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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
US $15.00
Soft Cover
Tour Egypt
by Gary Bates, Robert Carter, Gavin Cox, Keaton Halley
US $12.00
Soft Cover

Readers’ comments

Jonatan B.
Some Young earth creationist like rev. Sadhu Sundhar Selvaraj believe the Giza pyramid was a pre-flood structure that survived through the flood and was build by prophet Enoch as an altar to God YHWH (Isaiah 19:19) that blueprint is based on Heavenly Jerusalem's shape. (Some even suggest that this Pyramid was build on 144.000 casing stones).

The top of the pyramid originally not sharp. So, in the pre-flood world, God sometimes visit the earth and dwelling (sitting) in the top of the pyramid.

After the flood, satan inspired men to made the counterfeit structure as his rebelion against God also for pagan idolatry use so he could be worshipped and for occultism as the portal of demons, that is the tower of babel (the tale of 2 towers theory).

I don't know whether they think Egyptian civilization was founded before the flood.

how you tackle this theory? and how we should respond to it?
Gavin Cox
Hi Jonatan,
We have written several articles about the Pyramid's chronological position in relation to the Flood. See this article: Were the Egyptian pyramids built before the Flood? by Lita Cosner, Robert Carter or: Time fears the pyramids? How they fit into the true biblical history by Gavin Cox.
The short of it is, no they were not built before the Flood, rather after Babel (itself constructed over a century after the Flood). The Pyramids are made out of sedimentary marine limestone with fossils in, and are built on a sedimentary limestone plateau. This sedimentary rock was formed by the action of water during the Flood. Therefore, logically, the Pyramids cannot be constructed pre-Flood, if they are built out of sedimentary rock that was formed during the Flood. Secondly, the Pyramids themselves show no signs of water erosion. Thirdly, the Flood itself was so destructive it re-shaped earth's geography, creating new continents and mountain ranges etc (See How landscapes reveal Noah’s Flood by Tas Walker). There is no way any man made structures would have survived, especially when God promised He would "...blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land.." (Genesis 6:7). Therefore because God doesn't break His promises, theologically speaking, we can be assured the Egyptian Pyramids don't pre-date the Flood.
The Pyramids themselves, like Babel had great religious significance for the Egyptians, and like the Babel tower, certainly were attempts at having "its top in the heavens" so that the Egyptians could say like the Babylonian builders before them "let us make a name for ourselves" (Genesis 11:4).

I would have to disagree with you regarding the point of the Pyramid not being sharp, it was, and I write about it in our Journal of Creation Volume 34, Issue 1 in my article called "What’s the point of the pyramids?" The tip of the Pyramid was called the Benben, which represented the first land to arise from the Primeval Ocean, or Flood, called Nu/ Nun. It was sharp, so very uncomfortable to sit on. There are many examples on display in museums, and reconstructed one, at the base of the Great Pyramid, that tourists can see.

My other point would be to stay away from conspiracy theories, and Egyptology attracts them by the score. Keep abreast of articles on creation.com that discuss archaeology and Egyptology: for instance, this excellent article by Gary Bates Egyptian chronology and the Bible—framing the issues which discusses the whys and wherefores of all things Egyptian chronology, or an article by myself on understanding Carbon 14 and archaeology and Biblical timing: How old? When archaeology conflicts with the Bible by Gavin Cox and 14C dating—who is fooling whom? by Gavin Cox.
Start with Scripture first, and you won't be led astray. Hope that helps.
John P.
Fascinating article. It would be good to eventually write a hard copy book on this subject, Gavin
Gavin Cox
Hi John,
Many thanks for your comment, yes, a-book-is-a-brewing. My plan is to publish through the Journal first with my research, that way it will be peer-reviewed by professional Egyptologists and linguists to make sure it is correct, then I will seriously consider producing a book length treaty on the whole subject. There is much more evidence to work through and I feel I can be talking on this subject for many years to come. Who knows, maybe even a documentary one day?
Margaret S.
Pagan “forbears”??
Or descendants....
Gavin Cox
"forebear" ancestor; forefather; progenitor: "My forbears came over on the Mayflower."

Not to be confused with:
"forbear" – refrain or abstain from; to forgo: "I’ll forbear the dessert, thank you."

