The 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Amenhotep II, was the Pharaoh of Egypt at the time of the Exodus. By the measure of Petrie's chronology, for the Exodus to have occurred in 1449 BCE, it 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 II (contrary to tradition) left Egypt to campaign in Asia (Roux, 1985, p.235) and during these periods, the administration of the kingdom was left in the hands of the Grandvizier. Given this historically recorded situation, there can not be a valid refutation of the King's Calendar posit that Rekhmire was the Pharaoh of the Exodus with whom Moses Dealt.
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Did Pharaoh Drown in the Red Sea?
Kingscalendar Academic Newsletter No. 26
This article relates to the drowning of Pharaoh and his horsemen in the Red Sea during the Mosaic Exodus event as found recorded in Exodus Chapter 15.
(King's Calendar - Chapter 15: Moses and The Exodus - does not include this discussion of Exodus 15)
The article acts as a supplemental apologetic in supporting the hypothesis put forward in the article entitled: Pharaoh of the Exodus, that Exodus Chapter 15, when it speaks of the Egyptian Pharaoh, is actually referring to The GrandVizier Rekhmire. The closing line of that article states:
Rekhmire's apparent disgrace and fall from power, may find explanation in his failure to fulfill his Pharaoh's command.
In this article, I am going to discuss the events recorded in Exodus Chapter 15 in relation to Archaeological Records, and the Grandvizier Rekhmire.
"Was it in Fact the actual Pharaoh with whom Moses dealt?
Could it have been the Grandvisier Rekhmire?"
In that article, attention was drawn to some particular points in relation to the records found in the Bible, in Josephus, and in Egyptian history, that might support the posit that Rekhmire was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Mentioned, were that:
F.F. Bruce, in discussing the term 'I have raised you (Pharaoh) up' (Romans 9:17), indicates that Pharaoh was old. (Tyndale Commentary on Romans, 1992, p.183)
Amenhotep II, successor to Thothmes III was a very young man.
GrandVizier Rekhmire, who served Thothmes III and Amenhotep II was old.
Pharaoh had to be told that the Israelites had fled, as though it was unknown to him. (Exodus 14:5)
Pharaoh was concerned that the Exodus might have been procured by the magic arts. (Antiquities 2:15:3 Whiston, 1993, p.75).
It was with Rekhmire that Moses dealt, not the actual Pharaoh. (Footnote 1. Rekhmire GrandVizier)
What the King's Calendar proposes, is that the Grandvizier Rekhmire acted in place of the Pharaoh, because at that time, the Pharaoh was out of the country. This proposition is not without merit or support.
2. 18th Egyptian Dynasty Exodus: Pharaohs Thothmes III & Amenhotep II
(References to Apologetics for an 18th Dynasty Exodus appear in Footnote 2.)
According to the King's Calendar Reconstruction of Israelite History, the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Amenhotep II, was the Pharaoh of Egypt at the time of the Exodus. By the measure of Petrie's chronology, for the Exodus to have occurred in 1449 BCE, it would have taken place during Amenhotep II's co-regency during the last two years of the reign of Thothmes III. Encyclopaedia Britannica [1985, Vol 18, p.158] Grimal [1992, p.217] Pritchard,J.B. [1950, p. 245]
During these years, and again during his 7th and 9th years, Amenhotep II (contrary to tradition) left Egypt to campaign in Asia (Roux, 1985, p.235) and during these periods, the administration of the kingdom was left in the hands of the Grandvizier.
Given this historically recorded situation, there can not be a valid refutation of the King's Calendar posit that Rekhmire was the Pharaoh of the Exodus with whom Moses Dealt.
Those who would attempt to refute the King's Calendar proposition, must first overcome two extremely significant barriers to such a refutation, barriers put in place by the academic world itself.
That there was no such event as the exodus - and -
That there is no evidence currently in existence to prove when The Exodus occurred.
By this is meant only that if the Exodus did not occur, or that there is no evidence to prove when it occurred, any objection to the King's Calendar posit is sheer hyperbole.
All things being equal, the King's Calendar proposition has validity.
3. Rekhmire: The Pharaoh of the Exodus.
The significance of the proposition that it was Grandvisier Rekhmire who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus, is that it makes possible the justification for the jubilation recorded in Exodus Chapter 15, over the drowning of Pharaoh in the Red Sea.
Currently one of the big hurdles to acceptance of the Exodus as an historical event, is that there is no indication whatsoever that any Pharaoh died in such a manner or situation as indicated in the Bible. (Bible Tools Org)
Did the Pharaoh of the Exodus Drown in the Red Sea Exodus 14:28?
