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The Delta Drought

Israel and Egypt are not a great distance apart (they in fact share a common national border), and yet when the land of Israel experienced a great drought, Egypt was still prospering.

"42:1 Now when Jacob saw that there was corn [i.e. wheat - see Corn] in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? 42:2 And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.

42:3 And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt. 42:4 But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him. 42:5 And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan." (Genesis 42:1-5 KJV)

"Get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live"

Agriculture in the land of Israel required rain to water the relatively dry and sandy soil. Egypt was also surrounded by desert, but the Nile delta region was not only well-watered with a natural irrigation system, the deposits from the river provided a deep, fertile organic soil that held whatever water it received far better than other kinds of soil. Egypt still required rain, in order to make the river flow, but as far as that particular drought was concerned, it bought Egypt time to prepare before it too eventually felt the effects of the drought.

The Nile Delta How did the Egyptians know to prepare for a severe drought? The LORD gave the warning to the Pharaoh in a dream, which then also had the purpose of making the Israelite patriarch Joseph The Prime Minister Of Egypt after the LORD gave Joseph the knowledge to interpret the dream.

"41:1 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. 41:2 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow. 41:3 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river.

41:4 And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. 41:5 And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good. 41:6 And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them. 41:7 And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream." (Genesis 41:1-7 KJV)

"41:25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath showed Pharaoh what he is about to do. 41:26 The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. 41:27 And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine." (Genesis 41:25-27 KJV)

"41:39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: 41:40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.

41:41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. 41:42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; 41:43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt." (Genesis 41:39-43 KJV)

Exactly as prophesied, the effects of the drought hit Egypt as well, but by the time that it did, Joseph had made the nation ready. It was under those conditions that the Israelites moved to Egypt's "land of Goshen" - in the rich, well-watered Nile delta region.

"41:53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. 41:54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 41:55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.

41:56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. 41:57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands." (Genesis 41:53-57 KJV)

Fact Finder: What Israelite "ark" made its voyage in Egypt's Nile River? Who was in it?
See Arks Of The Covenant


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