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Egypt

 

The Bible

Bible Usage:

Dictionaries:

  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: Yes
  • Included in Naves: Yes
  • Included in Smiths: Yes
  • Included in Websters: No
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: Yes
  • Included in BDB: Yes

Strongs Concordance:

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Egypt

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; Ezekiel 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, Ezekiel 30:13.


Hitchcock's Names Dictionary
Egypt

that troubles or oppresses; anguish


Naves Topical Index
Egypt

1. The country of

Called:

Rahab
Psalms 87:4; Psalms 89:10


Land of Ham
Psalms 105:23; Psalms 106:22


Limits of
Ezekiel 29:10

Fertility of
Genesis 13:10

Productions of
Numbers 11:5; Psalms 78:47; Proverbs 7:16; Isaiah 19:5-9

Irrigation employed in
Deuteronomy 11:10

Imports of
Genesis 37:25; Genesis 37:36

Exports of
Genesis 37:25; Genesis 37:36; 1 Kings 10:28-29; Proverbs 7:16; Ezekiel 27:7

Exports of horses
1 Kings 10:28-29

Famine in
1 Kings 1:41; Acts 7:11

Armies of
Exodus 14:7; Isaiah 31:1

Army of, destroyed in the Red Sea
Exodus 14:5-31; Isaiah 43:17

Magi of
Genesis 41:8; Exodus 7:11; 1 Kings 4:30; Acts 7:22

Priests of
Genesis 41:45; Genesis 47:22

Idols of
Ezekiel 20:7-8

Overflowed by the Nile
Amos 8:8; Amos 9:5

Plagues in
Plague

Joseph's captivity in, and subsequent rule over
Joseph

Civil war in
Isaiah 19:2

The king acquires title to land of
Genesis 47:18-26

Abraham dwells in
Genesis 12:10-20; Genesis 13:1

Israelites in bondage in
Israelites

Joseph takes Jesus to
Matthew 2:13-20

Prophecies against
Genesis 15:13-14; Genesis 23:19; Isaiah 20:2-6; Isaiah 45:14; Jeremiah 9:25-26; Jeremiah 43:8-13; Jeremiah 44:30; Jeremiah 24:46; Jeremiah 26:29; Hosea 8:13; Joel 3:11; Zech 10:11
Egyptians

Symbolic
Revelation 11:8

2. River, or brook of:
Sihor

A small stream flowing into the Mediterranean Sea, the western boundary of the land promised to the children of Israel
Genesis 15:18; Numbers 34:5; Joshua 13:3; Joshua 15:4; Joshua 15:47; 1 Kings 8:65; 2 Kings 24:7; Isaiah 27:12; Ezekiel 47:19; Ezekiel 48:28


Smith's Bible Dictionary
Egypt

(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


Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Egyptian

EGYP'TIAN, adjective Pertaining to Egypt in Africa.

EGYP'TIAN, noun A native of Egypt; also, a gypsy.


Smith's Bible Dictionary
Egyptian, Egyptians

the native or natives of Egypt.


Naves Topical Index
Egyptians

Descendants of the Mizraim
Genesis 10:6; Genesis 10:13-14

Wisdom of
1 Kings 4:30

The art of embalming the dead practiced by
Genesis 50:2-3; Genesis 50:26

Hospitality of, to Abraham
Genesis 12:10-20

Slaves bought by
Genesis 37:36

Oppress the Israelites
Genesis 2:1

Refuse to release the Israelites
Genesis 2:5

Visited by plagues
Genesis 2:7; Psalms 78:43-51

Firstborn of, destroyed
Exodus 12:29; Psalms 78:51; Psalms 105:36; Psalms 136:10

Send the Israelites away
Exodus 12:29-36

Pursue Israelites, and the army of, destroyed
Exodus 14:5-30; Psalms 106:11; Hebrews 11:29

Abhorred shepherds
Genesis 46:34

Refused to eat with Hebrews
Genesis 43:32

Alliances with, forbidden to the Israelites
Isaiah 30:2; Isaiah 31:1; Isaiah 36:6; Ezekiel 17:15; Ezekiel 29:6

Eligible to membership in Israelitish congregation in the third generation
Deuteronomy 23:7-8

Invade the land of Israel:

Under Shishak
1 Kings 14:25-26; 2 Chronicles 12:2-9

Under Pharaoh Nechoh
2 Kings 23:29-35; 2 Chronicles 35:20-24; 2 Chronicles 36:3-4

Aid the Israelites against the Chaldeans
Jeremiah 37:5-11

Intermarry with the Jews
1 Kings 3:1

An enthusiastic Egyptian instigated rebellion against Roman government
Acts 21:38

Prophecies of dispersion and restoration of
Ezekiel 29:12-15; Ezekiel 30:23; Ezekiel 30:26

Conversion of, foretold
Isaiah 19:18
Egypt