Christian Churches of God
Sons of Ham: Part III
(Edition 1.5 20070922-20071008)
Mizraim was a son of Ham that played a very important role in the history of the world. Our current understanding of his descendants and the time-frame in which they lived is dependent upon a reconstruction of history ordered by Ptolemy II and completed by the Egyptian historian Manetho. This work and the subsequent Appendices will produce a more correct understanding of Egyptian History and its place in the world.
Sons of Ham Part III: Mizraim
Mizraim or Egypt was the second son of Ham, as noted in the list of nations in Genesis 10 and 1Chronicles 1. He was also known as Menes or Min, the first king of the Egyptians who reigned for about 60 years, according to the historians Manetho and Herodotus.
Genesis 10:1,6 These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth; sons were born to them after the flood. … 6 The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt [Mizraim: KJV], Put, and Canaan. (RSV)
Mizraim is derived from a Hebrew term, and is a plural word with the meaning double straits (SHD 4714, mitsrayim - dual of matsor (4693)). This duality may refer to the distinction between the original kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt. The Egyptians referred to their land as Kmt in the hieroglyphs.
In Assyrian and Babylonian inscriptions Egypt was known as Musur and Musri, probably from the word Misr meaning simply, land. The Ugaritic inscriptions refer to Egypt as Msrm, while in the Amarna tablets it is called Misri. The term Misr is still seen in the modern Arabic name for the nation, Jumhuriyah Misr al-'Arabiyah (the Arabic Republic of Egypt). Our term Egypt comes from the Greek Aiguptos.
In his book Legend: Genesis of Civilisation, David Rohl gives a different opinion on the derivation of the name Mizraim.
Amongst the followers of Meskiagkasher [Cush] was his younger ‘brother’ -- in his own right a strong and charismatic leader of men. He is the head of the falcon tribe -- the descendants of Horus the ‘Far Distant’. The Bible calls this new Horus-king ‘Mizraim’ but this name is, in reality, no more than an epithet. It means ‘follower of Asr’ or ‘Asar’ (Arabic m-asr with the Egyptian preposition m ‘from’). Mizraim is merely m-Izra with the majestic plural ending ‘im’. Likewise, that other great Semitic-speaking people -- the Assyrians -- called the country of the pharaohs ‘Musri’ (m-Usri). We thus learn that the Semitic name for Egypt -- Masr (Arabic)/Mizr (Hebrew)/Musri (Akkadian) -- derives from an epithet for the leader of the Mesopotamian conquerors of the Nile valley. (Arrow Books Ltd, London, 1999, pp. 451-452)
In Antiquities of the Jews, the historian Josephus records:
The memory also of the Mesraites is preserved in their name; for all we who inhabit this country [of Judea] called Egypt Mestre, and the Egyptians Mestreans.
Now all the children of Mesraim, being eight in number, possessed the country from Gaza to Egypt, though it retained the name of one only, the Philistim; for the Greeks call part of that country Palestine. As for the rest, Ludieim, and Enemim, and Labim, who alone inhabited in Libya, and called the country from himself, Nedim, and Phethrosim, and Chesloim, and Cephthorim, we know nothing of them besides their names; for the Ethiopic war (17) which we shall describe hereafter, was the cause that those cities were overthrown.
(Bk. I, vi, 2)
The Septuagint uses essentially the same term, Mesrain. Egypt/Mizraim was often known as the land of Ham (Ps. 105:23,27), much as Canaan came to be called the land of the Philistines (Zeph. 2:5) after its most illustrious inhabitants.
Psalm 105:23 Then Israel came to Egypt; Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. (RSV)
Emblematically, Egypt was also referred to as Rahab (blusterer or arrogant: SHD 7294), as we see in Psalms 87:4 and 89:10.
Sons of Mizraim
In Genesis 10:13-14 and 1Chronicles 1:11-12, Mizraim’s “sons” are listed as tribal groups rather than individuals: the Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, Casluhim (forefathers of the Philistines), and Caphtorim.
1Chronicles 1:11-12 Egypt was the father of Ludim, An'amim, Le'habim, Naph-tu'him, 12 Pathru'sim, Caslu'him (whence came the Philis'tines), and Caph'torim. (RSV)
The Book of Jasher (ch. 10) provides extra-biblical details on these sons.
