Hitchcock's Bible NamesEgypt
that troubles or oppresses; anguish
Smith's Bible DictionaryEgypt
(land of the Copts), a country occupying the northeast angle of Africa. Its limits appear always to have been very nearly the same. It is bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the east by Palestine, Arabia and the Red Sea, on the south by Nubia, and on the west by the Great Desert. It is divided into upper Egypt --the valley of the Nile --and lower Egypt, the plain of the Delta, from the Greek letter; it is formed by the branching mouths of the Nile, and the Mediterranean Sea. The portions made fertile by the Nile comprise about 9582 square geographical miles, of which only about 5600 is under cultivation. --Encyc. Brit. The Delta extends about 200 miles along the Mediterranean, and Egypt is 520 miles long from north to south from the sea to the First Cataract. NAMES. --The common name of Egypt in the Bible is "Mizraim." It is in the dual number, which indicates the two natural divisions of the country into an upper and a lower region. The Arabic name of Egypt --Mizr -- signifies "red mud." Egypt is also called in the Bible "the land of Ham," (Psalms 105:23,27) comp. Psalms 78:51 --a name most probably referring to Ham the son of Noah --and "Rahab," the proud or insolent: these appear to be poetical appellations. The common ancient Egyptian name of the country is written in hieroglyphics Kem, which was perhaps pronounced Chem. This name signifies, in the ancient language and in Coptic, "black," on account of the blackness of its alluvial soil. We may reasonably conjecture that Kem is the Egyptian equivalent of Ham. GENERAL APPEARANCE, CLIMATE, ETC. --The general appearance of the country cannot have greatly changed since the days of Moses. The whole country is remarkable for its extreme fertility, which especially strikes the beholder when the rich green of the fields is contrasted with the utterly bare, yellow mountains or the sand-strewn rocky desert on either side. The climate is equable and healthy. Rain is not very unfrequent on the northern coast, but inland is very rare. Cultivation nowhere depends upon it. The inundation of the Nile fertilizes and sustains the country, and makes the river its chief blessing. The Nile was on this account anciently worshipped. The rise begins in Egypt about the summer solstice, and the inundation commences about two months later. The greatest height is attained about or somewhat after the autumnal equinox. The inundation lasts about three months. The atmosphere, except on the seacoast, is remarkably dry and clear, which accounts for the so perfect preservation of the monuments, with their pictures and inscriptions. The heat is extreme during a large part of the year. The winters are mild, --from 50
ATS Bible DictionaryEgypt
A celebrated country in the north of Africa, at the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hebrews called it Mizraim, Genesis 10:6, and hence it is now called by the Arabs, Mizr. The Greeks and Romans called it Aegyptus, whence Egypt; but the origin of this name is unknown.
The habitable land of Egypt is for the most part a great valley, through which the river Nile pours its waters, extending in a straight line from north to south, and skirted on the east and west by ranges of mountains, which approach and recede from the river more or less in different parts. Where this valley terminates, towards the north, the Nile divides itself, about forty or fifty miles from the seacoast, into several arms, which inclose the so-called Delta. The ancients numbered seven arms and mouths; the eastern was that of Pelusium, now that of Tineh; and the western that of Canopus, now that of Aboukir. As these branches all separate from one point or channel, that is, from the main stream, and spread themselves more and more as they approach the coast, they form with the latter a triangle, the base of which is the seacoast; and having thus the form of the Greek letter, delta, this part of Egypt received the name of the Delta, which it has ever since retained. The prophet Ezekiel describes Egypt as extending from Migdol, that is, Magdolum, not far from the mouth of the Pelusian arm, to Syene, now Essuan, namely, to the border of Ethiopia, Ezekiel 29:10 30:6. Essuan is also assigned by Greek and Arabian writers as the southern limit of Egypt. Here the Nile issues from the granite rocks of the cataracts, and enters Egypt proper. The length of the country, therefore, in a direct line, is about four hundred and fifty miles, and its area about eleven thousand square miles. The breadth of the valley, between Essuan and the Delta, is very unequal; in some places the inundations of the river extend to the foot of the mountains; in other parts there remains a strip of a mile or two in breadth which the water never covers, and which is therefore always dry and barren. Originally the name Egypt designated only the valley and the Delta; but at a later period it came to include also the region between this and the Red Sea.
The country around Syene and the cataracts is highly picturesque; the other parts of Egypt, and especially the Delta, are uniform and monotonous. The prospect, however, is extremely different, according to the season of the year. From the middle of spring, when the harvest is over, one sees nothing but a gray and dusty soil, so full of cracks and chasms that he can hardly pass along. At the time of the autumnal equinox, the country presents nothing but an immeasurable surface of reddish or yellowish water, out of which rise date-trees, villages, and narrow dams, which serve as a means of communication. After the waters have retreated, and they usually remain only a short time at this height, you see, till the end of autumn, only a black and slimy mud. But in winter, nature puts on all her splendor. In this season, the freshness and power of the new vegetation, the variety and abundance of vegetable productions, exceed every thing that is known in the most celebrated parts of the European continent; and Egypt is then, from one end of the country to the other, like a beautiful garden, a verdant meadow, a field sown with flowers, or a waving ocean of grain in the ear. This fertility, as is well known, depends upon the annual and regular inundations of the Nile. Hence Egypt was called by Herodotus, "the gift of the Nile." See NILE.
The sky is not less uniform and monotonous than the earth; it is constantly a pure unclouded arch, of a color and light more white than azure. The atmosphere has a splendor which the eye can scarcely bear, and a burning sun, whose glow is tempered by no shade, scorches through the whole day these vast and unprotected plains. It is almost a peculiar trait in the Egyptian landscape, that although not without trees, it is yet almost without shade. The only tree is the date-tree, which is frequent; but with its tall, slender stem, and bunch of foliage on the top, this tree does very little to keep off the light, and casts upon the earth only a pale an uncertain shade. Egypt, according, has a very hot climate; the thermometer in summer
standing usually at eighty or ninety degrees of Fahrenheit; and in Upper Egypt still higher. The burning wind of the desert, Simoom, or Camsin, is also experienced, usually about the time of the early equinox. The country is not unfrequently visited by swarms of locusts. See LOCUSTS.
In the very earliest times, Egypt appears to have been regarded under three principal divisions; and writers spoke of Upper Egypt or Thebais; Middle Egypt, Heptanomis or Heptapolis; and Lower Egypt or the Delta, including the districts lying east and west of the river. The provinces and cities of Egypt mentioned in the Bible may, in like manner, be arranged under these three great divisions:
1.LOWER EGYPT The northeastern point of this was "the river of Egypt," on the border of Palestine. The desert between this point, the Red Sea, and the ancient Pelusium, seems to have been the desert of Shur, Genesis 20:1, now El-Djefer. Sin, "the strength [key] of Egypt," Ezekiel 30:15, was probably Pelusium. The land of GOSHEN appears to have lain between Pelusium, its branch of the Nile, and the Red sea, having been skirted on the northeast by the desert of Shur; constituting perhaps a part of the province Rameses, Genesis 47:11. In this district, or adjacent to it, are mentioned also the cities Pithom, Raamses, Pi-Beseth, and On or Helipolis. In the proper Delta itself, lay Tahapanes, that is, Taphne or Daphne; Zoan, the Tanis of the Greeks; Leontopolis, alluded to perhaps in Isaiah 19:18. West of the Delta was Alexandria.
2.MIDDLE EGYPT Here are mentioned Moph or Memphis, and Hanes, the Heracleopolis of the Greeks.
3.UPPER EGYPT The southern part of Egypt, the Hebrews appear to have called Pathros, Jeremiah 44:1,15. The Bible mentions here only two cities, namely, No, or more fully No-Ammon, for which the Seventy put Diospolis, the Greek name for Thebes, the most ancient capital of Egypt, (see AMMON, or No-Ammon, or No;) and Syene, the southern city and limit of Egypt.
The chief agricultural productions of Egypt are wheat, durrah, or small maize, Turkish or Indian corn or maize, rice, barley, beans, cucumbers, watermelons, leeks, and onions; also flax and cotton. The date-tree and vine are frequent. The papyrus is still found in small quantity, chiefly near Damietta; it is a reed about nine feet high, as thick as a man's thumb, with a tuft of down on the top. See BOOK, BULRUSH. The animals of Egypt, besides the usual kinds of tame cattle, are the wild ox or buffalo in great numbers, the ass and camel, dogs in multitudes without masters, the ichneumon, the crocodile, and the hippopotamus.
The inhabitants of Egypt may be considered as including three divisions: 1. The Copts, or descendants of the ancient Egyptians. 2. The Fellahs, or husbandmen, who are supposed to represent the people in Scripture, called Phul. 3. The Arabs, or conquerors of the country, include the Turks, etc. The Copts are nominal Christians, and the clerks and accountants of the country. They have seen so many revolutions in the governing powers, that they concern themselves very little about the successes or misfortunes of those who aspire to dominion. The Fellahs suffer so much oppression, and are so despised by the Bedaween or wandering Arabs, and by their despotic rulers, that they seldom acquire property, and very rarely enjoy it in security; yet they are an interesting race, and devotedly attached to their native country and the Nile. The Arabs hate the Turks; yet the Turks enjoy most offices of government, though they hold their superiority by no very certain tenure.
The most extraordinary monuments of Egyptian power and industry were the pyramids, which still subsist, to excite the wonder and admiration of the world. No work of man now extant is so ancient or so vast as these mysterious structures. The largest of them covers a square area of thirteen acres, and is still four hundred and seventy-four feet high. They have by some been supposed to have been erected by the Israelites during their bondage in Egypt. But the tenor of ancient history in general, as well as the results of modern researches, is against this supposition. It is generally believed that they were erected more than two thousand years before Christ, as the sepulchres of kings.
