When the book of Exodus begins, Joseph and his brothers have all lived out their lives and died.
Exod 1. 7.And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.
Joseph himself had 70 children. Considering he had 11 brothers and they also were offspring of large families, it doesn't take much to build up a family of 100,000 people in four or five generations. In the 8 generations between Abraham and Moses, there would have been millions of them.
Exod 1. 8.Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 9.And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:
So the Egyptians, being afraid of the great numbers, put the descendents of Abraham to work building treasure cities, and they worked them hard. And the Egyptians then told the midwives to kill all the sons so that they could reduce the numbers of Abraham's family.
But the midwives did not kill the sons, and the family of Abraham continued to grow strongly. And here is God dealing his charity in the world again. Because the midwives did not obey the new Pharaoh in Egypt, He (God) built them houses. If you want material wealth, this is the God to serve. But if you want spiritual growth, you'll have to go somewhere else as the Bible hasn't recorded any spiritual advice for over four generations of his chosen people.
Exodus 1. 21.And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.
The new Pharaoh then increased the ante. Now he charged all the people of Egypt to throw the sons of Abraham's family into the rivers.
Out of the family of Levi, one of Joseph's brothers, a man married either his sister, cousin, aunt or niece. From this union there was a boy and they hid this baby boy in the bulrushes of the river in a small floating ark. The current Pharaoh's daughter happened to come along and one of her hand maidens discovered the baby. They then found the baby's mother and had her suckle the baby until he has old enough to be taken into the Pharaoh's house as his daughter's son. This is the familiar story of Moses.
As Moses grew, he saw how the Egyptians were badly treating his kin. One day Moses saw an Egyptian beating one of his family and Moses killed the Egyptian, burying him in the sand. The word got out and the Pharaoh ordered Moses killed. But Moses fled to the land of Midian where he helped 7 women tend to their father's flock. For this he was rewarded with food and given one as a wife.
Exod 2. 23.And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. 24.And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
Once again we are reminded that God has only one thing in mind. To give the land of the Canaanites over to the children of Abraham.
Exod 3. 1.Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 2. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
This is the first time God physically manifests while talking to one of Abraham's family. It is interesting to note that most families during this time period had their own family God who inhabited the family lands. The general name for all these family gods was Baal. Jethro was a priest, we know he wasn't a Jewish priest because God has not yet given His commandments nor has he told Moses what to eat and when. But the mountain was already called the mountain of God, even before Moses had gone there. Who was Jethro, and what religion did he teach? The only priests spoken of previously were the priests of Egypt, who were also governors of the land. (Remember, while every common person had to sell themselves to Joseph to buy food during the 7 years of drought, the priests were exempt by Pharaoh decree.) It is very likely that the mountain of God, was actually the dwelling of the God of an Egyptian priest, or a Baal. And it appears that Moses had taken in the religion of this priest and made the priest's God his own. This must be true for Moses to have lived in harmony with the man for many decades.
At this point, I am suspect whether God really told Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph that they were going to own the land of Canaan. It is widely believed that Moses wrote Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, the first five books of the Bible. And that makes sense since the first book is about Moses' patriarchy, while the four remaining books are about Moses. If the story of a God, who believes in patriarchal rule was invented by someone, it was invented by Moses on Mount Horeb and was a modified version of the Baal religion.
Exod 3. 4.And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5.And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
So far we haven't been given one spiritual lesson regarding inner peace, happiness, or love. But five or so generations from Abraham God identifies the first spot of holy land. What are we to do with holy land? Our souls wander in darkness, seeking Truth, and we are given a piece of land in which we can't walk on with our shoes.
Exod 3. 6.Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. 7.And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; 8.And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
This makes sense. Not! The Egyptians are afflicting the children of Abraham, so God is going to send Moses to get them and then slaughter off the Canaanites. The Canaanites have nothing to do with the Egyptians. The key words here are "to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey". This whole story is not about the well being of humanity, nor God's gracious plan to help the world. This is all about land. The reference to milk and honey refers to green pastures, plenty of food for the great herds owned by Abraham's descendants.