THE EXODUS EVIDENCES
In our last newsletter, we examined the route taken by Moses and the great multitude as they fled Egypt. We will now examine the evidences which tell us exactly who were the Egyptian royalties involved and the approximate date the Exodus occurred. This is a subject that gets quite involved and we will only be able to present a bare frame of reference in this publication. Bear with us, as we will attempt to present a large amount of information in a short space.
THE CHARIOT WHEELS
We will begin with the chariot wheels that Ron and the boys found in the Gulf of Aqaba. In 1978, on their first dive at the site, they found these chariot remains. Like Noah’s Ark, these were not in perfect condition and required careful examination to see exactly what they were. They were covered in coral, which made it difficult to see them clearly, but it appears that the coral was the agent the Lord used to preserve them.
They found numerous wheels- some were still on their axles, and some were off.
They found chariot cabs without the wheels, also:
- “…in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily…”
So far, this coincided with the Biblical account. They found several 6-spoked wheels, as well as an 8-spoked wheel. And finally, in 1988, Ron found the 4-spoked gold chariot wheel, which looks almost perfect. The reason this one was so well preserved is that coral does not grow on gold. The wood inside the gold “veneer” was deteriorated, which made it very fragile and for that reason, he has not attempted to retrieve it from the water.
The significance of these wheels is of extreme importance to the dating of the Exodus and determining which dynasty was involved. Back in the late 70’s, Ron actually retrieved a hub of a wheel which had the remains of 8 spokes radiating outward from it. He took this to Cairo, to the office of Nassif Mohammed Hassan, the director of Antiquities whom Ron had been working with. Mr. Hassan examined it and immediately pronounced it to be of the 18th Dynasty of ancient Egypt.
When Ron asked him how he knew this so readily, Mr. Hassan explained that the 8-spoked wheel was only used during the 18th Dynasty. This certainly narrowed the date. We began to thoroughly research the Egyptian chariot and soon discovered that the fact that Ron and the boys found 4, 6 and 8 spoked wheels places the Exodus in the 18th Dynasty according to numerous sources, such as the following:
- “Egyptian literary references to chariots occur as early as the reigns of Kamose, the 17th Dynasty king who took the first steps in freeing Egypt from the Hyksos, and Ahmose, the founder of the 18th Dynasty. Pictorial representations, however, do not appear until slightly later in the 18th Dynasty….” (From “Observations on the Evolving Chariot Wheel in the 18th Dynasty” by James K. Hoffmeier, JARCE #13, 1976)
Here, we learn that it was only at the beginning of the 18th Dynasty that the chariot comes into use in the Egyptian army. The Bible mentions that in the time of Joseph, chariots were in use, but apparently they weren’t developed sturdily enough for use in war until much later.
The author goes on to explain how it was only during the 18th Dynasty that the 4, 6 and 8 spoked wheels are used – and that monuments can actually be dated by the number of spokes in the wheel:
- “Professor Yigael Yadin maintains that during the earlier part of the 18th Dynasty, the Egyptian chariot was `exactly like the Canaanite chariot:’ both were constructed of light flexible wood, with leather straps wrapped around the wood to strengthen it, and both utilized wheels with four spokes.
In Yadin’s eyes, the four-spoked wheel is diagnostic for dating purposes; it is restricted to the early part of the 18th Dynasty. It remained in vogue, he says, until the reign of Thutmoses IV, when `the Egyptian chariot begins to shake off its Canaanite influence and undergo considerable change.’
Yadin believes that the eight-spoked wheel, which is seen on the body of Thutmoses IV’s chariot, was an experiment by the Egyptian wheelwrights, who, when it proved unsuccessful, settled thereafter for the six-spoked wheel. So widespread and meticulous is the delineation of the number of wheel spokes on chariots depicted on Egyptian monuments that they can be used as a criterion for determining whether the monument is earlier or later than 1400 BC.” (Quoted from the same article as above.)
For more information on the chariots of the Egyptian army, let’s go to the Biblical account, when Pharaoh and his army go after the multitude:
- “And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him: And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them.”
This verse makes it quite clear that the Pharaoh took every chariot in Egypt- his own, his generals (or “Captains”) and a group called his “chosen” chariots, which seem to be in addition to his regular army (“all the chariots of Egypt”). Who might these “600 chosen chariots” have been?
This group seems too small to have been a division of the army. We do not know the exact number in a “squadron”, but we do have information that a pharoah, one of his names being Rameses II, had an army of 20,000 troops, which was divided into 4 divisions. This would imply that each division consisted of 5,000 troops. But the army took more than just soldiers, many times. To get a little insight, we need to understand a bit about the Egyptian government and economy.
- “The priests and military men held the highest position in the country after the family of the king, and from them were chosen his ministers and confidential advisers, `the wise counsellors of Pharaoh,’ and all the principal officers of state.” (From “The Ancient Egyptians- Their Life and Customs” by Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson, 1854, vol.1, p.316.)
