- 1 Amenemhet III - Amenemhat III - Nimaatre
- 2 Amenemhet III’s Rule
- 3 Co-regency of Amenemhet III and Sesostris III
- 4 Amenemhet III: Pharoah when Moses/Amenemhet IV was born
- 5 Co-regency of Amenemhet III and Amenemhet IV
- 6 Succession of Amenemhet III
- 7 From Amenemhet III to the 13th Dynasty
- 8 13th Dynasty Collapse & Hyksos Invasion
- 9 Timelines
- 10 References
- 11 Links
Amenemhet III - Amenemhat III - Nimaatre
Considered by some to be the greatest pharaoh of the Middle Kingdom. He was the 6th Pharaoh of the 12th dynasty, the son of Sesostris III. The 12th dynasty spanned almost 200 years. The revised dates of Amenemhet III's reign: 1529-1483BC (approximately).
Pre-History of Amenemhet III’s reign
The Israelites flourished and multiplied quickly when they first came to Egypt in the 3rd dynasty when Djoser (Netjerikhet) was pharaoh. They had the blessing of the Pharaoh and they enjoyed the protection of the vizier Joseph/Imhotep while he was alive. They lived in Goshen, the most fertile part of Egypt. The early pyramids of the 3rd to the 6th dynasties were built out of solid limestone.
At the end of the 6th and 11th dynasty (which ran contemporaneously in different parts of the country), there was an uprising by Amenemhet I who was the vizier for Mentuhotep IV of the 11th dynasty. He assassinated Mentuhotep IV and became the first pharaoh of the 12th dynasty, eventually taking over all of upper and lower Egypt.
Hebrew Slave Labour
Amenemhet I did not care or remember that the Israelites were related to Joseph/Imhotep who had saved Egypt from a seven year famine and made the old kingdom pharaohs rich. This pharaoh (Amenemhet I) ruthlessly forced the Israelites to work the fields and make mud bricks for his public works.The Hebrews were numerous enough and living in Egypt long enough to have made the mud bricks for all of the 12th dynasty pyramids. The 12th dynasty pyramids were composed largely of mud bricks which were then covered or faced with a limestone veneer. (Some of the inner rooms and passage ways were also made of limestone) (see Pyramid Age). The pharaohs of the 12th dynasty had enslaved them and forced them to work the fields and make mudbricks for the inner core of their pyramids and other public works such as the Labyrinth which was constructed out of mud bricks too.
Amenemhet III’s Rule
Amenemhet III reigned for 46 years over Upper and Lower Egypt, Elephantine and Lower Nubia. Amenemhet III was the last of a long line of pharaohs in the 12th dynasty who needed a large slave labour force to construct the massive pyramids of the 12th dynasty. The later pyramids of the 12th dynasty were built out of mud bricks and reinforced with straw as there was a shortage of limestone.
Amenemhet III built two pyramids, the first at Dashur (the Black Pyramid) and the second at Hawara where he was buried. He also built the Labyrinth at Hawara which contained over 1000 rooms and was considered to be one of the wonders of the ancient world. The two pyramids of Amenemhet III were the last Great Pyramids to be built. See the Pyramid Age
|“||I have seen this building, and it is beyond my power to describe; it must have cost more in labor and money than all the walls and public works of the Greeks put together - though no one would deny that the temples at Ephesus and Samos are remarkable buildings. The pyramids, too, are astonishing structures, each one of them equal to many of the most ambitious works of Greece; but the labyrinth surpasses them.||”|
Co-regency of Amenemhet III and Sesostris III
Amenemhet III may have begun his rule with a long co-regency (of 20 years) alongside his father, Sesostris III. It was either Sesostris III or Amenemhet III who ordered the Egyptian midwives to drown the Hebrew babies if they were male.
