As I was listening to the news about Title 42 ending, I wondered whether there was anything similar to this in the Bible of people leaving their homeland for a better place, a better opportunity, to avoid famine and poverty, or intolerable conditions. (Title 42 was the United States emergency health order to restrict migrants from entering at the US border as a preventative measure to limit the spread of Covid-19.)
I thought of Joseph, and his family’s travel to Egypt. They left their own land for Egypt because there they would find relief from the famine because Joseph, the son of Jacob (Israel), was governor. Joseph had been given charge over all the land of Egypt by Pharaoh. Because of his position, his family was granted prime real estate, gained possessions, and were fruitful and multiplied. Egypt was filled with the people of Israel. Genesis 46-47
All was going well, until Joseph died, and a new Pharaoh was in place.
8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. 13 So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves 14 and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.Exodus 1:8-14 ESV
In verse 9, the new Pharaoh, who didn’t know Joseph, nor his contribution to Egypt’s welfare, was afraid at the rate of growth of the people of Israel in Egypt. He was threatened that the people of Israel would outnumber them, and because they were great in number, and strong, he feared that if a war were to happen, they might join Egypt’s enemies and fight against them.
The fear of being outnumbered, the fear of losing a way of life reminded me of something that’s recently been in the news, Replacement Theory. The replacement theory is a conspiracy theory based on fear of losing a way of life, iof being outnumbered, not unlike Egypt’s Pharaoh. However, this theory claims that elites are deliberately working to replace white people by non-white immigrants so that whites are no longer the majority.
So, as Title 42 expires and the expectation that migrants will try to cross the southern border in mass to enter into the United States, I think that Solomon was right.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.”Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 NIV
Just my musings today…