|miz'-ra-im (tribulations, the two Egypts; red soil, mound, fortress)
RELATED: Ham, Noah
Easton's Bible Dictionary
the dual form of matzor, meaning a "mound" or "fortress,"
The name of a people descended from Ham ( Genesis 10:6 , 10:13 ; 1 Chronicles
1:8 , 1:11 ). It was the name generally given by the Hebrews to the land of Egypt
(q.v.), and may denote the two Egypts, the Upper and the Lower. The modern Arabic
name for Egypt is Muzr.
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
(the two Egypts; red soil), The usual name of Egypt in
the Old Testament the dual of Mazor, which is less frequently employed. Mizraim
first occurs in the account of the Hamites in ( Genesis 10:1 ) ... In the use
of the name Mizraim for Egypt there can be no doubt that the dual indicates the
two regions, upper and lower Egypt, into which the country has always been divided
by nature as well as by its inhabitants.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(1) A son of Ham,
and ancestor of various peoples, Ludim, Anamim, etc. (Genesis 10:6 , 13 ; 1 Chronicles
1:8 , 11).
See TABLE OF NATIONS.
(2) The name of Egypt.
See EGYPT. The land of Ham.--cham, was another name for
the land of Egypt. It occurs only in Psalms 105:23 , 17 ; 106:22 ; Psalms 78:51
probably refers to the land of Ham, though it may refer to the children of Ham.
The origin and significance of this name are involved in much obscurity. Two improbable
etymologies and one probable etymology for Ham as a name of Egypt have been proposed,
and the improbable ones very much urged:
| (1) Ham is often thought to be a Hebrew appropriation of the Egyptian name
"Kemt," a name for the "black land" as distinguished from "desherr," the red land
of the desert which surrounded it. This etymology is very attractive, but phonetically
very improbable to say the least.
(2) Ham has sometimes been connected directly with cham, the second son of Noah
whose descendants under the name Mitsraim occupied a part of Northeastern Africa.
But as there is no trace of this name among the Egyptians and no use of it in
the historical books of the Old Testament, this can hardly be said to be a probable
derivation of the word.
(3) There is a third proposed etymology for Ham which connects it ultimately but
indirectly with Ham, the second son of Noah. Some of the earliest sculptures yet
found in Egypt represent the god Min (Menu; compare Koptos by Professor Petrie).
This god seems also to have been called Khem, a very exact Egyptian equivalent
for Cham, Ham, the second son of Noah and the ancestor of the Hamitic people of
Egypt. That Ham the son of Noah should be deified in the Egyptian pantheon is
not surprising. The sensuality of this god Min or Khem also accords well with
the reputation for licentiousness borne by Ham the son of Noah. These facts suggest
very strongly a trace in Egyptian mythology of the actual history of the movements
of Hamitic people.
(4) While the preceding division (3) probably states the real explanation of the
early name of Egypt, it still remains to be noted that the use of the name Ham
by the Psalmist may be entirely poetic. Until it be found that the name Ham was
applied to Egypt by other writers of that period it will ever be in some measure
unlikely that the Psalmist was acquainted with the mythological use of the name
Ham in Egypt, and so, in equal measure, probable that he meant nothing more than
to speak of the land of the descendants of Ham the son of Noah.
See also HAM.
M. G. Kyle
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