In the August 20, 2011, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Billy Graham is asked a question about the Hebrews’ slavery in Egypt and the pyramids. Billy’s reader asks: “I remember from … Sunday School that the ancient Israelites were slaves in Egypt for a long time. Do you think they might have built the pyramids? I’ve always been curious about [the pyramids], and whether or not pyramids have some spiritual significance or power.”
You can read all of Billy’s answer here.
Billy responds with some vagueness saying that the pyramids are not mentioned in the Bible, but that the Hebrews might have seen them.
Billy’s lack of precision is understandable since the Bible itself mentions two periods of time, 430 years in Exodus 12:40 and 400 years in Acts 7:6. Beyond that, a careful analysis of the time lines shows that the Hebrews were in Egypt for perhaps half of the 430 years mentioned in Exodus and only a portion of that was in servitude. Modern studies of the northern areas of Egypt show the presence of what appear to be mercenary armies around the time of the Exodus. These armies may have been the Hebrews who had been hired to fight for the Egyptians.
Billy then skips over the question of the building of the pyramids. He could have easily answered the question by simply stating that the Exodus occurred around 1210 BCE and the Great Pyramids date to 2560 BCE.
The dating of the Exodus and the Great Pyramids shows they do not overlap with the earliest residence of the Hebrews being about 1420 BCE, more than a thousand years after the building of the Great Pyramids.
Billy then wanders off into admonitions about avoiding idolatry such as pyramid power or crystals, going so far as to quote the first of the Ten Commandments. Billy merely refers to it as “One of the Ten Commandments.” It is hard to keep them straight.
Billy says that the first commandment prohibits idolatry. “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” (Exodus 20:4). It would appear that God is telling the Hebrews to avoid any representative imaging and certainly to avoid investing that image with any power.
Is this what God is saying? In Numbers, the Hebrews are beset by serpents and ask Moses to pray to God for help. What does God do?
“And the Lord said unto Moses, make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
“And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.” Numbers 21: 8-9 (KJV)
On the one hand, God tells the Hebrews that making images is wrong and on the other hand, God tells Moses to make a magic image to heal those bitten by serpents. By the way, the serpents were sent by God to punish the Hebrews for complaining.
My final question for this article is this: Is a person wearing a crucifix practicing idolatry? It is an image of something in heaven, Jesus, and people wear them as charms against evil. Maybe it would be all right if the image on the neck chain were of a fiery serpent?
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