The Sojourn in Egypt and the Exodus
Jacob or Israel was 135 years old when he entered Egypt in the famine with his sons (Gen. 47:9). Thus the famine commenced from ca. 1703 and ended ca 1696 BCE. The Pharaohs at this time by conventional chronology were Ay I (ca 1720) and Neferhotep II (? to 1650 BCE) which ended the 13 th Dynasty of the Second Intermediate Period. The Hyksos "shepherd kings" period immediately followed this Dynasty. The 13 th Dynasty was a time of trouble and uncertainty in Egypt .
Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt at 17 years of age. At 30 he became the viceroy of Egypt (Gen. 41:46) to prepare for the famine. There were seven years of plenty and he had two sons with Asenath the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. These were Manasseh and Ephraim who were both born before the famine. He was 37 years old when the famine began in Egypt .
The captivity can be measured in a number of ways. It can be measured from Josephs move into Egypt or moved as part of a sojourn.
It was listed as four hundred and thirty years (Ex. 12:40 ; Gal. 3:14 ,17). If this was the total time from Joseph, which was we see from the texts commenced in 1723 BCE (Bullinger gives 1724). Or even if it was from 1703 BCE at the latest, then we are at the time of the Hyksos invasion of Egypt which was ca 1720 based on the extended time frame (cf notes to the Annotated Oxford RSV to Ex.12:40) The period is taken from 1720-1663 when the Hyksos commenced to rule in Egypt. With Abraham being born in 1996 BCE or even earlier then the Hyksos came as a result of Joseph's work. Stephen loosely calls it "Four Hundred Years" (Acts 7:6) and that was the figure given to Abraham (Gen 15:13 ) but 430 years is the total figure of years given after the Exodus and thus the more final of the texts. The 430 years probably combines the time of Joseph and the free time with the decision to stay after the famine.
The greater likelihood was that the famine in the Middle East caused the Hyksos or Shepherd kings to move into Egypt for food and then later, perceiving its wealth, to move in occupation. Joseph had prepared the country and they could and did support the tribes. Thus we have an historical account, which now conforms with the Bible account.
The Hyksos Kings of Egypt were listed variously either as the 15 th (Semitic) Dynasty (1663-1555 BCE) of the Hyksos under the Second Intermediate Period (the period is sometimes attributed as ca 1782-1570 commencing from the 13 th Dynasty). The rulers (kings not pharoahs) of the 15 th Hyksos Dynasty are: Sheshi (Salitis), Meruserre, Seusenre (Seqenenre), Apepi I, and, Apepi II (Apophis). The 16 th Dynasty was contemporaneous with the 15 th Hyksos. The allegedly Egyptian pharaohs of the 16 th Dynasty had Semitic names being Anather and Yakub-har or Yakobaam. (This name means the Jacobite or son of Jacob). The 17 th Dynasty (1663-1570) was also contemporaneous and Egyptian ruling from Thebes . These were Sobekemssaf, Intef VII, Tao I (ca 1633), Tao II (ca. 1574), Kamose (1573-1570).
The New Kingdom Period began in 1570 and the 18 th Dynasty ruled until 1293 BCE (according to the conventional construction based on Manetho's lists). The list of names of the 18 th Dynasty Paraohs begins with Queen Ahhotep, Ahmose I (1570-1546), Amenhotep I (1551-1524), Tuthmosis 1 (1524-1518), Tuthmosis II (1518-1504), Tuthmosis III (1504-1450), Queen Hatshepsut (1498-1483), Amehotep II (1453-1419), Tuthmosis IV (1419-1386), Amenhotep III (1386-1349), Amenhoptep IV (Akhenaten) (1350-1336), Smenkhkare (1336-1334), Tutankhamun (1334-1325), Ay II (1325-1321), Horemheb (1321-1293).
Note that the basis of the names of the dynasty here is Mosis or Mose in its variants. The intrusion of the Monotheistic religion into Egypt occurs in this dynasty with Amenhotep the IV called Akhenaten.
The four hundred years of the captivity thus ended at the latest in 1393 BCE and the Exodus and Passover occurred in 1393 BCE with the giving of the Law at 1393 BCE at Sinai. The year can be ascertained more exactly by the dates of the Passover and Pentecost according to the astronomical charts. On this view the Pharaoh of the Exodus would have been Tuthmosis IV.
