Psalms 105:23

23 Then Israel came to Egypt; Jacob lived as an alien in the land of Ham.

Psalms 105:23 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 105:23

Israel also came into Egypt
That is, Jacob, as afterwards expressed, who had the name of Israel, from his wrestling with God and prevailing. He came into Egypt, being invited by Pharaoh, and having heard of his son Joseph being alive, and of his exaltation.

And Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham:
the same with Egypt; Mizraim, from whence Egypt has its name, being the son of Ham, ( Genesis 10:6 ) . Hence Egypt is called by Plutarch F11 Chemia; and Diodorus Siculus F12 speaks of a city in Thebais, or Upper Egypt, which was called by the inhabitants Chemmis, interpreted by them the city of Pan; and Plutarch


F13 mentions a place called Chennis, inhabited by Pans and Satyrs. The same is mentioned by Herodotus F14, which he calls a large city of the Thebaic nome; a city of the same name is observed by Heliodorus F15; and both Herodotus F16 and Mela F17 speak of an island called Chemmis, which the Egyptians represent as floating. In all which there are plain traces of the name of Ham, the same with Jupiter Ammon; or Amun, as Plutarch; worshipped in Egypt; and from whom all Africa was sometimes called Ammonia F18, the country of Ammon or Ham. And Herodotus F19 speaks of a people called Ammonii, about ten days' journey from Thebes in Upper Egypt; who, according to him F20, had their name from Jupiter Ammon, or Ham. And Pliny F21 makes mention of the oracle of Hammon, as twelve days' journey from Memphis, and of the Hammoniac nome; and the Egyptian priests are called Ammmonean F23. Here Jacob was a sojourner, as all the Lord's people are in this world; they are sojourners, as all their fathers were; and their time here is a time of sojourning, ( 1 Chronicles 29:15 ) ( 1 Peter 1:17 ) . They are not natives of the place where they are; they are indeed so by their first birth, but not by their new birth; being born from above, they belong to another place, are citizens of another city; their house, estate, and inheritance, are in heaven: neither their settlement nor satisfaction are here; they do not reckon themselves at home while they are in this world; they are indeed in an enemy's country, in a cursed land; or that is nigh unto cursing, and its end to be burned. Such the land of Ham was, where Jacob sojourned.

F11 De Iside.
F12 Biblioth. l. 1. p. 16.
F13 Ut supra. (De Iside.)
F14 Euterpe sive, l. 2. c. 91.
F15 Ethiopic. l. 5. c. 9. & l. 6. c. 4.
F16 Ut supra, (Euterpe sive, l. 2.) c. 156.
F17 De Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 9.
F18 Stephanus de Urb.
F19 Melpomene sive, l. 4. c. 181.
F20 Euterpe sive, l. 2. c. 32, 42.
F21 Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 9.
F23 Sanchoniatho apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 1. p. 32.

Psalms 105:23 In-Context

21 He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his possessions,
22 to instruct his officials at his pleasure, and to teach his elders wisdom.
23 Then Israel came to Egypt; Jacob lived as an alien in the land of Ham.
24 And the Lord made his people very fruitful, and made them stronger than their foes,
25 whose hearts he then turned to hate his people, to deal craftily with his servants.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.