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Egypt was becoming a known center for trade, located on the Nile River in the northern part of Africa. The country began approximately in 3150 BC with an Upper Egypt and a Lower Egypt. I watched as the two fought over many decades. The power struggle was brutal, and many lives were lost on both sides. Then Menes of Upper Egypt prevailed, and the two became one nation. Trade grew and with it came power to rule. Being a major trade route, they ruled the seas as well as great land masses. Spices and grains along with ivory and jewels were the main fare being transported along the trade routes leading into and out of Egypt, reaching into the Middle East, Europe, and the Far East. The Egyptians became a great people, and in so doing, I saw them rise to power always desiring more. The greatness of their kings was demonstrated in the pyramids and statues such as the great Sphinx. I watched as they mastered the art of quarrying, and their construction techniques were way ahead of the times. Many of the Egyptians worked as field hands, farmers, craftsmen, and scribes living in brick houses. Their understanding of mathematics allowed them to survey construction sites, lay out cities with roads leading in and out.
With the Nile River running through Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea, much travel was done by other African countries. The Nile River has two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile. The White Nile is longer and begins in either Rwanda or Burundi (not really clear) and flows north through Tanzania, Lake Victoria, Uganda, and South Sudan. The Blue Nile is the source of most of the water and fertile soil. It has its beginning in Ethiopia at Lake Tana. Both rivers converge near Khartoum, the Sudanese capital. The irrigation system that the Egyptians developed because of this great river caused them to have lush farmlands and plants producing spices of various kinds. All kinds of African animals were brought up the Nile for trade and for sale, ivory from the African elephant being the most sought after. Much of the slave trade was also brought up the Nile to the Mediterranean Sea.
Then there were the gods and goddesses of whom they believed in, and they made statues of them. Some of them (they believed) took part in creation, some in the flooding of the Nile each year, some in protection, and others to guide one into the afterlife. There were also those minor gods who represented plants or animals. All these gods were worshipped with the belief that there would be peace in the land.
The Pharaoh was the one in charge of the politics of Egypt, and he was also the high priest of the temple. He led the army into battle when their country was threatened, and he was also the one to whom taxes were paid. Pharaohs ruled for nearly three thousand years. The Egyptian people left a legacy for the world as their power diminished in the areas of quarrying, surveying, construction techniques, mathematics, and medicine along with the design of irrigation systems.
Approximately 1846 BC, something happened that eventually changed the history of Egypt. A young boy was sold into slavery by his brothers because of jealousy. His name was Joseph. He had God's favor upon him even though there were times that he spent in prison. By the time Joseph was thirty years of age, he was brought before Pharaoh and made ruler over all that Pharaoh had. Even though I ruled with Pharaoh, I did not rule with Joseph for Joseph had the favor of the Lord upon him, and all that he did he prospered in it. During the next seven years, there was great prosperity in the land of Egypt, and then the famine came that covered the land. For the next seven years, people came from all around to buy food from Egypt because it was heard that Egypt had plenty for themselves and to sell to those in need. Joseph's family, his father, Israel, along with his eleven brothers—Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin along with their families—were now gathered together in Egypt in the land of Goshen and there remained. The Pharaoh who took care of Joseph and his family had passed away, and now I was with a new Pharaoh who had great ambitions to conquer and do great exploits throughout the land. In so doing, Israel became enslaved to the Egyptians, building their cities, statues, pyramids, and obelisks. Four hundred years passed, and there was great groaning across the land as a new Pharaoh began his reign. Not remembering the goodness of Joseph, he increased the burden placed upon the people of Israel. Now, a deliverer was born and was raised in Pharaoh's house whose name was Moses. For the next forty years, he learned the Egyptian ways and customs, and then one day, he saw an Egyptian mistreating a Jew. He thought that what he was doing was right as he defended the Jew by killing the Egyptian. Moses fled to the desert, and there remained for another forty years. He took for himself a wife and began a new life. Then came the call ...
Moses was tending the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. He led the flock in the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. As he looked on the mountain, he saw a burning bush that was not consumed, and he went to check it out, and as he drew near, God called to him from the midst of the burning bush. "Moses, Moses!"
And Moses said, "Here I am." He removed his sandals because the ground was holy ground.
The Lord said to him, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And He said, "I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good and large land flowing with milk and honey ... Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt."
