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The first word of Exodus, "Now," might with equal accuracy be rendered "And." Either word serves to suggest continuity. The story of Genesis is taken up in Exodus. It begins by recording the prolific and rapid growth of the sons of Jacob in Egypt. They "were fruitful . . . increased abundantly . . . multiplied . . . waxed exceeding mighty . . . the land was filled with them." The progress of God is seen. After the fathers, the children, and the program of God is carried forward. Jacob and his sons lived in their children. Their faults were perpetuated through long generations. It is equally true that the underlying principle of faith continued, and though failure often occurred, seeming to overwhelm faith, the vital principle was never lost.
In the account of the enslavement and oppression of these people, human and divine elements are equally apparent. The policy of the new Pharaoh was politically selfish. He attempted to stay the growth and break the power of the people. How little he understood the infinite Force against which he was setting himself. All the sufferings endured by these people gained for them that strength which even today makes them a people who cannot be destroyed. Luxury ever tends to weakness in national life, while suffering stiffens and strengthens the national character.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Exodus 1". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany