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God vs. the Egyptians

God vs. the Egyptians

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Published by Tikvah
Educational material for the Passover seder
Educational material for the Passover seder

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Tikvah on Mar 25, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/11/2013

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“And they believed in God and in Moshe, His Servant”:
 God Takes Down the Egyptian Empire
 Aim: God has to show not only the Egyptians that He is capable of defeatingthem; He also has to prove to the downtrodden Israelites that He is morepowerful than their mighty oppressors.
Location, location, location: How is geography an important part of the story?
Mitzrayim
is a plural noun. Upper andLower Egypt were unified in pre-Dynastic times, before 3500 BCE. Upper Egypt is
“below” Lower Egypt because the
parts of Egypt were named according to thedirection that Nile flows. This shows us how central the Nile was to Egyptianexistence.In fact, look at how Egyptian cities flank theNile. What part of the body does the Nile remind you of?
 
Note: The Egyptians believed that the west was the land of the dead, because theythought when the sun set in the west it was traveling to another land where thespirits of the dead king lived.
“Time laughs at all things, but the pyramids laugh at time.” –
Old Arab proverbTake a look at the people in proportion to the Great Pyramids at Gizeh. Thesemonumental structures, from the time of the Old Kingdom, ca. 2500-2400 BCE,dominated the Egyptian landscape. (Just to put to rest an old misconception: theIsraelites didn
’t build them. The Exodus story took place about 1000 years later.)
 Oriented to the cardinal points of the compass, the pyramids were once faced withlimestone and would have glittered in the sunlight. Their slanted shape mimicked
the sun’s rays and so th
e structures stood as reminders that the Pharaoh was anincarnation of one of the most powerful gods, the sun god Re.The Pharaohs could and did conscript, or enslave, their people, or peoples theyconquered from other lands, to work on their tombs: for example,
Khufu’s pyramid
is made of 2,300,000 limestone blocks with an average weight of 2.5 tons, and
84,000 workers worked 80 days per year for 20 years to build Khufu’s pyramid
.
 
 This detailed wall painting is from the tomb of Rekhmire, 15
th
century BCE, a vizierto Thutmose III.Notice on the top register the pool from which slaves take water to keep the mudwet; moving to the right, one can see the slaves shaping the mud into bricks andthen carrying them away once they have dried. In the lower register, slaves make a
mastaba
tomb, a tomb that is smaller than a pyramid. One can see the limestonefacing that covers the mud brick.Death was such an important part of life to the Egyptians, who thought of life as a cycle of life-death-rebirth. Here arethe tombs studding the Egyptian landscape.

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