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Goshen and the History of the Suez Canal

QUESTION: Goshen and the History of the Suez Canal

ANSWER:

The history of the Suez Canal goes way back -- the idea of a canal to link the Red Sea with the Mediterranean is by no means a modern concept. The earliest attempt in the historical record was made Pharaoh Necho of the 26th dynasty.

It appears that Necho abandoned his project when a mystical oracle warned that the Persians would actually use the canal against Egypt. In fact, it was the Persian King Darius I who completed the first version of the canal about a century later around 500 BC.

Goshen – The Suez Canal Today
The first version of the Suez Canal didn’t make it to the Mediterranean, but actually merged into a now vanished arm of the Nile. This was maintained by the Ptolemies and the Romans, until later abandoned by the Arabs.

The present version of the Suez Canal was completed with help from the French in 1869. The canal is 119 miles long -- the longest in the world without locks, and the third longest overall. This narrow stretch of water revolutionized shipping for the United States, Canada, and Europe, since they no longer had to travel the extra thousands of miles around the length of Africa.

During the Cold War and the 1967 war between Egypt and Israel, the Suez Canal faced a number of tense years, including a full shut down between 1967 and 1975. Today, as many as 50 ships pass through every 24 hours, providing significant income for Egypt. There’s a bridge and a tunnel that link Africa and Asia across the canal.

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