Egypt, Egyptians, Mizraim

“Egypt” From Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

“Egypt” From Concise Bible Dictionary:

In Hebrew Mizraim (though really it is Mitsraim). It is a dual form, signifying “the two Matsors,” as some think, which represent Lower and Upper Egypt. Egypt is also called THE LAND OF HAM in Psalm 105:23, 2723Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. (Psalm 105:23)
27They showed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham. (Psalm 105:27)
and Psalm 106:2222Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea. (Psalm 106:22); and RAHAB, signifying “the proud one” (Psa. 87:44I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there. (Psalm 87:4); Psa. 89:1010Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm. (Psalm 89:10); Isa. 51:99Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon? (Isaiah 51:9)). (This name in Hebrew is not the same as Rahab, the harlot, which is really Rachab.) Upper Egypt is called PATHROS, that is, “land of the south” (Isa. 11:1111And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. (Isaiah 11:11)). Lower Egypt is MATSOR in Isaiah 19:66And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither. (Isaiah 19:6) and Isaiah 37:2525I have digged, and drunk water; and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of the besieged places. (Isaiah 37:25), but translated “defense” and “besieged places” in the AV. Egypt is one of the most ancient and renowned countries, but it is not possible to fix any date to its foundation.
The history of ancient Egypt is usually divided into three parts.
1. The Old Kingdom, from its commencement to the invasion of Egypt by those called Hyksos or Shepherd-kings. This would embrace the first eleven dynasties. In some of these the kings reigned at Memphis, and in others at Thebes, so that it cannot now be ascertained whether some of the dynasties were contemporaneous or not. To the first four dynasties are attributed the building of the great Pyramid and the second and third Pyramids, and also the great Sphinx.
2. The Middle Kingdom commenced with the twelfth dynasty. Some Hyksos had settled in Lower Egypt as early as the sixth dynasty; they extended their power in the fourteenth dynasty, and reigned supreme in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth dynasties. These were Semites from Asia. They established themselves in the north of Egypt at Zoan, or Tanis, and Avaris, while Egyptian kings reigned in the south. They are supposed to have held the north for about 500 years, but some judge their sway to have been much shorter.
3. The New Kingdom was inaugurated by the expulsion of the Hyksos in the eighteenth dynasty, when Egypt regained its former power, as we find it spoken of in the Old Testament
The first mention of Egypt in scripture is when Abraham went to sojourn there because of the famine. It was turning to the world for help, and it entangled the patriarch in conduct for which he was rebuked by Pharaoh, the prince of the world (Gen. 12:10-2010And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. 11And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: 12Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. 13Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. 14And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. 15The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 16And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels. 17And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife. 18And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? 19Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. 20And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had. (Genesis 12:10‑20)). This would have been about the time of the twelfth dynasty. About B.C. 1728 Joseph was carried into Egypt and sold to Potiphar: his exaltation followed; the famine commenced, and eventually Jacob and all his family went into Egypt. See JOSEPH. At length a king arose who knew not Joseph, doubtless at the commencement of a new dynasty, and the children of Israel were reduced to slavery. Moses was sent of God to deliver Israel, and the plagues followed. See PLAGUES OF EGYPT. On the death of the firstborn of the Egyptians, Israel left Egypt. See ISRAEL IN EGYPT and the EXODUS.
Very interesting questions arise—which of the kings of Egypt was it who promoted Joseph? which king was it that did not know Joseph? and which king reigned at the time of the Plagues and the Exodus? The result more generally arrived at is that the Pharaoh who promoted Joseph was one of the Hyksos (who being of Semitic origin, were more favorable to strangers than were the native Egyptians), and was probably APEPA or APEPI II., the last of those kings. It was to the Egyptians that shepherds were an abomination, as scripture says, which may not have applied to the Hyksos (which signifies “shepherds” and agrees with their being called shepherd-kings), and this may account, under the control of God, for “the best of the land” being given to the Israelites.
The Pharaoh of the oppression has been thought to be RAMESES II. of the nineteenth dynasty, and the Pharaoh of the Exodus to be MENEPHTHAH his son. The latter had one son, SETI II, who must have been slain in the last plague on Egypt, if his father was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The monuments record the death of the son, and the mummy of the father has not been found, but he is spoken of as living and reigning after the death of his son. This would not agree with his perishing in the Red Sea. Scripture does not state positively that he fell under that judgment, but it does say that God “overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea” (Psa. 136:1515But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalm 136:15)). God also instructed Moses to say to Pharaoh, “Thou shalt be cut off from the earth. And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee My power” (Ex. 9:1515For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. (Exodus 9:15)). Menephthah has been described as “weak, irresolute, and wanting in physical courage,” and it is thought he would never have ventured into the Red Sea. The monuments depict him as “one whose mind was turned almost exclusively towards sorcery and magic.” It is no wonder therefore that he was so slow to learn the power of Jehovah. As scripture does not give the names of the Pharaohs in the Pentateuch, there is really no definite link between those mentioned therein and any particular kings as found on the monuments. Some Egyptologers consider other kings more probable than the above, placing the time of Joseph before the period of the Hyksos, while others place it after their exit.
