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The Goshen Genocide

The people of Israel entered Egypt as a family of seventy people (see The Goshen Refugees).

"1:1 Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. 1:2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 1:3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 1:4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 1:5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already." (Exodus 1:1-5 KJV)

From the family of Jacob (the LORD renamed Jacob as "Israel" - see The Origin Of 'Israel') grew the nation of Israel.

"1:6 And Joseph [see Joseph, Prime Minister Of Egypt] died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. 1:7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them." (Exodus 1:6-7 KJV)

"The children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them"

The Scriptures do not specify the time (within Israel's four-century stay in Egypt) between the people of Israel being regarded by the Egyptians as welcome guests in the time of Joseph to a formidable internal security threat to Egypt, but a later Pharaoh, who was ignorant of his country's history (i.e. "a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph") came to fear the people of Israel - and not entirely without justification i.e. "the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we."


"1:8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 1:9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 1:10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land." (Exodus 1:8-10 KJV)

The Pharaoh's solution, which began as political and economic oppression of the people of Israel (amazingly, the minority-in-their-own-country Egyptians oppressed the majority Israelites i.e. "the children of Israel are more and mightier than we") escalated to genocide ("the systematic killing of a racial or cultural group").

"1:11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. 1:12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. 1:13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: 1:14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.

1:15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 1:16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. 1:17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. 1:18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive?

1:19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.

1:20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.

1:21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses." (Exodus 1:11-21 KJV)

When the ordered killing of male Israelite infants by midwives didn't work, the Pharaoh resorted to a less discrete solution - the entire population of Egyptians were ordered to throw all male Israelite infants into the river.

"1:22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive." (Exodus 1:22 KJV)

Fact Finder: The people of Israel fled out of Egypt because of a genocide of male Israelite infants. Did the parents of Jesus Christ flee into Egypt to escape a genocide of male Israelite infants?
Matthew 2:13-18; see also Herod The Great

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