Does Joseph Belong in the Hyksos Period? Term Paper by Scholae Palatinae

Does Joseph Belong in the Hyksos Period?
Researches whether the story of Joseph in the Bible can be placed in the second intermediate period of the Hyksos people (c. 1650-1550 BC).
# 113678 | 2,195 words | 13 sources | MLA | 2009 | US
Published on Apr 26, 2009 in Archaeology (Biblical) , Ethnic Studies (Middle East) , Archaeology (Egypt)

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This paper discusses the historicity of the Biblical story of Joseph and whether it can be placed in the second intermediate Hyksos period (c. 1650-1550 BC). The author describes what is known about the Hyksos peple from written sources and archaeological excavations, and explains why researchers have claimed that the Joseph narrative can be made to fit in this period. The author goes on to show that on a textual basis, there is a growing inconsistency between the Joseph narrative, which contains elements which point strongly to a 7th or 6th century composition date, and the Hyksos period. Further, sufficient archaeological evidence has been presented to suggest, with reservation, a 12th dynasty date for the narrative should the late-dated Joseph narrative and its plausible historic context be discovered.

'Men of Obscure Birth from the East'
The Joseph Narrative
Excavations at Avaris, Tell el-Dab'a
Does Joseph Belong?

From the Paper:

"This paper agrees with two of Redford's principle assertions. First, that the Joseph narrative should be treated as a separate entity within the larger patriarchal narrative. Second, that Joseph was compiled in the 7th or 6th centuries BC. It diverges from Redford in questioning whether the narrative should be considered purely fictitious, in light of certain evidence both textual and physical, and that a degree of historicity does exist within the narrative. This paper's primary function, however, is to show whether the Joseph narrative can be placed in the Hyksos period, namely the Second Intermediate Period (c. 1650-1550 BC)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Redford, D. B. Egypt, Canaan & Israel in Ancient Times. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993.
  • Shaw, Ian. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • Clayton, Peter J. Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-By-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt). New York: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1994.
  • Pritchard, James B., Ed. Ancient Near Eastern Texts: Relating to the Old Testament, Third Ed. with Supplement. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969.
  • Dundes, Alan. "Projective Inversion in the Ancient Egyptian "Tale of Two Brothers." The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 115, No. 457/458. (Summer - Autumn, 2002). pp.

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APA Format

Does Joseph Belong in the Hyksos Period? (2009, April 26) Retrieved April 22, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Does Joseph Belong in the Hyksos Period?" 26 April 2009. Web. 22 April. 2021. <>