The Great Pyramid of Giza
Product of the true worship or the false?
THE Great Pyramid of Giza is one of “the seven wonders of the ancient world.” It is the largest of nine pyramids found in Giza, in the valley of the Nile. The Great Pyramid is 486 feet high, or about the height of a modern 40-story building, and each of its four sides is 764 feet long; its base covers thirteen acres. The ratio of its height to the perimeter of its base is the same as that of the radius of a circle to its circumference, a most remarkable feature according to some mathematicians and astronomers. Its four sides line up perfectly with the four directions of the compass.
The date that Herodotus gives for its building would make the Great Pyramid about three thousand years old today, but others insist that he is mistaken and that it was built about four thousand years ago. According to Herodotus and Manetho (Egyptian historian of the third century before Christ), the Great Pyramid was built by Cheops, one of the Shepherd kings who invaded Egypt and easily subdued it, closed all the temples and then compelled one and all to labor for them. “A hundred thousand men laboured constantly and were relieved every three months by a fresh lot. It took ten years’ oppression of the people to make the causeway for the conveyance of the stones, a work not much inferior, in my judgment, to the pyramid itself.” This causeway was three fifths of a mile long, sixty feet wide and reached a height of forty-eight feet, was “built of polished stone, and [was] covered with carvings of animals. . . . The Pyramid itself took twenty years to build.” The two lesser pyramids of Giza, Herodotus tells us, were built by Cheops’ brother and son.
There has been much speculation as to the reason why these pyramids of Giza were built, and in particular why the Great Pyramid was built. Some have disposed of the problem by claiming that it was built solely as a tomb for Cheops, but is it reasonable that a ruler would direct all the resources of a land such as Egypt toward the building of a tomb, and that for thirty years? Others have concluded that it was built to house royal treasure, but the cost involved in building such a structure far exceeded all the value of whatever treasure a king might want to place in it! Others have ventured the opinion that it was built to serve as a temple, but that likewise does not seem to be the right explanation, as its smooth and slanting sides made access to its entrances very difficult.
Because none of these theories fully and satisfactorily explain the purpose of building the Great Pyramid, others have developed the hypothesis that it was built under divine inspiration; that perhaps Melchizedek was its builder and that God provided it as a witness in stone to corroborate the Bible. Such men as John Taylor of London, Professor Smyth and Dr. Edgar of Scotland advocated the theory* that the measurements of the Great Pyramid and particularly the measurements of its internal passageways and chambers, were full of Scriptural meaning.
What are the facts? Is the Great Pyramid truly a witness to Jehovah? Was it built by his true worshipers to corroborate the Bible, or was it built by the devotees of pagan religions?
NOT OF DIVINE ORIGIN
First of all let us note that since God’s Word is a ‘lamp to our feet and a light to our path,’ and was furnished so that we might “be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work,” there is no unfulfilled need that the Great Pyramid with its measurements would serve.—Ps. 119:105; 2 Tim. 3:15-17, NW.
Jehovah God used some forty writers over a period of sixteen centuries to provide us with his Word. Is it reasonable to conclude that even before Moses began to write the Pentateuch God caused a massive structure to be built that was to corroborate his Word? Rather, is it not an insult to God to hold that he felt it necessary to corroborate his inspired Word by some mute edifice? And that its meaning should be hidden from man for several thousand years and revealed only at a time when the structure had been robbed of all its external beauty?
Further, is it reasonable to hold that God would direct the construction of a building covering thirteen acres of ground, consisting of 90 million cubic feet of quarried stone, with stones as much as thirty feet long and estimated to weigh as much as 880 tons each, when all such work had to be done by slave labor? The very fact that the memory of the invading Shepherd kings who constructed these pyramids was so detested by the Egyptians for generations afterward would certainly put the building of the pyramids in the class of Pharaoh’s building program rather than that of King Solomon.
Besides, if the Great Pyramid were built at God’s command should we not expect to find some reference to its construction in God’s Word, the Bible? The Bible tells us of the building of Solomon’s temple and that built under the direction of Governor Zerubbabel; also of the building of a water aqueduct by King Hezekiah, yes and also of the building of the tower of Babel, but not a word about any of the pyramids. Relevant to this argument also is the fact that none of the structures described in God’s Word employ the design of a pyramid.
The fact also cannot be gainsaid that none of the measurements given in the Great Pyramid throw light on the all-important issue of universal sovereignty or why God has permitted evil. Remarkable as some of its measurements seem to appear, it also cannot be denied that these have led to false hopes resulting in disappointments and none of them serve any purpose in magnifying the name of Jehovah and preaching “this good news of the kingdom,” nor are those who put so much store by the Great Pyramid sharing in such preaching work. If there are facts about the Great Pyramid that cannot be explained solely on the basis of human wisdom, then in view of all the foregoing we have no alternative but to conclude that it must have been accomplished by means of demon power rather than by the active force of Jehovah God.
