King's Business - 1932-11


T h e

K i n g ’ s B u s i n e s s

November 1932

The Author r . H uffman is Dean o f Theology, Marion College, Marion, Indiana.

He was a member o f the staff of the Joint Expedition o f the Pittsburgh- Xenia Theological Seminary and the American School at J erusalem , to which credit is due for the remarkable excavation at Kirjath-Sepher in 1930. He brings to the combined task o f minister, educator, author, and lec­ turer a deep, reverent devotion to the whole Word o f God. N CAMEL’S BACK

B y J. A. HUFFMAN Marion, Indiana

C airo Cairo, the capital and the metropolis of Egypt, has a million and a quarter inhabitants. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and boasts of six thousand years. Its history is largely that of Egypt, for Cairo and Egyptr po­ litically, are one. The site of Memphis, the city founded by Mena, of the first dynasty, four thousand years before Christ, is only eighteen miles from Cairo, and the latter is considered as an extension of that first capital. Cairo is at once the most modern and most oriental of the cities of the East. It is therefore a city of strange con­ trasts—the West with the East. The streets appear a veri­ table museum of the races. The visitor finds enchantment in almost every contrast. Here is a palatial Western edifice, and next to it a tumble-down Eastern building. Here goes a two-wheeled donkey cart with its picturesque driver and its load of freight, of men, women, and children; and there, jostling it in the street, is an American auto of the expensive build. Some one has said: “ He who hath not seen Cairo, hath not seen the world.” A visit to the bazaar of Cairo is exceedingly interesting. From the goldsmith and the purveyors of perfumes for royalty to the dealers in the cheapest of articles, all ply their trades there. One should scarcely visit the bazaar without a guide, as he is literally pulled into the shops and importuned to buy. Even with a dragoman, the individual who escapes the bazaar without purchasing something is exceptional. There are a few places in the bazaars where fixed prices are maintained; but in the vast majority of the shops, it is necessary to barter, if an article is to be pur­ chased at a correct price. Despite all this, one is treated with greatest respect, always invited to sit down, and often offered tea or coffee. T he P yramids But the greatest attraction in Egypt is probably that of the pyramids, the tombs o f the Pharaohs, their queens, and the illustrious persons of the Old Empire Period. There are seventy of them, large and small, scattered from Gizeh, which is only ten miles from Cairo, to Medum. When one has seen a few of them, he practically has seen them all.

M i . ,JL he lure of E gypt ” is a phrase frequently employed by those who write concerning this country. It is hardly possible to appreciate the phrase unless one has visited Egypt, and even then it may be impossible to explain it. There is a “ lure” to Egypt, however, as every tourist there will confess. i F rom A lexandria to C airo My first glimpse of the Orient was experienced when I reached Alexandria after a very beautiful Mediterranean voyage from Naples. We had crossed that portion of the Great Sea, where Paul was driven back and forth during a fortnight by the storm on his way to Rome. But the mood-of the sea was different, and the weather was ideal. The trip by rail, from Alexandria to Cairo, requiring three and a half hours, presented one continuous panorama. On the outskirts of Alexandria was a banana field, then wheat fields, alfalfa fields, and small patches cultivated like f ardens. We passed through the land of Goshen, in the )elta region, which was occupied by the Israelites during a part of their sojourn in Egypt. This country is reputed to be, not only Egypt’s most fertile land, but among the most productive spots in all the world. It is watered by irrigation, and all along the way water wheels, or sakiehs, Were in operation, lifting water to higher levels from the canals, for irrigation. These are usually treadmill affairs, with a team of cows or oxen, or a camel hitched to them. There is another kind which resembles a cylinder, and which is operated by a man. The roads were literally lined with people on foot, on donkeys, or in two-wheeled carts. Camels were frequently $een carrying loads of grass, ground, or even bricks. Palm trees set off the landscape beautifully. It was harvest, and groups of native men and women were cutting wheat with sickles, as they are described as doing in the book of Ruth. At one corner of a field, a threshing floor had been improvised, and a team of cows or oxen, hitched to a sled, was being driven about over the grain. Villages, built of sundried brick, were seen here and there.

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