Exodus 1 Commentary

Irving Jensen (Online) - Used by Permission
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View Chuck Swindoll's chart of Exodus
Summary Chart of
The Book of Exodus
DELIVERANCE
FROM OPPRESSION
PREPARATION FOR
WORSHIP
Redemption from Egypt
Ex 1:1-18:27
Revelation from God
Ex 19:1-40:38
Getting Israel Out of Egypt Getting Egypt Out of Israel!
Narration Legislation
Birth of
Moses
Ex 1-2
Call of
Moses
Ex 3-6
Conflict with Pharaoh
Ex 7-10
Exodus
from
Egypt
Ex 11-12
Red
Sea
Crossed
Ex 13-15
Journey
To
Sinai
Ex 16-18
Law
Given
Ex 19-24
Tent
Plan
Ex 25-31
Idol
Worship
Ex 32-34
Tent
Built
Ex 35-40
Subjection Redemption Instruction
Suffering and Liberation
of People of God
Guidance
of God
Worship
of God
Moses and
Burdens of Israel
Pharaoh and
Plagues Upon Egypt
Red Sea
Deliverance
Wilderness
Provision
Sinai
Instructions
Bondage
and Oppression
Deliverance
and Provision
Law Pattern
and Construction
Israel in Egypt
Ex 1:1-13:16
Israel to Sinai
Ex 13:17-18:27
Israel at Sinai
Ex 19:1-40:38
God's People
Enduring
Bondage
God's Grace
Revealed
in Redemption
God's Glory
Manifested
in Worship
Egypt
430 Years

(15% of Exodus)
Wilderness
2 Months

(30% of Exodus)
Mt Sinai
10 Months

(55% of Exodus)
From
Groaning
                To
Glory!
 

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GENESIS EXODUS
human effort and failure divine power and triumph
word of promise work of fulfillment
a people chosen a people called
God’s electing mercy God’s electing manner
revelation of nationality realization of nationality

SUMMARY OF THE PENTATEUCH
(from Believer's Study Bible)

Exodus 1:1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household:

BGT  Exodus 1:1 ταῦτα τὰ ὀνόματα τῶν υἱῶν Ισραηλ τῶν εἰσπεπορευμένων εἰς Αἴγυπτον ἅμα Ιακωβ τῷ πατρὶ αὐτῶν ἕκαστος πανοικίᾳ αὐτῶν εἰσήλθοσαν

NET  Exodus 1:1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who entered Egypt– each man with his household entered with Jacob:

LXE  Exodus 1:1 These are the names of the sons of Israel that came into Egypt together with Jacob their father; they came in each with their whole family.

NLT  Exodus 1:1 These are the names of the sons of Israel (that is, Jacob) who moved to Egypt with their father, each with his family:

KJV  Exodus 1:1 Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.

ESV  Exodus 1:1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household:

NIV  Exodus 1:1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family:

ASV  Exodus 1:1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt (every man and his household came with Jacob):

CSB  Exodus 1:1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; each came with his family:

NKJ  Exodus 1:1 Now these are the names of the children of Israel who came to Egypt; each man and his household came with Jacob:

NRS  Exodus 1:1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household:

YLT  Exodus 1:1 And these are the names of the sons of Israel who are coming into Egypt with Jacob; a man and his household have they come;

NAB  Exodus 1:1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who, accompanied by their households, migrated with Jacob into Egypt:

NJB  Exodus 1:1 These are the names of the Israelites who went with Jacob to Egypt, each of them went with his family:

GWN  Exodus 1:1 These are the names of the sons of Israel (that is, Jacob) who came with him to Egypt with their families:

BHT  Exodus 1:1 we'ëllèh šhemôt banê yisrä´ël habbä´îm misräymâ ´ët ya`áqöb ´îš ûbêtô bä´û

  • Ex 6:14-16 Ge 29:31-35 30:1-21 35:18,23-26 Gen 46:8-26 49:3-27 1Ch 2:1,2 12:23-40 27:16-22 Rev 7:4-8 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Swindolls' Outline

  • Exodus 1-2 Bondage - 430 years in Egypt
  • Exodus 3-12 Deliverance - 430 years in Egypt
  • Exodus 13-18 Journey - 3 months
  • Exodus 19-24 Law - 1 year at Mt Sinai
  • Exodus 25-40 Tabernacle - 1 year at Mt Sinai

John Hannah's Outline

The oppression of Israel in Egypt  (Exodus 1:1-11:10)

  1. The bondage of Israel  (Exodus 1:1-22)
    1. The cause of bondage  (Exodus 1:1-7)
    2. The treatment within bondage  (Exodus 1:8-22)
      1. Slavery  (Exodus 1:8-14)
      2. Extinction of male children  (Exodus 1:15-22) Hannah's Bible Outlines.

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EXODUS BEGINS WHERE
GENESIS ENDS

Caveat - I have read a number of commentaries on the identity of the King/Pharaoh described in Exodus 1-2, but frankly have found myself very confused. So if you want to know more about this issue see the following resources which discuss this issue.

Fulfilled Multiplication and Forced Eradication (Exodus 1:1-22) - Walter Kaiser

Exodus 1:1-7 is the prologue giving us the background for the nation of Israel in the land of Egypt.

Walter Kaiser gives an excellent background declaring "The Hebrew name for the book derives from the first words of the text: "And these are the names of" (we'elleh shemoth), or simply Shemoth. This phrase occurs also in Genesis 46:8, where it likewise introduces a list of the names of those Israelites "who went to Egypt with Jacob" (Ex 1:1). This connecting phrase and the observation that the book begins with the conjunction "and"  (or "now") emphasize the fact that Exodus was never intended to exist separately but was thought of as a continuation of a narrative that began in Genesis and was completed in three more books, making up the first division of the Hebrew canon known as Torah (meaning "law," "instruction," "teaching"), or, since the second century A.D., "the Pentateuch" (i.e., "the five books")....(Kaiser adds) This is the first example of a practice that appeared in almost all the historical books of the OT: the use of the simple copulative "and" to begin a book (cf. Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, 2 Chronicles). This feature appears to indicate that the writer was conscious of the fact that he was contributing to an ongoing sequence of revelation and narration. (Expositor's Bible Commentary)

Ray Ortlund - Genesis means “origin.” Exodus means “departure.” Why that? Because the gospel says that, through Jesus, God leads us out from oppression into liberation – and that, against opposition. So Exodus sums up the whole Bible: God is keeping his original promises of Genesis, liberating all who trust him, overcoming all hostile powers. 

