To truly understand the reasons for having any temple at Jerusalem, one really should begin with the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. This has now been firmly established as having taken place in the year 1447 NC; in the reign of Dudimose; the last Pharaoh of the 13th. Dynasty, (1448-1440 NC). (See Appendix C) Hitherto, Ramesses II had always been held responsible for cruelty to the Jews during the Oppression or Bondage and which ended with the Exodus. Whereas in fact he was of the 19th. Dynasty and reigned nearly 500 years later. There will be more about him further on.

Up until the time of the Exodus, the Israelites had lived and worked in Egypt for almost 215 years (not 430 years as in the Old Testament (1)). Joseph (Yoséf) was, in fact, the first to lead his people from Canaan to Egypt, albeit unintentionally. This arose because seven of his brothers, jealous of his obvious high intelligence, had kidnapped him, thrown him into a well, and were contemplating the means of his death, when a passing caravan of Midianites presented a more convenient solution. Instead, therefore, Joseph was sold to them, and the Midianites in turn sold him as a bonded slave to Potiphar, head of the Royal Guard at Memphis. This was in 1683 NC and Joseph was barely seventeen years old.

After a while, his new situation attracted the amorous attentions of Potiphar's wife, but Joseph would have none of them. Consequently, he was imprisoned on the false charge of sexual harassment. Whilst in prison, he befriended two former courtiers and, through them, acquired a reputation for accurate interpretations of dreams.

Upon his release, one of these courtiers later told Pharaoh Amenemhat III, Pharaoh of Upper and Lower Egypt. The king became curious, as he himself had been bedevilled by the recurring dreams of seven lean cows eating seven fat cows. Joseph was brought before Pharaoh to give his interpretation. This amounted to a warning that Egypt would enjoy seven prosperous years but that this would be followed by seven years of famine. Joseph advised prudence and comprehensive planning. Pharaoh was so impressed that he promoted Joseph immediately to the post Vizier. So it was in 1670 NC, that Joseph became the most powerful man in the country, second only to Pharaoh himself. He was now aged thirty.

palaceEight years later, with the predicted famine having its effect, Joseph encouraged his father, Jacob (Ya’akóv), together with a large number of relatives and other Jews, to emigrate to Egypt from Canaan in order to enjoy the benefits of Joseph's husbandry, and to begin what became known as The Sojourn.

Jacob and many of his family and followers settled in the district of Goshen in northeast Egypt. Jacob himself built his home at Avaris. Some 17 years later, Jacob died and Joseph then had a palace constructed on top of the foundations of his father's former residence.

Joseph went on to serve 10 Pharaohs. Indeed, at one time he was the sole ruler of Egypt for six years (1625-1619 NC) until a new Pharaoh could be chosen. He was over 100 years old when he died and was buried within a mausoleum adjoining his palace.