Could Joseph and Imhotep have been the same person?

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Grain silos were the Hall mark of Joseph.

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The only lasting evidence of Joseph in Egypt that one might expect to have survived the last 4000 years are the grain silos that were cut into the ground in key Egyptian cities.

Grain silos date back to the Third dynasty and were utilized extensively in the Djoser Complex designed by Imhotep. In fact, the Step Pyramid seems to have been built on top of a shaft that could originally have been used to store grain. The complex seems to be a grain storage and distribution center. When Djoser (Netjerikhet) died, he was entombed in this protypical grain silo and a series of Mastabas were build on top resulting in the Step Pyramid.

The Famine Stele not only confirms that Djoser and Netjerikhet were the same person, it confirms that Djoser was a hereditary Land Lord and left the land to the Priests. The Famine Stele tells the story of how Imhotep came to Djoser in his 18th year and interpreted his dream. It records how Imhotep saved Egypt from a seven year famine.

These archaeological findings and historical records are strong evidence that Joseph and Imhotep were the same person.

The problem remains how to account for the discrepancy in chronological timeline if the Israelites were in Egypt 430 years and the Exodus took place in the 13th dynasty.

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November 13, 2015 at 6:43 am

The Step Pyramid was built on top of a prototypical grain silo that was converted into a tomb

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The Step Pyramid complex of Djoser contains a dozen shafts that appear to be grain storage bins accessible via tunnels connected to the bottom of the pits and linking to a central open stairwell. Interestingly, there is a shaft with similar dimensions right underneath the center of the Step Pyramid. The shaft obviously predates the pyramid. Access to the shaft was via a closed in stairwell linking to tunnels around it’s base. It would appear that this was a prototype grain silo. Ventilation would have been a problem and it was likely that it was abandoned as a silo once the better ventilated silos were operational. The abandoned silo was subsequently used as a burial chamber for the Pharaoh when he died in the 5th year of the famine. It was encased with ornate limestone and sealed with a granite slab after the pharaoh’s sarcophagus had been lowered into it. A mastaba was built on top of it using solid limestone blocks. Successive mastabas were added to bury the the Pharaoh’s 3 wives and 11 daughters. The result was the Stepped Pyramid.

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November 12, 2015 at 10:42 am

The enigma of chariots in the 3rd dynasty of Egypt is easily explained

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The Bible records that Joseph was given a chariot to travel through Egypt.300px-Lawrence_Alma-Tadema_The_Finding_of_Moses

If Joseph and Imhotep were the same person, this would mean that chariots existed in Egypt as early as the third dynasty.

In the third dynasty, only high officials like the pharaoh and his chancellor / sage / vizier were afforded a chariot to travel in.

Chariots in the 3rd dynasty were not horse drawn, they were carried by a procession of servants.

The Hebrew word ‘merkabah’ in the Bible can be translated as ‘chariot’ or ‘riding seat’.  It does not distinguish between a vehicle that is horse drawn or a vehicle that is carried.

In Joseph’s time, this word is better translated as ‘Riding Seat’ as there were no horse drawn Chariots with wheels in the third dynasty.thut3_chariot

Horse drawn chariots with wheels were used for military purposes and were not introduced until the late 12th / 13th dynasty.

Most of the chariots of the 12 & 13th dynasty were lost in the Red Sea at the time of the Exodus.  Paintings depicting horse drawn chariots in the 12th dynasty would not have survived.

It is hardly surprising then that there are no findings of horse draw chariots before the Hyksos (15th dynasty) unless, of course, one accepts that the chariot wheels found in the Red Sea by Wyatt in 1978 were from the 12th and 13th dynasty.

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May 11, 2015 at 2:53 am

Where does Joseph fit into Egyptian History?

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Is Joseph likely to have figured in Egyptian records?

If Joseph was placed second in charge of Egypt by Pharaoh, there should be some note of this in Egyptian records. [1]

If Joseph helped to save Egypt and the surrounding nations from a famine lasting seven years and acquired all the land of Egypt for the Pharaoh, he would have been a very prominent figure in Egyptian History. [2]

Joseph would have had to construct massive grain silos for storing grain in many Egyptian cities and indeed, massive silos can be found in many historical significant Egyptian cities today (eg Saqqara).

