Bible Study Notes on Exodus 1 – 20180928

Note:  With the completion of the book of Luke, all books of the New Testament are finished.  Will begin now with Exodus as Genesis has already been done, but in the future, may rework a New Testament book before completing the Old Testament.
These have always been just my notes on what God says on sections as I read them, never a commentary.  And the next time I read that section, He may bring out another truth He wants me to see.
So, He may lead me to go through another New Testament book before all of the Old Testament is complete.

WritingIIIExodus 1:1  “…the children of Israel who came to Egypt…”
At the end of Genesis, we find that the famine had caused Jacob and his family to move to Egypt with Joseph.  This had been foretold to Abraham years earlier as well as the fact that one day God would lead them out of Egypt back to the land of Canaan.

6  “And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation.”
Years have passed, and we’ve moved on to the descendants of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel and their children.

7  “…children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly…”
Something else foretold by God.  He would grow the nation while it was in Egypt.  The question is why.  Why not just have them stay in Canaan and increase?  I think the answer is multiple.  God is merciful.  Part of removing the Israelites from Canaan gave the Canaanites a chance to repent for several hundred years.  They didn’t, so God executed judgment on them eventually.  Also, by having the nation grow in Egypt, God could show Himself mighty to His people when He was ready to bring them out.

8  “…a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph”
Commentaries suggest a new dynasty or line.  Varied opinions on exactly who.  And with some recent discoveries and re-evaluations of the ancient timelines, it may not be any of those considered when the commentaries were written.  At any rate, this king had no knowledge of Joseph or what he had done for Egypt years before.  He saw the Israelites as a threat and acted accordingly.

9  “…the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we”
If this were the case, why didn’t the Israelites rise up and refuse to become slaves?  I’ve never understood how a few could overcome a multitude without demoralization or simple cowardice of the individuals.  Divide and conquer has always worked, even if the division and isolation is an illusion.

11  “…they set taskmasters over them to afflict them…”
Again, it seems this could only happen if it was allowed by the victims.

12  “…the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied…”
This is another truth that has withstood history.  Good tends to thrive and grow under adversity.  The family of God in countries which outlaw Christianity has to go underground, and still it grows, even greater than in free countries.  Dictators have never understood that concept, nor the one which shows that Christians are loyal nationalists as long as the government isn’t contrary to God.  Sin makes us stupid.

15  “…midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah”
I’d always assumed they were Hebrew, but there is apparently some debate.  Some argue Pharaoh would not have thought to convince a Hebrew to kill another.  Some think the names make them Egyptian.  Some say they had to be Hebrew because Egyptian midwives wouldn’t have bothered with slaves.  All good points, but not necessarily true.  I’m betting they were Hebrew as I don’t think the others would have accepted anyone else.  As to Pharaoh’s request, since he had ordered the enslavement of an entire nation, I’m betting he thought two puny midwives would fear him enough to follow his commands.  But he was mistaken.

17  “But the midwives feared God…”
Don’t think Egyptian midwives would worry about a God they didn’t know.  And this is the main reason given for the midwives not following Pharaoh’s orders.

21  “…because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them”
Interesting phrase.  Commentaries agree that God made their families grow and increase.  Still the debate over the nationality of the midwives.  For a Jewish woman, to have many children and large family was a great blessing.  Her peers would think well of her.  For those thinking they were Egyptian, some suggested God provided for them among the Jews.  Perhaps they married Jewish men and grew families there.  Either way, God dealt well with them.  Some have a problem with God rewarding them because of a lie.  You can’t support lying as a rule, obviously.  However, when the life or death of other people are at stake, I see no problem with lying to one bent on committing murder.  I would see that more as protecting life than bearing false witness.

22  “So Pharaoh commanded all his people…”
He got the whole nation involved in murder.  What a leader.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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