Over the ensuing years the Jews were very successful; so much so that the Egyptians became nervous and jealous of their growth and influence (2). Eventually, Pharaoh Sobekhotep IV ordered that the Jews be taken into oppressive slavery and that their population be controlled by infanticide. Thus the last 70 years of The Sojourn came to be known as The Bondage.

Meanwhile, Moses (Moshe) (Moshe, in Hebrew means 'drawn [from water]') was born near Memphis in 1527 NC and subsequently enjoyed a royal upbringing. Indeed, he became ranked as a Prince of Egypt and a successful military commander. His successes were such that Pharaoh Ay became very jealous of him and his popularity. He, therefore, was forced to flee into exile in Saudi Arabia in 1493 NC where he married and stayed for the next 44 years. It was not until 1449 NC, and after a number of urgent appeals from the Jewish communities that prompted Moses to return to Egypt.

Moses, now 78 years old, tried to persuade the newly crowned King Dudimose to release the Israelites, but he was steadfastly refused. Despite warnings from Moses, the afflictions started in 1448 NC in the form of what have come to be known as the ten plagues; e.g. frogs, flies, locusts, etc. (3). The eighth and ninth occurred both together the same night. The first was an unprecedented violent hail storm, followed closely by a catastrophic earthquake. The Black Land (a name at that time given to the whole of the Nile Delta north from Memphis, (i.e. 10 miles (16 km) south of Cairo) was devastated: houses, roads, canals, and even the largest temples were all wrecked.

Of all the tribulations that beset the populace, there now occurred an event which has so far defied any clear and rational explanation: all newly-born children began to die; not necessarily all at once, but patently over a short period. No mention has ever been made as to whether Jewish babies suffered the same fate; in all probability they did as even animals were similarly afflicted. There is no question but that this disaster did occur, for widespread and haphazardly filled death-pits of that period, with animals and humans mixed up together, have been unearthed relatively recently and identified as belonging to this episode. At all events, this tragedy proved too much for Dudimose, and he now acceded to Moses' demands. Before being allowed their freedom, however, the Jews were first obliged to carry out all these burials themselves.

Then, having been joined by a number of Asiatics, they abandoned their homes and evacuated their principal store cities of Avaris and Pithom, in the district of Goshen. So began their trek eastwards to Canaan. Other workers, mainly Asiatics, similarly seized this opportunity to flee southwards in terror and en masse to get away from the stricken land.