But besides these imperishable monuments of kings long forgotten, Egypt abounds in other structures hardly less wonderful; on the beautiful islands above the cataracts, near Syene, and at other places in Upper Egypt; and especially in the whole valley of the Nile near Thebes, including Carnac, Luxor, etc. The temples, statues, obelisks, and sphinxes that cover the ground astonish and awe the beholder with their colossal height, their massive grandeur, and their vast extent; while the dwellings of the dead, tombs in the rock occupied by myriads of mummies, extend far into the adjacent mountains. The huge columns of these temples, their vast walls, and many of the tombs, are covered with sculptures and paintings which are exceedingly valuable as illustrating the public and the domestic life of the ancient Egyptians. See SHISHAK. With these are mingled many hieroglyphic records, which have begun to yield their long-concealed meaning to the inquisitions of modern science. Some of these are mere symbols, comparatively easy to understand. But a large portion of them are now found to be written with a sort of pictorial alphabet-each symbol representing the sound with which its own name commences. Thus OSIR, the name of the Egyptian god Soiris, would be represented by the picture of a reed, a child, and a mouth; because the initial sounds of the Coptic words for these three objects, namely, Ike, Si, and Ro, make up the name OSIR. There is, however, great ambiguity in the interpretation of these records; and in many cases the words, when apparently made out, are as yet unintelligible, and seem to be part of a priestly dialect understood only by the learned.
The early history of ancient Egypt is involved in great obscurity. All accounts, however, and the results of all modern researches, seem to concur in representing culture and civilization as having been introduced and spread in Egypt from the south, and especially from Meroe; and that the country in the earliest times was possessed by several contemporary kings or states, which at length were all united into one great kingdom. The common name of the Egyptian kings was Pharaoh, which signified sovereign power. History has preserved the names of several of these kings, and a succession of their dynasties. But the inclination of the Egyptian historians to magnify the great antiquity of their nation has destroyed their credibility. See PHARAOH.
This ancient and remarkable land is often mentioned in Scripture. A grandson of Noah seems to have given it his name, Genesis 10:6. In the day of Abraham it was the granary of the world, and the patruarch himself resorted thither in a famine, Genesis 12:10. His wife had an Egyptian handmaid, Hagar the mother of Ishmael, who also sought a wife in Egypt, Genesis 21:9,21. Another famine, in the days of Isaac, nearly drove him to Egypt, Genesis 26:2; and Jacob and all his household ended their days there, Genesis 39:1-50:26. After the escape of Israel from their weary bondage in Egypt, we read of little intercourse between the two nations for many years. In the time of David and Solomon, mention is again made of Egypt. Solomon married an Egyptian princess, 1 Kings 3:7 9:1-28 11:43. But in the fifth year of his son Rehoboam, Judah was humbled at the feet of Shishak, king of Egypt, 2 Chronicles 12:1-16; and for many generations afterwards the Jews were alternately in alliance and at war with that nation, until both were subjugated to the Assyrian empire, 2 Kings 17:1-41 18:21 23:29 24:1-20 Jeremiah 25:1-38 37:5 44:1-30 46:1-28.
Egypt was conquered by Cambyses, and became a province of the Persian empire about 525 B. C. Thus it continued until conquered by Alesander, 350 B. C., after whose death it formed, along with Syria, Palestine, Lybia, etc., the kingdom of the Ptolemies. After the battle of Actium, 30 B. C., it became a Roman province. In the time of Christ, great numbers of Jews were residents of Alexandria, Leontopolis, and other parts of Egypt; and our Savior himself found an asylum there in his infancy, Matthew 2:13. Since that time it has ceased to be an independent state, and its history is incorporated with that of its different conquerors and possessors. In A. D. 640, it was conquered by the Arabs; and in later periods has passed from the hands of the caliphs under the power of Turks, Arabs, Kurds, Mamelukes; and since 1517, has been governed as a province of the Turkish empire. Thus have been fulfilled the ancient predictions recorded in God's word, Ezekiel 29:14,15 30:7,12,13 32:15. Its present population is about two millions.
The religion of Egypt consisted in the worship of the heavenly bodies and the powers of nature; the priests cultivated at the same time astronomy and astrology, and to these belong probably the wise men, sorcerers, and magicians mentioned in Exodus 7:11,22. They were the most honored and powerful of the castes into which the people were divided. It was probably this wisdom, in which Moses also was learned, Acts 7:22. But the Egyptian religion had this peculiarity, that it adopted living animals as symbols of the real objects of worship. The Egyptians not only esteemed many species of animals as sacred, which might not be killed without the punishment of death, but individual animals were kept in temples and worshipped with sacrifices, as gods.
"The river of Egypt," Numbers 34:5 Joshua 15:4,47 1 Kings 8:65 2 Kings 24:7 Isaiah 27:12 Ezekiel 47:19 48:28, (and, according to some, Genesis 15:18, although in this passage a different word is used signifying a permanent stream,) designates the brook El-Arish, emptying into the southeast corner of the Mediterranean at Rhinocolura.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaBROOK OF EGYPT, THE
(nachal = "a flowing stream," "a valley"; best translated by the oriental word wady, which means, as the Hebrew word does, both a stream and its valley).
The Brook of Egypt is mentioned six times in the Old Testament (Numbers 34:5 Joshua 15:4, 47 1 Kings 8:65 Isaiah 27:12); once, Genesis 15:18, by another word, nahar. The Brook of Egypt was not an Egyptian stream at all, but a little desert stream near the borderland of Egypt a wady of the desert, and, perhaps, the dividing line between Canaan and Egypt. It is usually identified with the Wady el 'Arish of modern geography.
The Brook of Egypt comes down from the plateau et Tih in the Sinai peninsula and falls into the Mediterranean Sea at latitude 31 5 North, longitude 33 42 East. Its source is at the foot of the central mountain group of the peninsula. The upper portion of the wady is some 400 ft. above the sea. Its course, with one sharp bend to the West in the upper part, runs nearly due North along the western slope of the plateau. Its whole course of 140 miles lies through the desert. These streams in the Sinai peninsula are usually dry water-courses, which at times become raging rivers, but are very seldom babbling "brooks." The floods are apt to come with little or no warning when cloudbursts occur in the mountain region drained.
The use of the Hebrew word nachal for this wady points to a curious and most interesting and important piece of archaeological evidence on the critical question of the origin of the Pentateuch. In the Pentateuch, the streams of Egypt are designated by an Egyptian word (ye'or) which belongs to Egypt, as the word bayou does to the lower Mississippi valley, while every other stream mentioned, not except this desert stream, "the Brook of Egypt," is designated by one or other of two Hebrew words, na chal and nahar. Each of these words occurs 13 times in the Pentateuch, but never of the streams of Egypt. The use of nahar in Exodus 7:19 in the account of the plagues is not really an exception for the word is then used generically in contrast with ye'or to distinguish between the "flowing streams," neharoth, and the sluggish irrigation branches of the Nile, ye'orim, "canals" (compare CANALS) (Isaiah 19:6; Isaiah 33:21), while ye'or occurs 30 times but never of any other than the streams of Egypt. There is thus a most exa ct discrimination in the use of these various words, a discrimination which is found alike in the Priestly Code (P), Jahwist (Jahwist), and Elohim (E) of the documentary theory, and also where the editor is supposed to have altered the documents. Such discrimination is scarcely credible on the hypothesis that the Pentateuch is by more than one author, in later than Mosaic times, or that it is by any author without Egyptian training. The documentary theory which requires these instances of the use of these various words for "river" to have been recorded by several different authors or redactors, in different ages and all several centuries after the Exodus, far away from Egypt and opportunities for accurate knowledge of its language, seems utterly incompatible with such discriminating use of these words. And even if the elimination of all mistakes be attributed to one person, a final editor, the difficulty is scarcely lessened. For as no purpose is served by this discriminating use of words, it is evidently a natural phenomenon. In every instance of the use of ye'or, one or other of the usual Hebrew words, nachal or nahar would have served the purpose of the author, just as any foreign religious writer might with propriety speak of the "streams of Louisiana," though a Louisianian would certainly call them "bayous." How does the author come to use ye'or even where his native Hebrew words might have been used appropriately? Why never, where its appropriateness is even doubtful, not even saying ye'or for nachal of the "Brook of Egypt"? It is not art, but experience, in the use of a language which gives such skill as to attend to so small a thing in so extensive use without a single mistake. The only time and place at which such experience in the use of Egyptian words is to be expected in Israel is among the people of the Exodus not long subsequent to that event.
M. G. Kyle
I. THE COUNTRY
1. The Basis of the Land 2. The Nile Valley 3. Earliest Human Remains 4. Climate 5. Conditions of Life 6. The Nile 7. The Fauna 8. The Flora 9. The Prehistoric Races
II. THE HISTORY
1. 1st and 2nd Ages: Prehistoric 2. 3d Age: Ist and IInd Dynasties 3. 4th Age: IIIrd through VIth Dynasties 4. 5th Age: VIIth through XIVth Dynasties 5. 6th Age: XVth through XXIVth Dynasties 6. 7th Age: XXVth Dynasty to Roman Times 7. 8th Age: Arabic 8. Early Foreign Connections
III. THE OLD TESTAMENT CONNECTIONS
1. Semitic Connections 2. Abramic Times 3. Circumcision 4. Joseph 5. Descent into Egypt 6. The Oppression 7. The Historic Position 8. The Plagues 9. Date of the Exodus 10. Route of the Exodus 11. Numbers of the Exodus 12. Israel in Canaan 13. Hadad 14. Pharaoh's Daughter 15. Shishak 16. Zerakh 17. The Ethiopians 18. Tahpanhes 19. Hophra 20. The Jews of Syene 21. The New Jerusalem of Oniah 22. The Egyptian Jew 23. Cities and Places Alphabetically
IV. THE CIVILIZATION
1. Language 2. Writing 3. Literature 4. Four Views of Future Life 5. Four Groups of Gods 6. Foreign Gods 7. Laws 8. Character
Egypt (mitsrayim; he Aiguptos):
Usually supposed to represent the dual of Mitsrayim, referring to "the two lands," as the Egyptians called their country. This dualism, however, has been denied by some.