However, There were four hundred and fifty years to Samuel (Acts 13) and four hundred and ninety years to Saul. The period of the 450 years is determined as follows. According to Bullingers reconstruction (App. 50. iv., ignoring his actual dates) 300 years were apportioned from Jepthah per Judges 11:6 and the periods of servitude and rest in Judges 11:26 are under the judges: Jair 4 yrs, Tola 23, Gideon 40, Midian 7, Barak 40, Jabin 20, Ehud 80, Moab 18, Othniel 40, Cushan 8, thus 300 years until Israel first dwelt in Heshbon and then 150 years until Samuel the prophet as follows: Jeptha's remaining 5 yrs; Ibzan 7, Elon 10, Abdon 8, Philistine domination 40, Eli, 40, Samuel 40. Thus there were 150 years with 300 years from Jeptha and hence we have 450 years.
Now Saul commenced to reign in 1052 BCE shortly after the fall of Troy . The Trojan war occurred while Eli was judge in Israel according to MacGeoghegan's History of Ireland (Catholic Emancipation Edition, 1856) and to the Early British Histories. Samuel was prophet until Saul while Eli judged Israel . Samuel continued under Saul anointing David. He was prophet and judge for 40 years. From Bullingers reconstruction we see that Samuel had a clear 40 years in his own right. However the 450 is often taken by the Rabbis to date to the construction of the temple. David entered Jerusalem 1005 BCE hence Samuel and Saul are considered contemporary on this view. (cf. Oxford annotated RSV fn to Acts 13:19).
Thus the time of the Exodus from this account would be 1542. The Pharaoh of the Exodus on this account would be Amenhotep I. If Samuel's period were added we would see an exodus in 1582 BCE. The pharaoh would be the last two of the Hyksos kings with the Theban rule. The most likely period is the New Kingdom at the end of the Hyksos with the enslavement of Israel by the 18 th dynasty. Thus the sojourn began from ca, 1972- BCE. This would count from Terah's move and Abraham's calls. There are two ways of determining this matter. 1: The first call occurred when he was 50 years of age in Ur of the Chaldees (Acts 7:1-4). The Second call occurred when he was in Haran at age 75 (Gen. 12:4). Thus the time frame from Saul and Samuel places the Exodus in 1542 BCE and the First call in 1972 BCE, which places his birth in 2022 BCE. Thus the first part of the sojourn was from Abraham to Joseph. 2: His calls are as stated and the dating slips backwards in his age to a birth in 1996 BCE. Either way the Exodus is held to be from 1542 BCE given the Bible chronology above.
The period thus goes from 1972 to 1723, which was 250 years in lands of other peoples. The actual captivity in Egypt was then 180 years under forced bondage. The movement of the patriarchs was probably enforced, so the historical accounts argue, by Amorite invasions of the basin from the Arabian Desert . The patriarchs Peleg, Serug, Terah and Nahor gave their names to places in the region variously called Paddan-aram or Aram-naharaim. The archaeologists now argue that the places gave rise to the names of the Patriarchs rather than the reverse (cf. An. Ox. RSV, fn to Gen 11:27).
Of the sons of Issachar Job also went into Egypt (Gen. 46:13) but we know he did not remain there as the book of Job shows us he left and established himself among the sons of Keturah as we know by the names of the persons in that text. Moses was given these details when he joined Midian in the middle forty years of his life.
It seems logical that the sons of Keturah also came down for the food but returned as they were not the family of Joseph. The Ishmaelites had obvious contact with Egypt over this time as they took Joseph there to be sold. Ishmael and The sons of Keturah were intermingled and stretched to the Yemen from this time. Some moved further north and we will examine that aspect in the charts. The Hyksos were desert tribes from the Middle East who were probably associated with the Amorite and other invasions.
The map shows the movement of the tribes of the Middle East from the famine. The sons of Job of Issachar were to become part of the tribes of Keturah and seemingly moved into Europe with them. That is why there are two nations that claim descent from Issachar namely the Fins of Finland and the Freis of the Northern Netherlands and Northwest Germany.
The Milesians claim also that they took their entire battle system of identification from their exposure to Israel in Egypt at this time (MacGeoghegan ibid) and the Tuatha De Danann were some members of the tribe of the Danites or Dan from their name. The Danites appear to have left for the isles of the west at the end of the famine at the earliest. They may have been joined by others from Dan/Israel at the Assyrian captivity at the latest in 722 BCE. An identifying sign of Dan was to dwell in ships. Their identification with the goddess Dana is without foundation and anti-Semitic propaganda of the post 1175-86 CE English and Roman Catholic occupation of Ireland . They were monotheists who adored the god of Israel but their idolatry spread from the northern encampment later in Israel . Thus three divisions of Israel occurred at the beginning of the captivity in Egypt while they were still free to move and Joseph was alive.
The Milesians clearly claim to have been with Israel under Moses and they claim to have been in the area of the Red Sea as part of their allotted area by the Egyptians. This is examined under the Milesian History in its section. From their accounts they must have been a part of the mixed multitude referred to in the Exodus.
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