The Attack of Pharaoh

Jacob (who was called Israel), took his family to Egypt when a great famine swept Palestine. There he found his missing son, Joseph, who was the head of Pharaoh's graineries. Israel and his sons stayed in Egypt. Generation after generation passed during which the children of the sons of Israel (Jacob) grew into a large family of tribes.

The benevolence of Pharaoh changed as new and meaner men mounted the Egyptian throne. Soon the Israelites found themselves enslaved and captive, a second-class society with virtually no rights.

God picked Moses from their ranks and chose him to lead the Israelite people back to the lands of Palestine.

When Moses was leading the Israelites out of Egypt he was attacked by Pharaoh and his troops. Pharaoh had earlier agreed to allow the twelve tribes of Israel to leave their Egyptian captivity and go in peace. This was after a devastating series of plagues were called down on the land by God for refusing to grant permission for their exit.

Moses had explained to Pharaoh that God wished the Israelites to go and offer Him worship in the wilderness.

"Let my people go, so that they may keep a feast in the wilderness in honor of me." (Ex.5:1-2).

Of the plagues that followed his refusal, the worst of these was the death of Egypt's first-born. Following this catastrophe and the death of Pharaoh's own son, he relented.

After almost all the Israelites had passed across the seabed (whose waters God had separated for them), pharaoh changed his mind. He gathered his troops together and vigorously set off to intercept the rearguard of the departing Israelites.

Into the seabed they galloped, hoping to catch the Israelites at the opposite bank, but God gave the order and the walls of water which He had earlier separated, came roaring back. Pharaoh and all those in his charge immediately drowned.

What is important about this story is its allegorical reference to the last days. The entire story of the Israelite captivity in Egypt is an allegory of the captivity of the people of God in Babylon. Their escape from physical captivity points to our own escape from spiritual captivity to sin because of Satan.

For this reason, all the elements of the Israelite exodus from Egypt, are metaphoric and prophetic references to the events which characterize our own escape (See Passover). The attack of Pharaoh is no exception. This is an important reference to the upcoming event we call the 'tribulation'.

Just as Pharaoh at first allowed God's people to leave in peace and then later changed his mind, so it is with our escape from Babylon. For scores of centuries, the governments of the world have allowed Christians to follow the path of the Lord without serious interference.

At the end, however, just as the rearguard of Christian refugees are completing their journey across another kind of seabed, the king of this world will set off in a warlike pursuit. The warfare associated with this final and desperate action will culminate in Armageddon.

See Also:

1. Passover
2. 'The Last Days of Babylon, Chapter 16, 'Seven Hills'
3. 'The Last Days of Babylon, Chapter 20, 'Night of Tribulation'
4. 'The Last Days of Babylon, Chapter 26, 'Fall of the City of David'

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