Who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus?

I grew up watching The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston as Moses. It was on TV every Easter. As a kid, I wondered why they showed this movie every Easter, since it had nothing to do with Easter. I didn’t know much about the Bible at that point, and so I didn’t realize that the Passover, which was instituted during the events in Exodus, was a picture of salvation through Jesus Christ, who would become our Passover Lamb over 1400 years after the first Passover.

While studying for my last post about the chronology of the world, I did a little research into ancient Egypt around the time of Joseph and Moses. I found something interesting, which I saw before, but I wasn’t sure if I had ever said anything here about it, so here goes. Egyptologists have determined the dates for each Dynasty and each Pharaoh in Egypt. I don’t know the methods they used, and so I can’t vouch for their reliability, but after seeing what I’ve gathered, you have to admit it seems pretty compelling.

According to my timeline (see my last post), Joseph came to Egypt in 1898 BC. According to Egyptologists, that means he came to Egypt during the reign of Amenemhat II. The Pharaoh who had the dream about the 14 cows was his son Senusret II. He died right after the seven years of plenty in 1878 BC. Two years later, Jacob moved his family (i.e. the Hebrew nation) to Egypt in 1876 when Senusret III was Pharaoh. There were six complete dynasties of Pharaohs that ruled in between Jacob’s arrival and Moses’ birth.

We now fast-forward through the 350 years from Jacob’s arrival in Egypt to Moses’ birth. The Pharaoh when Moses was born in 1526 was Ahmose I (this is the Pharaoh who killed the babies). He died when Moses was two years old. His son Amenotep I ruled for 21 years, and then Thutmose I ruled for the next ten years. He was succeeded by Thutmose II, who was Pharaoh for 7 years before Moses left Egypt for Midian at age 40.
Thutmose II was Pharaoh for seven more years, and then his son Thutmose III became Pharaoh in 1479. He ruled for 33 years before Moses came back in 1446. He ruled until 1425 , which was 21 years after the Exodus.

Cecil B. DeMille would have you believe that Rameses I was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. There are other theories and other dating methods, and it may not be possible this side of heaven to know for sure who the Pharaoh of the Exodus was. But one piece of information makes me think it was probably Thutmose III. Sources state that Thutmose III’s son Amenemhat was the crown prince, the heir apparent, the next Pharaoh in line. However, he died sometime between the 24th and 35th years of the reign of Thutmose III (that is, sometime from 1455-1444), and his half-brother Amenhotep II became pharaoh. Since the Exodus happened in 1446, this accounts for why Amenemhat died between 1455-1444. Therefore, it seems pretty clear to me that Amenemhat was probably the son of Pharaoh that died in the 10th plague as stated in Exodus 12:29.

I did all this research, and then found out that others have done the same research and came to the same conclusion: Thutmose III was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. I’ll have to ask Moses when I get to heaven, but for now, I’m pretty sure.

Thutmose III, a man who defied God, and lost, as all men do who defy God.

Thutmose III, a man who defied God, and lost, as all men do who defy God.


About Steve Picray

I am a conservative Baptist Pastor in the midwestern United States. Every day I commit my life to Jesus Christ. This blog is my view on life. My prayer is that, by reading what I write, you will learn more about me, more about God, and be assisted in becoming the person God means for you to be. If you have a question, just e-mail me at spicray AT gmail DOT com. God Bless!
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9 Responses to Who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus?

  1. Are you talking about Robert (Bob) Thutmose III? The guy who does the detailing down at the Ford dealership? Wow! I never knew! (;-D)

    Something that I “learned” from someone who knew it is that the years back in the day weren’t counted by any absolute chronology (such as now) but by the beginning and end (length) of the reigns of the various kings. And if a kingdom was divided into sub kingdoms (like upper and lower or some such) then you could have two kings at the same time – which would make a hash of any attempt to determine the linear passage of time. (As in: “the 2nd year of King Bob” and the 8th year of King Gary” – these time periods would not be additive if the kingdoms of Bob and Gary overlapped due to their specific individual satrapy, yet they would both be “king” of the country.)

