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The Nile River flows 4000 miles from central Africa northward to the Mediterranean Sea. In antiquity the river flooded each year, bringing the soil and moisture that made Egypt a dependable source of food. In Old Testament times, the infant Moses was placed in a basket in the Nile in order to conceal him, since the king of Egypt had ordered that all male children born to the Hebrews should be killed. To pressure the king into releasing the Hebrews from slavery, Moses turned the Nile into blood.