$ -inspired te4tual updating-. Gor
e4ample, the number KB: does not actuall$ stand for KB: and the place name
/amesses does not actuall$ stand for the place name /amesses. !oes it reall$ matterV
/ealising the$ have no other choice, the missionaries and apologists have long since
approved -editorial updating- and its occurrence throughout the 6ible. ?ne such
missionar$ casuall$ states, -In the final an$lsis, I do not mind if the placeMperson names
#ere updated in 5criptures- W #hich begs the *uestion #hat other te4ts the missionaries
and apologists -do not mind- being updatedV It should be clear b$ no# that such
approval is integrated #ithin a fle4ible creedal s$stem of beliefs #here one can believe in
an undelineated 6ible that contains errors and still maintain ones right to -salvation-.
2onse*uentl$, the doctrines of biblical inspiration, infallibilit$ and inerranc$ become
confusing and ineffectual as numbers mean other different numbers and place names
mean other different place names.
Although certain assumptions must be formed in absence of information supplied,
interpreting the &ur.an does not re*uire one to depend upon -editorial updating-,
-inspired te4tual updating-X assigning different numerical values to m$sterious numbers
or deciding bet#een #hich t$pe of manuscripts and translations to rel$ upon to calculate
those numbers. The &ur.an does not mention the name of the Pharaoh #ho un0ustl$
oppressed )oses and the 2hildren of Israel. +hen combined, the information provided
b$ the &ur.an and the ancient 1g$ptian sources including the archaeological and
documentar$ evidence, there are a sufficient number of clues that point to#ards the 7e#
'ingdom period in general and to the Pharaoh /amesses II in particular #ho reigned for
about 99 $ears from AFEHWAFA@ 621. Although the scientific e4amination of /amesses
II.s mumm$ is inconclusive regarding the precise nature of his death, he did not, as #as
previousl$ thought, have a debilitating rheumatic condition that #ould have ph$sicall$
prevented him from engaging )oses and the 2hildren of Israel in the final stages of his
life. In conclusion, the &ur.anic presentation of the Pharaoh of the 14odus is internall$
consistent and fits #ell #ith the e4tant eg$ptological data. This is also in line #ith the
earlier studies b$ Hamidullah8BE; and Gatoohi et al.8BB; #ho have arrived at similar
conclusions, albeit using less e4haustive and sometimes shak$ evidence, that the
Pharaoh #ho ruled 1g$pt before the birth of )oses until the 14odus and his (i.e.,
Pharaoh.s) death #as /amesses II.
And Allah kno#s bestR
6ookmark and 5hare
/eferences Y 7otes
8A; ). !ZaDAndreu, A +orld Histor$ ?f 7ineteenth2entur$ Archaeolog$: 7ationalism,
2olonialism, And The Past, F::E, ?4ford =niversit$ Press Inc., 7e# >ork, pp. A@AA@K. It
#ould come as a surprise to man$ that even a scientific discipline such as archaeolog$
had to find its place amongst contemporar$ political events in 0u4taposition #ith #estern
imperial and nationalistic ideologies current in the nineteenth centur$. Hence, in the
#ords of !ZaDAndreu, -... archaeolog$ is not a valuefree and neutral social science as
previousl$ presumed.- 8ibid., p. K;. 5een b$ man$ as the archaeolog$ of the 3evant #ith
a (evangelical) 6iblical bias, it is of course an entirel$ different discussion if such a
discipline named biblical archaeolog$ is even appropriate. Gor some topical vie#s see P.
/. 5. )oore$, A 2entur$ ?f 6iblical Archaeolog$, AHHA, The 3utter#orth Press:
2ambridge (=')% ). 2. )oreland (1d.), 6et#een Te4t And Artifact: Integrating
Archaeolog$ In 6iblical 5tudies Teaching, F::@, 5ociet$ ?f 6iblical 3iterature: Atlanta% T.
+. !avis, 5hifting 5ands: The /ise And Gall ?f 6iblical Archaeolog$, F::K, ?4ford
=niversit$ Press Inc.: 7e# >ork% C. '. Hoffmeier Y A. )illard (1ds.), The Guture ?f
6iblical Archaeolog$: /eassessing )ethodologies And Assumptions, F::K, The
Proceedings ?f A 5$mposium August AFAK, F::A At Trinit$ International =niversit$,
+m. 6. 1erdmans Publishing 2o.: <rand /apids ()I) Y 2ambridge (=').
8F; ). !ZaDAndreu, A +orld Histor$ ?f 7ineteenth2entur$ Archaeolog$: 7ationalism,
2olonialism, And The Past, F::E, op. cit., p. A@E.
8@; '. 'itchen, -Ancient 7ear 1astern 5tudies: 1g$pt-, in C. +. /ogerson Y C. ). 3ieu
(1ds.), The ?4ford Handbook ?f 6iblical 5tudies, F::9, ?4ford =niversit$ Press Inc.,
7e# >ork, pp. BHH:.
8K; The 5ociet$ W Histor$ ?f The 5ociet$ (The 6eginnings), The 1g$pt 14ploration
5ociet$ (?fficial +ebsite), available online (accessed AKth 7ovember F::B).
8L; 1g$pt 14ploration Gund, /eport ?f Gourth Annual <eneral )eeting And 6alance
5heet, ABBLB9, TrZbner Y 2o.: 3ondon Y C. +. Arro#smith: 6ristol, p. K.
89; 1. 7aville, The 5tore2it$ ?f Pithom And The /oute ?f The 14odus, ABBL, 1g$pt
14ploration Gund 14cavation )emoirs W Iolume I, )essrs TrZbner Y 2o.: 3ondon, p. vii.
