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Egypt in the Holy Bible

The Holy Bible concentrates on "Jerusalem" which means, "land of peace," or "vision of peace" as center of the Promised Land, where God declares His dwelling among people. And a holy temple was established in it in His Name, where people worshipped Him, offered Him sacrifices and offerings, and celebrated many feasts as a symbol of the heavenly joy. This is Jerusalem, the symbol of heaven, that is called "Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all" (Gal 4:26). On the other hand, we find Babel and Egypt; Babel represents disobedience to God, violence, vainglory (tower of Babel, Gen.11), opposing God through His believers (the Babylonian captivity), adultery and abominations (Rev. 17:5). Egypt was well known for its abundant cops, and its king (Pharaoh) to whom Israel and Jude used to refuge against Babylon. Therefore, Egypt was a symbol of loving the temporary things and trust in human hands (1 Kings 18:21).

Egypt was a refuge to many people, especially in famines. Abraham visited Egypt (Gen. 12:10). So did Joseph who became the second man after Pharaoh, offering crops to all the neighboring countries. Jacob and his sons came to Egypt where they lived as a family and grew as a nation. It was the birth –place of the nursery of the people of God. Their first leader, Moses, the great prophet and his brother Aaron the first chief-priest appeared in Egypt to grant them freedom. St. Stephen says, "And Moses was taught in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds" (Acts 7:22).
Among the prophets who visited Egypt was Jeremiah who implored people not to flee to Egypt, but in vain, for they forced him to accompany them in their journey to Egypt (Jer. 41:1, 43:7). He uttered his last prophesies in Tahpanhes of Egypt (Jer. 43:8-44:30). Thus, Egypt became a representative of the Gentiles to whom Christ came to establish His Church and form His new people.

Blessed Be Egypt, My People

Hosea, the Prophet, foresaw the Son of God going out of Bethlehem and fleeing to Egypt, where He found a welcome in the hearts of the Gentiles. Through Hosea, God the Father uttered this prophesy, "I called my son out of Egypt" (Hos. 11:1).

Isaiah the Prophet gave us more details, saying "Behold, the burden of Egypt, the Lord rides upon a swift cloud, He shall come to Egypt, and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at His presence. In that day there shall be an altar to the lord in the midst of the land of Egypt" (Isa. 19:1). St. Cyril the Great interpreted this prophecy saying: "The glittering cloud which carried the child Jesus to Egypt was His mother, St. Mary, who suppressed the cloud in purity. The altar which was established in the midst of the land of Egypt is the Christian church which had replaced the temples of paganism as the idols collapsed and the temples were deserted in the presence of the Lord Jesus."

The Holy Family in Egypt

The Holy Family flight to Egypt, seeking refuge, is an event of the utmost significance in Egypt’s long history. It is mentioned in the Holy Gospel of Matthew "And when they [the wise men from the east] were departed, behold the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him. When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed into Egypt; and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt I called My Son" (Matt. 2:13-15).

Egypt was a logical place to find refuge, as it was outside the dominions of King Herod, but both Egypt and Palestine were part of the Roman Empire, making travel between them easy and relatively safe. The Holy family passed thru Greater Cairo, Old Cairo, Southern Cairo, and Upper Egypt during their flight.
It is believed that the Holy Family stayed in Egypt for a period of four years

The Copts feel very proud and fortunate to have the privilege of having the Lord Jesus' footprints printed in their country and their hearts.



 

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