21 And the children of Mitzraim are the Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuchim, Pathrusim, Casluchim and Caphturim, seven families. 22 All these dwell by the river Sihor, that is the brook of Egypt, and they built themselves cities and called them after their own names. 23 And the children of Pathros and Casloch intermarried together, and from them went forth the Pelishtim, the Azathim, and the Gerarim, the Githim and the Ekronim, in all five families; these also built themselves cities, and they called their cities after the names of their fathers unto this day.
Although there is a Semite of the same name, we find that Lud, grandson of Ham, was father of the Ludim. He was also the first-born of Mizraim. The Hebrew word is ludiyiy (SHD 3866), meaning to the firebrands: travailings (BDB). (The descendants of Lud, the fourth son of Shem, were supposedly the Lydians.)
The entry in the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (ISBE) is as follows:
In Ge 10:13 Ludim appears as the firstborn of Mizraim (Egypt), and in 10:22 Lud is the fourth son of Shem. We have therefore to do with two different nationalities bearing the same name, and not always easy to distinguish. …
In Isa 66:19 Lud is mentioned with Tarshish and Pul (generally regarded as a mistake for Phut), Tubal, Javan, and the isles. Accepting this emendation, the passage agrees with Jer 46:9, where the Ludim are spoken of with Kush and Phut as the allies of Egypt; and also with Eze 27:10, where Lud is referred to with Persia and Put as soldiers of Tyre. Lud, again, is mentioned with Ethiopia (Cush), Put, all the mingled people, Cab, and the children of the land which is in league (or, margin "the land of the covenant"), which were all to fall by the sword (Eze 30:5). …
The existence of Lud in the neighborhood of Egypt as well as in Asia Minor finds parallels in the Syrian Mucri of the Assyrian inscriptions by the side of the Mucur which stood for Egypt, and still more in the Cappadocian Cush (Kusu) of certain Assyrian letters relating to horses, by the side of the Cush (Kusu likewise) which stands for Ethiopia.
Everything points, therefore, to the Semitic Lud and Ludim being Lydia, and the identification may be regarded as satisfactory. It is altogether otherwise with the Egyptian Lud and Ludim, however, about which little can be said at present. The reference to a city which seems to be Putu-yawan in an inscription mentioning the 37th year of Nebuchadrezzar, and apparently referring to an expedition against Amasis, though it may stand for "Grecian Phut," has very little bearing upon the position of the Egyptian Lud, especially as the text in which it occurs is very mutilated. One thing is certain, however: the Hebrews regarded this Lud and Ludim as being Hamitic, and not Semitic.
The reference in Isaiah 66:19 seems to locate the land of Lud in the Mediterranean, whilst Jeremiah (46:9) and Ezekiel (27:10; 30:5) place it squarely in Africa. The likelihood is that it is in North Africa on the Mediterranean shores.
The Lydians in Asia Minor came into contact with the Assyrians and with Egypt in the early Seventh century BCE when their king Gyges sent an embassy to Ashurbanipal in 668 or 660 (Interp. Dict., Vol. 3, p. 179). Their language was not known and they were not really understood until the Persians conquered them in 546 BCE. Mellink (ibid.) considers the Lydians of Asia Minor to be neither Hamitic nor Semitic. However, if they were either it would be Semitic. We dealt with the probable movement of the Semite Ludim to the Hindu Kush at the border of India and beyond into the Punjab in the papers Sons of Shem (No. 212 A-G).
The second son of Mizraim has a name meaning affliction of the waters (anamiym, SHD 6047), and apparently derives from an Egyptian word. The Septuagint uses the term Enemetiim.
An Assyrian text from the time of Sargon II refers to certain people as Anami, although they were apparently located in Cyrene, Libya as Albright suggests and which the Interpreter’s Dictionary article (Vol. 1, p. 124) says is most likely. Albright (A Colony of Cretan Mercenaries on the Coast of the Negeb, JPOS, 1 (1921), pp. 191-2) equates them with the cuneiform A-na-mi found in a geographical text from the time of Sargon II and parallel to Kapara, who were the Caphtorim.
Little else is known of this tribe.
The term Lehabim (SHD 3853; sing. 3851) means flames or blades. It has been suggested that these people ought to be identified with the Lubim, arising from the proposal that “the one word may be a corruption of the other” (ISBE). The name Lubim is possibly the same as that of the country, Libya, to the northwest of Egypt. Lambdin (Interp. Dict., Vol. 3, p. 110) is of the same opinion.
