Moses: From Birth to Sinai


1 The sixteenth century BC saw major changes in the Egyptian historical context;  the socio-political power of the emergent seventeenth Theban dynasty increased at the expense of the sixteenth dynasty of the great Hyksos(1), who saw their sphere of influence significantly reduced. The Hyksos territory, which once reached Memphis, decreased gradually to the delta of the Nile, and later, to its western part and the town of Avaris.

Although in the reign of Rahotep, the first pharaoh of the seventeenth Theban dynasty, trade and cultural relations with the Hyksos pharaoh Yaqub-har were good, the geopolitical structure changed  significantly  when  Heruhirmaat  Intef  Sekhemre came to

power, and in the reign of his successor Senakhtenre Ahmose Tao I, the divergences that led to a military clash between his son Seqenenre Tao II and the pharaoh of the Hyksos Apophis I, intensified.

In that time, the delta of the River Nile split into seven navigable branches, the Pelusiac, the Tanitic, the Mendesic, the Bucolic, the Sebenitic, the Bolbilian and Canopus; the Hyksos reached the Mediterranean Sea through these waterways, and extended their trade to Crete and Byblos, but with the reduction of their territory, the Pelusiac branch running through the land of Goshen, came under the Theban control.



2 Some 130 years before Thebes assumed the control of the Gosen land by the grant of a Pharaoh of the Hyksos, the Israelites settled in the region of Ramses, an area of approximately 2,330 km2, with prosperous and productive fields, and fish laden waterways inhabited also by hippos, now disappeared. In the book of Genesis we read: «Then Joseph went to Pharaoh, and said, “My father and my brothers with their flocks and their herds and all they have, came from Canaan and are now in the land of Goshen... And Joseph made a place for his father and his brothers, and gave them a heritage in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, the land of Ramses, such as Pharaoh had ordered». (Genesis 47:1 and 11)

The eastern part of the Nile Delta was a strategic zone for the Thebans, it was an important commercial link with the Asian world and had to be safeguarded from invasions, so it gradually fell under the control of the seventeenth dynasty. The Thebans loved the delta area, a place where they practiced hippo hunting and where the Pharaohs of the XVII and XVIII dynasties had near the Ramses stores their summer residence to escape the torrid heat of Thebes. This residence remained in use until the days of Pharaoh Sethi I of the Nineteenth Dynasty, before his son Rameses II built there the capital of his kingdom.


3 After eight years of Nubkheperre Intef’s rule, his son Sekhemre Heruhirmaat Intef was named coregent with him, and then started the troubles of the Israelites living in the land of Goshen. The book of Exodus says: «Now a new king who had no knowledge of Joseph, came to power in Egypt and said to his people: “Behold, the people of Israel are many and are stronger than we are. Let us deal wisely, lest their number increases, and if there is a war, they can also join our enemies, fight against us and leave the land”. So they put over them overseers for the forced work, in order to make their strength less by the weight of their work. And they built store-towns for Pharaoh in Pithom and Ramses». (Exodus 1:811) When Sekhemre Heruhirmaat Intef says “our enemies”, he obviously speaks of their neighbors, the Hyksos.

Some years before, Amram, nephew of Levi, had taken Yocabed, a daughter of Levi, for wife, and she bore him three children: Miriam, Aaron and Moses. (Exodus 6:20, Numbers 26:59) Miriam was the eldest, then came Aaron, and three years after his birth, in 1475 BC, Sekhemre Heruhirmaat Intef enacted this command regarding the Israelite people: «All the sons born to you, throw them in the river, but let the daughters live» (Exodus 1:22)

That same year, Amram's wife Yocabed, «became with child and gave birth to a son; and seeing that he was a beautiful child, she kept him secretly for three months. When she was no longer able to keep him secretly, took a basket made of papyrus reeds, daubed it with tar and pitch to keep out the water, and placing the child in it, put it among the reeds along the bank of the river, while his sister stood some distance away to watch what was going on. Then, Pharaoh's daughter came down to the Nile to take a bath while her maidens walked along the riverside, and she saw the basket among the reeds, then sent her servant-girl to get it. When she opened it, saw the baby crying and took pity on him, because she said, “This is one of the Hebrews' children”. His sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, “Would you like me to get you a nurse from the Hebrew women, to breast-feed the child?” And Pharaoh's daughter said: “Go”, so the girl went and brought the boy's mother. The daughter of Pharaoh said to her: “Take the child with you, breast-feed him for me and I will give you your pay”; so the woman took the child and nursed him». (Exodus 2:29)


