Stream of Egypt
(Isa. 27:12), the Wady el-'Arish, called also "the river of
Egypt," R.V., "brook of Egypt" (Num. 34:5; Josh. 15:4; 2 Kings
24:7). It is the natural boundary of Egypt. Occasionally in
winter, when heavy rains have fallen among the mountains inland,
it becomes a turbulent rushing torrent. The present boundary
between Egypt and Israel is about midway between el-'Arish
the name generally given to Upper Egypt (the Thebaid of the
Greeks), as distinguished from Matsor, or Lower Egypt (Isa.
11:11; Jer. 44:1, 15; Ezek. 30:14), the two forming Mizraim.
After the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, colonies
of Jews settled "in the country of Pathros" and other parts of
Phut is placed between Egypt and Canaan in Gen. 10:6, and
elsewhere we find the people of Phut described as mercenaries in
the armies of Egypt and Tyre (Jer. 46:9; Ezek. 30:5; 27:10). In
a fragment of the annuals of Nebuchadrezzar which records his
invasion of Egypt, reference is made to "Phut of the Ionians."
meadow of Egypt, or mourning of Egypt, a place "beyond," i.e.,
on the west of Jordan, at the "threshing-floor of Atad." Here
the Egyptians mourned seventy days for Jacob (Gen. 50:4-11). Its
site is unknown.
the name of a people in alliance with Egypt in the time of
Nebuchadnezzar. The word is found only in Ezek. 30:5. They were
probably a people of Northern Africa, or of the lands near Egypt
in the south.
the inhabitants of a thirsty or scorched land; the Lybians, an
African nation under tribute to Egypt (2 Chr. 12:3; 16:8). Their
territory was apparently near Egypt. They were probably the
one of those who opposed Moses in Egypt (2 Tim. 3:8). (See
occurs only in connection with the sixth plague of Egypt (Ex.
9:9, 10). In Deut. 28:27, 35, it is called "the botch of Egypt."
It seems to have been the fearful disease of black leprosy, a
kind of elephantiasis, producing burning ulcers.
a place in Egypt mentioned only in Isa. 30:4 in connection with
a reproof given to the Jews for trusting in Egypt. It was
considered the same as Tahpanhes, a fortified town on the
eastern frontier, but has been also identified as
Ahnas-el-Medeeneh, 70 miles from Cairo.
the dual form of matzor, meaning a "mound" or "fortress," the
name of a people descended from Ham (Gen. 10:6, 13; 1 Chr. 1:8,
11). It was the name generally given by the Hebrews to the land
of Egypt (q.v.), and may denote the two Egypts, the Upper and
the Lower. The modern Arabic name for Egypt is Muzr.
opening (Ezek. 29:10; 30:6), a town of Egypt, on the borders of
Ethiopia, now called Assouan, on the right bank of the Nile,
notable for its quarries of beautiful red granite called
"syenite." It was the frontier town of Egypt in the south, as
Migdol was in the north-east.
occurs only in Jer. 6:29, in relation to the casting of metal.
Probably they consisted of leather bags similar to those common
(correctly Shi'hor) black; dark the name given to the river Nile
in Isa. 23:3; Jer. 2:18. In Josh. 13:3 it is probably "the river
of Egypt", i.e., the Wady el-Arish (1 Chr. 13:5), which flows
"before Egypt", i.e., in a north-easterly direction from Egypt,
and enters the sea about 50 miles south-west of Gaza.
the last king of Egypt of the Ethiopian (the fifteenth) dynasty.
He was the brother-in-law of So (q.v.). He probably ascended the
throne about B.C. 692, having been previously king of Ethiopia
(2 Kings 19:9; Isa. 37:9), which with Egypt now formed one
nation. He was a great warrior, and but little is known of him.
The Assyrian armies under Esarhaddon, and again under
Assur-bani-pal, invaded Egypt and defeated Tirhakah, who
afterwards retired into Ethiopia, where he died, after reigning
fortified, a people descended from Mizraim (Gen. 10:14; 1 Chr.
1:12). Their original seat was probably somewhere in Lower
Egypt, along the sea-coast to the south border of Israel.
Cush of double wickedness, or governor of two presidencies, the
king of Mesopotamia who oppressed Israel in the generation
immediately following Joshua (Judg. 3:8). We learn from the
Tell-el-Amarna tablets that Israel had been invaded by the
forces of Aram-naharaim (A.V., "Mesopotamia") more than once,
long before the Exodus, and that at the time they were written
the king of Aram-naharaim was still intriguing in Canaan. It is
mentioned among the countries which took part in the attack upon
Egypt in the reign of Rameses III. (of the Twentieth Dynasty),
but as its king is not one of the princes stated to have been
conquered by the Pharaoh, it would seem that he did not actually
enter Egypt. As the reign of Rameses III. corresponds with the
Israelitish occupation of Canaan, it is probable that the
Egyptian monuments refer to the oppression of the Israelites by
Chushan-rishathaim. Canaan was still regarded as a province of
Egypt, so that, in attacking it Chushan-rishathaim would have
been considered to be attacking Egypt.
(Gen. 43:16). It was the custom in Egypt to dine at noon. But it
is probable that the Egyptians took their principal meal in the
evening, as was the general custom in the East (Luke 14:12).
i.e., PHARAOH-HOPHRA (called Apries by the Greek historian
Herodotus) king of Egypt (B.C. 591-572) in the time of Zedekiah,
king of Judah (Jer. 37:5 44:30; Ezek. 29:6, 7).
assembly, the second son of Levi, and father of Amram (Gen.
46:11). He came down to Egypt with Jacob, and lived to the age
of one hundred and thirty-three years (Ex. 6:18).
the country of the Ludim (Gen. 10:13), Northern Africa, a large
tract lying along the Mediterranean, to the west of Egypt (Acts
2:10). Cyrene was one of its five cities.
probably the same as Lud (2) (comp. Gen. 10:13; 1 Chr. 1:11).
They are associated (Jer. 46:9) with African nations as
mercenaries of the king of Egypt.
strong, the second son of Judah (Gen. 38:4-10; comp. Deut. 25:5;
Matt. 22:24). He died before the going down of Jacob and his
family into Egypt.
River of Egypt
(1.) Heb. nahar mitsraim, denotes in Gen. 15:18 the Nile, or its
eastern branch (2 Chr. 9:26). (2.) In Num. 34:5 (R.V., "brook of
Egypt") the Hebrew word is _nahal_, denoting a stream flowing
rapidly in winter, or in the rainy season. This is a desert
stream on the borders of Egypt. It is now called the Wady
el-'Arish. The present boundary between Egypt and Israel is
about midway between this wady and Gaza. (See Num. 34:5; Josh.
15:4, 47; 1 Kings 8:65; 2 Kings 24:7; Isa. 27:12; Ezek. 47:19.
In all these passages the R.V. has "brook" and the A.V.
tower. (1.) A strongly-fortified place 12 miles from Pelusium,
in the north of Egypt (Jer. 44:1; 46:14). This word is rendered
"tower" in Ezek. 29:10, but the margin correctly retains the
name Migdol, "from Migdol to Syene;" i.e., from Migdol in the
north to Syene in the south, in other words, the whole of Egypt.
