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Monday, November 7 2011

Why Did They Go To Goshen?

The Nile is the world's longest river. It begins south of the equator in north-central Africa, where it is known as the White Nile. It then travels an astounding 6,645 kilometers / 4,130 miles before arriving at its destination in the vast triangle-shaped Nile Delta in Lower Egypt. "Upper" and "Lower" Egypt are terms based on the south to north flow of the Nile i.e. "Upper" Egypt is upriver, in the south, while "Lower" Egypt is in the north.

Consider the length of the Nile, compared to some of the other longest rivers of the world:

The Nile River At Night

  • Nile (Egypt): 4,130 miles
  • Amazon (Brazil): 3,976 miles
  • Yangtze (China) 3,917 miles
  • Mackenzie (Canada): 2,637 miles
  • Mekong (Southeast Asia): 2,600 miles
  • Mississippi (U.S.) 2,320 miles
  • Murray-Darling (Australia) 2,282
  • Euphrates (Iraq): 1,740 miles
  • Danube (Europe) 1,777 miles
  • Tigris (Iraq) 1,150 mile miles

The night-time photograph from space dramatically shows how the Nile River remains today, as it was in ancient times, a key factor in the wealth and prosperity of Egypt. It remains not only a source of agricultural life, but also of urban and economic development.

The "delta" region, north of Cairo, is where the Nile River flows into the Mediterranean Sea. By geographic definition, a delta is a low-elevation plain where sediment is deposited at the mouth of a river. Deltas occur in three general shapes:

  • the "bird foot delta" made up of projections of tributaries as they flow toward the sea e.g. the Mississippi Delta in the U.S.A.

  • the "cuspate delta" which has cusps or "horns" extending from the river channel e.g. the Tiber Delta in Italy.

  • the "arcuate delta" which is triangular in shape e.g. the Nile Delta in Egypt. The English word delta is actually derived from the Greek letter delta, which is shaped like a triangle.

The Nile Delta measures approximately 160 kilometers / 100 miles north to south, and 240 kilometers / 150 miles east to west at its widest in the north. The rich silt soil of the Nile delta is the most fertile in all of Africa. Whereas in many places in the world the topsoil is measured in mere inches, in the Nile Delta is varies from 50 to 75 feet in depth.

"All countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands"

"Goshen," an English rendering of a Hebrew word that itself was based upon an Egyptian word, was an area in the eastern Nile Delta that was known for its pasturelands. Even the Pharaoh kept his cattle there.

The Nile River

"47:1 Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh, and said, My father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan; and, behold, they are in the land of Goshen. 47:2 And he took some of his brethren, even five men, and presented them unto Pharaoh.

47:3 And Pharaoh said unto his brethren, What is your occupation?

And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants are shepherds, both we, and also our fathers. 47:4 They said moreover unto Pharaoh, For to sojourn in the land are we come; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan: now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen.

47:5 And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, saying, Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee: 47:6 The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest any men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle" (Genesis 47:1-6 KJV)

But why did the people of Israel (which at the time consisted of only the children of Jacob, who the LORD renamed as "Israel" - see The Origin Of 'Israel'; also Who Were The First Jews?) go to Goshen? The key advantage was the Nile-watered Nile Delta.

"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 41:54-57 KJV)

So the people of Israel entered Egypt, with one of their own as Prime Minister (see Joseph, Prime Minister Of Egypt), where "they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly."

"47:27 And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly.

47:28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years." (Genesis 47:27-28 KJV)

Fact Finder: If Mount Sinai is in the Sinai Peninsula (which it is), why did the apostle Paul say that Mount Sinai was in "Arabia"?
See Why Did Paul Say That Sinai Was In Arabia?


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This Day In History, November 7

1659: The Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed, ending the Franco-Spanish War of 1648-1689.

1665: The London Gazette, the oldest surviving journal, was first published.

1783: The last person was publicly burned by Spanish Inquisition.

1804: Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself emperor, thus ending the First Republic of France ("emperor" is an ancient Roman term that merely means that the leader of one country declares himself the leader of other people's countries, usually by invasion; see Emperor).

1837: Elijah Lovejoy, a prominent U.S. anti-slavery publisher, was killed by a mob while attempting to defend his newspaper's press.

1867: The first Parliament of Canada opened in Ottawa. The introductory throne speech was delivered by Governor General Lord Monck to Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, and his newly-elected cabinet.

1885: The "Last Spike" of the Canadian Pacific Railway completed Canada's first transcontinental national railway.

1917: British forces under Edmund Allenby defeated the Ottomans during the Third Battle of Gaza. With Beersheba already under their control, the way was then open for the British advance on Jerusalem (listen to our Sermons The Ottoman Empire, The European World Wars and The Balfour Declaration).

1917: The Bolshevik Revolution began - communists under Vladimir Lenin overthrew the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky in Petrograd.

1921: Benito Mussolini became the leader of the Italian Fascist Party.

1938: Ernst von Rath, the third secretary of the German Embassy in Paris, was murdered by 17 year-old German-Jewish refugee, Herschel Grynszpan, whose father had been among 10,000 Jews deported to Poland in boxcars shortly before; the retaliatory killing was used as an excuse by Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) to trigger the anti-Jewish "Kristallnacht" in Germany 2 days later.

1956: The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling upon Britain, France and Israel to withdraw their troops from Egypt.

2000: The Presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore, one of the most contested and controversial elections in the history of U.S. democracy; Gore won the popular vote of millions of U.S. voters, while Bush won a U.S. Supreme Court decision of 9 judges that in effect declared Bush the winner (for which many critics claimed that the "Republicans on the Supreme Court decided the election").





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