In the language art that we call literature, personification make a tree a giving entity, a house a living worker, or a pen an informant. Perhaps the Nile River is one of the most personified entities in all of ancient literature. Heroditus called Egypt the “gift of the Nile”. Egypt was indeed quickened and sustained by the fertility provided by the Nile. One can best see this by flying over the region even today. The building and bustle all happens with a few miles from the shorelines on either side of the Nile and lies in deep contrast to the lifeless desert regions that seem to go on forever as the Nile’s “gift” is usable and self-perpetuating only in the immediate area of her banks. It was the Nile that produced the seven years of plenty and, of course, it was the same Nile that made the famine. It was God, though, Who was ultimately in charge of the flood or famine and It was God Who gave the word to Joseph…the word that exalted Him as God’s tool to the second seat of the throne.
No wonder it was the Nile that God chose to color crimson and poison with blood in the first blockbuster plague on the Pharaoh and Egypt in the days of “the let-my-people-go” campaign of Moses at the hand of Jehovah. The source of food–dates, bread, wine, figs, melons, beer, and water for beasts–was suddenly and humanly irrevocably turned to blood. I wonder what DNA was in that blood, what disease, what stench….I wonder what child was bathing in the water, whose cows were drinking it and who was watching an irrigation ditch when it suddenly went crimson. I wonder who was on a boat rowing to ancient Rhoda, when the rowing oar came up bloody. I wonder who caught the first fish covered with blood. Imagine the screams and imagine the attempts to bathe those crying children to get rid of the stench on their small bodies. Imagine the thirst as stored water began to be consumed. Just imagine!
The Egyptians measured their lives by the movement of the sun and the flow of the Nile. Their god, Re, symbolized the Nile’s cycle and was pictured as being transported across the sky in a boat and through the underworld in a barque. While Osiris was also closely associated with the Nile, it is Hapi who is most associated today as having been the supreme God of the Nile. Hapi is a fat god, representing the abundance of the Nile. His symbol is the papyrus plant, a hugely important plant in ancient times, having been used as a writing instrument and, of course, as the material on which the written word was passed along.
Do you think God had a plan in mind when he attacked the Nile? This river was known as the life’s blood of Egypt. But God made sure they knew that it could, at His mere whim, through the rod of Moses, be the death’s blood!
As you know, this is only the beginning of the ironic mind of God working on Egypt through a series of deadly plagues. Who would like to write a short commentary for the Digging Deep group about the god(s) attacked in the plagues of frogs, lice, flies, etc…? Come on. You’ve got this. It will be good for you. And I know it will be good for me. So I am going to go to Illinois this weekend and speak three times about parenting. I am not going to write about the rest of the plagues. Then I am going to come home and get ready for a big seminar next weekend (Have you registered for that? www.thecolleyhouse.org/seminar.) But while I travel and study I am going to be watching this wall for volunteers. Just let me know in the comments beneath this post on the Digging Deep wall if you are willing to give us a couple of paragraphs on just one of the ensuing plagues. Be sure to tell us, so you won’t be writing about what someone else is writing about. I cannot wait to learn from you. And you will be giving us some good fodder for discussion on the podcast on September 24th. God is good to give us each other! Now I do not want to be discouraged. I want (need) to be ENcouraged by your participation in the next few days. But it’s not about me. I get that. It’s about all of us growing together. Just nine more volunteers to be showing each other that, like God used Joseph and Moses, He still uses people–even us–today to show each other His glory. To Him be the glory! So who’s first? (Here’s a starter article: http://www.apologeticspress.org/DiscoveryPubPage.aspx?pub=2&issue=814&article=1534–Be sure and credit any material taken directly from a book or site!)
Some of this material taken from: (http://indigo.ie/~marrya/nile.html).