Unwrapping the Pharaohs: How Egyptian Archaeology Confirms the Biblical Timeline by John Ashton & David Downs, Master Books (2006)

Egyptian chronology simply doesn’t confirm the Bible, but there is an excellent reason for this. Egyptian chronologies contain inflated lifespans for their god-kings and do not take into account Eusebius’ statement that “several Egyptian kings ruled at the same time… It was not a succession of kings occupying the throne one after the other, but several kings reigning at the same time in different regions” [p.73]. This state of affairs caused quite a few paradoxes for history; for example, “Sennacherib records his wars against the Hittites – rather hard to explain if the Hittites ceased to be a nation 400 years earlier [by traditional Egyptian chronology]” [pp.75-76].

John Ashton and David Downs suggest in Unwrapping the Pharaohs that that “instead of relying on Egyptian history and dates, and calculating the dates of neighboring countries on the basis of synchronizing with Egypt, it is essential to consider the evidence from Assyria, the Hittites, ancient Greece, the biblical records, and the archaeological ages of Palestine to correctly date the events of Egyptian history. This will inevitably require a reduction of Egyptian dates” [p.77].

A number of things are suggested from this revised Egyptian history [summarized in a chart spanning pages 205-210] which directly impact our understanding of and strengthen our faith in Biblical history. Namely, if Ashton and Downs are correct:

Khufu [aka Cheops] might well be the pharaoh whom Abraham met. Noting Josephus’ claim that Abraham “communicated to them their arithmetic, and delivered to them the science of astronomy; for before Abram came into Egypt they were unacquainted with those parts of learning; for that science came from the Chaldeans into Egypt,” Ashton and Downs suggest that “Abraham may have helped the Egyptians achieve the mathematical accuracy that is found in Khufu’s pyramid” [p. 37].

It may well have been Sesostris I who appointed the Biblical Joseph (identified as his grand vizier, Mentuhotep) over Egypt [pp.82-83]. Furthermore, the seven years of famine of Joseph’s time may be recorded on “Hungry Rock” on the Nile River isle of Sehel [p.84].

The pharaoh of the Israelite oppression could be the severe Sesostris III, while Sobekneferu, the daughter of Amenenhet III, likely drew Moses from the Nile. The Hyksos may be identified as the Biblical Amelekites. This reduced chronology also explains why the Hyksos were able to conquer Egypt without a fight – because Neferhotep I, the pharaoh who refuses to let God’s people go, and his armies were at the bottom of the Red Sea!

Furthermore, “this book identifies Pharaoh Hatshepsut as the Queen of Sheba, while her sister Neferbity was probably the daughter of Pharaoh (Thutmosis I) whom King Solomon married. The great pharaoh Thutmosis II would have been the pharaoh named in the Bible as Shishak who looted Jerusalem. Pharaoh Amenhotep II was probably the king named in the Bible as Zerah, the Ethiopian who fought against King Solomon’s great grandson, Asa” [p.215].

I found this book altogether fascinating for its detailed Egyptian history and the beautiful illustrations. I gained further insights from the bonus DVD Digging Up the Past (included with the book) which includes two short features: “Pyramids of Egypt” and “Temples and Tombs.” Yet the most awesome thing I can say about this book is that it not only builds one’s faith in Biblical history but shows how many historical problems can be corrected by taking the Bible as our ultimate authority! Get this book today. It is well worth the price!

-Rev Tony Breeden, from the Bookwyrm’s Lair



About Tony Breeden

Tony Breeden is an author, creation speaker, Gospel preacher, vocalist and artist from West Virginia. He is also the founder of DefendingGenesis.org. Find out about his books at http://TonyBreedenBooks.com.


  1. drlindberg

    “John Ashton and David Downs suggest in Unwrapping the Pharaohs that that “instead of relying on Egyptian history and dates, and calculating the dates of neighboring countries on the basis of synchronizing with Egypt, it is essential to consider the evidence from Assyria, the Hittites, ancient Greece, the biblical records, and the archaeological ages of Palestine to correctly date the events of Egyptian history. ”

    And just what is it that makes you think that scholars have not already been doing this for decades? As well as using Mesopotamian archaeology, archaeology from the parts of Africa neighbouring Egypt, the massive amount of written documentation that has been found both in Mesopotamia and in Egypt itself, as well as verifying dates through methods such as radiocarbon dating, dendrochronology, astronomy, stratigraphy, seriation, thermoluminescence dating , optically stimulated luminescence, archaeomagnetic dating, magnetic properties of lead, amino acid dating, obsidian hydration dating, rehydroxylation dating, and a host of others?