8E; Gor a ver$ recent e4ample see C. '. Hoffmeier, -)a0or <eographical Issues In The
Accounts ?f The 14odus-, in !. I. 6lock (1d.), Israel: Ancient 'ingdom ?r 3ate
InventionV, F::B, 6YH Publishing <roup: 7ashville (T7) pp. HEAFH.
8B; Gor some e4amples see '. A. 'itchen, ?n The /eliabilit$ ?f The ?ld Testament,
F::@, +m. 6. 1erdmans Publishing 2o.: <rand /apids ()I)% C. '. Hoffmeier, Israel In
1g$pt: The 1vidence Gor The Authenticit$ ?f The 14odus Tradition, AHHH, ?4ford
=niversit$ Press: ?4ford (=')% 2. C. Humphre$s, The )iracles ?f 14odus: A 5cientist.s
!iscover$ ?f The 14traordinar$ 7atural 2auses ?f The 6iblical 5tories, F::@,
2ontinuum: 3ondon.
8H; These are the t#o most accepted models although presentl$ a fe# others do e4ist.
Gor e4ample see <. A. /endsburg, -The !ate ?f The 14odus And The
2on*uestM5ettlement: The 2ase Gor The AA::s-, Ietus Testamentum, AHHF, Iolume
[3II, 7o. K, pp. LA:LFE.
8A:; 6. ). )etDger Y /. 1. )urph$ (1ds.), The 7e# ?4ford Annotated 6ible +ith The
Apocr$phal M !euterocanonical 6ooks, AHHA, ?4ford =niversit$ Press, Inc., p. K@F (I
'ings 9:A). 7. 6. The 7/5I translation has been used to allo# better comparison #ith
the 5eptuagint translation cited belo# #hich uses the 7/5I translation modif$ing the
1nglish as necessar$ according to the <reek. The same verse in the 7II reads:
In the four hundred and eightieth $ear after the Israelites had come out of 1g$pt, in the
fourth $ear of 5olomon.s reign over Israel, in the month of Uiv, the second month, he
began to build the temple of the 3?/!.
8AA; '. A. 'itchen, -Ho# +e 'no# +hen 5olomon /uled-, 6iblical Archaeological
/evie#, F::A, Iolume FE (5eptemberM?ctober), 7o. L, pp. @F@E, p. LB.
8AF; 5ee, for e4ample, +. H. 5hea , -14odus, !ate ?f The - in <. +. 6romile$ (<en.
1d.), The International 5tandard 6ible 1nc$clopedia, AHBF (Gull$ /evised, Illustrated),
Iolume II, +illiam 6. 1erdmans Publishing 2ompan$: <rand /apids ()I), pp. F@:F@B%
<. 3. Archer Cr., 7e# International 1nc$clopedia ?f 6ible !ifficulties, AHBF, Uondervan:
<rand /apids ()I), pp. AALAA9% <. 3. Archer, A 5urve$ ?f ?ld Testament Introduction,
AHHK, )ood$ Press: 2hicago, pp. F@HFLF% A. 1. Hill Y C. H. +alton, A 5urve$ ?f The
?ld Testament, F:::, Uondervan: <rand /apids ()I), p. BK. Hill and +alton -assumes-
the historical validit$ of the biblical numbers #hile recogniDing the -slipper$- nature of the
evidence gathered b$ earl$ and latedate models from the selective appeal to
e4trabiblical and archaeological data. Also see their e4cellent summar$ of both models
on pp. BLB9% 7. 3. <eisler Y /. ). 6rooks, +hen 5keptics Ask, F::A, 6aker 6ooks:
<rand /apids ()I), pp. AEAAE@ and pp. ABBAH9% 7. 3. <eisler, 6aker 1nc$clopedia ?f
2hristian Apologetics, F::F, 6aker 6ooks: <rand /apids ()I), pp. LBBLHA% 7. <eisler Y
T. Ho#e, +hen 2ritics Ask: A Popular Handbook ?n 6ible !ifficulties, F::K (Eth
Printing), 6aker 6ooks: <rand /apids ()I), pp. 9E9B% G. 7. Cones, 2hronolog$ ?f The
?ld Testament, F::L, )aster 6ooks, pp. KHL@.
8A@; A good refutation of those #ho take the position that there e4ists -the biblical- date
of the 14odus #as made b$ C. '. Hoffmeier, -/ameses ?f The 14odus 7arratives Is The
A@th 2entur$ 6.2. /o$al /amesside /esidence-, Trinit$ Cournal, F::E, Iolume FB (75),
7o. F, pp. FBAFBF.
8AK; P. !. )c3ean Y 6. A. Ta$lor (Trans.), -@ /eigns-, in A. Pitersma Y 6. <. +right
(1ds.), A 7e# 1nglish Translation ?f The 5eptuagint And The ?ther <reek Translations
Traditionall$ Included =nder That Title, F::E, ?4ford =niversit$ Press: 7e# >ork, p. @:@
(@ /eigns 9:A).
8AL; G. 2. Gensham, -Cudges, 6ook ?f-, in <. +. 6romile$ (1d.), The International
5tandard 6ible 1nc$clopedia, AHBF, Iolume T#o: 1C, Gull$ /evised, +m. 6. 1erdmans
Publishing 2o.: <rand /apids ()I), p. AALB.
8A9; C. '. Hoffmeier, -+hat Is The 6iblical !ate Gor The 14odusV A /esponse To 6r$ant
+ood-, Cournal ?f The 1vangelical Theological 5ociet$, F::E, Iolume L:, 7o. F, pp.
FFEFFB.
8AE; 5ee for e4ample, A. 1. 5teinmann, -The )$sterious 7umbers ?f The 6ook ?f
Cudges-, Cournal ?f The 1vangelical Theological 5ociet$, F::L, Iolume KB, 7o. @, pp.
KHAL::.