THE ALTAR TO JEHOVAH
One Scripture text that has been used in times past to support the position that the Great Pyramid is of divine origin reads: “In that day shall there be an altar to Jehovah in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to Jehovah. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto Jehovah of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they shall cry unto Jehovah because of oppressors, and he will send them a saviour, and a defender, and he will deliver them.” By an ingenious set of lines an attempt was made to show how the Great Pyramid was both in the midst of the land of Egypt and at the same time at its border. But no literal structure could literally be both in the midst and at the border of a literal land.—Isa. 19:19, 20, AS.
However, the Bible does use the term Egypt in a figurative sense, as at Revelation 11:7, 8 (NW) where the condition of God’s servants in 1918 and 1919 is described as follows: “And when they have finished their witnessing, the wild beast that ascends out of the abyss will make war with them and conquer them and kill them. And their corpses will be on the broad way of the great city which is in a spiritual sense called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was also impaled.”
The term “altar” as used in the above scripture means a place of sacrifice, and today God’s people are offering sacrifices to Jehovah in the midst of antitypical Egypt, Satan’s world. They are also serving as a pillar, as a monument or witness to Jehovah. While it would be impossible for a literal structure to be both in the midst and at the border of a literal land, this can be true in a figurative sense. The witnesses of Jehovah are today found in the midst of or throughout modern Egypt, that is, Satan’s world; and yet in another sense it can be said that they are also at its border in that they are standing at its edge, ready to pass over into the new world after the battle of Armageddon. That they are to serve as witnesses is stated time and again in the Scriptures: “Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, . . . and I am God.” And as for their being a sign, note the words of the Greater Isaiah, Christ Jesus, in which he refers to his followers as children given him: “Behold, I and the children whom Jehovah hath given me are for signs and for wonders.”—Isa. 43:10-12; 8:18, AS; Heb. 2:13.
Regardless of how interesting, fascinating or intriguing the mathematical, chronological and astronomical implications of the Great Pyramid of Egypt might be, they fade into insignificance when compared with the great work Jehovah is having done today by his altar in the midst of Egypt and his pillar at the border. What the people need today is not just an implied corroboration of Bible chronology but the truth regarding the great issue to be settled, Who rules supreme, Jehovah God or Satan the Devil? They need to see the clear line of demarcation that exists between God’s organization and that of the Devil, and they must be shown the urgency of seeking Jehovah, righteousness and meekness before it is too late.—Zeph. 2:1-3.
Since all the evidence points to the fact that the Great Pyramid was not constructed at God’s direction, for Christians to take it seriously would be tantamount to going down to Egypt for help. (Isa. 31:1) Not by means of a pagan slave-labor-built pile of stone but by means of his Word, his organization and his active force, his holy spirit, Jehovah God is training his dedicated servants for the ministry.
THE LIKELY MOTIVE
There remains but one question. Since it is clear that the Great Pyramid was not built at the direction of Jehovah, and since it appears that it was not built solely to serve as a tomb nor as a storehouse for treasure nor as a temple for pagan worship, can any satisfactory explanation be given of Cheops’ motive for having it built?
Yes, there is one theory that has much to recommend it and that is based on the prominence that the Great Pyramid gives to the sciences of mathematics and astronomy. It is known that in ancient times astronomy and astrology were considered as one. And from Scriptural and secular history it is apparent that the Chaldeans excelled in both. And it further appears that Cheops and those with him, who conquered Egypt with apparently so little effort, came from Chaldea. Therefore, in view of “the mysterious influence which astrologers ascribe to special numbers, figures, positions, and so forth, the care with which the Great Pyramid was so proportioned as to indicate particular astronomical and mathematical relations is at once explained.”
And further, when we consider that “the Chaldeans from the earliest times pursued the study of alchemy in connection with astrology,” by which they hoped to discover the ‘philosopher’s stone,’ and by which in turn they believed they would be able to transmute base metals to gold and silver and at the same time discover the secret of life, then we can find a justification for the building of the Great Pyramid, as a monument erected to astrology with the hope of discovering the fundamental secrets of life and all matter.—The Great Pyramid, R. A. Proctor.
Thus, this most logical explanation of all as to the reasons underlying the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza would indicate that it certainly was not built by those engaging in the true worship of Jehovah God but by those devoted to astrology, a manifestation of Devil religion, and was built in furtherance of such religion.
Bible Students also held to this thought prior to 1928.