A key to understanding this first part of Exodus is found in Genesis 46:4 where God promises Jacob  (prophetically) "I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes (YOU WILL DIE IN EGYPT).” God did not want His people to get comfortable in Egypt and stay there, so He made them uncomfortable, sovereignly directing circumstances and events in order to accomplish His will to bring them up again to the Promised Land. The way God gets His people to do His will is to cause some negative things to hit. The primary point of Exodus is to get Israel out of Egypt. As Robert Neighbour says "You have seen over many a door the word "Exit," which seemed to be saying, "This way out." As you see the word, Exodus, (see note below) therefore, it also seems to say, "This way out."" God was going to show them the way out!

There are three main, simple geographical divisions to the book of Exodus:

  1. Geographical Division #1 - Israel is in Egypt and is taken out of Egypt. Exodus 1:1-15:21
  2. Geographical Division #2 - Israel moves from Red Sea to Sinai. Exodus 15:21-18:27
  3. Geographical Division #3 - Israel is at Sinai. Exodus 19:1-40:38

Now  (NAS, ASV, KJV, NKJV) - It is surprising that most of the modern translations do not begin with "now" as the first word of Exodus in Hebrew text can be translated either "and" or "now," as either indicates a continuation of the story that ended in Genesis 50. And so as Genesis closes we find all of Israel is in Egypt and Exodus opens with “now,” designed to connect us back to Genesis and inform us the sons of Israel are still in Egypt. Obviously the narrative in Exodus 1:1-7 gives us the background because the very last verse in Genesis 50:26 says "So Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt." Then after the prologue the death of Joseph's is mentioned again in Ex 1:6. Exodus 1:7 tells us what happened to the nation in Egypt after Joseph's death.

"MANY books of the Old Testament begin with the conjunction And. This fact, it has been often pointed out, is a silent indication of truth, that each author was not recording certain isolated incidents, but parts of one great drama, events which joined hands with the past and future, looking before and after. Thus the Book of the Kings took up the tale from Samuel, Samuel from Judges, and Judges from Joshua, and all carried the sacred movement forward towards a goal as yet unreached. Indeed, it was impossible, remembering the first promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent, and the later assurance that in the seed of Abraham should be the universal blessing, for a faithful Jew to forget that all the history of his race was the evolution of some grand hope, a pilgrimage towards some goal unseen. Bearing in mind that there is now revealed to us a world-wide tendency toward the supreme consummation, the bringing all things under the headship of Christ, it is not to be denied that this hope of the ancient Jew is given to all mankind." (G A Chadwick - The Expositor's Bible)

Eugene Merrill writes "The exodus is the most significant historical and theological event of the Old Testament." (Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel)

Note that the first seven verses repeat information of Genesis 35:22-26; 46:27; 50:26. 

Now these are the names of  - This is the translation of the first two words we'ëllèh šhemôt (see BHT above). As Youngblood points out "The Hebrew title of the Book of Exodus, therefore, was to remind us that Exodus is the sequel to Genesis and that one of its purposes is to continue the history of God's people as well as elaborate further on the great themes so nobly introduced in Genesis." (Exodus)

The word exodus means "exit" or "departure" and speaks of a journey by a large group to escape from a hostile environment. 

THOUGHT - Beloved, does not even this great title Exodus speak to our hearts as those who are aliens and strangers (1 Pe 2:11+, Ps 119:19, cf Heb 11:13+, Abraham Ge 23:4) in a hostile environment which hates God (Ro 1:30+, Titus 3:3+) and holiness and loves self and sin? Indeed, even as we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, there is coming a future day when we will make our "exodus" from this world to our eternal home with Christ. And so we hold fast to that blessed hope of Christ's sure return to take us up and out (1 Th 4:13-18+), and for some who fall asleep in Jesus before the Rapture of the Church we have the blessed privilege of returning with Him at the time His Church makes its "exodus." Notice that of that great day Paul writes "Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord." (1 Th 4:17+). Did you notice the pronoun "them." Those are the believers described in 1 Th 4:14+, Paul writing that "we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus." And so beloved disciple of Jesus Christ, our exodus will be either by falling asleep in Christ or by the Rapture, but in either event we will all meet together in the air with Christ and thereafter "shall always be with the Lord." (1 Th 4:17+)

The sons of Israel - Here the phrase sons of Israel is meant to refer to a listing of the sons of Jacob. Recall that Jacob's name was changed to Israel in Ge 32:28. In contrast in Exodus 1:7 the same phrase "sons of Israel" is more "generic" and is best taken as a reference to "Israelites," referring to the new nation and not just to the extended family of Jacob/Israel.

God had appeared to Jacob and promised him that He would go with his family and bless them in Egypt but would bring them out of Egypt:

He said (GOD SPEAKING TO JACOB), “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. “I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes.”  (Ge 46:3-4)

Who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household -  NLT = "Who moved to Egypt with their father, each with his family" "The inclusion of the names at this point forms a literary connection to the book of Genesis. It indicates that the Israelites living in bondage had retained a knowledge of their ancestry, and with it, a knowledge of God's promise." (NET Note) Notice that both names of Jacob are used in this passage -- Israel ("strives with God") and Jacob ("supplanter, deceiver")

