Genesis 47:11 in the King James Version reads, “And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Ra’meses, as Pharaoh had commanded.”
The store city of Ra’meses was located in the northeastern region of the Nile Delta. Since Ra’meses II built the city, scholars once believed he was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Ra’meses ruled Egypt from 1279 B.C. to 1213 B.C., and some scholars date the Exodus to ca. 1267 B.C.. The true date of the Exodus, though, can be calculated using the clues provided for us in the Scriptures. In The Exodus Controversy, Mario Seiglie wrote, “Surprisingly, there is scholarly agreement about the dates of Solomon’s reign, placing his fourth year in the 960s B.C. Subtracting 480 years takes us back to a date for the Exodus in the 1440s B.C.. Another biblical reference to date the Exodus is found in Judges, where Jephthah tells the Ammonites that Israel had been in the land for 300 years (Judges 11:26). Again, there is acceptance among the experts that Jephthah’s victory over the Ammonites took place around 1100 B.C. This would place the arrival of the Israelites in Canaan near 1400 B.C., precisely 40 years after the Exodus. Thus both biblical dates for the Exodus agree.” According to Edwin Thiele, a well-respected scholar in biblical chronology, the Exodus occurred in 1447 B.C.
The fact that the Exodus occurred about 200 years before the birth of Ra’meses proves that the city that was named after him didn’t exist when the Israelites were there. This raises the question, then, “Why is the city of Ra’meses found in the Scriptures today?” This mystery was solved when archaeologists discovered an ancient city under the ruins of Ra’meses. The name of the city at the time when the Israelites were there was “Avaris.” The evidence suggests that the reason why the city of Ra’meses is found in the Scriptures today rather than Avaris is because the name Ra’meses was updated by a later scribe to reflect the new name of the city. Thus, in each case where the name Ra’meses appears in the Scriptures it has been replaced with the name Avaris in this version.
The same is true with regard to the name “Pithom,” the other store city named in Exodus 1:11. This name was not in use until the Saite Period, ca. 600 B.C. The name of this ancient store city at the time when the Israelites were there was Heroonopolis, which is how it appears in this version.
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