In Genesis 40:2

Pharaoh was furious with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker.

Who was the Pharaoh?

Note: similar question was asked about the Pharaoh of Ezekiel's time and an answer was provided - Apries.

  • 4
    There is a huge literature on this and MUCH disagreement. This site will not solve the historical question. There is much better historical data about Ezekiel's time and almost do debate there.
    – Dottard
    Jan 15, 2021 at 8:28
  • 2
    A culture which deliberately re-writes its history in order to 'adjust' the past (as ancient Egypt was and as many are today) is hard to substantiate, especially with a dynasty which pretends to be 'gods' (making it a highly competitive and fragile state of government prone to much alteration of the record of past events). All the more so after the loss of a Pharaoh 'deity' (plus entire army) in the Red Sea after the 'uprising' of a nomadic group of migrants. It comes as no surprise that the history of that particular era is somewhat . . . um . . . obscure.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 15, 2021 at 11:45

3 Answers 3


Who was Pharaoh in Joseph's time?

No one knows for sure. Biblewise mentions the following interesting facts:

Joseph might have come to Egypt during the reign of Sesostris II (1894-1878 BCE).

He most likely begins his career under Sesostris III (1878-1841 BCE). He lives in Egypt for 71 years, so Joseph dies in approximately 1805 BCE, under the reign of Amenemhet III (1841-1797 BCE).

Genesis 37 states that Joseph’s brothers sell him for 20 shekels of silver. That is the average price for a slave during the Middle Kingdom. Before that time, it is roughly 10-15 and later it became 30-40 shekels.

Joseph works as a slave, a practice that becomes widespread during the Middle Kingdom period. Many slaves are owned by private individuals, such as Potifar.

Genesis 41:14 states that before Joseph meets with Pharaoh, he puts on clean clothes and shaves. The Egyptians abhor facial hair and are a clean people.


Consider Yakbim Sekhaenre as being the pharaoh in question-based on the following scripture and timeline.

Exodus 12:40-41 New King James Version

40 Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.

The ages in Exodus 6:16-20 from Kohath being born in Padan Aram to Moses at age 80 when he led the Exodus can total only 350 years maximum. Therefore, they must have not lived the entire 430 years in Egypt.

Genesis 25:21-23 New International Version (NIV)

21 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 The LORD said to her,“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

Could the main point of Exodus 12:40 be that they sojourned for 430 years? What if it could be understood to mean that Israel and his children were without a homeland and they sojourned 430 years in foreign lands (lands that could have been included as part of Egypt at various times) then ending in the Exodus from Egypt? Then the meaning of Exodus 12:41 is after 430 years, “even the selfsame day it came to pass”, the selfsame day would mean the same day that Jacob (Israel) also meaning the day that the nation of Israel was born (430 years earlier and exactly 430 years later on Jacob’s birthday they exited Egypt).

In Genesis 47: 9, we read that Jacob was 130 years old when he entered Egypt meaning Jacob and his descendants were in Egypt itself for 300 years.

Let’s start with the date of 586 BC for the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Babylonians and count backward. By adding the length of all the Kings of Judah in I & II Kings in the Bible it comes to 393.5 years. That is very close to the 390 years stated for the “iniquity of the house of Israel” in Ezekiel 4:4-6. Therefore, I believe the reigns of the kings of Judah listed in I & II Kings are accurate with 390 years being a little more accurate than the summing of the reigns.

586 + 390 = 976 BC would be the end of king Solomon’s reign (end of the united kingdom).
976 + 40 = 1016 BC, would be the beginning of king Solomon’s rule (1 Kings 11:42)
1016 – 4 = 1012 BC, would be the 4th year of king Solomon’s rule
1012 + 480 = 1492 BC, would be the year of the Exodus (1 Kings 6:1)

By my reasoning, Jacob and family enter Egypt in 1792 BC (1492 + 300 = 1792 BC).

Joseph was born when Jacob was 91 years old (Genesis 47:9, Genesis 41:46, Genesis 41:53 and Genesis 45:6 (130 - 30 - 7 – 2 = 91). Therefore, Joseph was born in 1831 BC (1792 + 130 - 91). Joseph was 30 years old when he interpreted the dream for pharaoh (Genesis 41:46) and the date was 1831-30=1801 BC.

Yakbim Sekhaenre Pharaoh 1805-1780 BC


The Jews were initially welcomed into Egypt as they settled in Goshen (even tho Dynatic Egyptians despised and feared nomadic lifestyle and shepards) they became the “shepherds of the Pharaohs flock. Thanks to Joseph. Once he died along with “the protector pharaoh” the persecution of the Jewish people starts to unfold. What initially sparked this turmoil is up for debate as one can assume not all power individuals in the upper echelons of the hierarchy were too pleased w the Jewish infringement on their land. Either way, the death of Joseph is said to be the marker for the start of Jewish persecution. Unfortunately


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