Amenhotep II and the Historicity of the Exodus Pharaoh

Douglas Petrovich | August 25, 2009

A belief in biblical inerrancy necessitates an accompanying belief in the Bible’s historical accuracy. Biblical history can be harmonized with Egyptian history, claims to the contrary notwithstanding. Israel’s exodus from Egypt in 1446 B.C. fits with the chronology of the 18th Dynasty pharaohs in Egyptian records. The tenth biblical plague against Egypt fits with what is known about the death of Amenhotep II’s firstborn son. If this Amenhotep was the exodus pharaoh, biblical data about the perishing of his army in the Red Sea should not be understood as an account of his death. His second Asiatic campaign very possibly came as an effort to recoup his reputation as a great warrior and recover Egypt’s slave-base after the loss of two million Israelite slaves through the exodus. The record of 3,600 Apiru on the booty list for his second Asiatic campaign appears to be a small number of the escaped Hebrews whom he recaptured and brought back to Egypt. If Hatshepsut is identified with the biblical Moses’ adoptive mother, attempts to erase her memory from Egyptian records may have come from efforts of Amenhotep II because of her part in rescuing Moses when he was a baby and becoming his adoptive mother. Such scenarios show the plausibility of harmonizing the biblical account of the exodus with secular history and supporting the position of biblical inerrancy.

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