    • I love the fact that you are so upset over a book you haven’t even read. Here’s a thought: Try understanding your opponent’s position BEFORE you bother vehemently disagreeing with him.

      • drlindberg

        I said nothing about the book.

        My comment was on one misleading sentence in your review, which is a libel on hundreds if not thousands of honest hard-working researchers.

        Have you read their work before so vehemently disagreeing with them?.

      • Actually, that allegedly misleading sentence is a quote from the book [note the quotation marks]. You’re really making mountains out of molehills; if you bothered to read the book, you’ll find that Ashton and Downs support their statement quite well. Furthermore, if it’s now libel to disagree with the establishment view, then science has finally become a dogma. [Libel… really? Didn’t you think you were reaching even as you typed it? Seriously, you ought to be ashamed of such overstatement]

  2. drlindberg

    Yes. Perhaps libel was the wrong word, and I should have said slander.

    Is it not slander to falsely accuse an entire group of professionals of either being incompetent (in not knowing about the methods I listed and others), or negligent (in not using them when and where appropriate, but blindly following what others have done), or fraudulent (in faking their results or covering up evidence the way “evolutionists” are so often accused of doing in anti-science propaganda, even in cases like this that have nothing to do with evolution)?

    Indeed, doesn’t it come within the purview of bearing false witness? (It is this sort of thing that has convinced many people that “Creationism” is anti-God and anti-Christian. But I don’t want to argue theology.)

    Or am I misinterpreting you? Do Ashton and Downs actually describe all these other dating methods used by Egyptology researchers? If they don’t, I suggest you take a look at them; yourself. It can be really fascinating!

    Please do not pretend that I suggested in any way that “it’s now libel to disagree with the establishment view” (whatever that is).

    Sorry if the tone is getting cranky. And thank you for your thoughts.

    • You’re tone isn’t cranky… it’s whiney.

      Ashton and Downs do bother discussing the dating methods used by other researchers, but you would have us believe that scientific truth is determined by popular vote! Their position is a dissenting opinion, the kind that the self-correcting method of science allegedly rrequires, but which you condemn for merely voicing!

      And by the way, it is libel in print; slander is spoken, Yet your entire accusation of libel or slander is, again, a slap in the face of the self-correcting mechanism of science. If Galileo were alive today, would you call him libelous for daring to believe that geocentrism was wrong when the scientific consensus of his day “knew” otherwise? face it: you’re a credulous dogmatist. All Ashton, Downs and myself are suggesting is that they are wrong [not necessarily incompetent, negligent or fraudulent], for which you would crucify us as libelous! By the way, where did I write that if they were wrong, they were necessarily incompetent, negligent or fraudulent? Who’s bearing false witness now by putting words in my mouth I never wrote? I tend to think of most folks as being simply misinformed or ignorant [willfully or otherwise] of competing evidence. Take you, for instance.

      • drlindberg

        Again you are making me say things that are completely contrary to everything I believe it.
        I did NOT say or suggest “that scientific truth is determined by popular vote.”
        I do NOT call anyone “libelous for daring to believe that [whatever] was wrong when the scientific consensus of his day “knew” otherwise.”
        I do NOT condemn anyone for merely voicing a dissenting opinion (after all, I am doing that myself here).
        What I suggested was libelous was the statement or implication that scholars studying Egyptian archaeology were not considering all the evidence with the due diligence required, but were merely going along with accepted views, which necessarily entails incompetence, negligence or fraud. What other explanation do you see?
        You don’t appear to notice that I have made no comment about the validity or otherwise of whatever thesis Ashton and Downs may be presenting in their book.
        If anyone here is intolerant of dissenting opinion, it is not I.

        As ever, thanks for your thoughts.

  3. Pingback: Unveiling the Kings of Israel: Revealing the Bible’s Archaeological History by David Down, Master Books (2011) « The Bookwyrm's Lair

  4. Pingback: Now I See by Buddy Helms – CreateSpace Publishing (2011) | The Bookwyrm's Lair

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