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Son of God
From Pharaoh to Israel’s kings to Jesus
I am your son,” the pharaoh says to the Egyptian sun god Re in an Old Kingdom pyramid text (c. 2300 B.C.).1 From an early period, Egyptian pharaohs were regarded as divine, the offspring of gods. Did this influence Hebrew understanding of kingship? And did it, either directly or indirectly, through Hebrew mediation, affect Christian understanding of Jesus of Nazareth as the son of God?
In almost every royal inscription from ancient Egypt, the pharaoh is called “the son of Re,” the sun god. Re was the preeminent deity in the Egyptian pantheon through most of the three millennia of pharaonic history.

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