This person is not in the Bible. I created Ahira to help you understand life in his time:
My name is Ahira. Slavery is all that I, my parents, and my grandparents remember.
I learned from the Egyptians that the sun god Re spoke the god Ptah into being as the firstborn of all creation. Then Ptah created the rest of the gods and the entire universe out of nothing.
I have heard people from Babylon tell another part of the story. They say that there was a problem: the gods got tired of having to work to provide food for themselves.
Meanwhile, the god Kingu rebelled against them with Tiamat, the great sea monster.
Another god named Marduk fought against them. He split Tiamat in two, separating the water in the sky from the water of the seas. Marduk then used her body to create the land.
Marduk also solved the gods’ problem of having to produce food. He killed the rebel god Kingu and mixed his blood with dirt to create the first people.
Now humans could do the gods’ work.
Since Egyptians worship Pharaoh Ramesses II as god (the Son of Re), I had always known that my only reason to exist was to work as his slave.
About a year ago, a man named Moses came from the desert to challenge the pharaoh.
Moses said that the God of my ancestors sent him to rescue us from the horrors of Egyptian slavery (Exod 3:7–9; Exod 4:29–31).
I watched in awe as the one who called himself “I AM” used Moses to bring judgment upon the gods and goddesses of Egypt (Exod 3:14; Exod 12:12).
They included the gods of the Nile River, of cattle, and of agriculture (Exod 7:20–21; Exod 9:1–7; Exod 9:22–26, 31–32).
I AM even kept Re—the powerful sun god—from appearing for three days (Exod 10:21–23).
He also did not spare the future god of Egypt, the son of Ramesses the Great (Exod 12:29–30).
Many of the ten plagues did not touch the area where most Hebrew people lived (Exod 8:22–23; Exod 9:4, 25–26; Exod 10:23).
Best of all, the blood of a lamb spread on his door frame protected my oldest brother from dying with the firstborn sons of the Egyptians (Exod 12:21–23).
Soon after Ramesses freed us from slavery, he changed his mind. He sent over six-hundred chariots to keep us from escaping.
Just when we were trapped, I AM split the Sea of Reeds so that we could walk through.
As soon as we reached the other side, the chariot wheels broke and the water returned to its place, destroying Pharaoh’s army (Exod 14).
When we reached Mount Sinai, I AM made a formal agreement, called a covenant, with our people (Exod 24:3–8).
We spent one-year camping at Sinai while skilled people like me built a replica of the universe, called the tabernacle, as a place for God to live with us.
During that time, Moses called everyone together to learn the history of the Lord’s dealings with our ancestors.
While much about how the universe was created sounded like what I had been taught in Egypt, there were some shocking differences:
- Only one God created everything which exists, and he did it without conflict.
- Like Ptah, I AM spoke to make the universe out of nothing.
- I AM separated the waters in the sky from the water in the seas without conflict.
- God spoke so that sea water came together. Then, dry land appeared.
- I AM created with a plan of order. On the first set of three days, God made the universe. On the second set of three days, he made what fills the universe.
- Day 1 (light) goes with Day 4 (sun, moon, and stars) (Gen 1:1–5; Gen 1:14–19).
- I AM made the sun, moon, and stars to give light and to set a calendar of festivals. They are not gods and cannot predict the future.
- Day 2 (sky and seas) goes with Day 5 (birds and sea creatures) (Gen 1:6–8; Gen 1:20–23).
- God made the great sea monsters and he even blessed them!
- Day 3 (dry ground) goes with Day 6 (land animals and humans) (Gen 1:9–13; Gen 1:24–27).
- The gods did not make my ancestors from the blood of a rebel god.
- Most importantly, the one who spoke the entire universe—his temple—into being made me in his image and placed me in his temple.
An image in a temple does the work of a god and has his authority. Therefore, God wants me, who is made in his image, to serve as his representative.
I can fulfill his purposes for humanity by tending, guarding, and governing the earth while displaying the Lord’s glory to other people and extending his kingdom among them.
After creating men and women in his own image, God said that everything was the very best it could be.
Then, the Lord rested from his work of creating the universe as his temple.
He gave us a command to follow his example by stopping our work on the seventh day, the Sabbath.
Discuss how you can apply what you have learned here to your life and ministry.
Image via Wikimedia Commons This photo of the statues of four gods is in Abu Simbel, Egypt. The second from the right is the pharaoh Ramesses II, who called himself the Son of Re, making himself a god.
Go to Creation and Fall (Gen 2:4–3:24)
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