Is Holy Family’s flight into Egypt Myth?


“Greater than the great pyramids of Egypt are the myths and misconceptions about that ancient Land”

Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt - Edwin Long 1883
Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt – Edwin Long 1883

By Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

Many biblical tales were falsely and forcibly pinned down to the history and land of Ancient Egypt, such as the story of the Israelite Patriarchs, Abraham and Joseph and of course, the notorious story of the Exodus, also known as the story of Pharaoh and Moses.

One of the most renowned biblical tales that was also oddly linked to Ancient Egypt is the one called “The flight of the Holy Family into Egypt”. For all I know there was but one holy family that Ancient Egypt was familiar with and that was of King Osiris (the slain god, who rose from the dead), Mother Isis (the devout wife who was impregnated by Osiris’ holy spirit) and their son Horus, the son of (the living) God. Do we discern a prototype here?

As we were made to believe that the god of the Israelites watched over Moses and his people as they exited Egypt, therefore it was the least expected of that god to once again dispatch his angels to safeguard Baby Jesus and his Mother during their journey across the land of Egypt.

But this common perception couldn’t be further from the truth, for neither the story of The Exodus nor the Fleeing of the Holy Family took place on Egyptian soil. Both of those biblical tales are simply unverified accounts that have been propagated by deceptive rabbinical and Christological authorities.

The popular tale of the advent of the Holy Family to Egypt, seeking refuge, is one of the biblical stories the (Egyptian) Coptic Church takes tremendous pride in. The first cluster of Egyptian churches and monasteries were actually erected on places that were claimed to have been visited by the Holy Family during their (pre-destined) journey in Egypt. The alleged route the Mother and Child Jesus took during their journey extended all the way from the rugged terrain of Sinai, passing through the Nile Delta and then sailing across the Nile where they finally reached, Mount Qussqam, which is 327 km south of Cairo.

The Monastery of Al-Muharraq nestles against the western foothills of the Mountain. It was built around the area where the Holy Family were said to have stayed for over six months. Their time was spent mainly in a cave which became, in the Coptic era, the altar of the Church of the Virgin Mary, built at the western end of the Monastery compound. The altar stone has become a focal point for Christian pilgrims since it was claimed that Child Jesus used it as a resting place during the months He dwelt in the cave.

As we said, the story of Christ, The Child’s flight from Bethlehem with His family to Egypt and the eventual return of Christ from His sanctuary in Egypt, is not a verifiable historical event, but rather the whole story was built on mythical ground, or what the biblical scholars would like to refer to as prophecy.

To be more specific the whole story was created as a twisted interpretation of this renowned verse from the Hebrew Bible “Out of Egypt I called My Son” (Hosea 11:1).

The reason we deem it a twisted interpretation is that the biblical verse did not specify who that Son of God was. At the time of Hosea, many were called sons of the Lord/God. Even kings and Emperors enjoyed that holy designation. We know the Assyrian and the Egyptian kings were referred to as sons of God. And as we mentioned earlier, Horus was indeed a divine son of god.

If we judged by the typological line of thinking the biblical scribes notoriously adhered to in their stories, we should think of Moses as the figure meant by ‘My Son’ in this verse. But there is one downfall to this vague prophecy. In its original version the Hebrew text says nothing about Egypt; rather it goes like thisOut of Mizraim comes my Son. Ironically, at the alleged time this Hosea book was written, around the 8th century BC, the Land of Egypt was not called ‘Mizraim’.

Ancient Egypt was known as “Copt/Gopt” which was later pronounced in the Greek tongue as “Aegyptus”. Mizraim (mistranslated as Egypt) was an ancient Arabian designation of any urban city. In that sense, any of the major cities across the Ancient Near East such as Damascus, Tyre and Palmyra were designated ‘Mizraim’ by the nomads of ancient Arabia and Yemen.

