- See also: Ancient Egypt
|“||I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.||”|
Exodus is the second book of the Jewish Torah and of the old testament of the Christian Bible which states that the descendants of Jews who fled a drought in Canaan to find good pasture land in Egypt were enslaved, then liberated after God inflicted ten plagues on the Egyptians and sustained the Jews through 40 years in the Sinai desert on their way to conquering Canaan. The liberation from slavery in Egypt and the Exodus to the "promised land" of Israel are central to Jewish religion and identity and celebrated every year during the 8-day Passover (Hebrew: Pesach) holiday — and to a lesser extent, every other holiday. However, historians and archaeologists have found no strong evidence that there was ever a large-scale enslavement of Jews in Egypt, nor a large-scale exodus of Jews from Egypt to Canaan, which would seem to contradict the Biblical account since the ancient Egyptians were known to be meticulous record keepers and almost certainly would have recorded such a significant event. Regardless, it is in the Book of Exodus that one God is defined as the God of the Jews, and therefore, it is that book that marks the time when the Jewish people stopped being indiscriminately polytheistic and started regarding YHWH as their (only) god and later the only god.
The Exodus contains the founding myth of the Hebrew people, and the Ten Commandments. Also, it is commemorated in the Jewish Pesach (Passover) feast, which gave the context of the death of Jesus and the Christian Easter. As the second book of the Old Testament, the Exodus is an essential story in Christianity, featured in countless works of European art, and used as an allegory for later migration routes, such as the Hebreic exile in Babylon, the Crusades, the colonization of the Old West, the Underground Railroad, and the Aliya movement of the 20th century where Jews migrated to the Holy Land (around World War I, and before and after the Holocaust), with the foundation of modern Israel.
The Exodus has shaped the world's image of ancient Egypt, and the source of some misconceptions, such as the idea that Hebrew slaves built the Pyramids of Giza or other great monuments. While much of Egypt's population was made up by slaves, they were not typically commissioned to build monuments, and the Pyramids of Giza were already a thousand years old during the reign of Ramesses.
Almost all countries in this region prefer visas to be paid for in US dollars, and accept other currencies at unfavourable rates if at all.
Egypt: Visas are available to almost all Westerners on arrival for USD $15. This is true even if you arrive by ferry at Aswan, though in this case getting the visa on arrival may cause some delays. Some embassies (e.g. Khartoum) issue advance Egyptian visas in around 24 hours, while others (e.g. Addis Ababa) take weeks for some nationalities.
- Cairo-Mount Sinai (5 days)
- Mount Sinai-Petra (1 day)
- Petra-Tiberias (1 day)
- Tiberias-Jerusalem (2 days)
The political situation in Egypt remains unpredictable but has been peaceful since the early 2011 revolution.
In general, only Israel has potable tap water.
- Holy Land for other Biblical destinations