Hatshepsut of Egypt (1489–1469 B.C.E.) recorded two expulsions of foreigners from Egypt in an inscription carved into the facade of her chapel at Speos Artemidos, in Middle Egypt (lines 35 to 42 are quoted below). The female pharaoh first mentions the banishment of a group of Asiatics (along with the foreigners living in their midst) from Avaris, in the eastern Delta. These were probably the Hyksos, Asiatic princes who ruled over Egypt from about 1675 B.C.E. until 1550 B.C.E., when they were expelled from Avaris, their capital city.

Hatshepsut then describes her own efforts to rid Egypt of a second group of foreigners, whom she refers to as “the abomination of the gods.”

The polished limestone statue depicts the pharaoh herself, who ruled over Egypt during its most glorious era. Discovered in Hatshepsut’s funerary temple at Deir el-Bahri, the statue is one of the few to depict her as a woman; Hatshepsut was usually portrayed as a more typical pharaoh—that is, as a bearded male.

Scholars have long scoured Egyptian texts for parallels to the biblical Exodus. The two expulsions mentioned by Hatshepsut, however, are at least two to three hundred years too early to be connected with Moses’ departure, which is generally dated to the 13th century B.C.E. But, author Robert Stieglitz asks in the accompanying article, might Hatshepsut’s latter reference, to an expulsion in her own day, have its parallel in the biblical account of Abraham, Sarah and Lot’s earlier expulsion from Egypt (Genesis 12:19)? In any case, Hatshepsut’s inscription provides evidence that the Egyptian record, like the Bible, preserves a memory of two expulsions of foreigners from Egypt. Unlike the Bible, however, these Egyptian documents are not dismissed by many scholars as unhistorical, mythical accounts.

Hear ye, all people and the folk as many as they may be, I have done these things through the counsel of my heart. I have not slept forgetfully, (but) I have restored that which had been ruined. I have raised up that which had gone to pieces formerly, since the Asiatics were in the midst of Avaris of the Northland, and the foreigners amidst them, overthrowing that which had been made. They ruled without Re, and he did not act by divine command down to (the reign of) my majesty. (Now) I am established upon the thrones of Re. I was foretold for the limits of the years as a born conqueror. I am come as the uraeus-serpent of Horus, flaming against my enemies. I have banished the abomination of the gods, and the earth has removed their foot(prints). This is the precept of the father of [my] fathers, who comes at his (appointed) times, Re, and there shall not occur damage to what Amon has commanded. My (own) command endures like the mountains, (while) the sun disk shines forth and spreads rays over the formal titles of my majesty and my falcon is high above (my) name-standard for the duration of eternity.