What was the fate of the pharaoh who ruled during the time of the Exodus?

Many believe that this pharaoh, Amenhotep II, drowned in the Red Sea, along with his army, while the Egyptians were pursuing the fleeing Israelites. They read Exodus 15:19, which states, “For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the Lord brought again the waters of the sea upon them,” and conclude that Pharaoh did in fact perish. They believe that the word “horse” indicates that this was Pharaoh’s personal horse. The fact is that the verse should read “horses,” meaning all of the horses of Egypt’s army, which were considered to be Pharaoh’s property. The New King James correctly renders the verse in this way. So Exodus 15:19 does not indicate that Pharaoh or his personal horse drowned that day.

Some feel that more proof that Amenhotep II died in the Red Sea is found in Psalm 136:15. Here, God says that He “overthrow Pharaoh and his host [army] in the Red Sea.” Some assert that the Hebrew word translated “overthrew,” na’ar, means “to drown” or “to toss or tumble as in the water.” But, as can be found in the margins of many bibles, na’ar simply means “shook off.” So the verse states that God “shook off” the Egyptians in their chase after the Israelites. It says nothing as to who drowned in the sea.

Had Amenhotep II actually died in the Red Sea, the Bible would most likely have made mention of it. There are many references to the demises of enemy kings in the Old Testament, some of whom would have been far less notable than the pharaoh of the Exodus.

Also, archeologists have proven that, after the Exodus, Amenhotep II continued to reign in Egypt for at least sixteen more years.