Egypt has resurfaced intermittently in the past 2,500 years of world history,but always as the territory of a foreign nation or empire.What happened toancientEgyptthe unique and independent civilization established by the pharaohs, the nation that once reigned over mankind? That Egypt has clearly vanished.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, when artifacts were uncovered indicating the presence of black pharaohs, prejudiced historians and scientists generally downplayed the notion that a great Nubian civilization had once existed in Egypt. Today, however, many Egyptologists recognize that the indigenous peoples of ancient Egypt originated from the same racial strain as their counterparts in Africa.
Although Egypt would eventually recover from the damage inflicted by the Babylonians and the Persians, God says in Ezekiel 30:13 that there shall be no more a prince of the land ofEgypt.
What Happened to Egypts Pharaohs?
Moreover, scientists have also investigated the remains of the early Egyptians, including theirdna, bone structure and teeth, and concluded that early Egyptians are of the same racial strain as the black people of Africa. Even the historical record indicates early Egypt was settled, at least partially, by people of black skin. Among the ancient historians who recognized this fact was Herodotus, the fifth-century Greek who referred to the ancient Egyptians as melanchroes, meaning black-skinned.
This, as Bible commentaries explain and historical records confirm, is an explicit prophecy that after its destruction in the sixth centuryb.c., Egypt wouldnever againbe governed by anative prince!
God was going to show Pharaoh Apries exactly who created the Nile and gave Egypt all its power. In verse 4, God tells the pharaoh, I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales. God said He would expose Pharaoh Apries as a fraudmuch like He had exposed the gods of Egypt during the 10 plagues nearly a thousand years earlier!
With over 10 million copies sold, Werner Kellers bookThe Bible as Historystands as the principal literary work highlighting the accuracy of the Bible. Originally published in 1955 and again in 1980, the book travels through the biblical epic, pointing out how archaeology has time and again proven the Bible as a legitimate historical document. Further excavation over the years has vindicated most of Kellers positions and disproved a few others, but the fact remains that the Bible preserves a compellingly truthful account of ancient Israels history.
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Naturally, in the scientific world, Dr. Mazar has detractors who discredit her work because of how she uses the Bible. They label her as a religious fundamentalist with obvious bias. However, in talking and working with Eilat Mazar in person, you hardly get that impression. Much the opposite, Dr. Mazar is as scientific as they come, her conclusions based firmly in sound archaeological method.
Although she may be the poster child of biblical archaeology today, Dr. Eilat Mazar isnt the first archaeologist to hold the Bible in such high esteem.
That training and birth, if you will, into archaeology served Eilat Mazar well. So did Professor Mazars deep understanding that the Bible should be used as a historical source for Israelite history.
The winds of revolution sweeping Egypt today arent the first that have ravaged that nation.
My grandfather is the late professor Dr. Benjamin Mazar, a leading Israeli archaeologist in his own right. He is best known for his massive excavation at the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount that spanned the late 1960s and the 70s. He also served as president of the Hebrew University between 1953 and 1961.It was his enthusiasm for archaeology and the Bible that captured the imagination of a young girl named Eilat who loved to visit his digs. She recalls that many times she would sit before her grandfather as a child when he would conduct advanced seminars for scholars in his home. He was sharing his enthusiasm with the whole academic world and with us, the children.
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For nearly 2,000 years before the sixth centuryb.c., Egypt was not only a regional force, but a pulsating civilization.Culturally and intellectually, ancient Egyptian mathematicians, scientists and astronomers were on the vanguard of innovation; agriculturally, ancient Egypt exported grains throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean; the ancient Egyptians constructed edifices that 4,000 years later still dazzle engineers. Politically, Egypts ruling class was the most enduring and impressive monarchy in the world.
What would Dr. Mazar say to critics who fault her archaeology because of its Jewish sponsors?
Once again we must turn to God for the answer. Any person who has read the first five books of the Bible will recall Egypts prominent role in the events surrounding the development of ancient Israel. Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Jacobs 12 sons and their descendantsthe Bible reveals that all these men lived in Egypt at some point in their lives,and played a crucial role in early Egyptian history.
He was expecting new and fresh thinking every single day. He really pushed me. On the one hand it was quite distressing, but on the other hand it pushed me to constantly be thinking every time that I am excavating, Mazar recounts.
Joseph became part of the royal family of Egypt. And in the years following his promotion as vice president, it was Josephs leadershipparticularly his economic policiesthat made Egypt the wealthiest and most powerful empire on Earth.
