Note To Readers: Welcome back. Today we are continuing our study of the Old Testament, verse by verse, and where necessary phrase by phrase, and even word by word. We approach it as ordinary laity who care about the gems that God has hidden in His Word for us. Please join me on this journey as we begin today, Volume III, commencing with Exodus 1:1-7. As always, today, and tomorrow, I welcome your thoughts and comments -- they are part of what energizes me. Please sign up to get updates from my blog Epistoli -- this will include our studies in Exodus as well as some other thought-provoking topics I cover from time to time. Please share our study with friends and family. I know you'll enjoy it. -- Ken Godevenos, Toronto, May 11, 2012.
Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; Dan Naphtali, Gad and Asher. And all the persons who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy in number, but Joseph was already in Egypt. And Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. But the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.
So let’s get right to it. In these first few verses we are given some interesting facts. The number of people who came to Egypt originally and counted in Jacob’s family (who were born to him or to his children) numbered seventy. This number did not include Joseph and his two sons who were already there.
Thus opens the book of Exodus, also believed to be written by Moses. It is in Egypt that this small band of seventy turn into a full-fledged nation. Like all organisms that are destined to live, the nation of Israel had to pass through the birth canal and for them that was Egypt. And the birth-pains they were about to experience, as the authors of the introduction to the New American Standard Bible, Open Bible, Expanded Edition suggest, were indeed very severe.
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