I. The Country.
1. The Basis of the Land:
Though Egypt is one of the earliest countries in recorded history, and as regards its continuous civilization, yet it is a late country in its geological history and in its occupation by a settled population. The whole land up to Silsileh is a thick mass of Eocene limestone, with later marls over that in the lower districts. It has been elevated on the East, up to the mountains of igneous rocks many thousand feet high toward the Red Sea. It has been depressed on the West, down to the Fayum and the oases below sea-level. This strain resulted in a deep fault from North to South for some hundreds of miles up from the Mediterranean. This fault left its eastern side about 200 ft. above its western, and into it the drainage of the plateau poured, widening it out so as to form the Nile valley, as the permanent drain of Northeast Africa. The access of water to the rift seems to have caused the basalt outflows, which are seen as black columnar basalt South of the Fayum, and brown massive basalt at Khankah, North of Cairo.
2. The Nile Valley:
The gouging out of the Nile valley by rainfall must have continued when the land was 300 ft. higher than at present, as is shown by the immense fails of strata into collapsed caverns which were far below the present Nile level. Then, after the excavations of the valley, it has been submerged to 500 ft. lower than at present, as is shown by the rolled gravel beds and deposits on the tops of the water-worn cliffs, and the filling up of the tributary valleys-as at Thebes-by deep deposits, through which the subsequent stream beds have been scoured out. The land still had the Nile source 30 ft. higher than it is now within the human period, as seen by the worked flints in high gravel beds above the Nile plain. The distribution of land and water was very different from that at present when the land was only 100 ft. lower than now. Such a change would make the valley an estuary up to South of the Fayum, would submerge much of the western desert, and would unite the Gulf of Suez and the Mediterranean. Such differences would entirely alter the conditions of animal life by sea and land. And as the human period began when the water was considerably higher, the conditions of climate and of life must have greatly changed in the earlier ages of man's occupation.
3. Earliest Human Remains:
The earliest human remains belonging to the present condition of the country are large paleolithic flints found in the side valleys at the present level of the Nile. As these are perfectly fresh, and not rolled or altered, they show that paleolithic man lived in Egypt under the present conditions. The close of this paleolithic age of hunters, and the beginning of a settled population of cultivators, cannot have been before the drying up of the climate, which by depriving the Nile of tributary streams enfeebled it so that its mud was deposited and formed a basis for agriculture. From the known rate of deposit, and depth of mud soil, this change took place about 10,000 years ago. As the recorded history of the country extends 7,500 years, and we know of two prehistoric ages before that, it is pretty well fixed that the disappearance of paleolithic man, and the beginning of the continuous civilization must have been about 9,000 to 10,000 years ago. For the continuation of this subject see the section on "History" below.
The climate of Egypt is unique in the world. So far as solar heat determines it, the condition is tropical; for, though just North of the tropic which lies at the boundary of Egypt and Nubia, the cloudless condition fully compensates for higher latitude. So far as temperature of the air is concerned, the climate is temperate, the mean heat of the winter months being 52 degree and of the summer about 80 degree, much the same as Italy. This is due to the steady prevalence of north winds, which maintain fit conditions for active, strenuous work. The rainlessness and dry air give the same facility of living that is found in deserts, where shelter is only needed for temperature and not for wet; while the inundation provides abundant moisture for the richest crops.
5. Conditions of Life:
The primitive condition-only recently changed-of the crops being all raised during five cool months from November to April, and the inundation covering the land during all the hot weather, left the population free from labor during the enervating season, and only required their energies when work was possible under favorable conditions. At the same time it gave a great opportunity for monumental work, as any amount of labor could be drawn upon without the smallest reduction in the produce of the country. The great structures which covered the land gave training and organization to the people, without being any drain upon the welfare of the country. The inundation covering the plain also provided the easiest transport for great masses from the quarries at the time when labor was abundant. Thus the climatic conditions were all in favor of a great civilization, and aided its production of monuments. The whole mass of the country being of limestone, and much of it of the finest quality, provided material for construction at every point. In the south, sandstone and granite were also at hand upon the great waterway.
6. The Nile:
The Nile is the great factor which makes life possible in Northeast Africa, and without it Egypt would only be a desolate corner of the Sahara. The union of two essentially different streams takes place at Kharrum. The White or light Nile comes from the great plains of the Sudan, while the Blue or dark Nile descends from the mountains of Abyssinia. The Sudan Nile from Gondokoro is filtered by the lakes and the sudd vegetation, so that it carries little mud; the Abyssinian Nile, by its rapid course, brings down all the soil which is deposited in Egypt, and which forms the basis for cultivation. The Sudan Nile rises only 6 ft. from April to November; while the Abyssinian Nile rises 26 ft. from April to August. The latter makes the rise of the inundation, while the Sudan Nile maintains the level into the winter. In Egypt itself the unchecked Nile at Aswan rises 25 ft. from the end of May to the beginning of September; while at Cairo, where modified by the irrigation system, it rises 16 ft. from May to the end of September. It was usually drained off the land by the beginning of November, and cultivation was begun. The whole cultivable land of Egypt is but the dried-up bed of the great river, which fills its ancient limits during a third of the year. The time taken by a flush of water to come down the Nile is about 15 days from 400 miles above Khartum to Aswan, and about 6 days from Aswan to Cairo, or 80 to 90 miles a day, which shows a flow of 3 to 3 1/2 miles an hour when in flood.
7. The Fauna:
The fauna has undergone great changes during the human period. At the close of the prehistoric age there are represented the giraffe, elephant, wild ox, lion, leopard, stag, long-necked gazelle and great dogs, none of which are found in the historic period. During historic times various kinds of antelopes have been exterminated, the hippopotamus was driven out of the Delta during Roman times, and the crocodile was cleared out of Upper Egypt and Nubia in the last century. Cranes and other birds shown on early sculptures are now unknown in the country. The animals still surviving are the wolf, jackal, hyena, dogs, ichneumon, jerboa, rats, mice, lizards (up to 4 ft. long) and snakes, besides a great variety of birds, admirably figured by Whymper, Birds of Egypt. Of tamed animals, the ox, sheep, goat and donkey are ancient; the cat and horse were brought in about 2000 B.C., the camel was not commonly known till 200 A.D., and the buffalo was brought to Egypt and Italy in the Middle Ages.
8. The Flora:
The cultivated plants of Egypt were numerous. In ancient times we find the maize (durrah), wheat, barley and lentil; the vine, currant, date palm, dum palm, fig, olive and pomegranate; the onion, garlic, cucumber, melon and radish; the sont acacia, sycamore and tamarisk; the flax, henna and clover; and for ornament, the lotus, convolvulus and many others. The extension of commerce brought in by the Greek period, the bean, pea, sesame, lupin, helbeh, colocasia and sugar-cane; also the peach, walnut, castor-oil and pear. In the Roman and Arabic ages came in the chick pea, oats, rice, cotton, orange and lemon. In recent times have come the cactus, aloe, tomato, Indian corn, lebbek acacia and beetroot. Many European flowering and ornamental plants were also used in Egypt by the Greeks, and brought in later by the Arabs.
9. The Prehistoric Races:
The original race in Egypt seems to have been of the steatopygous type now only found in South Africa. Figures of this race are known in the caves of France, in Malta, and later in Somaliland. As this race was still known in Egypt at the beginning of the neolithic civilization, and is there represented only by female figures in the graves, it seems that it was being exterminated by the newcomers and only the women were kept as slaves. The neolithic race of Egypt was apparently of the Libyan stock. There seems to have been a single type of the Amorites in Syria, the prehistoric Egyptians and the Libyans; this race had a high, well-filled head, long nose slightly aquiline, and short beard; the profile was upright and not prognathous, the hair was wavy brown. It was a better type than the present south Europeans, of a very capable and intelligent appearance. From the objects found, and the religious legends, it seems that this race was subdued by an eastern, and probably Arabian race, in the prehistoric age.
II. The History.
The founders of the dynastic history were very different, having a profile with nose and forehead in one straight line, and rather thick, but well-formed lips. Historically the indications point to their coming from about Somali land by water, and crossing into Egypt by the Koptos road from the Red Sea. The IInd Dynasty gave place to some new blood, probably of Sudany origin. In the VIth and VIIth Dynasties foreigners poured in apparently from the North, perhaps from Crete, judging by their foreign products. The XVth and XVIth Dynasties were Hyksos, or Semitic "princes of the desert" from the East. The XVIIth and XVIIIth Dynasties were Berber in origin. The XIXth Dynasty was largely Semitic from Syria. The XXIId Dynasty was headed by an eastern adventurer Sheshenq, or Shusinak, "the man of Susa." The XXVth Dynasty was Ethiopian. The XXVIth Dynasty was Libyan. The Greeks then poured into the Delta and the Fayum, and Hellenized Egypt. The Roman made but little change in the population; but during his rule the Arab began to enter the eastern side, and by 641 A.D. the Arab conquest swept the land, and brought in a large part-perhaps the majority-of the ancestors of the present inhabitants. After 3 centuries the Tunisians-the old Libyans-conquered Egypt again. The later administrations by Syrians, Circassians, Turks and others probably made no change in the general population. The economic changes of the past century have brought in Greeks, Italians and other foreigners to the large towns; but all these only amount to an eightieth of the population. The Coptics are the descendants of the very mixed Egyptians of Roman age, kept separate from the Arab invaders by their Christianity. They are mainly in Upper Egypt, where some villages are entirely Coptic, and are distinguished by their superior cleanliness, regularity, and the freedom of the women from unwholesome seclusion. The Coptics, though only a fifteenth of the population, have always had a large share of official posts, owing to their intelligence and ability being above that of the Muslim.