Thompson - We may also recall that just about daybreak the angel of the LORD touched Jacob’s socket so He could leave before daybreak so Jacob would not see God face to face and die. Years later, Jacob would specifically refer back to this moment and say this was the moment God had redeemed him from all evil (Gen. 48:16). This was the time Jacob turned his life completely over to God. In the aftermath of giving Jacob this name Israel, God pronounced a blessing of fruitfulness and multiplication (Gen. 35:11). Through Jacob would eventually come the entire nation Israel and one day that nation would have a specific land (Gen. 35:12)....Now of course the reason they are in Egypt is because Joseph had been sold as a slave by his brothers into the hands of the Egyptians, but God had raised him up so that Pharaoh permitted Joseph to allow all of his Jewish family to live in the best places of Egypt (Gen. 47:1-11). Now Egypt is a very peculiar place. For the most part it is a desert-type place filled with a lot of sand. However, the Nile river flows for 500 miles down into the Mediterranean, and the river overflows every year with water that comes down from the mountain areas of Central Africa. Because this water overflows every year, about seven miles on each side of the Nile is some of the most fertile and productive land in the world. So the majority of the Egyptian world lives in areas around the Nile and the rest of Egypt is a bunch of reddish-colored sand. Now Israel was living in the “best of the land” (Gen. 47:6) in Egypt. Life was productive here. Life was good here. Life was plush here. (Sermon)

Related Resource:

  •  Why is Jacob called Jacob and Israel alternately in the book of Genesis? - Excerpt - Jacob’s birth name, Jacob, means “supplanter, deceiver”; it was given to him because, when Jacob was born as the second of a set of twins, “his hand [was] grasping [his twin’s] heel” (Genesis 25:26). True to his name, Jacob grew up as a conniver, deceiver, and cheat, and he eventually supplanted his brother’s position as heir to the birthright. After Jacob’s struggle with the Lord at Peniel, the Lord gave Jacob a new name: Israel. And God gave the reason: “Because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome” (Genesis 32:28). Later, God appears to Jacob/Israel again in Bethel, reaffirms the name change, and gives him the same covenant that Abraham had received (Genesis 35:9–12). Thus the “heel-catcher” became “one who struggles with God.” It was before he met with God in Bethel that Jacob purposefully put away his idols and purified himself (Ge 35:2).

It is interesting that Jacob's record only includes his sons, Genesis recording...

All the persons belonging to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob’s sons, were sixty-six persons in all (Genesis 46:26)

Related Resources:

A key commentary on Exodus is found in Hosea where God says "When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son." (Hosea 11:1 cf. Mt. 2:13-15+).

NET Note - Chapter 1 introduces the theme of bondage in Egypt and shows the intensifying opposition to the fulfillment of promises given earlier to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The first seven verses announce the theme of Israel's prosperity in Egypt. The second section (vv. 8–14) reports continued prosperity in the face of deliberate opposition. The third section (vv. 15–21) explains the prosperity as divine favor in spite of Pharaoh's covert attempts at controlling the population. The final verse records a culmination in the developing tyranny and provides a transition to the next section – Pharaoh commands the open murder of the males. The power of God is revealed in the chapter as the people flourish under the forces of evil. However, by the turn of affairs at the end of the chapter, the reader is left with a question about the power of God – "What can God do?" This is good Hebrew narrative, moving the reader through tension after tension to reveal the sovereign power and majesty of the LORD God, but calling for faith every step of the way. See also D. W. Wicke, "The Literary Structure of Exodus 1:2–2:10, " JSOT 24 (1982): 99-107.

 Another list of the sons of Israel is found in Genesis 46:8-26

Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, Jacob and his sons, who went to Egypt: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn. 9 The sons of Reuben: Hanoch and Pallu and Hezron and Carmi. 10 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel and Jamin and Ohad and Jachin and Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. 11 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12 The sons of Judah: Er and Onan and Shelah and Perez and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan). And the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. 13 The sons of Issachar: Tola and Puvvah and Iob and Shimron. 14 The sons of Zebulun: Sered and Elon and Jahleel. 15 These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, with his daughter Dinah; all his sons and his daughters numbered thirty-three. 16 The sons of Gad: Ziphion and Haggi, Shuni and Ezbon, Eri and Arodi and Areli. 17The sons of Asher: Imnah and Ishvah and Ishvi and Beriah and their sister Serah. And the sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel. 18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah; and she bore to Jacob these sixteen persons. 19 The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 20 Now to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him. 21 The sons of Benjamin: Bela and Becher and Ashbel, Gera and Naaman, Ehi and Rosh, Muppim and Huppim and Ard. 22 These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob; there were fourteen persons in all. 23 The sons of Dan: Hushim. 24 The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel and Guni and Jezer and Shillem. 25 These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel, and she bore these to Jacob; there were seven persons in all. 26 All the persons belonging to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob’s sons, were sixty-six persons in all, 27 and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob, who came to Egypt, were seventy


Exodus (1841) (exodos from ex = out + hodos = way) is literally "the road out" or "the way out"! And so it means a going out or a departure. As 

The more familiar spelling Exodus is simply a transliteration of the Greek Exodos into English. Exodos was used as a euphemism describing one's departure from among the living (the one who dies has the illusion of a choice and the mourner finds consolation in the theme) for death. Vincent writes that exodos means "a journeying; and thus corresponds to the Latin decessus, a going away, whence the word decease." Exodos is used only 3x in the NT - Lk. 9:31; Heb. 11:22; 2 Pet. 1:15 and only Hebrews 11:22 refers to the Exodus of Israel from Egypt - " By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones."

Exodos is used almost 70x in the Septuagint and 5x to the Exodus of Israel from Egypt - 

  1. Exodus 19:1 "In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt,"
  2. Numbers 33:38 = "in the fortieth year after the sons of Israel had come from (Lxx = exodos) the land of Egypt" 
  3. 1 Kings 6:1; Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out of (Lxx = exodos) the land of Egypt,
  4. Ps 105:38 = "Egypt was glad when they departed (Lxx = exodos) ." 
  5. Ps 114:1 = "When Israel went forth (Lxx = exodos) from Egypt"

Exod. 19:1; Exod. 23:16; Num. 33:38; Num. 35:26; Jdg. 5:4; Jdg. 5:31; 1 Sam. 29:6; 2 Sam. 1:20; 2 Sam. 3:25; 2 Sam. 22:43; 1 Ki. 2:37; 1 Ki. 3:7; 1 Ki. 5:17; 6:1, 1 Ki. 10:28; 1 Ki. 10:29; 1 Ki. 20:34; 2 Ki. 19:27; 1 Chr. 5:16; 1 Chr. 20:1; 2 Chr. 1:16; 2 Chr. 9:28; 2 Chr. 16:1; 2 Chr. 23:8; 2 Chr. 32:30; Neh. 4:21; Job 38:27; Ps. 19:6; Ps. 65:8; Ps. 75:6; Ps. 105:38; Ps. 113:9, 114:1, Ps. 121:8; Ps. 144:13; Pr 1:20; Pr 4:23; Pr. 8:35; Prov. 24:27; Prov. 25:13; Prov. 25:26; Prov. 30:12; Isa. 37:28; Isa. 51:20; Jer. 11:13; Lam. 2:19; Lam. 2:21; Lam. 4:1; Lam. 4:5; Lam. 4:8; Lam. 4:14; Ezek. 42:11; Ezek. 43:11; Ezek. 44:5; Ezek. 47:3; Dan. 9:25 "from the issuing of a decree - Lxx = exodus); Mic. 5:2 = "His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”


