Nonetheless, Djoser and Imhotep appear to be good candidates for these two biblical individuals, and I am not aware of any better candidates from any other period of the history of Egypt.
Thus, I tentatively propose the identification of Joseph with Imhotep, and Joseph's pharaoh with Djoser.
Thus, all that can be accomplished from chronological considerations is to narrow the search to the Third or Fourth dynasties (see Figure).
It is necessary to turn to historical detail to proceed further.
The pyramids which today symbolize ancient Egypt in the minds of many people were built during the Old Kingdom.
The Old Kingdom appears to have been a period of stability and great prosperity for Egypt.
(Loda IL: Aardsma Research and Publishing, 1993), 68--72; Gerald E.
They were invited to live in the land by the then ruling pharaoh because they were relatives of Joseph who was second in command in Egypt at that time (Genesis 41).
Joseph was sold as a slave in Egypt (Genesis 39:1) during the early years of the Old Kingdom, probably during Dynasty 3.
His promotion to vizier (Genesis -45) raises the possibility of identifying him in the secular Egyptian sources.
(Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1958), page 24].
Our expectations of a pharaoh possessing much newly acquired wealth seem to be fulfilled in Djoser's unprecedented and spectacular Step Pyramid with its surrounding stone enclosure and numerous accompanying smaller structures.
A late Egyptian text, which derives from the Ptolemaic period, affirms an Egyptian tradition of seven years of famine during the reign of Djoser [James B.