“Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance”.
A couple of things I’ve learnt on my trip to Egypt;
1) The snake symbol on the headdress of the pharaohs symbolizes “Protection”.
Every documentary I remember watching, says the snake was a symbol of the power and ferocious(or ruthless) nature of the Egyptian empire/Kingdom. But that’s a little far from the truth. The snake is seen in all of their iconography as a creature of protection. Their book of the dead shows the snake carring/guiding the kings and queens through the underworld to meet their god.
Where the headdress had a snake and vulture’s head, it signified a United Kingdom of upper and lower Egypt. Upper Egypt was the snake, while lower Egypt was the Vulture (or falcon).
For me, this puts a whole new perspective on the Genesis story and Eve’s conversation with the snake in the garden. It also gives a new dimension to John 3:14 – “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up”
I heard an orthodox Rabbi teach once that the snake in the garden is the same as the messiah, but his message was too confusing for me, so I didn’t pay much attention. Visiting Egypt and seeing these images suddenly makes me want to revisit his teaching.
For me It also answers the question why anyone would name their child Phinehas (Meaning mouth of a serpent) from Numbers 25:11-13
“11 Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.
12 Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace:
13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel”.
2) Ancient Egyptians were circumcised.
This one is a curious one for me, because I just suddenly realized that the Bible doesn’t say Abraham started circumcision. It just says Abraham was given circumcision as a sign of his covenant with God. It suddenly brings up the question when did the sons of Noah begin circumcision? (Egypt is Mitzrayim. Grandson of Noah through Ham).
I’ve heard another orthodox rabbi teach that it was Joseph who taught them circumcision, and I’ve also read articles from critics (atheist) say that circumcision didn’t begin with Abraham but in East Africa…
3) The Sphinx is always a Pharaoh with the body of a lion.
I had believed the Sphinx was the same as a Mesopotamian lamatu, which was simply the guardian at thresholds or gateways.
In Egypt the Sphinx represents wisdom and power. The face was the face of whichever pharaoh built it, and represents wisdom of man. The body of the lion represents power. Just like the Mesopotamian “Lamatu”, the Sphinx was the guardian to sacred places like the tombs at the Pyramids at Giza…
The history here is a lot….