The focus in this article is the identification of the Pharaoh of the Exodus, which the King’s Calendar determines not to have been a Pharaoh, but his Grandvizier.
There are three particular problems when it comes to identifying the Pharaoh of the Mosaic Exodus.
1. Do we know when the Exodus occurred?
2. Can we identify the Pharaoh at that time in History? -and-
3. Why is there no Record of any Pharaoh being drowned in the Red Sea?
This Article offers an hypothesis that may help answer these questions. It is however important for the reader to understand that The King’s Calendar operates on three fundamental premises.
1. That the Biblical chronological records are NOT recorded in 365 day solar years. (What is the King’s Calendar?)
2. That the Old Testament records are a reliable and trustworthy Chronological History of Israel. (Biblical Infallibility, Divine Inspiration & Academic Deceit and Manipulation.)
3. That the Exodus occurred in the 15th Century BCE during the 18th Egyptian Dynasty. (Ancient Egypt)
So who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus?
If we start with the assumption that the Exodus is a fact and that it occurred within the 18th Egyptian dynasty, and that according to traditional Egyptian chronology, Amenhotep II was the new pharaoh, then there is indication that the biblical story revolves not around Moses conflict with Amenhotep II, but with the Egyptian Grandvizier Rekhmire.
While by all accounts Amenhotep II was far worse by nature and practice than even the biblical narrative indicates, then by the measure of Petrie’s chronology (Petrie,W.M.F (1906) Researches in Sinai. London. John Murray), the Exodus would have taken place during Amenhotep II’s co-regency during the last two years of the reign of Thothmes III. During these years, and again during his 7th and 9th years, Amenhotep left Egypt to campaign in Asia, leaving the administration of the kingdom in the hands of the Grandvizier. Irrespective of any discussion on the Exodus, the fact remains that anyone trying to deal with the Pharaoh of Egypt at that time had to have dealt with the Grandvizier Rekhmire. The Question is just whether the Biblical Reference to Pharaoh, referred to the ACTUAL Pharaoh or his stand-in.
In this discussion, I am going to draw some attention to some rather odd statements in both the biblical narratives and in the records of Josephus, which may lend support to the hypothesis that it was with Grandvizier Rekhmire with whom Moses dealt, and not with the literal Pharaoh Amenhotep II.
How, When and Why did Rekhmire die?
James, [T.G.H. (1984 p.21/p.52) “Scenes from Life in Imperial Egypt. University of Chicago”] informs us that Rekhmire met perhaps a violent end and ‘almost certainly with disgrace,’ this determined after examination of Rekhmire’s tomb. (For photographs of Rekhmire’s tomb go to Egypt: Tomb of Rekhmire – Great Mirror . com.)
If we accept that the Pharaoh of the Exodus was actually the Grandvizier, then his final disgrace might be understood within the context of the Exodus event, especially once Pharaoh Amenhotep discovered that Rekhmire had let the Israelites go free. The young twenty/twenty-two year old Amenhotep would not have been pleased when he returned home to discover that this ‘old’ and up until that time, very powerful Grandvizier, had allowed such a large number of slaves escape.
The emphatic ‘old’ is significant in the light of statements in the Tyndale Commentary on Romans, [Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (1992) ‘Romans’ (Bruce. F.F.) Michigan. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing company p.183]. While Amenhotep was a very young man at the beginning of his reign, Rekhmire was an old man. F.F. Bruce, in discussing the term ‘I have raised you up’ (Romans 9:17) points out that the Septuagint renders St. Paul’s verb ‘Exegeiro’ as: ‘you were preserved’ and comments that ‘The reference may be not only to G-d’s raising up Pharaoh to be king, but to his patience in preserving him alive for so long, in spite of his disobedience.’
‘Preserving Pharaoh for so long’ could hardly apply to the 22 year old Amenhotep, but it could however apply to Rekhmire who, as Grandvizier for most of Thutmosis III’s 54 years, was about 70 years old. Whatever may be the preferred reading of the Israelite escape through the Red Sea, the result remains the same – disaster! The Israelites escape and the Grandvizier suffers for it.
Is this proposition tenable?
When one begins to carefully examine the Biblical and extra biblical records in relation to the Exodus Event, certain interesting statements stand out. For Instance:
Exodus 13:29-31 informs us that pharaoh, like everyone else, lost his firstborn to the angel of death, subsequent to which he ordered Moses and the Israelites to leave Egypt.
In Exodus 14:5 however, we read that Pharaoh had to be told that the Israelites had fled, as though it was unknown to him. Furthermore, he appears confused by it, asking ‘Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?’
In Antiquities 2:15:3 [Whiston. W. (1993) The Works of Josephus. Hendrickson Publishers. Massachusetts. USA p.75] Josephus records that pharaoh ‘was mightily concerned that this (Exodus) had been procured by the magic arts.’
We must wonder at how Pharaoh could have been unaware of the contest between Egyptian and Hebrew magic? Is it possible that he had forgotten about his son’s death?
Josephus’ version of the Biblical account (Antiquities Book 2 Chs.13 & 14 – Whiston, 1993, pp.72/73), records that pharaoh was not moved by the plagues, until after the deaths of the first-born.
