His statement was an essential biblical detail about Pharaoh during the times of Moses, the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Who is the Lord? Pharaoh didn’t know or refused to accept even the little he knew. However, God did not leave him without an answer. It is worth noting that God reveals Himself in one way to people unwilling to accept Him into their lives and in another to people willing to acknowledge their dependence on Him.
The Pharaoh of Moses’ time was himself, Ramses II. They lived 96 years, 67 of which he spent on the throne of Egypt. He fought countless wars, erected colossal buildings, and had myriad wives. He was Ramses II – the greatest Pharaoh during the times of Moses and ancient Egypt.
Ramses II ascended the throne of Egypt in 1279 BC, just after his father’s death, Seti I. He was already a man of 29, wise enough to know that to become a great pharaoh, you had to be a brave warrior, a great builder, an educated scribe, and a pious priest, as he noted on a papyrus.
A pagan king, who had his gods, could not recognize the sovereignty of the God of a people of enslaved people who lived in his land and worked complex building pyramids and fortresses. If the God of the Hebrews was more powerful, then it was only natural that His people should be free, not slaves. Little did Pharaoh know that the time had come for the God of the Jews to demonstrate His power.
Who was Ramses II?
Immediately after he acceded to the throne, Rameses II founded a new capital near Avaris – his father’s summer palace, which he named Pi Ramesses Aa-nakhth. Apart from feeding the cult of personality, this choice was made primarily for political and military reasons: Avaris was a garrison town where, in peacetime, most of the army was stationed.
Ramses II was a pharaoh of Egypt during Moses’ time. Unlike other pharaohs, Rameses assumed supreme leadership on the battlefield, so whenever the Assyrians, Nubians, Libyans, or Hittites threatened the empire’s borders, he went to war at the head of his subjects. Ramses was the most significant Egyptian Pharaoh, in height of 6.43 feet, in the length of their reign, 67 years, but especially in achievements. During his reign, the Egyptian empire peaked, incorporating Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, much of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, and modern-day Turkey.
Rameses was involved in the Battle of Kadesh, which ended in a truce with the two armies decimating each other. It is suspected that towards the end of Rameses’ reign, the treaty also played the role of an alliance, with the Pharaoh carrying three daughters and two granddaughters of King Muwattalish.
Biography of Ramses II
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Biblical places from the times of Ramses II
What was Ramses II best known for?
Ramses the Great was identified with the biblical Pharaoh, who persecuted the Jews. The hypothesis is based on the Bible mentioning the episode of Ramses II building his capital with enslaved people from this tribe. However, contemporary scholars have determined that Ramses II’s reign covered only the Jewish captivity period.
Rameses II was best known for the undisputed prosperity of the population, the victories that made Egypt the greatest empire of the time, and the monumental buildings erected. And all this, coupled with propaganda, meant that Rameses the Great was regarded as a god towards the end of his life.
Some modern authors have different points and identify the Pharaoh of the Exodus during Moses’ time with Rameses II’s son and successor, Meneptah, and others with Ahmose I, the founder of the 18th dynasty.
How many wives did Ramses the Great have?
Ramses is known for having many wives. But Neftari was Pharaoh’s first wife, his favorite, and the supreme queen. Rameses married her when they were both 15, and Nefertari gave birth to Amun-her-khepseshef, their firstborn, whose three sons and two daughters followed.
Later, biblical records show that Rameses the Great had 200 wives and concubines, women who bore him 96 sons and 60 daughters. Of his many wives, Nefertari is the best known.
The Pharaoh noted in a papyrus that Nefertari’s beauty was renowned: For her, the sun rises. She is the most beautiful woman on earth. Nefertari ruled the empire alongside her husband. In her honor, Rameses built the great Hathor temple at Abu Simbel. In addition, Nefertari’s tomb is the most beautiful in the Valley of the Queens.
How did Ramses II die?
There are also countless statues of him, with his name engraved for eternity, and a host of other art objects now scattered in the world’s great museums. Ruling over vast territories, Ramses II was keen to encourage not only the economic development of the conquered lands but also a cross-border religion, restoring temples and cults to their importance in the city’s life and sustaining the pomp and splendor of the ceremonies.
According to the Bible, Ramses II drowned in the Red Sea waters. The fact that Rameses II died nonagenarian meant that the last part of his life was overshadowed by the successive deaths of many of his heirs, including his favorite wife, Nefertari. The Pharaoh during Moses’ time also died in 1304, after 66 years of reign, and was buried in the Valley of the Kings, a region of Egypt on the banks of the Nile.
He lived for 96 years, 67 of which he spent on the throne of Egypt. Also, he fought countless wars, erected colossal buildings, and had myriad wives. He was Ramses II, the greatest Pharaoh of ancient Egypt.
Key Verse related to Ramses of Exodus
“So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, Egypt’s magicians, did the same with their secret arts. Each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.”
Two fascinating facts about Ramses II
1. He helped build the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
Built-in the hills around the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut is the most impressive monument west of Thebes. The futuristic Temple of Hatshepsut is studded with revolutionary features, a fitting reminder of one of Egypt’s most innovative pharaohs.
As the eldest daughter of Thutmose I, Hatshepsut’s step-grandson became Pharaoh Thutmose III. Worried that her son might lose his grip on power, she called herself the king’s consort and later king.
2. Ramses II has a passport
Ramses II, the most important Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, died in 1213 BC. But that didn’t stop him from getting a perfect passport with a photo when he made a working visit to Paris in France in 1974 for beautification. Under French law, anyone entering French territory, dead or alive, had to have an identity card.
- Ramses did not lack boredom and sadness in such a long reign. He must have grown weary of the praises of courtiers and officials. Indeed he was saddened by the human condition, which, though he was declared a living god, also affected him. He would have liked to remain immortal without being mummified.
- During his long reign, Ramses II erected many buildings, temples, palaces, giant statues, and gardens. Some of these have been lost, but the most important ones still stand today.
- The first temple is 32 meters high and 38 meters wide, and its façade is decorated with four 20-meter-high statues of Ptah, Re-Harakhte, Amun-Ra, and Ramses II himself. The Hathor temple has the exact coordinates, except that the four statues depict Amun-Ra, his wife Hathor, Ramses II, and Nefertari.
Few people know that Pharaoh Ramses II was one of the longest-lived rulers of the ancient world and one of the most famous in modern times. The papyri record that the Pharaoh lived for 96 years, 67 of which he spent on the throne of his country.
He excelled in everything he undertook, being not only a skillful general but also a learned person, and the papyri, written by his hand, have been preserved to this day.
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Quizlet about Moses and his brother, Ramses II
Explanation of biblical words
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- Schlögl, H. A. (2021). Ramses II. Rowohlt Verlag GmbH.
- Lambrigtsen, B., Fishbein, E., & Schreier, M. (2021). RAMSES II.
- Haider, P. W. (1987). ZUM MOAB-FELDZUG RAMSES’II. Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur, 107-123.
- Dahms, J. M., Pehal, M., & Willems, H. (2014). Ramses II helps the Dead: An interpretation of Book of the Dead supplementary chapter 166. The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, 100(1), 395-420.
- Adolfson, M., Laséen, S., Christiano, L., Trabandt, M., & Walentin, K. (2013). Ramses II–Model. Description. Sveriges Riksbank.