Coins of Joseph

on January 15, 2010

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a pile of coins “bearing the name and image of the biblical Joseph,” the Jerusalem Post reports.

The coins—five hundred in all—were in the Museum of Egypt in a pile of small “artifacts.” It had been thought that they were only charms or ornaments. One of the researchers, who was studying Joseph, found the artifacts in a vault.

While studying the “ornaments,” he found that they were mostly round and had an inscription on one side and an image on the other, just like coins do today. The inscription said “Egypt” and then had a date and a value (similar to the words “one quarter” appearing on a quarter). The researcher determined that the coins had several different versions of the name Joseph, and what is assumed to be an image of him.

It was previously thought that the Egyptians never used coins, but only traded for the things they needed. If this discovery proves valid, it would seem that the Egyptians did use coins.

The coins are dated to many periods of Egyptian history, including as far back as Joseph’s time. Most interestingly, the report matches up with Genesis 41, by describing “one coin that had an inscription on it, and an image of a cow symbolizing Pharaoh’s dream about the seven fat cows and seven lean cows, and the seven green stalks of grain and seven dry stalks of grain.”

The coins are not available for others to review, so we do not know if they are truly what is being claimed. No matter what the coins turn out to be, however, we do know that Joseph was a real person, and that he saved Egypt from a terrible seven year famine. We can always trust the Bible.