That in a way should draw our attention to the Arabian origin of the Israelites and their Mosaic Laws, as detailed in our book “Egypt Knew No Pharaohs Nor Israelites”. Contrary to what the masses have been made to believe over long centuries of deception, all the ancient Israelite stories took place in Ancient Yemen and not Palestine. The name ‘Hosea/Hoshea’ is as Arabic as ‘Ismail’ and ‘Hussein’, and so are his stories, prophecies and book.

The vague prophecy of “out of Egypt comes my son” was later cleverly exploited by the Roman/Catholic church in their (Greek) Gospels. Only one gospel, that of Matthew, made use of this old biblical prophecy. Employing the same literal technique of typology, Matthew (or whoever used the name as a cover-up) had woven a whole new drama for Baby Christ and his Mother out of the old story of Moses.

Since the deliverance of Moses and his Israelites only occurred as they exited Egypt, the same (typological parallel) had to happen in the story of Jesus Christ. Just as Pharaoh of Egypt ordered the killing of all first-born Israelite infants, Matthew had to make Herod issue a similar order so that it would serve as the dramatic imperative for their flight into Egypt.

“…Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, ’Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him’” (Matthew 2:13).

A pattern of ancient rabbinical typology was at work here. Typology in Christian theology and biblical exegesis is a doctrine or literal technique that (craftily) linked the Old Testament to the New Testament. Events, persons, or prophecies in the Old Testament are seen as types pre-figuring or superseded by antitypes, events or aspects of Christ or his revelation described in the New Testament.

It is like a game of words in which biblical scribes duplicated/copied an ancient miraculous tale. In the process they ended up creating dramatic and geographical parallels to an older (biblical) story that would make their new one look holy in the eyes of the uneducated masses. The ultimate goal of this typology trick is to create the illusion of a prophecy come true.

The flight into Egypt is a biblical event described in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:13-23), in which Joseph fled to Egypt with Mary and her Infant Jesus after a visit by the Magi, because they learned that King Herod intended to kill the infants of that area.

The Gospel of Luke does not mention this event, relating instead that the Holy Family went to the Temple in Jerusalem, and then directly home to Nazareth. Some critics thus conclude that both Luke’s and Matthew’s birth and infancy accounts are fabrications. That theme in the Gospel of Matthew is likening Jesus to Moses for a Judean audience, and the Flight Into Egypt illustrates just that shrewd typological theme.

In their escape from the fury of King Herod, the Holy Family, understandably, had to avoid the well-traveled roads, so they followed unknown paths that were said to have been guided by God’s angels. Their way was chosen for them, day after day, through hidden valleys and across uncharted plateaus in the then rugged wastelands of Sinai. While a safer and faster sea travel was available, but like Moses and his Israelite people, Mary and Baby Jesus had to wander for a while across the wilderness of Sinai. The old (Exodus) scenario had to work as a kind of storyboard for the new (Flight into Egypt) story.

Then one has to wonder as to what/who was the source that informed us with the full description/account of the Journey the Holy Family made across Egypt? The tortuous trails the Holy Family followed in their passage across Sinai, and their subsequent travels within Egypt, were narrated by Pope Theophilus, 23rd Patriarch of Alexandria (384-412 AD). He mentioned, in his celebrated annals, that on the eve of the 6th of November, after long and humble prayers, the Holy Virgin revealed herself to him. The Holy Virgin related the details of the Holy Family’s journey to, from and in Egypt to Pope Theophilus and instructed him to record what he saw and heard.

There we have it; the whole account of the travels the Holy Family made during their stay in Egypt is actually nothing but a dream. And because it was the dream of Pope Theophilus, the gullible and faithful masses had simply accepted it as a real occurrence, another divine miracle that yet had to unfold on the land of Egypt.

But then again, who is this Pope Theophilus that Mother Mary entrusted and chose to reveal herself to in one of his blessed dreams. Theophilus was the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark of the Coptic Church in Alexandria at the turn of the 4th century CE. He became Pope at a time of conflict between the newly dominant Christians and the ancient Egyptian religious establishment in Alexandria, each of which was supported by a segment of the Alexandrian population. It was during his papacy, followed by that of his nephew (the notorious) Pope Cyril, that the persecution of the followers of Ancient Egyptian beliefs and traditions turned ruthless and violent.