8AB; 1. Hornung, /. 'rauss Y !. A. +arburton, -2hronological Table Gor The !$nastic
Period- in 1. Hornung, /. 'rauss Y !. A. +arburton (1ds.), Ancient 1g$ptian
2hronolog$, F::9, Handbook ?f ?riental 5tudies 5ection A, The 7ear And )iddle 1ast
Iolume B@, 6rill: 3eiden Y 6oston, p. KHF.
8AH; C. !. Ha$s, -/econsidering The Height ?f <oliath-, Cournal ?f The 1vangelical
Theological 5ociet$, F::L, Iolume KB, 7o. K, pp. E:AEAK.
8F:; !. +. Parr$, -PHo# )an$ IesselsQV An 14amination ?f )T A 5am F:AK M K&5ama A
5am F:A9-, in P. +. Glint, 1. Tov Y C. 2. Iander'am (1ds.), 5tudies In The Hebre# 6ible,
&umran, And The 5eptuagint Presented To 1ugene =lrich, F::9, 'oninkli0ke 6rill 7I,
3eiden: The 7etherlands, pp. BKHL. These verses have $et to make an appearance in
the #hole host of volumes devoted to P6ible difficultiesQ.
8FA; 6. ). )etDger Y /. 1. )urph$ (1ds.), The 7e# ?4ford Annotated 6ible +ith The
Apocr$phal M !euterocanonical 6ooks, AHHA, op. cit., p. E: (14odus A:AA). The same
verse in the 7II reads:
5o the$ put slave masters over them to oppress them #ith forced labor, and the$ built
Pithom and /ameses as store cities for Pharaoh.
8FF; <. 3. Archer, -An 1ighteenth !$nast$ /ameses-, Cournal ?f The 1vangelical
Theological 5ociet$, AHEK, Iolume AE, 7o. A, pp. KHL:.
8F@; 5ee A. H. <ardiner, -The !elta /esidence ?f The /amessides-, Cournal ?f
1g$ptian Archaeolog$, AHAB, Iolume L, 7o. F, pp. AFEA@B (Parts I Y II)% idem., -The
!elta /esidence ?f The /amessides-, Cournal ?f 1g$ptian Archaeolog$, AHAB, Iolume
L, 7o. @, pp. AEHF:: (Part III)% idem., -The !elta /esidence ?f The /amessides-,
Cournal ?f 1g$ptian Archaeolog$, AHAB, Iolume L, 7o. K, pp. FKFFEA (Parts II, I Y II).
8FK; A. H. <ardiner, -The !elta /esidence ?f The /amessides-, Cournal ?f 1g$ptian
Archaeolog$, AHAB, op. cit., p. F99 (Parts II, I Y II). The impact of this *uotation has
not gone unnoticed. /ecentl$ utilised b$ Professor Hoffmeier of Trinit$ 1vangelical
!ivinit$ 5chool, he has cut off the first part of the first sentence of the *uotation and
capitalised TthereN as if it #ere the beginning of <ardiner.s sentence. He has also left out
the last t#o #ords of the final sentence retaining the full stop. Additionall$, he has
mistakenl$ cited <ardiner.s *uote as coming from Part II #hen it is in fact from Part I.
5ee C. '. Hoffmeier, -/ameses ?f The 14odus 7arratives Is The A@th 2entur$ 6.2.
/o$al /amesside /esidence-, Trinit$ Cournal, F::E, op. cit., pp. FBEFBB.
8FL; +. Helck, -Tk# =nd /amses5tadt-, Ietus Testamentum, AH9L, Iolume AL, pp. @L
KB.
8F9; 5ee for e4ample, -)oses- in ?. ?delain and /. 5Sguineau (Trans. ). C. ?.2onnell),
!ictionar$ ?f Proper 7ames And Places In The 6ible, AHBA, /obert Hale 3td.: 3ondon,
p. FE:% -)oses-, 1nc$clopaedia Cudaica, AHEA, Iolume AF, 1nc$clopaedia Cudaica
Cerusalem, col. @EA% -)oses-, The =niversal Ce#ish 1nc$clopedia, AH9H, Iolume B, 'tav
Publishing House, Inc.: 7e# >ork, p. K% P. Ale4ander and !. Ale4ander (1ds.), The 3ion
Handbook To The 6ible, AHHH, Third 1dition (/evised Y 14panded), 3ion Publishing Inc.:
?4ford (='), p. AL9% '. A. 'itchen, -)oses- in C. !. !ouglas (?rganiDing 1ditor), 7e#
6ible !ictionar$, AHBF, 5econd 1dition, InterIarsit$ Press: 3eicester (=') and T$ndale
House Publishers, Inc.: +heaton (I3), p. EHL% -)oses- in A. 2. )$ers (1d.), The
1erdmans 6ible !ictionar$, AHBE, +illiam 6. 1erdmans Publishing 2ompan$: <rand
/apids ()I), p. E@A% -14odus, The 6ook ?f- in P. C. Achtemeier, Harper.s 6ible
!ictionar$, AHBL, Harper Y /o# Publishers: 5an Grancisco, p. @AE% G. 6. Hue$, Cr.,
-)oses- in +. A. 1l#ell (<en. 1d.), 1nc$clopedia ?f The 6ible, AHBB, Iolume II, )arshall
Pickering: 3ondon, p. AKH:% /. G. Cohnson, -)oses- in <. A. 6uttrick (1d.), The
Interpreter.s !ictionar$ ?f The 6ible, AH9F (AHH9 Print), Iolume @, Abingdon Press,
7ashville, p. KKL% C. '. Hoffmeier, -)oses- in <. +. 6romile$ (<en. 1d.), The
International 5tandard 6ible 1nc$clopedia, AHB9 (Gull$ /evised, Illustrated), Iolume III,
+illiam 6. 1erdmans Publishing 2ompan$: <rand /apids ()I), p. KA9. Hoffmeier
provides a good overvie# of all possible datings proposed so far% P. )ontet, 3.Ig$pte 1t
3a 6ible, AHLH, 2ahiers !.ArchSologie 6ibli*ue 7o. AA, !elachau4 Y 7iestlS 5. A.:
7euch\tel (5#itDerland), pp. FK@E and pp. A@FA@F for chronological listing of biblical
events% '. A. 'itchen, Ancient ?rient And ?ld Testament, AH99, The T$ndale Press:
3ondon (='), pp. LE9:% idem., ?n The /eliabilit$ ?f The ?ld Testament, F::@, op. cit.,
p. F:E and p. L::% C. '. Hoffmeier, Israel In 1g$pt: The 1vidence Gor The Authenticit$ ?f
The 14odus Tradition, AHHH, op. cit., p. AF9.
