As It Is Written . . .

Pharaoh's Darkness

by Patrick Henry Reardon

As the Book of Exodus begins, the Israelites in Egypt are living an idyllic existence: "But the children of Israel were fruitful (paru) and increased abundantly, multiplied (vayirbu), and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled (vatimmle' ha'arets) with them." (1:7).

This description makes it clear that the Israelites were following the initial Law God gave the human race: "Be fruitful and multiply (p-ru vurbu), fill the earth (v-mil'u 'eth ha'arets) and subdue it" (Gen. 1:28). In this respect the initial condition of the Israelites in Egypt resembled the state of Adam prior to the Fall: "Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden . . .

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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of Christ in the Psalms, Christ in His Saints, and The Trial of Job (all from Conciliar Press). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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