Robert Neighbour - By way of introduction, we wish to discuss the meaning of the word, "Exodus." The first Book of the Bible is Genesis; it is the Book of the Beginnings. It is, however, more than a Book of Beginnings. It is the Book of Entrance—of entrance into sin, and into shame, into all of those deep and dismal details of iniquity. As we come into the Book of Exodus, we have set before us in clear and graphic language not only the way out of Egypt and out of bondage, but the way out of death and out of human iniquity. You have seen over many a door the word "Exit," which seemed to be saying, "This way out." As you see the word, Exodus, therefore, it also seems to say, "This way out."

1. The exodus out of Egypt. The first chapter of Exodus gives itself to telling us of the bondage which befell the Children of Israel in the land of their exile. The second chapter tells us of the birth of Moses, the deliverer. It also relates Moses' first failure in seeking to help the Children of Israel. The chapters which follow begin and conclude the story of Israel's exodus.

2. The exodus out of all the nations of the earth. There is a verse of Scripture which tells Israel that the time will come when it shall no longer be said, "The Lord liveth, which brought up the Children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, but the Lord liveth which brought up and which led the seed of the House of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them." Thus it is that there yet awaits Israel's greatest exodus. A wonderful exodus awaits them, and a wonderful entrance will be theirs.

3. The saved sinner and his exodus. The unregenerate are in bondage. Jesus Christ came to set them free. He said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, * * to preach deliverance to the captives, * * to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."

4. The Church and its Exodus. The very word "Church" is a form of the word "exodus." The Church is an "Ecclesia," that is, a called-out people. We are called out of the world, out of our former walk and way. We are a people separated unto the Lord. The time is coming, also, when we will be called out of the physical earth, and called up to meet our Lord in the air. We, too, shall have our exodus.

5. Christ and His Exodus. There is a little verse in Luke 9:30, 31, which describes the transfiguration of Christ. This verse tells us that there appeared with Him Moses and Elias, and they talked of His decease. The Greek word is "exodus." They talked of His going out, of His exodus from a body that had held Him captive, into a body risen and glorified.

Exodus 1:2  Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah;

There is probably nothing significant about the order of the names because this order is different in other passages such as among Gen 46:8–27, Ge 49:3–27; Deut 33:2–29. And remember that the verses were added by men so all the names could have just as easily been in one verse which would accurately reflect the original writing.

Caveat - While I have included links to more information of each of these names, it is not meant to cause you to do a character study on each one, as that is clearly not Moses' intent in giving us this list. Obviously, we can associate a number of facts with each of these names, but that does not significantly contribute to the purpose of the list.

Alan Cole on Exodus 1:2-4 describes this as "a sonorous roll in the names of the twelve phylarchs, like the list of the twelve apostles in the New Testament. A new work of God is about to begin." (TOTC-Exodus)

Stuart Douglas comments that "It is unfortunately common for both commentators and preachers to insist on informing their audience of the literal meaning of biblical names as if this somehow makes biblical passages or books more meaningful. In fact, it is usually misleading because the mention of a name in any culture functions primarily to identify a person, not to call attention every time the name is mentioned to the original thinking process employed by the naming parents." (NAC-Exodus)

THOUGHT - While the list of names should not lead us on rabbit trails, clearly they serve a purpose. The document the lineage of the patriarch, who is in turn from Isaac and in turn from Abraham and so these names are names of those who would be recipients of the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 12:1-3 (et al passages). Ultimately, the ancestry of the Messiah would need to be traceable back to father Abraham and this was clearly one of the purposes of these lists of names. As Stuart says "The fact that several biblical books begin with a genealogy (e.g., 1 Chr 1–9) or end with one (e.g., Ruth) is a reflection of the importance ancient Israelites placed on being able to trace their lineage, as part of understanding who they were and what their purpose was on earth." Ultimately that purpose was the promise to Abraham that " I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”" (Ge 22:17-18) In all three uses, Seed is masculine singular and is interpreted by Paul in Galatians 3:16+ as the Messiah, Paul writing "Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ." Finally, one other thought that this list of names raises is that all of these men were sinners of one degree or another if we study their Biblical bio's! Is this not a testimony to the faithfulness of God to His covenant promises and the grace of God to includes sinners in this list? 

Reuben (note)

Simeon (note)

Levi (note)

Judah (note)

Exodus 1:3  Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin;

  • Issachar: Ge 35:23 
  • Benjamin: Ex 28:20 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

The purposes of this section (Exodus 1:1-7) are three at least.

1. These verses introduce

the Israelites who are the focus of attention in Exodus.

2. They also tie the Israelites back to Jacob and explain their presence in Egypt.

3. They account for the numerical growth of the Israelites during the 360 years that elapsed between Genesis and Exodus following Joseph's death and preceding Moses' birth. (Constable's Notes on the Bible)

Issachar (note

Zebulun  (note

Benjamin (note)  

Exodus 1:4  Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.

