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Did the Exodus lead to the Hyksos Invasion?

Was Egypt completely destroyed by the events of the Exodus?

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Published: 29 October 2020 (GMT+10)
egyptian-battle

In the article Can we understand Egyptian chronology before the Exodus? by Gavin Cox and Gary Bates, two commenters wrote in questioning our view that the Exodus occurred sometime during the New Kingdom’s 18th dynasty. They cited a revised chronology by the now deceased David Down who said in his book Unwrapping the Pharaohs that Egypt was left in a weakened state after the Exodus which allowed the Hyksos to invade Egypt. For example, an extract from Perry H. read:

It doesn’t make sense that the Pharaoh of the exodus was from the 18th Dynasty, Egypt was destroyed by the plagues and their army drown [sic] in the sea. You know that 18th - 20th Dynasties were among the strongest in Egypt’s history. But if you put the Exodus at the time just before 2nd Intermediate Period of the Hyksos, it makes sense that the Hyksos could have easily conquered Egypt at that time. Also as far as historical synchronism the Pharaoh that took the treasure from Jerusalem, Shishak, fits much better as Thutmose III from the 18th Dynasty, than Shoshenq I of the 22nd Dynasty.

I (Gary) replied (an extract):

We like David Down and used to carry his book until it was shown to us how demonstrably wrong his chronology was. Moreover, he strongly subscribed to the chronologies inspired by the atheistic Jew, Immanuel Velikovsky. See these articles by Patrick Clarke who effectively dismantled this view.

The Queen of Sheba part 1.

The Queen of Sheba part 2.

Clarke called the Down Chronology the Velikovskian Inspired Chronology or VIC for short, which I will use from now on. Also see this article that comprehensively demonstrates that Shoshenq 1 is the Shishak of the Bible.

Then Dreme O. countered with:

You asked where in the Bible does it say Egypt was destroyed and not able to quickly recover. I believe that Deuteronomy 11:4 affirms Perry’s understanding. I trust that Deuteronomy was written near the end of the 40 years of wandering. Apparently, Egypt was still destroyed 40 years after God smited [sic] them. “And what he did to the army of Egypt, to their horses and to their chariots, how he made the water of the Red Sea flow over them as they pursued after you, and how the LORD has destroyed them to this day.” Deuteronomy 11:4,


I replied more comprehensively as response follows:

DATE PERIOD DYNASTIES
Pre 3200 BC Predynastic/Prehistory
3200–2686 BC Early dynastic Period 1st–2nd
2686–2181 BC Old Kingdom 3rd–6th
2181–2055 BC 1st Intermediate Period 7th–10th
2055–1650 BC Middle Kingdom 11th–12th
1650–1550 BC 2nd Intermediate Period/Hyksos 13th(?)–17th
1550–1069 BC New Kingdom 18th–20th
1069–664 BC 3rd Intermediate Period 21st–25th
664–525 BC Late Period 26th
525–332 BC Achaemenid/Persian Egypt 27th–31st
332–30 BC Ptolemaic/Greek Egypt
30 BC–641 AD Roman & Byzantine Egypt

Remembrance of the Exodus and the Hebrews’ deliverance from Egypt is as pivotal in Judaism as it is for Christianity. The verse you cite is indicative of that. Many times the Scriptures have passages like Deuteronomy 6:12 which says:

“then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”

With the verse you cited, a good principle is to ‘read what the text says, no more and no less’. And it specifically talks about a victory and destruction over Pharaoh’s army. It does not say Egypt was destroyed. God did enough with the plagues to display His power and to finally get Pharaoh to release the Hebrews. I could simply leave it there as that is a definitive response showing the verse you cite only talks about the army. But I will explain some more for the purposes of understanding what Egypt was like at that time.

To suggest that the Hyksos merely walked in and took over a destroyed Egypt, sounds reasonable on the surface but it is a simplistic idea that will appeal to those who really don’t know much about Egypt at the time of the events. I was also convinced about this, until I started studying and understood more about Egyptian culture.

Remember that earlier, Scripture talks about God hardening Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 4:1). There are several significant things I can point to that indicate that it was the army, or the particular army that was chasing the Hebrews that was destroyed, and that the whole country was not in a state of such economic collapse that it suffered irreparable harm making it prone to invasion.