The priesthood and the military were closely associated- the Egyptian government was a combination “church and state”, so to speak. Their system of “gods” was quite elaborate and we can’t possibly present an accurate description of their religious system in this limited article. But for our purposes, we need to understand that there were many, many gods in ancient Egypt- but the ultimate “god” was the one represented as the “sun”. This god was known throughout the various times as Amon, Aten and Re or Ra, among other names. And it was this “ultimate god” that the pharaoh was considered the “earthly embodiment” of.
The divisions of the army were named after the gods, ie. “the first army, that of Amon, the army of Re, the army of Ptah and the army of Sutech”. When the army set out to war, elaborate ceremonies were performed at the various temples, asking the various gods to give them victory over their foes. Then, booty that was gained as a result of victories was dedicated to the priesthoods and temples of the deities. All military victories were directly attributed to the favor of the gods.
Sometimes, the priests would accompany the army to the battlefield in hopes that the “god(s)” would show special favor in their endeavors. And the evidence at hand shows that when Pharaoh and his army set out after Moses and the great multitude, he took with him the all priesthood of all the gods of Egypt. After all, he had seen the power of the true God, the great “I AM.” If the Egyptian army ever needed supernatural intervention by the hands of their so-called “gods”, it was at this time. We believe that every priest of every god was summoned to accompany the army as they went after Moses and the multitude, as well as all the ministers of state.
All of this is leading up to a discussion of the gold-veneered, 4-spoked chariot wheel Ron found in 1988. Since he found it on the Egyptian side of the Gulf of Aqaba, that indicates that whoever was driving that particular chariot was at the rear of the army. It makes sense to us that a priest, who is not trained in battle, would be in this position at the rear of the army. Also, a gold chariot would not be practical for battle- these chariots were more “ceremonial” than those used by the chariotry.
We also know that the priesthood were given gold chariots, which were booty of various foreign defeats. There is an inscription of Thutmoses III (18th Dynasty) which relates:
- “He went forth, none like him, slaying the barbarians, smiting Retenu, bringing their princes as living captives, their chariots wrought with gold, bound to their horses.”
In fact, we have many, many inscriptions of the kings of the 18th Dynasty receiving gold-plated foreign chariots, either as spoils of war or as tribute received from conquered peoples. There are, as well, inscriptions telling that these gilded chariots were many times dedicated to various temples and gods, which meant that the priests would receive these chariots.
We do know from inscriptions that the king did go to war in a “glittering chariot of electrum” as stated in one of Thutmoses III’s inscriptions- but, we doubt very seriously that he would have remained at the rear of the army. However, Dr. Bill Shea of the Biblical Research Institute, told us a few days ago, that he believed it was possible that the pharaoh may have been at the rear of the army.
With all of this information, we feel we may conclude that the gold wheel most likely belonged to a member of the priestly caste who was accompanying the army, or possibly a high minister of state. If it had belonged to the pharaoh, it would have probably had his “cartouche” or name on it- and the one Ron found did not have this, at least not on the exposed side. Either way, we have evidence from ancient tombs that the Egyptians constructed wheels of this design, and also the Retenu (Syrian) chariot wheels were of this same design and size.
These drawings are from “The Ancient Egyptians” by Sir J. Gardiner Wilkinson, and are taken from 18th dynasty tombs and monuments. They show a depiction of a Retenu (Syrian) chariot and also Egyptians constructing chariots- both of these wheel designs are consistent with the 4-spoked, gold veneered wheel Ron found.
THE 18TH DYNASTY
The data gained from the chariot wheels placed the Exodus at the time of the 18th Dynasty. Amazingly, this is the most well documented group of kings in all of ancient Egypt. A “dynasty”, to give a definition, is basically a continuous family line of rulers.
- “A more or less arbitrary and artificial but convenient subdivision of these epochs, beginning with the historic age, is furnished by the so-called dynasties of Manetho. This native historian of Egypt, a priest of Sebennytos, who flourished under Ptolemy I (305-285 B.C.), wrote a history of his country in the Greek language. The work has perished, and we only know it in an epitome by Julius Africanus and Eusebius, and extracts by Josephus. The value of the work was slight, as it was built up on folk tales and popular traditions of the early kings. Manetho divided the long succession of Pharaohs as known to him, into thirty royal houses or dynasties, and although we know that many of his divisions are arbitrary, and that there was many a dynastic change where he indicates none, yet his dynasties divide the kings into convenient groups, which have so long been employed in modern study of Egyptian history, that it is now impossible to dispense with them.”
This quote from “A History of Egypt” by James Henry Breasted (1905) p. 13-14, tells us from the pen of one of the leading authorities on ancient Egypt, that the basis on which the information of ancient Egyptian dynasties rests, is unreliable, yet it continues in use.
This so-called 18th Dynasty consisted of a family who ruled in Thebes. At the time this family came to the throne, it was apparent that other dynastic families were ruling as pharaohs in other areas of Egypt. In the north, or the delta region, there lived at this time a people whom the Egyptians thought of as “foreign”- these included the descendants of Jacob, or the Israelites.
It appears that other Asiatic peoples had moved into the region along with them- people who were ambitious and wanted to rule themselves as the Egyptians did. And they did not conform to the Egyptian religion.