Ancient Egyptian temples were desecrated and closed or burned down. Egyptians were banned from upholding their ancient religious rituals as they were denied entry to their temples and sanctuaries all over Egypt and specifically inside Alexandria. The ‘Serapeum’, the last structure/sanctuary to have survived from the Ancient Library of Alexandria was destroyed and burned up in flames, for the Coptic Church wanted to be the only source of knowledge and authority for the newly fledging Christian Egypt.

Edward Gibbon described Pope Theophilus as “…the perpetual enemy of peace and virtue, a bold, bad man, whose hands were alternately polluted with gold and with blood.”

The scrolls and books that once enshrined humanity’s ancient knowledge and wisdom were deemed (by Theophilus and his nephew, Cyril) pagan filth/heresy that only deserved to be consumed by fire. After the departure of Theophilus, the religious intolerance and violence in Alexandria spiked to new heights under the papacy of his nephew.hypatias-death-1

Cyril kept his policy of inflaming sectarian tensions that led to the murder of the Hellenistic philosopher Hypatia by a Christian mob. Hypatia was one of the last distinguished scholars of the Ancient Library of Alexandria. She lectured in astronomy, philosophy and mathematics and had considerable moral and political authority in the ancient city of Alexandria. Hypatia was kidnapped, stripped naked and then gang-mutilated and burned alive inside a church. News of Hypatia’s murder provoked great public denouncement against Cyril who only saw the great philosopher as a (pagan) witch.

Hypatia’s brutal murder had in a way marked the demise of the world’s ancient wisdom and knowledge. As the (gullible) masses bought into the ‘Mother Mary’ dream of Theophilus, the dawn of the Dark Ages was looming near. A new era was being born out of the deceptive biblical narrative about Ancient Egypt, a new era stifled with obscurantism, intolerant dogma and false prophecies.

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25 thoughts on “Is Holy Family’s flight into Egypt Myth?

  1. @‘Seraphin’ from out of the Christian Bible or the Torah?

    Wondering whether you spell ‘Seraphin’ instead of Seraphim deliberately, trying to make a point that eludes me.
    The apellation ‘Seraphim’ is the same in both ‘Bibles’ and is the plural of seraph/saraph.
    Would’ve occur to you that in some parts of the world, which you suggest you are familiar with, Seraphim (as such) is a frequent personal and family name?

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  2. Seems like a lot of frazzled thinking here – It might behoove Dr. Ezzat’s readers to do some on-line searching to get a more conclusive view of the whole story – The good doctor is simply trying to say that things are not what we all have been told by those who probably didn’t know anything about the history of Jesus Christ in the first place! Even our sabbath is wrong – but does give us a cohesive long weekend – if that’s any consolation. Christmas was wrongly dated by a Balkan dictator who, like Boris Yeltsin was probably in his cups when Mr.Yeltsin “gave” a piece of historical Russia to the Ukraine without any legal right – And this regardless of the so-called Western intelligence which considers that garbage to be correct! So do some searching readers – you might even come up with the exact locale in the Crimea that Christ was born – I’m still searching – perhaps it’s in the archives of that truly old Christian religion, the Russian Orthodoxy – so loosen up and have fun at it! Thank you again, gf.

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      1. George is absolutely right that it was Gorbachev who “gave” the Crimea to the Ukraine – can you see the egg on my face? I know it’s there – my apologies for sending out wrong info and my thanks to George for correcting me. He taught me something – re-read what I write.gf

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      1. My dear Seraphin: sorry to have conveyed any feeling of “…making fun of..” anyone in my notes – that was not, nor is it my intent in replying in this forum. I am actually amazed at the time and effort the good Doctor has put into the misconceptions we all suffered because of ‘controlled’ history and hence religion. But i have one question of you which is – do you use the pseudonym ‘Seraphin’ from out of the Christian Bible or the Torah?