(2.) A place mentioned in the passage of the Red Sea (Ex.
14:2; Num. 33:7, 8). It is probably to be identified with Bir
Suweis, about 2 miles from Suez.
the Hebrew name of an Egyptian city (Isa. 19:13; Jer.2:16; 44:1;
46:14, 19; Ezek. 30:13, 16). In Hos. 9:6 the Hebrew name is
Moph, and is translated "Memphis," which is its Greek and Latin
form. It was one of the most ancient and important cities of
Egypt, and stood a little to the south of the modern Cairo, on
the western bank of the Nile. It was the capital of Lower Egypt.
Among the ruins found at this place is a colossal statue of
Rameses the Great. (See MEMPHIS ¯T0002478.)
an enclosure; a wall, a part, probably, of the Arabian desert,
on the north-eastern border of Egypt, giving its name to a
wilderness extending from Egypt toward Philistia (Gen. 16:7;
20:1; 25:18; Ex.15:22). The name was probably given to it from
the wall (or shur) which the Egyptians built to defend their
frontier on the north-east from the desert tribes. This wall or
line of fortifications extended from Pelusium to Heliopolis.
Found only in 1 Kings 10:28, 2 Chr. 1:16. The Heb. word mikveh,
i.e., "a stringing together," so rendered, rather signifies a
host, or company, or a string of horses. The Authorized Version
has: "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen
yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price;"
but the Revised Version correctly renders: "And the horses which
Solomon had were brought out of Egypt; the king's merchants
received them in droves, each drove at a price."
mentioned in 2 Sam. 17:28 as having been brought to David when
flying from Absalom. They formed a constituent in the bread
Ezekiel (4:9) was commanded to make, as they were in general
much used as an article of diet. They are extensively cultivated
in Egypt and Arabia and Syria.
The observance of birth-days was common in early times (Job 1:4,
13, 18). They were specially celebrated in the land of Egypt
(Gen. 40:20). There is no recorded instance in Scripture of the
celebration of birth-days among the Jews. On the occasion of
Herod's birth-day John the Baptist was beheaded (Matt. 14:6).
(Ex. 9:31), meaning "swollen or podded for seed," was adopted in
the Authorized Version from the version of Coverdale (1535). The
Revised Version has in the margin "was in bloom," which is the
more probable rendering of the Hebrew word. It is the fact that
in Egypt when barley is in ear (about February) flax is
of Israel in Egypt (Ex. 2:23, 25; 5), which is called the "house
of bondage" (13:3; 20:2). This word is used also with reference
to the captivity in Babylon (Isa. 14:3), and the oppression of
the Persian king (Ezra 9:8, 9).
(batsek, meaning "swelling," i.e., in fermentation). The dough
the Israelites had prepared for baking was carried away by them
out of Egypt in their kneading-troughs (Ex. 12:34, 39). In the
process of baking, the dough had to be turned (Hos. 7:8).
servant (Gen. 16:1; Ruth 3:9; Luke 1:48). It is probable that
Hagar was Sarah's personal attendant while she was in the house
of Pharaoh, and was among those maid-servants whom Abram had
brought from Egypt.
a girdle of, worn by Elijah (2 Kings 1:8) and John the Baptist
(Matt. 3:4). Leather was employed both for clothing (Num. 31:20;
Heb. 11:37) and for writing upon. The trade of a tanner is
mentioned (Acts 9:43; 10:6, 32). It was probably learned in
an artificer in stone. The Tyrians seem to have been specially
skilled in architecture (1 Kings 5:17, 18; 2 Sam. 5:11). This
art the Hebrews no doubt learned in Egypt (Ex. 1:11, 14), where
ruins of temples and palaces fill the traveller with wonder at
the present day.
sad; bitter, the youngest son of Levi, born before the descent
of Jacob into Egypt, and one of the seventy who accompanied him
thither (Gen. 46:11; Ex. 6:16). He became the head of one of the
great divisions of the Levites (Ex. 6:19). (See MERARITES
my wrestling, the fifth son of Jacob. His mother was Bilhah,
Rachel's handmaid (Gen. 30:8). When Jacob went down into Egypt,
Naphtali had four sons (Gen. 46:24). Little is known of him as
were among the presents Jacob sent into Egypt for the purpose of
conciliating Joseph (Gen. 43:11). This was the fruit of the
pistachio tree, which resembles the sumac. It is of the size of
an olive. In Cant. 6:11 a different Hebrew word ('egoz), which
means "walnuts," is used.
The Israelites in the wilderness longed for the "onions and
garlick of Egypt" (Num. 11:5). This was the _betsel_ of the
Hebrews, the Allium cepe of botanists, of which it is said that
there are some thirty or forty species now growing in Israel.
The onion is "the 'undivided' leek, _unio_, _unus_, one."
(1.) One of the sons of Cush (Gen. 10:7).
(2.) The name of a country and nation (Isa. 43:3; 45:14)
mentioned along with Egypt and Ethiopia, and therefore probably
in north-eastern Africa. The ancient name of Meroe. The kings of
Sheba and Seba are mentioned together in Ps. 72:10.
(Nubian, Sabako), an Ethiopian king who brought Egypt under his
sway. He was bribed by Hoshea to help him against the Assyrian
monarch Shalmaneser (2 Kings 17:4). This was a return to the
policy that had been successful in the reign of Jeroboam I.
a chaplet, the original seat of the Philistines (Deut. 2:23;
Jer. 47:4; Amos 9:7). The name is found written in hieroglyphics
in the temple of Kom Ombos in Upper Egypt. But the exact
situation of Caphtor is unknown, though it is supposed to be
Crete, since the Philistines seem to be meant by the
"Cherethites" in 1 Sam. 30:14 (see also 2 Sam. 8:18). It may,
however, have been a part of Egypt, the Caphtur in the north
Delta, since the Caphtorim were of the same race as the Mizraite
people (Gen. 10:14; 1 Chr. 1:12).
(Heb. pishtah, i.e., "peeled", in allusion to the fact that the
stalks of flax when dried were first split or peeled before
being steeped in water for the purpose of destroying the pulp).
This plant was cultivated from earliest times. The flax of Egypt
was destroyed by the plague of hail when it "was bolled", i.e.,
was forming pods for seed (Ex. 9:31). It was extensively
cultivated both in Egypt and Israel. Reference is made in
Josh. 2:6 to the custom of drying flax-stalks by exposing them
to the sun on the flat roofs of houses. It was much used in
forming articles of clothing such as girdles, also cords and
bands (Lev. 13:48, 52, 59; Deut. 22:11). (See LINEN ¯T0002296.)
dark; blue, not found in Scripture, but frequently referred to
in the Old Testament under the name of Sihor, i.e., "the black
stream" (Isa. 23:3; Jer. 2:18) or simply "the river" (Gen. 41:1;
Ex. 1:22, etc.) and the "flood of Egypt" (Amos 8:8). It consists
of two rivers, the White Nile, which takes its rise in the
Victoria Nyanza, and the Blue Nile, which rises in the
Abyssinian Mountains. These unite at the town of Khartoum,
whence it pursues its course for 1,800 miles, and falls into the
Mediterranean through its two branches, into which it is divided
a few miles north of Cairo, the Rosetta and the Damietta branch.
