15th Cent. Exodus?
BibArch Home Up 15th Cent. Exodus? Its Scope



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BibArch Home Up Hatshepsut

Why do conservative or traditional biblical scholars believe that we should place the Exodus in the 15th century? It involves two major scriptures, Judges 11:26 and I Kings 6:1, and other material, not as solidly based, that is more a matter of interpretation of historical data.

Judges 11:26

Jephthah was a judge raised up by God to deliver a portion of the Israelites from an oppression they suffered from the Ammonite people. The location of Ammon was east of the Jordan. Before he went into military activity Jephthah attempted to resolve the conflict through peaceful negotiations. In this he failed. In the process of the negotiations, Jephthah, in an attempt to justify Israel's possession of lands east of Jordan, told the king of Ammon that Israel dwelt in Hesban in all the cities for 300 years. His question was:

While Israel lived in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, three hundred years, why did you not recover them within that time? (Judges 11:26 NASB.)

Biblical scholars date Jephthah to approximately 1100 BCE. Now Jephthah said Israel dwelled in the land for 300 years. So, according to this text exactly when did Israel take possession of the land? ca. 1405 BCE. Now, taking possession of that land was part of the conquest under Joshua. That conquest took place how many years after the Exodus? 40. So, if the Israelites take possession of the land at approximately 1405 BCE then the Exodus had to be about 1440. Therefore, looking at this particular scripture (and there seems to be an essentially unanimous opinion that Jephthah lived at approximately 1100 BCE) it does not seem to be a disputable point.

Taking this particular scripture on its face value requires a fifteenth date for the Exodus. This is indicative of an early Exodus.

I Kings 6:1

I Kings 6:1 that the Exodus from Egypt occurred 480 years before Solomon began building the Temple in Jerusalem. This occurred in the fourth year of his reign, about 960 BCE; therefore, the Exodus would date about 1445 BCE.

The chapter in 1 Kings that deals with the temple of Solomon bears on this issue as well. According to I Kings 6:1:

Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord. (1 Kings 6:1 NASB.)

This scripture provides two pieces of important information. First, it was Solomon's 4th year. Second, that it was 480 years after the Exodus. There is, however, some dispute about exactly when Solomon began to reign even among conservative biblical scholars (that is why we suggest an approximate date for Solomon's 4th year as 966 CE rounding it off). If we do the mathematical computation, taking Solomon's 4th year as 965 BCE (assuming we dated it correctly), it gives a date of approximately 1445 BCE for the Exodus.

So, from two different scriptures, we arrive at approximately the same point for the Exodus.

The 18th Dynasty

EDITOR'S NOTE: We took the time to search the internet and the literature to get a sense of scholarly understanding of the chronology of the 18th dynasty. The result?  There are scores of conflicting opinions. Please be careful that you do not become fall victim to psuedo-scholarship.  

Ahmose (pharaoh, 1539-1514) or Ahmosis founded the 18th dynasty of Egypt. This became the greatest dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt. It was the dynasty that was to develop some of their greatest expansions. Ahmose took power by ousting an oppressive, foreign Asiatic ruling dynasty. Ahmose is a likely candidate as the pharaoh who oppressed the Israelites (Exodus 1:11-14).

Is it not logical to conclude in this connection that once native Egyptians secured their own power back from an repressive Asiatic dynasty, which they viewed as a foreign oppressors, that they would be fearful of the numerous Asiatics, known as Israelites, remaining in their midst? There is no reason to believe that Egyptians had any motive to favor the Israelites. Exodus records that the pharaoh believed that Egypt's Israelite population was greater and mightier than ethnic Egyptians (Exodus 1:9). Israel had become a threat to national security.