When reading these Scripture passages, they must also be understood in context of Egyptian culture, archaeological finds, kingly and priestly structures and so on. For example, on the last point, the Pharaoh was the living embodiment of a god. And all over the land, the temples and their priests were in place to worship and promote the plethora of gods they had, and that the Pharaoh was one of them. Note that pretty much all the Egyptian gods are related to the natural world. There was a god of the sky, the Nile, a crocodile god, a hippo god and so on. And the god ‘Maat’ would ensure there was balance (maat) in the land and amongst all of these gods. Note that the majority of the plagues were plagues against nature (weather, land, river and creatures etc.) So when I said in an earlier response that God was really battling against the gods of Egypt, this is what I meant. We should note that this is what Scripture actually says:

“For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD” (Exodus 12:12).

This was the 10th and last plague. The One, true God was showing Pharaoh and his people that their gods were false deities who had no power against the One, true God. I see them more as a warning. I suspect that Pharaoh was so stubborn because he saw the plagues upon nature as a direct undermining of his power and the overall religious and cultural rule of the country, and a possible threat to his rule. After the first nine plagues wrought upon nature did not convince Pharaoh, the tenth and final plague affected the people directly per the aforementioned Scripture verse.

Please see the following points as anecdotal reasoning against a pre-Hyksos Exodus timeline.

Was all of Pharaoh’s army destroyed?

Egypt was a large country with a lot of border lands to protect. We know from archaeological remains and writings, that it was common for them to build military encampments like forts in various places and outposts to guard their country against invaders. For example, in the south (upper Nile) they had installations to protect against the Nubian, Cushites (Sudan) and the land of Punt (probably modern-day Ethiopia). They also had military installations in the north and across the Sinai Peninsula to protect from invaders in the Levant. We know the Hebrews left through the north of the country and into this region. See the excellent Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea Miracle DVDs.

After the Hebrews left it seems that Pharaoh made a hasty decision to chase them. If so, there is no way that there was time to assemble all the garrisons encamped elsewhere from all over Egypt. Anyone should be able to reasonably understand the implausibility of being able to gather ‘the whole army’ from ‘the whole country’ to pursue them. What country keeps its entire army in one location? Rather it was the chariots and horsemen at his disposal who were able to do this. Chariots were very expensive to make. Egypt had limited resources of wood and some of the chariots preserved in museums today show they were made of elm wood from the eastern and northern Mediterranean. Given that the Egyptian chariots formed part of Pharaoh’s elite forces (perhaps due to their expense), it might be plausible that the entirety of his chariots were located near Pharaoh’s palace at the time. Exodus 14:7 does seem to indicate it was all of his chariots which were 600 in total. But if he had chariots, why would Pharaoh need his whole army (particularly all his foot soldiers) to pursue a bunch of slaves who were not very well armed and who were primarily traversing on foot? It’s doubtful his foot soldiers could have caught them as the Hebrews had a head start. It makes sense that the whole of Egypt’s army was not destroyed, but rather it was the ‘portion’ of the army (his chariot force—the Bible says so) that pursued the Hebrews—that was destroyed. As such, Egypt was not left militarily defenseless as the entire army was not entirely decimated or completely destroyed as it was located in various places throughout Egypt. Therefore, Egypt was not vulnerable to wholesale invasion. This does not undermine in any way God’s miraculous hand destroying a marauding battalion, because ultimately He parted a sea and saved the Hebrews. That is certainly worth remembering.

The Hyksos did not ‘invade’ Egypt

The Hyksos did not take over the whole country of Egypt. If the whole of Egypt was decimated and defenceless due to the Exodus, why did they limit themselves to just the northern part of the country ruling from what was called Avaris (which was later built upon and called Pi-Rameses)? Native Egyptian rule continued over large parts of the country, although it was mainly confined to central Egypt with their capital at Thebes (modern day Luxor). So, ‘Egypt’ was never destroyed or completely subjugated by the Hyksos.

