Where is Goshen today, where the Israelites were living within Egypt?


Exodus 10:1 - 12:51

ESV - 1 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them. 2 And that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.

Clarify Share Report Asked January 22 2015 Open uri20150619 16448 1ye04gx Carol Klick

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Mini John Appelt
In Genesis 45:10, Joseph arranged for his father and family to live in Goshen. Traditionally the land is located in the eastern part of the Nile delta called Wadi Tumilat. However, more evidence looks to the El Faiyum region, a huge oasis of 669 square miles that is south of Cairo and sits to the west of the Nile. On satellite maps it shows up as a vast green area, an oasis of about 669 square miles that once had a huge Lake Moeris. 

Ancient sources claimed this land was the best and most fruitful part of all Egypt. It was the land of olives, wine, grain, figs, and all sort of fruit. It was a land of pleasant gardens, fields of grain and abundant fruit trees. This corresponds with what Pharaoh said to Joseph, Genesis 45:18, 20. Later, when Israel complained about having to eat manna, they recalled the ‘good food’ they freely had in Egypt, Numbers 11:5. 

Some Egyptologists suggest Goshen comes from ‘qas’ which means ‘inundated land’ which it was. The Septuagint (LXX) renders Goshen as ‘Gesan’ and the Jewish historian Artapanus called it ‘Kessan’ as the Egyptians did. 

In Genesis 47:11 the land of Goshen is also called ‘Rameses.’ This may be confusing because there were pharaohs called Rameses who came later but their names were spelled differently. In the Egyptian language ‘Remsosch’ signifies the pastoral life of shepherds. This region would be appropriate to keep Israelites separate from the Egyptians, since shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians, Genesis 46:34. 

Further proof of Goshen being in the Faiyum area is that Genesis 45:10 mentions Joseph placing his family in Goshen to be near him. Also, Genesis 46:29 says Joseph went up to Goshen, that is, likely upriver from the delta area. Some such as David Down and John Ashton, authors of 'Unwrapping the Pharaohs,' suggest that Joseph likely served under Sesostris I, the pharaoh who built a pyramid at El Lisht, south of Cairo and east of Lake Qarun at Faiyum. It was made of mud bricks which had not been used since the third and fourth dynasties. In the Faiyum area, bridges of strong burnt bricks were also found. Evidence shows that Asiatics were involved in the building program. Furthermore, a nearby town of Kahun was excavated that revealed Asiatics lived and worked in this area until it was suddenly abandoned, tools and implements left behind, which fits the great exodus of the Israelites.

Another connection is the important landmark on many maps, Bar Yosef or Bahr Yusef which means ‘Canal of Joseph.’ This canal, dating to the time of Joseph, runs parallel to the Nile, transferring waters of the Nile to the once huge Lake Moeris or Lake Qarun. If developed by Joseph, it well testifies of the leadership and influence of Joseph over the whole land Egypt including Goshen. 

For these reasons, the El Faiyum area is likely Goshen, the place the Israelites were settled for the years they lived in Egypt.

December 19 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Emilio 1992 Emo Tenorio Shomer
I humbly submit that the Goshen region where most Biblical characters lived and Biblical events took place, is found in the Eastern Nile delta of Egypt.

The main travel route between Canaan and Egypt was along the Northern coast of Sinai, known to the Egyptians as "the way of Horus" and in the Bible as "the road through the Phillistine country". (Exodus 13:17)

This road ends in the Goshen region of the Eastern Nile delta and the Midianites probably brought a young captive Joseph to Egypt on this road. (Genesis 37:28)

Later Joseph would retire in this Goshen region after the years of famine had passed with his father Jacob and his family. (Genesis 47:27)

Joseph took another road trip on this same road back to Canaan (but this time not as a captive) to bury his father, Jacob (Israel) in the cave of his fathers at Machpelah near Mamre. (Genesis 50:7; Genesis 50:11)

Joseph returned once again to Egypt to stay until his death, via this same road, (Genesis 50:22) and then his final road trip (Genesis 50:25; Exodus 13:19)

In the Lord's freedom to explore............warrior on

January 25 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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