Preservation Of Pharaoh Body
The Origin of the Term “Pharaoh” in Ancient Egypt
The title “pharaoh” was not used during the Old Kingdom period in ancient Egypt, which is the time period when Joseph is traditionally believed to have lived. The term “pharaoh” was first used during the New Kingdom period, which began several centuries after the Old Kingdom period. During the Old Kingdom period, the rulers of Egypt were known as “kings” or “nswt” in the Egyptian language. The term “pharaoh” was likely derived from an Egyptian word meaning “great house” or “palace”, which referred to the royal palace of the king. However, it was not used as a title to refer to the king himself until much later in Egyptian history.
And the king said, “Bring him to me; I will appoint him exclusively for myself.” And when he spoke to him, he said, “Indeed, you are today established [in position] and trusted.
- This verse uses the term “king” instead of “pharaoh”, and that during the Old Kingdom period in Egypt the rulers were typically referred to as “kings” or “nswt”, it is accurate that the verse reflects historical accuracy in this regard.
Reference: Old Kingdom of Egypt
According to the biblical account, Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt and rose to become a high-ranking official in the court of the Pharaoh of Egypt. However, according to traditional Egyptian chronology, Joseph would have lived during the Old Kingdom period, which is typically dated from around 2686 BCE to 2181 BCE. During this time, the term “pharaoh” was not used to describe the rulers of Egypt.
Moses and the New Kingdom Era of Ancient Egypt
The time period associated with Moses is generally believed to be during the New Kingdom period of ancient Egypt, which lasted from around 1550 BCE to 1070 BCE. During this period, the rulers of Egypt were referred to as pharaohs, and the most famous pharaoh of this period was Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great.
Indeed, Pharaoh exalted himself in the land and made its people into factions, oppressing a sector among them, slaughtering their [newborn] sons and keeping their females alive. Indeed, he was of the corrupters.
- Moses lived during the New Kingdom period of ancient Egypt and that the rulers of Egypt during that time were called pharaohs is a commonly accepted historical understanding among scholars. Additionally, the Quranic reference to Pharaoh during the time of Moses is also accurate.
Ramesses II: The Great Pharaoh and the Israelite Enslavement
Go, both of you, to Pharaoh. Indeed, he has transgressed. AAnd speak to him with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear [ Allah ].
And say, ‘We are the messengers of the Lord of the worlds, [Commanded to say], “Send with us the Children of Israel.
[Pharaoh] said, “Did we not raise you among us as a child, and you remained among us for years of your life? And [then] you did your deed which you did, and you were of the ungrateful. [Moses] said, “I did it, then, while I was of those astray, So I fled from you when I feared you. Then my Lord granted me wisdom and prophethood and appointed me [as one] of the messengers. And is this a favor of which you remind me – that you have enslaved the Children of Israel?
According to the Quranic story, the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt during the reign of Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great. He ruled from 1279 to 1213 BCE. and was known for his military campaigns, impressive architectural projects, and extensive building programs.
Pharaoh’s Claim of Divinity
And Moses said, “O Pharaoh, I am a messenger from the Lord of the worlds.
Said Pharaoh, “And what is the Lord of the worlds?
[Moses] said, “The Lord of the heavens and earth and that between them, if you should be convinced.”
[Pharaoh] said to those around him, “Do you not hear?”
[Moses] said, “Your Lord and the Lord of your first forefathers.
[Pharaoh] said, “Indeed, your ‘messenger’ who has been sent to you is mad.”
[Moses] said, “Lord of the east and the west and that between them, if you were to reason.
[Pharaoh] said, “If you take a god other than me, I will surely place you among those imprisoned.”
Then he ( Pharaoh) turnedturned his back, striving. And he gathered [his people] and called out, And said, “I am your most exalted lord.
