Is there any archaeological evidence for Joseph?  Joseph is critical to the biblical timeline because the genealogy provided in Genesis ends with Jacob.  Identifying when the events in the Joseph story took place, and therefore when Jacob arrived in Egypt is critical to our ability to extend the timeline back before the exodus.  As with the exodus, no conclusive archaeological evidence of Joseph has been found.  But could this be because we have been looking in the wrong place, or rather the wrong time? There are definite records for the Biblical Joseph in Egyptian history. But in Egyptian it correlates exactly with the new position that Joseph was given by Pharaoh. Excavation at this settlement has revealed a small palace belonging to a high ranking official.  This palace was originally fronted by twelve columns.  Later, the palace was expanded to add two identical sets of living quarters in front of the original structure. But even more importantly, this mastaba is oriented to the north instead of the east, as the other pyramids and mastabas are. Published: 23 January 2007 (GMT+10) By Daniel Anderson. Pharaoh changes Joseph’s name.  The Asiatics that settled in the Nile delta region spoke Canaanite and West Semitic dialects that would be very similar if not identical to ancient Hebrew.  Thus,there would have been no need to change Joseph’s name, and if it were changed the new name would be easily translated into Hebrew.  Instead, Pharaoh gives Joseph an Egyptian name, “Zaphnath-paaneah”. At the entrance to this complex, as we described earlier, there are 40 small cubicles, each just the right size to hold a single person who could administer the receipt of payment from people coming to purchase grain. 4) “If you are a man of trust, sent by one great man to another, adhere to the nature of him who sent you, give his message as he said it.”. The Bible Story of Joseph from the Book of Genesis. Isaac was born twenty-five years later when Abraham was one hundred years old.  Isaac was sixty years old when Jacob was born(Genesis 25:26).  Isaac then lived an additional one hundred twenty years and died at the age of one hundred eighty(Genesis 35:28). Among the historical enigmas that the Bible serves up to us is the identity of Joseph’s Pharaoh, the one who made Joseph a ruler in Egypt. There was even found an inscription by an anonymous Greek who came here, telling how he was cured- and it was through a dream! Josephus relates that Abraham was responsible for bringing the knowledge of arithmetic and astronomy to the Egyptians, which may also be true. After Joseph interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh, the king elevated him to the highest office under the crown. My conclusion then is to place Joseph at the end of the twelfth dynasty and in the reign of Amenemhat III, based on the archaeological evidence.  This is compatible with a long sojourn in the orthodox chronology or a short sojourn in the new chronology.  Thus, the choice of sojourn length is dependent on which chronology you are using.  But regardless, we have an anchor point from which to work out alignments between Egyptian and biblical history prior to Joseph, though the exact BC dates will remain in dispute as shown in Figure 4. Imhotep is the earliest physician whose historical records survive, and although Joseph isn’t mentioned as being a physician, the Bible gives one very important clue to this: GEN 50:2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel. (Exodus 12:40, Septuagint – NETS). At times, Imhotep has been termed the “Leonardo da Vinci” of ancient Egypt, but in fact he was more than that. Louis Park, MN, Thinking Man Media, 2015, pp 103-104, [6] Aling, 35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. It was Imhotep who is credited with having designed the first pyramid and began building with hewn stone instead of all mud brick. Based on what we find in Genesis, we can derive the relative dates shown in Figure 1.  Abraham arrived in Canaan at the age of seventy-five (Genesis 12:4). The Pharaoh Sneferu’s oldest son Kanufer held this post, and his grandson Hemiuna was the Vizier and overseer of works under the Pharaoh Cheops (c 2650 B.C.). 31 For he was wiser… and his fame was in all nations round about. But there is nothing in the Egyptian records linking Ramesses to … The palace grounds contain twelve tombs, all identified as Semitic burials.  One of these tombs was originally covered by a pyramid.  A very high honor reserved almost exclusively for royalty and unique in this period. Unlike the other tombs, this one is completely empty – no bones, no grave goods, nothing.  