Exodus 1:12

Hebrew Bible

11 So they put foremen over the Israelites to oppress them with hard labor. As a result they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. 12 But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more they multiplied and spread. As a result the Egyptians loathed the Israelites, 13 and they made the Israelites serve rigorously. 14 They made their lives bitter by hard service with mortar and bricks and by all kinds of service in the fields. Every kind of service the Israelites were required to give was rigorous.

Numbers 22:3

Hebrew Bible

2 Balak son of Zippor saw all that the Israelites had done to the Amorites. 3 And the Moabites were greatly afraid of the people, because they were so numerous. The Moabites were sick with fear because of the Israelites. 4 So the Moabites said to the elders of Midian, “Now this mass of people will lick up everything around us, as the bull devours the grass of the field.” Now Balak son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at this time.

 Notes and References

"... “Felt a disgust at the children of Israel.” This is the first of a string of terms in the Balaam story that are also found in the E account of the exodus from Egypt. Compare Exodus 1:12 ..."

Friedman, Richard Elliott The Bible with Sources Revealed: A New View Into the Five Books of Moses (p. 280) Harper San Francisco, 2005

"... In the Balaam narrative this process of transformation is reversed. At the beginning of the story, the vast numbers of the Israelites are seen by Balak as a threat—not unlike the response of the Pharaoh in Exodus 1:8 (Compare further the distress of the Moabites in Numbers 22:3 with that of the Egyptians in Exodus 1:12) Balak uses language that recalls the image of the locust plague in Exodus 10:5 - they cover up the 'entire' earth, and threaten to devour everything in their path. The comparison of Israel with dust in Numbers 23:10 inverts this negative imagery, moving from the dust of death in Genesis 3:19 to a metaphor of exceptional birth and regeneration ..."

Savran, George Beastly Speech: Intertextuality, Balaam's Ass, and the Garden of Eden (pp. 33-55) Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 1994

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