The Life and Chronology of the Israelite Patriarch Joseph

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menorah_B_Red_image_4AOver the past year I have transferred some of my Chronology of Ancient Israel articles to this new site Kingscalendar, and you may find a list of those articles HERE.

Today however, I am presenting an article that has not previously appeared on either site. It is a portion from Chapter Fourteen of the King’s Calendar: The Secret of Qumran. That chapter is titled Abraham to Solomon, 1915 BCE to 936 BCE. The portion we will look at today is on the Patriarch Joseph.

If you know nothing about my research you should first discover what my research is and you can do that at this link and from there you should go to the section on Methodology and also the Assumptions and Limitations of the research.

The King’s Calendar commences the Divided Kingdom of Ancient Israel in 936BC (see Appendix 5 Divided Kingdom chart). If you then go to the Chapter Precis Page and look for Appendix 12 and scroll down half way, you will come to line 380 (left column – in purple) which is the last year of the reign of King Solomon. From there you can scroll down the page to see how the various events and people of Ancient History are presented chronologically.

Those going to Appendix 12 will find it confusing if you do not carefully look at the legend at the top of the page, and note that there is a period of 13.5 overlapping years in the chronology for the Divided kingdom which affects all the figures on the right hand side of the chart in relation to the figures provided by the historian Josephus.

The Patriarch Joseph

The purpose of providing a specific section for discussion of the Patriarch Joseph is threefold.

Firstly, since it is possible to determine a variety of significant dates in his life, that shall be done.

Secondly, because he is prominent in the story of the sojourn, with the bible providing him an extremely high position in Egyptian society, discussion of that position is relevant.

Thirdly, the issue of the famine that he prophesied and oversaw, is, within the ‘King’s Calendar’ chronological reconstruction, significant.

a) The Chronology of Joseph’s life.

There are actually a number of scriptural chronological references in relation to Joseph’s life from which we can provide a reasonable chronological reconstruction of his life.

While Genesis 37:2 makes it appear that Joseph was not much older than 17 years old when he was sold as a slave, the various significant time periods between that event and his appearance before Pharaoh are not specifically mentioned but at that point in his life however, we are informed that he was thirty years old (Gen 41:46)

No mention is made of the length of time spent in Potiphar’s household (Genesis 39:1) nor of the time spent in prison, except that two years passed between the time that Joseph interpreted the dreams of the Butler and the Baker (Genesis 41:1) and his appearance before Pharaoh.

The thirty 30 year old Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream to reveal a seven year period of prosperity to be followed by seven years of famine. Since the famine was in its second year (Gen 45:6) at the time of Joseph’s disclosure to his brothers, he was at this stage 39 years of age. At this point then the sojourn commences and we read that he eventually died at the age of 110 years (Gen 50:26).

From this data we can reconstruct a chronological timetable of Joseph’s life.

Divided Kingdom to the Patriarch Joseph.

Note that line numbers refer to the far left of the chart and they are in purple. The 480 years between entry into Caanan and building the Temple are in blue beside the line numbers. The year date is to the right of that, and the 4th column from the left counts out the years to which we are referring. When looking at the charts please remember that every 12 solar years contains 13 artificial years and so an annual year date will repeat.

Line 416 (purple) counts the years back from a 586 BC Exile. 480 (blue years) indicates 480 years between the commencement of the building of Solomon’s Temple and entrance into Caanan. The 3rd column from the left is the year date and the next column counts King Solomon’s reign (1,2,3,4) and King David’s reign (40,39,38)

The King’s Calendar calculations as depicted in Appendix 12 are:

937 BC (line 380) Last year of King Solomon
970 BC (line 416) the 480th year since entrance to Canaan
973 BC (line 419) First year of King Solomon
1010 BC (line 459) First year of King David

1412 BC (line 895) Entry into Caanan
1413 BC (line 896) Last year of Exodus + 120th year of Moses

Line 895 is the first year of entrance into Caanan and leads to Solomon’s 4th year and Line 896 is the 120th year of Moses and the 40th year of the Exodus.

1449 BC (line 935) First year of Exodus + 81st year of Moses
1450 BC (line 936) Last year of 215 year sojourn in Egypt

Line 935 indicates the 81st year of Moses and the 1st year of the Exodus in 1449 BC.

