Problems in Doctrines and Covenants: Discovery and Naming of Egypt

Doctrine and Covenants, Book of Abraham 1:23, states:

The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden;

There are a number of issues here.

a) Egyptus

The -us ending is typical of masculine Latin nouns. It’s not a typical way of ending Chaldean nouns (masculine or otherwise).

b) Egypt’s Discovery

If one of Ham’s daughters discovered Egypt, she would roughly precede Nimrod (the grandson of Ham), who founded Babel.

Genesis 10:8-10
And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

Thus, there would be no reason that her name would have any particular “Chaldean” meaning.

c) Etymology of Egypt

From etymonline.com

Egypt
Old English Egipte “the Egyptians,” from French Egypte, from Greek Aigyptos “the river Nile, Egypt,” from Amarna Hikuptah, corresponding to Egyptian Ha(t)-ka-ptah “temple of the soul of Ptah,” the creative god associated with Memphis, the ancient city of Egypt.

Strictly one of the names of Memphis, it was taken by the Greeks as the name of the whole country. The Egyptian name, Kemet, means “black country,” possibly in reference to the rich delta soil. The Arabic is Misr, which is derived from Mizraim, the name of a son of Biblical Ham.

So, notice that the name “Egypt” comes from the Amarna language, and means “temple of the soul of Ptah,” not something to do with being forbidden.

-TurretinFan

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