Egypt

This once great nation, situated in the North East corner of Africa, includes the Sinai Peninsula and borders Israel to the north/east. However, due to the inhospitable desert regions ‘leaving Egypt’ was reckoned when departing the inhabited strip along the Nile River and its delta in the North where it flows into the Mediterranean Sea.

God in His providence had the Jews settle in Egypt, during the famine, that Joseph’s dreams had predicted and through which he was appointed second only to the King (Gen 41:40-43). A series of successive Pharaohs did not honour the obligation to Joseph’s descendants and over a period of 430 years the conditions changed from them being a few welcome visitors to a great nation of slaves (Gen 47:5,6; Ex 1:6-14, 12:41).

Ultimately, the Israelites were released (during what became known as the Passover) from the ‘inhabitable’ area of Egypt and started the journey to Canaan under Moses’ leadership about 1446 BC. The book of Exodus covers this period in the history of the Jewish nation – their departure from slavery in Egypt and the desert wanderings.

Much later the baby Jesus was taken to Egypt for refuge from Herod for a short period (Mt 2:14,19-21).

Egypt is a picture of the bondage that sin causes in our lives. God wants to set us free from it so we can be a people (nation), to worship and serve Him, unhindered by that which is opposed to Him. As with the Israelites, there needs to be a complete severing from our old, past life. “Consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom 6:11). We can be taken out of ‘Egypt’ but more importantly “Egypt” has to be taken out of us.

Have I left behind the place                    of slavery to sin?

See also: Canaan, Exodus (Ex), exodus/the, Joseph (OT), Moses, nations, Passover.


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