All posts tagged: Egypt

Abandoned Coptic Church in Suez, Egypt Credit: Nathaniel Page/Flickr/Creative Commons

The horrific persecution of the Egyptian Coptic Church

Many consider the Coptic church as the oldest church in the world. It traces its beginnings back to the work of the gospel writer Mark who they believe came to Alexandria, Egypt in 42 AD during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero. For those who believe Jesus died for their sins and rose from the dead, they are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Copts   have been undergoing horrific persecution in the Middle East, most recently with the bombing of St. Mark’s Coptic Church in Cairo on December 11, 2016.  According to Egyptian authorities a suicide bomber was carrying 12 kilograms of TNT when he set it off in the Sunday morning service killing 24. The Copts make up 10% of Egypt’s population of 91 million. Though authorities were quick to condemn the slaughter, there has been a significant increase in Muslim persecution of Christians in Egypt, since the military overthrow of Egyptian president Mohammaed Morsi in 2013, The Muslim brotherhood who backed Morsi, blames the Coptics, who supported the overthrow, for the …

Do the earliest references to Yahweh in Egypt confirm the Exodus? Credit: clubmed.co.uk/Flickr/Creative Commons

Egypt meets Yahweh: Another confirmation of the Exodus?

When we look at Biblical accounts there are many mentions of Egypt with the most prominent being Israel’s exodus out of that country under Moses. It was  a dramatic encounter that brought the full force of Yahweh against Egypt and its pharaoh who refused to let Israel leave. Similarly, there are several references to Israel in Egyptian records — from mentions on wall carvings and steles to papyris. According to Charles Aling the oldest reference is found on the Merneptah Stele dated to around 1208 BC that refers to a group of people called the Shasu. Aling who specializes in Egyptology is chairman of the History department at Northwestern College. The Egyptians referred to the Shasu several times through the centuries. The word is used to describe a semi-nomadic people who lived in Canaan. It is generally believed that Shasu incorporated all the Semitic people – descendants of Abraham — such as the Edomites, Ishmaelites, Moabites and Israelis. From the Egyptian records the Shasu were generally looked upon as enemies of Egypt and in one …

Inside Egypt's cave church where 70,000 meet in services on a weekly basis. The church can seat 20,000 inside and thousands more outside. Photo: vagabondblogger/Flickr/Creative Commons

Egyptian cave church has 70,000 people attending services every week

I was surprised to find out one of the largest churches in the world is found in Egypt. With the increased activity of Muslim militants, Christians are increasingly under threat in the Middle East and many are leaving. But in the midst of this turmoil, a church thrives in Mokattam mountain located southeast of Cairo, Egypt. Over 70,000 people attend the weekly services held at the Coptic church built into the mountain, that is part of the ancient Monastery of Saint Simon. The church itself holds about 20,000 people including those who sit inside and out. There are also several other chapels built in caves inside the mountain that connect with the main sanctuary. Though a Coptic church, it has a definite Charismatic flavor as you can see in a video of a service below as the congregation sings “Emmanuel”: So who attends this church? Most of them are Zabbaleens, literally “garbage people.” They etch out a living pouring through Cairo’s (population 6.8 million) massive garbage dumps. The Zabbaleens were originally farmers who came to …

Did you know that at one time, there were two Jewish Temples: The Elephantine Temple

[by Dean Smith] Even though there is no Jewish Temple today, at one point there were actually two temples in operation at the same time and it caused some conflict. In the late 1800s, ancient papyri showed up in Middle East antiquity markets that intrigued archaeologists. Written in Aramaic, the Jewish documents referred to a temple, but incredibly not the temple in Jerusalem, but a second one built hundreds of miles away in Egypt. Archaeologists finally tracked it down to Elephantine Island on the Nile River. Egypt’s dry climate slows papyri deterioration and further work at the temple site uncovered dozens more papyri including divorce documents, legal documents and letters.

Found floating in a basket on the Nile River, the baby was named Moses which meant

Did God con a conman — the Egyptian Pharaoh?

[by Dean Smith] As I read of Israel’s deliverance out of Egypt found in the Book of Exodus, one thing always puzzled me. Why didn’t the Pharaoh just order a hit job on Moses? Moses came before the Pharaoh several times asking permission for Israel to leave Egypt. Each time the Pharaoh said no and then Moses announced another plague. There was plenty of opportunity for the Pharaoh to end it all by simply taking out the Jewish leader. But the Pharaoh didn’t do it? Why?

Egypt's Nile River Photo: sdhaddow/Foter/CC BY-NC-SA

Was a Pharaoh’s violent death curiously connected to Joseph?

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a little known pharaoh who may have had a connection to Joseph. According to what was written on the tomb’s wall, his name was Senebkay. He had looted a nearby tomb of Pharaoh Sobekhotep I, stealing a cedar chest, suggesting Senebkay was not financially well off. The tomb found in Abydos had been ransacked by grave robbers. They even ripped apart Senebkay’s coffin, including his mummy, which was buried under a pile of debris. His body was found in January 2014.

Egyptian ruins Photo: Dorena wm/foter/CC BY-ND

Another confirmation of Exodus: Has a statue of Joseph been found?

