Egypt in the Old Testament is a fascinating country, and not only because it was one of the most powerful and influential kingdoms in history. Humans have been living on its soil for more than 10000 years, so many events happened there that they greatly affected the world, even until today. If you want to know more about this country, you should start reading of Egypt in the Old Testament!
Egypt appeared often in the Bible, from the time of Abraham and Moses to its final fall during the Roman Empire. From its first appearance as a wilderness dwelling for Abraham and his wife Hagar, Egypt became a land of promise for God’s people. This book looks at the major concepts that appear throughout the Old Testament story, such as slavery and freedom, redemption and judgment, faithfulness and idolatry—and how they were manifested throughout Egypt’s rise and fall.
Egypt in the Old Testament
The relationship between Egypt and ancient Israel and Judah was far more complex than is often recognized. Egypt figures prominently in their national myths of origin as a way station for the patriarchs and as the “house of slaves” and starting point of the Exodus. Although no Exodus event can be confirmed from extrabiblical sources, its significance in the Bible suggests an historical kernel. The diverse existing traditions about Egypt in the texts of the Pentateuch and other early biblical writings, combined and written down at a later date, seem to reflect different experiences on the part of the groups that coalesced into Israel
By the time of the monarchy, there is more direct evidence for Egyptian influence on Israelite culture, particularly in administrative affairs. It is also clear that Egyptian religion was practiced in the Levant at this time and would have been known in Israel and Judah.
By the time of the divided monarchy, the historical picture comes into better focus. Relations between Egypt, Israel, and Judah were quite variable. Although Egypt’s New Kingdom empire in the Levant had ended, the region continued to be a useful trading outlet, and the pharaohs were not above raiding to assert their power. However, there are numerous examples of fugitives from the Levant finding refuge from their enemies in Egypt. In the interest of maintaining a buffer zone against the northern empires that encroached, Egypt and Kush gave military aid to Israel and Judah at times, through both direct action and supplies.
There are a number of specific Egyptian texts that supply mutually illuminating points of comparison with biblical texts, including wisdom instructions, prayers, hymns, creation accounts, and autobiographies. These are indications of the extensive, ongoing, cultural interactions between Egypt and the cultures that produced the Old Testament.