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Why Does the Quran Mention Kings of Egypt with Different Names?

Why does the Quran mention kings of Egypt with different names in the era of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) alaihi salam and Prophet Musa (Moses) alaihi salam?

Unveiling Historical Nuances in Quranic References to Egyptian Rulers

I never thought about that until one day I googled the phrase 'Pharaoh of Moses'. I was learning about the rediscovery of pharaoh's body in 1898 which had something to do with the establishment of z*onist movement. 

I listened to Sheikh Imran Hosein when he mentioned surah Yunus (chapter 10) verse 92.

فَٱلْيَوْمَ نُنَجِّيكَ بِبَدَنِكَ لِتَكُونَ لِمَنْ خَلْفَكَ ءَايَةًۚ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ عَنْ ءَايَٰتِنَا لَغَٰفِلُونَ 

So today We will save you in body that you may be to those who succeed you a sign. And indeed, many among the people, of Our signs, are heedless.

I use the #GreentechApps on my Android device by the way, to copy and paste the ayah. It is so useful. You can set the translation and word-by-word text into several languages. Go get the app here

Rediscovering the Pharaoh's Body: A Sign Foretelling Geopolitical Shifts

The rediscovery of pharaoh's body is a sign. What sign? According to Sheikh Imran Hosein, it is the beginning of the z movement which would lead to the destroying of caliphate and now will lead to World War III or the Malhamah (armageddon).

The rediscovery? Why not the discovery? Of course. Because pharaoh's body had been saved by Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and then being discovered by the Egyptian, and then being mummified and kept in the tomb of the kings along with other pharaohs' bodies.

After that in 1898 the modern archaelogists found the bodies of pharaohs and dug them and examined them.

No one knew which one was the Pharaoh of Moses time. Later, in around 1976, the French wanted to examine more the bodies and asked the Egyptian government to move the bodies to France. 


One of the archaeologists, Dr. Maurice Bucaille, converted to Islam after studying the bodies and found out that one of them had more sodium inside the body than any other bodies. This indicated that the body was drowned in the sea. It was Ramses II, the third king of the nineteenth dynasty.

Decoding Quranic Terminology: 'King' vs. 'Pharaoh' in Different Eras

The Bible didn't say anything about the preserve of pharaoh's body, but the Quran does. 

Okay, that's the story about pharaoh of Nabi Musa alaihi salam's time. What about the pharaoh of Nabi Yusuf alaihi salam's era?

In fact, the Quran doesn't use the word 'pharaoh' to mention the ruler of Egypt at that time, but the Quran chooses the word 'king'.

Let's take a look at surah Yusuf (chapter 12) verse 43.

وَقَالَ ٱلْمَلِكُ إِنِّىٓ أَرَىٰ سَبْعَ بَقَرَٰتٍ سِمَانٍ يَأْكُلُهُنَّ سَبْعٌ عِجَافٌ وَسَبْعَ سُنۢبُلَٰتٍ خُضْرٍ وَأُخَرَ يَابِسَٰتٍۖ يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلْمَلَأُ أَفْتُونِى فِى رُءْيَٰىَ إِن كُنتُمْ لِلرُّءْيَا تَعْبُرُونَ 

And [subsequently] the king said, "Indeed, I have seen [in a dream] seven fat cows being eaten by seven [that were] lean, and seven green spikes [of grain] and others [that were] dry. O eminent ones, explain to me my vision, if you should interpret visions."

'The king'.

Why not 'the pharaoh'?

Later I found out the reason. Nothing happens by accident in the Quran. 

So, why? Does the Quran tell something wrong? 


The Quran is not telling a wrong thing. It is speaking about the history of ancient Egypt!

If you learn the ancient Egypt, you will find out that there were 30 dinasties ruled Egypt from about 3000 BCE to 330 BCE (5000 to 2330 years ago). 

Along the changes of the rulers, the Egyptians use 'pharaoh' only when the eightteenth dinasty started to rule. So before that they called their ruler 'king'. 

Now it makes sense!

Prophet Joseph alaihi salam lived several generations before Prophet Moses alaihi salam. It indicated that Prophet Joseph alaihi salam lived in the era before the eightteenth dynasty started to rule; while Prophet Moses alaihi salam lived after the eightteenth dynasty. In fact, Prophet Moses alaihi salam lived in the nineteenth dynasty when Ramses II ruled.

So the conclusion is, before the eightteenth dynasty they used 'king', starting from the eightteenth dynasty they used 'pharaoh'.

Now I can go to sleep without being puzzled. I hope you can too.

Diah Dwi Arti
Diah Dwi Arti
Muslimah | Madiun, Indonesia | Mom of three | email: diah.d.arti [at]

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