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Creation 35(4):56, October 2013

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Ancient Egypt confirms: Genesis is history


iStockphoto.com/cinoby ancient-egypt

Manetho was an Egyptian historian/priest of c. 270 BC.1 His chronology of the kings of Egypt, which differs from the Bible by several centuries, has led some evangelical archaeologists astray. This is not a minor issue, and has been used to discredit the Bible. But even several secular historians are starting to realize Manetho’s chronology is in need of drastic downwards revision for reasons he would not have known; some of the kings he thought reigned successively turn out to have ruled simultaneously.2

Importantly, though, some of what Manetho wrote directly corroborates Genesis. In his history of Egypt, he “wrote that ‘after the Flood’ Ham the son of Noah begat ‘Aegyptus or Mestraim’, who was the first to establish himself in the area now known as Egypt at the time when the tribes began to disperse.”3

The Bible says that Ham begat Mizraim. Egypt today (one of the first civilizations to spring up after the Flood) is known as Mizraim or mitsrayim (מצרים) Hebrew.4 Manetho wrote that the dispersion of the tribes was five years after Noah’s descendant Peleg was born.5 This agrees with Genesis 10:25 which says of Peleg that “in his days the earth6 was divided.”

Further, Egyptologist Patrick Clarke says that from the earliest times the ancient Egyptians “called themselves and their land km.t (both pronounced as a throaty Kham (i.e. Cham or Ham).”7,8 Clearly, not just Manetho, but the ancient Egyptians in general knew full well what so many modern theologians and seminarians like to deny—that Genesis is history.

References and notes

  1. ‘Manetho’s History of Egypt’ in Manetho, with an English Translation by W.G. Waddell, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1964, p. xi, cited in ref. 3. Return to text.
  2. In recent times, CMI’s Journal of Creation has featured a still-to-be-finished series of articles developing a new revised chronology of Egypt. Return to text.
  3. Ashton, J, Evolution Impossible, Master Books, Green Forest AZ, 2012, p. 115, citing ref. 1, p. 7. Return to text.
  4. John Gill’s famous 18th century commentary states, “The word is of the dual number, and serves to express Egypt by, which was divided into two parts, lower and upper Egypt.” Egypt is also known as Miṣr (مصر) Arabic, Egypt’s current language, although that is likely a later development. Return to text.
  5. ‘Book of Sothis App. IV’, in ref. 1, p. 239, also Ussher, J, The Annals of the World, 1658, sections 1657–1762 am, available creation.com/store. Return to text.
  6. Hebrew eretz (ארץ) can mean the physical earth, or its nation(s). Cf. English ‘land’ = physical ground or nation, thus eretz Israel = the nation (land) of Israel. The clear context here from Genesis 11 a few verses on is that the “earth” that was divided is “the earth [that] had one language and one speech”. Thus it must mean the division of nations following Babel. See creation.com/peleg2 for further documentation. Return to text.
  7. Clarke, P., personal communication, 4 November 2012. Return to text.
  8. The t at the end of km.t marked feminine gender and was not pronounced. Return to text.

Readers’ comments

Riaan V.
Hi there
I am new to CMI but I am absolutely loving it so far! I just finished reading the extensive article by Gary Bates titled "Egyptian chronology and the Bible—framing the issues' there Manetho and his chronologies are discussed in more detail. Obviously Manetho had a vested interest in stretching out Egypts Dynastic history as far as possible but he was after all a Historian priest and it is great confirmation of the historical validity of Genesis that this Egyptian priest's writings correlate with our scriptures on some key aspects. Thanks for the article and keep up the great work!
Joseph S.
Thanks for this great article! Egypt is so important to learn about and it seems we have been discouraged because of possible incorrect dating calculations by Manetho. To learn of his statement "after the flood", reference to Peleg and the pronunciation of "Kham/Cham/Ham" is awesome!

Thanks for your important work! By the way, will there be an Egypt "expert" person at the Creation Conference at the beach in July?
CMI editor
Check out the details for the fabulous CMI-US conference from the button on the front page. It lists the talks and the background of each of the speakers. Biblical archaeologist Henry Smith, one of several guest speakers, is stated to be an expert on Ancient Near East archaeology.
Aleksandar K.
Why such a short article on such a fantastic subject? Details (and pictures), please!
Carl Wieland
In answer to your question, you will notice that this article is from our Creation magazine archives. For each issue, we dedicate the back page to an article which is small enough to fit into the limited space available on that page, and which at the same time has enough information (in those countries where it is delivered in clear plastic) to draw the intrigue of the postman. :-) Or of course if left lying around upside down, of anyone who happens to come upon it. There are many much-more-detailed and comprehensive articles in both the magazine and this website, in fact thousands of them (the search engine can be your friend). As the author, I appreciate the compliment implied by your question in one sense...

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