We know that the Israelites, by decree of the pharaoh of Joseph’s time, were allowed to live as “independents” and that their leaders were considered “royal”- when Jacob died, the description of his funeral was exactly the same as that of the pharaohs:
“And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel. And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days. And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company.” Genesis 50:2,3,7,9
So, for many, many years the Israelites live peacefully among themselves, setting up their own rulers. And doesn’t it seem reasonable to assume that relatives and friends of the Israelites would want to move down to the Delta region with them when they saw what a “garden of Eden” it was there? Well, whether it was friends and relatives, or not, someone moved in and lived along side of them. And these foreigners soon became a “thorn in the side” of the native Egyptians.
At the end of the 17th Dynasty, ancient records tell of the Egyptians in Thebes claiming to expel the “Hyksos” from the delta. Inscriptions document the presence of these “Shepherd Kings” in the delta region beginning with the 6th dynasty and terminating with the 17th.
When the native Egyptian Theban rulers “expelled” the Hyksos, what occurred was that they ran these other peoples who had settled along with the Israelites out of Egypt. And although no mention is made of the Israelites by name, we know that it was at this time, at the beginning of the 18th dynasty, that they were enslaved. With the trouble-making outsiders gone, the peaceful Israelites were at the mercy of the Theban rulers.
There is an interesting inscription by Hatshepsut of the 18th dynasty which refers to the restoration of Egypt after the “Hyksos” had been expelled from the delta region:
“I have restored that which was in ruins, I have raised up that which was unfinished. Since the Asiatics were in the midst of Avaris of the Northland [Delta], and the barbarians were in the midst of them [the people of the Northland], overthrowing that which had been made, while they ruled in ignorance of Re.”
This wonderful passage tells us that whoever lived in the Delta (the Israelites and the “barbarians” from Asia) did not worship RE, the Egyptian sun god. And we know this was true of the Israelites. So they simply “kicked out” the trouble-makers, who had no right to be there in the first place. Then, the Israelites, who had been given the right to live there, had their special “status” canceled. The Egyptians had no reason to expel them- after all, they were peaceful, industrious and hardy people. Instead, they were enslaved.
THE KINGS OF THE 18TH DYNASTY
The kings of the 18th Dynasty are stated by historians as being named either Amenhotep and Thutmoses. But, there is a big problem with this fluctuation between names. The pharaoh was considered the earthly embodiment of the main god and his name reflected the supreme god of his royal family.
Does it make sense to anyone that one king would consider Thoth (Thutmoses) the supreme god while the next considered Amen (Amenhotep) the supreme god, and continue to alternate gods through a succession of several kings? Of course not.
As we read earlier, the list of dynasties and kings that the Egyptologists base their information on is quite inaccurate. The inscriptions found in temples and tombs indicate that the “Thutmoses” name is indicative of one of the offices of the pharaoh, just as was the “Amenhotep” name- and that each pharaoh was both a “Thutmoses” as well as an “Amenhotep” as he advanced in the royal line from co-regent to emperor.
From our research, it appears that the crown prince received his “Thutmoses” title upon being appointed co-regent, and then became “Amenhotep” in addition to his earlier names, when he became emperor. Let me stress that it appears that this is the order he received each name; however, it may possibly have been reversed. But we have no doubts that each ruler possessed both names. And each ruler left inscriptions relating to his reign in both names – sometimes he referred to himself as Thutmoses, while at other times Amenhotep. Each individual king left inscriptions in both names, dating his regnal years sometimes from the date of his co-regency and sometimes from the date of his emperorship. We don’t fully understand the “rules” governing these practices yet.
Yes, most people think of the pharaoh of the Exodus as “Rameses”. And why not? The name “Rameses” is mentioned in the Bible as early as the story of Joseph. Was there a “Rameses” in the 18th dynasty? Yes… but that was more a title than a name – much like the title “pharaoh”.
Not only was “Thutmoses” also to become “Amenhotep” – he, as main emperor of all Egypt, was also titled “Rameses”. If you will recall, in the story of Joseph, the land of Goshen was also referred to as the land of “Rameses”:
- “And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded.”
Egyptian evidence shows that every native Egyptian king from the time of the so-called 5th dynasty was titled “Son of the Sun” or “Rameses” in addition to his other names. This has caused massive confusion among the Egyptian scholars, who have zeroed in on one particular pharaoh, “Rameses II”, and proclaimed him the “greatest pharaoh of all Egypt”. All one needs to do is go to the museum in Cairo and view the four statues of “Rameses II” in the main entrance hall- each one is clearly a different person. The inscriptions referring to “Rameses” refer to many different pharaohs.
Also, let’s go back to the inscription of Hatshepsut in the section on the Hyksos – remember that she said these people lived “in ignorance of RE? This inscription makes its quite clear that whoever lived in the delta (Goshen/Rameses) region, did not worship the native Egyptian god, Re. “Re” is the “Ra” of “Rameses” – and this verifies the supremacy of “Re/Ra” during the time of the 18th dynasty – and that “Rameses” would indeed be one of the titles of the pharaoh.
