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.

Placing Joseph in the 3rd dynasty and Moses in the 12th dynasties not only fits very well with the archaeological evidence, it fits very well with the Biblical account and shows how Majestic God is.

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Many scholars now realize that Moses was born during the 12th dynasty when Amenemhet III was pharaoh and the Exodus occurred around 1445bc during the 13th dynasty when Neferhotep was Pharaoh.

There is much archaeological evidence to support this revelation, however, it means that the traditional dates of the 12th and 13th dynasties need to be revised.

http://www.diggingsonline.com/pages/rese/dyns/yusef.htm

When it comes to locating Joseph in the history of Egypt, there are two schools of thought.

The Bible says that the Israelites sojourned in Egypt for 430 years.  Exodus 12:40 says “the length of time that the Israelites live in Egypt was 430 years.”

The New Testament also refers to this 430 years.  Galations 3:17 says ” The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. ”

Because of this many scholars believe that the 430yrs commenced with the promise being given to Abraham 215yrs before Jacob and his family moved to Egypt.

The result of this is that some scholars believe that Joseph came only 215 years before Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

http://www.ancientexodus.com/topics/index/new-york-times-book-review/

http://www.specialtyinterests.net/exodus.html

Other scholars believe that the Joseph was 430 years before the Exodus.

Joseph went to Egypt some 9-10 yrs before Jacob did.

When Jacob and his family went to Egypt, the Israelites numbered about 70.   When they left Egypt they numbered around 2 million.  They needed time time multipy to this number.  Not withstanding this, it is obviously very important to know whether the Isralites were in Egypt for 430 years or 215 years so that we know in which dynasty to look for Joseph.

It is also important to know how the Egyptian dynasties are ordered.

People who believe in a 215 yr sojourn in Egypt look for Joseph earlier in the 12th dynasty and have nominated Mentuhotep as a possibility.

People who believe in a 430yr sojourn in Egypt look for Joseph in an earlier dynasty and given the similarities between Joseph and Imhotep, have tended to place Joseph in the 3rd dynasty.

Placing Joseph in the 3rd dynasty would require an even greater revision of Egyptian history and a complete revision of the Chronology to allow for parallel dynasties running concurrently in the North and the South and also for the common practice of coregency.

This would bring Egyptian history into complete agreement with the Bible.

One of the problems of placing Joseph in the 12th dynasty means that the flood of Noah would most likely have occurred during during one of the earlier dynasties (2450bc) and this is not only out of keeping with the Bible but there is no archaeological evidence of a worldwide flood during any Egyptian dynasty.

The Bible records that Noah had a grandson named Mizraim who seems to be one of the Patriarchs of Egypt.   The flood would, therefore, have preceded even the predynastic periods of Egyptian History.

Even Manetho, whom most archaeologist regard as the most authoritative source of information on the chronology of Egyptian history, believed that Mizraim and Menes (the first Pharaoh) were the same person.

Placing Joseph in the 3rd dynasty and Moses in the 12th dynasties not only fits very well with the archaeological evidence, it fits very well with the Biblical account.  What we know about these people from the Historical records can then be used to fill in the gaps in the Biblical record revealing how miraculous, amazing and glorious the Hand of God has been in dealing with mankind.

Dr Nigel Hawkins