Who were the Pharaohs during Joseph’s time?

Author: BibleAsk Team

Joseph and the Hyksos

There is reasonable proof that Joseph and Jacob entered Egypt during the time of the Hyksos (Genesis 39:1), who were foreigner invaders and not native Egyptians. These Semitic kings were in good terms with the Hebrews, and under their rule Joseph was brought to honor. Naturally, the Hyksos were not loved by native Egyptians even though they worked to improve their land.

When the Hyksos had ruled over Egypt for some 150 years (c. 1730-1580 B.C.), Sekenenre, a native Egyptian prince of Upper Egypt and vassal of the Hyksos, revolted. His mummy shows clear head wounds, indicating a fierce death possibly as a result of his rebellion.

Kamose, the son and successor of Sekenenre succeeded in expelling the Hyksos from Upper and Middle Egypt and restricting their rule to the eastern Delta area. But the full dismissal was done by his younger brother Ahmose, who defeated the hated enemies and forced them to surrender their strong city – Avaris.

As a result, the Hyksos retreated to Sharuhen in southern Palestine, which later was also defeated by Ahmose. And thus, the Hyksos’ rule came to an end. They were no longer mentioned in history.

The Native Egyptian Pharaohs

Then, the kings of Thebes became the rulers and the pharaohs of all Egypt. As kings of the Eighteenth Dynasty, they freed Egypt and conquered Nubia and Palestine as well. These native Egyptian Pharaohs “knew not Joseph” (Exodus 1:8), nor the Israelites, who occupied the land of Goshen in the eastern Delta.

These Pharaohs were ones that oppressed the Israelites. The dismissal of the Hyksos led to a new spirit of patriotism, and all outsiders were regarded with distrust, especially the ones that were favored by the Hyksos.

Thus, the great work done by Joseph to the welfare of the nation of Egypt was not remembered, mainly because he was an Asiatic and a former minister of a foreign king. The generation that had lived through the seven years of famine had passed away, and the offspring of Jacob’s twelve sons was faced with new kings that detested the Israelites and were bent on enslaving them.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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