(See EGYPT ¯T0001137.)
behold a son!, the eldest son of Jacob and Leah (Gen. 29:32).
His sinful conduct, referred to in Gen. 35:22, brought down upon
him his dying father's malediction (48:4). He showed kindness to
Joseph, and was the means of saving his life when his other
brothers would have put him to death (37:21,22). It was he also
who pledged his life and the life of his sons when Jacob was
unwilling to let Benjamin go down into Egypt. After Jacob and
his family went down into Egypt (46:8) no further mention is
made of Reuben beyond what is recorded in ch. 49:3,4.
lord of justice or righteousness, was king in Jerusalem at the
time when the Israelites invaded Israel (Josh. 10:1,3). He
formed a confederacy with the other Canaanitish kings against
the Israelites, but was utterly routed by Joshua when he was
engaged in besieging the Gibeonites. The history of this victory
and of the treatment of the five confederated kings is recorded
in Josh. 10:1-27. (Comp. Deut. 21:23). Among the Tell Amarna
tablets (see EGYPT ¯T0001137) are some very interesting letters
from Adoni-zedec to the King of Egypt. These illustrate in a
very remarkable manner the history recorded in Josh. 10, and
indeed throw light on the wars of conquest generally, so that
they may be read as a kind of commentary on the book of Joshua.
Here the conquering career of the Abiri (i.e., Hebrews) is
graphically described: "Behold, I say that the land of the king
my lord is ruined", "The wars are mighty against me", "The
Hebrew chiefs plunder all the king's lands", "Behold, I the
chief of the Amorites am breaking to pieces." Then he implores
the king of Egypt to send soldiers to help him, directing that
the army should come by sea to Ascalon or Gaza, and thence march
to Wru-sa-lim (Jerusalem) by the valley of Elah.
=Askelon=Ascalon, was one of the five cities of the Philistines
(Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 6:17). It stood on the shore of the
Mediterranean, 12 miles north of Gaza. It is mentioned on an
inscription at Karnak in Egypt as having been taken by king
Rameses II., the oppressor of the Hebrews. In the time of the
judges (Judg. 1:18) it fell into the possession of the tribe of
Judah; but it was soon after retaken by the Philistines (2 Sam.
1:20), who were not finally dispossessed till the time of
Alexander the Great. Samson went down to this place from
Timnath, and slew thirty men and took their spoil. The prophets
foretold its destruction (Jer. 25:20; 47:5, 7). It became a
noted place in the Middle Ages, having been the scene of many a
bloody battle between the Saracens and the Crusaders. It was
beseiged and taken by Richard the Lion-hearted, and "within its
walls and towers now standing he held his court." Among the Tell
Amarna tablets (see EGYPT ¯T0001137) are found letters or
official despatches from Yadaya, "captain of horse and dust of
the king's feet," to the "great king" of Egypt, dated from
Ascalon. It is now called 'Askalan.
Exodus, Book of
Exodus is the name given in the LXX. to the second book of the
Pentateuch (q.v.). It means "departure" or "outgoing." This name
was adopted in the Latin translation, and thence passed into
other languages. The Hebrews called it by the first words,
according to their custom, Ve-eleh shemoth (i.e., "and these are
It contains, (1.) An account of the increase and growth of the
Israelites in Egypt (ch. 1) (2.) Preparations for their
departure out of Egypt (2-12:36). (3.) Their journeyings from
Egypt to Sinai (12:37-19:2). (4.) The giving of the law and the
establishment of the institutions by which the organization of
the people was completed, the theocracy, "a kingdom of priest
and an holy nation" (19:3-ch. 40).
The time comprised in this book, from the death of Joseph to
the erection of the tabernacle in the wilderness, is about one
hundred and forty-five years, on the supposition that the four
hundred and thirty years (12:40) are to be computed from the
time of the promises made to Abraham (Gal. 3:17).
The authorship of this book, as well as of that of the other
books of the Pentateuch, is to be ascribed to Moses. The
unanimous voice of tradition and all internal evidences
abundantly support this opinion.
whom Jehovah graciously bestows. (1.) One of the Gadite heroes
who joined David in the desert of Judah (1 Chr. 12:12).
(2.) The oldest of King Josiah's sons (1 Chr. 3:15).
(3.) Son of Careah, one of the Jewish chiefs who rallied round
Gedaliah, whom Nebuchadnezzar had made governor in Jerusalem (2
Kings 25:23; Jer. 40:8). He warned Gedaliah of the plans of
Ishmael against him, a warning which was unheeded (Jer. 40:13,
16). He afterwards pursued the murderer of the governor, and
rescued the captives (41:8, 13, 15, 16). He and his associates
subsequently fled to Tahpanhes in Egypt (43:2, 4, 5), taking
Jeremiah with them. "The flight of Gedaliah's community to Egypt
extinguished the last remaining spark of life in the Jewish
state. The work of the ten centuries since Joshua crossed the
Jordan had been undone."
The expression in the Authorized Version (Isa. 19:7), "the paper
reeds by the brooks," is in the Revised Version more correctly
"the meadows by the Nile." The words undoubtedly refer to a
grassy place on the banks of the Nile fit for pasturage.
In 2 John 1:12 the word is used in its proper sense. The
material so referred to was manufactured from the papyrus, and
hence its name. The papyrus (Heb. gome) was a kind of bulrush
(q.v.). It is mentioned by Job (8:11) and Isaiah (35:7). It was
used for many purposes. This plant (Papyrus Nilotica) is now
unknown in Egypt; no trace of it can be found. The unaccountable
disappearance of this plant from Egypt was foretold by Isaiah
(19:6, 7) as a part of the divine judgment on that land. The
most extensive papyrus growths now known are in the marshes at
the northern end of the lake of Merom.
Three princesses are thus mentioned in Scripture: (1.) The
princess who adopted the infant Moses (q.v.), Ex. 2:10. She is
twice mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 7:21: Heb. 11:24). It
would seem that she was alive and in some position of influence
about the court when Moses was compelled to flee from Egypt, and
thus for forty years he had in some way been under her
influence. She was in all probability the sister of Rameses, and
the daughter of Seti I. Josephus calls her Thermuthis. It is
supposed by some that she was Nefert-ari, the wife as well as
sister of Rameses. The mummy of this queen was among the
treasures found at Deir-el-Bahari.
