Land of Goshen

By the Editors of the Madain Project

  • This article is a stub as it does not provide effective content depth for the core subject discussed herein. We're still working to expand it, if you'd like to help with it you can request expansion. This tag should be removed, once the article satisfies the content depth criteria.
    What is this?

The land of Goshen (Hebrew: אֶרֶץ גֹּשֶׁן or ארץ גושן‎ Eretz Gošen) is named in the Hebrew Bible as the place in Egypt given to the Hebrews by the pharaoh of Joseph (Book of Genesis, Genesis 45:9–10), and the land from which they later left Egypt at the time of the Exodus. It is believed to have been located in the eastern Nile Delta, lower Egypt; perhaps at or near Avaris, the seat of power of the Hyksos kings.

See Subject Home > Middle East > Egypt > Land of Goshen


According to the Joseph narrative in the Book of Genesis, the sons of Jacob (Israel) who were living in Hebron, experienced a severe famine that lasted for seven years. Word was that Egypt was the only kingdom able to supply food, and thus the sons of Jacob journeyed there to buy goods. In the second year of famine, the Vizier of Egypt, Joseph, invited the sons of Israel to live in Egyptian territory. They settled in the "Land of Goshen".

Goshen is described as the best land in Egypt, suitable for both crops and livestock. It has been suggested that this location may have been somewhat apart from Egypt, because Genesis 46:34 states, "Ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians". After the death of Joseph and those of his generation, the following generations of Israelites had become populous in number. The Egyptians feared potential integration or takeover, so they enslaved the Israelites.

Canaanite Dwellings in Goshen

3D computer generated reconstruction of a Canaanite/Israelite dwelling as it may have stood in the Land of Goshen after the migration to Egypt.

Domestic architecture of the Land of Israel during the Iron Age II (circa 1000–586 BCE; the First Temple Period) is dominated by one architectural form, the so-called four-room house. That’s an archaeologically proven reality. In fact, the typical four-room house with pillars was widespread already in the Iron Age I (1200–1000 BCE). And as the dating of the episode of Joseph being in Egypt is considered to be between the 7th century BCE and the third quarter of the 5th century BCE, the architecture found in the Land of Goshen would have same as well.

Four Room House | Reconstruction of A Semitic House

See Also


Let's bring some history to your inbox

Signup for our monthly newsletter / online magazine.
No spam, we promise.

Privacy Policy