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This page was last updated on 15 June, 2017.

The date of Exodus

1. Revision of secular dates

On the previous page I discussed the possibility that the interpretation of the original Bible is flawed; but what if secular dates are wrong?
That thought isn’t that outrageous if we consider that that the dates of various Egyptian dynasties are in a constant state of flux.
While the beginning of king Solomon’s reign is very firmly established, Egyptologists aren’t so sure at all about their dating.

1Kgs 6:1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

If we use the widely accepted  dates for Solomon’s fourth year (967-966BC) and subtract 480 years, the Exodus started 1447-1446BC.

The problem with that date is that nothing of the known history of the 18th Dynasty can be aligned with events described in the Bible.

Courv Courville 1971, Aling 1981, James 1991, Rohl 1995, Stewart 1999, Ashton and Down 2006, all challenged the current widely accepted Egyptian chronology.

The reason for that is that of some period there is a lot of information missing, inconsistencies, lack of points to align with our calendar and even the Egyptian calendar.

Using the new dating the end of the 12th Dynasty shifts 334 years forward in time; moving it from 1773 to 1439BC.

That’s still 1447-1439=8 year  ‘wrong’, but can be partly explained.

Pharaoh Amenemhat IV died 1443BC. Link

His wife or sister Sobekneferu ruled the next ~3* year and closing the 12th Dynasty at 1439BC.

The death of Amenemhat IV is obscure. What if that’s because he’s the pharao that died at the start of the Exodus?

That’s 1447-1439= 4 year error.

*=The duration of her ruling isn’t exactly known. It’s known to be less that 4 years. If say only 2 years that would possibly mean that Amenemhat IV’s death has to adjusted a little too. With that the error would be reduced to just 3 years.

The tombs of Sobekneferu and Amenemhat IV have never been found.

Accepting some margin of error we now know Amenemhat IV was the Exodus pharaoh.

There is a little more to support that view:

2. What about Pharaoh Ramesses?

Gen 47:11 And Joseph made a place for his father and his brothers, and gave them a heritage in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had given orders.

Exod 12:37 And the children of Israel made the journey from Rameses to Succoth; there were about six hundred thousand men on foot, as well as children.

How can there be a city named after Pharaoh Ramesses if he would be born many years after the city was build? The answer is they are unrelated or the Pharaoh is named after the city.

There is a bit of a debate how long the Israelites stayed in Egypt. 400 or 430 years. For this discussion it doesn’t matter.

Between the two verses there is a period of 400-430 years. Obviously none of the Pharaoh’s lived that long. There was a Rameses I and II but their rule was just 12 years apart; so that’s no explanation either.

“Gen 47:11 …land of Rameses...” Is usually understood as the land ruled by the Pharaoh with the same name. But there is another possibility; the word means “Door of two roads”. The two roads were the road to Canaan heading north, or the road to Succoth heading south. So it was a location of a junction of ancient trading routes. The Israelites built a city at that place named after the place, not the Pharaoh.

The modern name of that city is Tell el-Daba. Evidence for Jewish presence has been found in that area.

3. Conclusion

4. Can the above conclusion be wrong?


See the previous and next page for alternative solutions.