1. 1st and 2d Ages: Prehistoric:
In dealing with the history, we here follow the dating which was believed and followed by the Egyptians themselves. All the monumental remains agree with this, so far as they can check it; and the various arbitrary reductions that have been made on some periods are solely due to some critics preferring their internal sense to all the external facts. For the details involved in the chronology, see Historical Studies, II (British School of Archaeology in Egypt). The general outline of the periods is given here, and the detailed view of the connection with Old Testament history is treated in later sections.
The prehistoric age begins probably about 8000 B.C., as soon as there was a sufficient amount of Nile deposit to attract a settled population. The desert river valley of Egypt was probably one of the latest haunts of steatopygous Paleolithic man of the Bushman type. So soon as there was an opening for a pastoral or agricultural people, he was forced away by settlers from Libya. These settlers were clad in goatskins, and made a small amount of pottery by hand; they knew also of small quantities of copper, but mainly used flint, of which they gradually developed the finest working known in any age. They rapidly advanced in civilization. Their pottery of red polished ware was decorated with white clay patterns, exactly like the pottery still made in the mountains of Algeria. The forms of it were very varied and exquisitely regular, although made without the wheel. Their hardstone vases are finer than any of those of the historic ages. They adopted spinning, weaving and woodwork.
Upon these people came in others probably from the East, who brought in the use of the Arab face-veil, the belief in amulets, and the Persian lapis lazuli. Most of the previous forms of pottery disappear, and nearly all the productions are greatly altered. Copper became common, while gold, silver and lead were also known. Heliopolis was probably a center of rule.
2. 3d Age: Ist and IId Dynasties:
About 5900 B.C. a new people came in with the elements of the art of writing, and a strong political ability of organization. Before 5800 B.C. they had established kings at Abydos in Upper Egypt, and for 3 centuries they gradually increased their power. On the carved slates which they have left, the standards of the allied tribes are represented; the earliest in style shows the standard of Koptos, the next has a standard as far North as Hermopolis, and the latest bears the standard of Letopolis, and shows the conquest of the Fayum, or perhaps one of the coast lakes. This last is of the first king of the Ist Dynasty, Mena.
The conquest of all Egypt is marked by the beginning of the series of numbered dynasties beginning with Mena, at about 5550 B.C. The civilization rapidly advanced. The art was at its best under the third king, Zer, and thence steadily declined. Writing was still ideographic under Mena, but became more syllabic and phonetic toward the end of the dynasty. The work in hardstone was at its height in the vases of the early part of the Ist Dynasty, when an immense variety of beautiful stones appear. It greatly fell off on reaching the IId Dynasty. The tombs were all of timber, built in large pits in the ground.
3. 4th Age: IIIrd through VIth Dynasties:
The IInd Dynasty fell about 5000 B.C., and a new power rapidly raised the art from an almost barbarous state to its highest triumphs by about 4750 B.C., when the pyramid building was started. Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid in the IVth Dynasty, was one of the greatest rulers of Egypt. He organized the administration on lines which lasted for ages. He reformed the religious system, abolishing the endowments, and substituting models for the sacrifice of animals. He trained the largest body of skilled labor that ever appeared, for the building of his pyramid, the greatest and most accurate structure that the world has ever seen. The statuary of this age is more lifelike than that of any later age. The later reigns show steady decay in the character of work, with less dignity and more superficiality in the article
4. 5th Age: VIIth through XIVth Dynasties:
By about 4050 B.C., the decline of Egypt allowed of fresh people pressing in from the North, probably connected with Crete. There are few traces of these invaders; a curious class of barbaric buttons used as seals are their commonest remains. Probably the so-called "Hyksos sphinxes" and statues are of these people, and belong to the time of their attaining power in Egypt. By 3600 B.C., the art developed into the great ages of the XIth to the XIIth Dynasties which lasted about 2 centuries. The work is more scholastic and less natural than before; but it is very beautiful and of splendid accuracy. The exquisite jewelry of Dahshur is of this age. After some centuries of decay this civilization passed away.
5. 6th Age: XVth through XXIVth Dynasties:
The Semitic tribes had long been filtering into Egypt, and Babylonian Semites even ruled the land until the great migration of the Hyksos took place about 2700 B.C. These tribes were ruled by kings entitled "princes of the desert," like the Semitic Absha, or Abishai, shown in the tomb of Beni-hasan, as coming to settle in Egypt. By 1700 B.C. the Berbers who had adopted the Egyptian civilization pressed down from the South, and ejected the Hyksos rule. This opened the most flourishing period of Egyptian history, the XVIIIth Dynasty, 1587-1328 B.C. The profusion of painted tombs at Thebes, which were copied and popularized by Gardner Wilkinson, has made the life of this period very familiar to us. The immense temples of Karnak and of Luqsor, and the finest of the Tombs of the Kings have impressed us with the royal magnificence of this age. The names of Thothmes I and III, of the great queen Hatshepsut, of the magnificent Amenhotep III, and of the monotheist reformer Akchenaton are among those best known in the history. Their foreign connections we shall notice later.
The XIXth and XXth Dynasties were a period of continual degradation from the XVIIIth. Even in the best work of the 6th Age there is hardly ever the real solidity and perfection which is seen in that of the 4th or 5th Ages. But under the Ramessides cheap effects and showy imitations were the regular system. The great Rameses II was a great advertiser, but inferior in power to half a dozen kings of the previous dynasty. In the XXth Dynasty one of the royal daughters married the high priest of Amen at Thebes; and on the unexpected death of the young Rameses V, the throne reverted to his uncle Rameses VI, whose daughter then became the heiress, and her descendants, the high priests of Amen, became the rightful rulers. This priestly rule at Thebes; beginning in 1102 B.C., was balanced by a purely secular rule of the north at Tanis (Zoan). These lasted until the rise of Sheshenq I (Shishak) in 952 B.C., the founder of the XXIId Dynasty. His successors gradually decayed till the fall of the XXIIIrd Dynasty in 721 B.C. The Ethiopian XXVIth Dynasty then held Egypt as a province of Ethiopia, down to 664 B.C.
6. 7th Age: XXVth Dynasty to Roman Times:
It is hard to say when the next age began-perhaps with the Ethiopians; but it rose to importance with the XXVIth Dynasty under Psamtek (Psammitichos I), 664-610 B.C., and continued under the well-known names of Necoh, Hophra and Amasis until overthrown by the Persians in 525 B.C. From 405 to 342 the Egyptians were independent; then the Persians again crushed them, and in 332 they fell into the hands of the Macedonians by the conquest of Alexander.
The Macedonian Age of the Ptolemies was one of the richest and most brilliant at its start, but soon faded under bad rulers till it fell hopelessly to pieces and succumbed to the Roman subjection in 30 B.C. From that time Egypt was ground by taxation, and steadily impoverished. By 300 A.D. it was too poor to keep even a copper currency in circulation, and barter became general. Public monuments entirely ceased to be erected, and Decius in 250 A.D. is the last ruler whose name was written in the old hieroglyphs, which were thenceforward totally forgotten. After three more centuries of increasing degradation and misery, the Arab invasion burst upon the land, and a few thousand men rode through it and cleared out the remaining effete garrisons of the empire in 641 A.D.
7. 8th Age: Arabic:
The Arab invasion found the country exhausted and helpless; repeated waves of tribes poured in, and for a generation or two there was no chance of a settlement. Gradually the majority of the inhabitants were pressed into Islam, and by about 800 A.D. a strong government was established from Bagdad, and Egypt rapidly advanced. In place of being the most impoverished country it became the richest land of the Mediterranean. The great period of medieval Egypt was under the guidance of the Mesopotamian civilization, 800-969 A.D. The Tunisian dominion of the Fatimites, 969-1171, was less successful. Occasionally strong rulers arose, such as Salah-ed-Din (Saladin), but the age of the Mamalukes, 1250-1577, was one of steady decline. Under the Turkish dominion, 1517, Egypt was split up into many half-independent counties, whose rulers began by yielding tribute, but relapsed into ignoring the Caliphate and living in continual internal feuds. In 1771 Aly Bey, a slave, succeeded in conquering Syria. The French and British quarrel left Muhamed Aly to rise supreme, and to guide Egypt for over 40 years. Again Egypt conquered Syria, 1831-39, but was compelled by Europe to retreat. The opening of the Suez Canal (1869) necessarily led to the subjection of Egypt to European direction.
8. Early Foreign Connections:
The foreign connections of Egypt have been brought to light only during the last 20 years. In place of supposing that Egypt was isolated until the Greek conquest, we now see that it was in the closest commercial relation with the rest of the world throughout its history. We have already noted the influences which entered by conquest. During the periods of high civilization in Egypt, foreign connections came into notice by exploration and by trade. The lazuli of Persia was imported in the prehistoric age, as well as the emery of Smyrna. In the Ist Dynasty, Egypt conquered and held Sinai for the sake of the turquoise mines. In the IIIrd Dynasty, large fleets of ships were built, some as much as 160 ft. long; and the presence of much pottery imported from Crete and the north, even before this, points to a Mediterranean trade. In the Vth Dynasty, King Unas had relations with Syria. From the XIIth Dynasty comes the detailed account of the life of an Egyptian in Palestine (Sanehat); and Cretan pottery of this age is found traded into Egypt.
III. The Old Testament Connections.
1. Semitic Connections:
The Hyksos invasion unified the rule of Syria and Egypt, and Syrian pottery is often found in Egypt of this age. The return of the wave, when Egypt drove out the Hyksos, and conquered Syria out to the Euphrates, was the greatest expansion of Egypt. Tahutmes I set up his statue on the Euphrates, and all Syria was in his hands. Tahutmes III repeatedly raided Syria, bringing back plunder and captives year by year throughout most of his reign. The number of Syrian artists and of Syrian women brought into Egypt largely changed the style of art and the standard of beauty. Amenhotep III held all Syria in peace, and recorded his triumphs at the Euphrates on the walls of the temple of Soleb far up in Nubia. His monotheist son, Amenhotep IV, took the name of Akhenaton, "the glory of the sun's disc," and established the worship of the radiant sun as the Aton, or Adon of Syria. The cuneiform letters from Tell el-Amarna place all this age before us in detail. There are some from the kings of the Amorites and Hittites, from Naharain and even Babylonia, to the great suzerain Amenhotep III. There is also the long series describing the gradual loss of Syria under Akhenaton, as written by the governors and chiefs, of the various towns. The main letters are summarized in the Students' History of Egypt, II, and full abstracts of all the letters are in Syria and Egypt, arranged in historical order.
