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The search for Adam, Eve, Noah and the Flood—in Ancient Egypt?

Yes, the Ancient Egyptians really did know about the history from Creation to the Flood.

Published: 13 February 2021 (GMT+10)

by Gavin Cox

pyramids2

Commenting on our article Egyptian chronology confusion: Why are there so many differences of opinion?, Antonio F. from Australia asked if any archaeologist has looked for evidence that the ancient Egyptians may have known about Adam and Eve, or Noah and the Flood. CMI’s Gavin Cox responds.

Message:

Has any archaeologist brought up the notion that the early recordings of the Egyptians were parallels to the genealogies of Genesis and taken to list the names from Adam to Noah, and then from Noah to the founder of Egypt, Mizraim?

If the founder of Egypt took an accounting of history from the Tower of Babel, he would’ve had their version but in the language that God had bestowed them to understand and speak, with names for Adam to Noah as different names corresponding to them. They wouldn’t have a pharaoh status since they were the original patriarchs from creation.

There would also be a recording of the Great Flood that covered the world and it would make sense that they would’ve named the great pyramids after major events that had seen them transition from the Old Kingdom of the pre-diluvian world to the new world of the 1st Intermediate Period. Maybe just speculation but I wonder if any Archaeologist has tried to view the Egyptian history in this vein?

Hi Antonio,

Many thanks for your excellent question, which is something I have been working on for nearly ten years, and have just started to publish on in our Journal of Creation. You ask:

Has any archaeologist brought up the notion that the early recordings of the Egyptians were parallels to the genealogies of Genesis and taken to list the names from Adam to Noah, and then from Noah to the founder of Egypt, Mizraim?

As we know from Scripture, before Noah, there are nine generations back to Adam. A helpful poster (based on the Genesis genealogies and Ussher’s timeline) can be found here, which graphically displays the Genesis genealogies. This idea of nine generations may be reflected in the Egyptian Ennead, a group of nine gods, all born by natural pro-creation, from the original founder called Atum. And who was Atum? He was a creator god, and his name is phonetically very similar to Adam (especially when we consider t and d were interchangeable in ancient Egypt). Evidence for the idea of long reigns of ancient rulers (hundreds of years), are mentioned in a papyrus which places these ‘gods’ and ‘demi-gods’ before the First Dynasty. This information is recorded in the (heavily damaged) 19th Dynasty Turin King list (Royal Canon) which mentions several names of these long-lived rulers. These mythical kings are listed (unfortunately, in the most heavily damaged and reconstructed fragments) in the first two columns of the papyrus, and thereafter the ‘non-mythical’ kings from Dynasties 1-17 are listed in the next ten columns. The gods include Geb, Osiris, Set, Horus, Thoth, and Ma’at, of the names that have survived. Reconstructing other names has been attempted, along with their supposed reign lengths which are in the hundreds of years.

wikipedia.orgturin-king-list
The Turin Canon is a 19th Dynasty Papyrus that lists pharaohs and their reign lengths, it includes several names that are reported to have had reigns of hundreds of years.
If the founder of Egypt took an accounting of history from the Tower of Babel, he would’ve had their version but in the language that God had bestowed them to understand and speak, with names for Adam to Noah as different names corresponding to them.

Yes, and no. Scripture identifies the territory we call Egypt after Mizraim (Ham’s 3rd son of four) and Ham (Noah’s 3rd son). Egypt in the Psalms (78:51; 105:23, 27; 106:22), is called the ‘Land/ tents of Ham’. And throughout the Hebrew Bible we read “Mizraim” (מצרים) for Egypt. So Egypt is closely associated with Noah’s family through Ham in the Bible.

Ham must have known his father Noah’s teachings about Creation, Adam, Eve, the Fall, and the 1,656 years of pre-Flood history. Ham would have taken all this knowledge with him after the Babel event (c. 2,300 BC), when he founded Egypt with his son Mizraim (and likely Put and Kush). But why would the names of his family have changed? They are the names of his father and brothers after all. Names of people and place names are very persistent, and it is highly doubtful that the Babel event would have changed Ham’s family names in pronunciation, if indeed he was personally effected by the Babel event in his own tongue. (In other words, Ham may have continued with his original language, but helped develop the new Egyptian post-Babel language).

They wouldn’t have a pharaoh status since they were the original patriarchs from creation.

They would have greater than pharaoh status—divine status! We are dealing with the pagan mind, and the Egyptians did indeed deify their ancestors, Imhotep, the architect of Djoser’s Step Pyramid being the parade example as noted in this article. Furthermore, Ham and his family would have been seen in terms of ‘creator-gods’, because they were the ones who kick-started civilisation after the Flood. They were the ones who were the first to re-establish agriculture, technology, building—everything needed for society to function. Furthermore, Scripture records their great ages after the Flood (Shem lived another 500 years, Noah lived another 350), which would have meant they outlived many generations after them. This would have conferred divine status upon them in the eyes of the pagan Egyptians.

There would also be a recording of the Great Flood that covered the world…
wikimedia.orgsunrise-at-creation
21st Dynasty Book of the Dead of Khensumose (c. 1075-945 BC) showing the Ogdoad hoeing the earth after the first sun rise.

