Aswan High Dam


Note: Ezekiel 29-32 are part of a general prophecy about the downfall of Egypt.

  • Began: 9 January 1960
  • Reservoir started filling: 1964
  • Opened: 21 July 1970
  • Formally Dedicated: January 1971
  • Reached Capacity: 1976

Pr Jock has copies of the original articles:
One in the Readers Digest at that time – ‘Super Dams the Peril of Progress’ by Claire Sterling. Condensed from the Atlantic Monthly – June 1972 and;
the other article ‘A Melancholy song on the Nile’ – by Richard Critchfield in the International Wildlife – May/June 1976.

The first time in all recorded history of the flooding of the River Nile it was stopped in 1967 by the dam [not completed until early 70’s] The same year that “… And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt…” Isaiah 19:17 (6 day war). Pr Jock can scan copies of these articles to anyone interested.

Possible Picture references

From Wikipedia

Aswan High Dam
NASA satellite image of the Nile, Aswan High Dam, and Lake Nasser – southern Egypt.

NASA satellite image of the NileAswan High Dam, and Lake Nasser – southern Egypt. The Aswan High Dam was completed in 1970 and is one of the largest earthen embankment dams in the world. It is 364 feet (111 m) tall, 12 565 feet (3830 m) long and nearly 3281 feet (1000 m) wide. When it was built the new reservoir required relocation of nearly 100 000 residents and some archaeological sites. Although the reservoir has benefited Egypt by providing power and controlling floods, it has also had detrimental effects on the Nile system. Before the dam, an estimated 110 million tons of silt was deposited by the annual flood of the Nile, enriching agricultural lands and maintaining the land of the Nile delta. Now this sediment is trapped behind the dam, requiring artificial fertilization of agricultural lands and leading to erosion and saltwater intrusion where the Nile river meets the Mediterranean Sea. ~ Wikipedia

Aswan High Dam - Temple Relocation Model
A scale model showing the original and current location of the temple (with respect to the water level) at the Nubian Museum, in Aswan. [Photo By Zureks – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,]
The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples at Abu Simbel (أبو سمبل in Arabic), a village in Nubia, southern Egypt, near the border with Sudan. They are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km southwest of Aswan (about 300 km by road). The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Nubian Monuments,”[1] which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan). The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Their huge external rock relief figures have become iconic. The complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir. The relocation of the temples was necessary to prevent their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River. ~ Wikipedia

From Britannica

All these structures were thoroughly explored and reinforced (1895–96) before being partially flooded behind the old Aswan Dam. In 1907 a careful inspection revealed that salts in the water were harming paints on the decorations. When the temples reemerged after 1970 with the completion of the High Dam upstream, it was found that considerable damage had been done to the shrines. A decision was therefore made to remove them to higher ground on the nearby island of Agilkia. The island was leveled to resemble the original Philae, and the temples were rebuilt, restoring to them some measure of their original beauty prior to their formal reopening in 1980.

One Reply to “Aswan High Dam”

  1. Email from Pr Mark Wattchow re question about 40 years being mentioned in Ezekiel 29:11-14

    I’ve never noticed the “40 years” part in this prophecy before, and can’t say I’ve studied it at any length, but I did read up on the general prophecy a bit once because chapter 29 is part of a larger passage/prophecy (from chapter 29 to 32). My interest was in the passage in chapter 32:2-11 where it says the Lord will
    “… put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord God.” (vs7-8)
    The explanation given in verse 11 is:

    “For thus saith the Lord God; The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon thee.”

    This is one of the passages I referred to when talking with Laura that day. I used it, and a few other examples, to show that the “eclipse” type language in the Sixth Seal in Revelation doesn’t necessarily refer to the Second Coming (even if it may foreshadow/echo it) but has in other prophecies often applied to the overthrow of ancient kingdoms and particularly their rulers and government. It has been used that way here to symbolise Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon’s overthrow of Pharoah and Egypt, and the “putting out” of their glory.

    So, having said that, I’m probably going to be very disappointing and suggest that the whole passage from Chapter 29 through chapter 32 is really a prophecy about Egypt being overthrown or spoiled by Nebuchadnezzar. It seems to refer to the period after the remnant of Judah fled to Egypt (against the Lord’s instruction – Jeremiah 42 & 43, see also Ezek 30:18 [Tehaphnehes]). The Lord said in Jeremiah the sword of Nebuchadnezzar would overtake them there. The fulfilment seems to come shortly after the prophecy in Ezekiel is given (Ezek 29:17). Some commentaries suggest this 40 year “desolate” period is dated from this era.

    Chapter 30 continues with the same message of Egypt being desolated and scattered by the king of Babylon (e.g., vs 6, 10, 14, 24-26.) Same with chapter 32 (e.g., vs 11, 15).

    A very similar prophecy is outlined in the whole chapter of Jeremiah 46. Egypt’s power is also symbolised as a river or rivers (vs 7-8, 19 – see same river symbolism with Assyria in Isaiah 8:7-8). The rivers drying up can symbolise the loss of power of the nation etc. (as it does when talking about the drying up of the Euphrates in Revelation – symbolising the failing of the Ottoman Turkish Empire in the 1800s).

    My personal feeling is that if you compare all these passages, they may not have much to do with the Aswan High Dam. The primary meaning seems to do with Nebuchadnezzar and Egypt. That said, there are sometimes parts of such prophecies that can have echoes elsewhere. Trying to pin down all the details in a different application, however, may not work, and might not have been intended. So there may be an echo in the drying up of the river/s of Egypt, but not necessarily the 40 years desolation. I think you have to be careful about the context. On the plus side, Jeremiah 50 & 51 are a prophecy about the destruction of ancient Babylon (it talks about the Medes and Persians coming against them), but when you compare the language with the passages on the destruction of Mystery Babylon there is no doubt they echo the latter destruction also.

    So, that’s probably totally confused the issue. I do think the Isaiah 19 passage has a lot clearer claim in the Aswan High Dam, and that’s probably because whenever the Lord acts against Egypt he affects them in similar ways (desolation, plagues, afflicting the river [symbolically or literally (e.g.,turned to blood)], moving of the idols/gods).

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