SIR MARSTON & JOSEPHUS KNEW HATSHEPSUT
At this point, I would like to state that those of you who decide to research this subject- and we definitely recommend that you do just that- will find that the facts we have presented will be totally different from those as presented by historians and scholars. But view the evidences in the light that we have presented them and see for yourself how the evidence fits. It is amazing to us that the majority of scholars have missed this altogether. There have been a few, however, who have made the connection. One of these is Sir Charles Marston, who, in his book “New Bible Evidence”, 1934, recognizes that the Exodus had to occur during the 18th dynasty and that Hatshepsut was indeed the “pharaoh’s daughter”. If he had had the information that the Thutmoses and the Amenhoteps of this dynasty were in fact the same people- (they were Thutmoses when they were co-regents in Memphis, and Amenhoteps when they arose to main emperor),- he would have figured it all out.
Marston brings out the fact that Josephus gives some vital information as to this pharoah’s daughter’s identity on p.162 of his above-mentioned book: “He does, however, mention the name of the princess who found Moses in the ark of bulrushes. He says it was `Thermuthis,’in which we see an echo of the name Thotmes, or Tahutmes, which was borne by each of the three Pharaohs in whose reigns Hatshepsut played such a leading part.”
THE MAN “WHO TOOK MOSES’ PLACE”
When Moses fled Egypt at age 40, the emperor, Amenhotep 1 was very elderly – he had been preparing Moses for the throne for the past 22 years. Now, there was a big problem. Who would now be the future king?
In Memphis, a young man was being groomed to be appointed co-regent for Moses when he became emperor. This young man was immediately elevated to the rank of co-regent and given the same name of Thutmoses. The records show that he assumed the throne on his year 22. Now, this is a strange statement and tells much more than one might at first notice. A co-regent, or royal heir-apparent, begins counting his years when he is designated as the “heir-apparent”. That becomes his year one. Here, we have a man assuming office in year 22 and he assumes it under that same name as Moses had.
Keep in mind, that as the royal heir assumes each stage of office, “heir-apparent”, crown prince and co-regent, he also in some places counts his years from that particular appointment. This is why the years of “Thutmoses III are given as 54 years, while the years of Amenhotep II are given as 26 to 32 years (depending on what author you are reading). The problem with Thutmoses III, who took Moses’ place, is that there are no records of his rise through the ranks. He just suddenly appears in year 22 as taking the throne.
Now, what happened here is that when Moses fled, in order to continue the reign of the earthly embodiment of “Thoth” in the “Thutmoses” co-regent, this man simply assumed the years that Moses had held that position. In other cases, when a royal personage would die, the god is said to “fly to the heavens” and then redescend into the body of whoever becomes the next earthly embodiment of the god. In this case, there was no death- there had to be an immediate transfer, which is exactly what took place. Everything that had belonged to Moses was simply figuratively transferred to this “new” “Thutmoses” and things went along without missing a step. This man is now referred to by scholars as Thutmoses III. All of the statuary attributed to him are actually the statues that were made of Moses.
And it was to this Thutmoses that scholars attribute 54 years of rule. However, 22 of those years belonged to the man he replaced, Moses. And the historic evidence proves this, too. If we subtract the 22 years from the 54 year total, we are left with 32 years. Now, instead of going through all the evidence, let’s just read what one historian has to say about this Thutmoses III: “He passed away after a rule of thirty-two (some say fifty-four) years, having made Egyptian leadership in the Mediterranean world complete.” This is from “The Story of Civilization” Vol. 1 by Will Durant, (1954) p. 155.
And it truly was 32 years later when the man who became emperor after taking Moses’ place, died. Amenhotep II was perhaps the greatest ruler Egypt ever had. By the time of his death, Egypt was truly the world power and the wealthiest nation. Hatshepsut remained alive for many years after Moses fled, and is named as queen on monuments very late into this king’s rule.
THE PHARAOH OF THE EXODUS
Upon Amenhotep II’s death, his co-regent for 29 years, the 4th Thutmoses, became Amenhotep III. Upon his becoming emperor, he appointed his young son, Tutankhamen, as “crown-prince” and for the next 8/9 years, this pharaoh ruled Egypt. He inherited the throne at a time when Egypt was well established as the world ruler. All he basically had to do was sit back and collect the foreign tribute as it arrived. Egypt had military troops stationed in all the vassal territories and maintained their empire peaceably. In his inscriptions, this emperor makes claims to be a triumphant warrior, but these references are to the time of his co-regency, when he accompanied Amenhotep II in his triumphant exploits.
But most interesting about this man is the fact that historical data shows that he actually had no claim to the throne. He was not the first-born of the pharaoh, which was the standard mode of becoming emperor. The well-known “sphinx stele”, still present between the paws of the sphinx at Giza, tells the strange story of how Thutmoses IV fell asleep one day in the shadow of the sphinx. He dreamed that the sun god came to him and told him that if he would clear away the sand from around the sphinx, he would make him king. This elaborate story would not have been needed if he had been entitled to the throne as rightful heir. But, it appears that Amenhotep II was also without a royal son. The inscriptions always call the new king the “son” of the previous king, but this is figurative- as referring to Osiris and Horus. But keep in mind that this new pharaoh was not the first born of the last pharaoh. This is important because this new king, Amenhotep III, was the pharaoh of the Exodus. Think about this- all the firstborn were killed by the Angel of Death; if the pharaoh had been a first born, he would have died that night! So it is very important that we establish that this pharaoh was not a firstborn.
