[Chapter One: Solomon and Shoshenq]

 

Chapter Two: Joseph and Thutmosis IV

 

With but one firm support for our timeline at 945 BC in the reign of Solomon, we are in immediate need of another. The most obvious place to look for this point of alignment would be in the person of Joseph, that larger than life figure who rose to the position of "governor" of all Egypt.

There are two timelines mentioned in the bible, the 480-year period from the Exodus to the beginning of Solomon's temple, and a second, 430-year period, from the entry of "Israel" into Egypt until the Exodus. Both of these periods involve points at which Hebrew history intersects that of the Egyptians. It is not yet readily apparent, but these two sequences, when adjusted for the 6-month "year" indicated by the 120-year lifespans of the characters that inhabit it, is so precise that the author or authors must have had direct access to the Egyptian archives, something that would have been especially true of the scribes who lived and worked at the centers of political and religious learning.

We already suspect that the Exodus occurred in 1185 BC by the accepted chronology. Driving our chronological chariot back another 215 years (half of 430) into the past takes us to the year 1400 BC, which is extraordinary in that it brings us face to face with the author of The Hebrew Pharaohs of Egypt, Ahmed Osman, and his well documented contention that Joseph, or Zaphnath-Paaneah, was one and the same person as Yuya, who became chief of the chariot corps under Amenhotep III. I will not reproduce Osman's work here—it stands on its own—but I will highlight its more interesting points vis-ΰ-vis the current investigation.

According to Osman, Joseph became vizier under Thutmosis IV, sometimes known as the Dreamer, and his daughter married the next king, Amenhotep III, and became his queen. Akhenaton (Akhnaton), the great monotheist and, in the estimation of Sigmund Freud, the forerunner of Moses, was therefore the grandson of Joseph, explaining to a large extent the sudden adoption of a monotheistic system by a member of the Egyptian royal house.

As Osman points out, chariots play an important role in the later story of Joseph, and there is little evidence of widespread chariot warfare in the area before the 18th Dynasty of the New Kingdom. He even suggests that Yuya was the first to hold the position of "Adjutant of ... the Chariotry," as vizier of Amenhotep III. There is also the matter of slavery, into which Joseph was supposedly sold by his brothers. Slaves only began to appear in the 18th Dynasty, and the practice lasted through the 22nd. Otherwise, only various forms of "bondage" existed. Further, Osman identifies the prison in which Joseph was held, the bet-hassohar, with the fortress of Zaru that he also identifies with the cities of Avaris, the stronghold of the Hyksos of the earlier 2nd Intermediate Period, and Pi-Ramses, one of the store cities where the Hebrews later toiled sometime before the Exodus.

Osman goes on to identify Joseph's position "over all the land of Egypt," i.e., over misrim, the "two Egypts," Upper and Lower, with a period in Egyptian history when north and south were united, again ruling out the earlier Hyksos period. It has been pointed out by some that Yuya never actually held the position of governor of Egypt as described in the bible and use this argument to try to disprove his identity with Joseph. Christine El Mahdy, however, in her Tutankhamen, lists the following positions held by Yuya:

"The Hereditary Prince, Courtier, Sole companion, praised of the Good God (the King), confidant of the King, beloved of the lord of the Two Lands, Overseer of the Cattle of Min, Master of the Royal Horses, King's Lieutenant of chariotry, High Priest of Min at Akhmim, the Father of the God ...."

Osman's original suspicion that Yuya was Joseph resulted from an expression similar to this term "Father of the God" found in Genesis, where Joseph says to his brothers, "So now it was not you who sent me hither, but God; and He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house ...." Further, the term "bow the knee" (abrech) points to the New Kingdom. And then there is the matter of Joseph's name itself, both its Egyptian form and the apparently compound Hebrew form.

Chronological Alignment of Joseph and His Relations with the
Kings of the 18th Dynasty

Elapsed Years of Israel in Egypt

Event

Year BC

     
 

18th Dynasty begins. Ahmose I becomes king at Thebes

1549

 

Birth of Abraham

1545

 

Ahmose defeats Hyksos

1534

  Typhon approaches earth 1526
 

Thutmosis I becomes king

1505

 

Abraham enters Egypt

1504

 

Birth of Isaac

1495

 

Thutmose III becomes king

1484

 

Birth of Jacob

1465

 

Abraham dies

1458

 

Amenhotep II becomes king

1430

 

Birth of Joseph

1420

 

Joseph "sold" to Potiphar at age 8½

1412

 

Joseph imprisoned

1406

 

Thutmosis IV (The Dreamer) becomes king. Joseph freed, becomes governor of Egypt at age 15. "Fat years" begin

1405

 

Birth of Queen Tiy

1404

 

Typhon approaches earth. "Virgin" birth of Amenhotep III (Manasseh?). Final collapse of Thera. Destruction of Troy VI by earthquake.