Moses, looking inside himself, wondered why God would choose him for such a task. Here he was, a Hebrew raised as an Egyptian, a murderer, a man wanted by Pharaoh, a man wanting a new beginning, a man of few words, and yet the Lord chose him.
Moses then asked Him, "What shall I tell the people when they ask, who sent me and what is His name?"
God said to Moses, "I am who I am." And He said, "This is what you shall say to the children of Israel, I am has sent me to you." Moses, so much like the people of today, started doubting and asking questions that showed his unbelief. His final attempt to get out of going was telling God that he was slow of speech and slow of tongue, so the Lord gave him Aaron to accompany him, and the Lord was with them.
As Moses and Aaron traveled back to Egypt, they discussed many things that had happened. They considered what was before them, and yet God gave them peace for their journey. Arriving back in Egypt, they requested an audience with Pharaoh. It was finally granted to them, and they told Pharaoh, "This is what the Lord God of Israel says, 'Let My people go that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.'"
Pharaoh refused and made the labor harder for the Hebrews. The dawn a new day came when Moses and Aaron came before Pharaoh, and the first miracle was performed as Moses cast down his rod, and it became a serpent. Pharaoh also called his magicians, and they cast down their rods, which became serpents, and Moses's rod ate up their rods, yet Pharaoh refused to let the people go. The next day Pharaoh went to the river, and Moses met him there. He told Aaron to stretch out the rod over the waters, and it became blood along with everything that held water, every stream and pond in Egypt. The fish died and the river stank, and the people could not drink the water. This was the first plague of ten. Pharaoh still refused to let the people go. Then came the second plague of frogs covering the land, followed by lice, then by flies, and still Pharaoh refused. His heart was so hardened that it seemed that no matter what the Lord sent, he was determined to have his own way (sound familiar). Then came pestilence, skin boils, hail and thunderstorms, swarms of locusts, and darkness during the daytime hours, and still Pharaoh refused to let the people go.
The Lord told Moses to tell the people, "Go and ask of every neighbor for articles of silver and articles of gold." And they took the wealth of Egypt as the Lord gave them favor in the sight of the Egyptians. The tenth and final plague was pronounced to Pharaoh that at midnight the death angel would come and strike the firstborn of Egypt—from the livestock, to the servants, and even to Pharaoh's house—and then he will let the people go. I was there to see a great nation be brought to its knees, and the fall was still not complete.
In the morning a great cry went up throughout the land from small and great even to Pharaoh's house as it was reported the firstborn were dead. The Hebrews escaped the plague as they celebrated the first Passover, for they had sprinkled blood on their doorposts so that the death angel passed over them and their house was saved. The day of restitution finally came to the Israelites. After four hundred years of slavery, they left Egypt with the wealth of the Egyptians. More than a million Hebrews poured out of Egypt, following Moses to the land that was promised to Abraham and his descendants hundreds of years before. They departed northward to the Red Sea. There behind them they saw a cloud of dust, and through the dust they could barely make out Pharaoh and his army. Pharaoh was enraged after losing his crops, many of his cattle, much of his water supply, and his firstborn son, and now his slaves with all of Egypt's wealth, and he was in pursuit to kill them or bring them back. I was there watching it all unfold in the dessert and in the plains. Now the Israelites were facing a dilemma. Before them was the Red Sea (there were no bridges back then), and behind them were all of Pharaoh's forces.
But God had a plan. The Lord told Moses to stretch out his rod toward the sea, and as he did, the waters began to churn. And the waters came against itself, creating great walls on the left and on the right, and the sea bed was dry. The people were astonished as they stepped down into the sea and began their journey to the other side. Amazed at the water that was stacked up against itself, they knew that only their God was able to do something of this magnitude. The noise of many waters was all around them, and then they heard the sound of chariots and horses and whips cracking behind them. Down through the same ravine that the Hebrews were running through came Pharaoh and his army.
The wheels of the chariots were mired down in the mud where the water was starting to come back. All of Pharaoh's army was now in the midst of the waters as the last of the Israelites came up on the other side. They heard the roaring like thunder, and as they turned, they saw the walls of water beginning to fold back down to the bottom, overtaking the once great army of Pharaoh, and their leader, their horses, and their chariots were drowned, and all were destroyed. Egypt had fallen; their Pharaoh was dead along with all the young men. Egypt would rise one more time around 1069 BC only to fall to Rome in 30 BC, not to rise again.
