Goshen (Gessen)

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GOSHEN (Gessen)

"Land of the Hebrews," territory situated near the Nile Delta and given by a pharaoh (king of Egypt) to the tribe of Joseph (Yossef, in Hebrew; Yusef, in Arabic), as recounted in the Hebrew Bible, which has been reconstructed as possibly taking place around the sixteenth century b.c.e. According to the Biblical narrative, Joseph, the son of Jacob, was sold into slavery to nomads by his brothers and ended up in Egypt, where he became one of the pharaoh's advisors. To reward his sage counsels, the pharaoh gave the "land of Goshen" to Joseph and his family. So, the clan of Jacob (Israel), which had been dwelling in Canaan, where famine was raging, emigrated to Egypt. Toward 1580 b.c.e., the Egyptian people rebelled against their occupiers, the Hyksos—a Hebrew dynasty that invaded Egypt in 1710 b.c.e. and ruled for more than a century. The Hebrews, having come to terms with the Hyksos, were persecuted by the different pharaohs who followed, until around 1300 b.c.e., when the Biblical narrative notes that Moses arrived on the scene, thereby allowing the Hebrew people to leave Egypt for "the promised land."


SEE ALSO Canaan; Jacob (Biblical); Moses.

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Goshen (Gessen)

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