It is probably that the term Lybios as a son of Mizraim refers to the Ludim and the Lehabim who were conjoined, as were two other sons of Mizraim in North Africa, thereby forming the Philistines and also the Thebans (see above).
As the fourth of the tribes descended from Mizraim, the Naphtuhim have a name which means openings (SHD 5320, naphtuchiym), and is considered a word of foreign origin. The Septuagint gives their name as Nephthalim.
The ISBE entry for this group reads:
A son of Mizraim (Ge 10:13; 1Ch 1:11); but, according to most modern authorities, a district or a dependency of Egypt. Among the many efforts at identification the following deserve notice: Naphtuhim equals (1) Nephthys (Nephthus) in the Northeast of Egypt; (2) Na-ptah, i.e. the people of Ptah, the dwellers in the neighborhood of Memphis; (3) Nathu (according to Herodotus, Natho), which occurs in Assurbanipal’s Annals as the name of a part of Lower Egypt; (4) Erman (ZATW, X, 118), by the change of a letter, reads Petemhim, which signifies "The Northland"; (5) Spiegelberg sees in the word an old designation of the Delta, and would therefore render the name, "the people of the Delta" (compare Johns, HDB; Skinner and Holzinger on Genesis).
Brown-Driver-Briggs also suggests that the Naphtuhim were located in Lower Egypt, and a connection has been made with Na-Ptah, the Egyptian word for Memphis. Lambdin in his article (Interp. Dict., Vol. 3, p. 510) places the Naphtuhim between the Lehabim (which are identified with the Libyans) and the Pathrusim as inhabitants of Upper Egypt, and hence they are inhabitants of the Delta. He holds that W. Spielberg’s rendering of Napthuhim is the Egyptian na-patoh-+-im, where the Egyptian is a plausible but conjectured late form for “those of the delta.”
The Pathrusim (SHD 6625, meaning southerners) were a tribe located at Pathros near Thebes in Upper Egypt. The name Pathros means region of the south (6624), possibly from the Egyptian Pa-To-Ris. The LXX refers to the people as the Patrosoniim.
In the apocryphal Book of Jasher, both the Pathrusim and Casluhim were recorded as the progenitors of the Pelishtim, Azathim, Gerarim, Githim, and Ekronim, who were associated with several prominent Philistine cities, such as Gerar, Gath and Ekron.
The conclusions must be that if they did conjoin it was by branches. The main branch went south to Thebes while the cadet branch joined the Cashluhim and formed the five Philistine cities and hence also the five names in Jasher.
The Hebrew Pathros and the gentilic Pathrusim are derived from the Egyptian p’’-t’’-rsy, which is a term used to designate the whole of Egypt above Memphis.
In the Assyrian material Esarhaddon refers to himself as the king of Musur, Paturisi, and Kusi, meaning, from Isaiah 11:11, that Musur and the Hebrew Misrayim was restricted to Middle and Lower Egypt, thus leaving Pathros for the Thebaid.
Jeremiah 44:1,15, Ezekiel 29:14 and 30:14 refer to Pathros as the original home of the Egyptians. The gentilic Pathrusim occurs only in Genesis 10:14 and 1Chronicles 1:12.
This “son” of Mizraim was the forefather of one of the more notable of the tribes, namely the Philistines (see below). The name Casluhim (SHD 3695, kasluchiym) means fortified and is of foreign derivation. The brief entry for these people in the ISBE reads:
Casluhim—an unknown people—or, according to Septuagint, of the Casmanim, which would mean "shavers of the head"—a custom of the Phoenicians (forbidden to Hebrews as a rule), as known from a picture of the time of Thothmes III in the 16th century BC.
These people were associated with the Capthorim (below) and lived with them on Crete and possibly in Asia Minor. However, they are asserted to have come from Caphtor, which was understood as Crete. They settled on the seacoast of what became known as Palestine, from the term Philistine.
The term Caphtorim means crowns (SHD 3732, kaphtoriy) from Caphtor (3731), as “the original home of the Philistines, perhaps on the southwest coast of Asia Minor, maybe in Egypt or close by, or more probably on the island of Crete” (BDB). They are called Gapthoriim in the Septuagint.
