Jacob’s Famine

Then the seven years of plenty which were in the land of Egypt ended, and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.

(Genesis 41:53-54) NKJV

It was necessary for the children of Israel to sojourn in Egypt for over 400 years, during which time they became a great nation. God got Jacob and his family to Egypt by causing a famine throughout the land of Canaan.

There are some fascinating circumstances surrounding this famine. It was particularly severe, and was apparently world-wide, to the extent that God worked miraculously to cause Joseph to be sold as a slave into Egypt. There he interpreted two dreams that Pharaoh had about the famine. Pharaoh was so impressed with Joseph that he was put in charge to manage the preparations for the famine and the distribution of food during it. This is one of the most inspirational stories of the Bible.

Joseph’s famine is at least the third generational famine in Genesis, and it appears to have been by far the worst. Obviously this is the working out of God’s will, but what are the physical causes for the instability of the climate? If we had to guess we’d say that hell is expanding.


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