Saving Egypt

By Teena Myers

Follow Me: Deliverance

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 3:21-22

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.[1] 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 forcibly take the Egyptian’s 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 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.[2]  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.”[3]

If you read the Bible with a carnal mind, it is easy to interpret God’s instructions as plundering the Egyptians. The truth is God had in mind saving Egypt from 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, we must know his heart. God leaves a blessing wherever he goes, not a curse.

[1] Genesis 15:14

[2] Exodus 15:13

[3] Deuteronomy 15:18

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