Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"There Are Too Many Israelites!":Pharaoh's Population Control Program

In the Bible, there is one person who complained that there are "too many Israelites": Pharaoh.

Exodus 1:9 "Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous for us.

His solution? Slave labor.

Exod 1:9-13
"Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous for us.Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country."So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly.

What happened? The more the Israelites increased.

Pharaoh's next solution? Infanticide, by talking to the midwives to kill the babies.

Exod 1:15-16
The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, "When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live."

What happened? The midwives did not kill the babies because THEY FEARED GOD.

Exod 1:17
The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.

What happened to the midwives?
Exod 1:20-21
So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

Pharaoh's next solution? Infanticide, by throwing the baby boys in the river

Exod 1:22
Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: "Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live."

What did Moses' mom do? She did not throw him into the river, but she placed him in a basket. She placed him up for adoption. And he ended up being used mightily by God to deliver Israel.

Exod 2:1-3
Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman,and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.
Are there really "too many Filipinos"? What is wrong with having a large population? Will reducing the number of hungry people solve the hunger problem? Or do politicians who steal money from the government want to lessen the number of their constituents so they would have less people under their responsibility, so it won't be so obvious that the money for the new school building is missing because the number of students are less?

Who are we to say that we have to reduce the number of people in the next generation when we have been allowed to live ourselves?