4 Who was thisdaughter of Pharaoh”?

Senakhtenre Tao Ahmose I, son of Sekhemre Heruhirmaat Intef, had three daughters from his wife Tetisheri: Ahotep, Ahmose Inhapy, and Sitdjehuti, called Satibu. Each of the princess received royal titles, and Satibu, who was the youngest, received three; the first title was that of “Daughter of Pharaoh”, later she received that of “Sister of Pharaoh”, and after marrying  her brother Seqenenre Tao II, she also received the title of “Wife of Pharaoh”. Satibu had no sons from her marriage to Seqenenre Tao II, only one daughter, Princess Ahmose, so her only son was he who she adopted and called “Moses” (or “Son” in the Egyptian language), because she said «I drew him from the waters». (Exodus 2:10)

Scripture says that «Yocabed nursed him, and when the child grew up, she took him to the Pharaoh's daughter, and he became to her as a son». We do not know much about Moses’ life in the period he lived as the son of the princess, but Scripture says that «Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was also mighty in words and deeds». (Acts 7:22)

There are few evidences of the reasons that ended the friendly collaboration between Hyksos and Thebans, giving way to a resentment that under the rule of Seqenenre Tao II, culminated in a conflict, but some reveal the decline of their relationship. A text of the nineteenth dynasty, entitled “Dispute between Apophis and Seqenenre”, says that the Hyksos’ Pharaoh Apophis I sent to the Theban Pharaoh Seqenenre Tao II, a messenger who was well received, but the message was a bitter complaint, it started like this: «King Apophis sends me on account of the hippos that live around your city, to say: “Their roar is always in my ears and I cannot sleep neither day nor night...”» Most of the commentators interpret this complaint as a provocation from Apophis. In fact, the Theban area was at 600 Km from Avaris, and besides, there were no hippos in Thebes, as states the Greek historian Herodotus (V century BC), when describing the “Hippopotamus Amphibius”, writes that in Egypt, the hippos lived only on the Nile river delta. Therefore, the hippos were only in the area of Ramses, the place where the Thebans had their summer residence, and where they hunted them, and since the town of Avaris was just across Pelusiac branch of the river, it is obvious that the bellowing of the hunted animals would be heard in it.



5 Seqenenre Tao II started a so called “War of Liberation” against the Hyksos, and died violently in battle by the five serious head injuries that his mummy exhibits. The kingdom’s succession passed to his brother Kamoses, who against the advice of his counselors that wanted to restore good business relations with the Hyksos, went on fighting. After his sudden death, probably by a wound received in battle, there was a short period of peace that was interrupted in the rule of Ahmose I, son of Ahhotep, the first wife of Seqenenre Tao II. He restarted to fight on the eleventh year of his reign and his military expedition led to the conquest of Avaris; and in his twelfth year, the Hyksos were expelled from Egypt.


6 Taking advantage on this war, the Nubians, traditionally allied with the Hyksos’ rulers, revolted; and we know again about Moses, the adopted son of Satibu and instructed in all the wisdom of Egypt. The historian Flavius ​​Josephus relates that in this war, Moses held the rank of general, and that in Ethiopia, he got married to Tharbis, the daughter of the enemy king Merops, and thus concluded peace. (Judaic Antiquities, 2nd Book, chapter 10) This fact is confirmed in the book of Numbers, where we read that «Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman he had taken, for he had taken an Ethiopian woman in marriage...»  (Numbers 12:1) But in the reign of Ahmose I, Moses' life changed suddenly, Paul writes: «By faith Moses, when he became a man (40 years), refused to be named Son of Pharaoh's daughter; and more than enjoying the temporary pleasure that to remain in error would have provided him, chose to be mistreated with the people of God, considering the fact of being despised as God's anointed, as a greatest riches than the treasures of Egypt, and set his eyes on the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt without fearing the wrath of the king, and was persistent, as if he could see He who is invisible» (Hebrews 11:24...27)

In 1535 B.C. at the age of 40, Moses tried for the first time the liberation of his people, but as he later says to Yahuh: «the children of Israel did not listen to me...?» (Exodus 6:12) These words recall his life in Egypt, and this is what then happened: «when Moses became a man, went one day to his people and realized how hard their work was. Then he saw that an Egyptian was beating a Hebrew, one of his people, so he looked around and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and covered his body with sand. The day after he went back and saw two Hebrew men fighting, so he said to he who was wrong, “Why are you fighting with your brother?” But the man told him, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you going to kill me as you did to the Egyptian?” And Moses feared, because he said, “It is clear that the thing has been known”.

When Pharaoh came to know about these things, he sought Moses to put him to death. But Moses fled from Pharaoh, and went to the land of Midian, where he sat near a water-well. The priest of Midian had seven daughters that went to the well to fill their jugs and to water their father's sheep, but some shepherds came and drove them away; then Moses stood up to defended them, and watered their flock.

