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November 19    Scripture



Bible Cities: Pithom
Ancient Pithom

Map of Ancient Pithom


Pithom in Easton's Bible Dictionary Egyptian, Pa-Tum, "house of Tum," the sun-god, one of the "treasure" cities built for Pharaoh Rameses II. by the Israelites (Ex. 1:11). It was probably the Patumos of the Greek historian Herodotus. It has now been satisfactorily identified with Tell-el-Maskhuta, about 12 miles west of Ismailia, and 20 east of Tel-el-Kebir, on the southern bank of the present Suez Canal. Here have recently (1883) been discovered the ruins of supposed grain-chambers, and other evidences to show that this was a great "store city." Its immense ruin-heaps show that it was built of bricks, and partly also of bricks without straw. Succoth (Ex. 12:37) is supposed by some to be the secular name of this city, Pithom being its sacred name. This was the first halting-place of the Israelites in their exodus. It has been argued (Dr. Lansing) that these "store" cities "were residence cities, royal dwellings, such as the Pharaohs of old, the Kings of Israel, and our modern Khedives have ever loved to build, thus giving employment to the superabundant muscle of their enslaved peoples, and making a name for themselves."

Pithom in Fausset's Bible Dictionary An Egyptian store city built by Israelites for their oppressor (Exodus 1:11). Identified by Brugsch with the fort of Djar, Pachtum. It existed early in the 18th dynasty, before Thothmes III (the Pharaoh who perished in the Red Sea), and was probably erected by his grandfather Aahmes I. The fort subsequently was called Heroopolis. The Egyptian name is Pe Tum, "the house (temple) of Tum," the sun god of Heliopolis. Chabas translated an Egyptian record, mentioning a "reservoir (berekoovota, a slightly modified Hebrew word; confirming the Scripture that ascribes the building to Hebrew) at Pithom on the frontier of the desert." Pithom was on the canal dug or enlarged long before under Osirtasin of the 12th dynasty. Rameses II subsequently fortified and enlarged it and Raamses. Lepsius says the son of Aahmes I was RHMSS. The Rameses, two centuries subsequently, have a final "-u", Ramessu. Brugsch thinks the Israelites started from Raamses, which he thinks to be Zoan or Tauis, and journeying toward the N.E. reached the W. of lake Sirbonit, separated from the Mediterranean by a narrow neck of land. From Mount Kasios here they turned S. through the Bitter Lakes to the N. of the gulf of Suez; then to the Sinai peninsula. In the inscriptions Heracleopolis Parva near Migdol is named Piton "in the district of Succoth" (a Hebrew word meaning "tents"). The place is also called Pt-Ramses "the city of Ramses." (Jewish Intelligencer, Jan. 1877.)

Pithom in Hitchcock's Bible Names their mouthful; a dilatation of the mouth

Pithom in Naves Topical Bible A treasure city in lower Egypt Ex 1:11

Pithom in Smiths Bible Dictionary (the city of justice), one of the store-cites Israelites for the first oppressor, the Pharaoh "which knew not Joseph." Ex 1:11 It is probably the Patumus of Herodotus (ii. 1 159), a town on the borders of Egypt, nest which Necho constructed a canal from the Nile to the Arabian Gulf.

Pithom in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE pi'-thom (pithom; Peitho (Ex 1:11)): 1. Meaning of Name: Champollion (Gesenius, Lexicon, under the word) considered this name to mean "a narrow place" in Coptic, but it is generally explained to be the Egyptian Pa-tum, or "city of the setting sun." It was one of the cities built by the Hebrews (see RAAMSES), and according to Wessel was the Thoum of the Antonine Itinerary. Brugsch (History of Egypt, 1879, II, 343) says that it was identical with "Heracleopolis Parva, the capital of the Sethroitic nome in the age of the Greeks and Romans .... half-way on the great road from Pelusium to Tanis (Zoan), and this indication given on the authority of the itineraries furnishes the sole means of fixing its position." This is, however, disputed. Tum was worshipped at Thebes, at Zoan, and probably at Bubastis, while Heliopolis (Brugsch, Geogr., I, 254) was also called Pa-tum. There were apparently several places of the name; and Herodotus (ii.158) says that the Canal of Darius began a little above Bubastis, "near the Arabian city Patournos," and reached the Red Sea. 2. Situation: (1) Dr. Naville's Theory. In 1885 Dr. E. Naville discovered a Roman milestone of Maximian and Severus, proving that the site of Heroopolis was at Tell el MachuTah ("the walled mound") in Wady Tumeilat. The modern name he gives as Tell el Maskhutah, which was not that heard by the present writer in 1882. This identification had long been supposed probable. Excavations at the site laid bare strong walls and texts showing the worship of Tum. None was found to be older than the time of Rameses II--who, however, is well known to have defaced older inscriptions, and to have substituted his own name for that of earlier builders. A statue of later date, bearing the title "Recorder of Pithom," was also found at this same site. Dr. Naville concluded that this city must be the Old Testament Pithom, and the region round it Succoth--the Egyptian T-k-u (but see SUCCOTH). Brugsch, on the other hand, says that the old name of Heropolis was Qes (see GOSHEN), which recalls the identification of the Septuagint (Gen 46:28); and elsewhere (following Lepsius) he regards the same site as being "the Pa-Khetam of Rameses II" (see ETHAM), which Lepsius believed to be the Old Testament Rameses (see RAAMSES) mentioned with Pithom (Brugsch, Geogr., I, 302, 262). Silvia in 385 AD was shown...

Pithom Scripture - Exodus 1:11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.

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