Amenemhet III: Pharoah when Moses/Amenemhet IV was born
The ancestry of Amenemhet IV is unknown. Amenemhet IV may well have been the child of a Hebrew slave. Moses was born to the Hebrew slave Jochebed about 4 years into Amenemhet III's reign (approximately 1526BC). Moses was left in a basket in the Nile to be found by the Princess Sobeknefru. Sobeknefru who was childless may well have been the princess who found him and adopted him and raised him as her own to be the next pharaoh Amenemhet IV after her father Amenemhet III. There was no change of pharaohs during Moses's first 40 years. The pharaoh of the time would have reigned at least 40 years. Moses spent the first 40 years of his life growing up in Pharaoh's household. Sobeknefru would have been grooming Moses to be the next pharaoh (Amenemhet IV).
Co-regency of Amenemhet III and Amenemhet IV
Towards the end of Amenemhet III's reign, he had a co-regency with Amenemhet IV lasting 9 years. Amenemhet IV suddenly disappeared after co-reigning with Amenemhet III for 9 years. Amenemhet IV never got to reign alone.
Disappearance of Amenemhet IV
Amenemhet IV suddenly disappeared before Amenemhet III died. Amenemhet IV / Moses had shown his loyalties to the Hebrews by killing an Eyptian Official for beating a Hebrew slave and had to go into exile in Midian to avoid being killed by Amenemhet III. Amenemhet IV's tomb has never been found. If Amenemhet IV was Moses, Amenemhet IV would not have died in Egypt.
Succession of Amenemhet III
Amenemhet III was left with no male heir to the throne. When Amenemhet III died a few years later, his daughter Sobeknefru succeeded him to become the first Queen of Egypt. Sobeknefru was the last pharaoh of the 12th dynasty, only living for another 4-8 years.
From Amenemhet III to the 13th Dynasty
Egypt was then thrown into turmoil, with a rapid succession of pharaoh's in the next dynasty. The 13th dynasty lasted about 30 years. By the time of the Exodus the Israelites numbered around 2 million as there were over 600,000 men of fighting age. No major pyramids were built after the 12th dynasty because Egypt's slaves had escaped.
13th Dynasty Collapse & Hyksos Invasion
The interval between the end of the reign of Amenemhet III and the end of the reign of the Exodus Pharaoh Neferhotep was about 40 years Towards the end of the 13th dynasty and the reign of Neferhotep, there was a sudden exodus of slaves from Egypt. Kahun, for example, was a slave village that was occupied from the time of Senusret II up until the time of Neferhotep, as evidenced by the scarabs that Flinders Petrie found in the town. Petrie also found evidence that the town was suddenly vacated. The Israelites, had been in Egypt for 350 years when Moses was born in 1526BC. 40 years after Moses went into Exile, Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt at the age of 80 years in 1446BC. The Israelites were therefore in Egypt for 430 years.
Egypt was devastated by the Exodus. With the loss of it's slaves, Egypt was no longer able to construct pyramids. With the loss of it's army, Egypt was no longer able to defend itself. Egypt was invaded by the Hyksos not long after the Exodus.
'Modern' Chronology (Ashton & Down 2006) 
|Date||Egypt||Contemporary in Israel|
|2080BC||Menes (First Dynasty)||Abraham|
|1900BC||Djoser (Third Dynasty) + Imhotep||Joseph **|
|1531BC||Amenemhet III (6th Pharaoh 12th Dynasty)||Moses|
|1445BC||Neferhotep I (13th Dynasty)||The Exodus (Moses)|
|1405 -1021BC||Hyksos (15th & 16th Dynasty)||Joshua to Saul|
|1018BC||Amenhotep I & Thutmosis I (18th Dynasty)||King David|
|950BC||Hatshepsut (18th Dynasty) [Queen of Sheba]||Solomon|
|929BC||Thutmose III (18th Dynasty)||Jereboam|
** Based on a 430yr long Sojourn of Israel in Egypt (Exodus 12:40)
- Herodotus, The Histories, translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt, Book II, pp. 160-61.