A Historical Timeline of the Bible

Can Moses Be Found in Egyptian History?

We've all seen the Cecil B. DeMille 1956 movie classic The Ten Commandments. It tells the story of how Moses led the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt . In 1998 an animated movie called the Prince of Egypt tried to depict the same story and in between there have been many Hollywood stars that have played the part of Moses. The Bible gives us only a few clues as to the life of Moses in Egypt prior to the exodus. To learn more we have to delve into Egyptian history. What can we learn about Moses, a “Prince of Egypt”?

Remember that Moses was the adopted son of the daughter of Pharaoh, Hatshepsut, who was a co-ruler over Egypt with her step-son / nephew Thutmose III, who became the sole ruler of Egypt shortly after Moses fled to Midian. We know that Hatshepsut died within a year of Moses' departure.

Thutmose III apparently did something that only occurred one additional time in the span of Egyptian history. The Egyptian people viewed their pharaohs as being a god in the flesh. The temple of Hatshepsut lies along the Nile in the Diro Valley , just across from Karnak , where one can see what remains of Hatshepsut's figure. Thutmose III, who undoubtedly hated her, completely eradicated nearly all her monuments throughout Egypt . Only on one other occasion would Egyptian authorities eradicate the monuments of a previous pharaoh and erase his name wherever found.

Along with the eradication of the name of Hatshepsut in Egyptian records and monuments was another Egyptian official named Senmut who was very close to Hatshepsut. It seems that Senmut disappeared from Egyptian society shortly before the death of Hatshepsut. Is it possible that the person Senmut was Moses? Let's see.

Lets turn to Acts 7:22. “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.” Moses, as the son of the greatest queen of Egypt , had all the learning of Egypt at his disposal, and the wisdom of Egypt was unrivaled anciently (I Kings 4.30).

Here are some accounts of Moses / Senmut from different historical records.

(1) Josephus: The historian Josephus says that he led Egypt 's army as a general into Ethiopia , where he took an Ethiopian wife to secure peace with the Ethiopians rather than put them to the edge of the sword. As a prince, he received the best education available in governmental administration, arms, trade, religion, science, music, art, literature, architecture, and many other fields. In this way, God used the royal house of Egypt to prepare His chosen servant for the massive operation of leading stiff-necked Israel for forty years through the wilderness.

(2) From the Tour Egypt web site: Senmut was an official of the 18 th dynasty, and counselor to Hatshepsut. He offered support for Hatshepsut when she assumed the throne, setting aside Thutmose III. Senmut was also honored for his architectural skills. He was deeply involved in the building projects of Hatshepsut, including the building of the temple at Deir El-Bahri on the western shore of the Nile at Thebes and the construction of the Karnak temple.

He amassed about 80 separate titles as an official and as an administrator in the royal court and he worked with others to support Hatshepsut's reign. Many stories concerning Senmut have surfaced over the years. All of the titles and favors bestowed upon him have given rise to much speculation. What is known is that Senmut dared to attempt to link his own tomb to that of the Queen-Pharaoh. His tomb and his images were destroyed with a definite ruthlessness by the agents of Thutmose III, Hatshepsut's heir, who had been set aside by her claims to the throne.

When Senmut died in the 19th year of her reign Hatshepsut was left vulnerable. Contemporary portraits of Senmut show him with a long nose and a rather cunning face. His tomb was beautifully designed and furnished.

(3) Professor Angela Lin: Senmut was a nobody, a commoner whose talents helped him rise to become what his enemies called "the uncrowned Pharaoh of Egypt." He was initially an architect, and most of Hatshepsut's buildings were attributed to him, although he likely did not personally design all of them. He was extremely gifted at politics, and he became Hatshepsut's most trusted advisor and friend. No one had more influence over the Pharaoh than Senmut. He accumulated over twenty different titles, including those of Royal Architect, Steward of Amun, Chief of Royal Works, and Royal Seal Bearer. Neferura, Hatshepsut's daughter and her chosen heir, had Senmut for her tutor and they were very close.

Senmut was also the leader, under Hatshepsut, of the Queen's Party in the government. While Hatshepsut was yet undisputed as ruler, there were those who would have preferred Thutmose III on the throne. Unlike her predecessors, who were warlike and enjoyed conquest, Hatshepsut had a more conservative view. She distrusted involvements with foreign countries beyond occasional trade, and she felt that Egypt should withdraw behind its borders and let the rest of the world go its "barbaric" ways. This view was shared by many traditionalist people, including some priests of Amun, noblemen, and many of her father's supporters. These people became her supporters in the Queen's Party.

Other Notes

Neferu-ra was the name of Hatshepsut in her early years. There is a statue of her and a child named Senmut in the Cairo museum. Apparently for a brief period of time Moses also held the title of Thutmose II. There is a statue of Thutmose II in the Cairo museum. The face on the statue is not one of a native Egyptian.

Here are some additional comments from a web site entitled “The Hidden Moses”.

•  Another name for Moses was Hatshepsut Xnem Amen -  (offspring of Hatshepsut by the god Amen). Remember that Hatshepsut believed that Moses was a gift from an Egyptian God.

•  Senmut (Moses) is groomed to become pharaoh. He is the architect of Deir El Bahri, the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut .

•  Tomb No. 71 At Deir El Bahri intended for Moses (Senmut)

•  At Deir El Bahri, there is a wall which depicts the birth of the future heir to the throne, one scene shows a baby boy in the arms of Hatshepsut-the infant Moses!

•  Hatshepsut's royal wall paintings in her mortuary temple at Deir el Bahri were defaced, and her statues were destroyed, because of the hatred Thutmose III had for her and Moses.

•  Images of Senmut (Moses) also defaced by Thutmose III, the childhood rival of Moses.

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