When they came to Reuel, their grandfather, he said, “How is it that you rushed so and returned still in daylight?” And they said, “A man, an Egyptian, came and helped us against the shepherds, then he drew the water for us, and watered the flock”. So he asked them: “Where is he? Why did you let the man go away? Call him and let him eat the bread”. Moses agreed to stay with the man, and the man gave him his granddaughter Zipporah». (Exodus 2:11...21)



7 Why did Moses took refuge in Midian?

Essentially, because the Midianites were distant relatives of him, as they were descendants of Abraham by his second wife Keturah; the book of Genesis says: «Abraham took wife again, her name was Keturah, and she gave birth to Zimran, to Yocsán, to Medan, to Midian, to Ishbac, and to Shuah». (Genesis 25:2...2)

The Midianite Obab, known also with the honorary title of “Jethro” or “Excellence”, was the son of Reuel, for we read: «and Moses said to Obab son of Reuel, Midianite father in law of Moses... » (Numbers 10:29) and also: «Moses herded the sheep of his father in law Jethro, the priest of Midian...» (Exodus 3:1)

Obab or Jethro was the family head and according to patriarchal tradition, was a priest of the Almighty God (שדי אל, El Shaddai). Neither Abraham nor the Midianites knew the name of Yahuh (יהוה), these words that God says to Moses confirm it: «I made myself known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as the Almighty God, but I did not reveal myself to them with the name of Yahuh...» (Exodus 6:3)

Moses remained in Midian, and after shepherding his father in law’s sheep for 40 years, he who had been “mighty in words and deeds” and a brave general at the service of Pharaoh, changed and became «a modest man, the humblest of all men on the face of the earth». (Numbers 12:3) For this reason, when God sent him to Pharaoh, to tell him that he must let the people go, he replied: «Who am I to stand before Pharaoh and to bring out of Egypt the sons of Israel?» (Exodus 3:11) And told Him «Oh my Lord! I am a man of few words, as I was yesterday and the day before yesterday, and also now that you have spoken to your servant, for I am sober in words and grave in speech». (Exodus 4:10) His modesty made of Moses a man loved by God and appropriate for the assignment he had been given.


8 In 1495 BCE, the Lord Yahuh sent Moses to Pharaoh. Who was then the Egyptian pharaoh?

To identify him we need an absolute date connecting our calendar with the time of the Pharaohs of the XVII and XVIII dynasties, as well as documented data about the reigning years of each one of them. Starting from the astronomical event interpreted by some Egyptologists, of the heliacal rise of Sirius recorded on the back first page of the Ebers Papyrus from the XVIII dynasty, we can establish an absolute date to connect our dating to the Egyptian chronology. This papyrus dates the heliacal rise of Sirius on the 9th day of the 3rd month of Shemu, in the ninth reigning year of Djeserkare (Amenhotep I).

This observation that refers to Waset/Thebes, as pharaoh Amenhotep I was Theban, permits to date the astronomical event in 1517 BC, and also the crowning of pharaoh nine years earlier, in 1526 BCE.

The following lists show the translation of these data.




9 Why can we claim that Amenhotep I came to the throne in 1526, when some Egyptologists say it was in 1536?

Our calculation is based on the booklet written in 238 A.D. by the Roman writer Censorinus: De Die Natali. Liber ad Q. Caerellium, which reports that in the days of consul Antoninus Pius, the Egyptian year corresponding to the year 139 of our era, began on the first day of the month of Thoth, and coincided with the “ante diem XIII kal. Aug.” or July 19th of the Julian calendar (De Die Natali Liber ad Q. Caerellium XXI, 10).



Once established that the place of the astronomical observation recorded on the Ebers papyrus was Waset/Thebes, the next question is: Where was the place of the observation mentioned by Censorinus? It certainly was not Memphis or Waset/Thebes, but the astronomical observatory built upon the famous Library of Alexandria, that Ptolemy I Soter (367 BC - 283 BC) constructed in 290 BC, and that despite the library fires, remained in function for many years, because Hypatia, the daughter of Theon of Alexandria, who was mathematician, astronomer and philosopher, used it until 415 AD, year in which she was murdered by command of the Catholic Bishop Cyril.

All the collected information permits the dating of the heliacal rise recorded in the Ebers Papyrus, as follows:



And if Amenhotep I came to power in 1526 BC, the Pharaoh of the Israelite exodus is Thutmose I, as shown in the table below.