(2.) "Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took (1
(3.) The wife of Solomon (1 Kings 3:1). This is the first
reference since the Exodus to any connection of Israel with
place where the reeds grow (LXX. and Copt. read "farmstead"),
the name of a place in Egypt where the children of Israel
encamped (Ex. 14:2, 9), how long is uncertain. Some have
identified it with Ajrud, a fortress between Etham and Suez. The
condition of the Isthmus of Suez at the time of the Exodus is
not exactly known, and hence this, with the other places
mentioned as encampments of Israel in Egypt, cannot be
definitely ascertained. The isthmus has been formed by the Nile
deposits. This increase of deposit still goes on, and so rapidly
that within the last fifty years the mouth of the Nile has
advanced northward about four geographical miles. In the maps of
Ptolemy (of the second and third centuries A.D.) the mouths of
the Nile are forty miles further south than at present. (See
the land of the Nile and the pyramids, the oldest kingdom of
which we have any record, holds a place of great significance in
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" (Isa. 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" (Isa. 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 (Hos. 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
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 Israel, 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 Israel
is engraved on the outside of the south wall of the temple of
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 (Jer. 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
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" (Ex. 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 Israel
(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 Israel. As
the clay in different parts of Israel 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 Israel. There occur the names of three kings killed by
Joshua, Adoni-zedec, king of Jerusalem, Japhia, king of Lachish
(Josh. 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, Isa. 19; Jer. 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 Jer. 46:19, Ezek. 30:13.
sultry or sandy, a town and harbour of Phoenicia, in the tribe
of Asher, but never acquired by them (Judg. 1:31). It was known
to the ancient Greeks and Romans by the name of Ptolemais, from
Ptolemy the king of Egypt, who rebuilt it about B.C. 100. Here
Paul landed on his last journey to Jerusalem (Acts 21:7). During
the crusades of the Middle Ages it was called Acra; and
subsequently, on account of its being occupied by the Knights
Hospitallers of Jerusalem, it was called St. Jean d'Acre, or
used only in Gal. 4:24, where the apostle refers to the history
of Isaac the free-born, and Ishmael the slave-born, and makes
use of it allegorically.
Every parable is an allegory. Nathan (2 Sam. 12:1-4) addresses
David in an allegorical narrative. In the eightieth Psalm there
is a beautiful allegory: "Thou broughtest a vine out of Egypt,"
etc. In Eccl. 12:2-6, there is a striking allegorical
description of old age.
kindred of the High; i.e., "friend of Jehovah." (1.) The son of
Kohath, the son of Levi. He married Jochebed, "his father's
sister," and was the father of Aaron, Miriam, and Moses (Ex.
6:18, 20; Num. 3:19). He died in Egypt at the age of 137 years
(Ex. 6:20). His descendants were called Amramites (Num. 3:27; 1
Chr. 26:23). (2.) Ezra 10:34.
an architectural term found only in Ezek. 40:16, 21, 22, 26, 29.
There is no absolute proof that the Israelites employed arches
in their buildings. The arch was employed in the building of the
pyramids of Egypt. The oldest existing arch is at Thebes, and
bears the date B.C. 1350. There are also still found the remains
of an arch, known as Robinson's Arch, of the bridge connecting
Zion and Moriah. (See TYROPOEON VALLEY ¯T0003738.)
ruler of the people, son of Herod the Great, by Malthace, a
Samaritan woman. He was educated along with his brother Antipas
at Rome. He inherited from his father a third part of his
kingdom viz., Idumea, Judea, and Samaria, and hence is called
"king" (Matt. 2:22). It was for fear of him that Joseph and Mary
turned aside on their way back from Egypt. Till a few days
before his death Herod had named Antipas as his successor, but
in his last moments he named Archelaus.
buckthorn, a place where Joseph and his brethren, when on their
way from Egypt to Hebron with the remains of their father Jacob,
made for seven days a "great and very sore lamentation." On this
account the Canaanites called it "Abel-mizraim" (Gen. 50:10,
11). It was probably near Hebron. The word is rendered "bramble"
in Judg. 9:14, 15, and "thorns" in Ps. 58:9.
first-born; a youth, the second son of Benjamin (Gen. 46:21),
who came down to Egypt with Jacob. It is probable that he
married an Ephraimitish heiress, and that his descendants were
consequently reckoned among the tribe of Ephraim (Num. 26:35; 1
Chr. 7:20, 21). They are not reckoned among the descendants of
Benjamin (Num. 26:38).
the making of, formed the chief labour of the Israelites in
Egypt (Ex. 1:13, 14). Those found among the ruins of Babylon and
Nineveh are about a foot square and four inches thick. They were
usually dried in the sun, though also sometimes in kilns (2 Sam.
12:31; Jer. 43:9; Nah. 3:14). (See NEBUCHADNEZZAR ¯T0002684.)
The bricks used in the tower of Babel were burnt bricks,
cemented in the building by bitumen (Gen. 11:3).
fortress of Chemosh, a city on the west bank of the Euphrates
(Jer. 46:2; 2 Chr. 35:20), not, as was once supposed, the
Circesium at the confluence of the Chebar and the Euphrates, but
a city considerably higher up the river, and commanding the
ordinary passage of the Euphrates; probably identical with
Hierapolis. It was the capital of the kingdom of the northern
Hittites. The Babylonian army, under Nebuchadnezzar, the son of
Nabopolassar, here met and conquered the army of Pharaoh-necho,
king of Egypt (B.C. 607). It is mentioned in monuments in B.C.
1600 and down to B.C. 717.
a species of lizard which has the faculty of changing the colour
of its skin. It is ranked among the unclean animals in Lev.
11:30, where the Hebrew word so translated is _coah_ (R.V.,
"land crocodile"). In the same verse the Hebrew _tanshemeth_,
rendered in Authorized Version "mole," is in Revised Version
"chameleon," which is the correct rendering. This animal is very
common in Egypt and in the Holy Land, especially in the Jordan
an officer of high rank with Egyptian, Persian, Assyrian, and
Jewish monarchs. The cup-bearer of the king of Egypt is
mentioned in connection with Joseph's history (Gen. 40:1-21;
41:9). Rabshakeh (q.v.) was cup-bearer in the Assyrian court (2
Kings 18:17). Nehemiah filled this office to the king of Persia
(Neh. 1:11). We read also of Solomon's cup-bearers (1 Kings
10:5; 2 Chr. 9:4).
judged; vindicated, daughter of Jacob by Leah, and sister of
Simeon and Levi (Gen. 30:21). She was seduced by Shechem, the
son of Hamor, the Hivite chief, when Jacob's camp was in the
neighbourhood of Shechem. This led to the terrible revenge of
Simeon and Levi in putting the Shechemites to death (Gen. 34).
Jacob makes frequent reference to this deed of blood with
abhorrence and regret (Gen. 34:30; 49:5-7). She is mentioned
among the rest of Jacob's family that went down into Egypt (Gen.
perhaps another name for Khetam, or "fortress," on the Shur or
great wall of Egypt, which extended from the Mediterranean to
the Gulf of Suez. Here the Israelites made their third
encampment (Ex. 13:20; Num. 33:6). The camp was probably a
little to the west of the modern town of Ismailia. Here the
Israelites were commanded to change their route (Ex. 14:2), and
"turn" towards the south, and encamp before Pi-hahiroth. (See
EXODUS ¯T0001283; PITHOM ¯T0002968.)
