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Immigrants of the Bible

by Jim Pence on April 1, 2010 in Articles

Have you ever considered how many significant Bible characters changed countries at some point in their lives? Here’s a sampling of them.

  • Abraham – Called to leave Ur and go to the promised land; he later emigrated to Egypt during a famine (Gen. 12:10).
  • Isaac – Sojourned in Philistia to escape famine (Gen. 26:1–6).
  • Jacob – Fled from his brother Esau and dwelt in Paddan Aram (Gen. 28:1–5).
  • Joseph – Initially an unwilling immigrant, was sold into slavery in Egypt; however, once he was free, he remained there (Genesis 37:28).
  • Moses – Fled from Egypt and lived in Midian (Ex. 2:15).
  • Elimelech, Naomi, and their sons – Moved to Moab to escape famine (Ruth 1:1–2).
  • Ruth – A Moabitess, emigrated to Israel when her mother-in-law Naomi returned (Ruth1:16).
  • David – Went to live in Philistia when Saul was pursuing him (1 Sam. 27).
  • Joseph, Mary, and Jesus – Fled from Herod’s wrath into Egypt (Matt. 2:14–15).
  • Aquila and Priscilla – Originally from Pontus, they later dwelt in Rome, Corinth, and Ephesus (Acts 18:1–2; Rom. 16:3; 1 Tim. 4:19).
  • Jewish Christians – Fled persecution in Jerusalem and went to Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch (Acts 11:19).

Jim Pence (MA[BS], 2002)

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