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  3. It would seem that that assumption is correct. For one, Jesus was not born in the middle East – But was born in Russia, the Crimea to be exact, and the fact that Russians are light years more advanced than any other culture can be explained by the simple fact that they, and they alone, are God’s chosen people! Jesus did go to the middle East – that is also substantiated by the then Roman governor’s note to Cesar – on file in Washington, DC, the U.S.A. While ‘the Bible’ contains many myths it also has a lot of Christ’s admonitions – few of which are adhered to in Western cultures. When considering all the stories in our Bible two standouts are the lack of information about Egypt’s pyramids and the date of His birth (a date set by an alien dictator of the time, by the way) in very unlikely weather for Bethlehem (a fact that can be easily confirmed by science)! Too much has been dictated by those who felt that they “knew best” – I try to live by Christ’s word and have experienced that benefit many times. However, it behooves us all to take a realistic – and not an emotional look at facts – and then we will discover one of our Bible’s most important phrases – Seek and you shall find the truth! While I do not question the good Doctor’s intent as some have – His research is daunting to say the least and is to be applauded, not ridiculed! Thank you.

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    1. It is the first time I hear that Jesus was born in Russia, and would love more elaboration on that. I understand that Christianity started in the ME, and there were many mentions of physical landmarks like the Jordon river, where the baptism of Jesus took place.

      Yes, there can be some passages in the four books that could have been either wrong, or translated wrong, however, it is very difficult to accept the whole place, the ME was wrong as well. All being said, it is important to acknowledge that Jesus teachings of loving our enemies sets him apart from any peace loving teachers in the history of the earth.

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  4. Jesus never set foot in Egypt. Or Palestine for that matter. The Jesus story is a wholly European story, about European people, living in Europe. It was later spread to Egypt with the sword. It was only moved in location to the Middle East at a much later date, and welded onto the “Old Testament”. The city called ‘Jerusalem’ in the ‘New Testament’ is the city today known as Istanbul.

    Revelation 11:8: And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

    Revelation. 17:9: Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits

    Revelation. 17:18: The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.

    Then there’s Galatians 3:1:O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

    Galatia is the are around Istanbul.

    While the book of John throws up one that must make all modern “pro-Israel” so-called “Christians” take note.

    John 8:33:They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man:

    The verse immediately before this is John 8:32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

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    1. The ‘are around Istanbul’ is Galata, the neighbourhood opposite Constantinople (today’s Istanbul, Turkey), located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn, the inlet which separates it from the historic peninsula of old Constantinople, known worldwide by its famous tower built by the Genovese in 1348 (and by the famous Football team Galatasaray).
      ‘Galatia’ of St. Paul’s Epistle was an area in the highlands of central Anatolia (Ankara, Çorum, Yozgat Province).
      What are you smoking?

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      1. First “are” rather than “area” was a typo.

        Now, definitions can change over time, and this includes geography. As an example, ‘Israel’ has slid into Palestine, where it never was located historically. And there are other countries today with names like ‘Azerbaijan’ and ‘Macedonia’ which are NOT located on the historical lands of those names.

        But either way, whether it’s ‘Galata’ or ‘Galatia’, much of the Bible was written in unvocalised consonants, and it would have been ‘GLT’.

        But again the point is, that it’s in modern-day Turkey, not in modern-day “Israel”. And the people at the time were neither Turks nor “Jews”, but Greeks.

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  5. All religions are based on believe and stories told to only a few. How come?? Why has not God presented himself to the masses? In public view!
    If the Isrealites were God’s chosen people why did he not prevent their slaughters during history?
    Mr Ezzat’s researches make sense and are provable by historical prove, just as the research in the Dead Sea Rolls about Jezus’s life. It throws another look at these world religions that have caused so much harm. If Moses was the first messenger, Messiah Isa (the real Jesus) the second and Mohamed the third and final of the same religion and god, than Jewism, Christianity and Islam are really the same religion. That makes Mr Ezzat’s findings even more explainable.
    And the struggle between two streams within Islam (Shia and Sunni) in the whole of the Islam world and far beyond are very taletelling for what happened in Europe during the splitting of Christianity in Catholic and protestantism. To me it is all the same again. If the world would take notice of the learnings of Mr Ezzat, it would be a safer place.