Indications are that everything was removed in antiquity. Finally, this tomb contains the remains of a statue of its owner.  The statue is of an Asiatic (Semite) with red hair and wearing a multicolored coat. But while in prison he interprets the dreams of two of pharaohs servants. Ramses II lived and ruled for an extremely long time, and as a very old man was still the titular pharaoh when Moses was born in 1220 BC. April 5, 2010, [8] This was a “business” and would have required a center of administration. (Genesis 15:13-16). The Step Pyramid complex at Sakkara is the complex which we will now discuss. We also find parallels in other Books, such as Psalms and Ecclesiastes: 6) “If every word is carried on, they will not perish in the land.”. They also discovered that this chamber belonged to a very large mastaba tomb which contained a second chamber full of broken stone vessels, and in the tomb’s storerooms were jars whose clay-stoppers had the seal impression of Djoser! In the Biblical account, we learn that Joseph appointed men throughout the land of Egypt to oversee the gathering and storing of the grain in all the cities: GEN 41:34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. There is also a picture in the tomb of Tehuti-hetep in Bersheh which has a picture of a herd of Syrian cattle entering Egypt with the inscription: “Once you trod the Syrian sands. Let’s look at a few passages from this inscription and compare them with the Biblical account, keeping in mind that this was written a millenium after the events it claims to be describing: 1. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt. But, when the children of Israel left during the Exodus, his bones were taken with them: EXO 13:19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. Who is the god? In summary, both the larger context and the specific details provided in the Joseph story indicate that Joseph served under an Egyptian, and not an Asiatic king and that this king was the ruler of all of a united Egypt in a period where Egypt was strong enough to defend herself against foreign invaders.  This again places the story in the Middle Kingdom, and not later in the Second Intermediate Period. No inscriptions were found on the walls and the sarcophagus was empty. Does this fit what we know of Joseph? But by this time the old ruler was senile, and his son Merneptah was serving as regent. Joseph likely also has this status because he is the eldest child of Jacob’s favorite (deceased) wife, Rachel. There are examples of proverbs in many ancient civilizations, but the only ones which Solomon recorded by inspiration and today appear in the Bible are very similar to the ancient Egyptian “wisdom literature” which can be traced back to Imhotep. (verse 17). For example, in “Song from the Tomb of King Intef”, we read: “I have heard the words of Imhotep and Hardedef…”. Imhotep was also revered for his wisdom. And in ancient Egypt, the people didn’t live too much longer than about 50. The Search for Imhotep’s Tomb And, we know that Joseph died at the age of 110 years. So important is Imhotep to Egyptology, that in the Guidebook to Sakkara by Jill Kamil, “The Tomb of Imhotep” is listed as a subject heading, only to explain that it has not been found. 41And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years – on that very same day[1]– it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. After discovering Sarah's true relationship to Abraham, the pharaoh chooses not to take her as his own wife. Here is a compilation of BC items bearing on this question, in order of publication date.. 1, p. Joseph, son of Jacob (Israel), was Imhotep, of Egyptian History Joseph was the 11th son of Jacob, the Patriarch of Israel. The design of the 11 pits is impressive. Abraham left Haran in about 1921 BC, about 427 years later. The Bible Story of Joseph, from the Book of Genesis, is one of heroic redemption and forgiveness. [2] Aling, In Genesis 30:22 God remembers Rachels prayers. Is Imhotep Joseph? God told Moses to tell the pharaoh that “I AM” had sent him because “I AM” was the name by which the Egyptians had known Joseph’s God. It’s worth thinking about what it (Originally published in Newsletter No. With the rise of the Hyksos they may have seen it advantageous to enslave the Hebrews.  