Moses, Thutmose, Akhenaten & Osarsiph

Moses, Thutmose, Akhenaten & Osarsiph

The Exodus story, as described in most versions of the bible was first put in writing Circa 600 BCE as result of many years of oral tradition. It purports to document events that occurred between 1450 & 1300 BCE.

Some have speculated that Thutmose III was the Pharoah at the time of the Exodus or that even he was Moses.  While the time frame exists, there is no written documentation existing to support that idea. However, there is historical evidence that support another theory regarding the Character Osarsiph and a potential relationship to the demise of the Pharoah Akhenaten.

The following from:

The Egyptians are famous for their record-keeping and yet no records have been found which make the slightest reference to the departure of a segment of the population of the land which, according to the Book of Exodus, numbered “six hundred thousand men on foot besides women and children”

Manetho’s story of Osarsiph/Moses is related by the historian Flavius Josephus (c. 37-100 CE) who cited Manetho’s story at length in his own work. The Roman historian Tacitus (c. 56-117 CE) tells a similar story of a man named Moses who becomes the leader of a colony of Egyptian lepers. This has led a number of writers and scholars (Sigmund Freud and Joseph Campbell among them) to assert that the Moses of the Bible was not a Hebrew who was raised in an Egyptian palace but an Egyptian priest who led a religious revolution to establish monotheism. This theory links Moses closely with the pharaoh Akhenaten (1353-1336 BCE) who established his own monotheistic belief in the god Aten, unlike any other god and more powerful than all, in the fifth year of his reign. Akhenaten’s monotheism may have been born of a genuine religious impulse or could have been a reaction against the priests of the god Amun who had grown almost as wealthy and powerful as the throne. In establishing monotheism and banning all the old gods of Egypt, Akhenaten effectively eliminated any threat to the crown from the priesthood. The theory advanced by Campbell and others (following Sigmund Freud’s Moses and Monotheism in this) is that Moses was a priest of Akhenaten who led like-minded followers out of Egypt after Akhenaten’s death when his son, Tutankhamun (c. 1336-1327 BCE), restored the old gods and practices. Still other scholars equate Moses with Akhenaten himself and see the Exodus story as a mythological rendering of Akhenaten’s honest attempt at religious reform.

Potential Egyptian Pharaohs during the estimated time of the Exodus:

Thutmose III ca. 1479–1425 B.C.

Hatshepsut (as regent) ca. 1479–1473 B.C.

Hatshepsut ca. 1473–1458 B.C.

Amenhotep II 1427–1400 B.C.

Thutmose IV ca. 1400–1390 B.C.

Amenhotep III ca. 1390–1352 B.C.

Amenhotep IV ca. 1353–1349 B.C.

Akhenaten ca. 1349–1336 B.C.