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Friday, February 7, 2014



The expulsion of the Hyksos ordered by Ahmose I marked the beginning of the New Kingdom and the 18th Dynasty for Egypt. This was a period of prosperity, art, massive building projects, abundant foreign trade and conquest of nearby lands. Many of Egypt's best and most famous Pharaohs were part of this 18th Dynasty. This was Egypt's golden age!

At the beginning of the 19th Dynasty, Egypt continued to rise in power. The Great Ramses II was this Dynasty's most notable Pharaoh reigning for 67 years. He made peace with the Hittites and brought prosperity to the region. By the end of the 19th Dynasty, Egypt could not maintain his kingdom and was beginning to fall into chaos.

In the 20th Dynasty, Ramses III protected the country from foreign invasion. But internal corruption and social chaos prevented him from restoring Egypt back to its former glory. Egypt divided into factions from his death through the end of the 20th Dynasty.

The 18th Dynasty (1570-1292 BC)

Ahmose I
Best known for ridding the country of the Hyksos
Maintained dominance over Nubia and the North after his father's death. He was the first Pharaoh who separated his tomb from his temple in order to protect it from grave robbers.
Thutmose I
It is possibly that he reigned as co-regent before Amenhotep I died. He pushed Nubia's borders deep into Nubia. He also extended his power into Canaan, fighting against the Hyksos all the way into the Euphrates River.
Thutmose II
Although he was a third son, he took the throne when his father died because his older brothers had died. He married his half-sister Hatshepsut for royal reasons.
Queen Hatshepsut
One of three queens to rule Egypt. She was the daughter of one of Thutmose I. She was ambitious and selfish. She married her half-brother. When her husband died, her son Thutmose II took the throne. Since her stepson was very young when her husband died, she was able to claim power as her stepson's regent; and in this way she managed to reign for 20 years despite her gender. She considered herself equal to any male ruler which was very unusual for her time. She even dressed as a man and wore a fake beard. She is well known for funding expeditions into Africa and commissioning hundreds of building projects. It is speculated that she might have been the "Pharaoh's daughter" who found baby Moses hidden in the rushes along the banks of the Nile River, Exodus 2:1-10. It is also speculated that Moses might have been raised as a half-brother to Thutmose II. So, if this is true then Thutmose III, might have been the Pharaoh who tried to punish Moses for killing the Egyptian slave driver. Likewise, Thutmose III's son Amenhotep II might have been the Pharaoh to whom God said through Moses, "Let My people go!" That is very interesting!

Thutmose III
Thutmose III spent 21 years of his reign watching from the sidelines as his step-mother ruled as a Pharaoh. When she died he ruled in his own right for over 30 years. Egypt was at its largest during his reign. His son Amenhotep II co-ruled with him for his last few years as a Pharaoh. If Hatshepsut was indeed the one who saved baby Moses, Thutmose III would be the Pharaoh who sought to kill Moses after Moses killed the Egyptian slave master for beating one of the Hebrew slaves, Exodus 2:11-15.  If this is true, he would have known Moses as a child and perhaps they might have been raised in the same household. Remember, Moses fled to Midian and lived there in exile for about 40 years.
Amenhotep II
Reigned as Pharaoh for 23 years. He continued his father's military campaigns, especially in Syria. He was very athletic and skilled in bow hunting and rowing. He might have been the Pharaoh of the Exodus, the one who endured the 10 plagues and whose heart was hardened repeatedly. Also, the one who gave the Hebrews permission to leave and then chased them to the Red Sea, Exodus 7-14
Thutmose IV
He reigned for about 9 years. He built up government bureaucracy by cutting the size of the military. He was well known for the Dream Stele, a carved stone that sits between the paws of the Great Sphinx. He claimed a god told him to restore it. There was some politics behind this dream since some suggested that the dream was an effort to claim to the kingship. It is possible that he was Amenhotep's firstborn son. It is also speculated that he might have died in the Plague of the Firstborn, Exodus 11.
Amenhotep III
He reigned for 38 years in peace. He built monuments encouraging the arts.
Amenhotep IV
He was a younger son to Amenhotep III. He succeeded his father after his older brother died. His primary focus during his 17 year reign was the establishment of a monotheistic religion in Egypt , believing in one god,. Egyptians have always been polytheists, believing in many gods, but he sought to change this by bringing worship unto the sun-god, Aten meaning disk. He changed his name to Akhenaten because it associated him with a different god, Amun. He forced the priests of other gods to disband, removing the names of other gods from their temples. However, none of these changes endured. When he died all the monuments he had built were destroyed , erasing his name. Polytheism was restored under Tutankhamen.
He reigned for 3 years. It is uncertain to know who he was. He may have been Akhnaten's wife Nefertiti, his father or son-in-law. He allowed the monotheistic religion of Akhenaten to gradually collapse, restoring gradually Egypt's old gods to their previous place.
He is the most famous Pharaoh of all in modern times because his tomb was discovered undisturbed by grave robbers, by Howard Carter in the Valley of the Kings in 1922. He is popularly known as King Tut, and his burial mask is well known as the image of ancient Egypt. He reigned only for nine years. He was originally named Tutankhaten by his father. After his father died he changed his name to Tutankhamen which means "living image of Aten." He died around 16 years of age, possibly murdered by his own advisers.
He took the throne after Tutankhamen died. He was his Grand Vizier. He was the best qualified to take the throne in the absence of a dynasty heir. He reigned for 4 years trying to restore polytheism.
The last Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty. He was a military adviser to Tutankhamen. Like Ay, he was apparently judged to be best qualified to assume the throne in the absence of a legitimate heir. He returned power to the central government, restoring the pharaoh's role, and fully restoring the worship of Aten. He reigned for about 36 years. He appointed his military commander, Paramessu since he too had no heirs. Paramessu changed his name to Ramses I and started a new Dynasty.

The 20th Dynasty (1185-1070 BC)

This dynasty began with the three-year reign of Setnakhte. Little is known about his reign except that Setnakhte restored law and order in Egypt which was in decline by the end of the 19th Dynasty. His dated reign is from the time of Seti II, as if the reigns of Siptah and Tawosret never happened. Ramses III followed Setnakhte. He is considered the last great king of Egypt. Ramses III defended Egypt against the Libyans and Sea People. After him another series of Ramses, 8 in all, held power, but economic and social struggles sent the country into downward fall. After the 20th Dynasty, Egypt returned to chaos allowing the Intermediate Period to begin.

Conclusion:  The more we have learned about the power and glory of the Egyptian Pharaohs and their Dynasties, the more amazing it is to me to see God's power and providence in saving the Israelites from Egyptian bondage.  Our God is an AWESOME GOD!


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