    • Steve Picray says:

      Yes, and Thutmose III ruled at the same time as his stepmother Hatshepsut until her death in 1458 BC, but I believe they counted his reign as beginning in 1479. At least Wikipedia says so, and that’s good enough for me. 🙂

  2. Bobod says:

    There was a Pharaoh, and there was an Exodus, but it had nothing to do with Egypt. Some facts for you:
    1)Ancient Egyptians called their Kings ‘Seneptre’. The word ‘Pharaoh’ never existed in Ancient Egypt.
    2)Ancient Egyptians called their country ‘Khmet’. The word ‘Mizraim’ never existed in Ancient Egypt.
    3)There was NO SLAVERY in Ancient Egypt.
    4)Egypt then, and indeed now, was/is a flat country, with no mountain ranges for people to go up.
    5)NO Ancient Egyptians records make any mention whatsoever of people called ‘Israelites’, of an ‘Exodus’ etc.

    However in what is today Saudi Arabia, a mountainous desert region, and one that still has slavery today, there is a province that was historically called ‘Mizraim’. The local ARABIC(ie. NOT Ancient Egyptian) word for a district ruler is ‘Faraon’. The tribal Arabic society would launch raids on other Semitic tribes, including into the lands of the Ishmaelites, the lands of the Amalekites, and a tribe from what is modern-day Yemen called the ‘Habiru’. Each Faraon would appoint from among his slaves, a “go-to” guy whose job it was to keep the other slaves in line, and report to the Faraon. This ‘representative of the slaves’ was called a ‘mossa’.

    When leaving “Pharaoh’s” land the Israelites are said to pass through mountains, which don’t exist in Egypt. They mention being attacked by the Amalekites, an Arabic tribe from modern-day Saudi Arabia, who never set foot near Palestine. The Israelites mention regions that they pass through, all of which are unheard of in Ancient Egypt and Palestine, but correspond amazingly closely to the historic place names of districts in western Saudi Arabia.

    • Steve Picray says:

      Well this is a new one for me. I guess there’s a belief of every kind out there, but obviously I disagree with you. I am not an Egyptologist, but from what I can gather, here are the facts:
      1. Egyptians called their ruler “Pharaoh” starting with Thutmose III in the second intermediate period. I don’t know what they called him before that, since all the sources I can find don’t say. Regardless of what the Egyptians called their ruler, the Hebrews called him “pharaoh.” And the Bible was written in Hebrew.
      2. The Hebrew/Aramaic word “Mizraim” does indeed refer to Egypt. You are correct that the ancient Egyptians referred to themselves as “Khmet” but the Bible was not written in Egyptian, it was written in Hebrew. The Babylonians referred to Egypt as Musur. Modern (Arabic) Egyptians refer to their country as “Misr”
      3. Funny that you make this claim, when there was slavery EVERYWHERE in the ancient world. Part of the problem here is that there is some question as to whether these were slaves in the modern sense of “a piece of property viewed as less than human” or as more of a “permanent servant” who had rights and was viewed as human. I believe in the latter.
      4. You say there are no mountains in Egypt. This point is the easiest one to refute. The Biblical account of the Exodus has the people of Israel crossing the Red Sea, therefore leaving Egypt proper and entering the Sinai peninsula, where there are mountains in abundance. There ARE mountains in Egypt proper (west of the Gulf of Suez). Just check out this map or look at the monastery of St Paul, which is west of the gulf of Suez as well. Even with all this, the first “mountain” mentioned in regards to the Exodus is Sinai, which is in the Sinai peninsula. And if you don’t think there are mountains in the Sinai, you are crazy.
      5. Ancient peoples very often removed references to people or events that were embarassing or defeats. I’m not saying that’s what happened, but we have an ancient document that speaks directly of these events in an ancient language that scholars can easily understand. It’s called “the Bible” and the language is “Hebrew.”

      As far as the rest of your comment, yes, the Arabic word for ruler is very similar to the Hebrew word since they are both Semitic languages. Funny that you use the word “Palestine” which is a modern word and has no place when discussing events of ancient Israel, unless you are referring to its parent word “Philista.”

