They Went to Egypt for Food – and Forgot to Return Home

In earlier posts, I noted that after the Israelites left Egypt, they spent 40 years in the desert before entering the land God promised for them. I also observed that Moses waited 40 years before leading them out of Egypt. This makes for an unnecessary delay of 80 years.

However, why were they in Egypt in the first place?

God told Abram (later called Abraham) to “go to the land I will show you,” which he promised to give to Abram’s offspring. Abram went. His son Isaac and grandson Jacob were born there. Jacob had 12 sons. Joseph, his favorite, ended up in Egypt in a position of power. When a severe famine hit the entire region, Joseph invited his whole family to Egypt, where he had stockpiled plenty of food.

The famine lasted seven years. After which you would think that Jacob’s family would go home. But instead, they stayed in Egypt for 430 years — which God likely did not intend — eventually becoming slaves and suffering greatly. This all could have been avoided had Jacob remembered God’s promise to Abraham and returned to the place God intended them to be.

Instead, they spent 430 years as slaves in Egypt, when they could have been in the Promised Land the whole time.

[Genesis 12:1, 7, Joshua 24:4, Exodus 12:40]

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