1403

 

Birth of Ephraim. "Fat years" end. Famine begins in Egypt

1402

0

Jacob (Yaqaru/Yi/"Israel") leaves throne of Ugarit, moves to Heliopolis with 70 relatives [Josephus] at age 65

1400

2

Famine ends

1398

4

Amenhotep III becomes king at age 7, marries Tiy, who is 8

1396

8

Jacob dies at age 73

1392

  Birth of Akhenaton ca 1386

35

Joseph (Zaphnath-Paaneah/Psothom Phanech, "Revealer of Secrets" [Josephus]) dies at age 55 in 31st year of Amenhotep III [Desroches-Noblecourt]. Ay/Ephraim becomes Egyptian governor of Canaan

1365

42

Akhenaton, grandson of Joseph, becomes king

1358

47 Nefertiti, granddaughter of Joseph, becomes co-ruler of Egypt 1353

 

Labayu rules at Shechem, Abdi-Heba at Jerusalem, both under Ay/Ephraim

Amarna Period

59

Akhenaton dies, Nefertiti becomes regent for Tutankhamun

1341

62 Tutankhamun becomes king 1338
71 Tut dies. Ay/Ephraim becomes king of Egypt 1329
75 Ephraim dies. Horemhab becomes king 1325

99

Horemhab dies. 18th Dynasty ends. 19th Dynasty begins. Ramses I, grandson of Nefertiti and Akhenaton, becomes king

1301

119 Typhon approaches earth. Battle of Kadesh 1281
     

 This is the point where Osman attempts to go past mere synchronisms and similarities to an exact identification of the theological Joseph/Zaphnath-Paaneah with the historical Yuya. The syllables of the Egyptian Seph-net-pana neh mean, sequentially, "time," "god," and, the last two, "may he live." If "Yuya" is a version of the divine name, as Osman suggests, quoting Cyrus Gordon, then, going beyond Osman, we may be justified in suspecting that "Jo-seph" is a translingual compound of "YHVH" and "time" or, literally, "time of God." The naked Egyptian form, Yuya, would therefore point to an individual whose name, at least in common usage, was actually YHVH. One could spin all manner of theories out of the thread provided by this name (as we shall do in Chapter 12), but the important point is that it places someone with an Egyptian-style theophoric name based on his own Hebrew God, in place of one of the normal Egyptian gods, in the land of the pharaohs at a time not inconsistent with the scale of our newly minted timeline that runs for 455 years from the entry of Israel into Egypt to the building of the First Temple by King Solomon. If this chronology was truly based on Egyptian records available to Hebrew scribes at the time of Solomon, we can conclude that Israel, whomever or whatever that really represents, entered Egypt in the year 1400 BC, with the single caveat that the accuracy of this date depends upon the accuracy of the received dating of the reign of King Shoshenq I.

Osman goes on to make other comparisons between the story of Joseph and the time of Yuya, which we will dispense with here. I will just say that they are numerous and that I, for one, find them convincing. The reader may decide for himself whether he or she, too, finds them so.

Tentative Genealogy of the House of Abraham

The basis of my primary argument in this work is that the biblical timeline has been multiplied by a factor of two across an almost 800-year period ending after the construction of Solomon's Temple in 945 BC. Whether accidentally or intentionally, the 240-year period from the Exodus to the Temple and the 215-year period from the entry of Jacob into Egypt until the Exodus have therefore been doubled, so that the biblical figures became 430 and 480 years respectively. Using this heretofore unrecognized mechanism, it was possible to reconstruct with an error of less than a single year from biblical ages and periods alone what year Joseph was born, what year Jacob was born, when the two died and at what ages, when Joseph was sold into slavery and at what age, and, most importantly, when he became a high official of Egypt under Thutmosis IV. This date works out to 1405 BC, five years before Jacob entered the country in 1400 during the 3½-year period of famine that began is 1402 BC, and 220 years before the Exodus under Moses, Miriam, and Aaron, whose Egyptian identities will be discussed in the next chapter. This data was extracted in the following manner.

