Many readers of the early chapter of the biblical book of Exodus are sometimes puzzled by the line – ‘Now there arose a king that knew not Joseph’ when from the latter chapters of Genesis, they are regaled with the successes of Joseph and his high stature in Egypt. It was a king of Egypt that appointed Joseph to high office. And it was not a case of one political party taking over the reins of government from another political party, as was the case when President Buhari of the APC defeated President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP, to become Nigeria’s president. If ancient Egypt practiced democracy, it would have been easy to interprete what happened as probably a case of vendetta by the new government against some policies of the previous administration, which was headed by an opposition party. But in ancient Egypt, the system of government was the monarchical system. At the death of the king, power was transferred to the crown prince.
Granted that there must have been institutional memory for a civilization that was sophisticated as ancient Egypt was reported to have had, the following constitute some reasonable explanations as to why things took on a different turn after Joseph died:
- The seduction of power
- The phenomenon known as times and seasons
- The operations of those known as watchers
- The sovereignty of the ruler of the universe