With further review of the evidence, I have now slightly changed my earlier statement that Joseph came to Egypt under the reign of Sestrosis III in the 1870's BC. I now think that it was more in the co-regent reigns of Sestrosis III and Ammenemes III in the 1840's BC. Below I will give the reasons that I have come to think this:
The story in Genesis makes specific mention of a famine in the time that Joseph was raised to power. Is there any evidence of a great famine during the reign of Ammenemes III? The answer can be found on two stele at forts along the Second Cateract. These stele show the flood levels of the Nile during the reign of Ammenemes III. They show a time of good flooding of 17 meters which would have produced wonderful harvest and a land of plenty. But as many things in life, too much of a good thing can be harmful. The Nile had 12 years of flood levels reaching 21 meters. This would have severely flooded the fields and left water covering the soil during the crucial planting season. With water covering the fields, the seed could not be planted in time and so famine would strike the land. The seven years of famine in the flood could perhaps be one of those numbers the Bible makes use of in ancient Hebrew numerology when actually it would have been 8 years of plenty followed by 12 years of famine.
Already evidence has shown a dramatic decline in the power of local barons during the later years of Sestrosis III, and I think that it would have been because of the advising by Joseph for the reigning kings which the local barons did not take. They then had to come to the kings and buy food, lessening their once strong power.
Also it is immediately after this that the name of Sobek appears in the Royal lines. Sobek was the crocodile god of the Nile and the the flood. Perhaps this was a way to keep the Nile happy by honoring him with their names.
If we now look at the actual words of the story of Pharoah's Dream:
"And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favored
cattle and they fed in the meadow. And, behold, seven other cattle came
up after them out of the river, ill favored and leanfleshed; and stood
by the other cattle upon the brink of the river...."
Notice the words, "...up out of the river..." "....after them out of the river..." and "on the brink of the river..." Obviously the famine of the land had something to do with the Nile deserving specific mention in the Biblical texts. And the river causes the second dream of Pharoah:
"And he slept and dreamed a second time: and,
behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, full and good. And,
behold, seven thin ears and blasted by the east wind sprung up after them.
And the seven ears devoured the seven full ears. And Pharoah awoke, and,
behold, it was a dream."
The river now apparantly is the cause and forerunner of the weak and feeble harvest. This would correspond to the irregular Nile flooding shown in the reign of Ammenemes III.
Now did the pharoah listen to Joseph and his advice to store up supplies? Well Ammenemes III was one of the more active pharoahs of this time. He built his pyramid at Hawara next to the waterway leading from the NIle to lake today called Birket Karun. Beside his pyramid he built what today, people call the Egyptian Labyrinth. This building was large and had numerable rooms centered around 12 open courts. From the time of the Greeks it was understood that the courts represented the 12 Egyptian nomes or counties. It was originally thought that this building was one of the pharoah's mortuary buildings that often mimicked the buildings of the pharoah's life....only smaller and unused. Egyptologists now think that the Labyrinth was built before the pyramid and therefore was a real and functional administrative building.
The location of this building is at Hawara, just south of the capital at the time near the Delta. Hawara has since been shown to be a variable of the name Avaris, meaning more of a Avaris of the South as opposed to the Avaris of the North. Avaris has long been known as an administrative center for the kingship so the name placement on this southern city could show similar duties here.
The Labyrinth is located like I said on a canal which connects the Nile to the lake. Historians have attributed this to a King Moeris but now it appears that instead of constructing this canal, he seems to have more undertaken a drudging campaign to reopen it. All that he had to do was open up just 9 meters of soil to reconnect the pre-exsisting waterway. And do you know what the traditional name of this canal is? Bahr Yussef or "Waterway of Joseph". Now Yussef is a Semitic name and so the odds of another Yussef building it deep in the heart of Egypt is pretty remote. Not to mention that the evidence points to the canal being built at the same time as a building by Ammenemes III....the time of our Biblical Joseph.
Let's take a look at Joseph's Egyptian name. It is said in the Bible to be, "Zaphenat-Pa'aneah". Where did this come from? Well when translating words from one language from another, a known and regualr practice is for scribes to switch the 'p' and 't''s to make the name more readable and easier to pronounce. If we take that into account we come up with the original of "zat-en-aph" meaning "he who is called". So we now have, "He who is called Pa'aneah"
Pa'aneah is a fairly common Egyptian name rooted in ankh ("life") or ankhu ("is alive"). Then the initial Pa' or Pi' is thought to be a representation of Ipi or Ipu. When we combine them, we get "He who is called Ipiankh(u)" or "He who is called 'Ipi is alive'".
We have several papyri from the time that lists Asiatic slaves who had been given Egyptian names prefixed by "He/She who is called...." so this is pure Egyptology in Genesis here.
Ok, now we have found a possible administrative building built alongside the Waterway of Joseph during the reign of Ammenemes III who, if we use the Biblical dating, was the pharoah that Joseph came to power under. It allso intresting to note that the Pharoah chose to build his pyramid next to a waterway which was named after an Asiatic. Asiatics, although gaining in power, were still looked down upon during this time and it would be almost inconcievable that a pharoah would choose to build his everlasting residence next to a waterway named after one.....unless it was named after his vizer who was instrumental in the rise of his power.
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