Ancient Near East
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Exodus 7:17 - Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that [is] in mine hand upon the waters which [are] in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.
Egypt and the Nile River. The land of Egypt was blessed with the Nile River, and everything near this river was fruitful. Egypt was truly called "the gift of the Nile", and without this magnificent river everything around would be a desert. In Egypt the desert is everywhere, but along both sides of the Nile River is black mud which created lush farmland. The great mountains of Africa carry rich soil into Egypt via the Nile River. Nearly every year the Nile River would overflow its banks, when the snow on the mountains had melted. This would cause the soil near the banks of the Nile to be very rich and fertile, and this is the reason why Egypt was called "the gift of the Nile".
Geographical Facts. The Nile River is the longest river in the entire world, flowing over 4000 miles from its origin down in Central Africa and dumping into the Mediterranean Sea. In fact the river flows from south to north which is very unusual for a river. The Nile River is between 2 miles and 30 miles wide depending on where you are along the river. If one were to park along the bank of the river and walk on shore, there would be lush dark soil or "black mud" for a period of time, and suddenly it would become dry sandy desert colored red. In the ancient world when people noticed this dark line running down the landscape, they describe it as looking like a thread, and the Egyptians referred to it as "Redland Blackland." The Egyptians built their homes in the desert a short distance away from the rich dark black thread of soil. According to Genesis 10 the father of Egypt was Noah's grandson Mizraim whose name comes from two words that means "red soil" and "two Matzor or Egypts" which no doubt alludes to the red color of the desert sand, and a prophecy of the dual nature of Upper and Lower Egypt. The modern Arabic name for Egypt is Muzr.
The Nile Delta. At the northernmost portion of the Nile River, also known as the mouth, there is the great Nile Delta. In fact this is the meaning of the word Delta, when a river flows for a very long time the mouth begins to form many channels. The word Delta is actually the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet and looks like a triangle, with a point on one end and a fan on the opposite end, and this fan provides the imagery of the mouth of a river. The Delta never stops widening because of the new soil deposits.
Etymology of the word "Nile". The Greek word Nilus is not an Egyptian word or meaning, nor is the Semitic word Nahar which means river. The ancient Egyptians revealed the meaning in the hieroglyphic names of the river, in reference to various gods and goddesses, for example Isis, and the natural attributes of the Nile River attributed to her. Hapi means that "overspreads", Nu means that is "lifted up". Uka speaks of what "gushes forth". Akba Ura speaks of "great weeping", when the Nile overflows its banks. The ancient Egyptians also spoke of the river as a divine serpent.
Genesis 12:9-10 - "And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south. And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land."
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The Story of the Bible - The Old Testament, Quick Summary, About, Divisions, Timeline, Charts, Maps, Creation, Adam and Eve, The Flood, The Tower of Babel, Abraham the First Hebrew, Isaac, Son of Promise, Jacob and the 12 Tribes, Joseph and Egypt, Moses and the Exodus, The Giving of the Law, The Tabernacle, The Wilderness Wanderings, Joshua and the Promised Land, The Judges, Samuel the Prophet, Saul, Israel's First King, King David, King Solomon, The Divided Kingdom, The Northern Kingdom of Israel, The Southern Kingdom of Judah, The Assyrian Captivity, The Babylonian Captivity, The Return From Babylon, The Prophets, The Messiah, Conclusion, Bibliography and Credits
Summary of the Old Testament Books - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
Bibliography Resources on the Old Testament
A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, Revised and Expanded by Archer, 508 Pages, Pub. 2007