      In short, you’re wrong.

  3. Steve says:

    Hi, thanks for your article. Where did you find the info that Amenemhat died between the 24th and 35th years of his father?

    • Steve Picray says:

      I think I probably got it from Wikipedia, which referenced a book on Egyptology which I don’t have access to. Since this is a blog post and not a scholarly paper, I’m ok with that standard.

      • Steve says:

        Yeah for sure. I just couldn’t find the reference anywhere on wikipedia and wondered if you knew where you had seen it. Thanks.

  4. Steve Pratte says:

    Good post and good defense against “bobod.” On another matter, you say you are a nurse. Then the following will make sense to you of “how the blood of Christ was preserved divine, pure and Holy.” When God created the angels and Adam and Eve, He foreknew they would sin. Yet God still created woman and designed her to be the instrument to procreate to bring humans into the world and His Own Son. When the Holy Spirit fertilized the egg (seed) of the virgin Mary a wonderful thing started to form in her womb. The cells start to split and divide and the placenta begins to form to be the organs outside the developing child. The placenta performs three basic functions: First, it nourishes the developing baby with nourishment from what the mother takes in, it passes through the placenta to the child. Second, the waste generated from the child passes through the placenta and exit through the mother’s normal waste stream. Third, the placenta provides protection by preventing bacteria from reaching the child (if the mother would get sick, the child would also get sick), but the most important protection is to prevent the blood of the mother from mixing or coming into contact with the child due to different blood types. In our fallen case, we would die if that were allowed and in Jesus’s case as well but it was also the means to keep His Blood Holy and Divine, Thus, the blood of God was shed by the stripes and on the Cross. Also, the father determines the gender of the offspring as well, thus, Jesus was a male. In Acts 17:26 the Holy Spirit says: “And He has made from one blood every nation men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.” Jesus came in our “likeness” (Philippians 2:7) “likeness” in the Greek as “homoiōma”:
    1. that which has been made after the likeness of something
    1. a figure, image, likeness, representation
    2. likeness i.e. resemblance, such as amounts almost to equality or identity
    Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)
    ὁμοίωμα homoíōma, hom-oy’-o-mah; from G3666; a form; abstractly, resemblance:—made like to, likeness, shape, similitude.

    “Likeness” does not mean “sameness” or homo as all humanity.
    With all this in mind, we see and understand how and why the man Jesus can lay claim to being the Messiah and Son of God and the things he did and performed while on earth seen by the disciples gave their lives for the Truth. All religions, Jesus excluded by saying: “I AM the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through ME.” Satan as a father has his offspring in our generation today doing his work for him and perverting the truth with their unwilling hearts. I too am a Christian and a deacon in the body of Christ and like you am working on a chart of human history as well. I have been in the nuclear field for over 35 years. I also find Peter’s comment about the “elements” burning for that is exactly what nuclear plants do to generate heat and I find that amazing because how did a simple fisherman know of “elements?” It had to be the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit!

    Please note: When I asked four pastors here in Dothan, Alabama “why was the blood of Jesus was holy?” they all gave the same response; “because He is the Son of God.” I told them that I already knew that by how was it preserved Holy? When I explained it to them it was as a light went off in their head and it made sense. Now I can sing “Power in the Blood” with understanding!

    Love, Grace and Peace,
    Steve Pratte

  5. Steve Pratte says:

    I want to followup with my comment that I just made on “likeness” for clarity reasons. Jesus the God/man experienced every thing that all humans experience in life with only one exception only-He was not conceived in sin nor did he have a sin nature as fallen man. Other than that, Jesus experienced hunger, thirst, loneliness, physical pain and all the other things, even death that every human face and experience. Being the very Son of God he experienced separation from even his Father and had to be strengthened by an angel in the garden to carry out and complete the mission he was sent on for all humanity. Because Jesus rose from that grave, we too will rise and live eternally with Him who is our High Priest who never dies and King of Kings who rules all things. All the collective knowledge of every human who has ever lived or will live pales in comparison to the Wisdom of God!

    Love, Grace and Peace
    Steve Pratte

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