Why did Israel plunder Egypt during the Exodus?

God promised Abraham it would happen
“Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.”
(Genesis 15:13-14 ESV)

God promised Moses it would happen
“And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”
(Exodus 3:21-22 ESV)

But why? Why would God have them plunder the wealth of Egypt when they were about to wander around in the desert for the next forty years? Because once Israel gets into the wilderness and God gives them the ten commandments they begin work on the Ark of the Covenant, the Sanctuary, the Lamp stands, the Table of Show bread, the Tabernacle etc. all of which are overlaid in gold and extravagantly decorated (Exodus 25-28). Where did they get all of this? They got it when they plundered Egypt. So that means from Genesis 15 God had His eye on taking Israel through Egyptian slavery, to plunder Egypt, to provide for the temple. But it doesn’t stop there in fact it looks forward all the way to Jesus post-resurrection. This very tabernacle is a picture used to describe Christ and His office of High Priest.

Jesus is our High Priest in the true Tabernacle not built by hands mediating a better covenant
“Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent (tabernacle) that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent (tabernacle), he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.”
(Hebrews 8:1-7 ESV)



One thought on “Why did Israel plunder Egypt during the Exodus?

  1. I believe it also caused them to stumble as they had the “precious” materials necessary to make the golden calf in Ex 32.

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