The two similar but different motivations

“you were a slave in Egypt” and “you were the גר in Egypt”

  • Yoshitsugu Onishi University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


In the Pentateuchal law, the two similar motive clauses appear: “you were a slave in Egypt” and “you were the גר in Egypt.” Both are attached to the laws addressed to the Israelites for the protection of the גר. They show YHWH’s desire that the Israelites should protect the גר with an inward understanding of the intention of the law and the appropriate motivation. These two motive clauses are similar and can easily be considered as the same. But they are quite different. They belong to the different traditions. They refer to the separate periods and the different memories. Their functions are different. They motivate the Israelites to protect the different ranges of people. This study demonstrates their clear differences.