Capthor first appears in the Akkadian texts as Kaptara, where it was described as beyond the Upper Sea and within the sphere of influence of Sargon of Akkad. References to Kaptara are found in 18th-century BCE Mari economic archives and in texts in both Akkadian and Ugaritic in Ugarit where it is kptr (Greenfield, art. 'Capthor', Interp. Dict., Vol. 1, p. 534).
The Egyptians refer to a place as Keftiu (kftyw or kftiw) from what Egyptologists date as 2200 down to 1200 BCE. Egyptologists generally accept that keftiu is the Egyptian form of Kaftara/Caphtor and it is clear from all contexts that it is Crete that is being mentioned. Egypt had commercial relations with them from 2200 BCE, on their chronology, which we will deal with in the Appendix (No. 45F) regarding the dynasties and the time-frames.
It has been suggested that this tribe was in fact a son of the Casluhim (and thus a grandson of Mizraim) as with the Philistines. The ISBE provides several theories on the identity of this group, the first one considered the most likely.
1. First Theory: Crete:
The country and people whence came the Philistines (Ge 10:14 =1Ch 1:12 (here the clause "whence went forth the Philistines" should, probably come after Caphtorim); De 2:23; Jer 47:4; Am 9:7). Jer (loc. cit.) calls it an "island"; there is evidence of ancient connection between Crete and Philistia; and the Philistines are called Cherethites, which may mean Cretans …. These considerations have led many to identify Caphtor with the important island of Crete. It should be noted, however, that the word ‘i, used by Jeremiah, denotes not only "isle," but also "coastland."
2. Second Theory: Phoenicia:
Ebers (Aegypten und die Bucher Moses, 130 ff) thought that Caphtor represented the Egyptian Kaft-ur, holding that Kaft was the Egyptian name for the colonies of Phoenicians in the Delta, extended to cover the Phoenicians in the north and their colonies. Kaft-ur, therefore, would mean "Greater Phoenicia." But the discovery of Kaptar among the names of countries conquered by Ptolemy Auletes in an inscription on the Temple of Kom Ombo is fatal to this theory.
3. Third Theory: Cilicia:
A third theory would identify Caphtor with the Kafto of the Egyptian inscriptions. As early as the time of Thotmes III the inhabitants of this land, the Kafti, are mentioned in the records. In the trilingual inscription of Canopus the name is rendered in Greek by Phoinike, "Phoenicia." This seems to be an error, as the Kafti portrayed on the monuments have no features in common with the Semites. They certainly represent a western type.
However, as we see above, the reference texts make clear it is Crete that is being mentioned; but we have to accept that the Ancient Sea Kings had an expansive trade system and they may well have had colonies in various places. The separation of the Casluhim and the Capthorim may well have been a deliberate decision of colonisation due to space for the two tribes.
These are among the most frequently mentioned people in the Bible. Their control and influence in the Mediterranean was such that it was once referred to as the “sea of the Philistines” (Ex. 23:31). The Hebrew term for them is Pelishtiy (SHD 6430, meaning immigrants), a patrial from Pelesheth or Philistia, the land of sojourners.
In his ISBE entry, C.R. Conder seems convinced that the Philistines were a Semitic rather than a Hamitic people. In fact, they may have contained elements of both groups.
The Philistines were an uncircumcised people inhabiting the shore plain between Gezer and Gaza in Southwestern Palestine … They are also connected with the Caphtorim or people of Caphtor, whence indeed they are said to have come (Jer 47:4; Am 9:7). Caphtor was a "shoreland," but its position is doubtful (see De :23); the Caphtorim found an earlier race of Avim living in "enclosures" near Gaza, and destroyed them. …
Besides these personal names, and those of the cities of Philistia which are all Semitic, we have the title given to Philistine lords, ceren, which Septuagint renders "satrap" and "ruler," and which probably comes from a Semitic root meaning "to command." It constantly applies to the rulers of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron, the 5 chief cities of Philistia.
The fact that the Philistines were uncircumcised does not prove that they were not a Semitic people. Herodotus (ii.104) says that the Phoenicians acknowledged that they took this custom from the Egyptians, and the Arabs according to this passage were still uncircumcised, nor is it known that this was a custom of the Babylonians and Assyrians.