8FE; '. A. 'itchen, ?n The /eliabilit$ ?f The ?ld Testament, F::@, op. cit., pp. @:E@:B.
8FB; 2. G. Aling, -The 6iblical 2it$ ?f /amses-, Cournal ?f The 1vangelical Theological
5ociet$, AHBF, Iolume FL, 7o. F, pp. AFHA@E, especiall$ pp. A@9A@E% 6. <. +ood, -The
/ise And Gall ?f The A@th2entur$ 14odus2on*uest Theor$-, Cournal ?f The
1vangelical Theological 5ociet$, F::L, Iolume KB, 7o. @, pp. KEBKEH% idem., -The
6iblical !ate Gor The 14odus Is AKK9 62: A /esponse To Cames Hoffmeier-, Cournal ?f
The 1vangelical Theological 5ociet$, F::E, Iolume L:, 7o. F, pp. FL:FLA.
8FH; ). A. <risanti, -Inspiration, Inerranc$, And The ?T 2anon: The Place ?f Te4tual
=pdating In An Inerrant Iie# ?f 5cripture-, Cournal ?f The 1vangelical Theological
5ociet$, F::A, Iolume KK, 7o. K, pp. LEELHB. <risanti gives no indication as to the
anti*uit$ of his vie#s. A paper delivered at the LHth national meeting of the 1vangelical
Theological 5ociet$ in F::E suggests that a basic conception of -Inspired Te4tual
=pdating- reaches at least as far back as Augustine (@LK 21 W K@: 21). 5ee +. !.
6arrick, -P=r ?f The 2haldeansQ (<en AA:FB@A): A )odel Gor !ealing +ith !ifficult
Te4ts-, F::E, 7ovember AK, 1T5 Annual )eeting, pp. F@.
8@:; P. 5chaff, The 2reeds ?f 2hristendom, +ith A Histor$ And 2ritical 7otes, ABEE,
Gourth 1dition /evised and 1nlarged, The 1vangelical Protestant 2reeds +ith
Translations, Iolume III, Harper Y 6rothers: 7e# >ork.
8@A; The Humble Advice ?f The Assembl$ ?f !ivines, 7o# 6$ Authorit$ ?f Parliament
5itting At +estminster, 2oncerning A 2onfession ?f Gaith, Presented 6$ Them 3atel$ To
6oth Houses ?f Parliament, A9K9, Printed for the 2ompan$ of 5tationers.: 3ondon, pp.
L9% A !eclaration ?f The Gaith And ?rder ?#ned And Practiced In The 2ongregational
2hurches In 1ngland% Agreed =pon And 2onsented =nto 6$ Their 1lders And
)essengers In Their )eeting At The 5avo$, ?ctob. AF. A9LB, A9LH, Printed for !. 3. And
are to be sold in Pauls 2hurch >ard, Gleet5treet, and +estminsterHall: 3ondon, pp. F
@% A 2onfession ?f Gaith. Put Gorth 6$ The 1lders And 6rethren ?f )an$ 2ongregations
?f 2hristians (6aptiDed =pon Profession ?f Their Gaith) In 3ondon And The 2ountr$,
A9EE, Printed for 6en0amin Harris, and are to be sold at his shop at the 5tationers Arms
in 5#eetings /ents, in 2ornhill, near the /o$al 14change: 3ondon, p. E.
8@F; /. 2. 5proul, 14plaining Inerranc$, AHH9, 3igonier )inistries: ?rlando (G3), p. L9.
7.6. This book #as previousl$ published in AHB: #ith the title 14plaining Inerranc$: A
2ommentar$, b$ the International 2ouncil on 6iblical Inerranc$.
8@@; ibid.
8@K; ibid., pp. A:AF.
8@L; !. ). /ohl, A Test ?f Time, AHHL, Iolume I: The 6ible Grom )$th To Histor$,
/andom House =' 3td.: 3ondon.
8@9; ibid., p. @@:.
8@E; 1. Hornung, /. 'rauss Y !. A. +arburton, -2hronological Table Gor The !$nastic
Period- in 1. Hornung, /. 'rauss Y !. A. +arburton (1ds.), Ancient 1g$ptian
2hronolog$, F::9, op. cit., p. KHF% '. A. 'itchen, -The Historical 2hronolog$ ?f Ancient
1g$pt, A 2urrent Assessment- in ). 6ietak (1d.), The 5$nchronisation ?f 2ivilisations In
The 1astern )editerranean In The 5econd )illennium 6.2., F:::, Proceedings ?f An
International 5$mposium At 5chlo ; Haindorf, ALthAEth ?f 7ovember AHH9 And At The
Austrian Academ$, Iienna, AAthAFth ?f )a$ AHHB, 2ontributions To The 2hronolog$ ?f
The 1astern )editerranean Iolume I, Qsterreichischen Akademie !er
+issenschaften: +ien, pp. KLK9 Y p. KH. This is a ne# revised version of 'itchen.s
article originall$ published in '. A. 'itchen, -The Historical 2hronolog$ ?f Ancient 1g$pt,
A 2urrent Assessment-, Acta Archaeologica, AHH9, Iolume 9E, pp. AA@.
