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Biblical Chronology - Synchronizing The History Of Israel With Ancient Egypt

Dec 10, 2007
Egyptian Dynasties 13-20

The rulers from dynasties 13 through 17 are contemporaries of one another to a large extent but one very significant event occurs during this time. The Hyksos rulers arise at the end of the 17th Dynasty and rule for 94 years. The Hyksos rulers are invaders from Canaan that capture Egypt. Their most noteworthy cultural contribution is the domestication of horses. It was the horse and its use in battle that was probably responsible for their rise to power in Egypt.

Pharoah Ahmose, the first king of 18th dynasty drives out the Hyksos rulers and brings the control of Egypt back to the Egyptian natives.

Dynasties 19 and 20 introduce us to Ramesses Kings I-XI. These kings are the kings of the Hebrew enslavement in Egypt.

There are two events in the Old Testament that serve as anchor points for this part of the Egyptian timeline, the death of Joseph and the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. Let's take a look at the Exodus first. Conventional Chronology suggests that Ramesses II is the pharaoh of the Hebrew Exodus. I believe the Hebrew Exodus has to occur after Ramesses II because of the presence of the Philistine people in the history of the Hebrews. If the Exodus occurs during the reign of Ramesses II then the army of Ramesses III would not be strong enough to repel the Sea Peoples (a group that historians believe included the Philistines).

Why? The entire army of the pharaoh of the Exodus is drowned in the Red Sea (Exodus 14:15-18): "And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they may go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they follow them: and I will get me honor upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horseman". There are historical records that in his eighth year Ramesses III kept the Sea Peoples from conquering Egypt and so the Sea Peoples resolved themselves to settle in Canaan.

Let's assume that the Hebrew Exodus happened in the eighth year of Ramesses III after the Sea Peoples have been defeated. If the crossing of the Red Sea occurs in 1301 B.C. (according to the Fourth Day Chronology) then Joseph's death would have occurred 1659 B.C. during the reign of Ahmose in the 18th Dynasty. Recall what the book of Joshua says about the death of Joseph (Exodus 1:6-8): "And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. And the people of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph."

If the king mentioned in these verses is Ahmose, how is it he does not know Joseph, given Joseph's service to the nation of Egypt? It is because Joseph served the Hyksos kings and Ahmose is the king responsible for ending the long reign of the invaders from Palestine, the Hyksos kings. Ahmose knows exactly who Joseph was; Joseph was a respected leader in the regime of his enemy. This is why Ahmose treated the Hebrews so harshly. Therefore the Exodus is a good anchor point for the reign of Ramesses III in the 20th Dynasty and the death of Joseph is a good anchor point for the beginning of the 18th Dynasty. This being the case this portion of the Conventional Egyptian Chronology, the 18th through the 20th dynasties, should be shifted earlier by 124 years. Egyptian Dynasties 18-20 are shown below using the adjusted timeline based on the Fourth Day Chronology of the Bible. Significant characters from the Bible are referenced with the timeline so that archaeologists and historians may look for evidence of these Biblical characters during the life of their contemporary Egyptian king. All dates are given in astronomical years B.C.

Egyptian Dynasties 21-26

This period of time is best understood when we start from Dynasty 26 and then move backwards in time to Dynasty 21. Dynasty 26 is easily dated since the next to last king of this dynasty, Amasis II, dies in the same year that Cambyses of the Persian Empire invaded Egypt. According to the Fourth Day Chronology Cambyses conquered Egypt in 345 B.C., therefore this period on the Conventional Egyptian Chronology timeline should be shifted later by 181 years. Now let's shift the entire timeline from Dynasties 21-26 by 181 years and make some observations.

Let's consider Shoshenk I of the 22nd Dynasty, the presumed Shishak of the Old Testament. According to the Literal Biblical Chronology Shishak conquered Rehoboam in the 5th year of Rehoboam's reign or 780 B.C. When the Conventional Egyptian Chronology is adjusted by 181 years forward in time the reign of Shoshenk I is 764-743 B.C. While not completely in agreement with the Fourth Day Chronology this result is very close. Small errors in the length of the reigns of the kings from the 22nd to the 26th dynasty in the Conventional Egyptian Chronology could account for this disparity in the results.

Therefore using the events of Cambyses's invasion of Egypt and Shishak's invasion of Israel the adjusted Egyptian Chronology for dynasties 21-26 is presented below. Notice that Egypt is split between the Tanite (city of Tanus) and Theban (city of Thebes) kingdoms in the 21st dynasty. Also notice that the 23rd dynasty overlaps the 22nd dynasty and the 24th, 25th and 26th dynasties overlap with each other to some extent. The reigns of the kings of Judah are provided below to relate their reigns to the reigns of their respective contemporary Egyptian ruler.
About the Author
My name is Darren Thompson and I am a chemical engineer that has worked in the rocket propulsion industry for over 15 years. I hold 10 patents and am the author of over 20 papers in rocket propellant development. I have written two books, "The Fourth Day: Why the Bible is Historically Accurate" and "Why the Bible is Historically Accurate (2nd Edition)" which are available at amazon.com or lulu.com. You can check out my book website at The Fourth Day
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