The Septuagint translators of the Pentateuch always render the name Phulistieim, and this also is found in 8 passages of Joshua and Judges, but in the later books the name is translated as meaning "strangers" throughout, because they were not the first inhabitants of Philistia. …
In the Tell el-Amarna Letters we have also (about 1480 BC) letters from chiefs subject to Amenophis III at Joppa, Ashkelon, Gezer, Lachish and Keilah which show us a Semitic population, not only by the language of these letters, but also by the names of the writers. In the case of Ashkelon especially the Semitic rulers are found to have worshipped Dagon; and, though the name "Philistine" does not occur, the race was clearly the same found by the Assyrians in 800 BC in the land of Palastan beside the Great Sea. (ISBE)
It must be remembered that in 1480 BCE the Exodus had not yet occurred but the Hyksos had recently been expelled. The Canaanites and Amorites were still in occupation and their language was identical with Hebrew and derived from the Akkadian, Sumerian and Amorite north – yet clearly they were not Semites. It is thus of no surprise that the Hamitic Philistines used the Canaanite forms in communication with them (see also Sons of Ham Part V: Canaan (No. 45E)).
The Philistines were accomplished and feared warriors. In one particular battle in the Bible, they were able to put 30,000 chariots, 6000 horsemen and innumerable troops into the field (1Sam. 13:5). And, along with the Ammonites, the Philistines were used directly by God to punish Israel (Jdg. 10:7). Other nations were also given the same task at various times, namely the Egyptians, Amorites, Zidonians, Maonites (from Moab and Ammon) and Amalekites (vv. 11-12). However, the arrogance or pride of the Philistines, perhaps in their pre-eminent military power, was condemned in Zechariah 9:6.
In a number of scriptures we see King David accompanied by a bodyguard of Cherethites and Pelethites, which most commentators agree were clans of the Philistines (e.g. Bullinger’s note on 1Sam. 30:14 in Companion Bible). In modern terms, this would be the equivalent of Hamas or Fatah fighters from Palestine (same root as Philistine) serving as a bodyguard to the current Israeli Prime Minister.
The ISBE article gives a view contrary to the accepted one regarding these people as mercenary bodyguards to a king of Israel.
The real explanation of these various words for soldiers seems simple; and David—being a very popular king—is not likely to have needed foreign mercenaries; while the Philistines, whom he had so repeatedly smitten, were very unlikely to have formed trusty guards. The word "Cherethi" (kerethi) means a "smiter" or a "destroyer," and "Pelethi" (pelethi) means "a swift one" or "pursuer."… Evidently we have here two classes of troops—as among the Romans—the heavier regiment of "destroyers," or "stabbers," being armed with swords, daggers or spears; while the "swift ones" or "runners" pursued the defeated foe. … The Pelethi or "pursuers" may have been "runners" on foot, but perhaps more probably mounted on camels, or on horses like the later Assyrians; for in the time of Solomon (1Ki 4:28) horses and riding camels were in use—the former for chariots.
It seems unlikely that these are merely different classes of troops, as the nation (or people: Heb. goyim) of Cherethites is mentioned prophetically in Zephaniah 2:5; and the taking of bodyguards from among other nations, including former enemies, is not as unusual as it might appear. As one example, Pharaoh Amenophis IV (Akhenaton) is said to have employed Syrians, Libyans and Nubians in his bodyguard. In fact, kings were often in more danger from their own countrymen and close associates than from (former) foreign enemies. King Elah of Israel, for instance, was killed by his own chariot commander.
In 2Samuel 15:18, the Cherethites and Pelethites were included with 600 Gittites from the Philistine city of Gath (the home of Goliath) in putting Solomon on King David’s mule and accompanying him as a declaration of his kingship. We thus have the remarkable situation of Cherethites and Pelethites remaining faithful to the ordained kings of Israel – both David and Solomon – in contrast to such men as the normally loyal priest Abiathar, who uncharacteristically sided with Adonijah against David’s approved successor, Solomon. This example may be typical of Gentiles brought into Israel displaying greater loyalty and valuing their ‘citizenship’ more highly than many native-born Israelites.
