The Israelites Oppressed
1 Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.
2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,
3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.
6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation.
7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.
8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.
9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:
10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.
11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.
12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.
13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:
14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.
The first chapter of Exodus begins by renaming all the sons of Jacob who went to Egypt with him when Joseph was already in Egypt. There were seventy descendants of Jacob in the original settlement at Goshen.
Over the years, Joseph, his brothers and all that generation passed away. A new king took over Egypt to whom Joseph meant nothing.
The Israelites were fruitful and multiplied and as they grew in numbers they became a threat to the Egyptians. The Egyptians were concerned that at some point the Israelites would turn their strength against them so they made them slaves, putting slave masters over them. From then on, the Israelites were oppressed, forced to do labor, to build cities for Pharaoh and do harsh labor with bricks and mortar.
The more the Israelites were oppressed the more they multiplied and spread. The ill feeling of the Egyptians against them grew stronger.
The Israelites of course had their own culture and believed in the one true God. It is not surprising that they came to be outsiders in the land of Egypt where the culture was so different. Once again I realize the amazing power of Joseph in his ability to bridge the gap between these two worlds.
The above thoughts are Betty’s. Share yours below. Follow all of Betty’s thoughts here