Chapter 5 - The Trip to Egypt

The journey from Nain to Gaza took 6 full days. It was important that Daniel and all of the travelers left early in the morning after the Sabbath, so they could make it to Gaza before having to stop and celebrate the Sabbath again. In Gaza, they traded a bit of their olive oil to a local family who would care for their animals while they made the rest of the journey to Egypt by boat.

As they rested on the Sabbath, they spent some time sharing passages from the Torah as well as other things they had learned about from the rabbi. Daniel's thoughts turned to a comforting passage that he always recalled when journeying through towns and villages. The prophet Micah wrote: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” The rabbi told Daniel that the promised Messiah would come from a town as small and insignificant as Bethlehem. It was a good reminder that Yahweh could do mighty acts through the smallest and most overlooked of things.

After resting on the Sabbath, Daniel and his family spent a long day, moving all of their jars of olive oil from their temporary lodging in Gaza, to the boat that would take them to Egypt. Though the day was perfect for sailing, Daniel was still very nervous. There was something about being on the water that always made him wish he was at home. The thought of his wife and daughter, and how he would be able to provide food for them through this journey, strengthened him and gave him the resolve to overcome his momentary reluctance.

The journey by boat took two days to complete, and Daniel was happy to have that behind him.  The constant motion of being on that Roman merchant vessel was something that he wouldn’t soon forget. Upon their arrival at the port town of Pelusium, the traders from Galilee were quick to unload their precious cargo and begin the quest to find the best price for their goods. A few of the brothers remained near the ship to guard the olive oil, while the others made their way into the market to negotiate the best price. After haggling with a few different traders, they struck a deal to exchange their oil for more grain, flax and lentils than they had ever gotten before. It was surely a sign that Yahweh was watching over them.

As they started to leave and head their separate ways in order to pick up a few special things at the market, Daniel saw something unexpected.  The man with whom they had just struck a deal, was talking with his workers and he didn’t notice the ox that had broken loose from his yoke and was charging toward him. Daniel leaped into action and tackled the trader just before he was about to be crushed under the hoofs of the mighty animal. Picking themselves up from the dusty ground, Daniel was swept up in a massive embrace. “You have saved my life, my friend.  Praise, Vishnu!” the trader exclaimed. Daniel wasn’t sure who Vishnu was, but he could tell the trader was extremely thankful for the quick action that he took.  “I cannot let this deed go unrewarded. This is certainly a sign from the gods that you are someone special!”   Daniel was still a bit shaken as he brushed the dust from his clothing.  The trader went behind a curtain near the back of his trading tent and came back with a strange looking furry creature.

“Please accept this valued prize, my friend.” the trader said as he handed a lean and slightly scruffy-looking cat to Daniel.

Next: Meet Imhotep


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