(Pathʹros) [perhaps, the Southern Land].
Pathros is regularly associated with Egypt (Hebrew, Mits·raʹyim). (Ezek. 30:13, 14) Most authorities connect the name Pathros with the Egyptian p;-t;-rsy (the actual pronunciation is unknown), a term evidently designating Upper Egypt. Upper Egypt generally designates the region of the Nile valley running from a point somewhat S of Memphis on up to Syene (modern Aswan) at the first cataract of the Nile. Some scholars, however, prefer to include a “Middle Egypt” in this section and believe that Pathros relates more closely to the Thebaid, that is, the region of Upper Egypt around the ancient city of Thebes, some 300 miles (c. 482 kilometers) S of the Delta region of Lower Egypt. The text at Isaiah 11:11, which foretells the return of Israelite exiles from ‘Egypt (Mizraim), Pathros and Cush,’ would seem to corroborate the placing of Pathros somewhere in Upper Egypt, with Cush (Ethiopia) bordering it on the S. An Assyrian inscription of King Esar-haddon gives a similar lineup, referring to “Musur, Paturisi and Cush.”
Ezekiel 29:14 calls Pathros the “land of their [the Egyptians’] origin.” The traditional Egyptian view, as recounted by Herodotus (ii, 4, 15, 99), apparently corroborates this, as it makes Upper Egypt, and particularly the region of Thebes, the seat of the first Egyptian kingdom, under a king whom Herodotus calls “Menes,” a name not found in Egyptian records. Diodorus Siculus (first century B.C.E.) records a similar view (i, 50). The Egyptian tradition set forth by these Greek historians may be a feeble echo of the true history presented in the Bible regarding Mizraim (whose name came to stand for Egypt) and his descendants, including Pathrusim.—Gen. 10:13, 14.
Following the desolation of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, a remnant of the Jews fled into Egypt. Among the places listed in which they dwelt are Migdol, Tahpanhes, Noph (all cities of Lower Egypt) and “the land of Pathros.” (Jer. 44:1) Here they engaged in idolatrous worship, resulting in Jehovah’s condemnation of them and the warning of a coming conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar. (Jer. 44:15, 26-30) Papyrus evidence of the fifth century B.C.E. shows a Jewish colony situated all the way at the southern end of ancient Egypt at Elephantine by Syene.