Ironically, the land of the Philistines was also seen as a place of refuge on several occasions. Isaac went to Abimelech (meaning Father-king: apparently an official title, as with Pharaoh of Egypt) in Philistia when famine was threatening the land of Canaan (Gen. 26:1). Similarly, the Shunemite woman was sent to Philistia by Elisha to escape the seven-year famine in Israel (2Kgs. 8:1-3). And even David, former scourge of the Philistines, sought refuge in the city of Gath when pursued by Saul (1Sam. 27:1-2).
In 1Samuel 6, we see that while they held the Ark of the Covenant, the Philistines were given the chance for salvation – but they did not take it. In consequence, they effectively invited the plagues of Egypt upon themselves (see the paper FAQ Bible Study Old Testament (No. 57)).
In the time of the Judges, Israel experienced 40 years of peace under Gideon (Jdg. 8:28), followed by 40 years of grief under the Philistine yoke as purposed by God, until Samson was raised up to deliver Israel (Jdg. 13:1).
The prophecies concerning the Latter Days indicate that this union and trust will again occur and the remnant of the Philistines and those of Lebanon and Syria will join the Greater Nation of Israel and form part of its administration under the Messiah.
The name Egypt comes from the name Hi-ku-Ptah, which means the House of the Spirit of the god Ptah. It is of late derivation. Originally the land was in a strict sense the two banks of the Nile from the First Cataract northwards to the region of Cairo – constituting Upper and Middle Egypt – and then to the Delta, which is Lower Egypt. As we have seen, Pathros was Upper Egypt.
Shortly after 2000 BCE by current chronology, Egypt pushed her empire south of the Second Cataract and shortly after 1500 BCE to the Fourth Cataract.
For a long time she had laid claims to the oases west of the Nile, which had been claimed and settled by the sons of Mizraim.
After 1500 BCE, Egypt carved out an Asiatic Empire that extended north to the Euphrates but effectively only retained holdings in Palestine and Phoenicia. The name Egypt occurred only late and it was originally called simply the Two Lands (i.e. Upper and Lower kingdoms) or The Black Land in contrast to the red desert surrounding it; or simply “the Land”.
The common delineation of Egypt was termed “from Migdol to Syene.” The extent was from the North-east frontier fortress to Aswan (Syene) at the First Cataract.
Pelusium (Ezek. 30:15) was a frontier fortress. The major biblical cities were Zoan (Tanis) and/or Rameses in the commercial East Delta; On (or Heliopolis) which was in Goshen where Joseph and the Hebrews and Hyksos made their home; Memphis at the apex of the Delta near modern Cairo; Thebes capital city of Upper Egypt; and Syene (Aswan) at the First Cataract. Siut was the capital of the agriculturally rich Middle Egypt or some such other capital over time – but one was always there.
The inundations of the Nile were seen to indicate that the gods favoured Egypt over the surrounding lands. It formed the economic basis of wealth in Egypt.
There are six cataracts over the course of the Nile, which flows through sandstone and limestone, and the harder stone ridges cutting across the Nile have formed these cataracts. The White Nile runs four thousand miles from the Great Lakes of Africa north to the Mediterranean. At Khartum in the Sudan it joins the Blue Nile, which originates in Abyssinia.
There is some effective annual rainfall in the vicinity of the Fourth Cataract and this allowed the Southern sons of Cush to carve out the territory called Ethiopia. It was subjugated by Moses but subsequently was powerful from the eight century BCE onwards. Between the Third and First Cataracts this land is referred to as Nubia. Egypt proper lies north of the First Cataract.
The Nile is at its widest (125 miles) at the Delta, with two mouths in modern times – but anciently it had five. The coast of the Delta was comprised of salt marshes, and the ancient cities lay twenty-five miles inland from the Mediterranean and were reached by boat up the estuaries. There was no city on the coast until Alexander the Great founded Alexandria.
The Nile is navigated with the assistance of the cool North wind off the Mediterranean, except for spring when the South wind blows dust storms into Egypt and this no doubt assisted the thick darkness of the spring Passover in the Exodus (Ex. 10:22-23).
The Southern Cushites were not seen below the Third Cataract and it was not until Egypt reached the Fourth Cataract ca. 1500 BCE that they came into constant contact with the Southern Cushite Negroes.
Egyptians applied no racial terms to anyone. They referred to themselves simply as “the people” and applied geographic terms to those outside, such as Nubians, Libyans or Asiatics.
