The people of Israel were treated badly as foreigners in Egypt

Last updated on December 2, 2021

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Exodus 20:2).

After Joseph’s father and brothers with their families had moved to Egypt, they stayed there for generations. Initially, they had a privileged position as the relatives of Egypt’s second ruler. But when a new king arose, who did not know Joseph, things started to change.

The Israelites did not adapt to the Egyptian culture and religion, which were very closely intertwined. They could not serve their own God and keep their identity as a people while being part of Egyptian society. Therefore, they remained a separate group within their host country. And eventually, Pharaoh concluded that they were a threat for Egypt’s national security. He started to oppress them by afflicting them with heavy burdens and even killing their newborn boys.

The Israelites cried out to God. He heard their groaning and eventually led them out of Egypt towards the land of Canaan, which had been promised to their forefathers as an everlasting possession. They were no longer foreigners, but had their own country. They were no longer oppressed, but free.

Are there cultural minorities in your country? How are they treated by the majority?

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