The life of Joseph is one of the most well known biblical narratives in the Book of Genesis and the Bible in all, set around 1600 – 1700 BC in Canaan, modern day Palestine, Syria and Israel.
Some detractors of the Bible may believe the story has no basis in legitimate historical tradition, but scientific evidence shows just the opposite.
Researchers studying cores of ice from Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, which supplies the famous Nile river with its water supply, found that a drought did take place around 3600 years ago – at the same time Joseph’s story is set in Egypt.
The drought would have been responsible for the seven year famine that caused countless nations to fall – while Egypt remained prosperous because of Joseph’s anticipation of the upcoming famine and his stockpiling of grain.
Another clue to the historicity of Joseph lies in the fact that Egypt prospered during the seven year famine. How could this be?
One of the most fertile areas to grow crops in Egypt was the land around the ancient freshwater Lake Moeris, southwest of Cairo, fed from branches of the Nile river. When droughts would come, the branches would dry up, and the land around the now former-lake would turn destitute.
However, sometime from 1850 – 1650 BC, a canal was built to keep the branch permanently open, ensuring Lake Moeris was kept full during drought to provide the surrounding farmland with water.
It’s constructor unknown, the canal was so successful it still operates today. In Arabic, its known as the Bahr Yussef: the waterway of Joseph.
Could it be this canal was named after the Vizier to the Pharoah – Biblical Joseph – who ordered its construction to keep Egypt plentiful during a future famine? Pious tradition believes it was.