Who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus? (Resources & Notes)

[Note:  The date for Pummay’s seventh year of reign in c. 825/824 BCE has come under review in recent years, and has been found to be compatible with other historical writings and archaeological findings, minimizing the c. 814 BCE date for the founding of Carthage.

From a memorial stone dating to the ninth century BCE, the Nora Stone, we have an inscription that refers to a King Pummay, which supports the appropriate time period.  There is also the record from the inscription of Shalmanezer III that gives the account of a tribute payment from Baal-Eser II who was king of Tyre in c. 841 BCE.  This Tyrian king, also called Baalmazzer, ruled from c. 846-840 BCE, and he was the grandfather of King Pygmalion (Pummay).

The tribute date associated with Shalmanezer III strongly favors the c. 825 BCE date for the founding of Carthage because the date is consistent with the reputable dates for the Tyrian kings as recorded by Menander of Ephesus.  Menander was a second century historian whose works were used by Josephus to confirm the reigns of the Tyrian kings from Abi-baal (Hiram’s father) to King Pummay.  Therefore with King Pummay’s rule being established as c. 831-784 BCE his seventh year would be c. 825/824 BCE, which corresponds with the date of the founding of Carthage.]

[Note:  Dates may vary due to the way years are counted.  In respect to reigns of kings the years they reign are called “regnal years.”  So the first year of a king’s reign would fall in two different year-dates on the calendar (i.e., c. 968/967 BCE).  It should be noted that an “accession year” does not occur in a joint rule.  Generally, when a king associated himself on the throne, the year of association counted as year one, with no accession year.  Acceding to the throne meant coming to full authority upon the death of a predecessor, even if guided by tutors in the years in which the new king was considered a minor.]

[Note:  Tradition has it that Joseph became vizier during the reign of the Hyksos ruler Apophis (also called “Apepi”).]

[Note:  During the famine Joseph collected money from the sale of grain from all over Egypt, and the surrounding lands, and brought it to Pharaoh.  Then as the money failed, people were allowed to trade in their livestock and personal goods for food.  Finally, when the people had nothing more to trade or sell they forfeited their lands, which then became the possession of Pharaoh.  Therefore, to accommodate the feeding of people, many were moved off their forfeited lands and into cities—a situation that later brought about a collective rise in economic strength for Egypt as a regional empire in Northern Africa and Southwest Asia.

Consequently, Pharaoh became the state and the people became his tenants.

Then, in later years—when the Israelites became squanderers in Egypt—they were tragically conscripted into slavery by the Pharaohs and forced to work the lands and build cities in Egypt (Ezk. 23:19-21).  Eventually their bondage became cruel and difficult as their oppression grew greater under each succeeding Pharaoh.  Therefore, by the time Moses and Aaron challenged the might of Pharaoh just prior to the Exodus, we see that much had changed since the days of Joseph.]

[Note:  See Marcus Junianus Justinus, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, Book XVIII, Sec. 5-6.]

[Note:  Reigns of the Kings of Tyre:  Hiram I (979-945 BCE), Baalmazzer I(945-928 BCE), Abdashtart (928-919 BCE), Ashtart (919-899 BCE), Dalay-ashtart (899-887 BCE), Ashtar-rom(887-878 BCE), Pilles (878 BCE), Itto-baal (878-846 BCE), Baalmazzer II (846-840 BCE), Mattin (840-831 BCE), Pummay (831-784 BCE).]

[Note:  Itto-baal, also written as Ethbaal, was a king of the Sidonians, and his daughter was the infamous Jezebel who was the wife of King Ahab of Israel.  She is thought to be the grand-aunt of Dido who founded Carthage.  Jezebel was also the mother of the equally infamous Athaliah.]

[Note:  Hatshepsut was the daughter of Thutmose I and the half-sister to Thutmose II, who would become her husband.  She would later rule as co-regent for some years during the reign of Thutmose III and would also in time claim the title of Pharaoh.  It is Thutmose III who is traditionally considered the Pharaoh of the oppression.]

[Note:  Moses was born in c. 1527 BCE, which allows us to suppose that he was discovered floating at the river’s edge by Pharaoh’s daughter, Hatshepsut.]

[Note:  Solomon reigned 40 years until c. 932/931 BCE, which was the year of the divided monarchy beginning in the fall of c. 932 BCE for Jeroboam, and in the spring of c. 931 BCE for Rehoboam.  Rehoboam ascended the throne sometime in the preceding autumn/winter of c. 932 BCE.]

[Note:  See the work of Charles F. Aling, The Sphinx Stele of Thutmose IV and the Date of the Exodus, (PDF) for an interesting look at the subject of Thutmose IV’s “Dream Stele” and the death of the firstborn of Egypt.]

[Note:  Amenhotep II was buried in the Valley of the Kings and his mummy was found intact centuries later by Victor Loret in the year 1898.]  

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