Thutmose I was not of royal descent, his mother Seniseneb is only mentioned with the title of “Mother of the King”. The way in which Thutmose I reached the throne in 1506 BC is not very clear, but the legitimacy of his rule was granted to him by his marriage with Iahmes, identified as “King's Sister”, and therefore of royal lineage. Queen Iahmes bore him two sons, Amenmose and Wadjmose, and a daughter named Hatshepsut. Moreover, Thutmose I had also a third son from the secondary wife Munofret, who at the death of his stepbrothers reigned as Thutmose II.

The first two sons of the royal wife, had for tutor Paheri, the father of the future mayor of El-Kab. The firstborn, Amenmose, was educated and prepared for succession, while his brother Wadjmose was assigned to priesthood, and there is still a shrine of him in Waset/Thebes. However, the two sons of Iahmes died before their father, who then named heir to the throne his daughter Hatshepsut.


10 Which was the place where Moses met with Pharaoh? Certainly not Thebes, at some 600 km from the Gosen land, but Ramses, in the plains of Tanis (Tsoan) where the Theban Pharaohs had their favorite summer residence. This fact is supported in the book of Psalms, where Asaph recalls the mighty works of God on behalf of his people, and writes:

נֶגֶד אֲבֹותָם עָשָׂה פֶלֶא בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם שְׂדֵה־צֹעַן׃

אֲשֶׁר־שָׂם בְּמִצְרַיִם אֹתֹותָיו וּמֹופְתָיו בִּשְׂדֵה־צֹעַן׃

«Before his ancestors, He did wonderful things in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Tanis»

«He sent upon Egypt His signs and wonders on the fields of Tanis»

(Psalm 78:verses 12 and 43)



11 When the Lord Yahuh sent Moses and his brother Aaron to Egypt, He warned them about the difficulties they would find, and said: «Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I shall put my hand against Egypt, and bring out of Egypt my people, my people of the sons of Israel, after many hardships. And the Egyptians shall know that I am Yahuh when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them». (Exodus 7:4...5)

Why does God say «the Egyptians shall know that I am Yahuh»?

The Egyptian theology consisted of a complex polytheistic system including 1,500 divinities, linked to each other through a dense net of relationships. There were gods for all aspects of nature and life, and their worship was essentially based on magic ritual, since religion and magic were closely linked. It was therefore essential to demonstrate that these gods were only a fiction, an illusory human creation, unable to do anything against the true God, the God who «said to Moses: “I am He who is»; (Exodus 3:14) and «I will confirm my judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am Yahuh» (Exodus 12:12)

God was going to make them understand that their gods were useless, because He is the only living one from ever and forever, and in obedience to the divine command, «Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh to say: This is what Yahuh, the God of Israel, says: “Let my people go and they will praise me in the wilderness”, but Pharaoh answered, “Who is Yahuh that I should obey his command and let go Israel? I do not know who Yahuh is and I will not let Israel go!”» (Exodus 5:1...2)


12 So Egypt came to know the sentence of Yahuh through the plagues that humbled the main Egyptian gods, proving their nullity in front of His power.

The first plague was the transformation of the Nile water and all the waters of Egypt into blood, demonstrating the helplessness of Nile river god Hapi, to purify himself. (Exodus 7:19...21)

The second plague was that of frogs, a fertility and resurrection symbol for the Egyptians, and humiliated the frog goddess Heket when the Egyptians had to get rid of millions of rotten frogs. (Exodus 8:5...14)

The third plague proved the defeat of the priests who practiced magic, for they were unable to imitate it and turn the dust into mosquitoes through their magic arts. (Exodus 8:16...19) Besides, the god Heka who was the deification of magic, was not able to make his priests stop the plague.

The fourth plague humbled Anubis, the guardian of mummification and the dead, and the supposed controller of flies. (Exodus 8:23...24)

The fifth plague was the pestilence of cattle, and humbled the heifer goddess Hathor, the bull god Api and the goddess Nut, represented as a cow with stars fixed on her breast. (Exodus 9:1...6)

The sixth plague was that of the pustule sores on people and animals, and it humbled the god Thoth, who was regarded as having healing power through magic. (Exodus 9:8...11)

The seventh plague was the hail that fell on people, animals and flora, humiliating the deities of nature and elements, such as Reshpu, considered the controller of lightning, and Thoth, who supposedly controlled rain and thunder. (Exodus 9:22...26)

The eighth plague were the locusts; it humbled all the gods considered as suppliers of abundant crops, such as the fertility god Min. (Exodus 10:12...15)

The Ninth Plague was the darkness; it humiliated the solar deities, such as Horus, Ra and Thoth, considered as the controller of the sun, the moon and the stars. (Exodus 10:21...23)

The tenth plague was the death of all the firstborns of Egypt; this was the greatest humiliation for the gods and goddesses of Egypt, (Exodus 12:12) because the pharaohs were considered as gods, and as the sons of Ra, Amun Ra, Iah or Thoth. For this reason, the death of Pharaoh's firstborn was for the Egyptians, the death of one god.