To even say that the Hyksos even ‘invaded’ a destroyed country is simply not correct. The Ancient History Encyclopedia site notes:

“Even today, the Hyksos are referred to as invaders and their advent in Egypt as the ‘Hyksos Invasion,’ but actually, they assimilated neatly into Egyptian culture adopting Egyptian fashion and religious beliefs, with some modifications, as their own.”1

Egyptian records indicate that the Hyksos, were, in fact, Semitic immigrants and sheepherders. How did this happen? The Hyksos period is also known as the Second Intermediate Period (IP), sandwiched between The Middle and New Kingdoms. The Middle Kingdom is a relatively ‘dark period’ of Egyptian history with not a lot for us to go on. They are called Intermediate Periods because they usually followed a time of fragmentation in the country where local rulers established their own precincts, and the whole country was not unified under a single rule. For example, many think the First IP came about due to the massive building program of the pyramids that left the treasury bare. And indeed, at the time the Hyksos were ruling northern Egypt, the Nubians were ruling in the South with the Egyptians themselves in the middle, thus the country was split into three.

Picture by Keaton Halleyhyksos-with-deer
Asiatics entering Egypt, Beni Hasan (facsimile painted in 1931 by N. de Garis Davies

Egypt rebounds quickly

If Egypt was so devastated and overrun by the Hyksos, how did it rise up again so quickly to evict the Hyksos? During the Hyksos occupation of mainly northern Egypt (lower Nile) Ahmose, the first Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty (New Kingdom) ran them out of the country and subsequent pharaohs even ruled and resided there. Therefore, Egypt still had an army during the Hyksos period, proving my earlier point about sections of the army being located in various regions of the country and not all being used during the Exodus pursuit. Even advocates of the VIC agree that the Hyksos were expelled by Ahmose and his army. So, if the entire country was invaded and ruled by the Hyksos, why would they even allow Egypt to have an army?

Egypt was a fabulously wealthy country. The annual Nile flooding provided beautiful black silt on the land which made it very fertile and able to grow an abundance of crops. This is one of the reasons biblical patriarchs went there during times of drought and famine. They also had an abundance of precious minerals including amethyst, copper, gold, emeralds and other precious stones, as well as building stone like granite. Economically, Egypt would and did bounce back pretty quickly due to great natural resources. Egypt’s periods of decline prior to the Ptolemaic and Roman invasions were self-inflicted.

Silence about Hebrews—but only while in captivity

From Egyptian records, there seems to be no mention of the Hebrew occupation while in Egypt. This is understandable if one appreciates the culture, as we would not expect them to be mentioned on tombs and temples (which is mostly what is left archaeologically). But we do start to see them mentioned in the second half of the aforementioned 18th dynasty. The Armana letters to Amenhoptep III and Akhenaten of this period reveal that the Hebrews (Habiru) were taking over lands in Canaan and other ANE areas. This is a very good indicator that the Exodus must have only occurred a few years before, because after the 40 years of wandering, they have now entered the Promised Land, and not some 100+ years earlier. Some of the lands now being conquered by the Hebrews were, in fact, Egyptian vassal states established by Pharaoh Thutmoses III, earlier in the 18th dynasty. This was the first time Egypt really expanded its borders into the Levant. It is my view that Thutmose III did this because he did not want any more foreigners taking over large tracts of his own land. ‘Better to conquer them first!’ In short, we have records of the first mentions of Habiru/Hebrew in the Levant after they have left Egypt. If they left c.200 years before the Hyksos arrived, why are there no earlier mentions of them?

Shishak is not Thutmoses III

Advocates of the VIC Exodus/Hyksos invasion theory are forced to revise future Egyptian history downward. As the first commenter mentioned, they revise Shishak of the Bible to be Thutmoses III of the 18th dynasty, and that Jerusalem is actually recorded as Kadesh on his booty list. Many scholars believe that Shoshenq I of Egypt (22nd dynasty) is the biblical Shishak. To make Shishak Thutmoses III would mean a revision of the conventional date downwards by some 500 years. In my Evidence for Hebrews in Egypt article it can be clearly demonstrated linguistically from Shoshenq’s hieroglyphs, from the places that he subjugated in the Divided Kingdom that the conventional view is correct. The Shishak/Shoshenq synchrony has been a staple of even secular Egyptologists, and one area where even they agree that there is a biblical and ancient Egyptian synchrony. But VIC advocates would need to revise the timing backwards, otherwise it destroys the Hebrew pre-Hyksos occupation of Egypt theory. Patrick Clarke has also dismantled the VIC inspired claims that Thutmoses III is the biblical Shishak.

Was Jerusalem the Kadesh of Thutmose III’s time?

Was Thutmose III the biblical Shishak?

