Drowning of the Egyptian army

Another alignment that better fits with the early date than the late date is the drowning of the Egyptian army. With the loss of most of the Egyptian military in the Red Sea, it would’ve been a blow to their military power. And what we see in the early dating of the Exodus is the lack of military exploits during and after Amenhotep II.

The beginning of his reign, he went on many campaigns and then ceased campaigns after his ninth year.

“Amenhotep’s last campaign took place in his ninth year, however it apparently did not proceed farther north than the Sea of Galilee.[29] According to the list of plunder from this campaign, Amenhotep claims to have taken 101,128 slaves.”

Thutmose IV succeeded Amenhotep II and had a reign around 10 years and only had one minor campaign.

“He suppressed a minor uprising in Nubia in his 8th year (attested in his Konosso stela) around 1393 BC and was referred to in a stela as the Conqueror of Syria, but little else has been pieced together about his military exploits.”

Amenhotep III was the next Pharaoh and reigned for around 38 years. He only had one campaign during his reign and even that was hyped up.

“Despite the martial prowess Amenhotep displayed during the hunt, he is known to have participated in only one military incident. In Regnal Year Five, he led a victorious campaign against a rebellion in Kush. This victory was commemorated by three rock-carved stelae found near Aswan and Saï in Nubia. The official account of Amenhotep’s military victory emphasizes his martial prowess with the period-typical hyperbole.”

And the lack of campaigns was not just because there was peace in the land. The Amarna letters covers the reign of Amenhotep III and his successor Akhenaten. These letters came from vassal states and included requests for military help against invaders, but Egypt gave no assistance.

“Under Amenhotep III and Akhenaten, Egypt was unable or unwilling to oppose the rise of the Hittites around Syria.The pharaohs seemed to eschew military confrontation at a time when the balance of power between Egypt’s neighbors and rivals was shifting, and the Hittites, a confrontational state, overtook the Mitanni in influence.”

For the late dating of the Exodus, the military under Ramesses II and his successors were quite active.

In his second year, Ramesses II decisively defeated the Sherden sea pirates who were wreaking havoc along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast

The immediate antecedents to the Battle of Kadesh were the early campaigns of Ramesses II into Canaan.

The Battle of Kadesh in his fifth regnal year was the climactic engagement in a campaign that Ramesses fought in Syria, against the resurgent Hittite forces of Muwatallis.

In the seventh year of his reign, Ramesses II returned to Syria once again. This time he proved more successful against his Hittite foes.

Eventually, in the twenty-first year of his reign (1258 BC), Ramesses decided to conclude an agreement with the new Hittite king, Ḫattušili III, at Kadesh to end the conflict.


Ramesses II campaigned in Palestine and Syria for the next fifteen years after Kadesh and also commemorated these wars with panoramic war scenes on several temples including the Hypostyle Hall.

https://www.memphis.edu/hypostyle/tour_ … scenes.php

Merneptah succeeded Ramesses II and reigned for 10 years and was involved in several military campaigns. And I’ll discuss more about the infamous Merneptah stele later.

“Merneptah had to carry out several military campaigns during his reign. In the fifth year of his rule, he fought against the Libyans, who—with the assistance of the Sea Peoples—were threatening Egypt from the west. Merneptah led a victorious six-hour battle against a combined Libyan and Sea People force at the city of Perire, probably located on the western edge of the Nile delta. ”

If the Exodus occurred during the reign of Ramesses II, it would appear it would’ve had little impact on the Egyptian military.