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  6. Not a good report as it lacks understanding of the bible, when you comment on the bible you need to know how it is composed
    Much in the bible is myth, Myth contains great truth, Egypt is of great significance in the OT and the flight of mary and Joseph to Egypt is not reporting geographic travel but illusion to storiesr ich in biblical meaning, it is not mentioned in Mark, it is written in a later gospel, and the correct evaluation is to decipher the meaning not check milage

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  7. *I am happy to see your post today. I will be sharing & wish you great feedback to your insights!*

    *I did see one possible change:*

    *To be more specific the whole story was created as a twisted interpretation of this renowned verse **form** the Hebrew Bible “Out of Egypt I called My Son” (Hosea 11:1). **(from)*

    *Best regards,*

    *Debby*

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  8. Dr. Ezzat,
    I am afraid that letting your animus against your Coptic fellow countrymen stand in the way of a real understanding of the history of your own country, you regrettably undermine all your other interpretations (Ex. ‘Mother Isis’ was not impregnated by Osiris’ “holy spirit”, but plainly by his sperm ejaculated from his penis into Isis’ womb through physical copulation with Osiris’ corpse magically revived, or, as some texts suggest, injecting the sperm extracted from the corpse through an artificial penis – quite a modern procedure -. In no imaginable way is this story a ‘typos’ of the virgin birth of Jesus; Horus has been known always as ‘Harsiesis’, Horus, the son of Isis).
    If your take on the Exodus, Pharaoh, can be supported by the state of the historical, philological and archaeological available evidence, your take on Christianity is based on the Jewish falsification of Roman History, popularized by Gibbon, Muslim propagandists, and Hollywood. The Gospels are historical documents of unimpeachable authenticity and accuracy and they are the source of the story of the flight to Egypt, not the dream of Theophilus. Their stay in Egypt was short.
    This piece sounds too much like a libelous attack against the Copts to be taken seriously. Peddling the patently false story of the burning of the Library of Alexandria by the Copts and the patently false story of the real circumstances of the murder of Hypatia is to give in to Muslim/Western liberal propaganda (openly anti-Christian). We don’t know who burnt the Library of Alexandria (if it was burnt at all). But the implication that the Muslims ‘saved’ the ancient world’s wisdom and knowledge and passed them over to the Christians sunken into the “Dark Ages” mud swamp of ‘obscurantism, intolerant dogma and false prophets and prophecies’ is not true either. It is a false narrative.
    It makes it look like the constant persecution of the Copts, the burning of their Churches, are somehow a pay back for their ‘intolerance’.

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  9. I don’t want to diminish the role the early Christians played in bringing about the dark ages, but I am convinced that it was to a much greater degree the result of the civilization clash with Islam.

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  10. One thing I know, if the ancient Copts were savages as you are insinuating they would have terrorized the Arab Muslim invaders. I am not sure that Christians who are supposed to be meek, and loving can be savages. If what you said about the ancient Copts was true, Egypt today would have been 90% Christians, and 10% Muslims? We know that the opposite is true, which leads me to believe that the few invaders were the savages who oppressed and terrorized the Egyptians to convert them to Islam.

    That being said, I think there are a lot inconsistancies in historical books of all religions. For example the story of Mo flying over to Jerusalem is definitely a fabrication just as Noah arch, Moses going to the mountain to bring the Ten Commandments, and so on.

    I still love the investigative work that you do, and urge to keep doing what you do.

    Best regards
    George

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    1. No, that was a typo – nothing more – Sorry to have done that but i will add that I do not make intentional barbs to anyone in order to make any “point” – I trust that is the answer you would expect? Thank you.

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