Incidentally, the mentions of the Habiru/Apiru continue from the 18th all the way into the 19th dynasty and beyond, including the land now being called Israel. Indicating again that Israel was only recently established and not some hundreds of years before.

There are no missing hundreds of years in the New Kingdom dynasties

Per the previous point, to accommodate the VIC, one has to compress the entire New Kingdom period and the 3rd IP down by some 500 years. We believe this is simply not possible. See my article on Egyptian Chronology, where I highlight how we have more information about the New Kingdom period of Egypt than any other period, for two reasons. (1) It was the wealthiest period of Egyptian history. The whole country was unified under a single rule during this time with Thebes as the capital. (2) It was the most recent period of native Egyptian rule so we have more artifacts to go on. There are no missing pharaohs so we have a complete lineage and their details are exquisitely preserved in places like the Valley of the Kings, where the underground tombs have preserved the hieroglyphs from the harsh climate.

When were battle chariots first used by the Egyptians?

In terms of needing to understand a bit more about Egyptian history, I believe this next point is rather fatal to the pre-Hyksos Exodus view. In the book of Exodus, there are nine mentions of Pharaoh’s chariots, and two in Deuteronomy. For example:

“And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen” (Exodus 14:17).

It is a well-known fact that the Egyptians had limited use of chariots prior to the arrival of the Hyksos. There seems to be scant mention of them, and where there is, they seem to be mainly used for carting materials. Furthermore, they were poorly built, heavy and prone to breakdown. The Hyksos introduced two things to Egypt that later advanced the Egyptians’ military capability. They were the single horse battle chariot 2 and the composite bow (a laminated bow made of animal horn, sinew, and wood) 3. The introduction of a yoke saddle for horses that allowed for a lightweight, strong and mobile chariot, and a much stronger and powerful bow, revolutionized Egyptian warfare. These are not seen or depicted until partway through the 18th dynasty—the very dynasty that evicted the Hyksos. The best-preserved specimens (six of them) were found in Tutankhamun’s tomb. See the picture of Rameses II (19th dynasty) riding such a chariot into battle against the Hittites and using a composite bow.

wikipedia.orgegypt-chariot
Ramses II (19th dynasty) fighting in a chariot at the Battle of Kadesh with two archers, one with the reins tied around his waist to free both hands.

Additionally, towards the end of the book of Genesis, there are two mentions of Joseph using a chariot—when he was appointed vizier over the land of Egypt. For example, Genesis 41:43 says:

“And he made him ride in his second chariot. And they called out before him, ‘Bow the knee!’ Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt.”

So, was Joseph riding his chariot either 200 or 400 years (depending upon one’s view of how long the sojourn was) before the Hyksos arrived? Genesis 41:43 is strong evidence that the Hebrew sojourn and subsequent Exodus could not have been before the Hyksos occupation.

Summary

In short, the ‘invasion’ of the Hyksos (which wasn’t actually an invasion), has been used as a convenient and seemingly convincing anchor point in Egyptian history to ‘fix’ the Exodus. All Egyptologists try to do this—in one form or another—by trying to find an event which they can fix a well-established date to. From there, looking at the lineages and reigns of the pharaohs, they then try to calculate dates for the various dynasties either side of these accepted dates. We can deduce the biblical date of the Exodus from Scripture (1 Kings 6:1). To have the Exodus just prior to the Hyksos occupation—as per the VIC—one has to condense all proceeding Egyptian history—which follows this alleged event—downwards by hundreds of years. However, this adjustment attempts to reduce the best attested periods of Egyptian history, so is very problematic. Yet the accepted date for the Hyksos’ 2nd IP actually precedes the biblical date for the Exodus, not the other way around.

We welcome further genuine Christian research into Egyptian Chronology. It remains a controversial and contentious area, and there are literally dozens of views and ideas which only serve to highlight how difficult it actually is. However, it does not automatically mean that all views are equal when it can be shown to be demonstrably wrong. And I have just given a few reasons why it is not correct that the Exodus occurred just prior to the Hyksos occupation of Egypt.