Forbears is a synonym of descendants.
Laurel P.
One of my favourite books for the layman is Bill Cooper's "After the Flood". It used to be available from CMI, but if you search "Bill Cooper" on this site, there are a few pdf's that show up that show how much of ancient history totally aligns with the Bible. It even goes into how Beowulf is a real historical account when you actually read it as such. Certainly not specific to Egypt, I know, but it finally helped me to see the whole picture from a more Biblical perspective.
Thomas R.
To get a quick and easy peek into the connection between the Egyptians and the Flood / Pre-Flood world, this is all you have to do:
Google “Egyptian mythology”.
Click on the Wikipedia link.

One of the first and most obvious tells is a picture of a large man holding up a boat with seven smaller people on it.
There is also a scarab beetle that represents the sun god Ra situation in the middle of the seven people.

The large figure is obviously Noah (aka Nun), and the seven people are his wife, sons, and their wives.

The last time I read the associated article, it made no attempt to connect this with Noah’s Flood in the Bible.
But it’s Wikipedia, after all. They associate it with Nile flooding instead.
That doesn’t make it any less obvious, though.
Gavin Cox
If you scroll to the bottom of my feedback article and look under "Related articles" click on the link "The search for Noah and the Flood in ancient Egypt-part 2" you will see my journal article referenced in my article: "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)."
On page 104 of said article I discuss the image of Nu holding up the Solar Bark with the 7 other anthropomorphic deities. That's why CMI is here, to save you from relying on Wikipedia.
Jeff J.
You mention in this article that the pyramids are named after the pharos buried inside them. Regarding the two great pyramids, a common internet theory is that they were not tombs because no bodies were ever found and no adornments are inside that resemble any of the tombs where mummies have been found. In addition there are strange design choices in the chambers and passages which seem more complicated than a tomb would require. Are there writings or other evidence that specifically say someone was buried in the great pyramids?
Gavin Cox
Regarding common internet theory, I would steer well clear, these would also tell you aliens built the great pyramids, or people used anti-gravity technology to lift the stones, and all sorts of unsubstantiated conspiracies.
The (false) idea that the pyramids were not tombs (because no bodies were found in them), also applies to the 5th dynasty pyramids also, (and any others I can think about) is simply explained by the fact they were all looted—so much for protecting the pharaoh in the afterlife!
The "strange design choices in the chambers and passages" you allude to, are explained by at least two lines of evidence: 1) to compensate for internal stress in the Great Pyramid,
2) to create false leads for would-be tomb robbers to get lost in.
However, these are all theory at the end of the day, even amongst academia. The simple reason being no Ancient Egyptian left any (uncontested) inscriptions inside the 4th Dynasty pyramids to tell us why they made the engineering choices they did, or even who was buried inside them (Egyptologists have to rely on external evidence for that).
Only by the 5th dynasty did scribes carve texts on the burial chamber walls, marking the deceased pharaoh's names inside cartouches, along with spells to supposedly protect the pharaoh in the after life.
Regarding archaeological evidence that Khufu's 4th Dynasty pyramid was built for him, no there is very little to go on. Only one tiny ivory sculpture (JE 36143) has been confirmed, as far as I am aware, that depicts him. On the statue's right side, by Khufu's knee, is his Horus name "Medjedu", by the left side of his knee, a very eroded cartouche bears his nomen "Khnum-Khufu."

Khufu's name does appear in the Pyramid as a painted cartouche—however, it is contested—and I think the jury is still out as to whether Khufu's workmen painted it there, or if it was a much later forgery by Colonel Howard Vyse, who blasted his way into the pyramid with dynamite, in 1837. My feeling is that it could be the later. Archaeologists can only go on the evidence that has survived and make their best extrapolations on the evidence, and when something new gets dug up that contradicts previous theory, then archaeology as a science can move forward in understanding. But that all depends on what has survived, or what gets discovered. The 5th Dynasty pyramids were tombs, therefore the 4th Dynasty pyramids must, logically have been tombs also.
Hope that helps, Gavin