After the Exodus scripture is silent as to Egypt for about 500 years, until the days of Solomon. The Tell Amarna Tablets (to be spoken of presently) reveal that Canaan was subject to Egypt before the Israelites entered the land. Pinetem II., of the twenty-first dynasty, is supposed to be the Pharaoh who was allied to Solomon.
The first Pharaoh mentioned by name is SHISHAK: he has been identified with Shashank I, first king of the twenty-second dynasty, who held his court at Bubastis. He gave shelter to Jeroboam when he fled from Solomon, and after Solomon’s death he invaded Judaea with 1200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen, and people without number. He took the walled cities, and pillaged Jerusalem and the temple: “he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made” (1 Kings 11:4040Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon. (1 Kings 11:40); 1 Kings 14:25-2625And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem: 26And he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made. (1 Kings 14:25‑26); 2 Chron. 12:2-92And it came to pass, that in the fifth year of king Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the Lord, 3With twelve hundred chariots, and threescore thousand horsemen: and the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt; the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians. 4And he took the fenced cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem. 5Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the Lord, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak. 6Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The Lord is righteous. 7And when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. 8Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries. 9So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made. (2 Chronicles 12:2‑9)). It is painfully interesting to find, among the recorded victories of Shishak on the temple at Karnak, a figure with his arms tied behind, representing Judah as a captive. The inscription reads JUDAH MELCHI, kingdom of Judah.
The twenty-fifth dynasty was a foreign one, of Ethiopians who reigned in Nubia. Its first king, named Shabaka, or Sabaco, was the So of scripture. Hoshea, king of Israel, attempted an alliance with this king that he might be delivered from his allegiance to Assyria. He made presents to Egypt; but the scheme was not carried out. It led to the capture of Samaria and the captivity of the ten tribes (2 Kings 17:44And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison. (2 Kings 17:4)).
Another king of this dynasty was Tirhakah or Taharka (the Tehrak of the monuments) who came into collision with Assyria in the 14th year of Hezekiah. Sennacherib was attacking Libnah when he heard that the king of Ethiopia had come out to fight against him. Sennacherib sent a second threatening letter to Hezekiah; but God miraculously destroyed his army in the night. Tirhakah was afterward defeated by Sennacherib, and again at the conquest of Egypt by Esar-haddon (2 Kings 19:99And when he heard say of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he is come out to fight against thee: he sent messengers again unto Hezekiah, saying, (2 Kings 19:9); Isa. 37:99And he heard say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He is come forth to make war with thee. And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, (Isaiah 37:9)).
Egypt recovered this shock under Psammetichus I. of Sais (twenty-sixth dynasty), and in the days of Josiah, PHARAOH-NECHO, anxious to rival the glories of the eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties, set out to attack the king of Assyria and to recover the long-lost sway of Egypt over Syria. Josiah opposed Necho, but was slain at Megiddo. Necho carrying all before him proceeded as far as Carchemish on the Euphrates, and on returning to Jerusalem he deposed Jehoahaz and carried him to Egypt (where he died), and set up his brother Eliakim in his stead, calling him Jehoiakim. The tribute was to be one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold (2 Kings 23:29-3429In his days Pharaoh-nechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him. 30And his servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father's stead. 31Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done. 33And Pharaoh-nechoh put him in bands at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute of an hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold. 34And Pharaoh-nechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to Egypt, and died there. (2 Kings 23:29‑34); 2 Chron. 35:20-2420After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. 21But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not. 22Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. 23And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded. 24His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. (2 Chronicles 35:20‑24); Jer. 26:20-2320And there was also a man that prophesied in the name of the Lord, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjath-jearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah: 21And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death: but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt; 22And Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, namely, Elnathan the son of Achbor, and certain men with him into Egypt. 