 Tour-of-Egypt-with-CMI

Brand new booklet from CMI (only available in the US, UK or Canadian stores)

In our new booklet, Tour Egypt with CMI we have laid out a more complete picture as to the timing of the Exodus and even a potential candidate for the actual Pharaoh of this event. Additionally, we have provided reasons from Scripture why Joseph’s Pharaoh was not a native Egyptian. My view is that he found favor under a Hyksos pharaoh. Joseph’s family were given the best of the land. That an Egyptian would parcel off any section of their ‘blessed land’ to a foreigner is unthinkable. Therefore, when the Hyksos were expelled, then that represents the time the Bible records as when ” … there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph” (Exodus 1:8). Note that this says there was a new king who came to power ‘over’ Egypt. I think this was the aforementioned Ahmose I.

References and notes

  1. Hyksos, ancient.eu/Hyksos, accessed 17 September 2020. Return to text.
  2. Chariots in Ancient Egypt, ancientegyptonline.co.uk/chariots, accessed 17 September 2020. Return to text.
  3. Composite Bow, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composite_bow, 17 September 2020. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Readers’ comments

Bruno M.
The Exodus is a myth jewish folklore. No serious archaeologist in Israel believes in the exodus and that moses wrote the pentateuch. Its sad that there are people who rely on these made up stories to give meaning to their lives. The old testament is just fictional stories mixed with history as archaeology in Israel is concerned. If you believe the exodus happened then where are the remains of the pharaohs army, where is the crossing site, where is mount sinai, where is the evidence of the plagues destruction in egypt, where is the ark of the covenant and Solomons temple ???
Dont get me started on the book of genesis, its because of that book that I cant take you guys seriously. That book is as mythological as any mythologies around the world all made up
Gary Bates
No matter how much you want them to be true, your wannabe assertions are nothing more than a fact-free tirade and demonstrably wrong on many levels. As per usual with these types of garden-variety atheistic comments, they display a profound ignorance about the very subject that you professes to know so much about. As for no archaeologist in Israel etc. Dr Eilat Mazar, granddaughter of pioneering Israeli archaeologist Benjamin Mazar, stated: “I work with the Bible in one hand and the tools of excavation in the other, and I try to consider everything.” You are just plain wrong! And actually if you knew anything about ancient Egyptian history, it would not be expected that there would be any remnants or archaeological logical remains of Hebrews in Egypt, due to the very nature or type of artifacts that are left behind. At the end of the day, The Hebrews only represented a very small portion of the overall population and they only lived in one location. Please read this article on Egyptian chronology as to why. Regarding the book of Genesis, well, you happen to have ventured onto a site that contains over 12,000 articles that theologically and scientifically support the creation account. And many of them authored by Ph.D. scientists who got their degrees in the very same universities as your evolutionary counterparts. If you think that the science is on your side, You are plain wrong!to start with.
Perry H.
Thank you Gary for your article. I find your arguments for the plagues not being destructive to Egypt weak. God was demonstrating his superiority over the gods of Egypt but that does not mean that the country and its people were not significantly effected by them. Certainly there were several deaths cause by disease and lack of healthy drinking water before the last plague. Plus, it doesn't matter how nice the soil is if the countries food supply was eaten by the locus. I am sure the locus also got into their seed supply. What do the have left to plant? Then you take away much of the countries labor. Then add on top of that the death of all the first born sons. Even if the average family had 8 children, 4 boys and 4 girls. (very high estimate). That would be the death of 25% of the male population. Add to that the Army drowning in the Red Sea and nation without food. The point is still valid, this kind of devastation does not fit well with the 18th Dynasty.
Gary Bates
Perry, one can disagree and is free to do so, but I may have chosen a less inflammatory word than 'weak', given the amount of detail in the article. And also especially when you know that our ministry always attempts to be faithful to Scripture. So there is no agenda on my part except to ensure that Scripture is not compromised, and to attempt that where the actual evidence from ancient Egypt itself can be reconciled with the Bible.


  1. I never said anywhere in the article that the country was not significantly affected. Of course it was affected (not 'effected' BTW), at least sufficiently to cause pharaoh to release the Hebrews. But I was pointing out that the whole country was not devastated beyond the time frame of a reasonably quick recovery. And there is a logical point to be made here. The plagues that attacked crops (hail and locusts), even if they were country-wide, they were were not sufficient to persuade Pharaoh. It was problematic, but presumably they were not going to starve? As mentioned in the article, most of the plagues were against nature. Pharaoh could have just chosen to attribute them to natural events to deny God's power. We know that it was only the final, 10th plague that changed his mind. The Bible says that God's destroying angel killed the firstborn. So this was clearly a supernatural event that Pharaoh could not explain away. Obviously there is a huge human and emotional toll when one loses one's children and family members. If God could do that then he could have killed all of the Egyptian population if He wanted to, or even Pharaoh himself. If I was Pharaoh, that certainly would have crossed my mind as their could be no doubt that the Hebrew God was the one who inflicted this final toll on them.

