I’ve been watching The Prince of Egypt with my son lately, and it got me into researching ancient Egyptian history. It turns out (according to wikipedia), it was not Ramses who was Moses’ “brother.” Then I got to thinking… it’d be great to read a book (preferably a modern book, since every year histories and archaeologists make discoveries and connections which improve our knowledge of ancient history) which weaves together history and the Bible. Preferably written by a Catholic.
Honestly, the idea of Ramses II being the Pharoah that Moses deals with in the Exodus has always been conjecture. The Pharoah in Exodus is never named, and it’s possible that the names of the cities that were built by the Israelites were anachronisms (in other words, the names of the cities at the time the Torah was finally written down), and is primarily based on the word “habiru” showing up in Egyptian hieroglyphics around this time. There are actually other theories on who the Pharoah was… including a theory that the Exodus may have even occured about 300 years prior to Ramses - with the expulsion of the Hykskos (foreign (to Egypt) rulers who spoke a Semitic tongue) from Egypt.
And to me, it would seem very plausible that a new ruler would be suspicious of a group that had once had power, and thus first enslave and then try to commit genocide by trying to eliminate the group entirely through murder of all male offspring. But regardless, whichever Pharoah it was when the Israelites left Egypt was pretty much lost to the sands of time from when the Torah was completely oral.