23And they fetched forth Urijah out of Egypt, and brought him unto Jehoiakim the king; who slew him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people. (Jeremiah 26:20‑23)). By Necho being able to attack the king of Assyria, in so distant a place as Carchemish shows the strength of Egypt at that time, but the power of Babylon was increasing, and after three years Nebuchadnezzar defeated the army of Necho at Carchemish, and recovered every place from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates; and “the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land” (2 Kings 24:77And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt. (2 Kings 24:7); Jer. 46:2-122Against Egypt, against the army of Pharaoh-necho king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon smote in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah. 3Order ye the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle. 4Harness the horses; and get up, ye horsemen, and stand forth with your helmets; furbish the spears, and put on the brigandines. 5Wherefore have I seen them dismayed and turned away back? and their mighty ones are beaten down, and are fled apace, and look not back: for fear was round about, saith the Lord. 6Let not the swift flee away, nor the mighty man escape; they shall stumble, and fall toward the north by the river Euphrates. 7Who is this that cometh up as a flood, whose waters are moved as the rivers? 8Egypt riseth up like a flood, and his waters are moved like the rivers; and he saith, I will go up, and will cover the earth; I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof. 9Come up, ye horses; and rage, ye chariots; and let the mighty men come forth; the Ethiopians and the Libyans, that handle the shield; and the Lydians, that handle and bend the bow. 10For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord God of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates. 11Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured. 12The nations have heard of thy shame, and thy cry hath filled the land: for the mighty man hath stumbled against the mighty, and they are fallen both together. (Jeremiah 46:2‑12)). The Necho of scripture is Nekau on the monuments, a king of the twenty-sixth dynasty.
The Greek writers and the Egyptian monuments mention Psamatik II. as the next king to Necho, and then Apries (Uahabra on the monuments, the letter U being equivalent to the aspirate), the HOPHRA of scripture. Zedekiah had been made governor of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, but he revolted and formed an alliance with Hophra (Ezek. 17:15-1715But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered? 16As I live, saith the Lord God, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. 17Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons: (Ezekiel 17:15‑17)). When the Chaldeans besieged Jerusalem, Hophra, true to his word, entered Palestine. Nebuchadnezzar raised the siege, attacked and defeated him, and then returned and re-established the siege of Jerusalem. He took the city and burned it with fire (Jer. 37:5-115Then Pharaoh's army was come forth out of Egypt: and when the Chaldeans that besieged Jerusalem heard tidings of them, they departed from Jerusalem. 6Then came the word of the Lord unto the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 7Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah, that sent you unto me to inquire of me; Behold, Pharaoh's army, which is come forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land. 8And the Chaldeans shall come again, and fight against this city, and take it, and burn it with fire. 9Thus saith the Lord; Deceive not yourselves, saying, The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us: for they shall not depart. 10For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire. 11And it came to pass, that when the army of the Chaldeans was broken up from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh's army, (Jeremiah 37:5‑11)).
Hophra was filled with pride, and it is recorded that he said not even a god could overthrow him. Such arrogance could not go unpunished. Ezekiel was at Babylon: and in his prophecy (Ezek. 29:1-161In the tenth year, in the tenth month, in the twelfth day of the month, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 2Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt: 3Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself. 4But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales. 5And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers: thou shalt fall upon the open fields; thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered: I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven. 6And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the Lord, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel. 7When they took hold of thee by thy hand, thou didst break, and rend all their shoulder: and when they leaned upon thee, thou brakest, and madest all their loins to be at a stand. 8Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee. 9And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the Lord: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it. 10Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia. 11No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years. 12And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. 13Yet thus saith the Lord God; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered: 14And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom. 15It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations. 