"A Stranger In A Strange Land"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 231

Context: During a great famine, Jacob led his people up from Canaan into Egypt, and settled in Goshen, a frontier-land on its eastern border. When the Hebrews entered that land, they were royally received because Joseph, a son of Jacob, was Viceroy of Egypt. In time, however, "there arose a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph." The Egyptians, fearing the Hebrews because of their prosperity and growth, set taskmasters over them, thereby forcing them to servitude in order to suppress and control them. Because they continued to increase in numbers, Pharaoh decreed that all Hebrew male babies should be killed. When the infant Moses could be hid no longer, his mother placed him an an ark upon the river, where he was found by Pharaoh's daughter and reared as her own. Moses grew and became learned in Egyptian wisdom and "mighty in words and deeds" (Acts 7:22). His heart was with his own people, however, and, having slain an Egyptian in defending a fellow countryman, he was forced to flee for his life. He went southeast from Egypt into the land of Midian. There he married a Midianite and settled with his father-in-law, Jethro. He appropriately names his first son Gershom (stranger). The Biblical account reads:

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And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.

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