Pal was reconquered by Seti I and his son Rameses II, but they only held about a third of the extent which formerly belonged to Amenhotep III. Merenptah, son of Rameses, also raided Southern Palestine. After that; it was left alone till the raid of Sheshenq in 933 B.C. The only considerable assertion of Egyptian power was in Necoh's two raids up to the Euphrates, in 609 and 605 B.C. But Egypt generally held the desert and a few minor points along the south border of Palestine. The Ptolemies seldom possessed more than that, their aspirations in Syria not lasting as permanent conquests. They were more successful in holding Cyprus.
2. Abramic Times:
We now come to the specific connections of Egypt with the Old Testament. The movement of the family of Abram from Ur in the south of Mesopotamia up to Haran in the north (Genesis 11:31) and thence down Syria into Egypt (Genesis 12:5, 10) was like that of the earlier Semitic "princes of the desert," when they entered Egypt as the Hyksos kings about 2600 B.C. Their earlier dominion was the XVth Dynasty of Egypt, and that was followed by another movement, the XVIth Dynasty, about 2250 B.C., which was the date of the migration of Terah from Ur. Thus the Abramic family took part in the second Hyksos movement. The cause of these tribal movements has been partly explained by Mr. Huntington's researches on the recurrence of dry periods in Asia (Royal Geogr. Soc., May 26, 1910: The Pulse of Asia). Such lack of rain forces the desert peoples on to the cultivated lands, and then later famines are recorded. The dry age which pushed the Arab tribes on to the Mediterranean in 640 A.D. was succeeded by famines in Egypt during 6 centuries So as soon as Abram moved into Syria a famine pushed him on to Egypt (Genesis 12:10). To this succeeded other famines in Canaan (Genesis 26:1), and later in both Canaan and Egypt (Genesis 41:56; Genesis 43:1; Genesis 47:13). The migration of Abram was thus conditioned by the general dry period, which forced the second Hyksos movement of which it was a part. The culture of the Hyksos was entirely nomadic, and agrees in all that we can trace with the patriarchal culture pictured in Gen.
Circumcision was a very ancient mutilation in Egypt, and is still kept up there by both Muslim and Christian. It was first adopted by Abram for Ishmael, the son of the Egyptian Hagar (Genesis 16:3; Genesis 17:23), before Isaac was promised. Hagar married Ishmael to an Egyptian (Genesis 21:21), so that the Ishmaelites, or Hagarenes, of Gilead and Moab were three-quarters Egyptian.
At Gerar, in the south of Palestine, Egyptian was the prevailing race and language, as the general of Abimelech was Phichol, the Egyptian name Pa-khal, "the Syrian," showing that the Gerarites were not Syrians.
The history of Joseph rising to importance as a capable slave is perfectly natural in Egypt at that time, and equally so in later periods down to our own days. That this occurred during the Hyksos period is shown by the title given to Joseph-Abrekh, ('abhrekh) (Genesis 41:43) which is Abarakhu, the high Babylonian title. The names Zaphnath-paaneah, Asenath, and Potipherah have been variously equated in Egyptian, Naville seeing forms of the XVIIIth Dynasty in them, but Spiegelberg, with more probability, seeing types of names of the XXIInd Dynasty or later. The names are most likely an expansion of the original document; but there is not a single feature or incident in the relations of Joseph to the Egyptians which is at all improbable from the history and civilization that we know. SeeJOSEPH.
5. Descent into Egypt:
The descent into Egypt and sojourn there are what might be expected of any Semitic tribe at this time. The allocation in Goshen (Genesis 47:27) was the most suitable, as that was on the eastern border of the Delta, at the mouth of the Wady Tumilat, and was a district isolated from the general Egyptian population. The whole of Goshen is not more than 100 square miles, being bounded by the deserts, and by the large Egyptian city of Budastis on the West. The accounts of the embalming for 40 days and mourning for 70 days (Genesis 50:3), and putting in a coffin (Genesis 50:26) are exact. The 70 days' mourning existed both in the Ist Dynasty and in the XXth.
6. The Oppression:
The oppression in Egypt began with a new king that knew not Joseph. This can hardly be other than the rise of the Berber conquerors who took the Delta from the Hyksos at the beginning of the XVIIIth Dynasty, 1582 B.C., and expelled the Hyksos into Syria. It could not be later than this, as the period of oppression in Egypt is stated at 4 centuries (Genesis 15:13 Acts 7:6), and the Exodus cannot be later than about 1220 B.C., which leaves 360 years for the oppression. Also this length of oppression bars any much earlier date for the Exodus. The 360 years of oppression from 430 of the total sojourn in Egypt, leaves 70 years of freedom there. As Joseph died at 110 (Genesis 50:26), this implies that he was over 40 when his family came into Egypt, which would be quite consistent with the history.
7. The Historic Position:
The store cities Pithom and Raamses are the sites Tell el-Maskhuta and Tell Rotab in the Wady Tumilat, both built by Rameses II as frontier defenses. It is evident then that the serving with rigor was under that king, probably in the earlier part of his long reign of 67 years (1300-1234 B.C.), when he was actively campaigning in Palestine.
Read Complete Article...
PLAGUES OF EGYPT
plagz (niphle'oth, "wonders "from pala', "to be separate," i.e. in a class by themselves; also called negheph, "plague," from naghaph, "to smite" (Exodus 9:14), and negha`, "a stroke," from nagha`, "to touch" (Exodus 11:1; compare Joshua 24:10)):
I. NATURAL PHENOMENA
1. Water Turned to Blood
2. The Plague of Frogs
3. The Plague of Lice
4. The Plague of Flies
5. The Plague of Murrain
6. The Plague of Boils
7. The Plague of Hail
8. The Plague of Locusts
9. The Plague of Darkness
10. Death of the Firstborn
II. MIRACULOUS USE OF THE PHENOMENA
4. Orderliness and Increasing Severity
5. Arrangement to Accomplish Divine Moral Purpose
III. DIVINE MORAL PURPOSE
1. Discrediting of the gods of Egypt
2. Pharaoh Made to Know that Yahweh Is Lord
3. Revelation of God as Saviour
4. Exhibition of the Divine Use of Evil
The Hebrew words are so used as to give the name "plagues" to all the "wonders" God did against Pharaoh. Thus, it appears that the language in the account in Exodus puts forward the wondrous character of these dealings of Yahweh with Pharaoh. The account of the plagues is found in Exodus 7:8-12:31 Psalm 78:42-51; Psalm 105:27-36. These poetical accounts of the plagues have a devotional purpose and do not give a full historical narrative. Psalm 78 omits plagues 4, 6, 9; Psalm 105 omits plagues 5 and 6. Both psalms change the order of the plagues. Account of the preparation which led up to the plagues is found in the narrative of the burning bush (see BUSH, BURNING), the meeting of Aaron with Moses, the gathering together of the elders of Israel for instruction and the preliminary wonders before Pharaoh (Exodus 3; Exodus 4). This preparation contemplated two things important to be kept in view in considering the plague, namely, that the consummation of plagues was contemplated from the beginning (Exodus 4:22, 23), and that the skepticism of Israel concerning Moses authority and power was likewise anticipated (Exodus 4:1). It was thus manifestly not an age of miracles when the Israelites were expecting such "wonders" and ready to receive anything marvelous as a divine interposition. This skepticism of Israel is a valuable asset for the credibility of the account of the "wonders." The immediate occasion of the plagues was the refusal of Pharaoh to let the people have liberty for sacrifice, together with the consequent hardening of Pharaoh's heart. No indication of any localizing of the plagues is given except in Psalm 78:12, 43, where the "field of Zoan" is mentioned as the scene of the contest between Yahweh and the Egyptians. But this is poetry, and the "field of Zoan" means simply the territory of the great capital Zoan. This expression might be localized in the Delta or it might extend to the whole of Egypt. Discussion of the plagues has brought out various classifications of them, some of which are philosophical, as that of Philo, others fanciful, as that of Origen. Arrangements of the order of the plagues for the purpose of moralizing are entirely useless for historical consideration of the plagues. The only order of any real value is the order of Nature, i.e. the order in which the plagues occurred, which will be found to be the order of the natural phenomena which were the embodiment of the plagues.
Much elaborate effort has been made to derive from the description of the plagues evidence for different documents in the narrative. It is pointed out that Moses (E) declared to Pharaoh that he would smite the waters (Exodus 7:17), and then the account, as it proceeds, tells us that Aaron smote the waters (Exodus 7:19, 20). But this is quite in accord with the preceding statement (Exodus 4:16) that Aaron was to be the spokesman. Moses was to deal with God, Aaron with Pharaoh. Again it is noticed that some of the plagues are ascribed to the immediate agency of Yahweh, some are represented as coming through the mediation of Moses, and still others through the mediation of Moses and Aaron. Certainly this may be an exact statement of facts, and, if the facts were just so, the record of the facts affords no evidence of different documents.
An examination of the account of the plagues as it stands will bring them before us in a most graphic and connected story.
I. The Natural Phenomena.
All the "wonders" represented anywhere in Scripture as done by the power of God are intimately associated with natural phenomena, and necessarily so. Human beings have no other way of perceiving external events than through those senses which only deal with natural phenomena. Accordingly, all theophanies and miraculous doings are embodied in natural events.
