Egypt and the Bible -- By: Gary A. Byers
BSpade 17:3 (Summer 2004) p. 65
Egypt and the Bible
The land known today as Egypt has remained a remarkable constant through the millennia in Africa’s northeast corner. The modern name “Egypt” is Greek (Aigyptos), originating in the hieroglyphic hi-kuptah, “palace of the ka (soul) of (the god) Ptah.” Called Misr in Arabic today, it was Misrayim (Hebrew) in the Old Testament. Mentioned among the world’s initial 70 nations in the Table of Nations of Genesis 10, Misrayim was listed with the sons of Ham who settled Africa. Misrayim, dual of Misr, seemingly reflects the dual nature of ancient Egypt.
Egyptians called their country the “Two Lands,” considering the Nile Valley as Upper (southern) Egypt and the delta as Lower (northern) Egypt. Each was symbolized by a plant native to their region: the lotus (water lily) in Upper Egypt and the papyrus in Lower Egypt.
They also referred to their country as the “Black Land” (kemet), alluding to the inhabited river valley and delta. That was opposed to the “Red Land” (deshret), the desert—the Arabian Desert to the east and the Libyan Desert to the west.
Throughout history, Egyptians lived almost exclusively in the Nile River Valley and its expanded delta. Only ten percent of Egypt’s surface, it has supported 99 percent of the nation’s population from earliest times. Because the region receives minimal rain, the Nile’s annual flood has been critical for Egypt’s continuance.
BSpade 17:3 (Summer 2004) p. 66
Click here to subscribe