After reigning as emperor for 8/9 years, we reach the 40th year after Moses had fled Egypt. Remember, the pharaoh who took Moses’ place reigned 32 years. Then, this last pharaoh reigned 8/9 years. This equalled the 40 years Moses was in the wilderness of Midian.
At this time at the end of the 40 years, Moses returns to the court of pharaoh Amenhotep III as commanded by God. And soon, the plagues began to fall upon Egypt. When the plague of the death of the first born fell by the hand of the Angel of Death, the pharaoh was not striken- but his son was: EXO 11:5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.
This son was the young crown prince known to us all as “King Tut”. However, the name is misleading, for we know he was never pharaoh, just crown prince. And while the historians all argue over who his father was, in an inscription on a statue of a lion dedicated by Tutankhamen to the temple of Soleb, he calls Amenhotep III his father. Remember, Amenhotep III was also named Thutmoses IV.
THE ROYAL MUMMIES
Another confusing factor in the identification of the kings and queens is the overabundance of royal mummies. In other words, although Thutmoses III and Amenhotep II are the same man, there have been found mummies for each name. Does this shoot down our theory? No, not in the least. First of all, it is necessary to have an understanding of the ancient Egyptian beliefs concerning death.
At death, they believed that a body was necessary for the ba, the ka and the akh to survive. These were, loosely translated, the various “spirit forms” which made up the psychic person and survived after death. However, in cases where the person was unavailable for burial, etc., any body would suffice as long as it was labeled with the name of the deceased. They believed that as long as a person’s name was being spoken, or was on the walls of his tomb, his immortality was assured. The name was the most important factor. The following is from “Mummies, Myth and Magic in Ancient Egypt” by Christine El Mahdy (1989) p. 13:
“The tomb, the mummy, the equipment, the paintings and reliefs were all designed to help preserve the name of the individual. the greatest horror was to have your name destroyed, cut out from a wall.” (Emphasis ours)
If the mummy of the actual individual was so vital, why would they fear the desecration of their name? Because it was the key, in their belief, to their immortality. The mummy was important, as were the statues of the deceased. But the mummy could be supplied in a pinch- no problem.
Since it was considered a sacred duty of each king to protect the burials of his ancestor-kings, if a king couldn’t find a mummy for a particular king, he would provide one as is written in numerous inscriptions.
Mummies have been found which the excavators claim to be the mummies of each of the Amenhoteps and each of the Thutmoses. However, a careful examination of all evidence leads one to conclude that the only mummies which are of the actual 18th Dynasty pharaohs in question are the mummy of Amenhotep I and Amenhotep II. Amenhotep I (Thutmoses I) was found in his own tomb, as was Amenhotep II (Thutmoses III). Amenhotep I’s mummy was never unwrapped but was x-rayed- and it revealed several genetic peculiarities which were shared by the mummies of several of his ancestors. The most obvious of these was the fact that he had the same type of malocclusion – a very prominent protrusion of the top front teeth – almost an overbite. This genetic feature was seen in all his female relatives – sister, mother, grandmother and daughter.
We believe the only authentic mummies of the 18th dynasty kings to be those of Amenhotep I and Amenhotep II. Of course, there wouldn’t be a mummy for Amenhotep III as he drowned in the Red Sea. Nor would there be a mummy of Thutmoses II since he was Moses. The others, which are said to be Thutmoses I, III, IV and Amenhotep III we believe to be mummies supplied by later kings, as they were all found in other tombs, in other sarcophaguses, and as they were simply not royal burials.
Here are a couple of examples of the evidence which shows these mummies to be extremely doubtful. These concern the mummy said to be that of Thutmoses 1, who is known to have ruled a minimum of 21 years by existing inscriptions:
- “However, several eminent physical anthropologists who have seen these x-rays have been absolutely convinced that this mummy is that of a young man, perhaps 18 years of age, certainly not over twenty.” “X-Raying the Pharaohs” by James E. Harris and Kent R. Weeks, (1973) p.131-2.
The fact that this mummy is far too young to be this king is evidence enough. But now, let’s go back to when the mummy was actually identified as Thutmoses I:
- “Among the mummies discovered at Deir-el-Bahari was one, which on account of its having been found in a coffin bearing the name of Pinozen I of the XXIst Dynasty, was formerly supposed to be the mummy of that king. Maspero, however, formed the opinion that it was the mummy of Thutmoses I on account of the facial resemblance which it bore to the Pharaohs Thutmoses II and III” “Egyptian Mummies” by G. Elliot Smith and Warren R. Dawson (1924) p. 91.
This mummy was identified as Thutmoses 1 because he seemed to favor the other mummies. Not a strong basis for identification. Plus that fact that the mummy said to be Thutmoses III was also determined to be far too young- plus the fact that he was just barely five feet tall. Then, there is the mummy of Thutmoses IV, who was extremely emaciated and identified as just barely 30 years old. It doesn’t even take careful study to realize that these mummies are “impostors”.