- In Quranic verses 26:29 and 26:22-24, Pharaoh claimed to be a god and threatened to imprison anyone who worshipped another deity, demonstrating his arrogance and tyranny. It is important to note that in the Quran, Allah reveals His own words and teachings, as well as the words and actions of various historical figures such as prophets, kings, and ordinary people. The purpose of including these stories is to provide examples of the consequences of different choices and behaviors, as well as to show how believers can remain steadfast in their faith in the face of adversity.
Ramesses II was also revered as a god during his lifetime and was believed to be an incarnation of the god Horus.
Reference : Did Ramses II become a god?
Moses parts the sea
And We inspired to Moses, “Travel by night with My servants; indeed, you will be pursued.”
So they (Pharaoh and his Hots) pursued them at sunrise.
- The verses indicate that Moses and his companions were walking on foot when they began their journey at night, and that Pharaoh and his army pursued them at sunrise. This suggests that Pharaoh’s soldiers were likely riding on horseback or using some other mode of transportation that allowed them to move more quickly than Moses and his companions on foot.
And when the two companies saw one another, the companions of Moses said, “Indeed, we are to be overtaken!” [Moses] said, “No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.”
Then We inspired to Moses, “Strike with your staff the sea,” and it parted, and each portion was like a great towering mountain.
And We saved Moses and those with him, all together. Then We drowned the others.
The Sign of Pharaoh’s Body
And We took the Children of Israel across the sea, and Pharaoh and his soldiers pursued them in tyranny and enmity until, when drowning overtook him, he said, “I believe that there is no deity except that in whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of the Muslims, Now? And you had disobeyed [Him] before and were of the corrupters? Today We will preserve your body, so that you become a sign for those after you. But most people are heedless of Our signs.
- Estimates of his age at death vary, though 90 or 91 is considered to be the most likely figure. Upon his death, he was buried in a tomb (KV7) in the Valley of the Kings; his body was later moved to the Royal Cache, where it was discovered by archaeologists in 1881. Ramesses’ mummy is now on display at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, located in the city of Cairo
Reference: Ramesses II – Wikipedia
Reference: National Museum of Egyptian Civilization
So Allah seized him in exemplary punishment for the last and the first [transgression], Indeed in that is a warning for whoever would fear [ Allah ].
The Merneptah Stele and the Mention of Israel
After Ramesses II’s death, ruling from around 1213-1203 BCE. The defeat of “Israel” mentioned in the Merneptah Stele is believed to have occurred during Merneptah’s reign, which was after the reign of Ramesses II.
So to summarize:
Ramesses II: 1279 BCE to 1213 BCE
Merneptah: around 1213-1203 BCE
- The Merneptah Stele, which dates back to around 1208 BCE and was created during the reign of Ramesses II’s son, Merneptah, mentions a group of people called “Israel” who were defeated by the Egyptians. This indicates that the Israelites existed during the time of Ramesses II and were still present during the reign of Merneptah. It also indicates that during the time of the Prophet Moses, Ramesses II was drowned in water, and his son later took revenge on the Israelites. It is important to note that Merneptah launched a campaign against a people called “Israel” and that he claims to have defeated them, but the extent of the victory is unclear.
Reference: Merneptah Stele
The preservation of Pharaoh’s body is mentioned in the Quran, the central religious text of Islam, as a sign of God’s power and a lesson for future generations. According to the Quran, Pharaoh’s body was preserved as a warning to those who opposed God and His prophets, the Pharaoh referred to in the Quran is Ramses II, who ruled Egypt during the 13th century BCE and was contemporary with Moses. This identification is based on the historical and archaeological evidence that suggests that Ramses II was the pharaoh in power during the time when the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt and Moses led them to freedom.
The Quran is considered to be a book of signs or “ayahs” by Muslims. The word “ayah” literally means “a sign” or “a miracle” in Arabic. The Quran is believed to contain many signs or miracles, which can be seen as both literal and metaphorical. These signs are believed to provide evidence of the Quran’s divine origin and to serve as guidance for those who read it. Muslims believe that the Quran contains a variety of signs and miracles, such as the creation of the universe, the formation of the human being, and the stories of the prophets.