Immigrants & refugees in the Bible

The Bible is filled with immigrants. In fact, most of its major characters spent time as foreigners in other lands. Here’s a quick look at them.

Adam and Eve had to leave their initial home. Cain, too.

Noah had to flee his home in a boat.

The builders of Babel were intentionally scattered by God.

Abraham and Sarah were migrants, moving from one region to another, making covenants and getting kicked out of some places.

Isaac and Rebecca did the same, as did Jacob and his family.

Joseph entered Egypt as a slave but even though he was a foreigner, he rose to an amazingly high position of authority. He brought his extended family to live in the country as honored immigrants.

Things got bad and the Hebrew people went from honored immigrants to brutalized slaves.

Moses escaped Egypt and took refuge in Midian.

The Hebrews escaped Egypt and were a wandering refugee people in the wilderness for 40 years.

Naomi and her family took refuge in Moab during a famine. Her daughter-in-law Ruth became an immigrant in Israel. Ruth was David’s grandmother.

David sent his family to Moab for refuge, fearing the wrath of the king.

David went into exile, immigrating to the Philistine kingdoms after evading the king.

David’s might men included many immigrants from surrounding nations.

Daniel and his friends were exiles in Babylon and became an important part in that country’s administration.

Some of the Psalms were written by immigrants.

Jesus and his parents were refugees in Egypt, fleeing political oppression.

Paul spent many years in foreign parts, including years in prison, serving time for crimes he didn’t commit.

John died an old man in exile.

Peter wrote a letter to Christians around the Roman empire, calling them foreigners and aliens.

The writer of Hebrews highlights strangers and exiles who seek a homeland as the epitome of faith.

Heaven is populated by people from every nation, tribe, people, and language group. It is populated by the largest immigrant group ever.

The Bible just may be the most immigrant-focused book in the world.