Greeks learn in order to comprehend.
Hebrews learn in order to revere.

~ Abraham Joshua Heschel

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Brad's Trip to Egypt

One of the classes I took during the first semester was called “Ancient Egypt and the Biblical World.” We spent the majority of the class learning the history of Egypt and all of its related aspects: pharaohs, dynasties, pyramids, burial customs, texts, religion (beliefs, gods and goddesses, etc.), daily life, etc. The final two weeks of the class, we spent our time looking at all of the connections between ancient Egypt and the Bible. It was incredibly eye opening to see all of the parallels and connections. Much of what the Israelites did had its foundation in the customs of ancient Egypt. Some examples … the pharaoh used to make journeys with a “tabernacle” … the Temple of God was of a similar floor plan to that of the Egyptian temples. In fact, Thutmose III (ruled about 450 years before Solomon) decorated the inside of his temple at Karnak with images of floral and fauna from the land of Canaan. Solomon did the exact same thing. Furthermore, Solomon’s government structure was directly borrowed from Egypt. And the list goes on …

The culmination of the class was an eight-day field study to Egypt at the end of the semester (December 6-14). It was a remarkable trip. We got to do many things that I did not do on my only other trip to Egypt (April 2007). So a lot of what I saw was new to me. Even the things I got to see again, they made so much more sense to me. I didn’t know anything about anything the first time I went to Egypt. But having been to Egypt and then having an entire semester learning about Egypt, this return trip was unbelievably rewarding. The pieces of a giant puzzle began falling together rather quickly. Now, since it is hard to describe everything I saw and did in Egypt, I have included many pictures of my trip in the picture slide show entitled, “Field Study to Egypt.” It should give you a good idea of how much I experienced in just over a week. Enjoy!

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