  2. And then you believe that the loss of the Hebrew workforce was a significant loss of labor, but this does not make logical sense. When I read the Scriptures it says that the Hebrews slaves were relegated to making mud bricks. Remember “read no more and read no less”. While a significant task for building projects, that is all it would have affected. It would have been a relatively minor part of the overall economy of Egypt. For example, who else was growing crops, managing the economy, and doing things such as tending livestock, brewing wine and beer and all the other things that self-sufficient economy does? Given the anticipated population of Egypt at the time, they could have been millions still involved in this. Your view follows more of a pop culture view, such as the Hebrews building the pyramids etc, that gives the impression that the Egyptian economy depended upon them. How could it, if they were just making mud bricks?

  3. Even if the crops in the fields were affected by the plagues, Egypt has undergone such things before, notably through droughts. With the exception of the seven years of drought recorded in Scripture, there is no evidence from Egyptian records that droughts continued for many years like that one. Joseph’s drought seems to have been a unique God-ordained event given the dreams that God gave Joseph in advance and God's plan to elevate him to a position of authority in Egypt to make an Israelite nation of them all. And again the point that Egypt was a source of refuge for other nations during difficult times, was also mentioned in the article. This is because Egypt had a huge abundance of food simply because of the faithfulness of the Nile River and its annual floods. So at the worst, it would have affected them for one year, and maybe not even a full year because we do not know what month of the year The Exodus occurred. So it could have been a relatively short time before they could replant in the black silt that the annual flood brought to the land. Just consider how fabulously wealthy Egypt was. There was no equal with regard to its neighbors. And the fact that it's cultural and religious systems remained unchanged for 2,000 years is testimony to their unprecedented power and wealth mainly due to the faithfulness of the Nile.

  4. And you made a good point about storehouses for me. We know they were built as a result of Joseph initiatives, again from the Scriptures. And when you wrote “I am sure the locus[ts...sic] also got into their seed supply.” Once again, as I said in the article, “read what the Scripture says no more no less.” So, similarly they could have had reserves of grain that fed them and enabled them to replant possibly within a short amount of time. You said the nation was without food. Chapter and verse please?

  5. You admitted that your math(s) about Egyptian deaths was high, and again it is speculation. Estimates were overstated to support a view.

  6. We agree with the Patterns of Evidence movie that the Hebrews were locally-based in Avaris which became the capital of Egypt during the Hyksos rule. They would have been subsequently subjugated to that area when the Hyksos were expelled and the area was taken over by the Egyptians. So the Hebrews was not spread out over the whole country (they were captive slaves assigned to a single task). This is more evidence that the Exodus was not a massive dent in the Egyptian workforce. In any case, prior to the arrival of the Hebrews, all the building projects were undertaken by locals, including the very largest of the, the great pyramids.

  7. You commented that the whole army was destroyed. I think this was amply answered in the article as I mentioned that no country keeps its entire army in one location. I said there is evidence of this due to the outpost forts that they had all over the country. The Bible gives the number of chariots that pursued them which I mentioned and dealt with in the article.

  8. My point about not understanding Egypt properly is a failure to understand how the Nile is really what gave Egypt its abundance. Even though it was turned into blood, how long would it have stayed like that, with reference to your point about drinking water? It is a river. That means it flows from upstream. It is served by both the White Nile which is around 1,900 km in length, and the Blue Nile which is 400 kilometers long. Did the Nile in all of these other countries also turn to blood? What did they do wrong? I read nowhere in Scripture that these portions of the Nile returned to blood. It was only Egypt being punished so just likely their section of the river for a period of time. And if we want to be literal, the portion that is usually referred to as the Nile, usually only refers to the Egyptian section. The point is it would not have taken long after the plagues and after the Hebrews left for the Nile to return to normal.



