(Exo 1:1 NASB) Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household:
(Exo 1:2 NASB) Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah;
(Exo 1:3 NASB) Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin;
(Exo 1:4 NASB) Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
(Exo 1:5 NASB) And all the persons who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy in number, but Joseph was already in Egypt.
Exo 1:5: There were seventy people of Jacob’s family who came to Egypt. That number is important because it will multiply greatly over the next 430 years.
(Exo 1:6 NASB) And Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation.
(Exo 1:7 NASB) But the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.
Exo 1:7: Israel was fruitful, increased abundantly, multiplied, and grew exceedingly mighty. Several of the verbs used to describe the multiplication of the original creatures in Genesis 1:21-22 are used here.
(Exo 1:8 NASB) Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
Exo 1:8: The name of this king is not given. Only his title of “Pharaoh” is mentioned.
It says that this king “did not know Joseph.” That does not mean that he did not know anything about Joseph. Rather, it means that he felt no concern for the people of Joseph and did not feel that he owed any debt to the people of Joseph. He did not remember anything Joseph had previously done for Egypt, nor did he care.
We are not sure of the year or which Pharaoh this is describing.
(Exo 1:9 NASB) And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we.
(Exo 1:10 NASB) “Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply and in the event of war, they also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us, and depart from the land.”
Exo 1:10: It is interesting that the Israelites were more numerous and mightier than the Egyptians. This is undoubtedly due to the providence of Elohim. It is safe to assume that Israel was following much of Torah (Elohim’s instructions), then much of this robust success could be due to the healthy lifestyle and healthy diet of Israel.
(Exo 1:11 NASB) So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses.
(Exo 1:12 NASB) But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel.
Exo 1:12: The more the children of Israel were afflicted, the more they grew in numbers and in strength. It is interesting that the text states “they were in dread of the children of Israel.”
This is the same description of the reaction that wild beasts would have on man after the flood (Gen. 9:2).
This is also the same description of the reaction of the Canaanites to Israel when they were to conquer the land (Deut. 11:25).
(Exo 1:13 NASB) And the Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously;
(Exo 1:14 NASB) and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed on them.
Exo 1:14: The lives of Israel became bitter. The Egyptians drove them hard. Apparently Elohim wanted them to call out to him.
(Exo 1:15 NASB) Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah, and the other was named Puah;
(Exo 1:16 NASB) and he said, “When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.”
(Exo 1:17 NASB) But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live.
Exo 1:17: Pharaoh spoke to the midwives. Apparently the head midwives were Shiprah and Puah. They feared Elohim and would not involve themselves in the treachery of killing babies.
(Exo 1:18 NASB) So the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and let the boys live?”
(Exo 1:19 NASB) And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous, and they give birth before the midwife can get to them.”
(Exo 1:20 NASB) So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty.
Exo 1:20: The midwives lied to Pharaoh. They said that the Hebrew women drop their pups before they even get to the scene of the birth. So they cannot harm the baby boys.
Also, this parallels the birth of Messiah when all the male babies were murdered also (Matt. 2:16-18). This is important because it was prophesied that the Prophet would like Moses would come and they would have to listen to Him (Deut. 18:15-19).
(Exo 1:21 NASB) And it came about because the midwives feared God, that He established households for them.
(Exo 1:22 NASB) Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you are to cast into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive.”
Exo 1:22: Pharaoh is getting desperate. He commands the Egyptians to cast all the Hebrew baby boys into the river.
Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
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Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
Fort Smith, Arkansas