Ancient Egypt was a nation located east of North Africa along the coastline of the Nile River. It was composed of two kingdoms; Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. The nations were headed by their pharaohs whose regencies depended on the godly rights of the kings. The concept of “afterlife” and gods could have started from the early Egyptians, a corruption of the religious teachings known by Ham, Noah’s son. Egyptian paganism grew popular in the ancient world until it was overpowered by Christianity and then Islam.
The Two Kingdoms
The division of the two kingdoms was based on the flow of the Nile River’s track. Upper Egypt was the kingdom in the south that stretches from the Libyan Desert to Abu Simbel along the shorelines of the river’s upstream. On the other hand, the kingdom of Lower Egypt was located in the north where the river’s delta flows downstream to the Mediterranean Sea.
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Understanding Upper and Lower Egypt on the Map
Part of the Nile River is called the Delta, after the Greek letter for D. Delta, is shaped like an upside-down triangle.
Early Egypt’s history: there were two tribes who lived along The Nile. When you look at the map, “North” is usually at the top and “South” is usually at the bottom. So it might seem that the Nile Delta should be called “Upper Egypt”. After all, it’s on the upper part of your map. But ancient Egyptians didn’t think about the world in that way. The Nile River flowed from mountains to the south, down to the delta in the north. Ancient Egyptians thought about the southern part of their country, Upper Egypt, as ‘up the river” and the northern part, “Lower Egypt”, as ‘down the river”. If you turn a map upside down, you’ll see the world as Egyptians did.
Upper Egypt was named Ta Shemau. This nation worshipped the goddess Nekhbet and had 22 regions (or sepats in Egyptian terms.) It looks like a thin line coming from the first sepat of today’s Aswan up to the 22nd sepat where Atfih is presently located.
The head of the kingdom was glorified with the White Crown. The High Priestess of Amon reigned in the kingdom from 800 BC to 525 BC.
Lower Egypt was called Ta-Mehu and was situated at the extreme north of Egypt. This watery kingdom runs from the south of Cairo down to Alexandria. It enjoys a calm climate and weather, and rainfall is abundant.
This Kingdom worshipped the goddess Wadjet and was composed of 20 sepats with the earliest found at Memphis. The people’s ruler wore the Red Crown.
Unification of the Two Kingdoms
The two kingdoms had their own unique languages, separate beliefs and traditions and lived their lives differently. Even though the people could communicate and understand each other, conflicts between the two kingdoms arose from time to time. Many these differences and conflicts are still ongoing today.
Eventually, the king of Lower Egypt named Narmer or Menes overpowered the Upper Kingdom leading to the unification of the two kingdoms. He became the first pharaoh of the unified kingdoms, the modern day Egypt. He built its capital city, Memphis in an area at the middle of the two old kingdoms.
Egypt Then and Today
Egypt is mainly desert having parts of the Sahara Desert and the Libyan Desert under its territory. These “red lands” as these deserts were called, though not helpful in farming, played a significant role in keeping away the armies who wanted to invade Egypt. For farming, Egypt has the “black land” the land with the fertile soil situated next to the Nile River.
Egypt was more than just an ancient civilization that was famed for its pharaohs, its pyramids, and its desert and water landmarks along with its other landmarks. Its influence and history extend from ancient times to today.
Even today, the place where Lower Egypt was once located still prospers in trade and commerce. Alexandria, its first well-known city, flourished from the time it was built. Its city structure encouraged not only the trade industry among its citizens and foreign visitors moreover it allowed the sharing of different beliefs, cultures, and religions.
The gathering of different tribes bringing with them their diversified knowledge of herbal medicine and different plants led to the study in the field of medicine. Dissecting cadavers to study the human anatomy was allowed thus also leading to the expertise of Egyptians on mummifying. Its library was rich with an enormous compilation of knowledge. The library encouraged innovations by letting its visitors learn and make a copy of the items they needed. From this city began the great contributions of Galen, Archimedes, and Heron in the field of science.
But what put Egypt in the spotlight from early times in the Bible until today was religious conflict. Ancient Egyptians were pagans that God highly criticized and condemned in the Bible. That early Egyptian paganism was later on overshadowed by Christianity. Presently, Islam is the state religion of Egypt, a country that housed two other important religions; Judaism and Christianity.
It is the most populated Arab nation and one of the most influential Muslim nations in the world. There is an ongoing revolution in Egypt today, and Egyptian Christians and Muslims have worked together on a movement that recently ousted former President Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt in the Bible
- Isaiah 19: 25. The Lord blessed Egypt.
- Jeremiah 44:8-27. The Lord condemned paganism in Egypt and will punish those who practiced it.
- Jeremiah 43: 12-13. Demolition of the temple and gods of Egyptian pagans.
- Ezekiel 29:2-5. Egypt was cursed by the Lord.
- Ezekiel 29: 14-15. Upper Egypt as the “lowliest” kingdom.
- For Other Instances Egypt was mentioned in the Bible, please refer to http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=egypt&searchtype=all&version1=9&spanbegin=1&spanend=73
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