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While archaeological method is constantly improving, Dr. Mazar is as scientifically respectable as anyone in the field. She actually invites other archaeologists to the site, especially ones that think differently, she says. Everybody is most welcome to observe how we work, and afterwards, how we process the finds. We make sure that everything can be observed and criticized. Then nobody can blame us that we are not doing the best updated work.
But perhaps the most striking facet of Egyptian history is its precipitous fall.
Then,all of a sudden in the sixth centuryb.c.,Egypt vanished as a world powerand never reclaimed its position! Why? Because, as we discovered in Ezekiel 29 and 30, God said that after the sixth centuryb.c., Egypt would remain the basest of kingdoms, a nation still alive, yet incapable of exalt[ing] itself any more above the nations.
Drunk on arrogance, Apries had lost sight of Egypts history with God and the Israelites. So God dispatched Ezekiel to warn Apries of where his egotism was leading and to tell him that God would expose and destroy him, and that in Egypts devastation the world would learn the ultimate source of Egypts power. In verse 3, God tells Ezekiel: Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.
In Genesis 41, Pharaoh rewards Joseph for interpreting his dream. He promises Joseph, Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled:only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph,See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh,and went throughout all the land of Egypt(verses 39-46).
What Happened to Egypts Pharaohs?
Thankfully, there are still some, like Dr. Eilat Mazar, who are willing to practice true science and acknowledge the Bible as history. If more did, who knows what else would be found?
What Happened to Egypts Pharaohs?
When David conquered the Jebusite city around 1000b.c. he took up residence in the strongholdthe Jebusite fortress at the north end of the city. According to 2 Samuel 5:9, he then began to build up the area around Millo and inward. The New International Version says David built up theareaaround it, from the supporting terraces inward. So David set out to enlarge the city limitsfirst concentrating on a royal palace. The Bible says King Davids palace was partially built by workers sent to him by the Phoenician king of Tyre as a gesture of friendship (verse 11). And David went on, and grew great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him (verse 10).
For Dr. Mazar, her whole academic reputation is on the line with her excavations and conclusions. Still, she holds firm to the historical application of the Bible.
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Despite periodic insurrections by native Egyptians, the ancient Egyptian civilization never fully recovered from the Persian invasion. Beginning in the sixth centuryb.c., tides of foreigners began to settle in Egypt: Seafaring Greeks sailed in from the Aegean, Jews came from Jerusalem, and Syrians from the northern Levant. Within a couple of centuries, Egypt was a cauldron of races. In the fourth centuryb.c., Persias grip on Egypt slipped, and the reins passed from Persia to Greece, first to Alexander the Great, then Ptolemy and the Ptolemaic Dynasty.
God couldnt have been clearer: He promised that after the sixth centuryb.c., Egyptwould never again be a major ruling power!
In chapters 29 and 30, we read of God sending the Prophet Ezekiel to deliver a crucial message to Egypt. Set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, God instructs Ezekiel, and prophesyagainst him, andagainst all Egypt(Ezekiel 29:2). The biblical record shows that Ezekiel was dispatched to Egypt in theearly sixth century, and that he delivered his message to Pharaoh Apries (Hophrain Hebrew), the fourth king of the 26th dynasty of Egypt.
A decade later, excavation did exactly that. In 2005, just under the surface in the northern-most region of the City of David, she found what she calls the Large Stone Structure and labeled it King Davids palace.
The science indicating the presence of a black civilization in Egypt supports the biblical account of the origins of the early Egyptians. In the book of Psalms, for example, mostly written around the 10th centuryb.c., the psalmists often recall the history of the Israelites in Egypt. In Psalm 105:23, for example, King David writes, Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in theland of Ham.In Psalm 78, Asaph remembers God besieging the Egyptians with plagues, writing that God smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in thetabernacles of Ham(verse 51).
A little more than two centuries later, Abrahams great-grandson Joseph ended up living in Egypt. The Bible reveals that he too had a decisive influence on ancient Egyptian civilization. The fascinating story of Josephs journey from being thrown in a pit by his brothers and then sold into slavery to eventually become a prominent figure in Pharaohs household appears in Genesis 37 through 40.
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Whats new? We just discussed all the new things yesterday, so what can be so new? she would reply.
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Actually, it is good science to find what you are looking for. But it requires great ability to draw on all the sources at your disposal to conduct the best possible research before you excavate. In Dr. Mazars mind, this research necessitated tapping thebiblicaltext.
