Topical Studies

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What the Bible says about Economic Slaves
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 47:14

In just seven years—the seven years of famine—the Egyptians saw their freedoms and economic prerogatives fly away and their lifestyles change dramatically. The first listed casualty of this famine-triggered tribulation was monetary.

The Egyptians were not a bunch of degenerate Bedouins living on the edge, caught in the backwaters of civilization, and laboring under some inefficient and very limiting bartering system. Nothing like that! Rather, as one of the chief nations on the earth at the time, theirs was a complex society with some sort of monetary system. That monetary system completely collapsed due to the repeated crop failures in Egypt.

Joseph's response was to sell Egypt's grain on the spot market. All transactions were cash-and-carry. There was no credit. What occurred was, effectively, centralized control of the money supply. The government came into ownership of all the money, and the people had virtually none at all.

Charles Whitaker
The Other Great Tribulation

Genesis 47:21-26

Before God instituted this great tribulation in Egypt, the people were a relatively free people, living where they wished and enjoying the private ownership of land. They also owned the means of production; in this case, the livestock. Egypt was not, at this time, a socialist state. Yet, as a result of this great distress that they were suffering, the money supply dried up, and the people became serfs. They became slaves to the government.

They were relocated at the will of the government that owned them. Their basically capitalistic system—capitalistic because capitalism is connected with the ownership of land—gave way to a far more limiting and inefficient means of allocating goods and services called "feudalism." The people became serfs, sharecroppers. All of this in seven years!

What happened in Egypt can only be described as a time of social and economic revolution. It was indeed a great tribulation.

Charles Whitaker
The Other Great Tribulation


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