Throughout Bible times, the history of Israel was often intertwined with the history of Egypt, an ancient and enduring civilization that sometimes loomed as a threat and other times offered a place of refuge and shelter for God’s people. Long before Abraham’s time, Menes unified Upper and Lower Egypt and became the first king, and later kings built the Great Pyramids of Egypt. Throughout Egypt’s long history the regular flooding of the Nile River allowed the nation to continue producing food when the rest of the Near East was experiencing famine. During Moses’ time, however, Egypt became a threat to the people of Israel and came to be identified as “the house of slavery” (Exodus 20:2). Yet hundreds of years later, many Judeans chose to flee to Egypt for refuge from the wrath of the invading Babylonians. Jesus himself found refuge in Egypt as a baby when his family fled there to escape the murderous soldiers sent by Herod.