The view we shared does no injustice to the Scriptures. At the end of the day, all we are really saying is that even Egypt was majorly devastated, it really would have not taken long for them to bounce back for the aforementioned reasons. I recommend getting our Tour Egypt booklet, as this is more comprehensively laid out with regards to the timing of The Exodus and, thus, a bigger picture would probably make a lot more sense to you. As you can see, I have spent a considerable amount of time, thus demonstrating that I have not taken your comments lightly. However, it also demonstrates that your objections can be reasonably answered.
S.John R.
How do you explain that the real original name for the Hyksos is Amu and also Omaya a frequent name among the Amalekites was a synonym for Amalekite. How do you explain medieval Arabic authors who recorded history about the Amalekites who invaded Egypt, how do you explain the Hyksos king Apop 1 is not the Agog king from the scriptures when it's the same name how do you explain 1 Samuel 30 when David meets an Egyptian who describes himself as a slave of a Amalekite, how do you explain that the hyksos suddenly disseapear from history it only makes sense if they were the Amalekites wiped out by Saul, how do you explain the book of Judges which supposedly covers a 400 year period makes mentions of all the surrounding nations but not ever once the Egyptians and there not mentioned until the defeat of the Amalekites that only makes sense if the Amalekites were the Hyksos. And with the Shishak Shoshenq situation Shishak was a common name used in Jewish writings to describe numerous and also if Shoshenq is Shishak the shishak inscriptios refer to northern Israel not Rehoboams Jerusalem or Judah. If Shoshenk were Shishak then he attacked his ally and ignored his enemy and also the time of shoshenk was the iron age 1 which in Israel was a time of poverty no impressive fortifications with no evidence of wealth and yet in the revised chronology the time of thutmose 3 the middle bronze age 2 was the prosperous and affluence and powerful period in Israel that only makes if that was the true time period of David and Solomon
Gary Bates
Wow! There were a lot of questions fired at us there, but they are not framed as questions, but more as definitive statements of seeming fact. And the majority of them do not deal with the specific subject matter of the article and so please do not expect us to spend our time answering them all. Many people feel like they’ve solved the chronology issues of Egypt, and it often gives them great angst if they see any views that disagree. Particularly if they feel they've subscribed to a view that apparently, neatly solves it all. Case in point. You mentioned the revised chronology of David Rohl. Of course we are familiar with his work, And many Christians subscribe to it, but without realizing that it does a great injustice to time periods in Scripture that we know are correct. In other words we would have to revise those to fit Rohl’s revised chronology. I recommend this article by ABR as a start as to some reasons why. It is wise to read competing views so one can make a fully informed opinion.

