THE river Nile, known in the Bible as the river Sibor, not only possesses features uncommon to other rivers, but is a subject of prophecy, and is associated with scenes which make it an object of peculiar interest to the Christian. For a distance of 1350 miles it flows without a single tributary stream, which cannot be said of any other river; the banks are much higher than the adjoining plains, while the land along all other rivers rises above their banks. 

The Nile supplies the whole land of Egypt with water. Those who live near enough procure it directly from the river. 

This is the work of the women, who deck themselves in all their ornaments and go to the river in companies, as it is considered improper for a woman to go alone after water. After filling their water-pots, they place them on their heads, and walk away with them most gracefully. After being filtered through porous earthen jars, Nile water is said to be very delicious. 

Before the railroad was built in those parts, fifty Camel loads of this water were daily sent forty miles to the halfway refreshment house between Cairo and Suez; and shiploads of it are yearly sent to Constantinople for the use of the Sultan and his harem.

As a heavy shower is seldom known in Egypt, except near the sea, the land would soon become a vast desert were it not for the overflowing of the Nile. Should these inundations much diminish, it would cause great famine. Doubtless this was the cause of the seven years' famine in Joseph's time.  In the month of June the waters begin to rise, and continue to increase until September, when they gradually fall. In their course they carry with them, and spread out over the whole country, a rich alluvial soil. When they recede, the earth is left so mellow and rich that little remains for the husbandman to do but to sow his seed; for the soil is nearly free from weeds, and many of the crops, as barley and rice, are merely sown on the surface, and then pressed into the earth by means of a log of wood, which is dragged over it. In the interior are many canals protected by flood-gates. When the river begins to rise, the gates are opened to admit the water, and before the water recedes they are again closed. Thus an abundance of water is secured for irrigation and other purposes during the whole year.



THE river Nile is of the greatest importance to the Egyptian. He drinks of it, fishes from it, rides upon it, waters his fields and flocks from it, and carries his produce on it to the sea; and it is not strange that so idolatrous a people should have worshiped it as a god. They called it the "Life-giving Father of all Existences," and made to it offerings of wine. But Nile worship ceased about the time of Mahomet, six hundred years after Christ.

This is the river whose waters went out over the land of Goshen to irrigate the pastures of the Israelites, the wonderful river on whose banks grew the reeds in which was hidden the infant Moses, the stream on whose brink the man Moses stood when he commanded its waters to be turned to blood.

In the history and present condition of Egypt we may trace the fulfillment of several remarkable prophecies. In Isaiah 19:4, it is said that a fierce king should rule over Egypt. It is thought by some that this was fulfilled in the reign of the cruel Persian Cambyses; but the rule of this king was short, and the term "fierce king" is thought by others more applicable to the Turks, who have held dominion over the land since 1517.

In Isaiah 19:6 we read, "The reeds and flags shall wither." This has been literally fulfilled; for although they once flourished in abundance on the banks of the river, they do not now grow there.

The mouth of the Nile once consisted of seven branches, emptying into the Mediterranean Sea; but in Isaiah 19:5, it is said, "And the waters shall fail from the sea," also, chapter 11:15, " And with His mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in its seven streams, and make men go over dry-shod." Five of these branches have already disappeared, and the sixth is now rapidly filling with sand.

Thus we see that what Isaiah said thousands of years ago is coming to pass in our day. " A fierce king" rules over Egypt; the flags and reeds no longer grow on the banks of the Nile; five of its seven mouths are already destroyed, and the sixth will probably soon be gone.

Do not these things plainly show that the Bible is true? Yet these are only a few among many proofs that it is the word of God.

Let us love God, study to understand his word, and keep all the commandments,that we may have an inheritance in the new earth, and-a right to the "tree of life."