Memphis of Egypt, cont’d.

September 28, 2010

We continue today with yesterday’s topic of Memphis of Egypt, a city which is specifically mentioned in biblical prophecy in such texts as Ezekiel 30:13. We saw that passage contextually foretold of the destruction of the images of the gods there.  Note that some translations will render the city’s name Noph.

Another biblical reference to Memphis is that of Jeremiah 44:1ff.  Jeremiah had been taken by force to Egypt after the 586 B.C. Babylonian deportation by rebellious Jews.  The Lord used Jeremiah as His faithful spokesman to “the Jews living in the land of Egypt, those who were living in Migdol, Tahpanhes, Memphis, and the land of Pathros…”

Alabaster Sphinx in Memphis. Reign of Ramesses II. Leon and daughter Alysha. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

In yesterday’s post we showed the solid alabaster sphinx in Memphis.  Today’s photo gives some sense of scale.  This small area of Memphis is all that can be seen of antiquity of what was once one of the most important cities in the world.

There was Egyptian police presence in Memphis.  We found them to be quite friendly.

Egyptian Police at Memphis. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

One important monument in Memphis is the fallen colossus of Ramesses II.  Ramesses II had a lengthy reign (1279-1213 B.C.), and he left his monuments and inscriptions all over the land.  No one has accused him of humility or undue modesty!

Fallen colossus of Ramesses II. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

At Memphis you can see date palm trees such as the one in our photo.  You could say this tree had lots of dates!

Date palm tree at Memphis. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

As we say frequently, the Bible is true; it is genuine history; it is not fiction. When it mentions places, such as Memphis/Noph, they are real places where real people lived, for better or worse!

Click on photos for higher resolution.

Memphis of Egypt

September 27, 2010

Today’s post will deal with Memphis of Egypt.  To give some context, let me lead into this with the following:

The message of the biblical prophets may be broadly summarized into three subject areas:

1. God’s message to His people of the prophet’s time.

2. God is the God of all the earth; His message to the nations.

3. Most importantly, the Messianic prophecies; Christ, His redemptive work, His kingdom.

Today’s post will deal with the second category; God is the God of the nations.  This is why you will find in some instances in the prophets back-to-back chapters dealing with the nations of men.  Ezekiel was one of the captivity prophets (taken to Babylon with the second deportation, 597 B.C.).  Though he had much to say to his contemporary captives (Jews), and had many Messianic prophecies, Ezekiel proclaimed the word of the LORD to the nations.

Ezekiel 30 addresses Egypt and includes specifically Memphis. “Thus says the Lord GOD, “I will also destroy the idols And make the images cease from Memphis. And there will no longer be a prince in the land of Egypt; And I will put fear in the land of Egypt” (v.13).

For so many centuries Egypt had been a world power.  Memphis had been one of the most important administrative centers.  Only Thebes in the south was comparable in economic, political and religious importance.

But God said He would “execute judgments on Egypt” (v.19). The prophecy was fulfilled.  Egypt fell, and the city of Memphis, royal residence and capital of Egypt, one of the renowned places of the whole ancient world, has disappeared almost completely.  The most significant ruins can be seen near the modern village of Mit Rahina.

Sign indicating site of biblical Memphis, Egypt. Near modern Mit Rahina. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Within the enclosure of the temple of Ptah one can see a large alabaster sphinx. This dates to the reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 B.C.).

Alabaster Sphinx in Memphis, Egypt. Dates to reign of Ramesses II. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Ezekiel’s prophecy was that God would “cause the images to cease from Memphis.”  Our photo below illustrates what the prophet had in mind.  This is an image of the Egyptian goddess Hathor.

Image of Egyptian goddess Hathor. Memphis, Egypt. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

More to come on Memphis, Egypt.  Remember to click on image for higher resolution. Photos may freely be used in teaching.

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