13 Who was the Pharaoh’s firstborn that then died? It was his son Amenmoses, for a cartridge with his name proves that he was the crown prince. On the Stella of Thutmose I, dated on the fourth year of his reign, Amenmoses appears as the crown prince, hunting in the wilderness near Memphis, next to the Great Sphinx. Besides, Amenmoses was the first prince of Egypt who received the military title of “Grand Warden of Soldiers”, usually reserved to Pharaoh and his heir.

The death of all firstborns proved to the Egyptians the futility of the gods they worshiped, and while the Israelites departed from the land, «the Egyptians buried all their firstborns stricken by Yahuh, who sentenced their gods». (Numbers 33:4)


14 All these events began on the spring of 1495 BC and culminated with the tenth plague on the 14th day of the month of Abib, the full moon day in which by divine command, the first Passover was celebrated.

Scripture says: «in the land of Egypt, Yahuh said to Moses and Aaron “This month shall be for you the beginning of months; it shall be for you the first month of the year. Tell the entire congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month, each family head must take a lamb; one for every household. If the family is too little for a whole lamb, a man shall partake it with his neighbor, he who is next to his house; they shall divide it according to the number of persons, and you shall make your count for the lamb in regard to what each man eats.

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male in the first year; you shall take it from the sheep or from the goats and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the month; in the evening, the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where they will eat it. At night they shall eat the flesh roasted on the fire and the unleavened bread, with the bitter herbs… and you shall eat it like this: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You shall eat it in haste because it is Yahuh’s Passover, and in that night I will go through the land of Egypt and strike every firstborn, both man and beast; because I will execute sentences on all the gods of Egypt: I am Yahuh… This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a celebration to Yahuh throughout your generations; you shall observe it as an everlasting statute”». (Exodus 12:114)


15 When the Israelites finished their Passover celebration, «in the middle of the night, Yahuh hit all the firstborns in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on his throne, to the firstborn of the confined in prison, and all the firstborn of the cattle. Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants, and all the Egyptians, and there was in Egypt a great lamentation. Egypt was afflicted by a great pain, for there was no house in which there was not one dead». (Exodus 12:29...30) After this, Pharaoh «called Moses and Aaron in the night, and said, “Get up, go out from among my people, you and all the sons of Israel. Go and worship your God as you wanted to do. Take also your sheep and your goats, as you have said, and get out! But bless me also”. Egypt urged the people to leave their land in haste, because they said, “We shall all die”. And the people took their dough before it was leavened, and loaded on shoulders their bales wrapped in linen. The sons of Israel did what Moses told them, asking the Egyptians silver, gold objects and clothing, and the Egyptians provided all they asked for, because Yahuh had conceded the people the favor of the Egyptians. The sons of Israel that traveled from Ramses to Succoth were about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from the women and children; and there was with them a large crowd of diverse origin, and many flocks and droves of cattle». (Exodus 12:3138)


16 How long did the Israelites dwell in the land of Egypt? This fact needs to be clarified through Scripture, for there are several interpretations. Some argue that their permanence in Egypt was of four hundred and thirty years, basing themselves on the following words, «The children of Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt for four hundred and thirty years, and at the end of the year four hundred and thirty, all of the people of Yahuh left the land of Egypt in one same day», (Exodus 12:4041) but others say it was four hundred years, because of these verses: «Then he said to Abram, “Know that for four hundred years, your descendants will live in a land that is not theirs and they will be mistreated and they will be abused, but I will also judge the nation where they serve, and after this they will go out, taking with them a great wealth... and at the fourth generation they will return here, because the Amorites have not yet fully developed their wickedness”» (Genesis 15:1316) So, how many were the years that they remained in Egypt?


17 Firstly we must understand the meaning of these words: «The children of Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt for four hundred and thirty years», which Paul explains when he writes: «the promise was made to Abraham and his progeny… So I say, a will previously established by God cannot be declared null through a law which came four hundred and thirty years later, invalidating thus the promise». (Galatians 3:16...17) And when did Abraham receive the promise? We read: «Yahuh said to Abram: “Depart from your land, from your relatives and from your father's house, towards the land I will show you, then I will make of you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and him who curses you I will curse, and through you, all the nations of earth will be blessed”. So Abram left his house as Yahuh said to him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran». (Genesis 12:1...4)


18 Now we have another question; we read that the children of Israel «dwelt in the land of Egypt for four hundred and thirty years», not in the land of Canaan; how can this be explained?