And indeed there is a concept of a global Flood, sent in judgement in ancient Egyptian religion. Chapter 175 of the Egyptian Book of the Dead is one example. This chapter describes a divine complaint made to Thoth by Atum, who states the children of Nut rebelled, caused evil, tumult, strife, and slaughter. This is exactly analogous to the situation before the Flood with the pre-Flood world being full of violence (Genesis 6:11). The chapter goes on to detail the destruction of all that was made, turned into Nun (the primeval ocean) by a floodwater. Only those left on the solar bark (called the Boat of Millions), along with Horus and his father Osiris, sail to the “Island of the Two Flames” where Horus inherits his father’s rule. This is all very evocative of the Genesis Flood and Noah’s family.

and it would make sense that they would’ve named the great pyramids after major events
commons.wikimedia.orgpyramid-texts
Pyramid texts adorning the internal burial chamber walls of Unas 5th Dynasty Pyramid showing his oval-shaped cartouch (w-n-i-s).

Actually, we know the names of the pyramids were all named after the pharaohs who were buried inside them, they were not named after events. This is particularly well established in the Pyramid Texts, which adorn the burial chambers of the 5-8th dynasties. The names of the pharaohs appear in cartouches engraved in the walls of these pyramid chambers, for instance: Unas (Dynasty 5), Dynasty 6 kings: Teti, Pepi I, Akhesenpepi II, Meremre I, Pepi II, Neith, Iput II, Wedjebetni, Behenu, and Dynasty 7: Qakare Ibi.

… that had seen them transition from the Old Kingdom of the pre-diluvian world to the new world of the 1st Intermediate Period.

I disagree with you here. Egypt was founded after the Babel event, and certainly not before the Flood of Noah. Egyptian chronology is over-extended at the beginning period. This is based on Manetho’s interpretation of Egyptian history, which is demonstrably erroneous in a number of places. He tended to have parallel reigns of kings (north and south) listed as consecutive reigns. This, combined with modern day carbon dating of earliest artefacts, artificially extends Egyptian chronology to before the date of the Flood (restricted by the Masoretic chronogeneologies in Genesis 5 and 11). If you want to understand Egyptian chronology from a biblical perspective, I can recommend to you Gary Bates’s excellent article Framing the Issues. Furthermore, the earliest pyramids are all made from limestone, a sedimentary rock, and the pyramids are built on limestone rock foundations, which contain the fossils of marine creatures. So the pyramids must have been built after the Flood. They would not have survived the raging Flood waters, (which radically reshaped the surface of the earth) and there is no evidence of water erosion on the surviving limestone casing of the pyramids.

Maybe just speculation but I wonder if any Archaeologist has tried to view the Egyptian history in this vein?

Yes, that would be me. I have been publishing my work on evidence for Adam and Eve, Noah and his sons, and the Flood in Ancient Egyptian religion. There is ample evidence to suggest the Egyptians knew about Adam and Eve, the Serpent, the tree of knowledge, the great ages of the pre-Flood patriarchs, the names of Noah, Ham, Shem, and Japheth, and the event of the Global Flood, sent in judgement for sin.

If you are interested in reading up on my research on the ancient Egyptian’s beliefs about Creation, Adam, Eve, or Noah and his sons, and the Flood in ancient Egypt, see Noah and the Flood in Ancient Egypt, part 1 by Cox, G., & part 2 by Cox, G. (free downloadable pdfs).

Also see the following articles:

Another article will be coming out in the upcoming 2021 issue of J. Creation for evidence of the Egyptians’ belief about Creation, Adam, Eve, and the Fall. Subscribe to CMI’s (now electronic) Journal of Creation here for future online articles.

As all this information is still very new, it is not all freely available on the CMI website until the moratorium on the Journal and Creation magazine expires. But it is a good opportunity to subscribe, if you have not done so already.

A lot of this evidence is based on research for my master’s degree in Egyptology, where I studied what scholars call the “Egyptian Ogdoad.” These were four males and their wives who are associated with the Egyptian Flood (I was awarded a distinction by my university for my thesis). The chief god is called Nu (which sounds like Noah). In my Journal articles parts 1–4 I compared their names in Egyptian to the meanings of their Hebrew names and found some startling linguistic connections. There is a lot of evidence, but it is all framed in a pagan worldview of gods and goddesses, rather than straightforward historical narrative like in Genesis 1–11. I discuss some of this information in my 2018 European Creation Conference talk entitled “Mizraim, Archaeology and the Search for Noah in Egypt”, currently available as an MP3 audio recording, but hopefully this will be made into a digital video file at some stage (watch this space). I also discussed the evidence for Adam, Eve, the Fall, and Creation in Ancient Egypt for our 2020 online CMI conference, which will eventually be made into a digital video.

Thanks for writing in with your question, it needs to be answered. I hope what I’ve written helps,

Yours,

Gavin Cox

Helpful Resources

Travel Through Egypt
by Clive & Amanda Anderson
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Tour Egypt
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