16And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, which bringeth their iniquity to remembrance, when they shall look after them: but they shall know that I am the Lord God. (Ezekiel 29:1‑16)) he foretells the humbling of Egypt and their king, “the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers.” Egypt should be made desolate from Migdol to Syene (margin), even to the border of Ethiopia (from the north to the south) “forty years.” Abdallatif, an Arab writer, says that Nebuchadnezzar ravaged Egypt and ruined all the country for giving an asylum to the Jews who fled from him, and that it remained in desolation forty years. Other prophecies followed against Egypt (Ezek. 30-32), and in Jeremiah 44:3030Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will give Pharaoh-hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, his enemy, and that sought his life. (Jeremiah 44:30) Hophra is mentioned. God delivered him into the hands of those “that sought his life,” which were some of his own people.
When Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed Jerusalem, he left some Jews in the land under Gedaliah the Governor; but Gedaliah being slain, they fled into Egypt, taking Jeremiah with them, to Tahpanhes (Jer. 43:5-75But Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, took all the remnant of Judah, that were returned from all nations, whither they had been driven, to dwell in the land of Judah; 6Even men, and women, and children, and the king's daughters, and every person that Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah. 7So they came into the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the Lord: thus came they even to Tahpanhes. (Jeremiah 43:5‑7)). He there uttered prophesies against Egypt (Jer. 43-44). The series of prophecies give an approximate date for the devastation of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar. In taking Tyre he had no wages (they carried away their treasures in ships) and he should have Egypt as his reward. Tyre was taken in B.C. 572, and Nebuchadnezzar died B.C. 562, leaving a margin of ten years (Ezek. 29:17-2017And it came to pass in the seven and twentieth year, in the first month, in the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 18Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus: every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled: yet had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus, for the service that he had served against it: 19Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall take her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army. 20I have given him the land of Egypt for his labor wherewith he served against it, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord God. (Ezekiel 29:17‑20)).
After Nebuchadnezzar, Egypt became tributary to Cyrus: Cambyses was its first Persian king of the twenty-seventh dynasty. On the passing away of the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great had possession of Egypt and founded Alexandria. On the death of Alexander the Ptolemies reigned over Egypt for about 300 years. Some of the doings of the Ptolemies were prophesied of in Daniel 11. See ANTIOCHUS. In B.C. 30 Octavius Ccesar entered Egypt, and it became a Roman province. In A. D. 639 Egypt was wrested from the Eastern empire by the Saracens, and is held under the suzerainty of the Turks to this day. It is a great kingdom in desolation (Joel 3:1919Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. (Joel 3:19)).
We have seen that at one time Egypt was able to bring a million soldiers into Palestine; and at another to attack Assyria. History also records their having sway over Phoenicia, and carrying on severe wars with the Hittites, with whom they at length made a treaty, which is given in full on the monuments.
Some prophecies have been referred to, and though they apply to events now long since past, they may have a yet future application For instance, “The Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord and perform it in that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land; whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance” (Isa. 19:21-2521And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it. 22And the Lord shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the Lord, and he shall be entreated of them, and shall heal them. 23In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. 24In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: 25Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance. (Isaiah 19:21‑25): Compare Zeph. 3:9-109For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. 10From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. (Zephaniah 3:9‑10)). Surely these statements apply to a time when God will bring Egypt into blessing. This might not have been expected, seeing that Egypt is a type of the world—the place where nature gratifies its lusts, and out of which the Christian is brought—but in the millennium the earth will be brought into blessing, and then no nation will be blessed except as they own Jehovah and His King who will reign over all the earth. Then “Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God” (Psa. 68:3131Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God. (Psalm 68:31)).
Egypt too, it must be remembered, was the place of sojourn of God’s favored people Israel. It was a king of Egypt who caused to be translated the Old Testament into Greek, the LXX, quoted by the Lord Himself when on earth; and it was to Egypt that Joseph fled with the young child and His mother from the wrath of Herod. Egypt was a broken reed on which the Israelites rested: it oppressed them and even attacked and pillaged Jerusalem. But it has been punished and remains desolate to this day; and further, as the kingdom of the South it will yet be dealt with (compare Dan. 11:42-4342He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. (Daniel 11:42‑43)). Afterward God will also heal and bring it into blessing: in grace He says “Blessed be Egypt My people.”