The most conservative scholarship considers that the pharaoh of Egypt at the time of the Exodus (c. 1446 BC) was Amenhotep II (1450-1424 BC). The overwhelming biblical and historical evidence is that he did not die with his army in pursuit of Israel.
However, we are told that when Rekhmire's long career ended, it did so 'perhaps violently, almost certainly with disgrace' (James, T.G.H. 1984 p.21 / p.52). It is with that situation in mind, that the King's Calendar sees a possible justification for the claims made in Exodus Chapter 15.
To suggest however that the Pharaoh of Exodus Chapter 15 was not in fact the pharaoh of Egypt, automatically raises the ire of those who believe that there are no errors in any of the texts that make up the Bible (Biblical Infallibility).
The King's Calendar position is not that of such people, but rather that the Biblical Records are in fact reliable historical records. They do nevertheless contain errors, and more importantly as the King's Calendar Research demonstrates, contain a chronology that was designed to conceal the exact and true chronological history of Israel.
In demonstrating that the Exodus occurred in the 18th Egyptian Dynasty (15th Century BCE), the King's Calendar computer generated mathematical calendar indicates that the Mosaic Exodus occurred in 1449 BCE, with the Israelites crossing over into Canaan in 1412 BCE.
Traditional dating for the 18th Egyptian Dynasty, (although academics have yet to agree with each other Footnote 3), definitely indicates that the Pharaoh of the Exodus was either Thothmes III or Amenhotep II. The King's Calendar demonstrates that it was Pharaoh Amenhotep II.
As he did not die in any crossing of the Red Sea, (a challenge itself to Biblical Infallibility), some explanation must be found for the Israelite rejoicing at Pharaoh's demise in the Red Sea. But does the Bible actually say that Pharaoh drowned in the Red Sea? To answer that question, we must look at some specific Biblical texts.
Before examining specific texts, and to make sure that everything quoted is in context, let us first look at Exodus Chapter 15 in its' contextual entirety.
The following is the English text of the Hebrew/English Version of Exodus Chapter 15. and appears here with The Explicit Permission of the Mechon Mamre Webmaster. [Fnt.4]
Exodus 15:1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spoke, saying: I will sing unto the LORD, for He is highly exalted; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.
Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation; this is my God, and I will glorify Him; my father's God, and I will exalt Him.
Exodus 15:3 The LORD is a man of war, The LORD is His name.
Exodus 15:4 Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath He cast into the sea, and his chosen captains are sunk in the Red Sea.
Exodus 15:5 The deeps cover them--they went down into the depths like a stone.
Exodus 15:6 Thy right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, Thy right hand, O LORD, dasheth in pieces the enemy.
Exodus 15:7 And in the greatness of Thine excellency Thou overthrowest them that rise up against Thee; Thou sendest forth Thy wrath, it consumeth them as stubble.
Exodus 15:8 And with the blast of Thy nostrils the waters were piled up--the floods stood upright as a heap; the deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea.
Exodus 15:9 The enemy said: 'I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.'
Exodus 15:10 Thou didst blow with Thy wind, the sea covered them; they sank as lead in the mighty waters.
Exodus 15:11 Who is like unto Thee, O LORD, among the mighty? who is like unto Thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
Exodus 15:12 Thou stretchedst out Thy right hand--the earth swallowed them.
Exodus 15:13 Thou in Thy love hast led the people that Thou hast redeemed; Thou hast guided them in Thy strength to Thy holy habitation.
Exodus 15:14 The peoples have heard, they tremble; pangs have taken hold on the inhabitants of Philistia.
Exodus 15:15 Then were the chiefs of Edom affrighted; the mighty men of Moab, trembling taketh hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan are melted away.
Exodus 15:16 Terror and dread falleth upon them; by the greatness of Thine arm they are as still as a stone; till Thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over that Thou hast gotten.
Exodus 15:17 Thou bringest them in, and plantest them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, the place, O LORD, which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in, the sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established.
Exodus 15:18 The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.
Exodus 15:19 For the horses of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought back the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel walked on dry land in the midst of the sea.
Exodus 15:20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
Exodus 15:21 And Miriam sang unto them: Sing ye to the LORD, for He is highly exalted: the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.
Exodus 15:22 And Moses led Israel onward from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.
Exodus 15:23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah.
Exodus 15:24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying: 'What shall we drink?'
Exodus 15:25 And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, and he cast it into the waters, and the waters were made sweet. There He made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there He proved them;
Exodus 15:26 and He said: 'If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His eyes, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon thee, which I have put upon the Egyptians; for I am the LORD that healeth thee.'