With regard to the Shishak comment please see our article on him here. Rohl has played this one a bit loosley, I'm afraid.
Dreme O.
Gary, let me see if I understand: The "Hyksos" are credited with bringing chariot technology to Egypt; therefore, the Hyksos are not the Israelites, because the Pharoah already had a chariot when Joseph arrived. Is that the argument? The first known appearance of chariots stretches way back to the Sintashta-Petrovka culture burial sites (allegedly before 1750 BC) from southern Russia near Kazakhstan. The much later "Hyksos" people, therefore, did not invent the technology. If the Hyksos are the Israelites, then maybe (possibly) under Joesph the technology may have been mass produced and widely fielded in the Egyptian army. Prior to Joseph's arrival, chariot technology may have been well known around the globe, but chariots were rare and used only for transportation of wealthy rulers. Is there a stronger argument for why Josephus was incorrect to state that the Hyksos were in fact the Israelites? (Other than timing, which is obviously contested.)
Gary Bates
The chariot issue and that Joseph found favour under a Hyksos king is covered in more detail in our Tour Egypt booklet, which I am not going to reproduce here due to the length of the section, But if you are genuinely interested you can grab a copy of the book via the links in the article. But the evidence is clear from Scripture itself that Joseph was not captive to, or subsequently favored by a native Egyptian king. For example, Joseph encouraged his brothers to tell pharaoh somethings about themselves that "were an abomination to the Egyptians.” So it makes absolutely no sense that Joseph, who by now was in a high position, would be telling his family to do things that were an abomination to the king, if indeed he was an Egyptian. This is all important as it goes to timing. This is because it indicates this was a non- Egyptian pharaoh in power at the time and because we know the timing of the Exodus from Scripture, this can only really fit the Hyksos, as there was no foreign power ruling in Egypt before the Hyksos, or indeed for almost a thousand years after them. Respectfully your comment about chariot technology elsewhere is irrelevant and actually a bit of a strawman argument because I never once stated they invented these. Only that they introduced them to Egypt. If you reread the article I specifically spoke about battle chariots and also the composite bow, And that the Egyptians had a more primitive version of chariot that may be used for carrying goods. If you really understood ancient Egyptian culture, you would know that they were extremely insular because they believed their country to be the Blessed Land. So it is no surprise that technology from other countries did not reach them. After all, and as stated, it was the Hyksos that brought this to them. That means it must have existed elsewhere but not in Egypt at the time. It was not until the New Kingdom and after the Hyksos were expelled that the Egyptians started to take over countries that they saw as possible future threats to them. They even started to trade with other nations which was relatively unheard of prior to the New Kingdom. I really know of no respectable Christian scholar who believes that the Hyksos and the Israelites are one and the same. And it is certainly not viewed that way by secular scholars either, because there simply is no evidence for it. But more to the point, if you are asking the question and even disagree, then it is incumbent upon you or whoever believes it, to cite evidence that they are one and the same. But it won't happen because there isn't any. This response is long enough already but just another example is that the Hyksos worshipped different gods. And there is not a shred of archaeological evidence to suggest that they were Yahweh worshipping Israelites. More over, Egyptian historical records, as in writings, clearly state that the Hyksos were expelled as a result of a battle led by Ahmose I. I mentioned this in the article, So it appears that some of this has flown by your understanding. Perhaps re-read might be in order. There is abundant archaeological evidence that this actually occurred. This includes many skeletal remains that demonstrate the terrible wounds from battle, including that of a Hyksos king at the time with a terrible axe wound to his head. There is absolutely no question that the Hyksos ruled large parts of Egypt from their capital in Avaris. My Bible clearly indicates that the Hebrews (they weren't Israelites yet BTW) were originally guests under a pharaoh (most likely a Hyksos king) and then subsequently slaves (under an Egyptian king "who did not know Joseph"). That certainly does sound like the well documented and archaeologically attested to Hyksos reign. Once again, I recommend grabbing the book as all the concepts are thoroughly laid out and in a logical sequence and manner.
Jack S.
Please consider elaborating on the timing of Akhenaten‘s imposition of monotheism and the apparent influence of the Israelites on his religious beliefs and forms of worship. The sudden shift from polytheism to monotheism under Akhenaten seems reasonable following God’s direct repudiation of the Egyptian gods through the series of plagues and Divine deliverance of His people; yet secular historians not only avoid the logical, but try to twist history to show that Israeli monotheism derived from Akhenaten‘s.
Gary Bates
This is but one article on a particular aspect of Egyptology. We actually have elaborated on Akhenaten in our Tour Egypt booklet that was mentioned in the article. I encourage you to get it and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
Stephen G.
Describing velikovsky as an "atheistic Jew" seems a little questionable. I can understand why you would highlight his atheism but mentioning his ethnicity brings you into dangerous territory. (I know that's not your intention.) Or am I missing something?
Gary Bates
There is no slight intended by the term. For example, we often describe our own Dr. Jonathan Sarfati as a Messianic Jew. This seems to be a bit of a convention given the historical heritage of the Jewish nation and people and whether people accept that history or not. It is even more pertinent in the case of Velikovsky because although he was an atheist, in some ways, he was trying to prove biblical history, or actually rewrite it.
Dreme O.
Thanks for the response, sir! How do we know that the Hyksos are not the Isrealites? (Do we know?)
Gary Bates
Yes we do know. The Jewish writer Josephus wrongly attributed the Hyksos with the Israelies which has added to the confusion. The timing is all wrong to start with. But I will restate a couple of things from the article that made this clear. As I mentioned in the article, the Patterns of Evidence movie showed that Austrian archaeologist Manfred Bietak discovered a Semitic settlement living within the city of Avaris which was the ruling base for the Hyksos. This was most likely the Israelites living within a area of the city (remember Joseph's family was given the best of the land). Additionally, I mentioned In the article that the Bible says Joseph was riding a chariot. Joseph was sold into slavery and only became a prominent in Pharaoh's Court later Obviously it made no sense that Joseph brought chariots to Egypt. They were already there even before the remainder of his family joined him. the Hyksos were credited with bringing Chariot technology to Egypt.
Paul S.
3200BC violates Biblical timing.

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