Jacob, Egypt and Slavery


In Genesis when Jacob and his family settled in Goshen, how many years were they free — before they became slaves to a new leader?

1 year


  1. It is hard to put an exact date to it, as the Sages teach that the process was very gradual.

    After the passing of Jacob (which was seventeen years after the arrived in Goshen), the situation was a little harder than it had been when he was alive. However, this did not mean that they were enslaved. Joseph was the first of the brothers to pass away, and after his passing they began to feel less comfortable than they had been until then. But it was only with the passing of Levi, ninety-five years from their descent into Egypt, who was the last of the brothers to die, that the real enslavement began.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team