Was Imhotep and Joseph the same Person?

by Betty Rhodes

The Original Comparisons of Joseph & Imhotep
Imhotep and Joseph
       Imhotep was the world's first named architect who built Egypt's first pyramid, and is often recognized as the world's first doctor, priest, scribe, sage, poet, astrologer, and vizier, chief minister - to Djoser (reign 26302611 BC), the second king of Egypt's third dynasty. Imhotep may have lived under as many as four kings. An inscription on one of the kings statues states Imhotep's titles as the "chancellor of the king of lower Egypt', the "first one under the king", the "administrator of the great mansion", the "hereditary Noble", the "high priest of Heliopolis", the "chief sculptor", and finally the "chief carpenter".

        By reading the following table it would appear that Imhotep and Joseph, son of Jacob, had many attributes in common - if not identical. Is this a pattern that has repeated - or were the two men one and the same person?
My conclusion - Imhotep and Joseph were indeed the same person and the descendant of Ptah.

 Joseph Imhotep
 Egyptian 3rd Dynasty
2630-2611 BC [verification link for dates]

second in command under Pharoah second in command under Pharoah Djoser

lived to be 110 years of age lived to be 110 years of age

great architect and builder great architect and builder

stored up corn during 7 yrs of plenty stored up corn during 7 yrs of plenty

saw seven years of famine - fed people saw seven years of faminie - fed people

interpreter of dreams interpreter of dreams

built pyramids & palaces built the Step Pyramid & palaces

Zaphnath-paaneah (preserver of life) physician servants was a physician

instituted an income tax of one fifth instituted an income tax of one fifth

married into the Priesthood of On married into the Priesthood of Heliopolis [On]

knowledge of astrology  knowledge of astrology

coat of many breadths/colors (pac (pas) = wide tunic) --------------

became an educated man a poet and educated medical writer 

overseer of works overseer of works

legendary history legendary history

name means to add, increase, to join or gather together name means "the one that comes in peace"

 was one of twelve siblings was one of twelve siblings (see Ptah below)

PTAH, children of: The architect of the Saqqara Step Pyramid, Imhotep, after he became deified, came to be regarded as the son of Ptah. As father and creator of the gods, the deities he created first  were Nun and Naunet and the nine gods of the Ennead. The nine were Tem, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephthys who were considered to be both the teeth and lips of the mouth of Ptah and the semen and the hands of Tem.

Adolf K Placzek. Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects. Vol. 2. London: The Free Press, 1982.  p454-464.
Imhotep  -  3rd Dynasty
"Imhotep was an official during the 3rd Dynasty and served under four kings. He is best known for his position as vizier and high priest of Ptah during the reign of Djoser. Imhotep was a commoner by birth, but rose through the ranks with his natural talents and dedication. Imhotep was called the "Son of Ptah" but didn't limit himself to religious matters alone. He was a very good poet, architect, and priest-physician. The greatest achievement of Imhotep is the Step Pyramid at Saqqara. He built this pyramid for Djoser, but it became an architectural model for the spiritual ideals of the people of Egypt."

Imhotep = name means 'the one who comes in peace (shalom)'.
The name 'Jerusalem' means the habitation of peace (shalom).
The name 'Solomon' means. 'peace-ful'.

     After reading several studies done by various researchers on Egypt's Imhotep, and comparing his life with that of our Hebrew ancestor, Joseph, it would seem they could be one and the same person. However, Imhotep lived during the 3rd Dynasty of Egypt (2635-2595 BCE), second in command only to King Djoser. It is uncertain when Joseph lived, but most theologians say about 1730 BCE.
    Many of the events of Imhotep's life parallel Joseph's life right down to the age he died, the famine, great architect, etc., (see chart below). Imhotep was the architect that 'invented' the hewn square stones and built the Step Pyramid at Saqqara/Sakkara near Memphis in Egypt.
    Imhotep was once believed to be a myth - but later excavations found evidence of his actual existence. Seems Imhotep was  raised to the status of a 'god' beginning in the 18th Dynasty (1550 BCE). Imhotep was revered as the son of PTAH,  a creator-god of Memphis, the patron god of craftsmen; equated by the Greeks with Hephaestus. The cult of Imhotep reached its zenith in Greco-Roman times when sick people slept in his temples with the hope that the 'god' would reveal remedies to them in dreams - much like Edgar Cayce's legendary abilities.  The 'TA' in Ptah means earth.  Take the P and H and add them to (D)Jose(r) and you have Joseph - which doesn't mean anything, but it is interesting just the same.
    Although Imhotep has been credited with innumerable architectural achievements, the only certainty is that he built the complex of King Neterikhet at Saqqara. When excavations were carried out at the Step Pyramid at Saqqara/Sakkara, fragments of a statue of pharaoh Djoser were found. The base was inscribed with the names of Djoser and of Imhotep:
"Imhotep, Chancellor of the King of Lower Egypt, Chief under the King, Administrator of the Great Palace, Hereditary Lord, High Priest of Heliopolis, Imhotep the Builder, the Sculptor, the Maker of Stone Vases..."
    Imhotep's name is inscribed on the north side of the enclosure wall of Sekhemkhet's unfinished pyramid which suggests that he was also responsible for this later project.

 The Bible describes Joseph's position under the Pharoah:
"Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt." GEN 41:40-44

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