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Take a moment and think on these stunning prophecies.
God continues His warning in verses 8-10: Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the Lord: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it. Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia.
Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar unabashedly uses the Bible as one of many tools in her kit. Famed for discovering King Davids palace in 2005, Dr. Mazar is a solid supporter of the Bibles function in informing successful Israeli archaeology. What is amazing about the Bible is that very often we see that it is very accurate and sometimes amazingly accurate, she told theTrumpet.
Read the whole passageits remarkable. Basically, the pharaoh gave Joseph, an Israelite, the keys to the Egyptian empire!
Truly, Egypthasplayed a pivotal role in human historyas a living testament to theexistence of God!
Abram had a powerful influence on Egypt. In fact, in the 20th centuryb.c., Abram was largely responsible for equipping ancient Egypt with the knowledge that resulted in Egypts emergence as the intellectual giant of the time!
Today, each of these prophecies has been fulfilled,and we have 2,500 years of recorded history to prove it.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mazar worked in the City of David excavations under the direction of Dr. Yigal Shiloh. Each day after the excavations, as she worked with her grandfather, he would ask her, Whats new at the excavation?
When the bell chimes for the last time at American-owned 11 Wall Street, it will be an ominous, portent-filled day. But probably not for the reason you think.
It wasnt until the sixth centuryb.c. that Egypt fell from the heights of global prominencenever to return. Its demise began early in that century when it tangled with the Babylonian armies of King Nebuchadnezzar. Within a few decades, Egypt was being attacked by the Persiansthe inheritors of the Babylonian Empireand had fallen completely. When Pharaoh Psamatikiiidied after battling the Persians in the battle of Pelusium in 525b.c., wrote George Rawlinson, thus perished the last of the long line of pharaohs, which commencing with Menes had ruled Egypt, as a great independent monarchy,for not less than 20 centuries(History of Ancient Egypt).
The 10 plagues and the annihilation of the Egyptian army during the Exodus of the Israelites in the 15th centuryb.c. left Egypt demoralized and debilitated, politically and culturally. It did, however, recover much of its former glory; the dynasties of the pharaohs were perpetuated, and Egypt reemerged as a regional force and a civilization rich in culture and material possessions.
But that is where the equality ends.
Ever since the early 1800s, many in the scientific community have sought to malign the authenticity of the biblical text. The God of the Bible actually claims to be not just a casual observer of the history of mankind, but an actor in it as wellmaking the Bible unlike any other religious book. Thus, when men presumably destroyed the historical basis for the Bible, it put peoples faith on shaky ground. For that reason, Kellers book in the mid-20th century was a refreshing change.
No, no, no; whatsnew?the professor would ask again.
Most history textbooks open with a description of ancient Egypt as a towering civilization that, for more than a millennium, led mankinds intellectual, political and cultural advancement. Each year, millions of visitors marvel at the pyramids jutting from Egypts dunes, at the mummified remains of the ancient pharaohs, and at Egypts mountains of other artifacts and relicsall testimony to the power the civilization once held.
And it was the two together who would first discuss the idea that King Davids palace was located exactly where it was later found.
Dr. Mazar can hardly understand why some of her contemporaries work to pick holes in the text rather than use it to aid their work. Archaeology cannot stand by itself as a very technical method, she related. It is actually quite primitive without the support of written documents. Excavating the ancient land of Israel and not reading and getting to know the biblical source is stupidity. I dont see how it can work. Its like excavating a classical site and ignoring Greek and Latin sources. It is impossible.
Some archaeologists dislike that Dr. Mazar actually found what she was looking for, and labelthatpremise as being unscientific. However, is it not scientific to have a hypothesis before you start an experiment and then use a controlled method to test that hypothesis?
Under the rule of Apries, Egypt was a powerful, influential civilization. In fact, Egypts presence was so impressive, Apries, like his forefathers, thought himself king of the world, as powerful as God Himself. Pharaoh Apries considered the Nile River, the source of Egypts material greatness, to be his own creation, and he declared himself the god of the Nile.
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In the 15th centuryb.c., when it came time for the Israelites to depart Egypt, it is estimated that they numberedbetween 2 and 3 million. Truly, Israel at this point was a nation living within a nation, a people within a people. This explains why Egyptian historical records show the existence of both white and black people in the nation.