It is important to understand what Scripture means by the words “the land of Egypt”. The term Egypt that appears in the different versions of the Bible, is actually the translation of the Hebrew “Mitzrayim” (מצרים). In the letters of Tell El-Amarna from the first half of the 2nd millennium BC, the land of Egypt is called Mitzri, a name similar to Mitzr, which is its current Arabic name. In the book of Genesis we read that «The sons of Cam were Cush, Mitzrayim, Put and Canaán… Mitzrayim generated Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naftuhim, Patrusim and Casluhim, who gave rise to the Philistines and the Caphtorim». (Genesis 10:6,1314) So classifies the Philistines as descendants of Mitzrayim through Casluhim, for this reason they are considered Mitzrayim or Egyptians, and in fact, everything indicates that Egypt exercised its hegemony over the neighboring territories, where Abraham and his descendants dwelt as foreigners.



Paul writes: «Through faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called, and traveled toward the place he was to receive in inheritance, and went out not knowing where he was going. Through faith, he dwelt as a stranger in the land of the promise, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise» (Hebrews 11:8...9)

Now, as we see in this table, from when Abram left Haran at the age of 75, until Jacob entered the land of Egypt, elapsed two hundred and fifteen years.



19 How can the years in Goshen of the sons of Israel be calculated? Subtracting these two hundred and fifteen years from the total four hundred and thirty, we shall find the years that the sons of Israel lived in the land of Goshen, on the Nile Delta. Moreover, Abram is told prophetically about the fate of his descendants: «at the fourth generation they will return here, because the Amorites have not yet fully developed their wickedness», (Genesis 15:16) and this statement excludes the fact that the Israelites remained in the Gosen for four hundred thirty years, since this period would cover far more than four generations. Some words on the book of Numbers about the parents of Moses, confirm this fact, we read: «The name of Amram's wife was Yocabed, a daughter of Levi born in Egypt; she bore for Amram, Aaron and Moses and their sister Miriam»; (Numbers 26:59) now, this statement excludes a longer period than the remaining two hundred and fifty years.

The exodus took place when Moses was eighty years old, so if we subtract 80 to the 215 years, we get the 135 years elapsed between the entry of Levi in Egypt and the birth of his grandson Moses. This fact is also confirmed by the historian Josephus Flavius, who on his chronicles of Judaic Antiquities, 2nd book, chapter 14th, paragraph 2, says about the exodus of Israel: «They left Egypt in the month of Xanthicus, on the fifteenth moon, four hundred and thirty years after our father Abraham came into Canaan, two hundred and fifteen years after the migration of Joseph to Egypt». (Xanthicus = Abib or Nisan)


20 These words of Yahuh to Abram, «Know that for four hundred years, your descendants will live in a land that is not theirs and will be mistreated, and will be abused», (Genesis 15:1316) are perhaps in contrast to what has been analyzed so far? Absolutely not, because they do not speak the same period. This prophecy foretells two particular events, the first is: your descendants will live in a land that is not theirs, and the second is: they will be mistreated.

Isaac was the first of the seed promised to Abraham, he lived in Canaan with his father as a foreigner, and was also the first of the descent to be mistreated. Scripture says: «The child grew and was weaned; Abraham held a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned, but Sarah saw the son born to Abraham by Hagar the Egyptian, made scorn of him». (Genesis 21:8...9) In fact, the 400 years of the mistreat for his descendants began when Isaac was five years old and Ishmael started to scorn him. Paul understands it so and writes: «Now brothers, we are children of the promise like Isaac, and  the same as then he who was born by the will of man persecuted him who was born by the spirit, happens also today». (Galatians 4:29)

How can we count these four hundred years? Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran and a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born, (Genesis 12:4, 21:5) for this reason, between the time in which Abram leaves Haran and the day in which Isaac turns 5, there is a period of thirty years (100 – 75 + 5 = 30), subtracting these thirty years of the four hundred and thirty years of the previous prophecy, we can understand the meaning of the four hundred years period in the second prophecy.


21 How many were the sons of Israel that left Egypt? There is not a complete census of the people who left Egypt on that day, but we know how many the men of Israel were, since Scripture says that «the sons of Israel that departed from Ramses toward Succoth were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides the children». (Exodus 12:37)

The family of Jacob that entered Egypt, was of seventy persons. We read: «Jacob left Beer-Sheba. The sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their children and their wives, on the wagons that Pharaoh sent for their journey; and taking their flocks and the possessions acquired in Canaan, Jacob moved to Egypt with all his offspring». (Genesis 46:5) From verses 8 to 27 we read all the names of the male offspring of Jacob, and of two women: Dinah, daughter of Leah, and Serah, daughter of Asher; verse 26 states: «All the people that came into Egypt with Jacob were his offspring, besides the wives of his sons, and they made a total of sixty-six people»; and if to these sixty-six people we add Jacob, Joseph and his two sons, the Israelites that settled in Egypt were seventy, as we read on verse 27: «the sons born to Joseph in Egypt were two. The total number of the people belonging to the house of Jacob that settled in Egypt, was of seventy».