THE “EGYPTIAN WATERGATE”
The year is about 1446 BC. The Egyptian pharaoh, his army and all the members of all the priesthoods have left in great haste. They are enraged that their entire slave population has fled, even though less than a week earlier the pharaoh and his ministers had virtually begged them to leave. The Egyptians lavished the great multitude of slaves with objects of gold, silver and precious stones as supposed “payment” for all the work they had done as slaves.
- And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: 36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.
The Hebrew words in this text that are translated “borrow” and “lent” are the same word, “shaal”. And this word simply means “ask”, “demand” “request”, “give”, etc. Only 6 times in the entire Bible is it translated “borrow” and 2 times as “lend” or “lent”. But 87 times it is translated “ask” and in excess of 60 times is it translated to read other words which mean simply “ask”. The verses are telling us that they “asked” for these things, as God had told them to do so they would not be a destitute nation. And the Egyptians were quite happy to comply with whatever they asked. The fear of God was in the Egyptians after the terrible plagues which had befallen them by the Hand of the Israelites’ God.
Back home in Egypt, the entire country is trying to recover from the catastrophic destruction the country has suffered as a results of the plagues brought by the God of the slaves, “I AM”. Every family is in mourning for the loss of their first born. Nothing of this magnitude has ever been experienced by these people.
The crown-prince, the young boy, Tutankhamen, is being mourned by the entire nation and preparations are being made for his burial. But mostly, all is at a standstill until the pharaoh, the ministers of state, the army and the priesthoods all return with the slaves. Throughout the land, the continuous sound of mourning can be heard from sun up to sun down, and even throughout the night.
The pharaoh, as soon he ascended the throne 8/9 years earlier as emperor, had taken as his “great wife and queen” a lady of foreign blood by the name of Tiy. When he had been co-regent in Memphis, he had been married to a royal daughter, as was tradition. It was this royal lady who had given birth to his firstborn, Tutankhamen. But it was the “common” foreign wife whom he elevated to “great king’s wife and queen” as soon as he was “boss”- and this lady was to play a big part in later events of Egyptian history after the Exodus. But now, back to the story at hand.
Soon, word arrives at the palace in Memphis that is too fantastic to be believed- the entire Egyptian army, all of the priesthood and the pharaoh himself have all perished! All drowned in the Red Sea while in pursuit of the slaves! The confusion, grief, fear and agony of the entire country is impossible to imagine. But very quickly, it becomes utmost in the minds of those remaining that knowledge of what has happened must be kept secret.
The previous emperor had secured the position of Egypt as the world power. All nations feared as well as respected Egypt. They all, for the most part, brought their tribute regularly to the palaces, and Egypt had want of absolutely nothing. She had no need to ever go to war for the nations feared her great army. If word of what happened here became known, Egypt could lose her control over her vassal territories and that would mean financial disaster.
There is a miraculously-preserved record of the last official correspondences of the pharaoh who drowned in the Red Sea, as well as correspondences with the later pharaoh, and even Tiy. These are contained in the group of tablets found in ancient Amarna, called the Tel-Amarna Letters. In these were found correspondences to this pharaoh of the Exodus, Amenhotep 3, from the Babylonian king, Kadashman-Enlil and the Mittanni king, Tushratta, which serve to verify other world events of this time.
The greatest contender for world power, after Egypt, at the time of the Exodus was the rapidly emerging Hittite Empire. And the greatest Hittite king, Suppiluliumas, had just taken the throne a few years earlier. The Egyptians were sitting ducks if word leaked out…
Time passed; the Egyptians tried to pick up the pieces and go on with their lives, but it was difficult. The only thing they had in their favor was the fact that they were so isolated from the rest of the world. No one could enter the country without being detected far before they arrived. Careful precautions were taken to see that the true situation was not discerned by others.
There was but one person in Egypt who had the royal right to seat a new pharaoh- this was the original great royal wife of Amenhotep 3- the mother of Tutankhamen. But, her situation was not an easy one. Remember, when her husband took the throne as emperor, he took a non-royal wife and she became his favorite.
“My Husband has died and I have no son!”
The true, royal wife of the royal bloodline took the only step she knew to take to secure strong leadership for the country and provide protection and security for Egypt. She wrote a letter to the Hittite king. We can learn about this in an inscription left behind by the Hittite king, Suppiluliumas’ son:
- “…When the people of Misra [Egypt} learned of the destruction of Amqa, they were afraid, for to make matters worse their master, Bibhuria had just died and the widowed queen of Egypt sent an ambassador to my father and wrote to him in these terms: `My husband is dead and I have no son. People say that you have many sons. If you send me one of your sons he will become my husband for it is repugnant to me to take one of my servants to husband.’ When my father learned this, he called together the council of the great: `Since the most ancient times such a thing has never happened before.’ He decided to send Hattu-Zittish, the chamberlain, `Go, bring me information worthy of belief; they may try to deceive me; and as to the possibility that they may have a prince, bring me back information worthy of my belief.’ While Hattu-Zittish was absent on the soil of Egypt, my father vanquished the city of Karchemish… The ambassador of Egypt, the lord Hanis, came to him. Because my father had instructed Hattu-Zittish when he went to the country of Egypt as follows: `Perhaps they have a prince, they may be trying to deceive me and do not really want one of my sons to reign over them.’; the Egyptian queen answered my father in a letter in these words; `Why do you say `they are trying to deceive me?’If I had a son, should I write to a foreign country in a manner humiliating to me and to my country? You do not believe me and you even say so to me! He who was my husband is dead and I have no son. Should I then perhaps take one of my servants and make of him my husband? I have written no other country, I have written to you…”
There is more, but for the sake of space, we will just tell you what happened. Suppiluliumas finally believed her and sent a son. However, that son never made it to Egypt. No one knows what happened to him exactly, but we do know what happened next.
