Biblical Immigration and Breakfast

INTRO

A buddy asked me what the Bible said about refugees the other day, and it occurred to me that I only knew a few verses off the top of my head. The only expertise I have here is having read the bible a few times, so I know the context of most of the quotes.

Before it starts, the peculiar thing is how often God simply states obligations to foreigners in our land, as in, the reasons they have arrived are completely irrelevant. Be it economic reasons or political asylum, there is no discrimination for these passages.

EDEN

Begin at the beginning. The first refugees we can think of are Adam and Eve. They get kicked out of the Garden and are separated by a wall from God. There is even an angel with a sword who will kill them if they attempt to return. The most trollish way to view this is a harsh statement from God on how to deal with illegal immigrants.

Next is Genesis 16 where Abram has to kick out Hagar, Sarai’s maid. She flees into the desert(rather similar to the desert crossing into the U.S. through Arizona). How does God treat this fleeing migrant? An angel delivers a promise of bright future and prosperity for the child she carries within her.  Anti-illegal immigration experts will be upset, calling this situation a special case because the Child is of Abraham’s holy loins, meaning Hagar would be a special case scenario(like how the U.S. immigration law favors unwed single mothers look it up : fiallo v bell 1977, ok back to the Bible):

Later in Genesis, Joseph is brought via human trafficking to Egypt and thrown in Jail. His skills in dream interpretation at Genesis 41:25 allow him to make contributions to society, specifically to prepare Pfharaogh for looming disaster(disaster being the famine, made famous by Ben Carson’s “Pyramids are Grain Silos” statement.)

Now during the time of famine ALL countries come to Egypt, and Joseph sold grain to all of them. No doubt some people had to have moved to the nation of Egypt to be close to the only food source on earth, but there is no mention of Joseph or Fharoah on the legal wrangling of this.

In Genesis 42, Joseph accuses his visiting brothers of being spies, and throws one of them in Jail. But they were sent home with the money they had spent and the food they had bought, sort of a B.C. remittance system.

In Genesis 46:5 the Paraho sends caravans and assists in Joseph bringing his family and all their possessions to Egypt.

Moses, the Murderous Illegal Immigrant who Destroys a Nation:

The Jews in Israel were snuck in on a migrant visa and overstayed their welcome, but in Exodus 5 you see that they are given work nobody else wanted (making Bricks) and then they want more rights, people get upset, and the result to Egypt of not giving the Jews the ability to coexist in a foreign land with their strange religion and non-compatible cultural system was plague, death and a huge military defeat including the loss of the Phragafoah as the Israelites were kicked out of Egypt.

They had been in Egypt 430 years(Exodus 12:41) which is sort of similar to the Back to Africa movement and Racial Separatist complaints about having people in America who were ‘brought here to become slaves”(compare an african sold by his fellow tribesmen to a Dutch slave trader to the plight of  Joseph, left in a pit and taken by slavers) and Jacob’s people did not enjoy their hard work being met with heavy handed cruelty.

BIBLE VERSE TIME:Ger-Sojourner, In Exodus 22:21 the word is גֵּר which means a non-citizen alien who was basically compelled to take part in some religious ceremonies and forbade from taking part in others. Marriage with them was frowned upon when no forbidden, and basically read this link for a nerd-eye view of the various Hebrew words for foreign born:

https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/encyclopedia-of-the-bible/Sojourner

Now for some sites that have a list of mentions of refugees etc in the bible:

https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Refugees

https://www.openbible.info/topics/immigration

Basically, the immigrant is in the same class as widows and orphans. Because of natural disadvantages they have in the system(such as being a non-citizen) they have some legal hurdles others do not. The Biblical expectation to leave gleanings from the harvest for widows orphans and sojourners could literally mean to use welfare to pay to support poor migrants.(Leviticus 23:22)

The other fantastically trollish option would be to say that since the hebrew term for sojourner(called a foreigner in the KJV) is for a temporary visitor and all Migrants are expected to go back home at some point.

Chapter 2: God Does a Miracle Using a re-Married Pagan 

Ruth was a refugee, a poor sojourner, who was taken in and basically kept safe by Boaz until SHE put the moves on HIM and they got the family line to extend and later down that same line you get Jesus.

Ruth was the only one of her family to follow the new mother in Law Naomi, saying “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.“( Ruth1:16 ) She comes to a different culture leaving everything behind and thoroughly embracing the new culture and religion.

The key here is her willingness and openness to trade out her religious beliefs to follow God. She did, met Boaz, they had a kid, allowing the geneology to run from Perez down to Boaz who married Ruth the migrant on her second marriage, her son Obed, his son Jesse, and his son David.

On the subject of David this is a piece by Larry David about General Kelly at a breakfast conference which has nothing to do with anything in this article but I was looking for a picture of Larry David to include for comic relief and found this to be much better:

Now you could go next to Nehemiah, and use King Artaxerxes allowing and funding the rebuilding of the walls as some sort of weird repatriation myth, but it really makes more sense to jump to the Christian stuff with good ol’ Jesus.

BIG J:

Let’s just kick the ant-pile with this:

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. -Philippians 3:20

And before you go saying it means all immigration law is anti-christian, let me counter troll with THIS:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.-  Romans 13:1

So somewhere between, “anyone can come and go as they please” and “if the law is passed you have a religious obligation to follow it” lies the truth.

Joseph took his family on the advice of an angel to Egypt and had to stay there 1-2 years.  Maybe more, maybe less. Nobody knows.

The economic strain on us for taking in strangers has a clear biblical message, which is that we should share our stuff with them, and that they should expect to work.

But beyond that our Biblical message on immigration law is black and white. Either A) you agree with it, in which case it is your job to be like this guy and call the Border Patrol on every illegal migrant you meet, while also volunteering at a Christian group that helps new entries to America learn English.  Or B) You defy all immigration and open border concepts and want to bring everyone in  you can and pick them up in your truck each night and bring them to your house and personally pay for their living expenses out of your own pocket hoping that you do not get caught.

 

 

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