In and Out of Egypt—Genesis 37–50; Exodus 1–15

Here is the sixth in a series of Bible studies that present the Bible as being in the side of pacifism. In this essay, “In and Out of Egypt,” I consider two very different stories–Joseph and his brothers in Genesis 37–50 and the liberation of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt in Exodus 1–15. When we read these stories together, I suggest that see in the Joseph account, which is a kind of exemplar story, also a dark side with its account of the Hebrews got into Egypt and the role Joseph played in greatly extending the Pharaoh’s power. At the same time, the Exodus story, even with its troubling portrayal of God’s violence, actually sets the stage for the emerging central peace message of the Bible–God on the side of prophets not warriors, God working to liberate people from the oppressive domination of Empires and kings.

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