The Hebrews had experienced times of famine in the past. In Genesis 13, Abram took Sarai to Egypt for a short time to weather a famine. In Genesis 26, Isaac endured famine, but God instructed him not to go to Egypt. But the famine of Genesis 41-47 was so severe that it became necessary to move all the Hebrews from Canaan to Egypt just to survive. It happened this way to further God’s great plan to make a nation of the descendants of Abraham. When Israel finally left Egypt in the Exodus, Abraham’s family was a nation of 600,000 adult men plus women and children (Exodus 12:37).