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Pharaoh Djoser (Netjerikhet) was the Pharaoh of Joseph

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Djoser - Zozer - Netjerikhet

Main article: Evidence for the Israelite Sojourn in Egypt
Main article: Joseph and Imhotep
Main article: Netjerikhet
Pharaoh Djoser - Sakkara

There is an inscription on the Island of Sihiel, near the first cataract of the Nile known as the Famine stele (Moeller). It is a copy of a manuscript written a thousand years earlier. It tells of Imhotep and Pharaoh Djoser in the 18th year of Djoser's reign and has striking parallels with Biblical story of Joseph. The inscription states "seven meagre years and seven rich years". Commenting on the inscription, Moeller writes, "Pharaoh Djoser asks Imhotep to help him with the coming seven years of famine. All the components of the Biblical story of Joseph are there, except for listing the "meagre" years before the years of plenty. The famine years were, of course, the event of significance, saving everyone from starvation and bringing in much wealth to Egypt.

A statue of Imhotep in the Louvre.
Large pits can be found within the Step Pyramid complex at Saqqara. The bottom of the pit can be accessed form stairs in an adjacent pit. It would have been ideal for storing grain and most likely, it was used for this purpose. Owing to the remarkable similarities between the designer of the Step Pyramid and Joseph of the Bible, it is likely that the they were one in the same person. As the Egyptian dates are not reliable, the discrepancy between Biblical and Egyptian dates should not be considered a major objection to matching of Joseph with Imhotep (the sage who designed the Step Pyramid complex for Pharaoh Zozer of the third dynasty).
This is a part of the Step Pyramid complex at Saqqara. Stairs lead down to the bottom of this pit where there is a small tunnel connecting to other pits within the complex. The other pits were used to store grain and this pit was used to retreive it. As it is part of the Step Pyramid complex, it would have been built by Imhotep who may well be Joseph, son of Jacob, in the Bible.
The Step Pyramid of Djoser (3rd dynasty). Designed by Imhotep who is considered by many to be Joseph of the Bible. The Step Pyramid was the first pyramid that was constructed. It was made entirely of limestone and so it has not suffered as much erosion as the pyramids of the Middle Kingdom which had a core of mudbricks and a limestone veneer.

Imhotep was the vizier of Pharaoh Djoser of the 3rd dynasty. He was responsible for designing the Step Pyramid Complex at Saqqara. The complex not only contains the Step Pyramid which can be seen from afar, it contains many buildings which are contiguous with the walls that surround the Step Pyramid. Within the walls are a number of open pits which are interconnected at the bottom and accessible from an ajoining pit that has stairs leading down to the bottom. These pits are very similar to others found in many other cities in Egypt from the same time period used to store grain.

The "Famine stele", found near the first cataract of the Nile tells the story of Djosers dream and how Djoser asked Imhotep to help save Egypt from a coming seven year famine. It mentions seven meagre years and seven years of plenty. It has all the components of the Biblical story of Joseph.

It is quite likey that Joseph and Imhotep were one in the same person. They both saved Egypt from a seven year famine by building silos and storing grain during the years of plenty. They both brought up the land of Egypt except that of the Priests. The commoners could have only sold their land once to pharaoh, which is strong evidence that Joseph and Imhotep are the same person. Joseph / Imhotep instituted a 20% tax. They both married the daughter of the High Priest (On is the capital Heiliopolis). They both lived to the age of 110 and served multiple pharaohs. Their bodies are both missing from their tombs.

Joseph/Imhotep came to Djoser in the 18th year of his reign according to the Famine Stelle.

Djoser reigned for 29 years and was succeeded by Sekhemkhet who reigned for 6 yrs and then was succeeded by Khaba who reigned for 6 yrs and then was succeed by Huni who was the last pharaoh of the third dynasty and reigned for 24 years.

As Jospeh/Imhotep lived until the age of 110 years and was highly esteemed by the Egyptians, he may well have lived long enough to serve some of the fourth dynasty Pharaohs such as Senefru and Khufu who built Egypts largest pyramids at Giza.

When Joseph/Imhotep died, his body was embalmed by the Egyptians and he was given a royal Egyptian burial. Besides saving Egypt from a seven year famine, he was the author of many literary works, he was the first to use papyrus, the first to design buildings with columns, he performed operations, developed preservation techniques and probably had a role in building more than one pyramid. After his death he was even worshiped as a God by Greeks and Egyptians even though he remained loyal to the Hebrew's God Jehovah (as evidenced by the fact that his sarcophagus was not orientated towards the sun as was the case with people who worshiped Re). He managed to ensure the survival of his family while they grew to be a great nation in Egypt.

After his death, once his connection to the Hebrews was forgotten, the Hebrews were enslaved by Amenemhet I, the first pharaoh of the 12th dynasty. They served as slaves for successive pharaohs of the 12th dynasty making mud bricks reinforced with straw.


Landmarks in the Biblical Chronology. Long sojourn aligned with the revised Egyptian Chronology (Egyptian History) as per David Down. Some adjustments for co-regency in the 12th dynasty. Pharaohs of Egypt shown where there is good archaeological evidence to support the synchronism with the Biblical time line.
A schematic diagram illustrating the relationship between the Egyptian Kingdoms and dynasties and the various phases of Israel as the Israelites grew to be a nation while they were in Egypt and then traveled to the promised land where they were ruled initially by Judges and later by Kings. The nation of Israel became divided into North (Israel) and South (Judah) after Solomon. There was no first intermediate period.


1 Chronicle of the Pharaohs The Reign by reign record of the rulers and dynasties of Ancient Egypt. Peter A Clayton. Thames and Hudson 2006 ISBN 978-0-500-28628-9

2 Unwrapping the Pharaohs How Egyptian Archaeology confirms the Biblical Timeline. John Ashton & David Down. Master Books 2006. ISBN-13 978-0-89051-468-9 ISBN-10 0-89051-468-2

3 [Could Joseph and Imhotep have been the same person?]