The River of Egypt

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The natural conclusion is that this river is the Nile, which is indeed the only river in Egypt, upon which the whole prosperity of the country depends.
But in considering these matters one has ever to view them from the standpoint of Palestine and in relation to the Jews.
“The river of Egypt” formed the southern frontier of the Holy Land. It was called by the Jews the river or brook of Egypt—Shihor or Sihor—because it formed the southern frontier, and beyond it the great power they had to reckon with was Egypt.
It is evident it cannot mean the Nile, which was one hundred and fifty to two hundred miles further in a west and south-westerly direction. Whoever possessed the Nile possessed Egypt, and Israel never possessed that country.
Joshua, enumerating the uttermost cities of the tribe of Judah, localizes them as far south as Gaza with her towns and villages, which are said to be “unto the river of Egypt,” evidently indicating a river in that neighborhood, which could only refer to the river Shihor or Sihor.
The word employed in Numbers 24:55How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! (Numbers 24:5), and in other places, is nachal, signifying a winter torrent, or a dividing brook in a valley, which further points to the same conclusion. But the land promised to Abraham is to be “from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates” (Gen. 15:1818In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: (Genesis 15:18)). Here the word employed is nahar, a river, and would probably allude to the most easterly branch of the Delta of the Nile. The promised land will be very much greater in extent than the actual territory occupied by the Israelites hitherto.