What were the Egyptians doing while Moses and the Hebrews were in the wilderness for 40 years?


Clarify Share Report Asked November 19 2015 Open uri20160303 20106 18e93fs Brad Laxton

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Mini Kenneth Heck
I believe the Egyptians were recuperating from the 10 plagues that had devastated their land before the Israelites left, plus the loss of much of their army near the Red Sea. The loss of their first born males and those in the army must have left them shorthanded in getting much work accomplished. They fully deserved these punishments because of their mistreatment of the Israelites and others.

God left the Egyptians in such a devastated condition so they wouldn't be tempted to recapture the Israelites while they were initially untrained in military matters. The Israelites used the time to develop the military capability needed to defeat the armies of the Canaanites - but only at the initiative and leadership of the LORD.

November 21 2015 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
To the best of my knowledge, the Bible gives no indication that the Egyptians made further efforts to actively follow or recapture the Israelites after the drowning of those who initially pursued Israel following the parting of the Red Sea in Exodus 14.

However, the Egyptians must have continued to monitor the progress of Israel in its travels, since it is recorded that, two years after the initial exodus, when God threatened to eradicate the Israelites following their rebellion against Moses and their refusal to enter the Promised Land in Numbers 14, Moses told God that He should not do so, since the Egyptians would then hear of it, and would say that God had slain the Israelites because He had been unable to bring them safely into the Promised Land. But, even then, there is no indication of an active intent or effort on the part of the Egyptians to continue pursuing Israel, or to return them to Egypt, nor of battles between Israel and the Egyptians, nor of God having to once again deliver the Israelites from the Egyptians. (The Egyptians might have been looking for an opportunity to attack or pursue Israel, but this is not recorded in Scripture.) 

The Egyptians also apparently actively informed the nations that Israel had to pass through to reach Canaan of what had transpired when Israel left Egypt (as noted by Moses in Numbers 14), and did so over a long period of time. (This is indicated by Rahab the harlot's comment to the spies sent by Israel to scout out Jericho in Joshua 2:8-11, which occurred forty years after the initial exodus from Egypt, just before Israel's crossing of the Jordan River into Canaan.) 

Also, although the Israelites themselves on more than one occasion rebelled by suggesting that they should return to Egypt because of the dangers that faced them in their journey to Canaan (as in Numbers 14:3-4), or (as in Numbers 11) because they longed for the food that they had eaten in Egypt (overlooking the fact that they had also been slaves at the time), there is no indication in Scripture that the Egyptians were aware of those specific episodes, or had an active hand in promoting them.

November 20 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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