Exodus 15:27 And they came to Elim, where were twelve springs of water, and three score and ten palm-trees; and they encamped there by the waters.
Exodus Chapter 15 is poetic; it's about a song of rejoicing, and we can accept that as such, it uses literary or poetic license. It therefore does not need to be taken literally as historical fact.
Even as something approaching historical fact, if we look at the verses pertinent to the drowning of the Egyptians, we can see that we need not believe that Pharaoh himself was involved. For Instance:
Exodus 15:1 & 15:4 in referring to "Pharaoh's chariots" and "his chosen captains" make only a general claim that "the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea".
Exodus 15:19 Is very precise about what happened and says: "For the horses of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought back the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel walked on dry land in the midst of the sea."
There is no need in any of these verses to read into them that Pharaoh himself drowned.
However: It would be a strange scenario for a leader of an army not to actually lead the army, and this especially holds true for Amenhotep II. This Pharaoh was an aggressive leader who not only personally lead his army (Roux, 1985, p.235), but broke cultural taboos in taking it far beyond the borders of Egypt.
Moreover, Psalm 136:15 (again poetic) specifically states that both Pharaoh and his army were destroyed in the Red Sea. bible tools . orgDid the Pharaoh of the Exodus Drown in the Red Sea ( Exodus 14:28 )?
More importantly however, is the lead up to the crossing of the Red Sea as recorded in Exodus 14:7-10:
And he (Pharaoh) took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over all of them. And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel; for the children of Israel went out with a high hand. And the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians were marching after them; and they were sore afraid; and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. (Mechon Mamre Translation.)
If the crossing of the Red Sea is an historical Event, it is clear that the Biblical record shows that Pharaoh himself pursued the Israelites through the Red Sea, and did drown.
5. Can we trust this Biblical historical story?
This is of course the $64 question, about which I have just a little to say. I want to draw your attention to some of the other verses in Exodus Chapter 15, and I want you to notice what the story really says.
Exodus 15:8 & 15:10 refer to natural events of wind and waters piling up and sinking the Egyptians. (And with the blast of Thy nostrils the waters were piled up--the floods stood upright as a heap; the deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea.)
Exodus 15:12 reiterates that the destruction was by natural causes that is: "the earth swallowed them".
Exodus 15:15 & 15:16 Relates that these (super)natural events which protected the Israelites caused other peoples to be afraid of them.
Exodus 15:24 records that after 3 days in the wilderness without water, the people began to rise up against Moses.
Exodus 15:26 records that after everything was settled with the Almighty, a promise was given that if the people did what was right in His eyes, and follow His commandments, none of the diseases that fell upon the Egyptians would come upon the Israelites.
The nature of the story requires us to believe that:
a.) It is a lie, because it never happened
b.) It is a lie, because it was the Israelites themselves who defeated the Egyptians - or-
c.) It is at least, a reasonable representation of true historical events.
Discounting proposition a.) with which it is useless to argue, and proposition b.) which is paradoxical to say the least, we should consider proposition c.) for which there exists no proof to the contrary, but for which there exists every reasonable right to accept it by virtue of what the Bible actually is.
What is the Bible?
Something which many people fail to realise is that the bible, in addition to being a religious text, is also an extensive historical document, which, when combined with extra-biblical Ancient Israelite documents, provides far more chronological and historical information, than is provided by other ancient civilizations whose records are more favorably treated as gospel in our ever increasingly anti-God world, than is the Bible. The Bible is a series of historical documents.
The fact that Israelite history in contradistinction to other ancient histories, carefully records many shameful flaws (sins) in the character of the nation, is highly indicative of the integrity of the material contained therein. [Refer to: Starr.C.G. (1991. p.145) & Grant.M. (1984.p.37)]
In referring to a time in history past, when it could just have easily recorded some marvelous pitched battle, Israelite history records that a series of Natural events provided opportunity for the Exodus Escape, and resulted in the overthrew of the pursuing Egyptian Army. Whilst issues pertaining to supernatural events is left here to individual preferences, it remains true that the self effacing history of Israel which records the defeat of an enemy through calamitous interventions, deserves the same treatment as any other recording of catastrophic events.
