The role of Egypt in the Old Testament, particularly in the Pentateuch, is a significant one. John Currid’s in-depth study of that role sheds valuable light on this important aspect of Israel’s history and Scriptures.
Currid observes that more biblical scholars today are returning to the study of Egypt and its texts. “My hope,” he writes, “is that this volume will add to the growing interest in and understanding of the Egyptian connections with the Old Testament.”
After surveying the scholarly interest in Egypt and the Bible and highlighting the uniqueness of the Hebrew worldview, Currid proceeds through the Old Testament canonically, showing Egyptian influences throughout. He explores the creation story, Joseph narrative, Serpent confrontation, ten plagues, and route of the Exodus, plus Solomon’s contacts with Egypt, the relationship of Hebrew poetry to Egyptian wisdom literature, and the links between Hebrew prophecy and Egyptian magic and soothsaying. The result is an enlightening guide to Egyptian influences on Israelite history.
This valuable study offers the most up-to-date information available on archaeological discoveries and includes Currid’s original translation of Egyptian hieroglyphics. Photographs, indexes, and a bibliography enhance the study.
Kenneth Kitchen writes in the foreword: “In the increasingly erratic world of Old Testament studies, where there is still too often a stubborn refusal to pay proper attention to the firm factual framework of reference that the ancient Near Eastern world offers us in assessing the nature and worth of the biblical writings, Currid’s well-documented book is a breath of fresh air and represents a valuable contribution.”
Ancient Egypt and the Old Testament will serve as a text in courses on archaeology and the Old Testament, Old Testament history, and Old Testament backgrounds.
John Currid has written an excellent study of the Egyptian background of certain parts of the Old Testament. The author has read widely and commented judiciously on a number of very interesting topics, such as the itinerary of the Israelitesa as they fled Egypt, the plagues, Solomon’s marriage to an Egyptian princess, the invasion of the pharoh Shishak, and comparisons with Egyptian wisdom literature.
—Edwin Yamauchi, Miami University
The evidence that Currid presents is quite persuasive. . . . He is quite skillful in detecting reflections of Egyptian culture in the biblical text.
—Catholic Biblical Quarterly
An interesting book on a subject that very few people have the courage to discuss.
Professor Currid has provided a thorough, stimulating, and informed study of the many ways that the world of ancient Egypt can illumine the pages of the Old Testament. Those who take seriously the importance of reading the Old Testament in light of its cultural context will welcome his balanced assessment of the data. This is a valuable tool for background studies.
—John H. Walton, Moody Bible Institute
John D. Currid (PhD, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago) is Carl W. McMurray Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary. He has served on several archaeological excavations, and he is author of Doing Archaeology in the Land of the Bible: A Basic Guide.