In the early sixth century, Pharaoh Amiries was overthrown by Amesis, a commoner who was not from the line of the pharaohs. After Amesis, Egypt was ruled by Pharaoh Pamaiticiii. After the defeat of the Egyptian armies in the battle of Pelusium in 525b.c. and the death of Pamaiticiii, the Egyptian monarchy became Persian. After the Persian conquest, the Greeks dominated Egypt beginning with Alexander the Great in the fourth centuryb.c. When Alexander died, Egypt was ruled by Ptolemy, who established a Greek dynasty of pharaohs. That dynasty ended in 30b.c., when Egypt fell into Romes orbit. Truly, from the sixth centuryb.c., anativeEgyptian has nevernot onceruled over Egypt!
Ancient Egypt was a magnificent civilization, until it suddenly vanished in the sixth century B.C.
In Genesis 44 though 47, we read of how Josephs 12 brothers and his father, Israel, relocated to Egypt and settled in its most fertile region, the land of Goshen. Under Pharaohs protection and living on the Nile delta, these families expanded rapidly. As the Israelites numbers quickly rose, they made vital contributions to Egyptian civilization, with some, thanks to Josephs good word, even taking up positions within Egypts government. Evidence suggests the Israelites helped Egypt with some of its largest building projects. In fact, some research compellingly suggests that Job (Khufuin Egyptian,Cheopsin Greek),an Israelite,was the mastermind behind the construction of the Great Pyramid.
Impossible indeed! As impossible as recovering Egyptian history without Manetho.
So when it comes to ancient Egypt, science and the Bible agree: Early Egypt, like the rest of Africa, was largely comprised of blacks, descended from Ham, father of the black race!
She laughs and replies, Well, the stones, and the structure, and the stratigraphical layersthey dont care who is giving the funds. There are very clear and very advanced scientific methods our days. You can have all theories and working hypotheses as you go to the field, but the minute you start to excavate, all these theories need to be put on the side. From that minute onward, you have to document and give every little item a precise height and photograph what you find. She concluded, I think that the people who get to know the details of how archaeology works nowadays understand that you cannot force agenda on the facts.
Near the end of Davids palace construction, the Philistines attacked. And since the new palace may not have been reinforced strongly enough to withstand the Philistine assault, verse 17 says David wentdownto the citadel to barricade himself within the city walls until the conflict ended. This, Dr. Mazar theorized more than a decade ago, indicates that Davids new palace stood on higher ground than the Jebusite fortress.
Many delegitimize Dr. Mazars work at the palace of David because of the religious views of her sponsors. But consider: She waited10 yearsfrom when her paper was published before she could get funding to excavate. No doubt if a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or atheist gave her the money to excavate she would have used it to produce the same investigative process, arriving at the same conclusion.
In addition to Ezekiel 29:15, another scripture is key to understanding Egypts sudden demise in the sixth century, specifically the sudden disappearance of Egypts ruling dynasty of native pharaohs.
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From home to the excavation site to anywhere beyond, archaeology saturated Mazar family life. Naturally, Eilat and others in the family followed Dr. Mazar into the field. When I studied at the university, he guided, she says. While at university, the two Mazars began working together on publication ofThe Temple Mount Excavations. The project would continue for 10 years.
She published her theory inBiblical Archaeology Reviewin January 1997 under the title, Excavate King Davids Palace. On a two-page artists rendering of the ancient City of David, Mazar drew an arrow pointing at the north end of the city, underneath the caption its there. She wrote, Careful examination of the biblical text combined with sometimes unnoticed results ofmodernarchaeological excavations in Jerusalem enable us, I believe, to locate the site of King Davids palace. Even more exciting, it is in an area that is now available for excavation. If some regard as too speculative the hypothesis I shall put forth in this article, my reply is simply this: Let us put it to the test in the way archaeologists always try to test their theoriesby excavation.
This astounding scripture explains the sudden disappearance of Egypts ancient pharaohs!
Hailing from the land of Chaldea, which was known for its advanced understanding of science and mathematics, Abrahamas Jewish historian Josephus recordedwas an exceptional scientist, mathematician and astronomer. He even shared this knowledge with his Egyptian friends. Josephus recorded, For whereas the Egyptians were formerly addicted to different customs Abram conferred with each of them . [He] communicated to them arithmetic, and delivered to them the science of astronomy; for, before Abram came into Egypt, they were unacquainted with those parts of learning (Antiquities,I,viii, 2).