THE TELL AMARNA TABLETS. Comparatively lately a number of clay tablets have been discovered in Upper Egypt. Many of them are dispatches from persons in authority in Palestine to the kings of Egypt, showing that Egypt had held more or less sway over portions of the land. The inscriptions are in cuneiform characters, but in the Aramaic language, which resembles Assyrian. The writers were Phoenicians, Philistines, and Amorites, but not Hittites, though these are mentioned on the tablets. The date for some of these dispatches has been fixed as from about B.C. 1480, and they were addressed to the two Pharaohs known as Amenophis III. and IV. They show that Egypt had withdrawn its troops from Palestine, and was evidently losing all power in the country, the northern part of which was being invaded by the Hittites. The governors mention this in their dispatches, and urge Egypt to send troops to stop the invasion. Some of the tablets are from Southern Palestine, and witness of troubles in that region also. The name Abiri occurs, describing a people invading from the desert: these are supposed to be the Hebrews. It is recorded that they had taken the fortress of Jericho, and were plundering “all the king’s lands.” The translator (Major Conder) believes he has identified the names of three of the kings smitten by Joshua: Adoni-zedec, king of Jerusalem; Japhia, king of Lachish; and Jabin, king of Hazor (Josh. 10:33Wherefore Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent unto Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon, saying, (Joshua 10:3); Josh. 11:11And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor had heard those things, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph, (Joshua 11:1)). He also believes that the dates coinciding with the above-named kings agree with the common chronology of scripture for the book of Joshua. If he is correct in this the Exodus can no longer be placed under the nineteenth dynasty. It may be remarked, however, that not one of the tablets from the South bears any king’s name, being merely addressed “To the King, my Lord.”
A few of the principal Events with their approximate dates are added:
1-3. Twenty-six names of kings are given, commencing with Menes, but some are probably mythical.
4. At Memphis. Khufu or Suphis was the builder of the first great pyramid at Gizeh. Khafra or Shafra built the second, and Menkaura the third.
5. At Elephantine.
6. At Memphis. Some “shepherd-kings” invaded Lower Egypt.
7-10. Dynasties were contemporaneous: a period of confusion.
11. At Thebes. Title claimed over all Egypt by Antef or Nentef.
12. At Thebes. Amenemhat I., or Ameres, conquered Nubia (Cush). Amenemhat III. constructed the lake Moeris, and the Labyrinth, supposed to be a national meeting place. Abraham’s sojourn in Egypt was possibly in this dynasty.
13. At Thebes. Troublous times.
14. At Xois. The power of the Hyksos extends.
15-16. (Hyksos kings. Apepa II. supposed to be the king who exalted Joseph. The Israelites enter Egypt about B.C. 1706.
17. Vassal kings under Hyksos rule, reigned at Thebes.
18. At Thebes. The Hyksos driven out of Egypt. Thothmes I carried his arms into Asia. Thothmes III, the greatest warrior king; built the grand temple of Ammon at Thebes. Amenhotep, or Amenophis III erected the twin Colossi of himself at Thebes.
19. At Thebes. Seti I or Sethos, erected the great Hall at Karnak. Rameses II attacked the Hittites on the north, but concluded an alliance. Judged to be the king who oppressed Israel, and Menephthah to be the Pharaoh of the Exodus (B.C. 1491.) His son (Seti-Menephthah) died when young (perhaps at the Passover). A period of anarchy ensued.
20. At Thebes. Eleven kings named Rameses: they became idle and effeminate, until the priests seized the throne.
21. At Tanis. Priest-kings. Pinetem II is supposed to be the Pharaoh allied to Solomon (About B.C. 1014).
22. At Bubastis. Shashank or Shishak, the ally of Jeroboam of Israel, was conqueror of Rehoboam of Judah (B.C. 971). Osorkon I and Thekeleth I succeeded. Osorkon II sent Zerah his general against Asa king of Judah (B.C. 941).
23. At Tanis. Two kings reigned, contemporaneous with dynasty twenty-two.
24. At Sais. Contemporaneous with dynasty twenty-five.
25. In Nubia. Ethiopian kings. Shabaka, or Sabaco, the So who was allied with Hoshea of Samaria, was defeated by Sargon of Assyria (B.C. 720). Shabataka, defeated by Sennacherib. Taharka, or Tehrak, conquered by Esarhaddon. Thebes destroyed by the Assyrians (B.C. 666). Egypt became a province of Assyria.
26. At Sais. Period of Greek influence in Egypt. Psamatik I or Psammetichus I threw off the yoke of Assyria and ruled all Egypt. Nekau, or Necho, killed Josiah at Megiddo (B.C. 610) on his way to attack the Assyrians at Carchemish. Afterward he was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar at the same place (B.C. 606). Hophra, or Apries, ally of Zedekiah, was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar (B.C. 581), who afterward ravaged Egypt as far as Elephantine. Apries was put to death, and Amasis reigned as tributary to Babylon (B.C. 571). In after years Amasis became ally of Croesus of Lydia against Cyrus the Persian. Psamatik III was conquered by Cambyses, and Egypt became a province of the Persian empire (B.C. 526).
27. The kings of Persia were the kings of Egypt (B.C. 526-487).
28-30. Native kings reigned without being subdued by Persia, until Artaxerxes III (Ochus), when Egypt was again defeated (B.C. 350).
On the Persian Empire being conquered by Alexander the Great, Egypt also became a part of the Grecian empire (B.C. 332).
On the death of Alexander, Egypt was ruled by the Ptolemies (B.C. 323). See ANTIOCHUS.
Egypt became a Roman province (B.C. 30).
Egypt was wrested from the Eastern Empire by the Saracens (A.D. 639).