However, before we leave this most important letter, we must point out that the most convincing evidence of all is the fact that the queen who wrote the Hittite king makes it quite clear that all who remain in Egypt are her “servants”! Is this not a perfect description of the situation that would have resulted after all the royal ministers, priests and army had drowned in the Red Sea? The scholars assign the name of the dead pharaoh “Bibhuria” as being that of “Tutankhamen”, for one of his names was “Neb-kheper-ru-re”; however, we believe it should be transliterated “Neb-maat-Re”, which was one of the names of Amenhotep 3. Either way, the evidence is equally strong. Either the royal wife or the royal daughter (who was symbolically “married” to Tutankhamen) of the dead pharaoh would have retained the royal right to do this. So it really doesn’t matter which wife wrote the letter as far as the evidence goes.
RIVALRY FOR POWER
Meanwhile, time passes in the devastated Egypt. Petty quarrels arise between the true royal wife and the favored foreign wife of the dead pharaoh. It becomes a power struggle- but one that must remain confidential in order that the outside world not realize the vulnerability of Egypt.
There is not clear evidence as to the exact events which next occurred, but there is enough evidence to generally know. The winner in the power struggle was the favored, foreign wife, Tiy. She took a man as her husband who was named “Eye” or “Ay” – a man who left behind evidence that he assumed the role of pharaoh for about 3 to 4 years, but a man who is not later recognized as a true king of Egypt in inscriptions of later kings. It was this man who officiated at the burial of the crown-prince, Tutankhamen. The evidence clearly shows that Tutankhamen was buried very hastily and that most of the items of his burial were not originally his. The names had been changed from that of his father to his- remember, his father had drowned in the Red Sea and had no burial.
Tiy was still the power behind the throne, even though Eye was “officially” the pharaoh. And within 3 or 4 years, she had elevated her son to the throne, as soon as he was old enough. He was known initially as “Amenhotep 4”, but is best known today as “Akhnaten”. He was a true son of the dead pharaoh, but as his mother was of foreign descent, he was not a legitimate contender for the throne. Only in a situation such as Egypt was in at that time could he have ever taken the throne.
And while history records Akhnaten as being the pharaoh, it is evident that it was really his mother who was directing from the background. Those of you who have done any research on Egypt are obviously aware of Akhnaten, and that Egyptologists credit him with shifting the religious system of ancient Egypt from one of many gods to a system of monotheistic worship. And to a degree, this is true. Let’s return to ancient Egypt and the events there…
Tiy, who is now wed to Eye, or Ay as some spell it, finally places her son in the role of emperor. For a while, he is known as Amenhotep 4. He is obviously quite young- one letter found at Amarna from Tushratta, the Mitanni king, tells him to be sure and listen to his mother. The ancient inscriptions and statues depict him as a strange, pot-bellied man married to a beautiful wife named Nefertiti, with a large family of young girls. But in fact, the evidence seems to show that all of this was in fact a cover-up; a made-up story to lend credibility to the fantasy that Egypt had a strong pharaoh calling the shots. The chronology of the ancient records give this fact away by conflicting accounts of the ages of his children, as well as other chronological blunders.
With no priesthood left for the worship of the numerous gods of Egypt, Tiy institutes, through the so-called authority of her son, the pharaoh, a reorganization of the religious system. All prior gods are forgotten. After all, hadn’t they all failed miserably when pitted against the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? It is the god called “Aten” that is now worshipped- but, in fact, this “Aten” is just another form of the old sun-god, “Amen” and “Re”. And apparently, “Aten” was the god of Tiy’s native land. Since records show that Tiy was worshipped as a goddess in Nubia, and Aten was the Nubian god, we feel safe in assuming she was of Nubian descent. Also, the art-style of this period reflected the Nubian style.
The old capitals of Memphis and Thebes are forsaken by the new ruling house and a new capital is built at a site between the other 2 cities. It is called “Amarna”. And it is here that Tiy, Eye (Ay), Akhnaton and his “family” all reside. After a few years, the tomb of Tutankhamen is reopened and new furnishings are placed in the tomb- new items which contain the name of the new pharaoh in order to please the gods according to their beliefs. All of these sort of actions are taken for a dual purpose- to comply with their religious beliefs which require each emperor to care for the burial of their ancestors, and also to cover-up the true events which took place. The shame that Egypt suffered at the tremendous losses at the Hand of the Great, I AM, were to be carefully obliterated from any surviving Egyptian records.
