The serious trouble for Bnei Yisroel started, says the Torah, when Paroh said to his advisors that he was scared Bnei Yisroel would join his enemies and chase him from Mitzrayim.

Why suddenly did he get worried? Which enemies? There is a long backdrop to this fateful gathering of Paroh and his advisors that spans many years and many wars among the various powers in the region. They include Bnei Eisav, the King of Africa, Tzfo of Kitim and three Parohs.

The Medrash Sefer HaYashar recounts how the trouble started many years before when Bnei Yisroel went to Eretz Yisroel to bury Yaakov . During the burial, a war broke out with Bnei Eisav that led to Eisav’s death at the hands of Chushim. During this war one hundred Bnei Eisav were killed and fifty men were captured and taken to Mitzrayim. Among the captives was Tzfo the son of Elifaz the son of Eisav. In an effort to save Tzfo, Bnei Eisav together with the Bnei Chori went to Mitzrayim to wage war. Yosef and his brothers decimated the Bnei Eisav and their allies killing over six hundred thousand people. This left Eisav in disarray and led to numerous civil wars in the area, which further hurt Bnei Eisav.

It was only over thirty years later when Bnei Eisav under their King Bela Ben B’or tried again to attack Yosef in Mitzrayim. Yosef and six hundred people met the enemy army of over eight hundred thousand Bnei Eisav and their allies in Ramseis to wage war. Once again Yosef’s armies destroyed Eisav killing their King and two hundred thousand soldiers. This ended Eisav’s attempts to battle Yosef and save Tzfo.

Another twenty years later Tzfo finally managed to escape Mitzrayim to Africa where he was welcomed with honor by King Angias and appointed General of his army. Tzfo proved to be an excellent General and helped Angias win some key wars including a war with Torgos over the beautiful princess of Kitim who Angias and Torgos both wanted for a Queen. Despite all of Tzfo’s success he could not persuade Angias to wage war on Mitzrayim and Yosef, which was Tzfo’s great desire. After losing all hope Tzfo ran away to Kitim. Shortly afterward Angias’s troops came to battle Kitim and loot it as they frequently did. This time however Tzfo stood at the head of the battle and successfully repelled the attack. After this heroic victory the people of Kitim crowned Tzfo as their King.

After many years of battle by Bnei Eisav in their region with Moav and Midyan and the battles between Angias and Tzfo things quieted down and Tzfo became a superpower. He then turned his focus to revenge on Mitzrayim and Bnei Yisroel especially since Yosef and all the Shevatim had passed away. He convinced Hadad king of Eisav to join forces with him.

Meanwhile in Mitzrayim, Malol the son of Migrom who was raised by Yosef became the new Paroh. Malol was from the generation after Yosef and did not have any allegiance to him like his father did. It was he who started the persecution of Bnei Yisroel. Faced with the imminent attack of Tzfo and Hadad on Mitzrayim, Paroh gathered three hundred thousand Mitzriyim to fight against them. He also drafted one hundred and fifty man from Bnei Yisroel, but worrying about their allegiance to their uncle Eisav he did not let them fight together with his own troops. He stationed them near the battle only to be called in case of emergency.

On the battlefield Tzfo and Hadad had the upper hand killing one hundred and eighty Mitzri soldiers. At this point the Mitzriyim called for the help of Bnei Yisroel. And help they did. Crying to Hashem for salvation in this suicidal war, Bnei Yisroel in fierce battle, killed four thousand enemy soldiers and the rest began to flee. Fearing this heated battle, the Mitri soldiers hid while Bnei Yisroel chased the enemy all the way to Kush. On their way back from Kush Bnei Yisroel avenged the Mitzriyim for abandoning them. They killed two hundred Mitriyim that they found along the road.

After this amazing show of force by the Bnei Yisroel, Paroh got scared and gathered his advisors….

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