Promised Land

The Promised Land Series covers the books in the Bible from Exodus to Judges. These books describe events from the birth of Moses to the end of the era of the judges of Israel.

In Genesis, God promised Abraham that his descendants would inherit the land of Canaan, so Canaan became known as The Promised Land. Modern Israel and Palestine encompass the majority of Canaan.

Abraham’s grandson was Jacob, whose name was changed to “Israel” by God. His descendants became known as the Hebrews or Israelites. During the later life of Jacob, the Hebrews moved to Egypt during a famine. The book of Exodus opens about four centuries later with the Hebrews still in Egypt, having become slaves of the Pharaoh.

The book of Exodus is primarily about Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt and into the wilderness, their covenant with God, and the construction of the Tabernacle.

Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy tell of the Hebrews wandering in the wilderness, the laws given to the Hebrews by God, and their adventures on the way to the Promised Land. These books end with the Israelites poised to enter the Promised Land, and the death of Moses.


Moses Before the Plagues

Exodus 1:7 gives the first hint of how many Israelites existed at the time Moses was born: they were numerous and the land was filled with them. Using other Scriptures, scholars and linguists have wildly varying opinions as the actual number. Some think there were tens of thousands, while others peg the number to be more than three million. In any event, there were a lot of them. So many that the Pharaoh feared they would rebel against him.

Pharaoh’s first self-serving solution was simple: make slaves of the Israelites and take advantage of their free labor. Egyptians are well-known for their massive building projects, so the Israelites were a blessing in disguise. Apparently, Pharaoh was happy with the number of slaves he had and did not want more, so he embarked on the world’s first birth-control project – have the Hebrew mid-wives kill the baby boys at birth. When that didn’t work, he ordered all the baby boys to be thrown into the Nile.

Moses’ mother devised a plan that not only saved her son, but resulted in him being raised as a prince of Egypt. Moses lived as an Egyptian, but remained an Israelite at heart. At forty, he killed an Egyptian for harming an Israelite. This resulted in Pharaoh wanting to kill Moses, which forced him to go into exile.

Primary Scriptures:
Exodus 1:1-4:17
Story Summary:
The birth of Moses; exile of Moses; the burning bush
Egypt, Midian
c. 1526 BC Birth of Moses c. 1446 BC The plagues and exodus