Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Religion, MA

First Advisor

Robert Bates

Second Advisor

Oystein LaBianca

Third Advisor

Randy Younker



The relationship between Egypt and the Levant spans thousands of years, resulting in many cultural exchanges. Of Egypt’s cultural influences in the Levant, magic has been the least studied. Therefore, this thesis is an introductory study that will present the influence of Egyptian magic in ancient Israel. The corpus of magical artifacts recovered from Israelite sites comes from the Iron Age.


This thesis intends to be a comparative study of the understanding of magic among the Egyptians and Israelites by analyzing biblical texts and ritual objects recorded in the archaeological record. The main methodology used to conduct this research is iii qualitative analysis. A qualitative approach is the best methodology for this type of research because of its exploitative nature. Additionally, within this qualitative approach, I have also used other methods, such as documentary and reviewed literature, to explore the understanding of the purpose, practitioners, and objects of magic in ancient Egypt and Israel to trace parallels between them.


Many magical practices in ancient Israel originated in regions other than Ancient Egypt. However, the Greatest influence of Egyptian magic can be observed in the use of magic symbols and amulets from elite society and “Folk Religion ” among the general population.


This thesis concludes that the best evidence scholars have for tracing the influence of Egyptian magic in ancient Israel is the use of Egyptian and Egyptianized symbols in royal iconography to illustrate the protective power of YHWH. Additionally, using Egyptian and Egyptianized amulets in a domestic and funerary context in folk religion illustrated that the owners utilized the objects for their apotropaic function.

Subject Area

Magic, Egyptian; Jews--History


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