As might be expected, Egyptian is related to the Hamitic languages. Dialects have only been identifiable in Medieval and Modern Egypt where there had been a major cleavage in dialect between Upper and Lower Egypt. Anciently it was much more standardised by the function of the priests. However, from a literary reference we know that it was difficult for a person from the First Cataract to understand the speech of the Delta Marshes (cf. Interp. Dict., art. ‘Egypt’, Vol. 2, p. 42).
We will not concern ourselves here with the history of Egypt but will leave that until we deal with the dynasties in Sons of Ham: Part VI Egyptian Dynasties (No. 45F).
The consolidation of Egypt occurred from the upper area of Abydos, and a family there conquered the land and formed the first dynasty. This is generally attributed to Menes but it appears to have taken some generations to unify the state. The building of Step Pyramids began in the Third dynasty, while the Great Pyramids were built in the Fourth. We will discuss these aspects in the Appendix.
The Kings were the centre of divine obligation and thus became the embodiment of the god. It was not until the Fifth dynasty that two other “gods” emerged. These were the Sun god Re of Heliopolis, who became powerful under the claim that he was the father of the ruling king; and Osiris became popular as the god of the Dead.
Prior to the Fifth dynasty there were no carvings or abstracts of gods. All carving took the form of animals and the most popular was the lion, much as it is today in sculpture.
The earliest gods associated with creation were abstract. Khnumu was father of fathers and mother of mothers and shaped everything (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (ERE), Vol. 4, p. 145a). He was father from the beginning. He made heaven and earth. He made the gods, and all things.
He was always figured with the ram’s head to signify his creative powers, and his centre of worship was at the First Cataract of the Nile.
His assistant, whom he created along with the other gods we would call elohim in the Bible, was Ptah, “the Great Artificer.” He shapes the sun and moon eggs on his potter’s wheel. He is the god of law and order who created all things by Maat, which is truth or exactness. This is the approximation of the Logos using the Holy Spirit and giving law and order to mankind. This was the system up until the Fifth dynasty when Re and Osiris enter the scene and pollute the theology of Egypt (cf. ERE, ibid.).
Egyptian theology differs from the Semitic in that the Sky is female and the Earth male, whereas it is the other way around with those cultures. It does not, however, diminish the monotheism of the early dynasties and the use of the Demiurge or Logos, Ptah, as the instrument of law and order through truth.
We will deal with the gradual pollution of Egyptian theology with the dynasties as the patter develops with them.
Much idolatry comes from the worship of ancestors.
Dr. Diop (1923-1986) was an Egyptologist who claimed that the early Egyptians were black, but he didn't identify the distinction between the Hg A, B and C Cushites from the Hg E Egyptians and Canaanites as he had died before the science was developed enough to do that (cf. African Origin Of Civilization and Civilization Or Barbarism, by Cheikh Anta Diop). There is no doubt, however, that the early Egyptians were Hamitic. There was also interbreeding between the various elements further up the Nile.
The claims that the early Egyptians were black are borne out to some extent by the statues and busts of several Egyptian rulers: they are unmistakeably ‘African’ in appearance. One notable example is Queen Tiye, wife of Pharaoh Amenhotep/Amenophis III and mother of Akhenaton.
From a genuine, simple past Egypt developed its cosmology into some 70 gods imitating the government of God. The demons used them for their own purposes.
For a very brief period in Egypt’s history, the people seem to have put away their numerous gods and worshipped one supreme Deity. (For a list of their gods, see the paper Moses and the Gods of Egypt (No. 105).)
We will discuss this process in the Appendix.
The impact that Mizraim or Egypt had on the world was significant and even today it captures the imagination of the world.
His sons occupied almost all of North Africa. The modern Egyptians have a great deal of Arab influence as well as other Middle-Eastern and European admixtures.
Once we interlink the dynasties we will understand the history.
It is important that we continue to develop the dynasties and to correctly reorganise the time-frames of the nation, and to correct the errors of Manetho and the evolutionists that follow his errors and who seek to further extend the time-frames to establish their models.
As one academic said: In the late dynasties until the Seventh century BCE, we have a deal of agreement, but the further we go back from there the less agreement we get until, in the early periods, we have almost no agreement at all.
We aim to correct that problem and harmonise it with the Bible.
Christian Churches of God
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E-mail: CCG Secretary
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