In a series of talks on the book of Ruth, James Jordan discusses the history of Israel in the book of Genesis. He suggests in particular that God wanted Israel down in Goshen in Egypt in order to protect them from the worst of the pagan influences in Canaan. He cites the various failures of Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, and suggests that this was due to the influence of the Canaanites all around them. But because the sons of Israel were shepherds they would be kept at arms’ length and despised by the Egyptians, and this would be good for Israel. They would be less influenced by their open enemies and at the same time enjoy the best of the land and grow strong as a nation. Clearly, despite all of Israel’s weaknesses and later failings, this is exactly what happened leading up to the Exodus.