Anthony E.
The LXX chronology case in genesis 5 and 11 is getting more and more convincing, would not that reshape our whole approach to post flood era, Egypt and so on ?
Gavin Cox
No the LXX chronology case in Genesis 5 and 11 is getting more and more unconvincing, see CMI's articles on LXX dating, for instance this important article by Lita Cosner and Rob Carter, there are others articles also on this topic, however my article does not go into this. The only reason why Christians 'feel the need' to extend biblical chronology is because of secular pressure, based on faulty C14 data, see my articles in response to this, and modern Egyptian chronology based on an understanding (incorrect) of Manetho, see this important article by Gary Bates for chronological discussions, which my article does not mention, thanks.
Jimmy C.
Just a thought, but was reviewing some history videos, (I read and search a lot of historical information), and I came across a video on YouTube. This documentary style video was most interesting as it traces a lot of Egyptian history. It is called "The Movie Great Pyramid K 2019" directed by Fehmi Krasniqi. Interesting information, but someone with more investigative skill than I have could provide a better verdict on its reliability.
Love your article and will check out your other articles in the Journal. I do have access.
Gavin Cox
I'm afraid I would have to steer you clear of conspiracy theories as proposed in the K 2019 YouTube documentaries that propose the blocks of the pyramids were formed by using concrete (a possibility already explored by an article on CMI). However, what is beyond the realms of reality is the proposal that the massive granite blocks in the Grand Gallery were formed by melting stone into molds using a huge magnifying glass—with zero evidence to back it up. There are much more prosaic and realistic models to account for the pyramid's construction, you can search on CMI for some sensible proposals, see Trevor Harris's article for example.
However, I look at the religious aspect of the pyramids and their connection to the primeval mound (Benben) rising up out of the primeval ocean (Nun/Nu) within the Egyptian idea of creation, evocative of Genesis Creation and the Flood where land/ mountains emerge from a global ocean. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comment, and please do keep an eye on CMI's Journal for more articles from me on evidence for Adam, Eve, and Noah's family and the Flood in Ancient Egypt.
Bill P.
I am aware that throughout the world many cultures have their stories about creation up to & including the flood. I've learned that in their pagan world view the heavens & the earth came about because of destructive wars between the gods they worshipped.
Some cultures even teach of how mankind fell. CMI had an interesting article about an artifact found I believe in China. It was a figure of a tree & curled around this tree was a serpent like creature w/arms & legs. There was fruit hanging from one of the branches & a figure of a hand reaching for this fruit.
These cultures also have their versions of a flood as those on the large boat w/the animals survived. (side comment): I wonder sometimes if the story of Atlantis is a pagan world view version of The World Wide Flood of Noah's Day.
I believe that Genesis is true history w/GOD, Creator of heaven & earth as The Eyewitness of these events. Then having Mosses write them down not only for the people of Israel but for all nations to read, study, & learn that The GOD of Jacob "Is The True & living God".
When I read about what happened at Babel w/The Lord confusing one language into many & causing them to spread across the entire earth I see pyramids, tall temples, even very large mounds of earth built by those who settled these places, & I can't help but think that even though God scattered them throughout the world they still had it in their hearts to make a "great name for themselves" by building such things. Even today this is still happening.
So much evidence throughout the heavens & earth of design, & of a flood that covered the whole earth, but mankind filled w/pride still refuses to believe God's Word & humble themselves before Him who lives forever. Nothing has changed since "The Fall".
Good article.
Shirley S.
I have wondered the same things. Thank you. I felt that the connections had to be there. Thank you again.
Tim L.
The frustrating thing I've observed is that the intellectual elite observe the similarities between the account in Genesis and those from other ANE cultures, add in the fact that they believe Genesis was heavily edited in some way during the Babylonian captivity, and conclude that the account in Genesis was merely copied from those other texts. Of course, they never consider that other texts from all around the world (i.e. not just those from the ANE) are equally similar to the account in Genesis, or that Genesis provides the only account that is even close to being realistic.
Gavin Cox
Yes, indeed, the Documentary Hypothesis is a world-view imposed on the Scriptures that completely shuts down investigation into the early chapters of Genesis in terms of anything other than myth (as you point out, supposedly composed in Babylonia by un-named scribes looking for explanations of the origins of the world from pagan Babylon). Students dare not think outside the box in academia. So when it comes to looking for extra biblical evidence of the influence of Noah and his family upon earliest human history, that would be seen as fundamentalist heresy and therefore to be censored. I hope that my work encourages others to see how Noah and his family as real historic figures have been immortalized by their pagan forbears down through the centuries, specifically through Ham in the religion and belief of Ancient Egypt. Be on the look out for more from me on this topic soon!
Douglas W.
I used to teach an 'A' level syllabus - Genesis to 1 Samuel 9; so I am very much aware of the difficulties of Egyptian Chronology. Your research is most valuable. I valued K. A. Kitchen's, ., “Ancient Orient and Old Testament”, The Tyndale Press, 1966.
King T.
Super questions! And marvelous response! Keep up the good work, Mr Cox! God Bless.
Terry D P.
Great work and article.

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