Israelites were giving God's demonstration in the midst of the Egyptian Empire and at the crossroads of the entire known world at that time, so it
was only a matter of time before outsiders and travelers would see their example and desire to reject Satan's market-system and man-made Egyptian
"laws" themselves, and want to join Israel, spreading the word, and enlarging Israel's borders.
God's Plan was to gradually graft-in the surrounding peoples & nations until the entire world became the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
Since Satan's plan is the opposite of God's plan, he couldn't sit still and let that happen. He HAD to get the Israelites away from giving God's
demonstration and into his worldly market-system. He is the ultimate salesman/con-man, and it was all-important for him then (as it always is), to
attempt to thwart God's Plan, so he not only (telepathically) dictated to the Egyptians all the most appealing things to say, but was also whispering
in the mind's ears of the Israelites the things that would most cause them to believe those lies.
We human+Beings have a very long and consistent history of listening to Satan's seductive lying voice, then believing it, giving in to temptation,
and doing our own will (Satan's really) instead of God's; you only need to read the stories of Adam & Eve, Cain & Able, Noah vs. the rest of the
world; and Abraham vs. the people of Sodom & Gomorrah for proof of that. Given our Free-will, God allows Satan to tempt us as much as he wants (Job
1:6-12, 2:1-10), which provides God with countless opportunities to know which voice we prefer to listen to: either God (through the Holy Spirit) or
Satan (through the selfish human nature); and whether we choose to do good or evil.
Also, human memories are short, and humans tend to get complacent when everything is going great. They are more likely to relax their standards and
over time forget the very foundations and principles they followed that brought them to that "everything is going great" situation. Complacency can
breed the mind-set of wanting to try "new, foreign, exotic, etc." things - because "having it all" isn't enough for humans: the selfish, greedy,
human nature always wants more. This also seems to foster a short-term or short-sighted perspective. Perhaps, especially to the young adults, life in
the city appeared more exciting than "just watching the grass grow". The easily accessible shops with their availability, amounts, and varieties of:
foods, clothing, goods, idols, entertainment, and "modern conveniences" of those times, could have been very dazzling and seductive. They probably
started out just working in the cities and commuting from their farms, maybe believing the jobs would only be temporary, but then actually sold the
farms and bought houses in the cities to be closer to their jobs, after it appeared the "employment" was permanent, thereby losing their independent
ability to feed and clothe themselves.
Whatever the specific "carrots on the sticks" were, the Israelites were lured into leaving the land to initially work in the Egyptian
government/market system as "employees". Because they had volunteered into joining the Egyptian economic system, and were receiving "benefits"
from it, they were then bound by Egyptian law and required to pay the 20% "increase tax" previously established for the Egyptians by Joseph (Gen.
47:23-26). After a couple of generations of living in the cities/flesh-pots of Egypt, the Israelites lost their knowledge and experience of
agriculture and would have found it difficult to return to that simpler more healthy way of life. Once they became dependent on their Egyptian
government jobs, the Israelites became economic slaves, and then later turned into out-and-out slaves.
As a people, the Israelites went from enjoying an unequalled existence of peace and abundance, letting God provide for their earthly needs, under His
Royal Laws of Liberty, to joining Satan's market system and putting their faith in the "market forces" influences of: supply and demand - and their
inherent fluctuations and even artificial manipulations. These fluctuations may have created boom & bust cycles, and under those conditions, the
Israelites may have had to borrow (usury) during lean times. They also may have borrowed during plentiful times in order to buy "big ticket" items
that they felt they needed immediately (instant gratification), instead of putting money aside over time to save up and buy them without usury. The
Israelites had assimilated into, and adopted, the idolatrous Egyptian ways and customs, and were no longer giving God's demonstration. The
descendants of Jacob/Israel had clearly fallen a long way from believing only God, as Abraham did - and they had to be humbled, before God would
fulfill His unconditional promises made to Abraham.
[Edited on 29-3-2004 by TrueLies]