The far reaching consequences of the famine in Egypt. Jul 7, 2019 3:45:41 GMT 10 Wes Gear, brillbilly, and 1 more like this
Post by greeneaglz on Jul 7, 2019 3:45:41 GMT 10
13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I.
3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:
4 I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.
6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.
7 And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place.
It is clear from scripture that God planned beforehand for the 400 years that the children of Jacob (Israel) would be in Egypt. He lets Abram (later to be Abraham) know what would happen, and later Jacob gets the same message. In all there would be the 400 years in Egypt and then we can add another 40 years due to rebellion before they would go into the promised land.
So what did this plan involve? Hardship for the people! We can see the foundation of this hardship laid during Joseph's time:
15 And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth.
16 And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail.
17 And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year.
18 When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands:
19 Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate.
20 And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh's.
21 And as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof.
22 Only the land of the priests bought he not; for the priests had a portion assigned them of Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which Pharaoh gave them: wherefore they sold not their lands.
23 Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land.
24 And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones.
25 And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants.
26 And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part, except the land of the priests only, which became not Pharaoh's.
We see that due to the famine, Pharaoh now owned All the livestock, all the land and all the people were now his servants (a type of bondage). It was law that they would give a fifth of what they produced.
This bondage is now part of society, meaning that Pharaoh held total power. It would not surprise me if it was during this time that the rulers that followed built the Pyramids and many of the great structures that are still standing today because of this. We have a society where it is no great leap for successive Pharaohs to oppress the Israelites. We have already read that this was God's plan all along. The years of famine changed how society worked and functioned. All the people were put in cities and worked from them. The Israelites themselves were made to build two treasure cities.
11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.
We have to remember however that it would have been easy for the Israelites to become complacent. After all they were given the best land of Goshen to settle in and after a few generations they would have felt that it was their home. Only oppression from Pharaoh, who owned all of Egypt, all the livestock and who by law, took a fifth of all produce would mean that the people would even consider leaving. After all, their forefathers had been promised a land but as yet, there was no evidence that they would get it.
We can see just how easy life could be in Egypt, and why this hardship was necessary just by the complaints the Israelites made in the wilderness.
3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
When all was ready, he would deliver them out of bondage, taking with them the wealth of Egypt (v14).
The 7 years of plenty and the 7 years in drought caused events that meant that in old testament terms the people of the land became slaves to Pharaoh. NOT the kind of mondern day slavery but the kind of slavery mentioned in Deuteronomy where people became servants to pay a debt. This definition of slavery was voluntary and was much like a contract. The people of Egypt gave their labour and their land in order to pay Pharaoh for grain to keep them alive. The next 400 years meant the Pharaohs controlled and owned all the land (except the land of priests) and 20% of the labour of the people. What possibly would they do with such power?