  • Dan Ge 35:25 1Ch 2:2 
  • Asher Ge 35:26 46:17 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Dan  (note

Naphtali (note

Gad  (note

Asher  (note

 THE NAMES OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL
WHO CAME TO EGYPT WITH JACOB
  SON'S NAME SON # FROM WIFE/CONCUBINE EXODUS GENESIS
1 Reuben Jacob’s first son through Leah Ex 1:2a Ge 29:32
2 Simeon Jacob’s second son through Leah Ex 1:2b Ge 29:33
3 Levi Jacob’s third son through Leah Ex 1:2c Ge 29:34
4 Judah Jacob’s fourth son through Leah Ex 1:2d Ge 29:35 
5 Issachar Jacob’s fifth son through Leah Ex 1:3a Ge 30:18
6 Zebulun Jacob’s sixth son through Leah Ex 1:3b Ge 30:20
7 Benjamin Jacob’s second son through Rachel Ex 1:3c Ge 35:18
8 Dan Jacob’s first son through Bilhah, Rachel’s maid Ex 1:4a Ge 30:6
9 Naphtali Jacob’s second son through Bilhah, Rachel’s maid Ex 1:4b Ge 30:8
10 Gad Jacob’s first son through Zilpah, Leah’s maid Ex 1:4c Ge 30:11
11 Asher Jacob’s second son through Zilpah, Leah’s maid Ex 1:4d Ge 30:13
12 Joseph Jacob’s first son through Rachel Ex 1:5 Ge 30:24

Exodus 1:5  All the persons who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy in number, but Joseph was already in Egypt.

BGT  Exodus 1:5 Ιωσηφ δὲ ἦν ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ ἦσαν δὲ πᾶσαι ψυχαὶ ἐξ Ιακωβ πέντε καὶ ἑβδομήκοντα

NET  Exodus 1:5 All the people who were directly descended from Jacob numbered seventy. But Joseph was already in Egypt,

LXE  Exodus 1:5 But Joseph was in Egypt. And all the souls born of Jacob were seventy-five.

NLT  Exodus 1:5 In all, Jacob had seventy descendants in Egypt, including Joseph, who was already there.

KJV  Exodus 1:5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.

ESV  Exodus 1:5 All the descendants of Jacob were seventy persons; Joseph was already in Egypt.

NIV  Exodus 1:5 The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt.

ASV  Exodus 1:5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: and Joseph was in Egypt already.

CSB  Exodus 1:5 The total number of Jacob's descendants was 70; Joseph was already in Egypt.

NKJ  Exodus 1:5 All those who were descendants of Jacob were seventy persons (for Joseph was in Egypt already).

NRS  Exodus 1:5 The total number of people born to Jacob was seventy. Joseph was already in Egypt.

YLT  Exodus 1:5 And all the persons coming out of the thigh of Jacob are seventy persons; as to Joseph, he was in Egypt.

  • loins: Ge 46:26 Jdg 8:30
  • seventy: Ex 1:20 Ge 46:26,27 De 10:22 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

All the persons who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy in number - Along with the patriarch Jacob eleven tribes are listed. We know that there are 12 sons of Jacob composing the 12 tribes of Israel and the twelfth is Joseph (see table above). As an aside, it is not necessary to see 70 as a symbol of perfection as you will read in an occasional commentary. 

MacArthur notes "Acts 7:14+ reports 75 with the addition of 5 relatives of Joseph included in the LXX, but not the Hebrew text." (MSB)

Alan Cole - The Greek text of Genesis 46 adds the five children of Ephraim and Manasseh, thus making the ‘seventy-five’ of Acts 7:14+ The theological point is the difference between the small number who entered Egypt and the large numbers who left. (TOTC-Exodus)

Walter Kaiser on seventy in number the family list in Genesis 46 gives this tally: the 6 men of Leah had 25 sons and 2 grandsons totaling 33; the 2 sons of Rachel had 12 sons totaling 14 ; Bilhah's 2 sons had 5 sons contributing 7 to the sum, and Zilpah's 2 sons had 11 sons, 1 daughter (apparently counted here), and 2 grandsons, making 16 ; therefore, 33 plus 14 plus 7  plus 16 equals seventy....The Lxx, on the other hand, adds the names of Joseph's 3 grandsons and 2 great-grandsons in Genesis 46:20. Therefore, the total that version gives for Genesis 46:27 is 75. Interestingly enough the Lxx version for Exodus 1:5, Acts 7:14+, and one Hebrew MS from Qumran...all have 75 as a total here as well. Regardless of which figure is used (seventy or seventy-five), the number is actual, not figurative. (Ibid)

But Joseph was already in Egypt -  Ps 105:17 records "He (JEHOVAH) sent a man before them (THE SONS OF ISRAEL), Joseph, who was sold as a slave.  18 They afflicted his feet with fetters, He himself was laid in irons;  19 Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him.  20 The king sent and released him, The ruler of peoples, and set him free.  21 He made him (JOSEPH) lord of his house And ruler over all his possessions,  22 To imprison his princes at will, That he might teach his elders wisdom.  23 Israel also came into Egypt; Thus Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.

David Thompson - How did Joseph get there? Remember the story, his brothers sold him as a slave, but God’s sovereignty was in it all. God directed Joseph and blessed Joseph and elevated Joseph even when he was shafted by others. While we are traveling through this Egyptian world of ours, there may be times when we are mistreated and abused. It is a great thing to remember that our God is still sovereign and He is still directing us and protecting us and can bless us. Joseph is proof of that. God can use his people anywhere. (Sermon)

THOUGHT - What we certainly do see in this list is the grace of God. The list of names contains some serious sin issues. Judah had an immoral fling with Tamar, his daughter-in-law, who he thought was a prostitute (Gen. 38). Simeon and Levi were hotheaded guys who were on a revenge warpath (Gen. 34:30). Reuben was immoral with his father’s concubine (Gen. 35:22). Even though there had been these horrific sins, there was also the amazing grace. God is in the business of blessing and using people who come from bizarre backgrounds, who face sin and purpose to walk in ways that are right. This is not the perfect family story. But this story certainly magnifies the grace of God. When people turn to God and to His grace no matter what their family background, God can and will greatly use them. (Thompson)


Robert Neighbour - ISRAEL IN EGYPT (Exod. 1:5)
Our minds go back to the time when Joseph was carried captive into Egypt, and to the time when Jacob and his eleven sons came to Joseph. When we think of the Children of Israel dwelling for so many years in Egypt, several lessons come before our minds.

1. We are in the world. We may marvel at the fact that God permitted the Children of Israel to be in Egypt, but He permits us to be placed in a world which is under the sway and power of the wicked one. There is not a true and separated believer anywhere but who must realize that he is surrounded by much of evil and sin.

