Could Joseph and Imhotep have been the same person?

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The empty sarcophagus of Imhotep in a funerary pit connected to the Ibis Gallery. Dating to the time of Djoser, third dynasty, the tomb was orientated to the North indicating Imhotep did not worship the Egyptian Gods. (Jonathan Gray)

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forward video to 29min 10 seconds to see the entrance of the Step Pyramid complex.  The columns had the shape of a corn cob. 
forward video to 33min 10 seconds to see the Grain storage system designed by Imhotep / Joseph.
forward video to 38min 0sec to see the Ibis Gallery
forward video to 38min 35seconds to see Imhotep’s tomb with an empty sarcophagus orientated to the north

 

The tomb of Imhotep was connected to the Ibis Gallery. The tomb contained a coffin / Sarcophagus that was empty. It was empty because the Israelites took Joseph / Imhotep’s bones with them when they left Egypt at the time of the Exodus. This was Joseph’s (Imhotep’s) wishes before he died.

It was a mastaba type tomb with a burial pit that connected to the animal gallery containing thousands of mummified Ibis birds, falcons and baboons; even bulls.

The Mastaba was orientated to the North indicating that Imhotep did not worship Re.

The sarcophagus had many titles on it that could have applied to Imhotep or Joseph.  Pots with the imprint of Zozer were also found in the tomb.

Over a thousand years after his death, Imhotep was deified by the Greeks and the Egyptians.

The pit containing Imhotep’s empty sarcophagus was connected to the Ibis Gallery containing thousands of jars with mummified Ibis birds that were dedicated to Imhotep by pilgrims who visited his tomb in the Ptolemaic period; over a thousand years after his death.  People came to the tomb hoping to be healed.

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Imhotep’s mummy has never been found (because Moses took Joseph’s (Imhotep’s) bones with him when the Israelites left Egypt).

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Advance to 24min 24seconds to see the tomb of Djoser

Advance to 37min 24seconds to see the tomb of Imhotep

Who was Imhotep?

This video is a documentary about Imhotep from a secular point of view.

Imhotep was the vizier of Pharaoh Djoser (Netjerikhet) of the 3rd dynasty of Egypt.  He functioned like a Prime Minister, running the country for the King (Pharaoh Djoser).

He was responsible for building the first pyramid in Egypt which is part of a complex containing the tombs of the Pharaoh (accessed by underground tunnels), a mortuary temple, grain silos and buildings that contain columns.

Imhotep has many similarities to the Biblical figure “Joseph”.  He was a commoner.  He lived until the age of 110 years, he married the daughter of the high priest of Heliopolis (capital city On).  He interpreted the dream of the Pharaoh and saved Egypt from a seven year famine.

He was a great architect who made the first building with columns.

He wrote many literary works.  He was the first to use the papyrus.

He performed operations and developed mummification techniques.

He may have served four pharaohs.

He was eventually deified by the Egyptians and the Greeks after his death.

He was embalmed and given a Royal Egyptian burial, however, his mummy has never been found.

If Joseph and Imhotep were the same person, you would not expect to find the mummy of Imhotep in Egypt because the Israelites carried Joseph / Imhotep’s bones with them when they left Egypt at the time of the Exodus.

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.

The relationship between the Kingdoms of Egypt and the Phases of Israel

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The relationship between the Israelite sojourn (430yrs) and the dynasties of Egypt.

The relationship between the Israelite sojourn (430yrs) and the dynasties of Egypt.

A schematic diagram illustrating the relationship between the Egyptian Kingdoms and dynasties and the various phases of Israel as the Israelites grew to be a nation while they were in Egypt and then traveled to the promised land where they were ruled initially by Judges and later by Kings. The nation of Israel became divided into North (Israel) and South (Judah) after Solomon.  There was no first intermediate period.

A schematic diagram illustrating the relationship between the Egyptian Kingdoms and dynasties and the various phases of Israel as the Israelites grew to be a nation while they were in Egypt and then traveled to the promised land where they were ruled initially by Judges and later by Kings. The nation of Israel became divided into North (Israel) and South (Judah) after Solomon. There was no first intermediate period.

The Step Pyramid complex at Saqqara Egypt contains grain silos and administrative buildings. Not only was it the first pyramid, it contained the first silos and the first building with columns. It was designed by Imhotep who may have been Jospeh of the Bible.

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This is the Step Pyramid Complex in Saqqara in Egypt. It was designed by Imhotep in the third dynasty of Egypt for King Netjerikhet (Pharaoh Zozer). It is also known as the Djoser Pyramid or the first pyramid. It is composed of solid Limestone Blocks and as a result, it is in better condition than the 12th dynasty pyramids that were made largely of unfired mudbricks with only a limestone veneer. The buildings are the first known structures to utilize columns in their architecture.

The pyramid is part of a complex which contains several interconnected man made pits in the ground, an open courtyard and a number of buildings which were part of a wall that surrounded the compound. The entrance to the complex is through the main buildings.

These square and rectangular pits in the ground are likely to have been used to store grain and retrieve it. One of the pits has stairs and connects to the bottom of the main pit which abuts the courtyard on the side opposite the Step Pyramid within the walls of the complex.

The pyramids at Dashur and Giza can be seen from the Step Pyramid (and visa versa). The pyramids would have been useful for navigation and finding the complex even if this was not he main reason that they were built.

The pyramids became the tombs of the Pharaohs. Previously, they used Mastabas as tombs. Pharaoh Zozer was buried under the Step Pyramid. The burial chambers may have been added after the pyramid had been built.

Many archaelologists and historians have long noted the similarities between Jospeh of the Bible and Imhotep of the third dynasty and have claimed that Joseph and Imhotep may have been the same person. The difficulty with this theory is that the Egyptian dates do not match the Bibles dates. Recent evidence, however, suggests that the traditional Egyptian dates (which were based on Manetho) may be out by as much as a thousand years (Ref Archaelogist David Down) giving the claim more credence.

Egyptian Slavery – The History of Egypt

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The Step Pyramid at Saqqara designed by Imhotep

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The Djoser Pyramid Complex, Saqqara, Egypt

This was a grain storage and distribution center in Egypt Saqqara designed by Imhotep who may have been the Joseph of the Bible.

Note the openings of grain silos in the ground inside the complex on the left hand side opposite the buildings and in front of the Step Pyramid; most easily seen in the schematic view.