Read verses 8-10
Q: How is it that a new Pharaoh would not be familiar with all the great things accomplished by Joseph on behalf of a previous Pharaoh?
A: This kingdom is most likely the result of a war between upper and lower Egypt that united them into a single, larger kingdom. The new Pharaoh—most likely from the lineage of the other “half”—might neither know nor care about Joseph and his deeds.
Q: How does Pharaoh begin his assertion? How does it betray an agenda that might not be completely devoted to truth and fact?
A: He begins with an exaggeration: “Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we.” (v.9) It’s quite unlikely that Israel is numerically superior to Egypt. The truth is that Israel has grown so large in numbers as to be unavoidably noticed; the exaggeration is that they’ve become larger than Egypt.
Q: What is significant about the way that Pharaoh lays the foundation for his proposal?
A: First, he exaggerates the size of Israel to magnify the public’s existing fears. Then he states that whatever the solution it must be done “wisely”. This gives the false pretense that what he is about to propose is sane, justified, and reasonable.
Q: How does Pharaoh further play on the public’s fears?
A: He presents theoretical situations that don’t exist in reality that Israel will join with Egypt’s enemies against them. It gets the public to see Israel in the same way as their enemies.
Q: Carefully read Pharaoh’s statement again. What is the thing he’s REALLY concerned about? What is the kernel of truth that is surrounded by inflammatory rhetoric?
A: The real issue is the last one stated, that Israel might “depart from the land”. If they were a true, outright enemy, he would attack and destroy them. If they were merely getting too big and/or unfriendly, he could make them leave. But his real issue is to exploit them as much as possible for their economic value. If they were completely destroyed or left Egypt then Pharaoh would derive no benefit from them.
Point: Pharaoh is a type—or teaching—of the antichrist that not only shows how the nation Israel is repeatedly treated throughout history, but the general ways in which Satan attacks Believers in every generation. This is the same pattern that will repeat itself in Babylon during Esther’s time, the Roman occupation, and so on through World War II to this very day: Exaggerate the facts, multiply existing fears, present a solution that appeals to reason, and conquer/enslave to satisfy self-interest.