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The articles in this issue have been divided upinto the following categories







Abraham’s Mission to Pharaoh by Naim Dangoor
(reading between the lines of history)

At the end of the last Ice Age some 9,000 years ago, as the human population started to increase, hunting and gathering was no longer sufficient to satisfy the human needs. Then someone, call him Adam, crossed over from Africa, when the Red Sea was still a lake, into the Garden of Eden (in Aden, where else?) and discovered the wild wheat. That was the start of the agricultural revolution and, by definition, the start of our present civilisation. Bread from the ground was seen as a miracle, an act of God which may have convinced Adam that there was a Divine Being in Heaven managing the Universe. That may have been in fact the start of Monotheism.

As the climate became warmer and streams and lakes started to dry up, and as people began even then to complain of global warming, they moved out of Eden in two directions in search of running water:- one up North towards the Lebanon and the other around the Arabian Peninsula towards the rivers of Mesopotamia. But as food and prosperity became more plentiful, violence and mayhem increased rather than decreased. And God said, “Man cannot live by bread alone. I have to prepare for them a code of conduct, a kind of Torah to guide mankind in the future.”

God chose Abraham as his first missionary, to spread the knowledge of our relationship with the Almighty. Abraham proceeded to Canaan where he met Malki-zedeq, King of Salem (Jerusalem) and Priest of the Most High God. Malki-zedeq was from the branch of migration that proceeded from Aden Northwards and settled in the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean.

The fact that both Abraham and Malki-zedeq, coming from the two different trails from Aden had the same religious ideas about God, shows that the origin of Monotheism was at Aden, the starting point.

Adam may have composed the blessing, unique to bread, “Blessed art thou our God, King of the Universe, who produces bread from the ground.”

After many years of living in Canaan, Abraham obtained from Malki-zedeq a letter of introduction to Pharaoh. At his meeting with Pharaoh, Abraham said, “My visit is in three parts. The first part is to introduce your Majesty to the knowledge of the Most High God in Heaven who created the Universe and is Master of everything in existence.” Pharaoh asked, “What evidence have you got of this God in Heaven?” Abraham answered, “I am an astronomer and I watch the stars in the clear, moonless night and even with my naked eye I see, while most stars are fixed, some stars are being moved from place to place. This convinces me there is someone up there who is moving the stars around.” Pharaoh rejoined: “This is not sufficient evidence. We do not believe that the Universe was created by anyone. It has always been there and as far as Egypt is concerned I am the God of these parts, having the power of life and death on everything and everybody. What is your next point?”

Abraham explained, “During my short stay in Egypt I noticed the hieroglyphics used for writing and how difficult it is to learn this complicated method. As a matter of fact, I invented a very simple method of writing which I call ‘the alphabet’. Mankind developed speech many thousands of years ago and the human speech can be summarised in some 16 syllables to which I have given Hebrew names such as Alpha, Beta (meaning ‘house’), Gimmel, Daleth (meaning ‘door’), Hey (meaning ‘wall’), Kaph (meaning ‘palm of the hand’), Ayin (meaning ‘eye’), Peh (meaning ‘mouth’), Rosh (meaning ‘head’), and so on. So simple and so easy to learn and practise. All Egyptians can become educated.” Pharaoh laughed and said, “You must be joking! 95% of Egyptians are farm workers and we do not want them to be educated, neither do they want to know, and the difficult hieroglyphics system is meant solely for the priesthood who are the only people that we want to educate. What is your third point?”

Abraham replied, “Sire. Our country is spared many of the diseases common in Africa but we suffer the problem of in-breeding because of our divided population in small communities. The result is weak and unhealthy offspring. For instance, your handmaid Sarah is my half-sister and she is also my wife, but I have been afraid to consummate the marriage because of fear of having unhealthy children.” Pharaoh nodded his head, either not taking the point of Abraham’s offer to him as the ‘droit de seigneur’ or he was shy to take advantage. He complimented Abraham on Sarah’s beauty and took them on a conducted tour of the three Pyramids which had been in existence for over 800 years, where they engaged in a game of hide and seek for over one hour. Afterwards, Pharaoh sent them off loaded with gifts and riches.

Shortly after Abraham and Sarah's return to Canaan Isaac was born and Rabbis reckon the start of Hebrew oppression in Egypt to date from the birth of Isaac.

Isaac, in turn, had 2 sons- Jacob and Esau. The bible says: "For God ransomed Jacob and delivered him from one stronger than himself". Who are they talking about? Who was threatening Jacob? It was none other then Jacob's twin brother, Esau.
It appears that while Jacob inherited the gentle character of his grandmother Sarah, Esau inherited the militant character of his grandfather, Pharaoh.


1 See Josephus. Josephus was the military commander of the Northern district of Judea at the time of the war with Rome. After his capture he submitted to Rome and changed his name to Josephus Flavius. He lived in Rome where he wrote an extensive history of the Jewish people.

2 The idea that the Universe has always been in existence was prevalent for a long time all over the world. When Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East he met the Jewish High Priest and learned from him some of the beliefs of Judaism. Alexander wrote to his teacher, Aristotle, in Athens asking him, “What do you think of the Jewish idea of a Creator?!” Aristotle replied “What Creator? The world has always been there.” Many of the Greek and Roman beliefs were taken from the Egyptians. Even today the claim that the Universe has always been in existence still surfaces from time to time. The immense energy necessary to create the material Universe based on Einstein’s equation E=MC2, is mind-boggling.

A brief history of Ancient Egypt falls into three main periods:

1) The Old Kingdom (3100-2200 BCE) about 5000 years ago the people of the Nile were united under one leader, Menes, who was the first Pharaoh. He built Memphis, the first capital of united Egypt (Misrayem = the 2 Egypts united). In the 4th Dynasty the Pharaohs Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus built the 3 magnificent pyramids on the Giza plain (26th Century). Period consists of 6 Dynasties.

2) The Middle Kingdom (2150-1780 BCE). After a period of chaos, Mentuhopte of the 11th Dynasty made himself Pharaoh in about 2150 BCE. The capital was now Thebes. The period ends when, after the decline of the monarchy, the Hyksos, a mysterious nomadic people from Asia, established themselves in Egypt by gradual infiltration. After 200 years they were driven out in 1575 BCE by Amhose I.

3) The New Kingdom (1575-1200 BCE) begins with the expulsion of the Hyksos. Palestine and Syria were conquered and the empire reached the Euphrates. In 1300 the Hittites had driven the Egyptians back and in 1295 the Egyptians launched a full-scale attack on the Hittites. After 16 years of inconclusive warfare a peace treaty was signed to maintain ‘peace and eternal brotherhood’ forever.


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