Week 1

Curtain Rises on Egypt: The Gift of the Nile

Introduction

This 9-week unit is entitled “Moses’ World.” The first three weeks of “Moses’ World” are a mini-unit, devoted to a study of ancient Egypt, where the Children of Israel suffered cruel oppression and slavery until God raised Moses up from among them as a leader and mediator.

This week, we will study the land and people of ancient Egypt. We are going to be reading about the culture in which Moses grew up. We’ll learn about the sights he saw out his back window every morning during his youth. We’ll study how his neighbors lived: how they worked, played, and dressed. We’ll learn what they ate and what kinds of toys and pets they had. We will learn about Egypt’s geography and how it affected everyday life in Egypt as well.

Next week, we’ll be learning about the courts of Pharaoh, where Moses lived and worked and played, and where he was educated.

In two weeks, we’ll be focusing on Egyptian beliefs about deity.

As you read about Egyptians, think about their culture as the setting for the youth of one of the Bible’s most important men: Moses. Moses was intimately connected with Egypt’s everyday life, her highest places of government, and her system of worship. We will, in the next three weeks, read Bible passages that tell us what God thought of the Egyptian culture and how He acted mightily upon it during Moses’ time.

You may be wondering why we begin our study with Exodus, the second book of the Bible. It is possible that Moses wrote Exodus first and then recorded the Creation account in the wilderness as an encouragement to discouraged Israelites in order to remind them that God had had a plan for them since the beginning of time.

Our historical study will follow this possible order of the these books because there is rich meaning to be found in the pages of Genesis by reading the Exodus account first. Though Exodus is not about the beginning of the human story, it is about a major move of God: Israel being called out of Egypt as a nation by works of power. So, as a way of introducing the author of the first five books of the Bible and the giver of the Law, and as a means of gaining rich insights into what the book of Genesis would have meant to Israelites who wandered in the wilderness, we will first study the book of Exodus. Then, in Weeks 4-6, we’ll “flash back” to the Bible’s account of the beginning of humankind, found in Genesis

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