2. We are not of the world. Israel was in Egypt, but Israel was not of Egypt. Pharaoh himself recognized this. He knew that the Hebrews were a different people from the Egyptians, that they were a peculiar people. Satan is never more contented than when he causes saints to forget their stranger and pilgrimage attitude. The earth is not our home. It is but an abiding place.

3. We are sent to the world. There is no doubt in our mind whatsoever but that Israel in Egypt carried a testimony from God to Egypt. Joseph meant a great deal in his day to the Egyptians. Through him they learned of his God. We who are saved are not only in the world, but we are there that the world may know of God, and that, knowing, they may come into His salvation.

4. We are hated by the world. In it, and not of it, and sent to it, does not tell the whole story of the believer in his attitude toward the world. Christ said, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me." It was not long until the Children of Israel were hated by the Egyptians, and it will not be long until we are hated by the world which knows not God.

Exodus 1:6  Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation.



Source: Ryrie Study Bible

THE GREAT-GRANDSON
OF ABRAHAM DIES

Genesis 50:24-26 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will surely take care of (Lxx = two verbs to express the superlative = episkope episkopeo - means to visit to help - same verb used of Messiah's coming to provide redemption in Lk 1:68+) you and bring you up from this land (PROPHECY OF THE "EXODUS") to the land which He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob (Ge 15:7, 18+ Abrahamic Covenant).” 25 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely take care of you (Lxx = episkopeo), and you shall carry my bones up from here (Joseph's song was This world is not my home I'm just a passing through).” 26 So Joseph died (Lxx = teleutao - see note below) at the age of one hundred and ten years; and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Spurgeon - Death is a great tester of a man’s sincerity, and a great shaker down of bowing walls and tottering fences. Men have thought that it was all well with them, but when the swellings of Jordan have been about them, they have found matters quite otherwise. Here we see Joseph so calm, so quiet, that he remembers the covenant, falls back upon it, and rejoices in it. He speaks of dying as though it were only a part of living, and comparatively a small matter to him. He gives no evidence of trepidation whatever. No fear distracts him, but he bears his last witness to his brothers who gather about his bed concerning the faithfulness of God and the infallibility of his promise.

Hebrews 11:22+ By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones (fulfilled by Moses in Ex 13:19, cf Josh 24:32). 

Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation - Joseph was 30 when he began to reign and he was 110 years old when he died (Gen. 50:26). The Septuagint verb for died means more than just stop breathing for it is teleutao (from teleo = to complete, to reach the goal, not merely ending something, but bringing it to its destined goal or telos = goal) which describes "coming to an end," finishing this life, reaching the goal (cf "finish line"). In the case of Joseph this verb gives us the picture of a life well lived, of a life that has fulfilled its purpose and accomplished God's will. Yes, Joseph died, but he also "finished" his race well!

THOUGHT - O, to live such a Spirit filled, God glorifying, Christ exalting existence in this short race we call "life." My prayer for myself and all who read this note is that we might be enabled to finish well like Joseph and like Paul (cf 2 Ti 4:7+ finished = teleo), so that when we fall asleep in Jesus, it would be appropriate to use the verb teleutao to describe our passing on to glory in the next life. In Jesus' Mighty Name.Amen.

Although this statement Joseph died follows the record of the 70 (Ex 1:5) coming to Egypt (Ex 1:1-5), we know from Genesis that Joseph's death did not follow immediately on the arrival of the 70 but there were a number of years between Jacob's arrival in Egypt and Joseph's death (see Timelines above). Ryrie estimates Joseph's time in Egypt to be about 93 years. The number of years Jacob and the Sons of Israel were in Egypt before Joseph died is not clear, but certainly less than 93 years. Obviously Jacob died before Joseph (Ge 49:33, Ge 50:1-14). Then if you compare the timelines of Genesis and Exodus (remembering that these dates are only approximations), you will see that Genesis *(Ge 50:26) ends with "Death of Joseph" (1804 BC) and Exodus begins with "Beginning of Slavery in Egypt" (1875 BC). Ryrie estimates that it was approximately 70+ years after Joseph died that a new king of Egypt began to enslave Israel. Israel's time in slavery is then estimated to be from 1875 BC to 1445 BC (430 years). As discussed below from the time of the arrival of the Sons of Israel to the time of the departure in 1445 BC, the nation had grown from 70 to about 2 million! 

Exodus 1:7  But the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.

Hamilton - Still, the Israelites were fertile and prolific; they multiplied and became extremely mighty, so that the land was filled with them.

BGT  Exodus 1:7 οἱ δὲ υἱοὶ Ισραηλ ηὐξήθησαν καὶ ἐπληθύνθησαν καὶ χυδαῖοι ἐγένοντο καὶ κατίσχυον σφόδρα σφόδρα ἐπλήθυνεν δὲ ἡ γῆ αὐτούς

NET  Exodus 1:7 The Israelites, however, were fruitful, increased greatly, multiplied, and became extremely strong, so that the land was filled with them.

LXE  Exodus 1:7 And the children of Israel increased and multiplied, and became numerous and grew exceedingly strong, and the land multiplied them.

NLT  Exodus 1:7 But their descendants, the Israelites, had many children and grandchildren. In fact, they multiplied so greatly that they became extremely powerful and filled the land.

KJV  Exodus 1:7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.

ESV  Exodus 1:7 But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.

NIV  Exodus 1:7 but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them.

ASV  Exodus 1:7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.

CSB  Exodus 1:7 But the Israelites were fruitful, increased rapidly, multiplied, and became extremely numerous so that the land was filled with them.

NKJ  Exodus 1:7 But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.

NRS  Exodus 1:7 But the Israelites were fruitful and prolific; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.

YLT  Exodus 1:7 and the sons of Israel have been fruitful, and they teem, and multiply, and are very very mighty, and the land is filled with them.

  • fruitful: Ex 12:37 Ge 1:20,28 9:1 12:2 13:16 15:5 17:4-6,16 22:17 26:4 Ge 28:3,4,14 35:11 46:3 47:27 48:4,16 De 10:22 26:5 Ne 9:23 Ps 105:24 Ac 7:17,18 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

POPULATION EXPLOSION:
SEED OF ABRAHAM BECOMES A NATION

But - Note the striking contrast. Moses had just described death of all the sons of Israel named in Ex 1:1-6. Now he uses the same phrase sons of Israel and describes life of those same sons of Israel

Alan Cole - The Hebrew deliberately repeats three verbs used in Genesis 1:21, 22 which may be translated ‘were fruitful (parah)… swarmed (sharats)… became numerous (rabah). This increase was interpreted as God’s promised blessing on His creation. (Ibid)

The sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied - Continuing the previous comment (Under "but"), we see that the phrase Sons of Israel is now used as a reference to the nation of Israel. The verb increased greatly (swarmed - sharats) is in as sense a play on words, for here it is the Israelites who are "swarming" on the land and in Ex 8:3 the verb describes "The Nile will swarm (sharats) with frogs, which will come up and go into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed, and into the houses of your servants and on your people, and into your ovens and into your kneading bowls." The swarning people and frogs would vex the king and lead to his eventual acquiescing to let the people go. 

Victor Hamilton quips "In Genesis the problem is too much infertility. Here so much fertility will arouse the paranoid fears of Pharaoh. Apparently there are few, if any, Sarahs or Rebekahs or Rachels in Goshen." (Exodus: An Exegetical Commentary)

Stephen tells that "as the time of the promise was approaching which God had assured to Abraham (TO DELIVER HIS PEOPLE - SEE Ge 15:13-16+), the people increased (auxano) and multiplied (plethuno) in Egypt, until THERE AROSE ANOTHER KING OVER EGYPT WHO KNEW NOTHING ABOUT JOSEPH.(Acts 7:17-18+)

Exodus 1:7 describes the beginning of the fulfillment of prophecy, the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham that “I will make you exceedingly fruitful (parah), and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you." (Genesis 17:6) And so we see the first "nation" coming from Abraham, the nation of Israel (sons of Israel) having its birth so to speak in the nation of Egypt. And as Stephen explains in the preceding passage, the other prophetic promise that was about to be fulfilled was that God would deliver Israel from Egyptian enslavement. 

Exodus 1:7 is also an answer to Isaac's prayer for His son Jacob when he prayed "May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful (parah) and multiply you (rabah), that you may become a company (Lxx = sunagoge) of peoples. 4 “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham (Ge 12:1-3+), to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.” (Ge 28:3-4). In Ge 35:11 God Himself promises Jacob “I am God Almighty (EL Shaddai - God Almighty); be fruitful (parah) and multiply (rabah); A nation and a company (Lxx = sunagoge) of nations shall come from you, And kings shall come forth from you." The word company (qahal) is used in Ex 12:6 to describe "the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel" and in Ex 16:3 to describe "this whole assembly." So clearly in these contexts, the word company (qahal) refers to the entire nation of Israel. In short, Isaac's prayer for Jacob and Jehovah's promise for Jacob's fruitfulness were beginning to be fulfilled in Exodus 1:7. 

GROWTH OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL - Recall that this family began with five people back in Haran: Jacob, Rachel, Leah, Zilphah, and Bilhah. But because of the promise of God (Ge 12:2+ "I will make you a great [large] nation") and the blessing of God, the family of Jacob underwent amazing growth in Egypt. We see the extent of Israel's fruitfulness and multiplication in Numbers, where Moses records the census of Israel and then sums it up in Nu 1:45-46 saying "So all the numbered men of the sons of Israel by their fathers’ households, from twenty years old and upward, whoever was able to go out to war in Israel, even all the numbered men were 603,550 (Ex 12:37 says "about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children")." If one factors in wives and children, the number was probably in the range of 2 million Israelites! And as the Psalmist teaches us Israel's fruitfulness was not because of their own strength, but was a reflection of the gracious gift of Jehovah for "Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward." (Ps 127:3) Indeed, bearing children was a sign of prosperity and God's blessing in the Old Testament. (See "The Growth of Israel in Egypt - The Phenomenon of Exponential Growth" - Ralph Winter - this is a link to an excerpt from a Google book and may not work).

Were fruitful (06509)(parah) means to bear fruit, to be fruitful, to flourish and speaks of multiplication of various things - fruit, childe. This verb is repeatedly used in the affirmation of the Abrahamic covenant (Ge 17:6, 28:3, 25:11, 47:27, 48:4, Lev 26:9, Ps 105:24). In Ps 128:3 parah speaks of one's wife "like a fruitful vine." In Isaiah 11:1 it is a prophecy of the Messiah, Isaiah declaring "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit." Jeremiah speaks of the future days when Israel will be "multiplied and increased in the land," referring to their time of repentance and entrance into the earthly Kingdom of the Messiah. This verb is used in Ex 23:30 where God promises Israel “I will drive them out before you (Ex 23:23 - "the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites") little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land." In Lev 26:9+ Jehovah promises Israel (if they obey -Lev 26:1-8) "I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will confirm My covenant with you." The root parah is at the heart of the name of one of the tribes of Israel. Genesis 41:52, "[Joseph] named the second son Ephraim (ʾeprāyim) because God has made me fruitful (hipranî) in the country of my affliction."

This verb is at the heart of the Abrahamic covenant for in Ge 17:6 God promises Abraham “I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you." "Abraham is then 99 yo and this is a reiteration of the promise in Ge 12:4 given 24 years earlier. Sarah was post-menopausal and Abraham was impotent (Ge 17:17, Ro 4:19+) and yet Abraham believed God (Ge 15:6). Abraham made some mistakes to be sure but talk about faith that is unwavering in the face of seeming impossibilities!

The Septuagint (Lxx) often translates parah with the verb auxano meaning to grow, increase, multiply (used by Stephen in Acts 7:17 - see above). This verb is interesting because for someone or something to grow (auxáno), it must be acted upon by an outside power or have the element of life within him or it. For children the "element" is God (Ps 127:3). For believers is is the Word and the Spirit (1 Pe 2:2+, 2 Cor 3:18+, 2 Pe 3:18+).