Meanwhile, in Palestine, the Egyptian vassals are in trouble. The Tel-Amarna Letters show that these cities, which were under Egyptian control, were being threatened by the Amurru and the Hittites. They pleaded with the pharaoh to send troops, but as one letter stated, no help had been received for 20 years. The situation was deteriorating fast. The Egyptians still had no army to speak of. After all, every trained military man had been lost in the Red Sea, and with no military leaders, even an army of able soldiers would be virtually worthless without proper leadership and training.
In time, the Egyptians finally rebelled against the strange leadership which had sprung up under the guidance of the foreign queen, Tiy. Evidence shows that the entire Amarna family probably died as a result of a plague. Whatever really happened, the events which took place in ancient Egypt back then are a strong testimony to the Biblical record- no matter how hard the historians may try to interpret them otherwise.
“The Omen of the Sun”
The evidence we will deal with in this scenario is something which takes us into the time that the great multitude finally entered the promised land. Remember the Hittite king, Suppiluliumas who received the letter from the Egyptian queen? Murshilish, his son, left a record of an event which occurred in his 10th year- and it is important to establish about when this event would have occurred. The reign of Suppiluliumas is known to be in excess of 30 years and that he came to the throne just before the Exodus. We know that after he died, another son took the throne for a very short period of time, but died of a plague. The records show that this first son held the throne less than a year.
Therefore, if Suppiluliumas died about 30 years after the Exodus, his next son died within that same year, and the son writing of this event reigned 9 full years and was in his 10th when it occurred, this would place the time of the event at about 40 years after the Exodus. I know this is getting complicated, but its important to show when the 10th year of Murshilish would have been.
The event of which Murshilish wrote was “an omen of the sun” that was so sinister that the dowager queen, Tawanna, interpreted it as portending the eminent disaster of the entire royal house. What was this “omen of the sun”? Scholars want to assign it to being an eclipse, but many historians deny that possibility. The fact is that these ancient peoples were all well familiar with eclipses- they possessed the ability to calculate when they were to occur. There is but one event which perfectly fits the description of an omen of the sun, sufficiently frightening enough to cause the queen to view it as an evil omen- an omen that occurred about 40 years after the Exodus– and we can read of that event in the Bible:
- Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. 13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
The “long day” of Joshua, soon after they had entered the promised land after 40 years of wandering, is recorded in the records of the Hittite king, Murshilish!
“The Plagues of the Egyptians”
Murshilish provided another evidence for us, which verified another Biblical fact- let’s go to the Scriptures, where Moses is speaking to the people after they had come out of Egypt:
- When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
Moses tells that the Lord will cast out the people who inhabit the promised land, and that the Hittites are among those who will be cast out. Now, let’s go back to the same chapter in Deuteronomy where Moses tells them how the Lord will accomplish this:
- And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.
What exactly were these evil diseases of Egypt?
- The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou
canst not be healed.
Whatever these diseases were, we know for sure that they were fatal. Now, let’s read what Murshilish wrote in his “Plague Prayers”, a prayer to the Hittite storm-god- and remember, Murshilish was Hittite king at the time Joshua led the people into the Promised Land:
“What is this that ye have done? a plague ye have let into the land. The Hatti land has been cruelly afflicted by the plague. For twenty years now men have been dying in my father’s days, in my brother’s days, and in mine own since I have become the priest of the gods….My father sent foot soldiers and charioteers who attacked the country of Amqa, Egyptian territory. Again he sent troops, and again they attacked it….The Hattian Storm-god, my lord, by his decision even then let my father prevail; he vanquished and smote the foot soldiers and charioteers of the country of Egypt. But when he brought back to the Hatti land the prisoners which they had taken, a plague broke out among the prisoners and they began to die.
When they moved the prisoners to the Hatti land, these prisoners carried the plague into the Hatti land. From that day on, people have been dying in the Hatti land.”
The Hittites caught the plague from the Egyptian soldiers who were stationed in Amqa, Egyptian territory above Lebanon. And those who contracted the plague, died. Again, we can read a contemporary account of the events exactly as stated in the Bible!
Occasionally someone will say to us, “I don’t need to see all of these discoveries- I believe by faith.” And that’s wonderful. But as I mentioned earlier, after seeing all the things I’ve seen which confirm even tiny little details of the Bible, I can say without a bit of doubt that nothing will ever be able to shake my confidence in the Word of God. And years ago, there were times when preachers and writers had me thinking that just maybe, some parts of the Bible really were a little “messed up”.. I mean, after all, it’s been thousands of years since the Biblical writers lived, and well, maybe the Bible wasn’t all that correct. Do you know what I mean?
Eternal life is not a matter to take lightly- the things God has revealed are exciting, but they also have a purpose. These are God’s work. And because He has revealed all the wonderful evidences that have come to light in the last century, we must know that He has a purpose in this. Sure, we all believe by faith. But how strong is that faith going to be if the time comes that we are forced to make a decision based on that faith which may require us to lose our home, our family or maybe even our life? Is our faith that strong? Look around you, at the world we live in. It’s all almost over. And we are living in the time when our faith will be tried to its utmost- Satan knows his time is short and he is furious. So let us be thankful for the gifts the Lord is giving us which increase our confidence in His Holy Word. And as the end get nearer, and the trials we face seem unsurmountable, remember His promise:
REV 2:10 …be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.