Could Joseph and Imhotep have been the same person?

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King Netjerikhet (Pharaoh Djoser) died in the 5th year of the famine and was buried by Imhotep / Joseph

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Djoser reigned for 29 years.  According to the ‘Famine Stele’ located on the Island of Sehel, Imhotep came to Djoser in the 18th year of his reign.  Given that there were 7 good years before the famine started, it can be calculated that Djoser would have died in the 4th or 5th year of the famine.

The Famine Stele also indicates that Djoser and Netjerikhet were the same person.  The term Djoser did not come into common usage until well after Netjerikhet’s death.  It was not until the finding of the Famine Stele that archaeologists could be certain that Netjerikhet and Djoser were the same person.  Until then there was only 18th dynasty vandalism on Netjerikhet’s monuments to indicate that Netjerikhet may have been Djoser.

The Famine Stele tells the tale of Imhotep interpreting Netjerikhet’s (Djoser’s) dream about seven years of plenty and seven years of famine and how Imhotep saved Egypt from a seven year famine.

It says that Djoser gave the land to the priests indicating that Djoser had the rights over the land.  This would further support the notion that Joseph and Imhotep were the same person.

The Bible tells us that Joseph, second in charge of Egypt, acquired all the land of Egypt for the pharaoh, except that of the priests, by the selling of grain during the famine.

Djoser kept the priests on side by giving them an allowance of grain so that they did not have to sell their land.


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