The first chapter of Exodus gives only a few facts about the years the Israelites spent in Egypt. If was clear from what God revealed to Abraham that they were destined to live in this country for several centuries. “Know certainly,” the Lord told Abraham, “that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years” (Genesis 15:13 NKJV).
As the years passed, the sixty-six members of Jacob’s clan who migrated to Egypt grew until the Israelites were very numerous (Exodus 1:7). The Egyptians began to fear that they were a threat to national security. When a new king who did not know about Joseph assumed the throne (Exodus 1:8), he dealt with the problem in two ways. He enslave the Israelites who were already in the country, and he ordered that all their new newborn males be killed to stop their population growth (Exodus 1:11,22).
But God was working behind the scenes with a plan of His own. He began the process of raising up a leader who would bring His people out of bondage.