Why Did Israel Go To Egypt?

Question: Why did Abraham’s people end up in Egypt so soon after being given the Promised Land?

Answer: It is weird that Abraham’s grandsons left the Promised Land so quickly. However, there is a reason for everything in God’s plan.

God predicts in Genesis 15:13 that Abraham’s people would end up in Egypt for 400 years. But why? What changed?

I have a theory.

In 15:7 God tells Abraham he’ll inherit the Land and Abraham says, “How will I know that?” (15:8). It’s never a good idea to say such things to God. The OT has a fairly consistent testimony that those who ask for a sign get judgment.

Sure enough, immediately after asking this stupid question, Abraham has a nightmare (15:12). It is described as a horror of great darkness. Then there is a smoking furnace and a burning lamp (15:17). Fire and smoke are always associated with judgment.

Israel going to Egypt was a curse on them for Abraham asking God for a sign to prove he would really get the Promised Land.

That’s my theory. Seems to make sense in the context and also fits in perfectly with God’s hatred of people doubting Him by asking for stupid signs. His Word should be enough. We walk by faith not by sight. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

It’s still a good idea to hear Him today!

2 thoughts on “Why Did Israel Go To Egypt?”

  1. In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” (Genesis 15:16)

    Another theory is that God would not have his people destroy a nation that was not yet fully turned from God.

    P.S. The story of Gideon asking for a sign makes a counter point to God punishing us for asking for a sign. However, there are other times, such as in John the Baptist’s birth that questioning God was something punishable.

  2. Gideon is the only exception I can think of, proving the rule I believe. God doesn’t do things the same way all the time though.

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