So how could it be possible that after two hundred fifteen years, the Israelites were six hundred thousand adult men, apart from the elderly, the women and the children?

Let's attempt a calculation: If we take out Dina, Seraj and Jacob with his twelve sons from the seventy persons, we have 55 men (70-15). Let us now assume that half of these men (55: 2) = 27 were already old, and as polygamy was in effect and men could have more than one wife, let us suppose that each head of household, in their life period between 20 and 40, had an average of ten descendants, five sons and five daughters, and also, that every forty years the number of deceased men was around the 5%.

The result may be seen on this table:



22 Which was the way followed by the Israelites when they left Egypt? «The people of Israel journeyed from Ramses to Succoth... When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the way of the land of the Philistines although it was shorter, for He said, “Lest the people repent when they see they are attacked, and return to Egypt”. And God led the people on the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea...  And they moved on from Succoth, and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness, and Yahuh went before them to lead them along the way, by day in a pillar of cloud, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night... Then Yahuh said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baalzephon; you shall encamp in front of it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, “They are entangled in the land; the wilderness has shut them in”. And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them and I will glorify myself before Pharaoh and all his host; and the Egyptians shall know that I am Yahuh”». (Exodus 12:37, 13:1721, 14:14)

The book of Numbers also provides particulars about the path followed by the people toward the Red Sea: «the people of Israel departed from Ramses, and encamped at Succoth. Then they left Succoth, and encamped at Etham, which is on the edge of the wilderness, but they set out from Etham and turned back towards Pihahiroth, which is east of Baalzephon; and they encamped before Migdol.  And they set out from the Pihahiroth area, and walked towards the wilderness, coasting along the sea; then they made a three days' journey through the wilderness of Etham, and encamped at Marah. They departed from Marah, and went towards Elim; there were in Elim twelve water springs and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there. Then they departed from Elim and encamped by the Red Sea». (At the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba) (Numbers 33:5...10)

This map shows the route followed by the Israelites towards the Mount Sinai in Arabia. («The Sinai is a mountain in Arabia...» Galatians 4:25)



23 When the Egyptians saw that the Israelites were not returning, went «to the king of Egypt to tell him that the people had fled. Then the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants turned against the people, because they said, “What have we done! We have delivered Israel from their service!” So he made ready his chariot, took his army and six hundred picked chariots with him, and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers on all of them.  And Yahuh let harden the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who pursued the people of Israel while they were going forth exultantly. The Egyptians pursued them, and Pharaoh, with his horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, overtook them encamped by the sea at Pihahiroth, in front of Baalzephon».  (Exodus 14:59)

When the people saw the Egyptians, feared greatly, but «the angel of Yahuh who was before the camp of Israel, changed position and moved towards the back, and also the pillar of clouds, which passed behind and stood between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. The cloud was dark for some, while for the others lit up the night, so that they could not come near one another throughout the night». (Exodus 14:19...20)


24 Which was the place where the people went across the Red Sea? As to this argument, there are several interpretations; many have pointed out a presumed place, and even presented the data and maps that we will first consider.

The first supposed place is the Strait of Tiran in the Gulf of Aqaba, but if it was so, the people should have had to walk some 500 km to get there, a distance that for such a large crowd, means a very long journey, a journey of many days. Moreover, the Strait of Tiran is some 19 km wide, on the other hand, this theory does not consider the problem of the seabed morphology, which there is very steep and rugged, completely coated with coral and from 285 to 769 meters deep.

This is a nautical chart of the place:



These same arguments override the suggested second place, which is located in the middle of the Gulf of Aqaba where the width is of almost 24 Km. Here too, traveling on its seabed would have been impossible. Some have drawn an hypothetical submerged bridge, but the fact is that in this point, the seabed depth is from 200 to 799 meters deep, with vertical and steep slopes, as illustrated on the next nautical chart.



25 In order to find the correct coordinates of the described site, we must trust the biblical narrative. In the book of Exodus we read: «God led them on the path of the wilderness along the Red Sea ... Then Yahuh said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to go back and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea in front of Baal-Zephon, and you shall encamp by the sea”». (Exodus 13:18, 14:12)

So the site were Yahuh divided the waters and opened a path for his people, who crossed the sea on firm ground, walking between two walls of water and arriving safe on shore, while Pharaoh's army vanished into the sea, is located in the northern Red Sea, on the Gulf of Suez.

