Moses and Hatshepsut -- By: David G. Hansen

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 16:1 (Winter 2003)
Article: Moses and Hatshepsut
Author: David G. Hansen

Moses and Hatshepsut

David G. Hansen

One of the most interesting questions about Old Testament history concerns the Exodus occurrence and who might have been the Pharaoh. An article in Archaeology and Biblical Research by J. LoMusio several years ago provided a well-reasoned argument, with considerable evidence that Moses lived during Egyptian Dynasty 18 in the 15th century BC (1989).

In this present article, I will bring LoMusio’s information up-to-date, add additional details, and expand the debate beyond the usual discussions found in commentaries. Further, I will use current information about references to “Pharaoh’s daughter” (Ex 2:5, 7, 9, 10; Acts 7:21; Heb 11:24) as a foundation for investigation. In so doing, I believe that a reasonable assumption can be made as to when the Exodus happened and who were some of the unnamed Egyptian personalities in the book of Exodus. However, I am sure that neither this article, nor LoMusio’s, will answer many of the perplexing questions to everyone’s satisfaction. However, one has to start someplace.

To put the discussion in perspective, it should be understood that there are two generally accepted propositions for the date of the Exodus. The first puts the Exodus in the 15th century BC; the other has the Exodus occurring 200 years later in the 13th century BC. Neither conservatives nor liberals hold one date over the other. Both dates have proponents in each ideological camp. However, the preponderance of scholarship sides with the opinion that “the general period that best fits most of the Biblical and extra-Biblical evidence is the first half of the thirteenth century” (LaSor, Hubbard, and Bush 1996:59).

Although the 13th century BC date (sometimes known as the “late” Exodus) may be the one accepted by the most of the scholarly community, a literal reading of the Old Testament places the Exodus in the middle part of the 15th century BC (referred to in some literature as the “early” Exodus). It is not the purpose of this article to detail how the two schools arrive at their conclusions. Interested readers can find a thorough and understandable discussion in John Davis’ book, Moses and the Gods of Egypt (1986:16–40, available from ABR).

Suffice it to say, a 15th century BC date can be deduced from a literal reading of 1 Kings 6:1, supported by a corollary passage in Judges 11:26....

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