Exodus Chapter 1 Verse 7
:7 “And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.”
The children of Israel had increased from seventy souls who came into Egypt unto approximately 2 million (six hundred thousand men besides women and children) that came forth into the wilderness.
There are parallels in the scriptures between the children of Israel and the elect family of God. It is apparent that the children of Israel had come to dwell in the land of Goshen, the best of the land of Egypt and that they had prospered both into a great multitude, but also, that they had increased in goods and that their labors had been abundantly fruitful. Such increase had to be
by God’s providential blessings upon them.
God’s elect people sometimes are blessed with many providential blessings. However, like the children of Israel, along with the blessings come adversity, which will be evident in the next few verses.
:8 “Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.” Joseph was a strong type of Jesus and Pharaoh, king of Egypt during the time of Joseph knew Joseph and loved Joseph. He along with the people of Egypt were indebted to Joseph and his service to Egypt and the salvation from starvation that God wrought through Joseph. Now, however,
a new king arose over Egypt who knew not Joseph and would evil entreat the children of Israel and make them his bond-slaves. They were no better than cattle to this wicked king.
When the United States was formed the first President of the United States was George Washington, a man who loved and served the Lord Jesus Christ. The people of God were richly blessed of God through the service of this man. With the passage of time there have been presidents that feared God and those who did not fear God. With those that feared God, the people have been blessed.
With those presidents who fear not God, the people are greatly burdened and liberty is lost.
Often in the world there arise leaders who fear not God and the Lord’s people suffer because of their reign. As we study Pharaoh and his dealings with the children of Israel we can learn many things about how a people suffer under a wicked ruler. We will also learn of God’s rich blessings and deliverances on behalf of his covenant people.
: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.”
This new king over Egypt, like many rulers, had designs of increasing his political clout and control. Perhaps he even had designs to increase the size of his kingdom. Outlined above are commonly used methods that rulers use to increase their political clout and to control the actions of the people. First, he set about to divide the people into camps. To those who were native to
Egypt he identified them as “his people.” In the other camp were the “people of the children of Israel. He convinced “his people” that the children of Israel were a threat to the Egyptians within their border. This was not hard to do as “they were different” from the Egyptians. They were descendants of Shem while the Egyptians were descendants of Ham. The Egyptians were dark-skinned and the Israelites were
lighter skinned. This promotion of racial or ethnic animosity is a common tool of political rulers to control the minds of the people.
“Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:” Pharaoh was setting forth the idea that the children of Israel were a great threat to the Egyptians because of their numbers and strength. Moreover, he reinforced this idea by implying if there was a war they would join their enemies and fight against Egypt. He was
setting forth the idea that the Egyptians would be in grave danger if they didn’t do something to lessen this supposed threat.
‘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.” In this statement there are three fundamental political ploys that Pharaoh uses to convince the Egyptians that they need to take action
against the Israelites:
1. We need to practice population control on the Israelites so as to control their (supposed) threat to the Egyptians security (lest they multiply). The means that they would ultimately use was infanticide. This is akin to the current practice in the United States to primarily control the black population by promoting abortion.
2. Next, he promoted the idea to enslave the Israelites so that they won’t fall out to their enemy in war. By enslaving them, the Egyptians could reduce their ability to wage war against the Egyptians.
3. “And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.” By enslaving the children of Israel they became a financial asset to the Egyptians of which the Egyptians did not want to lose by letting the Israelites leave the land. One only needs to look back at the events leading up to the United States civil war and the
opposition of the Southern plantation owners to freeing the slaves to draw a comparison to what happened in Egypt and so see why Pharaoh did not want to let the children of Israel go.