There is nothing new about reading the Bible to see how much of the reality can be tangible. It is a whole school that started with Robinson and later on in force with Albright, of which my grandfather considered himself to be a follower and a student, she says.
Around 30b.c., Egypt fell under the control of the Romans, where it remained until the early seventh century, when the Muslim conquest of Egypt began. Between the 7th and 19th centuries, Egypt was ruled by various Muslim governments, including the Ottoman Turks. By the end of the 19th century, Egypt was controlled by Britain, which in the early 20th century turned it over to the Arabs.
In February 2008, theNational Geographiccover story spotlighted the substantial historical and archeological evidence indicating the presence of a predominantly black civilization in early Egypt: Only in the past four decades have archaeologists resurrected their storyand come to recognize that theblack pharaohs didnt appear out of nowhere. They sprang from a robust African civilization that had flourished on the southern banks of the Nile for 2,500 years,going back at least as far as the first Egyptian dynasty(emphasis mine throughout).
In verse 19, Ezekiel even reveals to Apries that he would be attacked by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. In scripture after scripture of chapters 29 and 30, God warns the pharaoh that Egypts destruction at the hands of the Babylonians and Persians would be so disastrous thatit would never fully recover!
So accurate, in fact, that she actually used one specific verse to locate the massive but heretofore elusive palace of King David from over 3,000 years ago.
Once the excavation is over and the artifacts and stratigraphy are studied, it is the right of the archaeologist to suggest the best possible explanation of what has been excavated, to objectively decide whether the hypothesis held up. In the case of King Davids palace, it most certainly did. The widely acknowledged dating of the structure to sometime during the 11th and 10th centuryb.c., its location within the city and its enormous size all testify that King Davids palace is the most logical and scientific identification of the Large Stone Structure.
There is a great deal of confusion among historians about the race of native Egyptians. Archeological evidence, ancient Egyptian art and hieroglyphics indicate the presence in ancient Egypt of both Semitic (Caucasian) people and Negroid peoples (including various shades of brown).
Then, in verse 15, God makes a prophecy that would change Egypt forever. Regarding Egypts future after the destruction, He says explicitly: It shall be thebasest of the kingdoms;neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations:for I will diminish them,that they shall no more rule over the nations.
At the time of King David, Egypt was known as the land of Ham. The Bible clearly reveals Ham as Noahs son, the husband of a black woman and the father of the black race. More specifically, the Bible indicates that the ancient Egyptians descend from Hams son Mizraim (Genesis 10:6). The Hebrew word everywhere used in the Old Testament for Egypt isMizraim. In fact, the Revised Standard Version identifies the sons of Ham in Genesis 10:6 as Cush,Egypt,Put, and Canaan.
The key to understanding events in Egypt in the sixth centuryb.c.and to understanding Egypts disastrous fall from global prominenceis found in the book of Ezekiel.
But what of the wealth of archeological evidence, especially art, that clearly reveals the presence in ancient Egypt of a Semitic people?
Modern-day Egyptians, after all, are not descended from those ancient societies that constructed the Giza Pyramid Complex, the Great Sphinx, and other momentous structures. They have no connection to the early dynastic peoples that pioneered new frontiers in science, mathematics and art, and that once dominated the civilized world. Todays Egypt is inhabited and ruled by Arabs; before that it was under British control; before that it was controlled by various Muslim peoples, including the Ottomans; before that it was the Romans; before that the Greeks; and before that the Persians.
As this survey of Egypts history shows, Egypt never fully recovered from the Babylonian and Persian invasions of the sixth centuryb.c.It never again existed as an independent, world-ruling power!
Truly, the history of ancient Egypt is phenomenal. Thanks largely to Gods presence in its historyfrom the knowledge originally taught the Egyptians by Abraham, to the financial prowess and quality leadership of Joseph, to the labor, organization and farming practices of the Israelitesancient Egypt emerged as the magnificent civilization we know it to have been.
In other words, Abraham and his descendantsall Caucasianhad a decisive presence in and influence over ancient Egyptian civilization!
Consider Abraham. In Genesis 12, Abram relocates from Chaldea to Canaan. When a famine arises in Canaan, Abram is told to move to Egypt. During his stint in Egypt, which could have been a few years, Abram had extensive contact with the pharaoh and the upper echelon of Egypt. For example, verse 16 says that the pharaoh entreated Abram well and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.
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Since that book was published, scores of recent archaeological excavations are corroborating the biblical history as well.