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Sobekneferu - Sobeknefru - Nefrusobek - Sobekkare

Sobeknefru reigned over Egypt for 4-8 years at the end of the 12th dynasty (End of the Middle Kingdom). When she died, the 12th dynasty ended as she had no heirs to take over the throne. She is thought to have been the Princess that found Moses floating in a basket among the reeds of the Nile at a time when her father / grandfather Amenemhet III / Sesostris III was ordering that the babies of the Hebrew slaves be killed by drowning them in the Nile. Sobeknefru adopted Moses and brought him up as her own son. She groomed Moses to be the next pharaoh Amenemhet IV. Moses may have even co-reigned with Amenemhet III for 9 years as Amenemhet IV. Amenemhet IV suddenly disappeared before the death of Amenemhet III leaving no male heirs to take over the throne when he died. Consequently, Sobekneferu became the first Queen of Egypt. Her Kingdom included Upper and Lower Egypt, Elephantine and Lower Nubia. Revised dates of her reign: 1483-1475 BC (approximately)

Head of a female sphinx in the Brooklyn Museum
Nefrusobek Heiroglyph

Who was Sobekneferu? Sobekneferu was the last Pharaoh of the 12th dynasty. She became pharaoh after Amenemhet III died. She reigned for 3years, 10 months and 24 days according to the Turin king list but 8 yrs according to Manetho. She was the first queen of Egypt. She had no offspring, so when she died, the twelth dynasty ended. It is not clear whether she was Amenemhet III's sister or his daughter. In any case, she was the daugher of a Pharaoh. Several pieces of Sobekneferu's statues have been found. There is a headless statue of her in the Louvre. A number of busts have also been located. Sobekneferu's tomb has not been identified.

A headless statue of Sobekneferu in the Louvre

Sobekneferu may well have been the foster mother of Moses

Many historians and scholars believe that it was Sobekneferu who was the Princess that found Moses in the river Nile and adopted him.
Moses being found by the princess. A painting by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

The Israelite Oppression. The 12th & 13th dynasties are thought to be the time when the Israelites were most severely oppressed. Josephus records that the Israelites were given the task of building pyramids. The pyramids of the 12th dynasty had an inner core that was made of mud bricks. The Bible records that the Israelites in the time of Moses were forced to make mudbricks by Pharaoh. There is archaeological evidence of a mass exodus of foreign slaves from the 12th dynasty workers village at Kahun at the end of the 13th dynasty.

The Bible records that Moses was adopted by Pharaoh's daughter and brought up as her own child. Moses was given a royal Egyptian upbringing and he seems to have been groomed to become the next Pharaoh. Hence, some scholars believe that Moses was Amenemhet IV and Sobekneferu was the Princess that adopted him.

Who was Amenemhet IV? The mother of Amenemhet IV is not recorded in Egyptian records. Some people have suggested that he was another son or grandson of Sesostris III but there is no records that Amenemhet III or Sesostris III had any other sons. It is, therefore, quite possible that Amenemhet IV's mother was a Hebrew (Jochebed) and Sobekneferu was the Princess who adopted him. Amenemhet IV co-reigned with Amenemhet III for 9 years, three months and 27 days (according to the Turin King list) and then he suddenly disappeared. Amenemhet IV never reigned independently. His tomb has not been located.

How does this fit with the Bible? Sesostris III and his son Amenemhet III were the pharaohs of the 12th dynasty who were oppressing the Israelites by making them make mud bricks at the time of Moses' birth. Sesostris III ordered that all male Israelite babies be killed at birth by the Egyptian midwives. Amenemhet III's daughter (or possibly his sister) Sobekneferu, found Moses floating in a basket amongst the reeds of the Nile. Being childless, she adopted Moses and gave him a royal Egyptian upbringing. Sobekneferu was grooming him to be the next Pharaoh (Amenemhet IV). Amenemhet IV (Moses) may have even co-reigned with Amenemhet III for 9 years. When Moses was 40 years old, he had to flee from Amenemhet III after killing an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave. By killing the Egyptian, Moses revealed where his loyalties lay and this made him unsuitable to be the next Pharaoh. This would explain the sudden disappearance of Amenemhet IV in Egyptian records and why his tomb has never been located. When Amenemhet III died, Sobekneferu had to take over the throne as there was no other heir to the throne. She reigned for 8 yrs and then she died. There was nobody to take over the throne and so the 12th dynasty ended. When Moses returned to Egypt 40 years later, a different Pharaoh was on the throne, namely Neferhotep of the 13th dynasty.

The Israelites had been in Egypt 400years by the end of the 12th dynasty and 430 years by the time of the Exodus.


An approximate timeline showing a long Israelite Sojourn of 430 years and it's relationship to the dynasties of Egypt.

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. [History aligned with the Bible.]

Timeline from Noah to Christ with important landmarks in the Biblical Chronology (long sojourn) aligned with the Revised Egyptian Chronology of David Down.

[History aligned with the Bible.]


Books Unwrapping the Pharaohs John Ashton and David Down 2006 Master Books Inc ISBN 13:978-0-89051-468-9 ISBN 10:0-89051-468-2 Chronicle of the Pharaohs Peter A Clayton 2006 Thames and Hudson Inc ISBN978-0-500-28628--9


Evidence for the Israelite Sojourn in Egypt