This is the week for the annual Bible lectures at Florida College in Temple Terrace, FL. Even though I retired from teaching in 2001, I have been invited to speak each year. Most of these have been lectures that do not require writing a manuscript for publication. That is my preference, of course.
Yesterday I spoke in Puckett Auditorium on Roads and Seas Less Traveled. For a 45 to 50 minute presentation I had to be very selective. I explained what I meant by the title. I was speaking of places (roads and seas) that tourists rarely visit. I limited myself to the land of Goshen and Malta.
Using a map, I showed the location of the land of Goshen in the eastern Nile Delta. This is where Jacob’s family settled when they went from Canaan to Egypt (Genesis 45:10), and where they grew to a nation and spent time in bondage. This area was also called the “land of Rameses.”
Then Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. (Genesis 47:11 ESV)
Dr. Manfred Bietek of the Austrian Institute in Cairo has excavated since the mid-1960s at Tell el-Dab’a, Ezbet Helmi, and Qantir. All of these sites are located a few miles north of modern Faqus in the eastern Delta. I have taken my tour group to visit sites in Goshen on two tours, but tourists are not allowed to visit Tell el-Dab’a. In fact we were not allowed to get off the bus to make photographs of the canal that follows the path of the ancient Pelusiac branch of the Nile. I have a friend in Egypt who knows the territory and offered to take me to visit some of these places. We went late in the afternoon. In fact, by the time we arrived at Tell el-Dab’a it was already dark.
Here is the original photo:
After a little work in Photoshop, the photo looks as if it were taken during a hazy day.
In the original larger photo it is easy to see shards of pottery scattered in the area.
The children of Israel once lived in this flat, fertile area of Egypt. In fact, if this is indeed the land of Rameses, the Israelites departed from this region for the promised land (Exodus 12:37).
A fuller discussion about the Land of Rameses may be read here.
A scholarly article by Dr. Bryant G. Wood about New Discoveries at Rameses is available at the Associates for Biblical Research web site here. I also recommend the article on Israel in Egypt by Gary Byers at the same site (here).