My favorite books on how Egyptian history intersects with the biblical Moses

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a spiritual mutt. Raised with a variegated Christian background (Mom Charismatic, Dad Quaker, Grandparents Wesleyan), I rejected all things biblical and turned to Jack Daniels for Southern Comfort. In college I reconnected with a high school friend who demonstrated God was real by his changed life and showed the Bible’s concrete historical connections in a way I could understand. The words that had so confounded me as a child began to make sense. I dumped Jack Daniels, married that friend, and no longer needed Southern Comfort. Now, through research, study, and a little imagination, I write biblical novels, chug Living Water, and tell Bible stories to eight grandkids. 


I wrote...

The Pharaoh's Daughter

By Mesu Andrews,

Book cover of The Pharaoh's Daughter

What is my book about?

Anippe has grown up in the shadows of Egypt’s good god Pharaoh, aware that Anubis, god of the afterlife, may take her at any moment. When she learns that she's to become the bride of Sebak, a kind but quick-tempered Captain of Pharaoh Tut’s army, Anippe launches a series of deceptions with the help of the Hebrew midwives to provide Sebak the heir he deserves.

When she finds a baby floating in a basket on the great river, Anippe believes Egypt’s gods have answered her pleas, entrenching her more deeply in deception and placing her and her son Mehy, whom handmaiden Miriam calls Moses, in mortal danger. As bloodshed and savage politics shift the balance of power in Egypt, Anippe wonders if her son could one day become king.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt: A Genealogical Sourcebook of the Pharaohs

Mesu Andrews Why did I love this book?

Though I write inspirational fiction, my true passion is research. In this fascinating and one-of-a-kind resource, not only did I discover the names and stories of pharaohs and their succession accounts but also the names and stories of the mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives who ruled alongside Egypt’s great men. When I began searching for the mysterious pharaoh’s daughter who pulled Moses from the Nile after an unnamed Pharaoh’s genocidal edict, I needed information on the often-overlooked women of Egypt. This complete family resource provided charts, lists, photos, and concise explanations of Egyptian history from the Early Dynastic Period and Old Kingdom through the Late and Ptolemaic Period. 

By Aidan Dodson, Dyan Hilton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This groundbreaking new book illuminates the lives of the kings, queens, princes and princesses of ancient Egypt, unravelling family relationships and exploring the parts they played in politics, cultural life and religion. It ranges from the dawn of Egyptian history, when only isolated glimpses are available of the royal family, through the vast progeny of Ramesses II, and ends with the fiendishly complicated - and blood-soaked - interconnections of the Ptolemies and Cleopatras.


Book cover of The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt

Mesu Andrews Why did I love this book?

I always start my research at a library. I find the shelves on Egyptian history, grab a stack of books, plop down on the floor, and read until I can’t feel my legs. There’s never a shortage of Egyptology resources, but why must the scholars always disagree? Only by reading widely can I find a golden thread of agreement across the many sources. Oftentimes, a particular scholar will emerge as the leading expert on a particular time period and appear in a majority of quoted material and/or bibliographies. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt was both easy to understand and included interesting details while also following the consensus of the best New Kingdom scholars.

By Ian Shaw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The essays and illustrations in this history portray the emergence and development of the distinctive civilization of the ancient Egyptians, from their prehistoric origins to their incorporation into the Roman Empire, covering the period from around 7000 BCE to 311. The authors outline the principal sequence of political events, including detailed examinations of the three so-called "intermediate periods" which were previously regarded as "dark ages" and are only now beginning to be better understood. Against the backdrop of the rise and fall of ruling dynasties, this book also examines cultural and social patterns, including stylistic developments in art and literature.…


Book cover of The Miracles of Exodus: A Scientist's Discovery of the Extraordinary Natural Causes of the Biblical Stories

Mesu Andrews Why did I love this book?

Because I planned to write a second book about Moses, understanding the science behind the biblical plagues was important to approximate the timeline for both Moses’s return to Egypt (from exile in Midian) and to determine the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Humphreys is a scientist who gives fascinating and feasible explanations for every one of the ten plagues mentioned in the Bible; however, he in no way discounts their supernatural origin. This book, perhaps more than any other I’ve read, helped illustrate that God always allows room for doubt—as was evidenced by using scientifically viable reasons for the plagues. But He invites us to see His miracles and believe. 