In the next nautical chart, ignoring the Suez channel built between 1859 and 1869, we can see that the seabed is practically flat that and its depth varies from 4.5 to 6.7 meters, being deep enough to immerse Pharaoh’s army and all his chariots.



Moreover, and despite of what some may say, even if Pharaoh sent his army in pursuit of the people, he did not enter the sea; as the head of the army, he remained where he could see the development of what was happening and the expected result of the pursuit. When Scripture says that «the waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen of all the army of Pharaoh, entered in the sea behind them» (Exodus 14:28), it does not say that the waters covered the pharaoh with his army. Paul confirms this fact, when recalling these works wrought by God for his people, says: «As it is written, he says to Pharaoh: In fact, I have kept you alive to show you my power and that my name be known all over the earth». (Romans 9:17) Even if on the book of Psalms we read that God «shook the Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea» (Psalm 136:15) this sentence does not say otherwise, since it only states that in the Red Sea, God humiliated and defeated Pharaoh and his great army.


26 The fact that the Pharaoh of the Exodus lost all his army also points to Thutmose I. The conflicts related to the departure of the Israelites took place on the eleventh year of his reign, and after these events, since his firstborn Amenmoses was dead, Thutmose I appointed heir to the throne to his daughter Hatshepsut,  and died soon after. However, and because of the reluctance of the priesthood, the succession was attributed to Hatshepsut's young half-brother, the son of the secondary wife Mutnofret, who in order to consolidate his governing rights, married her and reigned with the name of Thutmose II. Since then, no more news of military maneuvers for many years. In the first year of his reign, Tuthmosis II had to face a revolt in Nubia, but as he was unable to send the army that his father lost in the Red Sea, commissioned Kummeh Seni, the superintendent of the southern lands, whom he appointed viceroy of Nubia. Thutmose II died and was succeeded by his wife Hatshepsut; under her administration there were only commercial expeditions to the south, in search of exotic materials such as scented wood and gold. During this period, her stepson, the future pharaoh Thutmose III, devoted himself to military affairs and to the preparation of an army, which in the years following the death of Hatshepsut, provided the basis of the military operations he carried out.


27 After they crossed the Red Sea, the Israelites camped at the following locations: Migdol, Mara and Elim, and traveling across the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula, encamped by the Red Sea, in the northern part of the Gulf of Aqaba; and after having coasted the gulf through the land of Midian, they came in front of the mountains of Sinai and Horeb in Arabia, where God established through Moses, the Law Covenant with his people.



Despite being witnesses of the mighty works performed by Yahuh, the sons of Israel frequently revealed themselves rebellious and lacking in faith; for this reason none of them, except for Joshua and Caleb, entered the promised land. In the book of the Acts we find an inspired account of Stephen, which summarizes what happened, he says: «This Moses whom they refused, saying, “Who made you a ruler and a judge?” Was sent by God as both ruler and deliverer by the hand of the angel that appeared to him in the bush. He led them out, having performed wonders and signs in Egypt, in the Red Sea and in the wilderness, for forty years. This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, “Your God will raise for you from among your brothers, a prophet like me. Listen to him!” This is he who in the assembly on the wilderness, went with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, and who received words of life to give them to us. Our fathers did not want to obey him, because they refused him and in their hearts wished to return to Egypt; they said to Aaron, “Make for us gods to go before us; as for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him”. And in those days, they made a calf and offered a sacrifice to the idol, rejoicing in the works of their hands». (Acts 7:35...41) Because of their continuous revolt, the people wandered through the wilderness for forty years, until that after the death of Moses the new generation entered the promised land with Caleb and Joshua.

The things that happened then to the people of God, are examples and warnings for the people of God living on the final days of this world, compared in Scripture to the Egypt of Moses time. Paul says: «In fact, Moses was a faithful servant in the house of God, to bear witness of the things that were to come, while Christ is over the house like a son, and we are his house, that is if we maintain our freedom of expression and the joy for the hope. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not become stubborn as on the day of the rebellion, the day of the provocation in the wilderness, when your fathers provoked me, testing me despite they saw my works for forty years. This generation disgusted me, and I said: “Their heart remains wicked, they have not come to know my ways”. And so, I swore in my indignation, “They shall not enter my rest”,

Be watchful, brethren, that in any of you may arise an evil heart and lacking in faith, that drives you away from the living God. Keep on exhorting each other every day, until you can say “Today”, so that none of you may become obstinate through the seductive power of sin, because we can only be partakers with Christ if we really hold steadily until the end, the same confidence that we proved in the beginning». (Hebrews 3:5...14)


(1) (Hicsos, from the Greek word: Ὑκσώς, from the Egyptian  hq3 3stw Heka khaset)