ISRAEL IN EGYPT
EVENTS during the period of over two centuries that the forefathers of the nation of Israel were in Egypt are an important part of the Bible record.
Jacob’s son Joseph was sold into slavery and taken to Egypt. (Ge 37:28, 36) Some years later, because of divine intervention, he came to the attention of Pharaoh and, as food administrator, was granted authority second only to Pharaoh himself. (Ge 41:38-45) But in time there arose over Egypt a new king who did not respect the memory of Joseph and who imposed tyrannical slavery on the offspring of Jacob (Israel). (Ex 1:8-14) Secular Egyptian history is completely silent about all of this, including Joseph’s prominent position. Is that surprising?
This lack of any mention of Joseph’s prominence and of Israel’s bondage comes as no surprise to those who are acquainted with the records on the monuments of ancient Egypt. It was common for later rulers or religious scribes to remove names from earlier monuments, either because they considered these to be undesirable or to enhance their own prominence. For example, King Horemheb changed inscriptions to credit himself for building work done by Tutankhamen. The Cairo Museum in Egypt and the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago contain numerous examples of such dishonesty.
In contrast, the Bible record bears every indication of authenticity. It is very unlikely that any nation would claim that its origin is to be traced to slaves in a foreign country if that was not true. The Bible account regarding these events contains a wealth of detail of Egyptian life that could only have been conveyed by one who lived there. Further, the Passover is celebrated annually by the Jews down to this day, a celebration that the Bible reports began while their forefathers were in Egypt and as a result of what occurred there. Any claim that the true account regarding these matters has perished and that the only record in existence is false defies all reason.
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