By Colin Humphreys,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Miracles of Exodus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Did the Red Sea really part before the Israelites? Why didn't the fire consume the Burning Bush? What was the Manna in the Wilderness? The Miracles of Exodus explores the truth about these and all the other Exodus mysteries, including the precise locations of the Red Sea Crossing and the route of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt 3,000 years ago. This investigative tour de force explains the Ten Plagues, the true location of Mount Sinai, the ultimate crossing of the Jordan and much more. Colin Humphreys, a distinguished British scientist, uses physics, astronomy, biology and other scientific resources…


Book cover of The Shadow Women

Mesu Andrews Why did I love this book?

When I started writing biblical historical fiction in the early 2000s, I found only one or two novels about Moses. Shadow Women was especially helpful because it spanned Moses’s whole life, which meant it also encompassed the biblical narrative from Exodus to Deuteronomy. It was like Cliff Notes for four Books of the Bible! As my writing friendships have expanded over the past two decades, I’ve come to know Angela Hunt personally and discovered that she holds a PhD in Biblical Studies, which gives me even more confidence in the historical and biblical accuracy of her many biblical novels. She continues to be one of my favorite authors. 

By Angela Hunt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Shadow Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Library Journal

The three main women in Moses's life narrate his dramatic story from their perspectives. Miryam, his seven-year-old sister, and Merytamon, his 14-year-old adoptive mother, cover his early years as an Egyptian prince. Nine-year-old Zipporah, his future wife, tells of Moses' time with her father, a priest, and their family. After God reveals himself to Moses, Miryam recounts the liberation of the Jewish people and their escape from Egypt, and Zipporah and Miryam recall the years in the wilderness. The animosity and jealousy Miryam feels for both Merytomon and Zipporah flood the narrative, poisoning their happiness, but Moses…


Book cover of Counted With the Stars

Mesu Andrews Why did I love this book?

I love biblical historical fiction because there are so many ways to write it. Some write about specific biblical characters, while others—like Connilyn Cossette—write about biblical events and then create fictional characters who become swept up in actual historical events. I’m also completely captured by Cossette’s romantic threads. She expertly hooks my heart into a series by choosing a minor character from the first story and making me care deeply for that hero/heroine by page three of the next book. Her irresistible characters and settings embody the dust, heat, and hardships of Egypt, and the tender romances linger in my memory for years.

By Connilyn Cossette,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Counted With the Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Story of Love, Desperation, and Hope During a Great Biblical Epoch
Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.
To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she's only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people.…


You might also like...

Native Nations: A Millennium in North America

By Kathleen DuVal,

Book cover of Native Nations: A Millennium in North America

Kathleen DuVal Author Of Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professional historian and life-long lover of early American history. My fascination with the American Revolution began during the bicentennial in 1976, when my family traveled across the country for celebrations in Williamsburg and Philadelphia. That history, though, seemed disconnected to the place I grew up—Arkansas—so when I went to graduate school in history, I researched in French and Spanish archives to learn about their eighteenth-century interactions with Arkansas’s Native nations, the Osages and Quapaws. Now I teach early American history and Native American history at UNC-Chapel Hill and have written several books on how Native American, European, and African people interacted across North America.

Kathleen's book list on the American Revolution beyond the Founding Fathers

What is my book about?

A magisterial history of Indigenous North America that places the power of Native nations at its center, telling their story from the rise of ancient cities more than a thousand years ago to fights for sovereignty that continue today

Native Nations: A Millennium in North America

By Kathleen DuVal,

What is this book about?

Long before the colonization of North America, Indigenous Americans built diverse civilizations and adapted to a changing world in ways that reverberated globally. And, as award-winning historian Kathleen DuVal vividly recounts, when Europeans did arrive, no civilization came to a halt because of a few wandering explorers, even when the strangers came well armed.

A millennium ago, North American cities rivaled urban centers around the world in size. Then, following a period of climate change and instability, numerous smaller nations emerged, moving away from rather than toward urbanization. From this urban past, egalitarian government structures, diplomacy, and complex economies spread…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Egypt, the Bible, and ancient Egypt?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Egypt, the Bible, and ancient Egypt.

Egypt Explore 206 books about Egypt
The Bible Explore 332 books about the Bible
Ancient Egypt Explore 119 books about ancient Egypt