Gods of Egypt: Imhotep

June 4, 2011

In previous posts we have noted that the plagues of Egypt in Exodus were judgments against the gods of Egypt (Exodus 6:6; 12:12). See here and here.

In the plagues God was showing that the false gods were impotent and that Yahweh alone was the true and living God.

In some of the plagues it is possible that more than one Egyptian god may have been targeted. Some scholars believe that Imhotep, the god of medicine, was shown to be powerless with such plagues as the boils.

Imhotep, god of medicine. Brooklyn Museum. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Imhotep, the polymath and architect of genius employed by Djoser, was deified soon after his death. Imhotep and Amenophis-sa-Hapu, who was Amenophis III’s architect, became a popular pair of gods for the everyday cares of the man in the street, especially in the field of medicine. In common with Thoth, Imhotep became the special tutelary god of scribes and learned men. The Greeks equated him with Asclepius (Egypt, Phaidon, 403-404).

Tomorrow morning I am to begin a 6-Day meeting at Kimberly, north of Birmingham, AL.


Egypt: Plague upon the Cattle

April 26, 2011

Exodus 9:1-7 says:

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, “Release my people that they may serve me! 2 For if you refuse to release them and continue holding them, 3 then the hand of the LORD will surely bring a very terrible plague on your livestock in the field, on the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks. 4 But the Lord will distinguish between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, and nothing will die of all that the Israelites have.”‘” 5 The LORD set an appointed time, saying, “Tomorrow the LORD will do this in the land.” 6 And the LORD did this on the next day; all the livestock of the Egyptians died, but of the Israelites’ livestock not one died. 7 Pharaoh sent representatives to investigate, and indeed, not even one of the livestock of Israel had died. But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, and he did not release the people (NET).

In our previous post we showed how the plagues were said to be judgments against the gods of Egypt. Regarding the plague upon the cattle, Dr. David Livingston said:

This judgment was against the bull god (revered as early as the Archaic Period (35), and the sacred cattle of Hathor, the cow-headed love goddess. It was a special reproach to pharaoh who worshipped Hathor. Hathor, whose name means “house of Horus,” was sacred as early as the Old Kingdom (41, 58). Other gods associated with cattle were Ptah and Amon.
Great cemeteries of embalmed cattle have been excavated. The symbol of the bull was the symbol of pharaoh himself (Bible and Spade, Vol. 4, Num. 1, p. 10).

The museum at Alexandria, Egypt, has a display of a sacred bull.

Sacred Bull at Alexandria, Egypt. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

The cow-goddess Hathor was widely worship in Egypt. This image is from Hatshepsut’s three-tiered funerary palace at Deir el-Bahari.

Goddess Hathor at Hatshepsut's funerary temple. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

The best evidence is that these events transpired during Egypt’s Eighteen’s Dynasty, when the nation was at the peak of its power.


Egypt: the Nile Turned to Blood

April 23, 2011

God referred to 10 plagues as “great acts of judgment” (Exodus 6:6). Prior to the 10th plague, the death of the firstborn, God warned, “For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments– I am the LORD” (Ex. 12:12). In reality, all of the plagues showed that YHWH (the LORD) was the true God; all of the plagues were judgments against the gods of Egypt.

The first plague turned the water of the Nile into blood.

Nile River. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

In an article entitled, “The Plagues and the Exodus,” David Livingston wrote:

This plague was against the god Hapi, spirit of the Nile in flood and “giver of life to all men.” The annual innundation was called “the arrival of Hapi” (57). He was especially worshipped at Gebel Silsileh and Elephantine. The Nile water was the transformed life-blood of Osiris. The fact that the Nile turned to blood, which was abominable to Egyptians, was a direct affront to one of their chief gods. Although the fish-goddess was Hatmeyt, all the fish in the Nile River died! (Bible and Spade Vol. 4, No. 1, P. 4).

Osiris was believed to be the goddess of the afterlife.

The Goddess Osiris. Brooklyn Museum. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

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