Book Excerpt


2.0 An Overview of Egyptian History


Before we examine how the monotheistic religions are interlinked and owe much of their beliefs and traditions to the culture of the Egyptian civilization, it would be useful to review the significant periods of Egypt’s history. By having a mental picture of the periods in Egypt’s history and how certain events had much to do with the formation of religious concepts, we can arrive at very plausible and common sense conclusions. Figure 2-1 is provided to give an overview of Egypt’s history, starting with dwellers in small localities as far back as 5500 BC, and ending with control by the Romans in 30 BC.


In Figure 2-1, the left page shows Egypt is in control of its territory, whereas the right page shows Egypt undergoing several upheavals, beginning with an internal struggle for power by the pharaoh Menes. During the 1st Intermediate Period, Egypt’s social order changed as the local governors challenged the pharaohs and took control. In the 2nd Intermediate Period, a Semitic people from Syria and Palestine invaded Egypt. This was the first time that a foreign people seized control of the Nile Delta and most of Lower Egypt. More unrest and transfer of power occurred during the 3rd Intermediate Period and the remaining periods that followed.


Figure 2-1 is intended to give a relative understanding of the events that changed Egypt’s social structure and grant insight into the numerous exchanges of power from both internal and external forces. The purpose of this book is to reveal those events that affected Egypt’s culture and religious beliefs. To acquire a detailed account of each period that includes two hundred illustrations and maps, refer to James H. Breasted’s, A History of Egypt.


Figure 2-1 is a 2-Page Illustration provided in
Future of God Amen



2.1 We Use the Egyptian Calendar Everyday

Before we review significant concepts in the religious development of Egypt, it is noteworthy to recognize that the Egyptians in the Delta region, referred to as Lower Egypt or the North or Upper Delta, had already become an advanced civilization as early as 4200 BC. Their technical ability was demonstrated during the Predynastic Period by the development of the calendar in 4241 BC. They were the first people to invent a calendar by dividing the year into 12 months, each with a length of 30 days. It is this calendar that, although altered by the Romans, has survived over 6,000 years and is still used by us today.


With the invention of the calendar, time became a relevant element in the consciousness of the Egyptian people. The same tool that allowed them to count days and years that receded into the past, also allowed them to extend their imagination to wonder about the future and what could possibly happen to dear departed relatives. As early as the Predynastic Period, Egyptians believed in an afterlife. To retain the comforts of his earthly life, the king had his wives, concubines, nobles, couriers, servants and slaves buried with him in his royal cemetery. This finding has been verified in the tombs of Abydos, just North of Thebes. The splendor displayed by these tombs indicated that these people had already conceived the idea of life after death many years prior to the 1st Dynasty. That such a belief would exist at the time of, or even prior to, the invention of the calendar, at least 4200 years BC, is remarkable.


Back to top