We have already determined that Jacob entered Egypt in the year 1400 BC, 215 years before the Exodus in 1185. We know that he was 65 years old when he did so and that he was 73 when he died, so he must have died within a year of 1392. Furthermore, we know that Joseph was 15 when he became vizier and that he was born when Jacob was 45 because Jacob came to Egypt 4½ years after Joseph became vizier, there having been 3½ years of plenty and one of famine when he arrived. Therefore, Joseph was born in 1420 BC and became governor of Egypt in 1405.

The problem with the alignment of Joseph with Thutmosis IV is that the latter only ruled for about 9 years. Manetho has nine years and eight months. One would suspect that the prediction of seven (6-month-) years of plenty and seven of scarcity would apply to his reign, since it was he who had the dream that Joseph interpreted. So, on this basis alone, it already looks like Thutmosis took the throne in 1405 rather than the 1414 of the standard chronology, since the famine didn't end until 1398 BC, seven (real) years after Joseph explained the king's dream. But more importantly, almost immediately upon taking the throne, the successor of Thutmosis, Amenhotep III (the father of Akhenaton), married Joseph's daughter, who thus became Queen Tiy, at the modest age of eight years, according to unspecified sources available to Ahmed Osman. If Tiy had been conceived in 1405, immediately after Joseph married the daughter of the priest of Heliopolis, and was born in 1404, she would have had just enough time to mature to the age of eight by 1396 BC, the first year of Amenhotep III. Amenhotep was already married to Tiy in the second year of his reign according to a scarab commemorating a "wild cattle hunt." And finally, Osman quotes Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt of the Louvre to the effect that Yuya died in the year 1374 or 1373, the 31st year of Amenhotep III by the standard chronology. 1374 is precisely nine years off from the death of Joseph in 1365 BC by the current reconstruction. So we can now see that there are three concurrent historical indications that Thutmosis IV began his reign in 1405 and ended it in 1396.

There is actually a fourth indication that Amenhotep III took the throne very near the year 1396 BC and was therefore born near the year 1403. As we shall see in Chapter Eight, the famine that serves as a background to the story of Joseph was a very real natural phenomenon and that famine was produced by the same event that triggered the final eruption of the volcano on the island of Thera. That event was the passing of a massive comet-like object that closely approached the earth on a regular basis and the recurring approach of that object was used in the ancient world to mark the return of what, as we have already seen, Godfrey Higgins called "the renewed incarnations of the Χρης." The famine began in the year 1402, so that the near approach of the comet must have been in that year or sometime after the growing season of the previous one of 1403. It is in "The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ" in Gerald Massey's Lectures, first published as a collection in 1900, that we can see just how closely Amenhotep III followed the pattern of a later member of that series of avatars whose birth was also marked by the appearance of an unusual "star." Massey calls Amenhotep "Amenhept III" and places him for some reason in the interregnal 17th Dynasty rather than the correct 18th:

The mythical Messiah was always born of a Virgin Mother—a factor unknown in natural phenomena, and one that cannot be historical, one that can only be explained by means of the Mythos, and those conditions of primitive sociology which are mirrored in mythology and preserved in theology. The virgin mother has been represented in Egypt by the maiden Queen, Mut-em-ua, the future mother of Amenhept III, some 16 centuries B.C., who impersonated the eternal virgin that produced the eternal child.

Four consecutive scenes reproduced in my book are found portrayed upon the innermost walls of the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Luxor, which was built by Amenhept III, a Pharaoh of the 17th dynasty. The first scene on the left hand shows the God Taht, the Lunar Mercury, the Annunciator of the Gods, in the act of hailing the Virgin Queen, and announcing to her that she is to give birth to the coming Son. In the next scene the God Kneph (in conjunction with Hathor) gives the new life. This is the Holy Ghost or Spirit that causes the Immaculate Conception, Kneph being the spirit by name in Egyptian. The natural effects are made apparent in the virgin's swelling form.