(Isa. 28:25, 27), the rendering of the Hebrew _ketsah_, "without
doubt the Nigella sativa, a small annual of the order
Ranunculacece, which grows wild in the Mediterranean countries,
and is cultivated in Egypt and Syria for its seed." It is
rendered in margin of the Revised Version "black cummin." The
seeds are used as a condiment.
In Ezek. 4:9 this word is the rendering of the Hebrew
_kussemeth_ (incorrectly rendered "rye" in the Authorized
Version of Ex. 9:32 and Isa. 28:25, but "spelt" in the Revised
Version). The reading "fitches" here is an error; it should be
(Heb. tsepharde'a, meaning a "marsh-leaper"). This reptile is
mentioned in the Old Testament only in connection with one of
the plagues which fell on the land of Egypt (Ex. 8:2-14; Ps.
In the New Testament this word occurs only in Rev. 16:13,
where it is referred to as a symbol of uncleanness. The only
species of frog existing in Israel is the green frog (Rana
esculenta), the well-known edible frog of the Continent.
Almost every kind of combustible matter was used for fuel, such
as the withered stalks of herbs (Matt. 6:30), thorns (Ps. 58:9;
Eccl. 7:6), animal excrements (Ezek. 4:12-15; 15:4, 6; 21:32).
Wood or charcoal is much used still in all the towns of Syria
and Egypt. It is largely brought from the region of Hebron to
Jerusalem. (See COAL ¯T0000851.)
an Old English word for breastplate. In Job 41:26 (Heb. shiryah)
it is properly a "coat of mail;" the Revised Version has
"pointed shaft." In Ex. 28:32, 39:23, it denotes a military
garment strongly and thickly woven and covered with mail round
the neck and breast. Such linen corselets have been found in
Egypt. The word used in these verses is _tahra_, which is of
Egyptian origin. The Revised Version, however, renders it by
"coat of mail." (See ARMOUR ¯T0000315.)
frozen rain-drops; one of the plagues of Egypt (Ex. 9:23). It is
mentioned by Haggai as a divine judgment (Hag. 2:17). A
hail-storm destroyed the army of the Amorites when they fought
against Joshua (Josh. 10:11). Ezekiel represents the wall daubed
with untempered mortar as destroyed by great hail-stones (Ezek.
13:11). (See also 38:22; Rev. 8:7; 11:19; 16:21.)
(Heb. harits), a tribulum or sharp threshing sledge; a frame
armed on the under side with rollers or sharp spikes (2 Sam.
12:31; 1 Chr. 20:3).
Heb. verb _sadad_, to harrow a field, break its clods (Job
39:10; Isa. 28:4; Hos. 10: 11). Its form is unknown. It may have
resembled the instrument still in use in Egypt.
(Gen. 33:19, R.V., marg., a Hebrew word, rendered, A.V., pl.
"pieces of money," marg., "lambs;" Josh. 24:32, "pieces of
silver;" Job 42:11, "piece of money"). The kesitah was probably
a piece of money of a particular weight, cast in the form of a
lamb. The monuments of Egypt show that such weights were used.
(See PIECES ¯T0002950.)
a treaty or confederacy. The Jews were forbidden to enter into
an alliance of any kind (1) with the Canaanites (Ex. 23:32, 33;
34:12-16); (2) with the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8, 14; Deut.
25:17-19); (3) with the Moabites and Ammonites (Deut. 2:9, 19).
Treaties were permitted to be entered into with all other
nations. Thus David maintained friendly intercourse with the
kings of Tyre and Hamath, and Solomon with the kings of Tyre and
weary, the eldest daughter of Laban, and sister of Rachel (Gen.
29:16). Jacob took her to wife through a deceit of her father
(Gen. 29:23). She was "tender-eyed" (17). She bore to Jacob six
sons (32-35), also one daughter, Dinah (30:21). She accompanied
Jacob into Canaan, and died there before the time of the going
down into Egypt (Gen. 31), and was buried in the cave of
(Heb. hatsir; the Allium porrum), rendered "grass" in 1 Kings
18:5, 2 Kings 19:26, Job 40:15, etc.; "herb" in Job 8:12; "hay"
in Prov. 27:25, and Isa. 15:6; "leeks" only in Num. 11:5. This
Hebrew word seems to denote in this last passage simply herbs,
such as lettuce or savoury herbs cooked as kitchen vegetables,
and not necessarily what are now called leeks. The leek was a
favourite vegetable in Egypt, and is still largely cultivated
there and in Israel.
(1.) The fourth son of Shem (Gen. 10:22; 1 Chr. 1:17), ancestor
of the Lydians probably.
(2.) One of the Hamitic tribes descended from Mizraim (Gen.
10:13), a people of Africa (Ezek. 27:10; 30:5), on the west of
Egypt. The people called Lud were noted archers (Isa. 66:19;
comp. Jer. 46:9).
(Ex. 12:38), a class who accompanied the Israelites as they
journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, the first stage of the
Exodus. These were probably miscellaneous hangers-on to the
Hebrews, whether Egyptians of the lower orders, or the remains
of the Hyksos (see EGYPT ¯T0001137; MOSES ¯T0002602), as some
think. The same thing happened on the return of the Jews from
Babylon (Neh. 13:3), a "mixed multitude" accompanied them so
(Prov. 25:20; R.V. marg., "soda"), properly "natron," a
substance so called because, rising from the bottom of the Lake
Natron in Egypt, it becomes dry and hard in the sun, and is the
soda which effervesces when vinegar is poured on it. It is a
carbonate of soda, not saltpetre, which the word generally
denotes (Jer. 2:22; R.V. "lye").
(1.) One of the sons of Ham (Gen. 10:6).
(2.) A land or people from among whom came a portion of the
mercenary troops of Egypt, Jer. 46:9 (A.V., "Libyans," but
correctly, R.V., "Put"); Ezek. 27:10; 30:5 (A.V., "Libya;" R.V.,
"Put"); 38:5; Nahum 3:9.
a female bird. Reuel's daughter, who became the wife of Moses
(Ex. 2:21). In consequence of the event recorded in Ex. 4:24-26,
she and her two sons, Gershom and Eliezer, when so far on the
way with Moses toward Egypt, were sent back by him to her own
kinsfolk, the Midianites, with whom they sojourned till Moses
afterwards joined them (18:2-6).
the great deliverance wrought for the children of Isreal when
they were brought out of the land of Egypt with "a mighty hand
and with an outstretched arm" (Ex 12:51; Deut. 26:8; Ps 114;
136), about B.C. 1490, and four hundred and eighty years (1
Kings 6:1) before the building of Solomon's temple.
The time of their sojourning in Egypt was, according to Ex.
12:40, the space of four hundred and thirty years. In the LXX.,
the words are, "The sojourning of the children of Israel which
they sojourned in Egypt and in the land of Canaan was four
hundred and thirty years;" and the Samaritan version reads, "The
sojourning of the children of Israel and of their fathers which
they sojourned in the land of Canaan and in the land of Egypt
was four hundred and thirty years." In Gen. 15:13-16, the period
is prophetically given (in round numbers) as four hundred years.
