Daily Archives: January 17, 2009

Egypt and the Bible

The land of Egypt is an important part of the Bible world, and the country played an important role in biblical history. Egypt is mentioned more than 600 times in the Bible. One may add to this numerous reference to the various cities, such as Alexandria, On, and Pi-beseth, that are mentioned where the word Egypt is not used.

Cairo on the Nile River. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Cairo on the Nile River. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

A number of significant Bible stories take their setting in Egypt. Abraham sojourned there (Genesis 12:10). During Joseph’s stay in Egypt he went throughout the land storing grain (Genesis 41:46-48). Moses was born there, adopted by the daughter of a Pharaoh, and trained in all the wisdom of the Egyptians (Acts 7:20-22).

We have every reason to think that these men would have seen the pyramids and other “antiquities” of their time. The Step Pyramid of Djoser, located at Saqqara, was built about 2640 B.C. Shortly thereafter in the twenty-sixth century B.C. came the famous Giza pyramids. Modern man stands in awe of these ancient tombs. This was during the Old Kingdom period of Egyptian history (2800 to 2250 B.C.).

Neither Abraham, Joseph, nor any of the Israelites had anything to do with the building of the pyramids. The pyramids of Giza had been standing more than 500 years when Abraham visited Egypt.

Except for Danny and Sara, who came a day earlier, everyone in our group was tired from the long flight and the loss of seven or more hours. We still made good use of the time by visiting the Citadel and the Mohammed Ali Mosque. Then we went to Old Cairo to visit a Coptic church and the Ben Ezra Synagogue. These churches are built within what has been called Fort Babylon. Hopefully we will get back to visit the church associated with Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, and the Coptic Museum.

See the earlier post about the Ben Ezra Synagogue.

This photo shows a portion of what is marked as a Roman Fort. In the past there have been signs with the phrase Fort Babylon. This ruin (on the right of the photo) is part of the Roman fort that was known as Fort Babylon in Roman times. At that time the Nile River flowed beside the Fort, but has since changed its course. The buildings to the left are part of the newly restored Coptic Museum.

Roman Tower (Fort Babylon, on right) and the Coptic Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Roman Tower (Fort Babylon, on right) and the Coptic Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Arrived safely in Cairo

Our non-stop Delta flight from New York to Cairo took only about 9 hours and 30 minutes of flying time. Weather here is beautiful. All forty two members of the group are accounted for.
We have checked into our hotel near the airport in Heliopolis. It is almost noon now (seven hours ahead of EST). In a few minutes we will begin some sightseeing, likely visiting Old Cairo this afternoon.
We look forward to sharing more with you in the days to come.