Saving Egypt

followFollow Me: Deliverance[1]

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 3:21-22[2]

God told Moses what to do when he returned to Egypt and how everyone would respond, and then he said something familiar. The Hebrews will depart with great possessions.[3] The NIV says they would “plunder” the Egyptians. The word “plunder” does not reflect God’s true character. Except for the word “strip” the Amplified has a more accurate reflection of God’s character, which says they would “strip the Egyptians [of belongings due to you].” They did not strip the Egyptians of their possessions. God gave Israel favor and the Egyptians willingly gave the Hebrews jewels, silver, gold and garments.

The Hebrew word translated “plunder” in the NIV Bible and “strip” in the Amplified Bible means to snatch away, defend, rescue.[4] Plunder means to take by force, steal, commit robbery, or loot. God does not plunder people. Telling his people to steal is contrary to his law that says you shall not steal.

God’s law reveals why he wanted the Hebrews to leave with great possessions. Deuteronomy 15 gives instructions for releasing a Hebrew from service. The master must not let him leave empty-handed but give to him liberally.[5] Then God softened the loss of any assets by saying, “It shall not seem hard to you when you send him away free from you…the Lord your God will bless you in all that you do.”[6]

If you read the Bible with a carnal mind it is easy to see God’s actions as plundering the Egyptians. The truth is God had in mind saving Egypt from total destruction when he told Abraham his descendants would leave with great possessions. Pharaoh’s stubborn foolishness destroyed Egypt. God refused to leave without making a way to bless them in all they do lest they ceased to be a nation at all. To understand God’s words you have to know his heart. God leaves a blessing wherever he goes not a curse.

[1] From the time God promised to change Jacob’s name to Israel, Jacob and his descendants were addressed as both Jacob and Israel, which can be confusing. In Follow Me: Deliverance, I will use “Hebrews” to identify the children of Jacob.

[2] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[3] Genesis 15:14

[4] H5337 נצל nâtsal naw-tsal’ A primitive root; to snatch away, whether in a good or a bad sense: – X at all, defend, deliver (self), escape, X without fail, part, pluck, preserve, recover, rescue, rid, save, spoil, strip, X surely, take (out).

[5] Exodus 15:13

[6] Deuteronomy 15:18

About Teena Myers

Teena Myers is the Chairman of the Westbank Southern Christian Writers Guild, author of three books and a freelance writer.
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