Moses and Akhenaten
one and the same person
By Ahmed Osman
The Birth of Moses
Akhenaten was born in Year 12 of his father Amenhotep III, 1394 BC, in the summer royal palace in the border city of Zarw in northern Sinai. Zarw, modern Kantara East, was the centre of the land of Goshen where the Israelites dwelt, and in the same location where Moses was born. Contrary to the biblical account, Moses was born inside the royal palace. His mother Queen Tiye had an elder son, Tuthmosis, who died a short time before Akhenaten’s birth. Tuthmosis had been educated and trained at the royal residence in Memphis, before he mysteriously disappeared, believed to have been kidnapped and assassinated by the Amun priests. Fearing for his safety, his mother Tiye sent him by water to the safekeeping of her father’s Israelite family outside the walls of Zarw, which was the origin of the baby-in-the-bulrushes story.
The reason for the priests’ hostility to the young prince was the fact that Tiye, his mother, was not the legitimate heiress to the throne. She couldn’t therefore be accepted as a consort for the state god Amun. If Tiye’s son acceded to the throne, this would be regarded as forming a new dynasty of non-Amunite kings over Egypt. During his early years, his mother kept Akhenaten away from both royal residences at Memphis and Thebes. He spent his childhood at the border city of Zarw, nursed by the wife of the queen’s younger brother General Aye. Later, Akhenaten was moved to Heliopolis, north of Cairo, to receive his education under the supervision of Anen the priest of Ra, who was the elder brother of Queen Tiye.
Young Akhenaten appeared at the capital city Thebes, for the first time, when he reached the age of sixteen. There he met with Nefertiti, his half sister daughter of Sitamun, for the first time and fell in love with her. Tiye, his mother, encouraged this relationship realizing that his marriage to Nefertiti, the heiress, is the only way he can gain the right to follow his father on the throne.