Dike, Uzoma Amos
Keywords: Migration, exile, ancient Israel, socio-Economic and political development
Migration as a global phenomenon has been variously considered from the socio-political and economic perspectives with the view to finding how it could facilitate development and improve opportunities for all. Incidentally, Nigeria ranks among the highest in international migration and it is already impacting negatively on the nation’s development. This paper is an attempt to access possible impacts of migration on development from the theological perspective using ancient Israel’s experience of exile as a locus for discussion. Therefore, it is the objective of this paper to survey ancient Israel’s exilic history, evaluate its impacts on the socio-political and economic development of ancient Israel, appraise contemporary migration challenges in Nigeria and examine possible lessons from ancient Israel’s experience for Nigeria’s development. A qualitative research methodology which employs the tool of historical analysis and historical-grammatical hermeneutics has been adopted for this paper. Anchored on the historical-structural model of dependency theory, migration is seen as detrimental to the economies of developing countries as well as one of the very causes of underdevelopment, instead of a path towards development. However, Israel’s experience of forced migration was not a total disaster as it equally gave birth to the new Israel that is still soaring high today. Thus, Nigeria can overcome the challenges of international migration by adopting ancient Israel’s strategies.