8@B; !. ). /ohl, A Test ?f Time, AHHL, Iolume I: The 6ible Grom )$th To Histor$, op.
cit., p. @FE.
8@H; 6. <. +ood, -The /ise And Gall ?f The A@th2entur$ 14odus2on*uest Theor$-,
Cournal ?f The 1vangelical Theological 5ociet$, F::L, op. cit., pp. KELKBH% !.
Petrovich, -Amenhotep II And The Historicit$ ?f The 14odusPharaoh-, )aster.s
5eminar$ Cournal, F::9, Iolume AE, 7o. A, pp. BAAA:% /. >oung, -The Talmud.s T#o
Cubilees And Their /elevance To The !ate ?f The 14odus-, +estminster Theological
Cournal, F::9, Iolume 9B, pp. EAB@% /. I. IasholD, -?n The !ating ?f The 14odus-,
Presb$terion, F::9, Iolume @F, 7o. F, pp. AAAAA@% /. '. Ha#kins, -Propositions Gor
1vangelical Acceptance ?f A 3ate!ate 14odus2on*uest: 6iblical !ata And The /o$al
5carabs Grom )t. 1bal-, Cournal ?f The 1vangelical Theological 5ociet$, F::E, Iolume
L:, 7o. A, pp. @AK9% C. '. Hoffmeier, -+hat Is The 6iblical !ate Gor The 14odusV A
/esponse To 6r$ant +ood-, Cournal ?f The 1vangelical Theological 5ociet$, F::E, op.
cit., pp. FFLFKE% idem., -/ameses ?f The 14odus 7arratives Is The A@th 2entur$ 6.2.
/o$al /amesside /esidence-, Trinit$ Cournal, F::E, op. cit., pp. FBAFBH% 6. <. +ood,
-The 6iblical !ate Gor The 14odus Is AKK9 62: A /esponse To Cames Hoffmeier-,
Cournal ?f The 1vangelical Theological 5ociet$, F::E, op. cit., pp. FKHFLB% /. 2. >oung
Y 6. <. +ood, -A 2ritical Anal$sis ?f The 1vidence Grom /alph Ha#kins Gor A 3ate
!ate 14odus2on*uest-, Cournal ?f The 1vangelical Theological 5ociet$, F::B, Iolume
LA, 7o. F, pp. FFLFKK% /. '. Ha#kins, -The !ate ?f The 14odus2on*uest Is 5till An
?pen &uestion: A /esponse To /odger >oung And 6r$ant +ood-, Cournal ?f The
1vangelical Theological 5ociet$, F::B, Iolume LA, 7o. F, pp. FKLF99.
8K:; 5ir A. <ardiner, 1g$ptian <rammar: 6eing An Introduction To The 5tud$ ?f
Hierogl$phs, AHLE, @rd 1dition (/evised), ?4ford =niversit$ Press: 3ondon, p. EL.
8KA; 2. 6. /amse$, ). +. !ee, C. ). /o#land, T. G. <. Higham, 5. A. Harris, G. 6rock, A.
&uiles, 1. ). +ild, 1. 5. )arcus Y A. C. 5hortland, -/adiocarbon6ased 2hronolog$ Gor
!$nastic 1g$pt-, 5cience, F:A:, Iolume @FB, pp. ALLKALLE. Also see the comment on
this article b$ H. C. 6ruins, -!ating Pharaonic 1g$pt-, 5cience, F:A:, Iolume @FB, pp.
AKBHAKH:.
8KF; 2. 6. /amse$, ). +. !ee, C. ). /o#land, T. G. <. Higham, 5. A. Harris, G. 6rock, A.
&uiles, 1. ). +ild, 1. 5. )arcus Y A. C. 5hortland, -/adiocarbon6ased 2hronolog$ Gor
!$nastic 1g$pt-, 5cience, F:A:, op. cit., p. ALL9.
8K@; Gor the recorded effects of some of these pests in a late anti*ue setting #ith a
bearing on the rise of Islam see !. 2h 5tathakopoulos, Gamine And Pestilence In The
3ate /oman And 1arl$ 6$Dantine 1mpire: A 5$stematic 5urve$ ?f 5ubsistence 2rises
And 1pidemics, F::K, 6irmingham 6$Dantine And ?ttoman )onographs: Iolume H,
Ashgate Publishing 3td: Hampshire.
1ven in our modern advanced technological era hundreds of millions of dollars are spent
on locust control due to the #idespread devastation plagues of locusts can cause. Ho#
much more so the impact thousands of $ears agoR Gor a rigorous scientific stud$ on
modern methods of locust control one can consult 5. 'rall, /. Peveling Y !. 6a !iallo
(1ds.), 7e# 5trategies In 3ocust 2ontrol, AHHE, 6irkh user Ierlag: 6asel (5#itDerland).
8KK; The plots are dra#n using the latest data given in 1. Hornung, /. 'rauss Y !. A.
+arburton, -2hronological Table Gor The !$nastic Period- in 1. Hornung, /. 'rauss Y !.
A. +arburton (1ds.), Ancient 1g$ptian 2hronolog$, F::9, op. cit., pp. KHFKHK. Also see
'. A. 'itchen, -The Historical 2hronolog$ ?f Ancient 1g$pt, A 2urrent Assessment- in ).
6ietak (1d.), The 5$nchronisation ?f 2ivilisations In The 1astern )editerranean In The
5econd )illennium 6.2., F:::, op. cit., pp. KAKK. The dating here ma$ be slightl$
different but it should not make an$ impact on our argument.
