About Jesus Steve Sweetman
commentary is based on the 1994 edition of the New International Bible.
Chapter titles in my commentary correspond to chapter titles in
the New International Bible that make for easy comparison.
name "Exodus" means "the road out of".
Thus, this is the main story to the book.
The Jews enter Egypt
as a family, but they leave as a strong nation.
After Joseph died, the Pharaoh's became progressively unhappy
the departure from
studying Egyptian history we note that there is no record of the Jews
52:4, in some texts, including the KJV state that the oppressing king of
that being said, we now know there was a period in time when Egyptian
Pharaohs were Semitic, not Egyptian.
At this point we have two opposing viewpoints.
One group of scholars say that this oppressing king that we will
see in the first few chapters of Exodus is Semitic.
Others think he is Egyptian. Those who say he is Egyptian say
that being Egyptian, he doesn't like Semites because
problem comes down to this. What
time period did these Semitic kings rule
will comment on this later, but in Acts 7:18, when Stephen comments on
this oppressing king, he speaks of this king being a "king of a
different kind". This
might help confirm the idea that Egyptian rule had now switched from
Semitic to Egyptian. But,
on the other hand, it might suggest just the opposite
a side note, we learned from Genesis that the Egyptians did not like
shepherds. This might well
be because of the ongoing hostility between the Semitic shepherd kings
and the Egyptian kings.
Bible teachers believe that Moses wrote the book of Exodus, along with
the rest of the first five books of the Bible.
There are countless passages in both the Old and New Testament
that say this. This being
said, it is clear that parts of these books could not have been written
by Moses. For example, he
could not have written about his own death.
Conservative scholars and Jewish scholars believe that what Moses
wrote was edited, probably by Ezra the scribe.
This is the same Ezra that wrote his own history book entitled
Ezra. Some suggest that Ezra
didn't edited what Moses wrote, but Jeremiah edited it instead, or
possibly someone else, although Ezra is the most common suggestion as
being the editor.
the number of Jews that fled Egypt, many Bible teachers say that there could have easily been up to two
million Jews who fled the country.
15:16 and following predicts that
1 through 5 picks up on a bit of history.
It simply states the sons of Jacob that entered Egypt
with him. Verse 6 then
mentions that Joseph and his brothers died in
7 states that the children of Jacob grew in numbers while in Egypt
and became a family to be reckoned with, fulfilling prophecy we saw in
Genesis. As I said earlier,
some Bible teachers suggest that there might be up to two million Jews
8 tells us that a new king came to power that did not know Joseph.
The number of years from Joseph's death to this new king was
about 30 years.
Acts 7:18 Stephen speaks of this new king.
He says "another" king came to power who did not know
Joseph. There are two Greek
words for our one English word "another".
One means, "another of the same kind", and two means,
"another of a different kind".
Stephen uses "another of a different kind". Thus,
this king, this Pharaoh could possibly be one of those Assyrian Semitic
kings I spoke of in my introduction.
He was one of those "other kings", not an Egyptian.
Or, the converse might be true.
Maybe the line of Semitic kings had come to an end, and this
Pharaoh was "another king", as in, an Egyptian king, not a
Semitic king. I personally
can't say for sure what view point is right.
people who say this Pharaoh was Semitic note in verse 9 the words
"his people". They
say that "his people" refers to his the Semitic people.
They say this king is Semitic and therefore he's speaking to the
Semites in Egypt, and not the national Egyptians. But
to me, that isn't conclusive. Other
people simply see the term "his people" to mean Egyptians.
verse 11 we see where the enslavement of Israel
begins. The Jews were put
under slave masters. Two
cities were set aside for the produce the Jewish slaves would gather for
verses 12 and 14 we see that the more
would seem to me that the great number of babies being born to Jewish
women is from God Himself. He
said that the number of Jews would be so great that they could not be
numbered, and so He is now beginning the process.
verses 15 and 16 we see two Hebrew midwives mentioned.
Scholars believe that the Jews had more than two midwives, but
only two were taken to the king at this point.
The king told them that they were to kill every baby boy that was
born, and save every baby girl. That
would clearly prevent the growth of
the word "stool" here, as in a "birthing stool".
The Egyptian system of childbirth is seen in these stools.
The stool was actually two rocks.
One rock was flat that the lady would sit on.
At one end of that flat rock was a bolder that the lady's back
would press against as she pushed out the baby.
verse 17 we note that the midwives did not obey the king of Egypt. They feared God, and so
they could not kill the baby boys.
Here we have a clear example of how Godly people should live.
We respect our government, but when asked to do something against
God's wishes, we obey God rather than man. The fear of God is very
important in the lives of Christians.
verses 18 and 19 Pharaoh asks the midwives why they have disobeyed him.
Well, the last verse tells us that they did not obey the king
because they feared God, but this isn't what they tell the king.
They say that the Hebrew women are vigorous in childbirth.
That is to say, they give birth real fast and the midwives can't
get to them in time. I
really don't believe that this was the case.
The midwives just didn't want to tell the king the real reason.
are a few people who say that a Christian can tell a lie if it favors
the work of the Lord. Some
use this verse to support their claim.
But the verse does not say that God was in favor of this lie,
assuming it was really a lie. The
text only states the historical record of this being said.
There is no moral comment on the midwives statement. So there is
no defense in not telling the truth, even if it favors the work of the
of the above being said, not everyone believes these midwives were
lying. Some say that the
Hebrew women did give birth quickly, and it might, and I say might, be a
miracle from God to help them reproduce.
Some people suggest that the midwives deliberately took their
time to go and help the birthing mother so by the time they got there
the baby was born and hidden.
verse 20, despite the above lie by the midwives, the text states that
God was kind to the midwives, and the Israeli women kept having babies
despite all of the trouble they were going through.
Even though the Jews were slaves in Egypt, God was blessing them with children.
judges His people. He disciplines His people.
During this judgment or discipline, He doesn't forsake them.
This is important to know when you think of Israeli history.
After 70 AD, God dispersed the Jews throughout the world, but He
did not forget about them, and He certainly blessed individual Jews. And,
like the Jews in Moses day, the Jews in our day will inherit all the
land that was promised to them when Jesus returns.
20 says that God blessed the midwives.
Verse 21 tells us how He blessed them.
He gave them children of their own.
Without this blessing, it would be very hard for a woman to be a
midwife. Seeing all the
other women having children and you not having children, especially in
those days, would be very difficult for a woman.
verse 22 Pharaoh commands his people, that is the Egyptians, that if
they find any baby Jewish boys, that baby should be thrown into the
river to die. If the Jews
didn't kill their boys themselves, the Egyptians would, and they were
glad to do that, because by this time, the Egyptians hated the Jews.
This certainly reminds us of the time when Jesus was born.
Herod copied the Egyptian Pharaoh and commanded that all the baby
Jewish boys under two years of age should be killed as well.