How Do We Know the Jews were Slaves in Egypt?

wall carving of men working as slaves

Dear Pastor Andy, there is no record of Egyptians having the Jews as slaves and that there is no record of plagues! During the Roman Empire, only 10% of people could read and write. We know so much about the Romans, it’s not funny. Archaeology tells us that none of that happened. It has nothing to do with people writing anything down (even though that didn’t happen either)!

My Reply: Actually, there is evidence. I’m not sure where you got your information, but you may want to look again.
(Source: McDowell, Josh: “Evidence for Christianity”, Thomas Nelson Publishing, 2006, pp 155-158.) For instance:

  1. The Jews’ entrance into Egypt: Scriptures tell us that Joseph was sold for 20 shekels of silver. Research shows that this was the correct average price for a slave in the 18th century B.C.
  2. The Bible says there was a great plague, and Pharaoh allowed Joseph to invite his family to live with him. “Egyptian history references Asiatics coming to Egypt for this purpose, also. A picture of visiting Semites can be seen on the wall of a tomb at Beni Hasan, which comes from a time not far from that of Abraham.” There’s also evidence that the “Hyksos” (whoever they were) began moving into the Nile Valley around 1900 B.C., along with others from around the area, thus overwhelming the Egyptian rulers.
  3. In the last chapter of Genesis, we read that Joseph requested to be buried in the land of Canaan once the Lord gave this land to His people. Joshua 24:32 tells us that they did just this at Shechem. Why is this important? Because “for centuries, there was a tomb at Shechem reverenced as the tomb of Joseph. A few years ago, the tomb was (finally) opened.” In it was “a body mummified according to the Egyptian custom, and in the tomb, among other things, was a sword of the kind worn by Egyptian officials.”
  4. It’s suggested that the king of Egypt who was against the growth of Joseph’s people, may have been the nationalistic Egyptian king, for such a king would have been totally against the massive growth of foreigners in their land. This would also explain why the Jews were forced into slavery.
  5. Looking at the timing, “Genesis 47:17 tells of the first instance of horses being in Egypt – it was the Hyksos who introduced horses to Egypt. So that helps with the timing of the Jews going into Egypt.
  6. The idea is that the Jews’ Exodus from Egypt occurred around 1450 B.C. I know there were arguments for a long time for 12 or 1300, but archaeological evidence has proven otherwise. So if you look in Egyptian history somewhere between 1900 B.C. and 1450 B.C., I’m sure you’ll find information about the Jews being in Egypt.

—Pastor Andy G.

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