This passage is quoted by Stephen in his defence before the
council (Acts 7:6).
The chronology of the "sojourning" is variously estimated.
Those who adopt the longer term reckon thus:
| From the descent of Jacob into Egypt to the
| death of Joseph 71
| From the death of Joseph to the birth of
| Moses 278
| From the birth of Moses to his flight into
| Midian 40
| From the flight of Moses to his return into
| Egypt 40
| From the return of Moses to the Exodus 1
Others contend for the shorter period of two hundred and
fifteen years, holding that the period of four hundred and
thirty years comprehends the years from the entrance of Abraham
into Canaan (see LXX. and Samaritan) to the descent of Jacob
into Egypt. They reckon thus:
| From Abraham's arrival in Canaan to Isaac's
| birth 25
| From Isaac's birth to that of his twin sons
| Esau and Jacob 60
| From Jacob's birth to the going down into
| Egypt 130
| From Jacob's going down into Egypt to the
| death of Joseph 71
| From death of Joseph to the birth of Moses 64
| From birth of Moses to the Exodus 80
| In all... 430
During the forty years of Moses' sojourn in the land of
Midian, the Hebrews in Egypt were being gradually prepared for
the great national crisis which was approaching. The plagues
that successively fell upon the land loosened the bonds by which
Pharaoh held them in slavery, and at length he was eager that
they should depart. But the Hebrews must now also be ready to
go. They were poor; for generations they had laboured for the
Egyptians without wages. They asked gifts from their neighbours
around them (Ex. 12:35), and these were readily bestowed. And
then, as the first step towards their independent national
organization, they observed the feast of the Passover, which was
now instituted as a perpetual memorial. The blood of the paschal
lamb was duly sprinkled on the door-posts and lintels of all
their houses, and they were all within, waiting the next
movement in the working out of God's plan. At length the last
stroke fell on the land of Egypt. "It came to pass, that at
midnight Jehovah smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt."
Pharaoh rose up in the night, and called for Moses and Aaron by
night, and said, "Rise up, and get you forth from among my
people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve
Jehovah, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds,
as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also." Thus was
Pharaoh (q.v.) completely humbled and broken down. These words
he spoke to Moses and Aaron "seem to gleam through the tears of
the humbled king, as he lamented his son snatched from him by so
sudden a death, and tremble with a sense of the helplessness
which his proud soul at last felt when the avenging hand of God
had visited even his palace."
The terror-stricken Egyptians now urged the instant departure
of the Hebrews. In the midst of the Passover feast, before the
dawn of the 15th day of the month Abib (our April nearly), which
was to be to them henceforth the beginning of the year, as it
was the commencement of a new epoch in their history, every
family, with all that appertained to it, was ready for the
march, which instantly began under the leadership of the heads
of tribes with their various sub-divisions. They moved onward,
increasing as they went forward from all the districts of
Goshen, over the whole of which they were scattered, to the
common centre. Three or four days perhaps elapsed before the
whole body of the people were assembled at Rameses, and ready to
set out under their leader Moses (Ex. 12:37; Num. 33:3). This
city was at that time the residence of the Egyptian court, and
here the interviews between Moses and Pharaoh had taken place.
From Rameses they journeyed to Succoth (Ex. 12:37), identified
with Tel-el-Maskhuta, about 12 miles west of Ismailia. (See
PITHOM ¯T0002968.) Their third station was Etham (q.v.), 13:20,
"in the edge of the wilderness," and was probably a little to
the west of the modern town of Ismailia, on the Suez Canal. Here
they were commanded "to turn and encamp before Pi-hahiroth,
between Migdol and the sea", i.e., to change their route from
east to due south. The Lord now assumed the direction of their
march in the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. They
were then led along the west shore of the Red Sea till they came
to an extensive camping-ground "before Pi-hahiroth," about 40
miles from Etham. This distance from Etham may have taken three
days to traverse, for the number of camping-places by no means
indicates the number of days spent on the journey: e.g., it took
fully a month to travel from Rameses to the wilderness of Sin
(Ex. 16:1), yet reference is made to only six camping-places
during all that time. The exact spot of their encampment before
they crossed the Red Sea cannot be determined. It was probably
somewhere near the present site of Suez.
Under the direction of God the children of Israel went
"forward" from the camp "before Pi-hahiroth," and the sea opened
a pathway for them, so that they crossed to the farther shore in
safety. The Egyptian host pursued after them, and, attempting to
follow through the sea, were overwhelmed in its returning
waters, and thus the whole military force of the Egyptians
perished. They "sank as lead in the mighty waters" (Ex. 15:1-9;
comp. Ps. 77:16-19).
Having reached the eastern shore of the sea, perhaps a little
way to the north of 'Ayun Musa ("the springs of Moses"), there
they encamped and rested probably for a day. Here Miriam and the
other women sang the triumphal song recorded in Ex. 15:1-21.
From 'Ayun Musa they went on for three days through a part of
the barren "wilderness of Shur" (22), called also the
"wilderness of Etham" (Num. 33:8; comp. Ex. 13:20), without
finding water. On the last of these days they came to Marah
(q.v.), where the "bitter" water was by a miracle made
Their next camping-place was Elim (q.v.), where were twelve
springs of water and a grove of "threescore and ten" palm trees
After a time the children of Israel "took their journey from
Elim," and encamped by the Red Sea (Num. 33:10), and thence
removed to the "wilderness of Sin" (to be distinguished from the
wilderness of Zin, 20:1), where they again encamped. Here,
probably the modern el-Markha, the supply of bread they had
brought with them out of Egypt failed. They began to "murmur"
for want of bread. God "heard their murmurings" and gave them
quails and manna, "bread from heaven" (Ex. 16:4-36). Moses
directed that an omer of manna should be put aside and preserved
as a perpetual memorial of God's goodness. They now turned
inland, and after three encampments came to the rich and fertile
valley of Rephidim, in the Wady Feiran. Here they found no
water, and again murmured against Moses. Directed by God, Moses
procured a miraculous supply of water from the "rock in Horeb,"
one of the hills of the Sinai group (17:1-7); and shortly
afterwards the children of Israel here fought their first battle
with the Amalekites, whom they smote with the edge of the sword.
From the eastern extremity of the Wady Feiran the line of
march now probably led through the Wady esh-Sheikh and the Wady
Solaf, meeting in the Wady er-Rahah, "the enclosed plain in
front of the magnificient cliffs of Ras Sufsafeh." Here they
encamped for more than a year (Num. 1:1; 10:11) before Sinai
The different encampments of the children of Israel, from the
time of their leaving Egypt till they reached the Promised Land,
are mentioned in Ex. 12:37-19; Num. 10-21; 33; Deut. 1, 2, 10.
It is worthy of notice that there are unmistakable evidences
that the Egyptians had a tradition of a great exodus from their
country, which could be none other than the exodus of the
the ancient metropolis of Lower Egypt, so called from its
founder, Alexander the Great (about B.C. 333). It was for a long
period the greatest of existing cities, for both Nineveh and
Babylon had been destroyed, and Rome had not yet risen to
greatness. It was the residence of the kings of Egypt for 200
years. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament, and only
incidentally in the New. Apollos, eloquent and mighty in the
Scriptures, was a native of this city (Acts 18:24). Many Jews
from Alexandria were in Jerusalem, where they had a synagogue
(Acts 6:9), at the time of Stephen's martyrdom. At one time it
is said that as many as 10,000 Jews resided in this city. It
possessed a famous library of 700,000 volumes, which was burned
by the Saracens (A.D. 642). It was here that the Hebrew Bible
was translated into Greek. This is called the Septuagint
version, from the tradition that seventy learned men were
engaged in executing it. It was, however, not all translated at
one time. It was begun B.C. 280, and finished about B.C. 200 or
150. (See VERSION ¯T0003768.)
(1.) In Isa. 58:5 the rendering of a word which denotes
"belonging to a marsh," from the nature of the soil in which it
grows (Isa. 18:2). It was sometimes platted into ropes (Job.
41:2; A.V., "hook," R.V., "rope," lit. "cord of rushes").
(2.) In Ex. 2:3, Isa. 18:2 (R.V., "papyrus") this word is the
translation of the Hebrew _gome_, which designates the plant as
absorbing moisture. In Isa. 35:7 and Job 8:11 it is rendered
"rush." This was the Egyptian papyrus (papyrus Nilotica). It was
anciently very abundant in Egypt. The Egyptians made garments
and shoes and various utensils of it. It was used for the
construction of the ark of Moses (Ex. 2:3, 5). The root portions
of the stem were used for food. The inside bark was cut into
strips, which were sewed together and dried in the sun, forming
the papyrus used for writing. It is no longer found in Egypt,
but grows luxuriantly in Israel, in the marshes of the Huleh,
and in the swamps at the north end of the Lake of Gennesaret.
(See CANE ¯T0000710.)
God his help. (1.) "Of Damascus," the "steward" (R.V.,
"possessor") of Abraham's house (Gen. 15:2, 3). It was probably
he who headed the embassy sent by Abraham to the old home of his
family in Padan-aram to seek a wife for his son Isaac. The
account of this embassy is given at length in Gen. 24.
(2.) The son of Becher, and grandson of Benjamin (1 Chr. 7:8).
(3.) One of the two sons of Moses, born during his sojourn in
Midian (Ex. 18:4; 1 Chr. 23:15, 17). He remained with his mother
and brother Gershom with Jethro when Moses returned to Egypt.
(Ex. 18:4). They were restored to Moses when Jethro heard of his
departure out of Egypt.
(4.) One of the priests who blew the trumpet before the ark
when it was brought to Jerusalem (1 Chr. 15:24).
(5.) Son of Zichri, and chief of the Reubenites under David (1
(6.) A prophet in the time of Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 20:37).
Others of this name are mentioned Luke 3:29; Ezra 8:16; 10:18,
country of burnt faces; the Greek word by which the Hebrew Cush
is rendered (Gen. 2:13; 2 Kings 19:9; Esther 1:1; Job 28:19; Ps.
68:31; 87:4), a country which lay to the south of Egypt,
beginning at Syene on the First Cataract (Ezek. 29:10; 30:6),
and extending to beyond the confluence of the White and Blue
Nile. It corresponds generally with what is now known as the
Soudan (i.e., the land of the blacks). This country was known to
the Hebrews, and is described in Isa. 18:1; Zeph. 3:10. They
carried on some commercial intercourse with it (Isa. 45:14).
Its inhabitants were descendants of Ham (Gen. 10:6; Jer.
13:23; Isa. 18:2, "scattered and peeled," A.V.; but in R.V.,
"tall and smooth"). Herodotus, the Greek historian, describes
them as "the tallest and handsomest of men." They are frequently
represented on Egyptian monuments, and they are all of the type
of the true negro. As might be expected, the history of this
country is interwoven with that of Egypt.
Ethiopia is spoken of in prophecy (Ps. 68:31; 87:4; Isa.
45:14; Ezek. 30:4-9; Dan. 11:43; Nah. 3:8-10; Hab. 3:7; Zeph.
The first mentioned in Scripture was so grievous as to compel
Abraham to go down to the land of Egypt (Gen. 26:1). Another is
mentioned as having occurred in the days of Isaac, causing him
to go to Gerar (Gen. 26:1, 17). But the most remarkable of all
was that which arose in Egypt in the days of Joseph, which
lasted for seven years (Gen. 41-45).
Famines were sent as an effect of God's anger against a guilty
people (2 Kings 8:1, 2; Amos 8:11; Deut. 28:22-42; 2 Sam. 21:1;
2 Kings 6:25-28; 25:3; Jer. 14:15; 19:9; 42:17, etc.). A famine
was predicted by Agabus (Acts 11:28). Josephus makes mention of
the famine which occurred A.D. 45. Helena, queen of Adiabene,
being at Jerusalem at that time, procured corn from Alexandria
and figs from Cyprus for its poor inhabitants.
Heb. zebub, (Eccl. 10:1; Isa. 7:18). This fly was so grievous a
pest that the Phoenicians invoked against it the aid of their
god Baal-zebub (q.v.). The prophet Isaiah (7:18) alludes to some
poisonous fly which was believed to be found on the confines of
Egypt, and which would be called by the Lord. Poisonous flies
exist in many parts of Africa, for instance, the different kinds
Heb. 'arob, the name given to the insects sent as a plague on
the land of Egypt (Ex. 8:21-31; Ps. 78:45; 105:31). The LXX.
render this by a word which means the "dog-fly," the cynomuia.
The Jewish commentators regarded the Hebrew word here as
connected with the word _'arab_, which means "mingled;" and they
accordingly supposed the plague to consist of a mixed multitude
of animals, beasts, reptiles, and insects. But there is no doubt
that "the _'arab_" denotes a single definite species. Some
interpreters regard it as the Blatta orientalis, the cockroach,
a species of beetle. These insects "inflict very painful bites
with their jaws; gnaw and destroy clothes, household furniture,
leather, and articles of every kind, and either consume or
render unavailable all eatables."
In Egypt herdsmen were probably of the lowest caste. Some of
Joseph's brethren were made rulers over Pharaoh's cattle (Gen.
47:6, 17). The Israelites were known in Egypt as "keepers of
cattle;" and when they left it they took their flocks and herds
with them (Ex. 12:38). Both David and Saul came from "following
the herd" to occupy the throne (1 Sam. 9; 11:5; Ps. 78:70).
David's herd-masters were among his chief officers of state. The
daughters also of wealthy chiefs were wont to tend the flocks of
the family (Gen. 29:9; Ex. 2:16). The "chief of the herdsmen"
was in the time of the monarchy an officer of high rank (1 Sam.
21:7; comp. 1 Chr. 27:29). The herdsmen lived in tents (Isa.
38:12; Jer. 6:3); and there were folds for the cattle (Num.
32:16), and watch-towers for the herdsmen, that he might
therefrom observe any coming danger (Micah 4:8; Nah. 3:8).