There is an implication in Exodus 1:11 that the children of Israel already had responsibilities, or “burdens” before they were put under Egyptian taskmasters. Copyright © 2021 Wyatt Archaeological Research. When the pharaoh figured out the cause for these inflictions, he called Abraham to account, asking him why he lied to him about Sarah. The Egyptian king is the principal villain of the Exodus story. Arthur Weigall, one of the archaeologists involved in the discovery of Yuya’s tomb, wrote: “He was a … This was an important tomb of someone from Djoser’s time- but the sarcophagus was empty. When was Joseph in Egypt? Can we identify the Pharaoh of Joseph? The king gave Joseph a new name “Zaphnath-paaneah (Genesis 41:45). This inscription claims to be a copy of a document written by Djoser in the 18th year of his reign,- this copy being written over 1,000 years after the events it claims to be relating. The time of the 300 Year Gap Joseph is given as his wife Ashenath the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. Ashenath is a good Egyptian female name from this period, Joseph is given titles: Chief Steward of the King, Father of Pharaoh, and Ruler Throughout All the Land of Egypt. All the pits are connected to each other by a subterranean tunnel- the pits were filled and the tops were sealed with wooden timbers and stone. It came from the original truths known by the original post-flood family of Noah. While Egyptologist attempt to date the events of Joseph in the Hyksos period which they date (ca. Some of these great evidences relate to the story of Joseph in ancient Egypt. We know that his wisdom came from the true God of Abraham. PRO 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. When excavators continued to search for Imhotep’s tomb very near the Step Pyramid, they found an incredible labyrinth of underground tunnels, full of mummified ibis (birds) and bulls (in separate galleries). Let’s take a look…. As a result, the land was filled with them. Joseph brought up all the land for Pharaoh by selling the grain he stored during the seven years that preceded the famine [11] ; a feat that could only have been performed once, early in Egypt’s history, and explains how the Pharaohs became so powerful and able to built the pyramids. And during the 7 years of plenty, the people, under Joseph’s wise guidance, began to organize a great administrative center which would handle the selling of the grain to all the surrounding nations. The Bible records the fact that Joseph even taught the pharaoh’s “senators”. These hundreds of thousands of ibis were mummified and brought here as tribute to Imhotep, filling these tunnels. Here is absolute proof that this was the tomb of a very important person of Djoser’s reign. Intermediate Period (2000-1500 BC in the orthodox chronology). We know that this position held great power, second only to Pharaoh in authority and degree, so it is of little surprise that the sons of Pharaohs … The pharaoh who knew Joseph was the great Ramses II, who met Joseph in 1270 BC, when he was still a young man. According to Genesis 41:33-36, after Joseph interprets Pharaoh's dream, Joseph gave this advise to Pharaoh: “Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. There are records of many, many viziers throughout Egyptian history- but the first evidence which connects Imhotep with Joseph is an amazing inscription found carved on a large rock on the island of Sihiel just below the First Cataract of the Nile. Inscriptions and coins found here show that people came here to be healed! Soon after this (we don’t know exactly how soon) he and Sarah went to Egypt because of a famine in Canaan. In the inscription, Imhotep answers the pharaoh about the god of the Nile and tells him where he lives. In Egypt’s long list of “gods”, very few were ever once living among them. In the Egyptian text, Imhotep is termed “the son of Ptah”, who was the Egyptian god known as the “creator” of everything else, including the other gods. forget the larger context of the story itself. God honored Joseph’s faithfulness and placed him in an important leadership role in Egypt—second in command only to Pharaoh. Genesis 41:47 and 53 tell us that 7 years of plenty came in Egypt, followed by famine. Pharaoh Sesostris I is identified as the pharaoh who appointed Joseph over Egypt, with Joseph himself possibly being identified as Mentuhotep, Sesostris’ vizier or prime minister. And while in Egypt, surrounded by paganism, God would not leave His people nor the Egyptians without access to His Truth. This prompted feelings of jealousy within his brothers, especially the sons of Jacob’s other w… Angry and jealous of Jacob’s gift to Joseph, a resplendent “coat of many colours,” the brothers seize him and sell him to a party of Ishmaelites, or Midianites, who carry him to Egypt. The evidences which parallel the story of Joseph in more detail are the focus of this newsletter. In fact, Egyptologists tend to term everything they find as a royal “tomb”, which is what they have called this complex. 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