Biblical Egypt

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Joseph Dwelleth in Egypt painted by James Jacques Joseph Tissot c. 1900

Biblical Egypt is Ancient Egypt as it appears within the narrative of the Hebrew Bible, especially the Torah (Pentateuch). Egypt plays a central role in the narrative of the Torah from Abraham to Moses and the Exodus. The Books of Genesis and Exodus describe a period of Hebrew servitude in Egypt, from their settlement in the Land of Goshen until their escape and the journey through the wilderness to Sinai.[1] Based on the internal chronology of the Hebrew Bible, this would correspond roughly to the New Kingdom of Egypt during the Late Bronze Age.

The Hebrew Bible also records that a number of Jews took refuge in Egypt after the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah in 597 BC, and the subsequent assassination of the Jewish governor, Gedaliah (2 Kings 25:22-24, Jeremiah 40:6-8). On hearing of the appointment, the Jewish population fled to Moab, Ammon, Edom and in other countries returned to Judah (Jeremiah 40:11-12). In Egypt, they settled in Migdol, Tahpanhes, Noph, and Pathros (Jeremiah 44:1).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ James Weinstein, "Exodus and the Archaeological Reality", in Exodus: The Egyptian Evidence, ed. Ernest S. Frerichs and Leonard H. Lesko (Eisenbrauns, 1997), p.87
  • C. A. Redmount in Coogan (ed.), The Oxford History of the Biblical World, Oxford University Press, 2001, 58–89.
  • Joseph Modrzejewski, The Jews of Egypt: From Rameses II to Emperor Hadrian, Jewish Publication Society, 1995
  • Franz V. Greifenhagen, Egypt on the Pentateuch's Ideological Map: Constructing Biblical Israel's Identity, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2003
  • S. C. Russell, Images of Egypt in Early Biblical Literature: Cisjordan-Israelite, Transjordan-Israelite, and Judahite Portrayals, New York University. Hebrew and Judaic Studies, ProQuest, 2008