8KL; 1. Hornung, /. 'rauss Y !. A. +arburton, -2hronological Table Gor The !$nastic
Period- in 1. Hornung, /. 'rauss Y !. A. +arburton (1ds.), Ancient 1g$ptian
2hronolog$, F::9, op. cit., pp. KHFKHK% '. A. 'itchen, -The Historical 2hronolog$ ?f
Ancient 1g$pt, A 2urrent Assessment- in ). 6ietak (1d.), The 5$nchronisation ?f
2ivilisations In The 1astern )editerranean In The 5econd )illennium 6.2., F:::, op.
cit., pp. @HKA.
8K9; 1. Hornung, /. 'rauss Y !. A. +arburton, -2hronological Table Gor The !$nastic
Period- in 1. Hornung, /. 'rauss Y !. A. +arburton (1ds.), Ancient 1g$ptian
2hronolog$, F::9, op. cit., p. KHK% '. A. 'itchen, -The Historical 2hronolog$ ?f Ancient
1g$pt, A 2urrent Assessment- in ). 6ietak (1d.), The 5$nchronisation ?f 2ivilisations In
The 1astern )editerranean In The 5econd )illennium 6.2., F:::, op. cit., p. L:.
8KE; +. C. )urnane, -The 1arlier /eign ?f /amesses II And His 2oregenc$ +ith 5et$ I-,
Cournal ?f 7ear 1astern 5tudies, AHEL, Iolume @K, 7o. @, pp. AL@AH:% idem., Ancient
1g$ptian 2oregencies, AHEE, 5tudies In Ancient ?riental 2iviliDation 7o. K:, The
?riental Institute: 2hicago (I3), pp. LEBE% A. 5palinger, -Traces ?f The 1arl$ 2areer ?f
/amesses II-, Cournal ?f 7ear 1astern 5tudies, AHEH, Iolume @B, 7o. K, pp. FEAFB9.
8KB; '. A. 'itchen, -/amesses II- in !. 6. /edford (1d.), The ?4ford 1nc$clopedia of
Ancient 1g$pt, F::A, Iolume III, ?4ford =niversit$ Press: ?4ford (='), p. AA9.
8KH; !. P. 5ilverman,-!ivinities And !eities In Ancient 1g$pt- in 6. 1. 5hafer (1d.)
/eligion In Ancient 1g$pt: <ods )$ths, And Personal Practice, AHHA, /outledge:
3ondon, p. 9K.
8L:; Gor an e4haustive discussion please see 3. Habachi, Geatures ?f The !eification ?f
/amesses II, AH9H, Abhandlungen !es !eutschen Archa`logischen Instituts 'airo
ag$ptische /eihe Iolume L, Ierlag C. C. Augustin: <lZckstadt% idem., -'hat\Tna&ant]r:
Importance-, Annales !u 5ervice !es Anti*uitSs !e 3.Ig$pte, AHLK, Iolume LF, pp. KK@
LLH, Plates I[[[III. ?ther important #orks are <. /oeder, -/amses II Als <ott: 7ach
!en Hildesheimer !enksteinen Aus Horbet-, Ueitschrift GZr ag$ptische 5prache =nd
Altertumskunde, AHF9, Iolume 9A, pp. LE9E, Plates II and I% ). HamDa, -14cavations
?f The !epartment ?f Anti*uities At &ant]r (Ga*us !istrict) (5eason, )a$ FAst Cul$ Eth,
AHFB)-, Annales !u 5ervice !es Anti*uitSs !e 3.Ig$pte, AH@:, Iolume @:, pp. @A9B,
Plates III.
8LA; 3. Habachi, Geatures ?f The !eification ?f /amesses II, AH9H, op. cit., p. @F% <.
/oeder, -/amses II Als <ott: 7ach !en Hildesheimer !enksteinen Aus Horbet-,
Ueitschrift GZr ag$ptische 5prache =nd Altertumskunde, AHF9, op. cit., pp. 9F9@% 3.
Habachi, -'hat\Tna&ant]r: Importance-, Annales !u 5ervice !es Anti*uitSs !e 3.
Ig$pte, AHLK, op. cit., pp. L@EL@B.
8LF; Gor (a) see <. /oeder, -/amses II Als <ott: 7ach !en Hildesheimer !enksteinen
Aus Horbet-, Ueitschrift GZr ag$ptische 5prache =nd Altertumskunde, AHF9, op. cit.,
Tafel I(@)% 3. Habachi, Geatures ?f The !eification ?f /amesses II, AH9H, op. cit., p. @A%
Gor (b) see <. /oeder, -/amses II Als <ott: 7ach !en Hildesheimer !enksteinen Aus
Horbet-, Ueitschrift GZr ag$ptische 5prache =nd Altertumskunde, AHF9, op. cit., Tafel
I(K)% 3. Habachi, Geatures ?f The !eification ?f /amesses II, AH9H, op. cit., p. @A% Gor
(c) see 3. Habachi, -'hat\Tna&ant]r: Importance-, Annales !u 5ervice !es Anti*uitSs
!e 3.Ig$pte, AHLK, op. cit., p. LL:.
8L@; 3. Habachi, Geatures ?f The !eification ?f /amesses II, AH9H, op. cit., p. @A% <.
/oeder, -/amses II Als <ott: 7ach !en Hildesheimer !enksteinen Aus Horbet-,
Ueitschrift GZr ag$ptische 5prache =nd Altertumskunde, AHF9, op. cit., pp. 9F9@% 3.
Habachi, -'hat\Tna&ant]r: Importance-, Annales !u 5ervice !es Anti*uitSs !e 3.
Ig$pte, AHLK, op. cit., pp. L@HLK:.