(Old Egypt. Sant= "stronghold," the modern San). A city on the
Tanitic branch of the Nile, called by the Greeks Tanis. It was
built seven years after Hebron in Israel (Num. 13:22). This
great and important city was the capital of the Hyksos, or
Shepherd kings, who ruled Egypt for more than 500 years. It was
the frontier town of Goshen. Here Pharaoh was holding his court
at the time of his various interviews with Moses and Aaron. "No
trace of Zoan exists; Tanis was built over it, and city after
city has been built over the ruins of that" (Harper, Bible and
Modern Discovery). Extensive mounds of ruins, the wreck of the
ancient city, now mark its site (Isa. 19:11, 13; 30:4; Ezek.
30:14). "The whole constitutes one of the grandest and oldest
ruins in the world."
This city was also called "the Field of Zoan" (Ps. 78:12, 43)
and "the Town of Rameses" (q.v.), because the oppressor rebuilt
and embellished it, probably by the forced labour of the
Hebrews, and made it his northern capital.
a grain much cultivated in Egypt (Ex. 9:31) and in Israel
(Lev. 27:16; Deut. 8:8). It was usually the food of horses (1
Kings 4:28). Barley bread was used by the poorer people (Judg.
7:13; 2 Kings 4:42). Barley of the first crop was ready for the
harvest by the time of the Passover, in the middle of April
(Ruth 1:22; 2 Sam. 21:9). Mention is made of barley-meal (Num.
5:15). Our Lord fed five thousand with "five barley loaves and
two small fishes" (John 6:9).
a tall sedgy plant with a hollow stem, growing in moist places.
In Isa. 43:24; Jer. 6:20, the Hebrew word _kaneh_ is thus
rendered, giving its name to the plant. It is rendered "reed" in
1 Kings 14:15; Job 40:21; Isa. 19:6; 35:7. In Ps. 68:30 the
expression "company of spearmen" is in the margin and the
Revised Version "beasts of the reeds," referring probably to the
crocodile or the hippopotamus as a symbol of Egypt. In 2 Kings
18:21; Isa. 36:6; Ezek. 29:6, 7, the reference is to the weak,
fragile nature of the reed. (See CALAMUS ¯T0000689.)
Heb. kinamon, the Cinnamomum zeylanicum of botanists, a tree of
the Laurel family, which grows only in India on the Malabar
coast, in Ceylon, and China. There is no trace of it in Egypt,
and it was unknown in Syria. The inner rind when dried and
rolled into cylinders forms the cinnamon of commerce. The fruit
and coarser pieces of bark when boiled yield a fragrant oil. It
was one of the principal ingredients in the holy anointing oil
(Ex. 30:23). It is mentioned elsewhere only in Prov. 7:17; Cant.
4:14; Rev. 18:13. The mention of it indicates a very early and
extensive commerce carried on between Israel and the East.
(1.) Used as manure (Luke 13:8); collected outside the city
walls (Neh. 2:13). Of sacrifices, burned outside the camp (Ex.
29:14; Lev. 4:11; 8:17; Num. 19:5). To be "cast out as dung," a
figurative expression (1 Kings 14:10; 2 Kings 9:37; Jer. 8:2;
Ps. 18:42), meaning to be rejected as unprofitable.
(2.) Used as fuel, a substitute for firewood, which was with
difficulty procured in Syria, Arabia, and Egypt (Ezek. 4:12-15),
where cows' and camels' dung is used to the present day for this
different from the ordinary prison in being more severe as a
place of punishment. Like the Roman inner prison (Acts 16:24),
it consisted of a deep cell or cistern (Jer. 38:6). To be shut
up in, a punishment common in Egypt (Gen. 39:20; 40:3; 41:10;
42:19). It is not mentioned, however, in the law of Moses as a
mode of punishment. Under the later kings imprisonment was
frequently used as a punishment (2 Chron. 16:10; Jer. 20:2;
32:2; 33:1; 37:15), and it was customary after the Exile (Matt.
11:2; Luke 3:20; Acts 5:18, 21; Matt. 18:30).
the process of preserving a body by means of aromatics (Gen.
50:2, 3, 26). This art was practised by the Egyptians from the
earliest times, and there brought to great perfection. This
custom probably originated in the belief in the future reunion
of the soul with the body. The process became more and more
complicated, and to such perfection was it carried that bodies
embalmed thousands of years ago are preserved to the present day
in the numberless mummies that have been discovered in Egypt.
The embalming of Jacob and Joseph was according to the
Egyptian custom, which was partially followed by the Jews (2
Chr. 16:14), as in the case of king Asa, and of our Lord (John
19:39, 40; Luke 23:56; 24:1). (See PHARAOH ¯T0002923.)
double fruitfulness ("for God had made him fruitful in the land
of his affliction"). The second son of Joseph, born in Egypt
(Gen. 41:52; 46:20). The first incident recorded regarding him
is his being placed, along with his brother Manasseh, before
their grandfather, Jacob, that he might bless them (48:10; comp.
27:1). The intention of Joseph was that the right hand of the
aged patriarch should be placed on the head of the elder of the
two; but Jacob set Ephraim the younger before his brother,
"guiding his hands wittingly." Before Joseph's death, Ephraim's
family had reached the third generation (Gen. 50:23).
Heb. raham = "parental affection," Lev. 11:18; Deut. 14:17;
R.V., "vulture"), a species of vulture living entirely on
carrion. "It is about the size of a raven; has an almost
triangular, bald, and wrinkled head, a strong pointed beak,
black at the tip, large eyes and ears, the latter entirely on
the outside, and long feet." It is common in Egypt, where it is
popularly called "Pharaoh's chicken" (the Neophron
percnopterus), and is found in Israel only during summer.
Tristram thinks that the Hebrew name, which is derived from a
root meaning "to love," is given to it from the fact that the
male and female bird never part company.
Adod, brave(?), the name of a Syrian god. (1.) An Edomite king
who defeated the Midianites (Gen. 36:35; 1 Chr. 1:46).
(2.) Another Edomite king (1 Chr. 1:50, 51), called also Hadar
(Gen. 36:39; 1 Chr. 1:51).
(3.) One of "the king's seed in Edom." He fled into Egypt,
where he married the sister of Pharaoh's wife (1 Kings
11:14-22). He became one of Solomon's adversaries.
Hadad, sharp, (a different name in Hebrew from the preceding),
one of the sons of Ishmael (1 Chr. 1:30). Called also Hadar
the sacred city of the Hittites, on the left bank of the
Orontes, about 4 miles south of the Lake of Homs. It is
identified with the great mound Tell Neby Mendeh, some 50 to 100
feet high, and 400 yards long. On the ruins of the temple of
Karnak, in Egypt, has been found an inscription recording the
capture of this city by Rameses II. (See PHARAOH ¯T0002923.)
Here the sculptor "has chiselled in deep work on the stone, with
a bold execution of the several parts, the procession of the
warriors, the battle before Kadesh, the storming of the
fortress, the overthrow of the enemy, and the camp life of the
Egyptians." (See HITTITES ¯T0001794.)