The presence of Yahweh with the sacrifice by Abraham was manifested by the passing of a "smoking furnace and a burning lamp" between the pieces of the offerings (Genesis 15:17 the King James Version). The majesty and power of God at Sinai were manifested in the "cloud" and the "brightness," the "voice" and the "sound of a trumpet" (Hebrews 12:19). The Holy Spirit descended "as a dove" (Matthew 3:16). The Deity of Jesus was attested on the mountain by a "voice" (Matthew 17:5). Jesus Himself was "God.... manifest in the flesh" (1 Timothy 3:16 the King James Version). He was "found in fashion as a man' (Philippians 2:8). And all the miracles of Jesus were coupled with sensible phenomena: He spoke to the sea and it was calm; He touched the leper and he was clean; He called to Lazarus and he came forth.
Yet in all these natural events, the miraculous working of God was as clearly seen as the natural phenomena. It is thus to be expected that the "wonders" of God in the land of Pharaoh should also be associated with natural events as well as manifest miraculous elements. The "blood" in the river, the "frogs" hopping about on the land, the "lice," the "flies," the "murrain," the "boils," the "hail," the "locusts," the "darkness," and the "pestilence" are all named as natural phenomena. Long familiarity with the land of Egypt has made it perfectly plain to many intelligent people, also, that nearly, if not quite, all the plagues of Egypt are still in that land as natural phenomena, and occur, when they do occur, very exactly in the order in which we find them recorded in the narrative in Exodus. But natural events in the plagues as in other "wonders" of God embodied miraculous doings.
1. Water Turned to Blood:
The first of the plagues (dam, from 'adham, "to be red" (Exodus 7:19-25)) was brought about by the smiting of the water with the rod in the hand of Aaron, and it consisted in the defilement of the water so that it became as "blood." The waters were polluted and the fish died. Even the water in vessels which had been taken from the river became corrupt. The people were forced to get water only from wells in which the river water was filtered through the sand. There are two Egyptian seasons when, at times, the water resembles blood. At the full Nile the water is sometimes of a reddish color, but at that season the water is quite potable and the fish do not die. But a similar phenomenon is witnessed sometimes at the time of the lowest Nile just before the rise begins. Then also the water sometimes becomes defiled and very red, so polluted that the fish die (Bib. Sacra, 1905, 409). This latter time is evidently the time of the first plague. It would be some time in the month of May. The dreadful severity of the plague constituted the "wonder" in this first plague. The startling character of the plague is apparent when it is remembered that Egypt is the product of the Nile, the very soil being all brought down by it, and its irrigation being constantly dependent upon it. Because of this it became one of the earliest and greatest of the gods (Breasted, Development of Religion and Thought in Egypt, 3-47; "Hymn to the Nile," Records of the Past, New Series, III, 46-54). The magicians imitated this plague with their enchantments. Their success may have been by means of sleight of hand or other devices of magic, as may be seen in the East today, with claim of supernatural aid, and as used in western lands for entertainment, as mere cleverness. Or it may be, as has been suggested, that they counted upon the continuance of the plague for at least a time, and so took advantage of the materials the "wonder" had provided.
2. The Plague of Frogs:
Frogs (tsphardeim, probably "marsh-leapers" (Exodus 8:1-15)) are very abundant just after the high Nile when the waters begin to recede. Spawn in the mud is hatched by the sun, and the marshes are filled with myriads of these creatures. The frog was the hieroglyph for myriads. The frogs usually remain in the marshes, but in this case they came forth to the horror and disgust of the people. "Frogs in the houses, frogs in the beds, frogs baked with the food in the ovens, frogs in the kneading troughs worked up with the flour; frogs with their monotonous croak, frogs with their cold slimy skins, everywhere-from morning to night, from night to morning-frogs." The frog was also associated with Divinity, was the symbol of Heqt, a form of Hathor, and seems also at times to have been worshipped as divinity. This plague created such horror that thus early Pharaoh came to an agreement (Exodus 8:8-10). A time was set for the disappearance of the frogs that he might know that "there is none like unto Yahweh our God," but when the frogs were dead, Pharaoh hardened his heart (Exodus 8:15). In this plague "the magicians did in like manner with their enchantments" (Exodus 8:7). Frogs were plentiful, and it would not seem to be difficult to claim to have produced some of them.
3. The Plague of Lice:
It is impossible to determine what particular troublesome insect pest of Egypt is meant by the 3rd plague, whether body-lice or mosquitoes or sandflies or ticks or fleas (kinnim, "gnats" (Exodus 8:16)). Those who have experience of these pests in Egypt are quite ready to accept any of them as adequate for the plague. Lice seem rather to be ruled out, unless different kinds of lice were sent, as there is no one kind that torments both man and beast. All the other insect pests appear in incredible numbers out of the "dust" when the pools have dried up after the receding of the waters. The assertion that the account of this plague is not complete, because it is not recorded that Pharaoh asked its removal or that Moses secured it, is amazing. Perhaps Pharaoh did not, in fact, ask its removal. There seems also at this time some difficulty in Moses having access to Pharaoh after this plague (Exodus 8:20). Perhaps the plague was not removed at all. The Egyptians are disposed to think it was not! Certainly that season of the year spent in Egypt, not in a dahabiyeh on the Nile, but in a native village, will furnish very satisfying evidence that stinging and biting insects are a very real plague in Egypt yet. The magicians failed with their enchantments and acknowledged that divine power was at work, and seem to have acknowledged that Yahweh was supreme (Exodus 8:19), but Pharaoh would not heed them.
4. The Plague of Flies:
As the seasons pass on, after the recession of the waters, the flies (`arobh, "swarms," probably of flies (Exodus 8:20-32)) become more and more numerous until they are almost a plague every year. The increased severity of this plague, and the providential interference to separate between Israel and the Egyptians, drove Pharaoh and his people to such desperation that Pharaoh gave a half-promise of liberty for Israel to sacrifice "in the land." This called out the statement that they would sacrifice the "abomination of the Egyptians." This may have referred to the sacrifice of sheep, which were always held in more or less detestation by Egyptians, or it may have had reference to the sacrifice of heifers, the cow being the animal sacred to the goddess Hathor. The new element of separation between the Israelites and the Egyptians introduced into this plague was another step toward establishing the claims of Yahweh to be the God of all the earth and to have taken Israel under His especial care.
5. The Plague of Murrain:
In addition to the separation established between Israel and the Egyptians, a definite time is now set for the coming of the 5th plague. It is to be noticed also that diseases of cattle (debher, "destruction" (Exodus 9:1-7)) and of men follow quickly after the plague of insects. This is in exact accord with the order of Nature as now thoroughly understood through the discovered relation of mosquitoes and flies to the spread of diseases. Rinderpest is still prevalent at times in Egypt, so that beef becomes very scarce in market and is sometimes almost impossible to obtain. It is a fact, also, that the prevalence eft cattle plague, the presence of boils among men (see 6, below) and the appearance of bubonic plague are found to be closely associated together and in this order. The mention of camels as affected by this plague is interesting. It is doubtful if any clear indication of the presence of the camel in Egypt so early as this has yet been found among the monuments of Egypt. There is in the Louvre museum one small antiquity which seems to me to be intended for the camel. But Professor Maspero does not agree that it is so. It would seem likely that the Hyksos, who were Bedouin princes, princes of the desert, would have introduced the beasts of the desert into Egypt. If they did so, that may have been sufficient reason that the Egyptians would not picture it, as the Hyksos and all that was theirs were hated in Egypt.
6. The Plague of Boils:
In the plague of boils (shechin, and 'abha`bu`oth, "boils" (Exodus 9:8-17)) ashes were used, probably in the same way and to the same end as the clay was used in opening the eyes of the blind man (John 9:6), i.e. to attract attention and to fasten the mind of the observer upon what the Lord was doing. This plague in the order of its coming, immediately after the murrain, and in the description given of it and in the significant warning of the "pestilence" yet to come (Exodus 9:15), appears most likely to have been pestis minor, the milder form of bubonic plague. Virulent rinder-pest among cattle in the East is regarded as the precursor of plague among men and is believed to be of the same nature. It may well be, as has been thought by some, that the great aversion of the ancient Egyptians to the contamination of the soil by decaying animals was from the danger thereby of starting an epidemic of plague among men (Dr. Merrins, Biblical Sacra, 1908, 422-23).
7. The Plague of Hail:
Hail (baradh, "hail" (Exodus 9:18-35)) is rare in Egypt, but is not unknown. The writer has himself seen a very little, and has known of one instance when a considerable quantity of hail as large as small marbles fell. Lightning, also, is not as frequent in Egypt as in many semi-tropical countries, yet great electric storms sometimes occur. This plague is quite accurately dated in the seasons of the year (Exodus 9:31, 32). As the first plague was just before the rising of the Nile, so this one is evidently about 9 months later, when the new crops after the inundation were beginning to mature, January-February. This plague also marks another great step forward in the revelation of Yahweh to Israel and to the Egyptians. First only His power was shown, then His wisdom in the timing of the plagues, and now His mercy appears in the warning to all godly-disposed Egyptians to save themselves, their herds and their servants by keeping all indoors (Exodus 9:19-21). Pharaoh also now distinctly acknowledged Yahweh (Exodus 9:27).
The plague of locusts ('arbeh, "locust" (Exodus 10:1-20)) was threatened, and so frightened were the servants of Pharaoh that they persuaded him to try to make some agreement with Moses, but the attempt of Pharaoh still to limit in some way the going of Israel thwarted the plan (Exodus 10:7-10).
8. The Plague of Locusts:
Then devouring swarms of locusts came up over the land from the eastern desert between the Nile and the Red Sea. They devoured every green thing left by the hail. The desperate situation created by the locusts soon brought Pharaoh again to acknowledgment of Yahweh (Exodus 10:16). This was the greatest profession of repentance yet manifested by Pharaoh, but he soon showed that it was deceitful, and again he would not let the people go. When the wind had swept the locusts away, he hardened his heart once more.
