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Kvetch Like an Egyptian
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Wendy Wippel

You may have missed it (as I did) but apparently the things that keeps Biblical scholars up at night has lately been this: were the ancient Egyptians black or white? Dunno why this was such a academic obsession, but now we have an answer. Neither.

Nearly 50 years ago at a UNESCO meeting in Cairo the consenseus among the Egyptologists there was that clearly, the ancient Egyptians were black. Meaning descendants of  natives of Africa. The scientists in Cairo went on to issue their findings: “Egypt was populated from Southern African immigration, settling first between the Sudan and Egypt and gradually moving down the Nile to its delta.”

Sound pretty sure of themselves, don’t they?

But that was way before DNA.

I know this because I was a genetics major at The Ohio State University in 1977. Sixty thousand students on that campus, and a grand total of 8 of us were in the genetics program.  Watson and Crick didn’t even figure out that DNA was the moderator of inheritance until 1953. So figuring out what we could do with DNA was still far in the future.

But all kinds of history hunting can be done with DNA today.

And –lucky for us --a group of German scientists have decided to revisit the question of ancient Egyptian inheritance using DNA.

Why hasn’t this been done before, you might be asking? Now that the genetics of even  obscure animals are well known? 

I can name that tune in one word. Desert.

The harsh temperatures and dry conditions of the Sahara tend to denature DNA, and quickly.  In fact, most Egyptologists had long ago concluded that Ancient Egyptian DNA had gone the way of the Ancient Egyptian spoken language.

Gone. Forever. And never to be recovered.

But a German anthropological genetics group from the Max Planc Institute for the Science of Human History succeeding in extracting usable DNA from teeth and the from the middle of Egyptian bones. And the results surprised nearly everyone.  

The group obtained DNA from three different mummies at a site near Cairo and –for the first time—used the most modern techniques in analyzing the genetic makeup of each mummy.   

The scientists analyzed both the maternal contribution to the lineage as well as the  mummy’s entire genome.

And… drum roll please…All three mummies were in agreement. No African ancestry whatsoever. 

Africa did not play a factor in the genetics of ancient Egyptians.

In the words of a news report that followed their conclusions, “the findings were surprising, as it had been previously (and for a long time) thought that Egyptian people were descended from African peoples. “

DNA sequences, however, don’t lie, and fortunately, neither did the researchers.

Their conclusion? “These samples showed that there was almost zero sub-saharan African Ancestry”.


I don’t know how much money was spent on that research, but they could have looked at a King James. It would have been a whole lot cheaper. 

Because  the Bible tells us pretty clearly—twice, in fact, as required by the Law—that Egyptians should be expected to Jewish blood.

First testimonyNow this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood. The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath,[a] and Togarmah. The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.[b] From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations. The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. Genesis 10:1-6

(Mizraim is another name for Egypt.) Meaning the sons of Ham after the flood were the progenitors of the Egyptians.

Second Testimony “In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. Isaiah 19:23-2

Meaning Egyptian blood will become the dominant type in surrounding areas over time.

Predicted by the researchers, and confirmed just this year!

What was it God said?  Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 39:25.

His word is flawless. Meaning true every time!

About Wendy Wippel

Last week: Hate, Home Grown

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