Next the mother is seated on the mid-wife's stool, and the newborn child is supported in the hands of one of the nurses. The fourth scene is that of the Adoration. Here the child is enthroned, receiving homage from the Gods and gifts from men. Behind the deity Kneph, on the right, three spirits—the Three Magi, or Kings of the Legend, are kneeling and offering presents with their right hand, and life with their left. The child thus announced, incarnated, born, and worshipped, was the Pharaonic representative of the Aten Sun in Egypt, the God Adon of Syria, and Hebrew Adonai; the child-Christ of the Aten Cult; the miraculous conception of the ever-virgin mother, personated by Mut-em-ua, as mother of the "only one," and representative of the divine mother of the youthful Sun-God.

Amenhotep III was of course the father of Akhnaton, the great proponent of that very same "Aten Cult" and founder of the new, and short-lived, capital of Akhetaton.

Returning to Yuya, his father is supposedly known, and his name is supposed to have been Yey. As Osman says in The Hebrew Pharaohs of Egypt, "...it is also thought that the name of Joseph's father was at one time Y/ and was expanded later, sometimes to Jacob, sometimes to Israel (Yisra-el)." But what those advocates of the theory that Yuya's father was Yey, who bring it forth in an attempt to prove that Yuya was not Joseph, fail to mention is that there is no direct evidence whatsoever that this person Yey was the father of anyone, let alone Yuya. The only known connection between the two is that they held the same appointed position under the king of Egypt. Though there are recorded cases in the Egyptian system where sons inherited the positions of their fathers, this argument is no more valid on the face of it than the suggestion that John Adams might have been the son of George Washington and that Thomas Jefferson could have been his grandson because they held the position of president of the United States sequentially.

As a former king of Ugarit, a proposition I will defend in Chapter Five, it would not have been unusual for Jacob/Yaqaru to have had twelve sons by four different women, but are we justified in distinguishing this tale of tribal origins from other apparently legendary material found in the bible? And is it even possible to take seriously the notion that the son of a nearby king could be sold into slavery in another kingdom without someone noticing and bringing the matter to the attention of the authorities? Furthermore, another anomaly presents itself in the fact that among all the twelve tribes, only Joseph's is named after his son, whereas the others are named after his brothers. The appearance is of an editor's dilemma—how to integrate the belief that Jacob was the forebear of the twelve tribes with the knowledge that he was the father of the non-eponymous Joseph. This appearance is reinforced by the absence of Joseph's Egyptian descendants from the biblical record, including the great monotheist and pacifist, Akhnaton (Amenhotep IV), who allowed the Habiru to overrun Egyptian holdings in Canaan. We must begin to suspect that the eleven "sons" beside Joseph were actually governors of outlying towns of the Ugaritic kingdom, whether children of his or not, and that Joseph's presence in Egypt was planned in advance, as the presence of Jacob's father Isaac (see Chapter Five) at Heliopolis or On, the center of Egyptian sun worship, must have been entirely intentional, though perhaps at the behest of Thutmosis III rather than Abraham. It is even possible that the term "father of the God" or "father to Pharaoh" hides an even deeper connection between the two royal houses, for the year 1403, when Amenhotep III was born, is very possibly the exact year when Manasseh was born to Joseph, especially if Joseph's first child was a daughter born in 1404. This begs the question whether Mut-em-ua was actually impregnated by Joseph and not by Thutmosis IV. Josephus goes out of his way to point out that Asenath was a virgin, though one would expect that this would have been understood of an unmarried daughter of a Heliopolitan priest. The subtext is that Manasseh married his half-sister Princess Sitamun, the daughter of Thutmosis IV, thus making him king of Egypt, then married his other half-sister Tiy early in his reign, for what reason remains unknown. The latter is obviously conjecture, and does not materially affect the theory that Yuya was Joseph, though it does place the relations between the Hebrews from Syria and the royal house of Egypt on a much more personal level.

Also, there is a parallel between Potiphar, the captain of the guard to whom Joseph was supposedly sold by the Ishmaelites, and Potiphera, the father of his wife Asenath and a priest of On, the same city where Isaac was a priest and where Abraham supposedly allowed his wife to marry the king of Egypt. The implication is that these are two refractions of the same story and that Joseph was not enslaved so much as apprenticed at the age of eight to the priests at Heliopolis.