9. The Plague of Darkness:
The progress of the seasons has been quite marked from the first plague, just before the rising of the waters, on through the year until now the khamsin period (choshekh, "darkness" from any cause (Exodus 10:21-29)) has come. When this dreadful scourge comes with its hot sand-laden breath, more impenetrable than a London fog, it is in very truth a "darkness which may be felt." The dreadful horror of this monster from the desert can hardly be exaggerated. Once again Pharaoh said "Go," but this time he wished to retain the flocks and herds, a hostage for the return of the people (Exodus 10:24). Upon Moses' refusal to accept this condition, he threatened his life. Why had he not done so ere this? Why, indeed, did he let this man Moses come and go with such freedom, defying him and his people in the very palace? Probably Moses' former career in Egypt explains this. If, as is most probable, he had grown up at court with this Merenptah, and had been known as "the son of Pharaoh's daughter," heir to the throne and successor to Rameses II, instead of Merenptah, then this refugee had undoubtedly many friends still in Egypt who would make his death a danger to the reigning Pharaoh.
10. Death of the Firstborn:
No intimation is given of the exact character of the death inflicted on the firstborn (bekhor, "firstborn," "chief" or "best"; compare Job 18:13 Isaiah 14:30 (Exodus 11-12:36)) by the angel of the Lord, or its appearance. But it is already foretold as the "pestilence" (Exodus 9:15). The pestis major or virulent bubonic plague corresponds most nearly in its natural phenomena to this plague. It culminates in a sudden and overwhelming virulence, takes the strongest and best, and then subsides with startling suddenness.
Thus, it appears that probably all the plagues were based upon natural phenomena which still exist in Egypt in the same order, and, when they do occur, find place somewhere during the course of one year.
II. Miraculous Use of the Phenomena.
The miraculous elements in the plagues are no less distinctly manifest than the natural phenomena themselves.
There was an intensification of the effect of the various plagues so much beyond all precedent as to impress everyone as being a special divine manifestation, and it was so. There was national horror of the blood-like water, disgust at the frogs, intolerable torture by the stinging insects and flies, utter ruin of the farmers in the loss of the cattle, the beating down of the crops by the hail, and the devouring of every green thing by the locusts, the sufferings and dread of the inhabitants by reason of the boils, the frightful electric storm, the suffocating darkness and, finally, the crushing disaster of the death of the firstborn. All these calamities may be found in Egypt to the present day, but never any of them, not to say all of them, in such overwhelming severity. That all of them should come in one year and all with such devastation was plainly a divine arrangement. Merely natural events do not arrange themselves so systematically. In this systematic severity were seen miracles of power.
The prediction of the plagues and the fulfillment of the prediction at the exact time to a day, sometimes to an hour (as the cessation of the thunder and lightning): There was first a general prediction (Exodus 3:19, 20; Exodus 7:3; Exodus 9:14, 15) and an indication as the plagues went on that the climax would be pestilence (Exodus 9:15). Then several of the plagues were specifically announced and a time was set for them; e.g. the flies (Exodus 8:23), the murrain (Exodus 9:5), the hail (Exodus 9:18), the locusts (Exodus 10:4), the death of the firstborn (Exodus 11:4). In some cases a time for the removal of the plague was also specified: e.g. the frogs (Exodus 8:10), the thunder and lightning (Exodus 9:29). In every instance these predictions were exactly fulfilled. In some instances careful foresight might seem to supply in part this ability to predict. Perhaps it was by means of such foresight that the magicians "did so with their enchantments" for the first two plagues. The plague being in existence, foresight might safely predict that it would continue for a little time at least, so that, if the magicians sought for bloody water or called for frogs, they would seem to be successful. But the evidence which Yahweh produced went beyond them, and, at the third plague, they were unable to do anything. These things postulate, on the part of Moses and Aaron, knowledge far beyond human ken. Not only magicians could not do so with their enchantments, but modern science and discoveries are no more able so to predict events. Even meteorological phenomena are only predicted within the limits of reasonable foresight. Such wonders as the plagues of Egypt can in no wise be explained as merely natural. The prediction was a miracle of knowledge.
The discrimination shown in the visitation by the plagues presents another miraculous element more significant and important than either the miracles of power or the miracles of knowledge. God put a difference between the Egyptians and the Israelites, beginning with the plague of flies and continuing, apparently, without exception, until the end. Such miracles of moral purpose admit of no possible explanation but the exercise of a holy will. Merely natural events make no such regular, systematic discriminations.
4. Orderliness and Increasing Severity:
The orderliness and gradually increasing severity of the plagues with such arrangement as brought "judgment upon the gods of Egypt," vindicating Yahweh as Ruler over all, and educating the people to know Yahweh as Lord of all the earth, present an aspect of events distinctly non-natural. Such method reveals also a divine mind at work.
5. Arrangement to Accomplish Divine Moral Purpose:
Last of all and most important of all, the plagues were so arranged as to accomplish in particular a great divine moral purpose in the revelation of God to the Israelites, to the Egyptians and to all the world. This is the distinctive mark of every real miracle. And this leads us directly to the consideration of the most important aspect of the plagues.
III. Divine Moral Purpose.
1. Discrediting of the gods of Egypt:
This discrediting of the gods of Egypt is marked at every step of the progress of the plagues, and the accumulated effect of the repeated discrediting of the gods must have had, and, indeed, had, a great influence upon the Egyptians. The plagues did `execute judgment against the gods of Egypt' (Exodus 12:12), and the people and princes brought great pressure to bear upon Pharaoh to let the people go (Exodus 10:7). The magicians who claimed to represent the gods of Egypt were defeated, Pharaoh himself, who was accounted divine, was humbled, the great god, the Nile, was polluted, frogs defiled the temples and, at last, the sun, the greatest god of Egypt, was blotted out in darkness.
2. Pharaoh Made to Know that Yahweh Is Lord:
Pharaoh was made to know that Yahweh is Lord, and acknowledged it (Exodus 9:27; Exodus 10:16). To this end the issue was clearly drawn. Pharaoh challenged the right of Yahweh to command him (Exodus 5:2), and God required him then to "stand" to the trial until the evidence could be fully presented, in accordance with the fundamental principle that he who makes a charge is bound to stand to it until either he acknowledges its utter falsity or affords opportunity for full presentation of evidence. So we see God made Pharaoh to "stand" (Exodus 9:16) (while the Bible, which speaks in the concrete language of life, calls it the hardening of Pharaoh's heart) until the case was tried out (compare Lamb, Miracle of Science, 126-49).
3. Revelation of God as Saviour:
A more blessed and gracious moral purpose of the plagues was the revelation of God as the Saviour of the world. This began in the revelation at the burning bush, where God, in fire, appeared in the bush, yet the bush was not consumed, but saved. This revelation, thus given to the people, was further evidenced by the separation between Israel and the Egyptians; was made known even to the Egyptians by the warning before the plague of hail, that those Egyptians who had been impressed with the power of God might also learn that He is a God that will save those who give heed unto Him; and, at last, reached its startling climax when the angel of the Lord passed over the blood-marked door the night of the death of the firstborn and the institution of the Passover.
4. Exhibition of the Divine Use of Evil:
Last of all, the plagues had a great moral purpose in that they embodied the divine use of evil in the experience of men in this world. As the experience of Job illustrates the use of evil in the life of the righteous, so the plagues of Egypt illustrate the same great problem of evil in the lot of the wicked. In the one case, as in the other, the wonders of God are so arranged as "to justify the ways of God to men."
The minutely accurate knowledge of life in Egypt displayed by this narrative in the Book of Exodus is inconceivable in an age of so little and difficult intercommunication between nations, except by actual residence of the author in Egypt. This has an important bearing upon the time of the composition of this narrative, and so upon the question of its author.
The literature of this subject is almost endless. It will suffice to refer the reader to all the general comms., and the special commentaries on Exodus, for discussion of doctrinal and critical questions. Two admirable recent discussions of the plagues, in English, are Lamb, Miracle of Science, and Merrins, "The Plagues of Egypt," in Bibliotheca Sacra, 1908, July and October.
M. G. Kyle
EGYPT, BROOK (RIVER, STREAM) OF
See BROOK OF EGYPT.
RIVER OF EGYPT
See BROOK OF EGYPT.
Easton's Bible Dictionary
The land of the Nile and the pyramids, the oldest kingdom of which we have any record, holds a place of great significance in Scripture.
The Egyptians belonged to the white race, and their original home is still a matter of dispute. Many scholars believe that it was in Southern Arabia, and recent excavations have shown that the valley of the Nile was originally inhabited by a low-class population, perhaps belonging to the Nigritian stock, before the Egyptians of history entered it. The ancient Egyptian language, of which the latest form is Coptic, is distantly connected with the Semitic family of speech.
Egypt consists geographically of two halves, the northern being the Delta, and the southern Upper Egypt, between Cairo and the First Cataract. In the Old Testament, Northern or Lower Egypt is called Mazor, "the fortified land" (Isaiah 19:6; 37:25, where the A.V. mistranslates "defence" and "besieged places"); while Southern or Upper Egypt is Pathros, the Egyptian Pa-to-Res, or "the land of the south" (Isaiah 11:11). But the whole country is generally mentioned under the dual name of Mizraim, "the two Mazors."
The civilization of Egypt goes back to a very remote antiquity. The two kingdoms of the north and south were united by Menes, the founder of the first historical dynasty of kings. The first six dynasties constitute what is known as the Old Empire, which had its capital at Memphis, south of Cairo, called in the Old Testament Moph (Hosea 9:6) and Noph. The native name was Mennofer, "the good place."
The Pyramids were tombs of the monarchs of the Old Empire, those of Gizeh being erected in the time of the Fourth Dynasty. After the fall of the Old Empire came a period of decline and obscurity. This was followed by the Middle Empire, the most powerful dynasty of which was the Twelfth. The Fayyum was rescued for agriculture by the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty; and two obelisks were erected in front of the temple of the sun-god at On or Heliopolis (near Cairo), one of which is still standing. The capital of the Middle Empire was Thebes, in Upper Egypt.