Joseph married the daugher of one of the High Priests in Egypt. [1] He saved his country from a seven year famine and bought up all the land of Egypt except for that of the priests who did not need to sell their land because Pharaoh supplied them with food. The people became loyal subjects of Pharaoh because of what Joseph had done. [3] Joseph was, therefore, responsible for making the Pharaoh’s wealthy and powerful. [11]

Joseph served the Pharaohs from the age of thirty. [1] He died at the age of 110 years of age and was given a Royal Egyptian burial. [46]

His family, the descendants of Jacob (Israel), produced mud bricks and became numerous in the 430 years that they lived in Egypt.

The pyramids of the 12th dynasty contained millions of mudbricks. Seven such pyramids were built over a 200 year period ending with those of Amenemhet III who also built an enormous mudbrick structure called the Labyrinth. A large slave labour force was needed to build the 12th dynasty pyramids. It is likely that the Hebrew slaves produced the bricks that went into the 12th dynasty pyramids. After the Exodus in the 13th dynasty, no more great pyramids were built.

There were over 600 thousand adult males (not counting women and children) who were led out of Egypt by Moses during a time of great disaster in Egypt. [47]

It is no wonder Joseph was given a Royal Egyptian burial and almost deified in Egyptian culture, having saved Egypt from a seven year famine, acquired all the land of Egypt for the Pharaoh, having been the first to construct buildings with columns, having designed the first pyramid, constructed grain silos to store grain, developed mummification techniques and taken the burial of Pharaohs to a new level by burying Netjerikhet in the first grain silo and constructing a pyramid on top of it. [77]

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Where does Joseph fit into Egyptian History?

Estimates of dates have long been the common denominator used by archaeologists and historians alike when trying to piece together ancient history.

Various teams of archaeologist have used a number of different dating methods to estimate how old a particular artifact is. For example, the type of pottery that is predominant in a layer can be used to date the layer. As creationists have noted however, dating methods are highly unrealiable and cannot be trusted as authoritative, and certainly not where they contradict Scripture.

Assumptions behind various dating techniques are not alway right. This can sometimes lead to artifacts being incorrectly dated by as much as 1000 to 2000 years.

If history is pieced together based only upon the estimated dates of particular dynasties, the results can be quite erroneous and it will be little wonder why Egyptian and Hebrew history does not fit together and why no Egyptian equivalent of Joseph has been found using the dates traditionally ascribed to various Egyptian dynasties.

An increasing number of historians are now calling into question the dates of Egyptian dynasties. In particular, Sweeney [15][21][19][48], Velikovski [49][50][51], Fry [52] [12] [53][16][54][55][56][57][58][59][20], Reilly [13][17][60][22] Down [18]. They have proposed revisions of the Egyptian timeline which generally contract the Egyptian time frame and bring the dates of the Egyptian dynasties forwards. The revised Egyptian dates when aligned with the Biblical dates suggest new candidates for Biblical figures which now need to be confirmed by Character matching and Archaeological discoveries.

Using their revised dating systems, the historical records of Israel and Egypt fit together differently, purportedly making it possible to identify likely contemporaries of important Biblical Characters.

The Pyramid of Amenemhet III at Hawara (the 6th pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty of Egypt). Millions of large mudbricks went into the building of Amenemhet III’s second pyramid. It was originally faced with stone but it is now just a heap of mud bricks. The Bible records (Exodus 5:6-21) that when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, Pharaoh forced them to make mudbricks reinforced with straw. However, the Bible does not say that the Israelites were required to make pyramids with them, and many other mudbrick structures exist in Egypt.

Mud bricks in the Amenemhet III pyramid at Hawara. The the exterior limestone facing (veneer) has fallen away due to erosion, earthquakes and pilfering over the centuries exposing the inner core of mudbricks. There is very little rain in this part of the world and so the mudbricks are in quite good condition considering their age. This was the last of the great pyramids to be built.  Although there are many mud brick structures in Egypt, the pyramids of the 12th dynasty contain millions of mud bricks which, of necessity, would have required a very large slave labor force to produce.  Josephus, a Jewish historian around the time of Christ, records that the Israelites were given the task of making Pyramids.

Conventional wisdom which has been very reliant on the Biblical record and timeframes, has been unable to find any evidence that the Patriarchs of Israel lived in Egypt and have not found any possible candidates for Joseph because they are looking for evidence of him in the Hyksos dynasty which is estimated to have been around 1700BC according to conventional chronology.

Many scholars have tried to place the Exodus in the 18th dynasty because of arguments related to when chariots were first introduced to Egypt. A lot of emphasis has been placed on this one point and seems to have sent many an archaeologist on a ‘wild goose chase’ looking for evidence of a mass exodus in the 18th dynasty (and of course they cannot find it because the Exodus took place in the 13th dynasty).

Although hundreds of Chariot Wheels containing 4, 6 and 8 spokes have been found in the Red Sea at Nuweiba by Wyatt and others, these chariot wheels had been dated to the 15th dynasty or later and so the 12th dynasty was overlooked. The fact that no 12th dynasty chariots have been found should not be surprising as the Bible tells us that Egypt lost all of it’s army and chariots to the Red Sea at the time of the Exodus.

Rather than looking for ‘Chariot Wheels’, we should be looking for lots of ‘mudbricks’ and what better place to look than the 12th dynasty. Mud bricks were used most prolifically in the 12th dynasty, not only for buildings like the Labyrinth, but also for the pyramids of the 12th dynasty.

A revised chronology results in a very different picture with the history Israel and Egypt purportedly matching better with “archaeological” records, which of course are subject to interpretation.  Abraham is then considered to be a contemporary of MenesImhotep is considered to be the Joseph of the Bible and Djoser is considered to be the Pharaoh that he served [13][17][21] [15] [52][54].

The revised chronology would fit with the theory that Amenemhet III was the Pharaoh of Moses who oppressed the Israelites making them make mud bricks [18].  Also of note is that the pyramid of Amenemhet III was made of mud bricks containing straw. [18] Amenemhet III was the 6th Pharaoh of the 12th dynasty and lived 450 to 500 years after Pharaoh Djoser in the 3rd dynasty. [18] He had only daughters. One of his daughters Sobekneferu had an adopted son (Amenemhet IV) who disappeared before he could become King. It has been suggested that Amenemhet IV was Moses. [18]

If such is the case, the Exodus took place during the Reign of Neferhotep I during the 13th dynasty in 1445BC. [18] The Hyksos took over lower Egypt shortly after this with little resistance. The Hyksos reigned in Lower Egypt for around 400years. This coincides with the period of the Judges in the Promised Land. The Hyksos were finally defeated by Ahmoses who founded the 18th dynasty which was the beginning of the New Kingdom of Egypt. It would therefore follow that the Hyksos (15th & 16th dynasties) which were contemporary with Joshua and the Judges, came to an end when King Saul destroyed the Amalekites (Hyksos) [18] after they were forced to leave Egypt by Ahmose I who started the 18th dynasty (New Kingdom of Egypt). [61] This would place Dynasty 17 as contemporary with dynasty 16.[18] Likewise the 18th dynasty as contemporary with the United Kingdom of Israel when Saul, David and Solomon were on the throne. This would also mean that Amenhotep I and Thutmosis I of the 18th dynasty were contemporaries of David. [18] Hatshepsut was the Queen of Sheba who visited Solomon. [62] [63] Thutmosis III came to power during the reign of Jereboam and became the greatest Pharaoh of Egypt. [18]

The Biblical dates before the Exodus are determined by whether one assumes a long or a short sojourn of Israel in Egypt. This is another confounding factor that can throw out the Biblical dates by as much as 200 yrs resulting in an incorrect alignment for events prior to the Exodus.
Modern’ Chronology (Ashton & Down 2006) [18]

Date Egypt Contemporary in Israel
2080BC Menes (First Dynasty) Abraham
1900BC Djoser (Third Dynasty) + Imhotep Joseph **
1531BC Amenemhet III (6th Pharaoh 12th Dynasty) Moses
1445BC Neferhotep I (13th Dynasty) The Exodus (Moses)
1405 -1021BC Hyksos (15th & 16th Dynasty) Joshua to Saul
1018BC Amenhotep I & Thutmosis I (18th Dynasty) King David
950BC Hatshepsut (18th Dynasty) [Queen of Sheba] Solomon
929BC Thutmosis III (18th Dynasty) Jereboam

** Based on a 430yr long Sojourn of Israel in Egypt (Exodus 12:40)

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December 1, 2014 at 1:20 am

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Abydos King List aligned with the Bible

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Abydos King list aligned with the Bible. The Abydos King list was found on the wall 'of Sethi I's temple at Abydos.   It is a fairly complete list of the Pharaohs from Menes to Sethi I.   Some Pharaohs were deliberately omitted because they were considered illegitimate.

