G-d is a G-d who brings change into our lives. In this book the children of Israel were in bondage. There was a movement against them to destroy the nation of Israel, the people of G-d.
In Hebrew, this Book is not called “Exodus” but is called “Names” –referring to how this book opens with the names of the twelve sons of Jacob. The reason we (and the Septuagint) call it Exodus is because of the event that dominates this book – the exodus from Egypt. This event foreshadows what Jesus, on Passover, did on the cross (the price He paid for redemption). In this book we learn foundational truth – for those who are called out of this world into obedience to G-d. As usual – we will refer to the NKJV for this study.
v1: Came to Egypt: This was not a good thing. They were supposed to remain in the promised land. The measure they had used was going to be measured back to them (Matthew 7:2). The brothers of Joseph had sinned against him by selling him into slavery. This was now going to be visited upon them, and they were going to find themselves in slavery. They went down to Egypt because they were not living obediently, and nor were they doing what G-d had called them to do. They lived by flesh and not by faith.
· His household: The 12 sons of Jacob were not the only ones affected. Their children also reaped the consequences of their fathers’ sin.
v2-v4: This is not the normal birth order. Joseph, already in Egypt, is not included here. These sons of Jacob represent the people of G-d. What we see here is a picture of G-d’s people being out of place. They were moved from where they should have been due to the consequence of sin. Sin moves us away from where we need to be. It takes us away from serving G-d, away from His provision and blessing. Egypt, in the Bible, is oftentimes understood symbolically as the world.
v5: Seventy persons: (More accurately, 75 persons) In Acts 7:14 we are told that 75 souls went to Egypt: Genesis 46:27, and this verse, tell us that 70 people went to Egypt, so why the discrepancy? There are two traditions, or primary textual manuscripts, of the Torah. The Old Testament (as we know it today) is based on the Masoretic text and our New Testament is based on the Septuagint.
1. The Masoretic text was completed in +- 700AD. In the Masoretic text it speaks of 70 souls – 66 + Joseph + Jacob+ Ephraim + Manasseh = 70
2. The Dead Sea Scrolls (written in Hebrew) were written around the time of Messiah’s birth (completed much earlier than the Masoretic text). These are in closer agreement with the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Bible, and it is a better manuscript than the Masoretic one. This is the translation that the New Testament writers based their writings and quotes on. In the Dead Sea Scrolls the number of people who went to Egypt agrees with Stephen – 75 in all.
66 souls + Jacob +Joseph +Ephraim+ Manasseh + 5 of Joseph’s grandsons (born in Egypt, as per the LXX) = 75 in total.
Note: The number 75 is a number that has significance Biblically. In the genealogy of Jesus in the Book of Luke (Luke 3:23-38) there are 75 names mentioned between G-d and Jesus. 75 has to do with redemption. 75 people went down to Egypt, but they went down there for the purpose that they might be redeemed because of their sinful condition so that through redemption they could be changed.
In Daniel 12:12 we are told that those who wait until the end of 1335 days will be blessed. In Revelation 12:6 we are told the woman who flees is cared for 1260 days. There is a difference of 75 days between those two numbers. Those 75 days have to do with the second coming, the dedication, and the beginning of the Kingdom of G-d.
· Joseph: A typology for the redeemer.
· Egypt: Biblically associated with exile.
v6: Joseph died: Even though there was death the hope, the call, and the purposes that G-d had for that family remained. Even though G-d did not fulfil all of His promises, to this family in that generation, it did not mean that there was a problem with G-d or His promises. They were still applicable and held true for the next generation.
v7: Fruitful…abundant…exceedingly mighty: The Egyptians would have seen that something unusual was happening with this people. G-d’s hand, because of His covenantal call, was upon them.
· The land: i.e. Egypt
v8: Did not know Joseph: Joseph was the one who had brought about salvation, physically, for Egypt (and much of the world) during their unprecedented famine. They, however, did not remember. This made Israel the guilty party because they did not teach the Egyptians (generation in and generation out) about G-d’s faithfulness. They had lost track of their history, the faithfulness of G-d, and all He had done in bringing them through. G-d was still moving but the people had forgotten Him. This teaches us a Biblical principle – if Israel (or the church) is not spiritually right, or thinking correctly from a Biblical standpoint, then much of the world is not right either. This new king was going to usher in a time of tribulation for Jacob.
v9: He: The king
v10: Wise: Cunning or deceitful. They acted without any revelation from G-d and made their own plans. Whenever we make decisions, based upon our own wisdom, we are going to be doing the wrong thing. G-d can use it, but He will not bless it. We are not rewarded for sinfulness.
· Join our enemies: The king is displaying paranoia and insecurity. There was no evidence that any of the Hebrews were disloyal or that they were causing problems.
· They will go up from the land: They will go up from Egypt into the Land of Israel. The Egyptians (those of the world) did not want, and stood in opposition to, the will of G-d for His people being fulfilled.
v11: afflicted them: They made them suffer physically and financially.
· Supply cities: Pharaoh was so prosperous at this time that he needed cities to just store his wealth.
v12: Afflicted: The word can also mean tortured.
· The more they were afflicted …the more they multiplied: There is a relationship between these two things. The Egyptians activity wasn’t leading to their desired result. The Hebrews were supernaturally becoming more and more abundant. This should have caused the Egyptians to reconsider. They could see something supernatural was happening, but they didn’t want to submit to it.
· In Dread – Loathed: This word comes from the same root for the word “thorn”. The more G-d’s hand was upon the children of Israel the more it was like taking a thorn and poking it into someone, because they did not want the things of G-d.