8LK; 3. Habachi, Geatures ?f The !eification ?f /amesses II, AH9H, op. cit., Plate II(a).
8LL; H. Te Ielde, -2ommemoration In Ancient 1g$pt-, in H. <. 'ippenberg, 3. P. van den
6osch et al., Iisible /eligion: Annual Gor /eligious Iconograph$, AHBF, Iolume I
2ommemorative Gigures: Papers Presented To !r. Th. P. Ian 6aaren ?n The ?ccasion
?f His 5eventieth 6irthda$, )a$ A@, AHBF, 1. C. 6rill: 3eiden, p. A@9.
8L9; A. H. <ardiner, -The !elta /esidence ?f The /amessides-, Cournal ?f 1g$ptian
Archaeolog$, AHAB, op. cit. (Part III), p. ABE.
8LE; The inscription #as published in A. H. <ardiner, 3ate1g$ptian )iscellanies, AH@E,
6ibliotheca Aeg$ptiaca III, Idition de la Gondation Ig$ptologi*ue /eine Ilisabeth:
6ru4elles, p. AF% Translation #as done b$ /. A. 2aminos, 3ate1g$ptian )iscellanies,
AHLK, 6ro#n 1g$ptological 5tudies I, ?4ford =niversit$ Press: 3ondon, p. @E% Also see
A. H. <ardiner, -The !elta /esidence ?f The /amessides-, Cournal ?f 1g$ptian
Archaeolog$, AHAB, op. cit. (Part III), pp. ABEABB.
8LB; C. ). 2o#an (1d.), Hans+ehr !ictionar$ ?f )odern +ritten Arabic, AHB: (/eprint),
3ibrairie !u 3iban: 6eirut, p. K:B.
8LH; !. P. 5ilverman,-!ivinities And !eities In Ancient 1g$pt- in 6. 1. 5hafer (1d.)
/eligion In Ancient 1g$pt: <ods )$ths, And Personal Practice, AHHA, op. cit., p. 9F% Also
see '. A. 'itchen, Pharaoh Triumphant: The 3ife And Times ?f /amesses II, 'ing ?f
1g$pt, AHBF, )onumenta Hannah 5heen !edicata II, Aris Y Phillips 3td.: +arminster
(1ngland), pp. AEEAEB.
89:; '. A. 'itchen, Pharaoh Triumphant: The 3ife And Times ?f /amesses II, 'ing ?f
1g$pt, AHBF, op. cit., p. FFL.
89A; P. A. 2la$ton, 2hronicle ?f The Pharaohs: The /eign6$/eign /ecord ?f The
/ulers And !$nasties ?f Ancient 1g$pt, AHHK, Thames and Hudson 3td.: 3ondon (='),
pp. AL@ALK.
89F; '. A. 'itchen, Pharaoh Triumphant: The 3ife And Times ?f /amesses II, 'ing ?f
1g$pt, AHBF, op. cit., pp. F@KF@L. 14amples of stamps from various countries featuring
temples of Abu 5imbel, /amesses II and his *ueen 7efertari can be seen on p. F@9.
89@; ibid., p. F@9.
89K; 1. P. =phill, -Pithom And /aamses: Their 3ocation And 5ignificance-, Cournal ?f
7ear 1astern 5tudies, AH9B, Iolume FE, 7umber K, p. FHH.
89L; ). HamDa, -14cavations ?f The !epartment ?f Anti*uities At &ant]r (Ga*us !istrict)
(5eason, )a$ FAst Cul$ Eth, AHFB)-, Annales !u 5ervice !es Anti*uitSs !e 3.Ig$pte,
AH@:, op. cit., pp. @A9B, Plates III% 3. Habachi, -'hat\Tna&ant]r: Importance-, Annales
!u 5ervice !es Anti*uitSs !e 3.Ig$pte, AHLK, op. cit., pp. KK@LLH, Plates I[[[III.
899; 1. 6. Pusch Y A. Herold, -&antirMPi/amesses- in '. A. 6ard (1d.), 1nc$clopedia ?f
The Archaeolog$ ?f Ancient 1g$pt, AHHH, /outledge, Ta$lor Y Grancis 6ooks 3td: =',
pp. 9KE9KH% 1. 6. Pusch, -Piramesse- in !. 6. /edford (1d.), The ?4ford 1nc$clopedia
of Ancient 1g$pt, F::A, Iolume III, ?4ford =niversit$ Press: ?4ford (='), pp. KBL:.
89E; 1. P. =phill, -Pithom And /aamses: Their 3ocation And 5ignificance-, Cournal ?f
7ear 1astern 5tudies, AH9H, Iolume FB, 7umber A, p. @E. =phill records a ver$ useful
table allotting points to the above listed cities based on this concise list of nine attributes
re*uired for Pr/amesses as discerned from the primar$ and secondar$ sources.
89B; 1. P. =phill, The Temples ?f Per /amesses, AHBK, Aris Y Phillips, +arminster:
1ngland, p. A.
89H; 1. Pusch, -To#ards A )ap ?f Piramesse-, 1g$ptian Archaeolog$, AHHH, 7umber AK,
p. A@.
8E:; 1. 6. Pusch, -Piramesse- in !. 6. /edford (1d.), The ?4ford 1nc$clopedia of
Ancient 1g$pt, F::A, Iolume III, op. cit., p. L:.
8EA; 1. 6. Pusch Y A. Herold, -&antirMPi/amesses- in '. A. 6ard (1d.), 1nc$clopedia ?f
The Archaeolog$ ?f Ancient 1g$pt, AHHH, op. cit., p. 9KE.
8EF; 1. P. =phill, The Temples ?f Per /amesses, AHBK, op. cit., p. FFE. 7.6. The
comparative calculations made b$ =phill #ere based on the measurements of Pr
/amesses available to him at the time. As #e have observed, modern investigations
sho# the cit$ is no# considerabl$ larger than previousl$ imagined.