If you ever watch any movies about the Exodus, they usually portray Ramses as the Pharaoh. One thing secularists have complained about is the lack of extra-Biblical evidence of the Exodus in archaeological excavations in Egypt. The Biblical portrayal of the ten plagues as being catastrophic and national would certainly call for a mention somewhere, they suggest. Well there are such mentions but the problem is we are not looking at the right Pharaoh. The Ipuwer Papyrus, on display in a Dutch museum, lists six of the plagues including water turning to blood and a great darkness. But it dates to a period connected to the Hyksos who ruled Egypt many centuries before Ramses. A second, the Ahmose Tempest Stela, goes into detail on a great darkness that covered Egypt — again dated to the Hyksos period. There is now a third confirmation — possibly a statue of Joseph — also from the time of the Hyksos, but at the beginning of their reign. Who in the world are the Hyksos? Around 2000 BC, a …

Yet another confirmation of the Jews exodus out of Egypt?

[by Dean Smith] When you read of Israel’s deliverance out of Egypt in the Book of Exodus, the Bible records the country undergoing ten significant plagues or judgments before the Egyptian Pharaoh finally allowed the Jews to leave. The plagues were catastrophic and some have suggested that something of this magnitude should be mentioned in the Egyptian records. And in fact there is. First we have the Leiden I 344 papyrus on display at the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, Holland. It presents the Exodus plagues from an Egyptian perspective.  It refers to six of the plagues including the water turning to blood and a massive darkness on the land. However, there is yet a another artifact that supports the Exodus account. It is called the “Ahmose Tempest Stela” or “Storm Stela.” The broken pieces of the stela were discovered between 1947 and 1951.  A stela is an upright slab of rock used to remember or commemorate significant events in a nation’s history.

Ammar Hassan YouTube image Capture: MEMRI

Egyptian academic demands Israel return the gold — taken during the Exodus!

It is a bit humorous, but an Egyptian academic is demanding Israel repay all the gold and silver taken, when God delivered Israel out of Egypt. In Exodus 12:35-36, we read after the death of the firstborn, the pharaoh allowed Israel to leave. The Bible says the Egyptian people who had suffered through the plagues gave silver and gold to the departing Israelis. Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of the Moses, for they requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold and clothing. And the Lord had given the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians (Exodus 12:35-36 NASV) In an interview with Channel 1, an Egyptian TV station, Professor Ammar Ali Hassan said:

Ancient Christian ‘good luck charm’ discovered

For 100 years, John Ryland’s library at England’s University of Manchester didn’t realize it had a 1,500 year old Egyptian manuscript that was actually a Christian good luck charm. It was recently discovered by Dr. Roberta Mazza as she searched through the library’s collection of ancient manuscripts. Mazza works for a research institute attached to the library. The charm was written on a piece of papyrus that had earlier been used as a tax receipt for a grain purchase.

Photo: Khalid Almasoud/Foter/CC BY-NC

Does an ancient papyrus speak of the Exodus plagues from an Egyptian perspective?

There is an ancient Egyptian papyrus that some believe tells of the plagues that God sent on Egypt during Israel’s deliverance from that land under Moses. Oddly the ancient document hasn’t caught the attention of many Christians simply because it doesn’t fit their time-table of who the Pharaoh of the Exodus actually was. Most believe the Exodus happened under Thutmose III or Ramses II, but this document puts it much earlier than these pharaohs. But it perfectly fits my theory of when the the Exodus took place, and I believe this papyrus — written from an Egyptian’s perspective — describes the chaotic days and the plagues associated with Israel’s deliverance. The document officially named Leiden I 344 is on display at the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, Holland. It was discovered in 1828, but wasn’t translated until 1909, when Professor Alan Gardner discovered it was a lament speaking of a very chaotic time in Egypt’s history. He titled it The Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage from a Hieratic Papyrus. It spoke of disasters, …

More archae0logical evidence of the Exodus? Image Statue of Moses, Washington Park, Albany, New York by Petedz/IW/ CC BY-NC-SA

Learn math the way Moses was taught it

In the West, when teaching our children math we have them memorize endless multiplication tables. Multiplication and long division can be a complicated process. However, there is an ancient way of doing math, that is quite different from the way we do it and in some ways simpler. All you need is the ability to double numbers and basic addition. If you can do that you can easily multiply and divide any set of figures. This video reveals the method that the ancient Egyptians and Chinese used to multiply and divide. Oddly, it is also the way modern computers calculate math. Moses grew up in the Pharaoh’s court. The Bible tells us that he learned the wisdom of Egypt. This was undoubtedly the way Moses was taught to multiply and divide.

A mockery of an ancient Egyptian deliverance?

Just prior to their deliverance from Egypt, God told the Israelites to protect their homes from an avenging angel — that would strike down the first-born of Egypt — by marking the lintels and doorposts of their homes with the red blood from a sacrificial lamb (Exodus 12: 7, 8). This became the basis of the Jewish Passover. Now centuries later, the story is repeating itself in the same country, but with a bizarre twist. According to the Christian Science Monitor, mulsim extremists in parts of Egypt are marking Christian homes and businesses with