In 2010, Zahi Hawass, at the time the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, announced the results of DNA analysis of the family of Tutankhamun conducted in connection with the Family of Tutankhamun Project. None of the results of that analysis contradicts any of the conclusions of the current reconstruction, including the determination, again by DNA analysis, that Yuya was related to Amenhotep III. The common explanation of that genetic relationship is that Yuya was the uncle of Amenhotep. Clearly, one would expect an uncle of the Sun King to have DNA similar to that of his father, so that this suggestion does not contradict my own conclusion that Yuya was the father of Amenhotep, a relationship apparently covered up by the Egyptian priesthood with the notion that Amenhotep III was virgin born, a story reminiscent of the birth of the son of the Christian Joseph, whose historical prototype begins to look more and more like this very same son of another Jacob, at least according to the genealogy in Matthew. The project also identified the so-called Younger Lady (or Younger Woman) of tomb KV 35, that of Amenhotep II in the Valley of the Kings, as the mother of Tutankhamun, a woman who, according to Hawass, remains unidentified. Despite Hawass, Joann Fletcher identified her as early as 2004 in The Search for Nefertiti as the wife of Akhenaton, Queen Nefertiti herself.

A good deal of the confusion in identifying the kings of Manetho's 18th Dynasty with those recognized by the archaeologists resulted from the continual process of name changing engaged in by Nefertiti as her position among the rulers of Egypt evolved over the years. The following is extracted from Fletcher (2004):

Evolution of the Name of Nefertiti

Year BC* Name† "Beloved of Akhenaton"
     
Before 1358 Nefertiti  
1358–1353 Neferneferuaten Nefertiti Yes
1353–1341 Ankhkheperura Neferneferuaten Yes
1341–1338 Ankhkheperura Smenkhkara Yes
     
 *According to the current reconstruction.  †After Fletcher (2004).

The following is a reconstruction of the 18th Dynasty based on the data extracted in the current chapter.

Comparison of Manetho's 18th Dynasty with Modern Values

Manetho's Order

Manetho's Name2

Reign2
yrs;mths

Modern Estimate
yrs

Absolute Dates
—provisional

Modern Name

Modern Order
1 Tethmosis 25;4 24 1549–1525 Ahmose 1
3 Amenophis 20;7 20 1525–1505 Amenhotep I 2
2 Chebron (Pharethothes) 13 13 1505–1492 Thutmosis I 3
5 Memphres 12;9 8 1492–1484 Thutmosis II 4
— — — 1 1484–1483 Thutmosis III —
4 Amesses ("his sister")1 21;9 21 1483–14623 Hatshepsut 5
6 Mephramouthosis 25;10 32 1462–1430 Thutmosis III 6
8 Amenophis 30;10 25 1430–1405 Amenhotep II 7
7 Tethmosis 9;8 9 1405–1396 Thutmosis IV 8
9 Orus 36;5 38 1396–1358 Amenhotep III (husband of Tiy) 9
11 Rathotis
("her [Acenchres's] brother")
9 17 1358-1341 Akhenaton 10
10 Acenchres
("his [Orus's] daughter")
12;1 — 1353–13414 Nefertiti (Ankhkheperura
 Neferneferuaten)
—
3 1341–1338 Ankhkheperura Smenkhkara
(Nefertiti again)
11
13 Acencheres II 12;3 9 1338–1329 Nebkheprure Tutankhamun 12
12 Acencheres I 12;5 4 1329–1325 Kheperkheprure Ay (broth. of Tiy) 13
14 Armais 4;1 24 1325–1301 Horemhab 14
TOTAL: 14 kings 246 248 1549–1301 15 kings  
 RED: Error in the order of Manetho.  1Orange: Female pharaoh. Quotations are from Josephus.  2From Josephus.  3Wholly within the reign of Thutmosis III.  4Wholly within the reign of Akhnaton.

We are now in a position to hazard a guess as to why Manetho's 18th Dynasty is so out of order in relation to the modern scheme. In this regard, we may be justified in suspecting that his source text was arranged in a manner approximating the following table, where the kings are arranged in two columns, and some of them were allotted more text than others. The numbers indicate their positions in the chronology as reconstructed by modern scholarship, whereas the arrows represent the order of Manetho. The reader will note the similarity to the table in Chapter 13, where a similar misalignment occurred in the arrangement of a number of entire dynasties:

The Source of the Misalignment of Manetho's 18th Dynasty

 

[Chapter Three: Children of Merneptah—Moses, Miriam, and Seti II]

 

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