2 Chronicles 12:2-3
“And it came to pass, that in the fifth year of King Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem … and the people without number that came with him … and the Ethiopians.”
While most people know that several ancient cultures built pyramids, which culture built the most? Most people would answer “Egypt”, but they would be wrong. However, they did inspire the culture that built the most pyramids.
At its height, the Egyptian empire included many cultures, reaching into the Near East as well as into Africa. Nubia, just to the south of Egypt, was a proud member of the Egyptian empire and adopted many Egyptian customs. Sometimes referred to as Ethiopians in some Bible translations, they became so much a part of the Egyptian empire that they even provided troops to the Egyptian army, according to the Bible. Nubia is also called “Cush” in the Bible. Among the Egyptian customs they adopted was burying their kings in pyramids. After mummification, dead royalty were placed in their tombs, which were decorated and filled with supplies thought to be needed in the next life. The base of these pyramids also included a chapel for those who wished to continue to worship the dead king. While none of their pyramids was as large as the great Egyptian pyramids, over the centuries they built 223 pyramids, far more than are found in Egypt!
The Bible’s mention of these people serving in the Egyptian army rings true to history. The Nubians were proud members of the Egyptian empire and continued to enjoy an alliance with Egypt long after the empire ended.