 The 18th Dynasty

  • Amosis
  • Amenhotep I
  • Thutmose I
    (r. 1524-1518)
  • Hatshepsut (Maatkare) his issue by Wife #1
    (r. 1498-1483)

  • Moses (meaning "son of" adopted by Hatshepsut (Maatkare), presumably regarded as a gift of the god of the Nile)
    (b.1523-d.1403 at age 120)
  • Thutmose II (Osiris Akheperenre) his issue by Wife #2
    (r. 1518-1504, died about age 30)
  • Neferure (she died young) his issue by his Great Royal Wife and 1/2 sister Hatshepsut (Maatkare
  • Thutmose III (Menkheperre Djehutymes - The Pharaoh of the Oppression) by Iset (a concubine or a commoner secondary wife)
    (r. 1504-1450, probably died in his late fifties or mid-sixties)

  • Amenemhat (the first crown prince, who died young) by his 1st Great Royal Wife Sitiah (who also gave birth to two daughters) whose mother was a nurse named Ipu
  • Amenhotep II (Akheperure - The Pharaoh of the Exodus) his issue by his 2nd Great Royal Wife Meritre-Hatshepsut (a commoner whose mother was an adoratrix of Amen named Huy)
    (r.1453-1419, made coregent at his majority at age 16, he was probably 18 when he became sole ruler, died about age 43)
  • First-born prince (name unknown), perished in the death of the first-born on the night of the first Passover
  • Thutmose IV, a second born son,
  • Amenhotep III

  • Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten)

  • Smenkhkare
  • Tutankhamun
  • Aya
  • Haremhab


Thutmose I was probably the pharaoh that initiated the order to throw all Hebrew male babies into the Nile (Exodus 1:15-16). A later pharaoh gave the second order. A considerable period of time had gone by but the Israelite population continued to increase provoking this decision.

Eighteenth Dynasty Pharaohs

Associated Details
Ahmosis or Ahmose 1570-1546
  • Founded the 18th dynasty of Egypt
  • Likely candidate as the pharaoh who oppressed the Israelites
Amenophis I or Amenhotep I 1546-1526
  • Probably initiated the order to throw male Hebrew babies in the Nile
Thutmosis I or Thutmose I 1525-1512
  • Hatshepsut the throne princess daughter of Thutmose I
  • Hebrew baby later named Moses born 1523 BCE
  • As a gift of the god of the Nile Hatshepsut adopted the baby as her son and named him Moses  (Exodus 2:10)
Thutmosis II or Thutmose II c. 1512-1504
  • Hatshepsut the principal wife and sister of Thutmose II
  • Thutmose III born to another wife
Hatshepsut 1503-1482
  • Hatshepsut becomes regent and rules as a pharaoh
  • Moses killed Egyptian and flees to Sinai
  • Revolution against Hatshepsut
Thutmosis III or Thutmose III 1504-1450
  • The nephew-stepson of Hatshepsut and son of Thutmosis II
Amenophis II or Amenhotep II 1450-1425
  • Pharaoh of the Exodus
  • Exodus in 1443 BCE
Thutmosis IV or Thutmose IV 1425-1417
Amenophis III or Amenhotep III 1417-1379
  • Ruled an Egypt which had become the world's superpower of the time with wealth derived in agriculture and gold mines based upon slave labor and exploitation. He caused the construction of vast temples along the Nile River and lavishly decorated them with relief sculpture and sculpture in the round. Conquest of Canaan.
Amenophis IV or Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) 1379-1362
  • He closed temples of the Egyptian gods and tried to get the masses to worship a single deity -- the god of the sun
1The High Chronology after Stern 1993:1530

Hatshepsut, the daughter of Thutmose I, was the principal wife and sister of Thutmose II. She gave Thutmose II no male heir. His son, Thutmose III, was born to another wife. The phrase "daughter of pharaoh" (Exodus 2:5,7-10 cf. Acts 7:21; Hebrews 11:24) is not simply one describing any one of his daughters, but used in the sense of being the throne princess. It was she who adopted the baby Moses (see Hatshepsut) and sought to make him the heir to the throne.

Page last edited: 09/08/10 07:31 AM

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