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)