Titles of Egyptian Rulers in the
Moses was not the only
prophet who lived in the lands of Egypt in the history of ancient
Egypt. The Prophet Joseph had lived in Egypt long before the time
We encounter a certain parallel while reading about
the stories of Moses and Joseph. While addressing the Egyptian
ruler at the time of Joseph, the word "malik" (the King)
is used in the Qur'an:
"The King (malik) said, 'Bring him (Joseph)
to me straight away! so I may draw him very close to me.' When
he had spoken with him, he declared, 'Today you are trusted, established
in our sight.'"
(The Qur'an, 12:54)
In contrast, the ruler at Moses' time is referred to
as the "Pharaoh":
"We gave Moses nine Clear Signs. Ask the
tribe of Israel about when he came to them and Pharaoh said to
him, 'Moses, I think you are bewitched.'"
(The Qur'an, 17:101)
records available today show us the reason for the different nomenclature
of these rulers. The word "pharaoh" was originally the
name given to the royal palace in ancient Egypt. The rulers of
the old dynasty did not use the title. The use of the word pharaoh
as the title of the ruler did not start until the "New Kingdom"
era of Egyptian history. This period started with the 18th dynasty
(1539-1292 BC), and by the 20th dynasty (945-730 BC) the word
"pharaoh" was adopted as title of respect.
Therefore the miraculous nature of the Qur'an is manifested
here once again: Joseph lived at the time of the Old Kingdom,
and hence the word "malik" was used for the Egyptian
ruler rather than "pharaoh". On the contrary, since
Moses lived at the time of the New Kingdom, the ruler of Egypt
is addressed as "pharaoh".
There is no doubt that one has to have a knowledge
of the history of Egypt in order to make such a distinction. However,
the history of Ancient Egypt was completely forgotten by the 4th
century, as hieroglyphics could no longer be understood, and was
not rediscovered until the 19th century. Therefore, there was
no in-depth knowledge of Egyptian history available when the Qur'an
was revealed. This fact is yet another one of countless pieces
of evidence proving that the Qur'an is the word of God.