1523 BC (line 1015) Moses first year + the 136th year of the Sojourn


1554 BC (line 1048) The Hyksos Kings expelled from Egypt in the 103rd year of sojourn


1648 BC (line 1150) First year of Sojourn
Also 130th year of Jacob (Gen 47:28) who died in his 147th year

In 1648 BCE Joseph was 39 years of age.

(Gen 41:46 says he was 30 years old + 7 years of plenty + 2 years of famine = 39 years old.)

Therefore he was born in 1683 BCE.

Line 1150 + 38 = line 1188 or 1683 as Joseph’s first year.

From 1683 BCE we conclude that he was 17 years of age in 1668 BCE

And he appeared before Pharaoh in 1656 BCE

The Famine commenced in 1650 BCE

The sojourn in 1648 BCE

Joseph died in 1582 BCE

30 years later, the Hyksos Kings were ejected from Egypt (1554 BCE).

In the chart below, the 6th column from the left in PINK
counts out the years from Abraham’s 75th year.
The 430th year is the last year of the sojourn

The chronology of Patriarch Joseph..This chart was lifted from Appendix 7 which is not freely available on the website, but you can count it out on appendix 12 which is available. The figures in red on the far right are counting out the years of Jacob.

Side Issue on the Hyksos Kings being ejected from Egypt 1554 BCE.
Antiquities. Book 10:8:5 Re: The burning of the temple

The Historian Josephus states that from the Departure from Egypt to Fall of Jerusalem in 586 BCE 1062.5 years elapse. If we note the wording Josephus uses in his text, it simply states ‘from the departure out of Egypt.’

The King’s Calendar chronological charts for the divided kingdom demonstrate that there is a 13.5 year duplication error in the Biblical data. This is comprised of one excessive year applied to the time span, ‘Uzziah to Hezekiah’, in relation to the reigns of Jotham and Ahaz; and an excessive 12 years accorded Uzziah during the reign of his father Amaziah. The balance of 6 months comes from the reigns of Jehoahaz and Jehoiachin.

Josephus’ figure of 1062.5 years is therefore reduced accordingly to 1049 artificial years which, when traced back from 586 BCE, arrives at the year 1554 BCE (Line 1048), for the commencement of the 18th dynasty.

First column on the left contains Line numbers, the next contains year dates. The next column indicates the year of sojourn in Egypt and the second from the right is counting out the years between King David and the founding of Jerusalem according to Josephus. The King’s Calendar breaks down his references to the foundation of Jerusalem to determine that 995 years elapse between the founding of Jerusalem in 1928 BC and King David’s reign. The far right column shows that were it not for the 13.5 overlapping years during the Divided Kingdom, Josephus’ figure of 1062.5 years between the Hyksos Exodus and the Babylonian Exile would have been correct.

b) Joseph’s Position in the Egyptian court

Joseph’s reward for interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, and preventing economic tragedy in Egypt, was to be raised to a position of great responsibility. It is recorded that the only person of greater stature in Egypt was Pharaoh himself. He was given Pharaoh’s signet ring, fine linen garments and a gold chain to wear around his neck.

His responsibility was to oversee the procurement of provisions to store against the coming famine, and the people were required to bow to him. By his authority the people were able to come and go in the land. (Genesis 31:39-46). His title as recorded in Genesis 42:6, is that of Governor.

His position as described however, fits that of Grandvizier. Although this particular position did not reach its’ highest zenith until Grandvizier Rekhmire in the 15th Century (James 1984, p.54). Rekhmire’s portfolios and powers included, security, justice, taxation, tribute, land surveys, forced labour, and all legal matters. The only person higher than the Grand Vizier was indeed the Pharaoh.

The Biblical narrative accords three specific powers to Joseph. That of Finance, Travel, and Pharaonic Authority. In it’s description of his activity, it informs us that:

He collected finances from grain sales to store for use during the famine.

He collected livestock in exchange for grain sales.

He purchased the land from the starving inhabitants of Egypt, in return for grain.

He provided the people with seed to sow, but at a price. The people were required to give 20% of their harvests to Pharaoh, and thus entered Egypt, regular annual taxation.

The Biblical Narrative actually provides a great deal of information on Joseph, such as that one must either consider it to be an utter fabrication, or an historical truth.