“Egypt, Land of” From Concise Bible Dictionary:

The conformation of Egypt is peculiar. The Nile forms at the Mediterranean what is called the Delta (from the Greek letter Δ reversed); it had formerly seven mouths (Isa. 11:1515And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. (Isaiah 11:15)), but now there are only two branches, which unite, and the river has been traced southward for more than 1500 miles. On each side of the valley in which the river runs is a range of hills, outside of which is mostly desert. The Nile valley is rarely more than twelve miles wide. The Delta and the valley are very productive. As to rain the country differs materially from Palestine, which “drinketh water of the rain of heaven”; for in Egypt, except by the sea-coast, it rarely rains, the land being watered from the river, which rises once a year, overflowing its banks in many places, and, as it retires, leaving a rich sediment on the soil. Canals convey the water to more distant parts. The land is watered “by the foot,” that is, by removing the soil, and letting the water flow.
The Delta, and as far south as Noph (Memphis, 29° 51' N), is Lower Egypt: and from Noph southward to the first Cataract (24° N) is Upper Egypt. The emblematic crowns representing the two districts were not the same; but the two were united in one crown when a king reigned over all Egypt. As there were many changes by different dynasties the same boundaries may not always have been preserved. Cush, or ETHIOPIA, extended much farther south, but is often mentioned in scripture along with Egypt (Psa. 68:3131Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God. (Psalm 68:31); Isa. 11:1111And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. (Isaiah 11:11); Isa. 20:44So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. (Isaiah 20:4); Isa. 43:33For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. (Isaiah 43:3); Isa. 45:1414Thus saith the Lord, The labor of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God. (Isaiah 45:14); Nah. 3:99Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put and Lubim were thy helpers. (Nahum 3:9)). Ethiopian kings appear to have reigned in Egypt, and are included in their list of kings.
Hall of Columns at Karnak, Photo
Hall of Columns at Karnak, by Seti I, Dyn. XIX