The Middle Empire was overthrown by the invasion of the Hyksos, or shepherd princes from Asia, who ruled over Egypt, more especially in the north, for several centuries, and of whom there were three dynasties of kings. They had their capital at Zoan or Tanis (now San), in the north-eastern part of the Delta. It was in the time of the Hyksos that Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph entered Egypt. The Hyksos were finally expelled about B.C. 1600, by the hereditary princes of Thebes, who founded the Eighteenth Dynasty, and carried the war into Asia. Canaan and Syria were subdued, as well as Cyprus, and the boundaries of the Egyptian Empire were fixed at the Euphrates. The Soudan, which had been conquered by the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty, was again annexed to Egypt, and the eldest son of the Pharaoh took the title of "Prince of Cush."
One of the later kings of the dynasty, Amenophis IV., or Khu-n-Aten, endeavoured to supplant the ancient state religion of Egypt by a new faith derived from Asia, which was a sort of pantheistic monotheism, the one supreme god being adored under the image of the solar disk. The attempt led to religious and civil war, and the Pharaoh retreated from Thebes to Central Egypt, where he built a new capital, on the site of the present Tell-el-Amarna. The cuneiform tablets that have been found there represent his foreign correspondence (about B.C. 1400). He surrounded himself with officials and courtiers of Asiatic, and more especially Canaanitish, extraction; but the native party succeeded eventually in overthrowing the government, the capital of Khu-n-Aten was destroyed, and the foreigners were driven out of the country, those that remained being reduced to serfdom.
The national triumph was Marked by the rise of the Nineteenth Dynasty, in the founder of which, Rameses I., we must see the "new king, who knew not Joseph." His grandson, Rameses II., reigned sixty-seven years (B.C. 1348-1281), and was an indefatigable builder. As Pithom, excavated by Dr. Naville in 1883, was one of the cities he built, he must have been the Pharaoh of the Oppression. The Pharaoh of the Exodus may have been one of his immediate successors, whose reigns were short. Under them Egypt lost its empire in Asia, and was itself attacked by barbarians from Libya and the north.
The Nineteenth Dynasty soon afterwards came to an end; Egypt was distracted by civil war; and for a short time a Canaanite, Arisu, ruled over it.
Then came the Twentieth Dynasty, the second Pharaoh of which, Rameses III., restored the power of his country. In one of his campaigns he overran the southern part of Palestine, where the Israelites had not yet settled. They must at the time have been still in the wilderness. But it was during the reign of Rameses III. that Egypt finally lost Gaza and the adjoining cities, which were seized by the Pulista, or Philistines.
After Rameses III., Egypt fell into decay. Solomon married the daughter of one of the last kings of the Twenty-first Dynasty, which was overthrown by Shishak I., the general of the Libyan mercenaries, who founded the Twenty-second Dynasty (1 Kings 11:40; 14:25, 26). A list of the places he captured in Palestine is engraved on the outside of the south wall of the temple of Karnak.
In the time of Hezekiah, Egypt was conquered by Ethiopians from the Soudan, who constituted the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. The third of them was Tirhakah (2 Kings 19:9). In B.C. 674 it was conquered by the Assyrians, who divided it into twenty satrapies, and Tirhakah was driven back to his ancestral dominions. Fourteen years later it successfully revolted under Psammetichus I. of Sais, the founder of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. Among his successors were Necho (2 Kings 23:29) and Hophra, or Apries (Jeremiah 37:5, 7, 11). The dynasty came to an end in B.C. 525, when the country was subjugated by Cambyses. Soon afterwards it was organized into a Persian satrapy.
The title of Pharaoh, given to the Egyptian kings, is the Egyptian Per-aa, or "Great House," which may be compared to that of "Sublime Porte." It is found in very early Egyptian texts.
The Egyptian religion was a strange mixture of pantheism and animal worship, the gods being adored in the form of animals. While the educated classes resolved their manifold deities into manifestations of one omnipresent and omnipotent divine power, the lower classes regarded the animals as incarnations of the gods.
Under the Old Empire, Ptah, the Creator, the god of Memphis, was at the head of the Pantheon; afterwards Amon, the god of Thebes, took his place. Amon, like most of the other gods, was identified with Ra, the sun-god of Heliopolis.
The Egyptians believed in a resurrection and future life, as well as in a state of rewards and punishments dependent on our conduct in this world. The judge of the dead was Osiris, who had been slain by Set, the representative of evil, and afterwards restored to life. His death was avenged by his son Horus, whom the Egyptians invoked as their "Redeemer." Osiris and Horus, along with Isis, formed a trinity, who were regarded as representing the sun-god under different forms.
Even in the time of Abraham, Egypt was a flourishing and settled monarchy. Its oldest capital, within the historic period, was Memphis, the ruins of which may still be seen near the Pyramids and the Sphinx. When the Old Empire of Menes came to an end, the seat of empire was shifted to Thebes, some 300 miles farther up the Nile. A short time after that, the Delta was conquered by the Hyksos, or shepherd kings, who fixed their capital at Zoan, the Greek Tanis, now San, on the Tanic arm of the Nile. All this occurred before the time of the new king "which knew not Joseph" (Exodus 1:8). In later times Egypt was conquered by the Persians (B.C. 525), and by the Greeks under Alexander the Great (B.C. 332), after whom the Ptolemies ruled the country for three centuries. Subsequently it was for a time a province of the Roman Empire; and at last, in A.D. 1517, it fell into the hands of the Turks, of whose empire it still forms nominally a part. Abraham and Sarah went to Egypt in the time of the shepherd kings. The exile of Joseph and the migration of Jacob to "the land of Goshen" occurred about 200 years later. On the death of Solomon, Shishak, king of Egypt, invaded Palestine (1 Kings 14:25). He left a list of the cities he conquered.
A number of remarkable clay tablets, discovered at Tell-el-Amarna in Upper Egypt, are the most important historical records ever found in connection with the Bible. They most fully confirm the historical statements of the Book of Joshua, and prove the antiquity of civilization in Syria and Palestine. As the clay in different parts of Palestine differs, it has been found possible by the clay alone to decide where the tablets come from when the name of the writer is lost. The inscriptions are cuneiform, and in the Aramaic language, resembling Assyrian. The writers are Phoenicians, Amorites, and Philistines, but in no instance Hittites, though Hittites are mentioned. The tablets consist of official dispatches and letters, dating from B.C. 1480, addressed to the two Pharaohs, Amenophis III. and IV., the last of this dynasty, from the kings and governors of Phoenicia and Palestine. There occur the names of three kings killed by Joshua, Adoni-zedec, king of Jerusalem, Japhia, king of Lachish (Joshua 10:3), and Jabin, king of Hazor (11:1); also the Hebrews (Abiri) are said to have come from the desert.
The principal prophecies of Scripture regarding Egypt are these, Isaiah 19; Jeremiah 43: 8-13; 44:30; 46; Ezek. 29-32; and it might be easily shown that they have all been remarkably fulfilled. For example, the singular disappearance of Noph (i.e., Memphis) is a fulfilment of Jeremiah 46:19, Ezek. 30:13.
Strong's Hebrew4713. Mitsri -- inhab. of Egypt...
<< 4712, 4713. Mitsri. 4714 >>. inhab. of Egypt
. Transliteration: Mitsri Phonetic
Spelling: (mits-ree') Short Definition: Egyptian. ...
Egyptian, of Egypt
. ... /hebrew/4713.htm - 6k
67. Abel Mitsrayim -- "meadow of Egypt," a place East of the ...
... "meadow of Egypt," a place East of the Jordan. Transliteration: Abel Mitsrayim Phonetic
Spelling: (aw-bale' mits-rah'-yim) Short Definition: Abel-mizraim. ...
/hebrew/67.htm - 6k
7883. Shichor -- a stream on the border of Egypt
... << 7882, 7883. Shichor. 7884 >>. a stream on the border of Egypt. Transliteration:
Shichor Phonetic Spelling: (shee-khore') Short Definition: Nile. ...
/hebrew/7883.htm - 6k
2609. Chanes -- a place in Egypt
... a place in Egypt. Transliteration: Chanes Phonetic Spelling: (khaw-nace') Short
Definition: Hanes. ... Of Egyptian derivation; Chanes, a place in Egypt -- Hanes. ...
/hebrew/2609.htm - 5k
8471. Tachpanches -- a city in Egypt
... a city in Egypt. Transliteration: Tachpanches or Techaphneches Phonetic Spelling:
(takh-pan-khace') Short Definition: Tahpanhes. Word Origin of Eg. ...
/hebrew/8471.htm - 6k
6367. Pi Hachiroth -- a place on the E. border of Egypt
... Pi Hachiroth. 6368 >>. a place on the E. border of Egypt. Transliteration: Pi Hachiroth
Phonetic Spelling: (pee hah-khee-roth') Short Definition: Pi-hahiroth. ...
/hebrew/6367.htm - 6k
7486. Raamses -- a city in Egypt
... << 7485, 7486. Raamses or Rameses. 7487 >>. a city in Egypt. Transliteration: Raamses
or Rameses Phonetic Spelling: (rah-mes-ace') Short Definition: Rameses. ...
/hebrew/7486.htm - 6k
1657. Goshen -- a district in Egypt, also a city in S. Judah
... << 1656, 1657. Goshen. 1658 >>. a district in Egypt, also a city in S. Judah.
Transliteration: Goshen Phonetic Spelling: (go'-shen) Short Definition: Goshen. ...
/hebrew/1657.htm - 6k
5297. Noph -- a city in Egypt
... a city in Egypt. Transliteration: Noph Phonetic Spelling: (nofe) Short Definition:
Memphis. ... Noph. A variation of Moph; Noph, the capital of Upper Egypt -- Noph. ...
/hebrew/5297.htm - 6k
6364. Pi-beseth -- a place in Egypt
Pi-beseth. << 6363b, 6364. Pi-beseth. 6365 >>. a place in Egypt. Transliteration:
Pi-beseth Phonetic Spelling: (pee beh'-seth) Short Definition: Pi-beseth. ...
/hebrew/6364.htm - 5k