Egyptian, Pa-Tum, "house of Tum," the sun-god, one of the
"treasure" cities built for Pharaoh Rameses II. by the
Israelites (Ex. 1:11). It was probably the Patumos of the Greek
historian Herodotus. It has now been satisfactorily identified
with Tell-el-Maskhuta, about 12 miles west of Ismailia, and 20
east of Tel-el-Kebir, on the southern bank of the present Suez
Canal. Here have recently (1883) been discovered the ruins of
supposed grain-chambers, and other evidences to show that this
was a great "store city." Its immense ruin-heaps show that it
was built of bricks, and partly also of bricks without straw.
Succoth (Ex. 12:37) is supposed by some to be the secular name
of this city, Pithom being its sacred name. This was the first
halting-place of the Israelites in their exodus. It has been
argued (Dr. Lansing) that these "store" cities "were residence
cities, royal dwellings, such as the Pharaohs of old, the Kings
of Israel, and our modern Khedives have ever loved to build,
thus giving employment to the superabundant muscle of their
enslaved peoples, and making a name for themselves."