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Pearl of Great Price PN 1. EGYPTUS “Egypt,” daughter-in-law of NOAH, and the daughter of HAM and EGYPTUS (Book of Abraham 1:23,25)

The etymology of Egyptus is variously from Babylonian syllabic cuneiform ḫikuptaḥ “Egypt” (Ugaritic ḥkpt[1]) from the Egyptian name for Memphis, the old capital of Egypt, Ḥwt-kЗ-Ptaḥ "House-of-the-Spirit-of-Ptah" (i.e., the Temple of Ptah) ➔ "Egypt/ Aegyptus/ Egyptus" (E-gy-pt; Coptic ekepta), and Greek Αἴγυπτος in Homer as both Nile River and country,[2] and in Appollodorus (Bibliotheca, 2:1:4-5), as the eponymous son of Belus & Anchinoe, who first conquers Egypt. Variant ZEPTAH is clearly Egyptian ZЗt-Ptḥ, SЗt-Ptḥ, "Daughter-of-Ptah" (the -t- in SЗt is silent),[3] as is Astarte the "Daughter of Ptah" in the Late Egyptian Hieratic story of "Astarte and the Sea"[4] (which may be later reflected in the name of the Babylonian or Jewish Sibyl Sambethe/ Sambathis, the daughter or dau-in-law of Noah, who also came to Egypt after the Flood[5]). For vocalization of Zeptah/ Egyptus, compare Coptic ekepta, Ptaḥ, and Greek φθᾶ.[6] She is the equivalent of Hathor (Egyptian Ḥt-Ḥr "House-of-Horus [Sky]"), also the daughter of Ptah,[7] who is the same constellation as Virgo, which is the first month of the Inundation season (on the Palermo Stone, each king is accompanied by his mother's name and by the measured height of the inundation in September[8]). For, "when this woman discovered the land it was under water" (Abr 1:24). Hathor is the Eye and Mother of Reˁ, the first king of Egypt (1:25; Book of the Divine Cow), that first king being otherwise known as “Hermes Triplex” in the Corpus Hermeticum, i.e., the first king of Egypt after the Flood[9] (Abr 1:23-25).

BofA 1:23, “Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden”: The Egyptians called their land “the good, holy, and glorious land” (nfrt, wˁbt, špśt)[10] ; so the Israelites used the Egyptian word for “holy” wˁbt, to mean “taboo, forbidden, abomination” (Hebrew תעבה twˁbh)[11]. It was with this in mind that Philo and the Rabbis used the term “Egypt” as a code word of opprobrium for Christians, or heathens in general.[12] This ethnocentrism was a constant factor in the rivalry for legitimacy, even into our day. Just so, Abraham 1:23 properly forbids the abominations of Egypt (Egypt and Canaan in Leviticus 18:3, Deuteronomy 7:25-26, Isaiah 19:18, Ezekiel 20:7).[13]

Variants: Egyptes, Egyptahs, Zeptah, Zep-tah



  1. Ugaritic arṣ “land” at Baal Cycle, tablet 3, VI:16 (CAT 1.3).
  2. Lexikon der Ägyptologie, I:77, IV:25-26; Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs: An Introduction, 1-2; cf. Budge, Book of the Dead (1895/1967), 490; Rhodes, JSH-TYL, 5.
  3. Egyptian S(З.t)-ptḥ in Middle Kingdom (H. Ranke, Die ägyptischen Personennamen I.288.22); cf. Phoenician transcription as ספתח and Neo-Babylonian transcription Isi-ip-ta-ḫu (Vittmann, Göttinger Miszellen 70, p. 65), cited in Y. Muchiki, Egyptian Proper Names and Loanwords in North-West Semitic, SBL dissertation series 173 (Atlanta: SBL, 1999), 29.
  4. "Astarte and Yam" in the Papyrus Amherst in Pritchard, ed., ANET, 3rd ed., 17-18; Gardiner, Late-Egyptian Stories, 76-81; Gardiner, "The Astarte Papyrus," in Studies Presented to F. Ll. Griffith, 74-85; Lexikon der Ägyptologie, I:500-510. Albright showed how Astarte is the same as Atargatis-Cybele, Qudshu, Baˁalat, Juno, Virgo, etc., Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan, chapter III; see also C. H. Gordon in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., 24:91-127; and A. R. Durham, “Zeptah-Egyptus,” Sept 1958 in Christensen, ed., Papers of the Fifteenth Annual Symposium on the Archaeology of the Scriptures, 12-16.
  5. H. C. Youtie, "Sambathis," Harvard Theological Review, 37:213-217; Cf. Charlesworth, OTP, I:318, citing Rosenstiehl & Heinz, "De Sibtu, la reine de Mari, à Sambethe," Revue d'histoire et de philosophie religieuse, 52 (1972), 13-15; Sibylline Oracles, Prologue:33; I:289, III:809,823-827 (J. Charlesworth, OTP, I:317-318, 327, 341, 380; R.H. Charles, APOT, II:392-393), from the oldest and most certainly Jewish section of OrSib.
  6. Budge, Book of the Dead, 490; Mercer, Pyramid Texts, IV:204.
  7. Lexikon der Ägyptologie, IV:32, citing H. S. Smith, A Visit to Ancient Egypt (Warminster, 1974), p. 11 and n. 44.
  8. Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs, 28, 62-64.
  9. F. Yates, Giordano Bruno, 48-49, citing L. Thorndike, History of Magic and Experimental Science, II:215,222.
  10. Yahuda, Language of the Pentateuch, 146.
  11. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity, 321; confirmed personally to Robert F. Smith by Antonio Loprieno.
  12. Philo, trans. F. Colson, Loeb Classical Library (1967), “Index,” X:303-305; Conf. 36; De Abrahamo, §98; F. Rosenthal, JNES, 18:82-83.
  13. Stephen E. Thompson rejects the notion that Egyptus means “forbidden” in any language. Of course, it is not Egyptus but Egypt which is claimed to signify that which is forbidden: Thompson, “Egyptology and the Book of Abraham,” Dialogue, 28/1 (Spring 1995): 155-156, online at .