“Egyptians” From Concise Bible Dictionary:

The ancient Egyptians were descendants of Ham, but his descendants were numerous and diverse. As far as the name implies, Egypt naturally associates itself with Mizraim; but it is judged that the Egyptians of the times of the most ancient monuments were of the Circasian type, and apparently descended rather from Cush than from Mizraim. The examination of the mummies of the old empire show that their structure does not agree with that of the black people, who were also descendants of Ham. The ancient Egyptians are classed among the white races: the Ethiopians were darker, and those farther south still darker. The Copts in modern Egypt are considered to be the descendants of the ancient race.
It is proved by the monuments that the ancient Egyptians were a highly civilized and educated people from the beginning: they did not rise from some lower scale, as is sought to be taught of man generally in modern days; but, as far as can be discovered, their first great works are among their best. If man has been found brutal and degraded it is because he has fallen from the intelligent condition in which Adam and Eve were created. Before the flood we read that the use of brass, or copper, and iron had been discovered, and there are proofs that many other arts were known in Egypt. The sciences also were cultivated, including Astronomy. The illustration of the Hall at Karnak gives an idea of the size of their temples.
The Egyptians were also a religious people, and though their religion was, alas, idolatry, yet it was an idolatry far more seemly and moral than that practiced by the cultured Greeks and Romans. It was earlier, and hence nearer a source of knowledge of God (Rom. 1:2121Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Romans 1:21)). In theory they speak of one god: “the only living in substance,” and “the only eternal substance,” and though they speak of two, “father and son,” as some interpret, yet it did not destroy the unity of their god, “the one in one.” From this they treated each of his attributes as separate gods; and they had also gods distinct from these. Then they had a number of sacred animals, from the cat to the crocodile, which were said to be symbols of their gods. The bull Apis represented the god Osiris; it was selected with great care, and strictly guarded. It is supposed that it was the remembrance of this Apis that caused the Israelites to choose the form of a calf for their golden idol; and we learn from Ezekiel 20:6-86In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands: 7Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. 8But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. (Ezekiel 20:6‑8) that Israel had fallen into idolatry when in Egypt.
The Egyptians believed in a future state. The following illustration represents the heart of a deceased person being weighed against a figure of the goddess of truth.
Two gods superintend the weighing. On the right is the deceased with uplifted hands, introduced by two goddesses. The ibis-headed god has a tablet in hand, recording the result. Next to him is the god Typhon, as a hippopotamus—the Cerberus of the Greeks—accusing the deceased, and demanding her punishment. Osiris is the presiding judge with his crook and whip. If the trial was satisfactory the soul passed into other scenes; if the reverse it passed into some lower animal. Thus did Satan delude these cultivated descendants of Ham!
Their mode of writing, or rather drawing, their language was by hieroglyphics. Most of the figures represented animals, birds, the human figure, or familiar things, which first represented the objects drawn, to which also ideas and sounds were attached. M. Champollion found in the inscriptions 864 different designs! Specimens of three different styles are added. The first is as the letters were cut into stone; the second as the same were written on the papyrus by the priests; and the third (at a much later period) was for popular correspondence.

