Here in Exodus 6:6 Pharaoh is king in Egypt, the Hebrews have been in bondage for 400 years, and the pressure from Pharaoh to the Hebrew people is getting worse by the day.
Exodus chapter 6:6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.”
Let’s go back one chapter to chapter 5. Chapter 5:6,7 says: So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their officers, saying you shall not reduce it. Verse 10 and the taskmasters of the people and their officers went out and spoke to the people, saying. “Thus says Pharaoh: “I will not give you straw. Go get yourselves straw where you can find it, yet none of your work will be reduced. Verse 12 so the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. Verse 13 and the taskmasters forced them to hurry saying, Fulfill your work, your quota, as when there was straw.”
Here in Exodus, as I quoted above, the Hebrews were physical slaves for about 400 years unto the Egyptians. But there is a direct spiritual correlation of the Hebrews and the Egyptians. Even though no one knows why or how the Hebrews became captured and then were enslaved, there is a very important aspect we can learn from them both.
Therefore, let’s examine the context of Exodus, which was written by Moses, so we can see how Egypt resembles the leaven bread. This bread represents the sin or what most everyone knows as the yoke of slavery. Exodus 6:13 discusses the yoke of slavery as they were under fierce oppression from under the rule of Pharaoh, and the taskmasters. Moses and Aaron approached the Pharaoh. They pleaded with him to let the Hebrew people go up out of Egypt’s slavery to celebrate their feast.
The popular magazine, Biblical Archaeology Review Volume 33 2007 No1, has an article explaining the Exodus in great detail. “Egyptian taskmasters are shown with sticks, supervising foreign workers making mud bricks, as they haul the bricks in shoulder yokes to a nearby temple building project.” The article was written by James K. Hoffmeier.
With shoulder yokes the taskmasters forced the Hebrews to transport bricks. These were the typical shoulder yokes prescribed for them to carry their supplies. However, there is something very important I want to point out. The shoulder yokes in no way resemble sin, or represent our sin. Then what does, you may ask. In the Book of Matthew, verse 16:6, he had written the words of Jesus the Christ.
Then Jesus said to them “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” This leaven that Luke also mentions in 12:1 completes Matthew 16:6. It is “Hypocrisy” that Jesus reveals to them. Another aspect is this! The Pharisees had purposely placed bondage onto the peoples. This act of bondage would be the man-made regulations or doctrines of man such as the Mishnah, and the Talmud.
The Sadducees placed an antithetical bondage onto the peoples which denied the resurrection and the existence of angels. Jesus the Christ, in Matthew 11:28,29,30, said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Pharaoh, the Sadducees, and Pharisees had one thing in common, which is the bondage of man-made yoke onto everyone they could deceive. Jesus the Messiah keeps reiterating that He is the Yoke to place oneself into. He says, “Learn from Me!”
Have you learned from Him? Have you studied the Scriptures to prove yourself worthy? Is your righteousness higher than that of the Pharisees and Sadducees? The Pharisees and Sadducees had their pride to take refuge in, in the Talmud and Mishnah, in what they had achieved. Departing from Scriptures like the Pharisees and Sadducees had done, we are but chaff-blown in the wind. As in Hosea 13:3, we are like chaff blown off from a threshing floor and like smoke from a chimney.