Perhaps due to the uncertaint$ surrounding the identification and e4act measurements,
some modern studies still maintain 7ineveh and subse*uentl$ 6ab$lon #ere the largest
cities in the ancient near east. Gor e4ample see, 2. <ates, Ancient 2ities: The
Archaeolog$ ?f =rban 3ife In The Ancient 7ear 1ast And 1g$pt, <reece, And /ome,
F::@, /outledge: ?4ford Y 7e# >ork, p. AEL.
8E@; 1. P. =phill, The Temples ?f Per /amesses, AHBK, op. cit., p. FFB.
8EK; 6. 6rier, 1g$ptian )ummies: =nraveling The 5ecrets ?f An Ancient Art, AHHK,
+illiam )orro# Y 2ompan$ Inc.: 7e# >ork: (=5A), pp. A:EA:B.
8EL; ). 6ucaille (Trans. A. !. Pannell Y ). 6ucaille), )ummies ?f The Pharaohs:
)odern )edical Investigations, AHH:, 5t. )artin.s Press: 7e# >ork, pp. vii44.
8E9; 5. Pain, -/amesses /ides Again-, 7e# 5cientist, F::K, Issue FKE@ (A@th
7ovember), p. LK.
8EE; -/amses II (/amses The <reat)-, in 6. 6rier, The 1nc$clopedia of )ummies, F::K,
5utton Publishing 3imited: <loucestershire (='), p. AL@.
8EB; ibid.
8EH; 1. Geldtkeller, 1). 3emmel, A. 5. /ussell, -Ank$losing 5pond$litis In The Pharaohs
?f Ancient 1g$pt-, /heumatolog$ International, F::@, Iolume F@, pp. AL.
8B:; ). 6ucaille, )oses And Pharaoh: The Hebre#s In 1g$pt, AHHL, 7TT )ediascope
Inc.: Tok$o (Capan), p. A:.
8BA; A. 2. Aufderheide Y 2. /odr ZgueD)art Zn, The 2ambridge 1nc$clopedia ?f
Human Paleopatholog$, AHHB. 2ambridge =niversit$ Press: =', pp. HEHH (!I5H) Y pp.
A:FA:K (Ank$losing 5pond$litis). 6efore a AHBA stud$ on 6ritish 5a4on and medieval
skeletons !I5H and ank$losing spond$litis #ere not separated 8ibid., p. HB;.
Paleopatholog$ is the stud$ of diseases in the remains of ancient peoples and animals.
8BF; /. '. 2hhem, P. 5chmit, 2. GaurS, -!id /amesses II /eall$ Have Ank$losing
5pond$litisV A /eappraisal-, 2anadian Association ?f /adiologists Cournal, F::K,
Iolume LL, 7o. K, pp. FAAFAE. Also see A. 5. /ussell, -Ank$losing 5pond$litis ?r !I5H
In Ancient )ummies-, 2anadian Association ?f /adiologists Cournal, F::K, Iolume LL,
7o. L, p. @@L% /. '. 2hhem, P. 5chmit, 2. GaurS, -Ank$losing 5pond$litis ?r !I5H:
/epl$-, 2anadian Association ?f /adiologists Cournal, F::K, Iolume LL, 7o. L, p. @@L%
5. Pain, -/amesses /ides Again-, 7e# 5cientist, F::K, op. cit., p. LK% C. 1. Adams Y 2.
+. Aslop, -Imaging In 1g$ptian )ummies- in !. A. /osalie (1d.), 1g$ptian )ummies And
)odern 5cience, F::B, 2ambridge =niversit$ Press, 7e# >ork, p. @B.
7. 6. Gor the latest facial reconstruction of /amesses II face using a three dimensional
computer model see 2. ). +ilkinson, -The Gacial /econstruction ?f Ancient 1g$ptians-
in !. A. /osalie (1d.), 1g$ptian )ummies And )odern 5cience, F::B, op. cit., pp. AE:
AEA.
8B@; 5ta$ing active and getting regular e4ercise are amongst the best #a$s of managing
the s$mptoms of diffuse idiopathic skeletal h$perostosis (!I5H). A recent stud$ suggests
that the people suffering from !I5H sho# improvement #ith e4ercise therap$. 5ee the
stud$ b$ A. AlHerD, C. 5nip, 6. 2larke, C. 1sdaile, -14ercise Therap$ Gor Patients +ith
!iffuse Idiopathic 5keletal H$perostosis-, 2linical /heumatolog$, F::B, Iolume FE, 7o.
F, pp. F:EFA:.
8BK; 1. +. 3ane, An Arabic1nglish 3e4icon, AH9B, Part @, 3ibrairie !u 3iban: 6eirut,
AFEHAFB:.
8BL; ibid., p. AFB:.
8B9; Gor detailed discussion of Heb5ed festival see H. Grankfort, 'ingship And The
<ods: A 5tud$ ?f Ancient 7ear 1astern /eligion As The Integration ?f 5ociet$ And
7ature, AHEB, =niversit$ of 2hicago Press: 2hicago (I3), pp. EHBB.
8BE; ). Hamidullah (Trans. A. /. )omin), -The 7ame ?f The Pharaoh +ho !ied 6$
!ro#ning-, Islamic And The )odern Age, AHBA (August), pp. ALAA9:.
8BB; 3. Gatoohi Y 5. Al!argaDelli, Histor$ Testifies To The Infallibilit$ ?f The &ur.an:
1arl$ Histor$ ?f 2hildren ?f Israel, AHHH, Adam Publishers Y !istributors: !elhi (India),
pp. HKALL.
6ack To /efutation ?f 14ternal 2ontradictions In The &ur.an