“Israel in Egypt” From Concise Bible Dictionary:

The details of the history of Israel in Egypt are few. When Joseph was in power, Jacob and his whole household settled in the land: there they multiplied and became a great nation. In time a king reigned who knew not Joseph, and the people were reduced to cruel bondage. Through God’s intervention and after dire judgments upon the Egyptians, the Israelites were delivered. See EGYPT and JOSEPH.
A question not easily answered is, How long were the Israelites in Egypt? In Genesis 15:1313And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; (Genesis 15:13) and Acts 7:66And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. (Acts 7:6), the period seems to be stated as four hundred years. Exodus 12:4040Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. (Exodus 12:40) says “the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years”; and Galatians 3:1717And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. (Galatians 3:17) declares that the law was given four hundred and thirty years after the promise to Abraham. The promise to Abraham was long before Israel went into Egypt, and the law was given after they came out; so that according to this passage their sojourning in Egypt must have been much less than four hundred years. A much shorter period is implied in Genesis 15:1616But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. (Genesis 15:16), which says of Israel in Egypt that “in the fourth generation they shall come hither again”; and if we turn to Exodus 6:16-2016And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari: and the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years. 17The sons of Gershon; Libni, and Shimi, according to their families. 18And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years. 19And the sons of Merari; Mahali and Mushi: these are the families of Levi according to their generations. 20And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years. (Exodus 6:16‑20) we find exactly four generations, thus:
Jacob’s son Levi.
Levi’s son Kohath.
Kohath’s son Amram.
Amram’s son Moses.
Or, if we start with Levi, who entered with Jacob, there was ample time for Moses to have had a son, as he was eighty years old at the Exodus. Now if we reckon that at that time a man had his first son when he was forty years of age, there would have been ten generations in four hundred years. Further, the mother of Moses (Jochebed) was Levi’s daughter, (Num. 26:5959And the name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister. (Numbers 26:59)), Amram having married his own aunt (Ex. 6:2020And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years. (Exodus 6:20)). Levi lived only a hundred and thirty-seven years in all, and supposing (it can be approximately proved) that he lived in Egypt eighty-eight years, Jochebed was born during those years. If Moses was born when she was forty-seven years of age, and Moses was eighty years old at the Exodus, these sums (88 + 47 + 80 = 215 years) show that Israel may have been in Egypt about two hundred and fifteen years, and this is the period now generally supposed.
Age of Abraham when Isaac was born 100
Age of Abraham, when the promise was given 75
Age of Isaac when Jacob was born 60
Age of Jacob when he stood before Pharaoh 130
Sojourn of Israel in Egypt 215
If then this be the correct period, how does it agree with Genesis 15:1313And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; (Genesis 15:13) and Exodus 12:4040Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. (Exodus 12:40)? In Genesis 15:1313And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; (Genesis 15:13) and Acts 7:66And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. (Acts 7:6), nothing is said about Egypt: “Thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs.” This was said to Abraham, and may include the whole period from the birth of Isaac to the Exodus, which according to the above was four hundred and five years—thus agreeing with the round number of four hundred years. Exodus 12:4040Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. (Exodus 12:40) is worded differently: “The sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.” The Samaritan Pentateuch and the LXX add the words “and of their fathers in the land of Canaan”; but these words are not in the Arabic, Syriac, or Vulgate versions; and may therefore have been added to meet the apparent difficulty. It is better to take the four hundred and thirty years as including the sojourn of Abraham (after the promise), and of Isaac, and of Jacob, though strictly speaking Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were not “children of Israel.”
The conclusion that the sojourn in Egypt was really for two hundred and fifteen years creates another difficulty in some minds, namely, the great increase of the Israelites during that period. Exodus 12:3737And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. (Exodus 12:37) speaks of there being 600,000 men, besides children, at the Exodus. Numbers 1:4646Even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty. (Numbers 1:46) gives the number more exactly as 603,550 from twenty years old and upwards that were able to go to war. This has been calculated to signify a total of about two million men, women, and children, without the descendants of Levi. Is this a greater number than could be the descendants of those who entered Egypt? This may be reckoned in two ways: if we deduct thirteen from the seventy—for the family of Levi and for those who could not be called heads of families at that time (Deut. 10:2222Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the Lord thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude. (Deuteronomy 10:22)), the result gives fifty-seven heads of families; and if each had 14 children,
In one generation there would be 798
In the second 11,172
In the third 156,408
In the fourth 2,189,712
The increase may be reckoned in another manner by the population. If the above fifty-seven are multiplied by 3.3 it gives as the population at the commencement (excluding Levi, and his descendants, as above) 188 persons. Suppose the population doubled itself in fifteen years (as it has been known to do in some places), the number in two hundred and ten years would be over three million. There is therefore no difficulty in the increase of the people.
Israel in Egypt is typical of mankind in the world, under the power of Satan, before being sheltered under the blood of Christ, and redeemed by the power of God.

“Mizraim” From Concise Bible Dictionary:

Son of Ham, and the name of his descendants and also of the country possessed by them. Its signification is much disputed. The Hebrew word is really Mitzraim and is given in the AV, un-translated only in Genesis 10:6,136And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. (Genesis 10:6)
13And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, (Genesis 10:13)
and 1 Chronicles 1:8,118The sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. (1 Chronicles 1:8)
11And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, (1 Chronicles 1:11)
. Elsewhere it is translated EGYPT. The word is in a dual form, occasioned, it has been thought, by the division of that land into Upper and Lower Egypt. The word Matzor, of which Mitzraim is the dual, occurs many times and is variously translated in the AV. In 2 Kings 19:2424I have digged and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of besieged places. (2 Kings 19:24) and Isaiah 37:2525I have digged, and drunk water; and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of the besieged places. (Isaiah 37:25) it is “besieged places”; in Isaiah 19:66And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither. (Isaiah 19:6), “defense”; and in Jeremiah 10:1717Gather up thy wares out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress. (Jeremiah 10:17), “fortress.” But it is a proper name and refers to Egypt. The Revisers and others translate it Egypt in all passages.

Strong’s Dictionary of Hebrew Words:

dual of 4693; Mitsrajim, i.e. Upper and Lower Egypt
KJV Usage:
Egypt, Egyptians, Mizraim

Potts’ Bible Proper Names:

Double pressure; tribulations; black:―son of Ham, Gen. 10:6. {Pressio gemina}