The Pharaoh Who Knew Not Joseph:

Now the reason for raising these matters concerning Joseph is that it provides significant foundation to a statement made in Exodus 1:1, that there arose in Egypt a Pharaoh who did not know Joseph.

This pharaoh was Amosis who expelled the Hyksos ‘shepherd kings’ of Egypt, somewhere around the middle of the 16th century. Sir Flinders Petrie (1906 See: Marston, 1935. p.282) commences his reign in 1573 BCE. However, as will be seen in the ‘King’s Calendar’ reconstruction of Josephus’ chronological data, 1554 BCE. is the year that he indicates to be that in which the Hyksos were expelled.

Joseph’s financial reforms occurred c.1643 BCE. and he himself died in 1582 BCE. Irrespective of when precisely the Hyksos were expelled from Egypt, the statement that Pharaoh did not know Joseph (who only died thirty years earlier), could reflect an assumption that he ‘ought’ to have known him!

Tompkins (c.1900). p.56. Rev. Tompkins suggested a century ago that Joseph lived during the reign of Apepi (Apophis), and in quoting Petrie, (Appendix B – page 177), demonstrates that the story of Joseph is an accurate accounting of regular events during the 16th Century.

The statement that Pharaoh did not know Joseph would appear to be a negative reflection upon the Pharaoh’s failure to provide due recognition of Joseph’s status and his historical contribution during the famine 70 – 100 years earlier, and by extension, a reflection upon his ill treatment of Joseph’s kin.

Joseph’s personal contribution to government at that time was the complete reorganisation of Pharaonic finances; a situation from which Amosis personally benefited.

c) The Famine of the mid-17th Century BCE.

While the Biblical story of Joseph’s promotion via his interpretation of the Pharaoh’s dream might for some be relegated to the realms of mythology, this story takes place at a time in history during which a cataclysm did occur that caused protracted famine throughout this region in the world, and it is connected with the fabled Atlantis.

One of the many proposed identifications of Atlantis is the Greek Island of Thera. (Pellegrino.C. (1991) Unearthing Atlantis : an Archaeological Odyssey. New York. Random House.) In the mid-17th Century B.C. this island exploded with a force many times that of Krackatoa, sending a cloud of black ash some twenty miles into the atmosphere. The ash from that explosion travelled south east and reached Egypt. Whilst the event is currently but not definitively placed c.1628 BCE. (Pellegrino.1991 p.22) it may well be that it occurred some twenty years earlier.

The seven years of plenty of which Joseph prophesied lasted between approximately 1655 BCE and 1650 BCE. If the Theran catastrophe occurred somewhere around 1650 BCE, its devastating effects most certainly affected agriculture in those places where the ash fell (As far as Egypt Pellegrino 1991 p.232/233), and may well be the basis behind the story of Pharaoh’s dream.

So there you have it.

The Patriarch Joseph was born in 1683 BC
He was set over the Kingdom of Egypt in 1656 BC
The Israelite Sojourn in Egypt commenced in 1648 BC
Joseph died in 1582 BC
The Hyksos were expelled in 1554 BC
Moses was born in 1523 BC
The Exodus commenced in 1449 BC
The Israelites entered Caanan in 1412 BC

480 years later in the 4th year of Solomon the first temple commenced construction in 970 BC.

I hope you have enjoyed this presentation.

The King’s Calendar is unique in that it does not alter scriptural choronological references to fit what is believed to be history. It does however insist that no one to date has actually understood how the chronological data was presented or that it was presented in an artificial manner.

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DIVIDED KINGDOM CHART
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APPENDIX 12 CHART
Chapters 1-4 of the Secret of Qumran

The KingsCalendar The Secret of QumranR.P. BenDedekEmail: rpbendedek@hotmail.com
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Author: R.P. BenDedek

R.P. BenDedek was born in 1953 and grew up in Brisbane Australia. From 2003 to June 2017 he taught conversational English in The People's Republic of China. Along with photographic stories from China he has been writing social and political commentaries since 2004. He was the temporary editor of Magic City Morning Star from 2009 - 2016 and currently has a column at iPatriot.com. He is the author of a chronological history of ancient Israel titled 'the King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran' and author of 'Finding Myself in China: A Politically Incorrect Story.' He is divorced; has 5 children and 16 grandchildren. He is a 4th generation Australian from a racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse family. He has no time for Sociopathic Ideologues or Useful Idiots.