Josephus however makes a statement not recorded in the Canonical version, indicating that Pharaoh, in arriving at his decision to let the Hebrews go, was persuaded by ‘many Egyptians who lived near the King’s palace.’
Once you begin to entertain the idea that the Pharaoh of the Exodus was in fact the Grandvizier Rekhmire, the phrase ‘many Egyptians who lived near the King’s Palace’ seems to take on some significance. The Grandvizier, faced with this obviously difficult decision (difficult because he was not the actual Pharaoh), seems certain to have sought advice from Kingdom Officials (those living near the King’s Palace), and undoubtedly finding that they were as eager as he for the Israelites to go, made the final decision.
So the question is asked:
If the Pharaoh of the Exodus was not the Grandvizier Rekhmire, then how can it be that having witnessed firsthand the various plagues, and being advised by court officials to let the Hebrews go, that the Pharaoh would need anyone to explain to him the meaning of the Israelite departure?
Pharaoh at this point in the Narrative appears surprised, shocked and ignorant of the background to the event? Why would he, contrary to all common sense and logic in view of what had transpired, pursue the Israelites?
So the question must also be asked: “Could it be that this pharaoh, and the one who released the Israelites, are two different people?’
If Rekhmire was the ‘Pharaoh’ who let Israel go, then Amenhotep would not have known about it until after the event, either by messenger or upon his return. The Biblical portrayal of the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart may simply reflect the fact that when Amenhotep returned from his campaign and/or learned of the Exodus, that he ordered Rekhmire to have the Israelites returned.
Within this scenario, Rekhmire’s apparent disgrace and fall from power may find explanation in his failure to fulfil his Pharaoh’s command.
But did Pharaoh Drown in the Red Sea?
If we wish to hold to the truth of the Biblical Narrative, then we must answer that he did drown in the Red Sea. That there is no record of a Pharaoh drowning, combined with the failure of Rekhmire to ever be buried in his elaborate tomb, may be explained by the simple statement that the Biblical Pharaoh was the Grandvizier of Egypt, Rekhmire.
There are many problems facing Bible Chronology, but all have as their foundation, that no one understands the Bible’s chronological details, and they are (as an historical composite) excessive of known history. The King’s Calendar demonstrates that the Biblical Chronologies are in fact correct, and that we have not understood their inherent mathematical value.
To see how effective the King’s Calendar method is of synchronising the Biblical data for the Divided Kingdom Period of Israel, SEE : Appendix 5: (Diagrammatic Reconstruction of Israelite History from 936 to 586 BCE.)
To understand the King’s Calendar reconstruction of Josephus’ data, Go to: Josephus, Ancient History and Biblical Contradictions
For a continuation of the issue of the Pharaoh drowning in the Red Sea, Go To: Exodus 15: Pharaoh of the Exodus: Who was he? Did he Drown?
More on The Pharaoh of the Exodus and The Period of the Judges
Definition: King’s Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BC (but continuing down to at least 104 BC), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate ‘solar year’ chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix Five to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]
General formula for Biblical Data conversion:
The formula for constructing the artificial calendar was:
‘X’ times 364 equals ‘Y’ days’Y’ days divided by 336 equals ‘Z’ artificial years.Values are:’X’ = any given number of ‘real/solar’ years364 = perceived days in the sectarian calendar’Y’ = number of days calculated336 = number of days in an artificial year’Z’ = artificial years = 1.083’X’ and represents the original number of the converted years plus 8%.To reverse the process by hand:’Z’ years times 336 equals ‘Y’ divided by 364 equals the Number of ‘X’ years converted.
To see how effective this method is, SEE: Appendix 5: Diagrammatic Reconstruction of Israelite History from 936 to 586 BC:
The Principle of Linear Causality
The King’s Calendar is a very simple approach to Biblical Chronology. It substitutes a value of 336 days for every year listed in Scripture. As far as the Divided Kingdom is concerned, when you use this 336 day year value, the synchronisms actually work. To see how effective this method is, SEE: Appendix 5: Diagrammatic Reconstruction of Israelite History from 936 to 586 BC
Because it is a mathematical system, the King’s Calendar must abide by certain mathematical rules, the most important of which, is that if you change any date for any day, month, or year every other day, month, or year is effected and must also change. It’s like a ‘domino effect’. Chronological references cannot be ‘forced’ to fit, and nor can they simply be ignored or ‘compressed’ as is the usual case with historians and archaeologists.
If any King’s Calendar chronological determination disagrees with anything in the history books, it must argue the case as to why the history books are wrong, or why the evidence for an assertion is untrustworthy. If the King’s Calendar successfully defends its’ position, then the history books cannot be treated as definitive, and if the King’s Calendar is ‘proven’ wrong, then every other chronological reference it provides is also wrong.
Because of this, the King’s Calendar Chronological Reconstruction of Israel’s history is unique, in that its’ methodology can be scientifically (mathematically) tested and demonstrated to be either true or false. Its’ chronological predictions are able to be ‘proved’ or ‘disproved’.