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When Jacob (Israel) died in Egypt his children and grandchildren numbered seventy souls. But four hundred thirty years later the Israelites had grown in population to rival that of Egypt itsel. This compelled the Egyptians to put the Israelites to hard labor. The Egyptians feared the Israelites would unite with Egypt’s enemies and overthrow them. Ironically the same fear of a demographic time bomb that led the Egyptians to make the Israelites second-class citizens back then is leading the Israelis to make second-class citizens of the Palestinians today.

Pharaoh told the professional midwives to slay the infants of Hebrew women as soon as they saw it was a boy, but the midwives refused to do that, and their excuse was that the Hebrew women popped their babies out before they could even get to them.

So Pharaoh extended his orders from merely the midwives to all his subjects, ordering them to slay every Hebrew boy-child on sight, but to allow every Hebrew girl-child to live. And that wasn’t very smart if he was trying to limit the Hebrew population, it should have been the other way around.

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Strangers In Paradise