Genesis 15:13

Hebrew Bible

11 When birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. 12 When the sun went down, Abram fell sound asleep, and great terror overwhelmed him. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign country. They will be enslaved and oppressed for 400 years. 14 But I will execute judgment on the nation that they will serve. Afterward they will come out with many possessions. 15 But as for you, you will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age.

Exodus 1:11

Hebrew Bible

8 Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power over Egypt. 9 He said to his people, “Look at the Israelite people, more numerous and stronger than we are! 10 Come, let’s deal wisely with them. Otherwise they will continue to multiply, and if a war breaks out, they will ally themselves with our enemies and fight against us and leave the country.” 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.

 Notes and References

"... The closing chapters of the Book of Genesis told of the settlement of the Israelites in Egypt. Joseph, through foresight and administrative skill, had saved Egypt from starvation during several years of famine, while at the same time shrewdly enhancing the wealth and landed estates of the crown. The Book of Exodus opens with a tale of base ingratitude on the part of a pharaoh and the Egyptian people, which precipitates a radical reversal of fortune for the tribes of Israel. The text rests upon a knowledge of Genesis; it takes for granted that the reader knows the identity and experiences of Joseph, is aware of God’s promises to the patriarchs, and is familiar with the account of the migration of Jacob and his family to Egypt. “Strangers in a land not theirs,” as Genesis 15:13 puts it, the Israelites are to be enslaved and oppressed for a long period of time. However, the Narrator of Exodus tells only briefly of the slavery and suffering, compressing it into a few verses. His account, rigorous and austere, offers only the barest of details. Attention is concentrated on the process of liberation. Here, by contrast, the narrative is generously expansive. A singular tone of secularity seems to pervade the introductory saga of the Book of Exodus. There is no explicit mention of God directing events. Nevertheless, these developments were foretold in connection with God’s covenant with Abraham in that pivotal passage, Genesis 15:13. As in the ostensibly secular story of Joseph, here too there is an unmistakable underlying sense of divine purposefulness ..."

Sarna, Nahum M. Exodus: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation (p. 3) Jewish Publication Society, 1991

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