Jerusalem, definitions

Numberup at Numberup at
Tue Sep 7 19:56:54 EDT 1999

Lewis Reich wrote:

> Solomon Landers wrote.
> > In Hebrew, Egypt is mitsrayim, supposedly reflecting Middle Egyptian
> > terminology of the "two Egypts" (upper and lower Egypt)
> I wonder whether the dual ending of mitsrayim has to do with the upper and
> lower, red and black, duality of Egypt reflected in the combined crowns of
> the Two Lands, or whether it has to do with Egypt's comprising, for most of
> its length,  two narrow bands of arable land adjoining the banks of the
> Nile.
> Lewis Reich

According to the Birtish Museum's "The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt," page 88, the
answer would probably be, "both."  There were several levels of two-ness or duality at
play.  Thus, the pharaoh was "neb tawy," or "lord of the two lands," represented in
hieroglyphs as a seated king with two determinatives for "land."  Wallis Budge
interprets this to mean "Upper and Lower Egypt."  Another title of the pharaoh,
"nesw-bit," or "he of the sedge and the bee," specifically refered to the sedge of
Upper Egypt and the bee of Lower Egypt.  At the same time, the country was referred to
as "Kemet," black, for the black land and "deshret," for the red land.

Solomon Landers
Memra Institute for Biblical Research

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