Summary of passage: We pick up where Genesis left off. All of Jacob’s family moves to Egypt where Joseph already is. Their generation dies but they leave behind many who are fruitful and multiply and fill the land. A new Pharaoh comes to power who does not know Joseph. He is afraid that the Israelites are becoming too many and may join with his enemies to overthrow him so he makes them all slaves.
But Pharaoh’s plan backfires: the more they are oppressed, the more they multiply. Hence, they were oppressed more with a life of hard labor.
Plan #2 to rid Egypt of the Israelites: Pharaoh tells the midwives of the Israelites to kill all baby boys who are born. However, the midwives feared God more than Pharaoh and they disobey. They tell Pharaoh that the babies are born before they arrive. Hence, God blessed His people even more as well as the midwives.
3) Genesis 15 tells us that part of Egypt was part of the Promised Land. Genesis 45 tells us that it is God’s plan to save His people during the famine that they go and live near Joseph who will provide them grain during the famine. God says He will make them into a great nation while in Egypt.
4a) Pharaoh feared that the Israelites would join with his enemies and fight against him and leave the country.
b) To oppress them by making them slaves and giving them heavy labor to perform.
c) They only multiplied and spread.
d) Pharaoh wanted the Israelite midwives to kill every male child born.
5a) They risked their own lives by disobeying Pharaoh but they feared God more than Pharaoh.
b) Personal Question. My answer: If you do His will instead of others, you will be blessed and rewarded both on earth and in heaven. Do what is right for He is always with you.
Conclusions: Who else is glad to be back?? Great lesson. Right off the bat things are going to get interesting. Great beginning to one of the great stories of the Bible. Loved how the midwives were named instead of being kept anonymous. Shows just what an important job and risk they did take by following God. Awesome!
End Notes: Note Pharaoh was not named, which is why the exact time frame of history is unsure here. Contrast this with the women who were named and this is a Bible anomaly and a historical anomaly where important men were usually always named and women were insignificant.
350 years are summed up in a few verses in chapter one of Exodus and the Bible will devote most of Exodus to just a single year and focus on one man. This emphasizes the importance of these events and this man.
In the original Hebrew language, the first word of Exodus is ‘and’. This further notes the continuation of the book of Genesis.
As Joseph died, so did all of his privileges and special treatments.
The Hebrew verbs from Genesis 1:21,22 and repeated in Exodus for emphasis: “fruitful, swarmed, became numerous”.
God started with one man and 4 woman (Abraham and his wives). Now, they are a nation.
The enemies of the Egyptians at the time were the Hittites in the north.
If we remember in Genesis, a problem for the Israelites was they were surrounded by pagan people who wanted to intermarry with them. So God brought them to Egypt, a place where they believed themselves to be a superior race and felt it beneath them to marry non-Egyptians so that they could grow into a strong nation, which would have been impossible in Canaan. So when they were ready, God brought them to the Promised Land. All in God’s timing.
We see the theme of suffering and persecution only growing faith in God and Christianity. Here, the Israelites grow. After Christ’s death, Christianity grew.
Shiphrah and Puah mean beauty and splendor.
We can see Pharaoh’s order as Satan’s attempt to eliminate the Seed of the Woman (Jesus) who will crush him. Genesis 3:15
Great example of obeying God first over the government and man when we are called to do something against God’s word (Romans 13:1-5).
The midwives may or may not have been lying with their answer to Pharaoh about why the male children still live. This is debated by scholars.
Usually midwives were chosen because they couldn’t have children so God blessed them with children.
Key point: God over man and He will bless you out of his goodness.