Two objections to such acceptance arise by virtue of rejection of Divine intervention, (religious prejudice - Miller & Hayes 1986.p.59) and the problems that arise in failing to synchronise the histories of Israel and Egypt. (James et.al.1991 pp 222, 227, 228 & Roy.A. 1982 Review 6, 53-55)
Certainly a lack of evidence in the Egyptian records bears no substance in the light of sufficient examples of Egyptian tampering with their own historical records. One should also remember that "Archaeology is not an exact science, and deals more often in probabilities and possibilities than in irrefutable demonstrations.' (Peet. T.E. 1924.p.75)
Even as to the controversial matter of the Mosaic parting of the Sea, Josephus concludes his discourse on the Exodus (Antiquities Book 2 Chapter 16:5) by stating that he is only reciting the records as they stand, and that in spite of the miraculous element in the crossing of the Red Sea, he acknowledges (as does also Whiston - Footnote 33) that this phenomenon is not entirely unknown. (Fnt. 5)
Although some do claim that physical evidence exists to verify the Parting of the Red Sea Story and subsequent drowning of the Egyptian army, (Pharaoh's Drowned Army) the most frequent objection to the story self justifies on the basis of a lack of evidence. This of course was the same justification for rejection of the Fabled Story of Troy.
When historical documents are entered into evidence, a lack of (Egyptian) documentary evidence, cannot negate the production of (Israelite) documentary Evidence. This is a principle of evidentiary law. See:Articles in the Rules of Evidence Series
As a reasonable representation of true historical events (Documentary Evidence), the Exodus event within the King's Calendar Reconstruction of Israelite History, occurred in the Reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep II.
6. Pharaoh or GrandVizier: A Biblical Contradiction?
As previously mentioned, if No Pharaoh of Egypt died in the Red Sea whilst pursuing the fleeing Israelites, then we already have a contradiction.
On the other hand, if the Bible says that the Pharaoh drowned, when actually it was the Grandvisier Rekhmire (as the King's Calendar hypothesizes), does this make the Bible incorrect? Is it a contradiction?
From what the bible says of Joseph (Genesis 31:39-46 & 42:6) as Governor and from what Egyptian records demonstrate concerning Rekhmire (James 1984, p.54) & Newby.P.H. 1980), we know that in Egypt there was a second in charge, an appointed person, who stood in Pharaoh's place, and was answerable only to Pharaoh himself.
Given that Amenhotep II left Egypt for protracted periods, there can be no serious objection to the concept that for that period of time, the Grandvizier was Pharaoh.
As the King's Calendar synchronises the Exodus event with a period in time that coincides with the absence of Pharaoh Amenhotep II from Egypt, it seems certainly within the realm of probability, that the historical events surrounding Moses dealings with the Egyptian Pharaoh, were actually with the Grandvisier Rekhmire. It further seems probable, (if Pharaoh drowned in the Red Sea), that upon Amenhotep's return to Egypt and discovery that the Israelites had escaped, that the Grandvisier was commanded to pursue them.
From this perspective then, we can see that the "pharaoh" with whom Moses dealt, who let the Israelites leave Egypt, and who later pursued them, could have drowned in the Red Sea. And it certainly explains Rekhmire's unfortunate end to an otherwise brilliant career. (Footnote 6. Rekhmire's Tomb: links)
Despite all the objections to the Exodus being an historical event, to the lack of evidence for a drowned Pharaoh and the fears of some that it destroys the credibility of the Bible, there is nothing implausible in the conjecture presented in this article.
In actual fact, when the mathematics of the King's Calendar are scientifically tested and not found wanting, there is no other explanation which satisfies both Egyptian and Biblical History.
During the period between the Middle Kingdom and the eighteenth dynasty, the vizierate achieved its highest pinnacle of authority ( James T. 1984 p.54) When we read Newby's (1980, pp.68/69) description of Rekhmire's office, we find that it is in keeping with the biblical description of the Patriarch Joseph's position. See also Pritchard. J.B. (1950) Ancient Near Eastern Texts: relating to the Old Testament. Princeton University Press. p.212
If one compares dates assigned to the Pharaohs of the 18th dynasty by various authors, [Petrie, W.M.F. (1931) Trigger (1983) Grimal N. (1992) and Aldred,( 1988 )] differing applications of evidence becomes obvious. In comparing the data for just three Pharaohs we discover a diversity of opinion, as to when they ruled.
a) Amenhotep I commenced somewhere between 1560 & 1515 BCE
b) Thotmes II commenced somewhere between 1528 & 1482 BCE
c) Amenhotep II commenced somewhere between 1447 & 1425 BCE
Since 2004 he has been writing academic articles, social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both here at KingsCalendar, and formerly as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News (Maine USA) where from 2009 to 2015 he was Stand-in Editor. He currently has a column at iPatriot.com and teaches English to Business English and Flight Attendant College Students in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.)
BenDedek originally created the site to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.' Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah. Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
(The Download book does not contain a section on Seder Olam)
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), 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 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]