Abydos King list aligned with the Bible.
The Abydos King list was found on the wall ‘of Sethi I’s temple at Abydos. It is a fairly complete list of the Pharaohs from Menes to Sethi I.
Some Pharaohs were deliberately omitted because they were considered illegitimate.

Abydos King List aligned with the Bible – view PDF

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March 22, 2014 at 12:40 pm

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Does anybody know whose feet these are?

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A statue thought to Djoser's inscribed with Imhotep's name and titles.

A statue thought to be Djoser’s inscribed with Imhotep’s name and titles.
Note the Ibis birds carved on the top of the base

A statue thought to be Djoser’s inscribed with Imhotep’s name and titles

Imhotep, Chancellor of the King of Lower Egypt [3,4,5,6], Chief under the King (of Upper Egypt [3,6]), Administrator of the Great Palace, Hereditary Lord, High Priest of Heliopolis, Imhotep the Builder, the Sculptor, the Maker of Stone Vases [3,4,5,6]

The statue was found by Cecil Firth in 1926 [1].   In 1964  Walter Emery found a tomb close to the Step Pyramid [2].

The tomb contained thousands of pots containing mummified Ibis birds, falcons and baboons [3].

Imhotep’s mummy was never found.

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[1] Imhotep the African. Architect of the cosmos.

[2] Tombs of Sacred Animals at Saqqara

[3] Divine creatures: animal mummies in ancient Egypt

[4] Joseph and Imhotep

[5] The Exodus Case – New discoveries of the Historical Exodus – 4th extended edition – Lennart Moller ISBN 978 87 7247708 4

[6] Chronicle of the Pharaohs – A reign by reign record of the rulers and dynasties of anchient Egypt  Peter A Clayton Thames and Hudson 2006 ISBN 978 0 500 28628 9

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January 18, 2014 at 1:56 pm

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A tomb found by Walter Emery in 1964 in Saqqara containing thousands of mummified Ibis birds dating from the Ptolemaic period dedicated to Imhotep

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Advance video to 37 minutes 24 seconds – Imhotep’s tomb with mummified Ibis birds

Advance video to 24minutes 24 seconds – Djoser’s Tomb

No mummy for Imhotep is entirely consistent with Joseph being Imhotep.  

The mummy of Imhotep, vizier to Djoser, 3rd dynasty, has never been found.

The finding of Imhotep’s mummy in a tomb in Egypt would mean that Imhotep was not Joseph.

The mummy of Imhotep has still not been found.

When the Israelites left Egypt, en mass (the Exodus), they took Joseph’s bones with them as he instructed.

Therefore, if Joseph and Imhotep were the same person, Imhotep’s tomb, sarcophagus and coffin should be empty!

Genesis 50:25 And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”

Genesis 50:26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Exodus 13:19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.”

Joshua 24:32  And Joseph’s bones, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. This became the inheritance of Joseph’s descendants.

Hebrews 11:22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.

Tombs of Sacred Animals in Saqqara

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January 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Heiroglyphs of Imhotep

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Were Joseph and Imhotep the same person?

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January 14, 2014 at 5:53 am

Statues of Imhotep in the Louvre

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Are Joseph and Imhotep the same person?

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January 13, 2014 at 11:01 am

Is this The Mummy of Imhotep?

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This is the Mummy of Imhotep, Vizier of Thebes, Egypt, 18th Dynasty – He was a completely different person to the Imhotep of the 3rd dynasty.

Joseph’s body was embalmed in Egypt and he was given a Royal Egyptian burial. When the Israelites left Egypt, Joseph’s bones were taken and carried across the Red sea, through the wilderness where the Israelites stayed for 40 yrs and then eventually taken to the promised land of Caanan where the bones were buried in Shechem.

A tomb in Shechem has been discovered, but Joseph’s bones are no longer there.

Similarly, a Tomb in Egypt has been found that contained many mummified Ibis birds suggesting it could have been Imhotep’s tomb. The Sarcophagus was empty. Interestingly, the Sarcophagus was not orientated to the North as was the custom of Egyptians who worshiped the Sun God.  The mummy of Imhotep has never been found and identified.

The mummy in this photo is not the same mummy as the one in the links in this article.

The mummy in this link is obviously not Imhotep but it illustrates how finding the mummy of Imhotep may confirm that Imhotep is the Joseph of the Bible.