This was one of the highlights of the trip for me. During the time of Moses, Luxor was the capital city of Egypt, and subsequently the Temple of Luxor was both the religious and educational center of Southern Egypt where Moses grew up and received his education. We know for a fact that if the story of Moses is accurately recorded in Exodus (as most believe it is) then this Moses spent the first 40 years of his life in and around this Temple, both worshipping and receiving a top-quality Egyptian education.

We visited the temple during at night when it was illuminated, and the yellow lights playing off the statues and columns with the clear night sky overhead was beautiful. In front of the temple are two gigantic statues of, who else?, Ramses II, followed by more gigantic statues of Ramses II and others inside the main courtyard area. All Egyptian temples are laid out in the same basic format: large front gates (called pylons) followed by an open courtyard where commoners would come and offer sacrifices and worship; then comes a half-open pillared/roofed section where only priests can enter; then comes a vestibule area reserved for the maintainence of the god (washing, feeding, etc.); then the holy of holies where the idol is kept. What makes the Temple at Luxor different is that beyond the first enclosed area for the priests comes another open courtyard area. This is where the royal family’s children would have come to receive an education, and this is where we know Moses spent most of his childhood. We were able to sit around the very place where Moses was and have a short singing devotional. For me, this was the climax of the entire trip. Everything had led up to this moment where we we sitting in the place Moses had sat some 3000+ years ago.

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