The first thing that attracts the attention of someone studying of the journey of the Holy Family in Egypt is its association with the miracles of the fall of idols in the stations that were considered the centers of the Pharaonic faith at the time.
This history derives its credibility from the prophecy that appeared in the Old Testament by the prophet Isaiah, who said: “Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud and coming to Egypt, so that the idols of Egypt will tremble, and the heart of Egypt will melt in the midst of it” (Isaiah 19:1).
Not all the people in Tal Basta were hardhearted. It happened that a man named Qaloum from the town was coming from outside it and he passed by them and saw them, so he spoke with them and learned their story. He was astonished when he saw the water spring next to them, as he knew the place well, so he invited them to his home and honored them with his hospitality. They stayed with the man for a period of time.
It happened that the Virgin Mary went out carrying her child, the Lord Jesus, and walked in the city, so the idols of the temple started to fall on their faces on the ground and were broken, and the demons fled from them. When the priests knew that there was strength in this child, and that their source of livelihood from serving idols would end, they went to the governor of the city. The latter got angry and ordered the killing of the boy whose strength caused the destruction of the idols of Tell Basta. It is also worth noting that the inspired books of the Jews mentioned that when the Lord goes to the land of Egypt, its idols will be broken.
The righteous man Qaloum knew that the governor was looking for the boy to kill him, so he told the virgin and those with her, so they all escaped. Before they left Qaloum’s house, the Lord Jesus, to whom is the glory, blessed it by saying: “Peace and blessings be upon your house all the days of your life for accepting us and for all what you have done for us, and My Name will perpetuate on this place forever.”
Nothing remains of this ancient city except for an archaeological hill known as Tel Basta, next to the city of Zagazig, Sharkia governorate, and most of its current ruins that have been discovered so far are from the Pharaonic and Ptolemaic era.
The miracle of destroying the metal statue in Ashmounin
The Holy Family traveled from Gabal El-Teir by the Nile to Ashmounin in Mallawi center, and they stayed for several days with a good man who hosted them well. In this city, the Divine Child performed many miracles, including: A copper horse was at the entrance to the city to guard it, and it was destroyed when Jesus and his family passed in front of it.
Minarodis mentioned that five camels blocked the way in the market in front of the Holy Family in Ashmounin, and when Jesus looked at them, they turned into frozen bodies like stones. Likewise, the city’s idols fell and were shattered, which caused the wrath of the idols’ priests.