A new nation was now birthed and heading for the Promised Land, and their name was Israel. There before them was a new beginning, and behind them was a crushed empire that had been built by the hard labor of the Hebrews for over four hundred years. Joshua became their leader after the death of Moses, and he was told to cross over the Jordan River with all the people. And the Lord spoke to Joshua, "From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the Great Euphrates River, all the land of the Hittites and to the Great Sea where the sun goes down shall be your territory." And He further said to Joshua, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." So the people prospered wherever they went.
Over time they forgot their God who brought them out of Egypt. They forgot about all the miracles that He performed before Pharaoh, and they forgot how He prospered them. Israel went after foreign gods and idols, turning their back on God, and He was angry with them. Israel was taken into captivity many times over the next several centuries as they sinned and then repented over and over again. They were carried away to Babylon, and their goods were plundered. In their cry they were heard, and a deliverer was sent and delivered them, so they returned to their land. Sinning against an Almighty God did not prove fruitful with Israel for once again they found themselves being carried off to Persia and again a deliverer was sent. Over time, they found themselves scattered across the land and ruled by Rome.
They were a people without a country. In or around 605 BC, the prophet Jeremiah had prophesied concerning Israel, saying, "'Behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord, 'that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah, and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.'" The year 1917 brought about that prophesy as the land of Palestine was set up as a home for the Jewish people according to the Balfour Accord.
Finally in 1948, Israel was recognized as a nation, and the world would find out that Israel is a nation to watch. Jealousy was showing on the faces of Israel's neighbors, and they wanted his land. I was there watching and even encouraging many of them to drive out the Jews. Egypt, Jordan, and Syria rose to the call. The massive armies of these three nations were no match for the ever-so-small Israel. The promises were made centuries before, and we see the mighty hand of God move with Israel as on June 5-10, 1967, they defeated their enemies and reclaimed their land. In just six days, Israel recovered the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt in the south. They recovered the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the east from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria in the north.
Through all the affliction that has come against Israel, the United States and a few other countries have stood by him and helped in any way possible. Over the past twenty-plus years, however, we have seen these same countries tell Israel to give up land in the name of peace, and in some cases, Israel has complied except for this last time. Under President Obama's administration, Israel was told to go back to the boundaries of 1967. This was done to appease the Muslim nations and to take away a buffer zone of protection for the Israelis. What would President Obama say if Israel would require the United States to give back Texas, Arizona, and California to Mexico? Why has this administration been so against Israel and pro toward the Arab League of Nations and the Palestinians? We will look at that later. For now, we see a nation that truly God has blessed and will continue to watch over and protect. The Jewish people have graced us with their art, work ethics, and their minds, since there have been more Jewish Nobel Peace Prize winners than any other nationality, and truly God has blessed them.
As the Lord lives Who brought up and led the descendents of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them, and they shall dwell in their own land.
I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
Small villages were cropping up everywhere, and I was with them as they went out to conquer and they grew. Romulus was noted as the first king, and around 650 BC, the people became a country going out to war and conquering. Romans were building great cities throughout the land, Rome being their greatest achievement with the architecture and aqueducts to bring water into the city for baths and fountains. They ruled the land and the sea for centuries, covering over 2,300,000 square miles and stretched over three continents. Many of their rulers had me as a companion, and I served them well. Marching over continents, they conquered and took possession of lands, people, and their goods. God has bestowed in the hearts of man the desire to be free, and because of that desire, men would rise up against Roman rule.
Rome fell as a major ruler around 44 BC and yet continued as a Roman state until its final collapse about AD 1461. The Roman Empire lasted nearly 2,100 years and left a living legacy for the world to come. While searching the archives, we find that much of our culture, law, and even our modern-day calendar were given to us by the Romans. We also have our road system thanks to them. Our government was fashioned after the Romans along with our military, and they also contributed to a lot of our architecture, art, and religion today. Watching and be a part of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire was exhilarating for me. I followed the leaders even to their death because of me.
Excerpted from The Rise and Fall of a Great Nation by John Gondeck Copyright © 2012 by John Gondeck. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted October 10, 2012
I could not put this book down, I read it in one sitting!! It is a "must read" book. Every American who longs for the "good ole days" should read this book! Every American who is going to vote this November should read this book! It is informative and thought provoking. The facts and statistics are mind blowing! This book opened my eyes to our history and potential future...it is an incredible read. I read a lot but I have to say this book lit a fire under me, it stirred my emotions and I want to shout from the roof tops for everyone to read it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.