Parah - breed abundantly(1), increased greatly(1), populate the abundantly(1), swarm(3), swarmed(2), swarms(5), teem(1). Gen. 1:22; Gen. 1:28; Gen. 8:17 - to the animals in the Ark; Gen. 9:1,7 = command to Noah; Gen. 17:6; Gen. 17:20 - to Ishmael; Gen. 26:22; Gen. 28:3; Gen. 35:11; Gen. 41:52; Gen. 47:27; Gen. 48:4; Gen. 49:22; Exod. 1:7; Exod. 23:30; Lev. 26:9; Deut. 29:18; Ps. 105:24; Ps. 128:3; Isa. 11:1; Isa. 17:6; Isa. 32:12; Isa. 45:8; Jer. 3:16; Jer. 23:3; Ezek. 19:10; Ezek. 36:11 = In the Millennium = "‘I will multiply on you man and beast; and they will increase and be fruitful;"; Hos. 13:15

Increased greatly (08317)(sharats) means to swarm, to teem, to breed abundantly. This verb serves as a description of a large number of creatures densely populating a location. Most passages use the animals themselves as the subject of the verb, but some verses speak of land or water swarming with creatures. Shārats emphasizes their immense numbers and prolific reproduction. In Exodus 1:1 we see a "swarm" of Israelites and in Ex 8:3 (Ps 105:30) a "swarm" of frogs! This verb is used repeatedly in the context of God's call to Israel to be a holy or set apart people, as exemplified in Lev 11:43-44+ "Do not render yourselves detestable through any of the swarming things that swarm (sharats); and you shall not make yourselves unclean with them so that you become unclean., ‘For (term of explanation) I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth." (cf NT parallel - 1 Peter 1:13-16+).

Sharats - 14x in 14v - breed abundantly(1), increased greatly(1), populate the abundantly(1), swarm(3), swarmed(2), swarms(5), teem(1).  Gen. 1:20; Gen. 1:21; Gen. 7:21; Gen. 8:17; Gen. 9:7; Exod. 1:7; Exod. 8:3; Lev. 11:29; Lev. 11:41; Lev. 11:42; Lev. 11:43; Lev. 11:46; Ps. 105:30; Ezek. 47:9

Multiplied (07235)(rabah) speaks of numerical increase. "means to become numerous or great: it expresses God's original mandate for humans to multiply on earth (Gen. 1:22, 28). It depicts the increase of Israelites in Egypt (Ex. 1:10, 12); it refers to an increase in volume, extent, power, or influence (Ge 7:17, 18; Ps. 49:16; Daniel 12:4). It is used for both animals and inanimate things (Ex. 11:9; Dt. 7:22; 8:13; Ezek. 31:5). It refers to an increase or multiplication of time: days (Gen. 38:12); years (Pr. 4:10). It indicates in a comprehensive sense God's greatness over humans (Job 33:12). In the intensive or causative stems of the verb, it indicates the increasing or enlarging of someone or something: (Jdg. 9:29; Ps. 44:12; Lam. 2:22; Ezek. 19:2). God makes His followers great (2 Sam. 22:36; Ps. 18:35); the leaders of His people (1 Chr. 4:10). He increases in number persons, things (Deut. 17:16; Hos. 2:8). Adverbially (especially harbēh), it means to do something, to perform greatly (Amos 4:4). The phrase harbāh ʾarbeh means I will increase, multiply greatly (Gen. 3:16; 16:10; 22:17). (Complete Word Study Dictionary – OT)

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates rabah in Ex 1:7 (Ge 1:22, 28, etc) with the verb plethuno (from plethos = fullness from pletho = to fill) which means to be made full, grow, increase or be multiplied. In fact virtually every command of God to multiply is translated with plethuno. It is the same verb to describe the disciples increasing (Acts 6:1+), the Word of God continuing to spread (Acts 6:7+, Acts 12:24+), the church continuing to increase (Acts 9:31+).

Vine It can refer to the process of increasing numerically: God told the sea and air creatures to "be fruitful, and multiply" (Gen. 1:22, the first occurrence). In Gen. 38:12 the word refers to the end result in the sense that a great many of something existed: "And in process of time the daughter of Shuah, Judah's wife died [literally, "and the days became multiplied"]…." When used with "days," the word may also signify "long life": "… I shall multiply my days as the sand" (Job 29:18: cf. Prov. 4:10). Rābâ sometimes refers to increasing in wealth, although in such cases the material is clearly specified (cf. Deut. 8:13: "… and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied"). This verb can be used of being quantitatively large. In Gen. 7:17 the waters are said to have lifted up above the earth." So here the verb means "to increase in quantity." A similar use occurs in Gen. 15:1, where God tells Abram: "I am … thy exceeding great reward." The first instance speaks of the process of increasing and the latter of the end product (something that is larger). In a special nuance this verb signifies the process of growing up: "Their young ones are in good liking, they grow up [in the open field]" (Job 39:4). Rābâ can also be used of the end product: "I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown …" (Ezek. 16:7). A somewhat different nuance occurs in Ezek. 19:2, where the verb speaks of a parent's care for an offspring: "… She nourished her whelps." Rābâ is sometimes used with another verb to signify its increase in occurrence or frequency. In some passages it signifies that a process is continuing: "The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work …" (Exod. 36:5), literally, "the people continue to bring." It can also signify a great number of times with the sense of "repeatedly." The sinner is urged to return to God, "for he will abundantly pardon" (Isa. 55:7). This sense appears clearly in Amos 4:4: "Come to Beth-el, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression…." (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words)

Rabah - 207v -  abundance(2), abundant(2), abundantly(1), amounts(1), ask(1), became many(1), became...numerous(1), bitterly*(1), boast*(1), considerable(1), continue(1), continued(1), enlarge(1), excessively(2), gave numerous(1), give great(1), give many(1), give more(1), great(10), greater(1), greatly(1), greatly multiply(3), greatly*(1), grew(1), grow(1), grow...numerous(1), had gathered much(1), had many(2), heap(1), increase(14), increased(7), increases(5), large(1), larger(1), lavished(1), long(2), made their numerous(1), made many(1), make many(1), make more(1), makes me great(2), many(21), many which increase(1), more(3), more he made(1), much(15), much more(2), much*(1), multiplied(21), multiplies(5), multiply(45), numerous(3), often(2), outnumber(1), pay more(1), plenty(1), profited(1), provided in abundance(1), reared(2), repeatedly(1), risen(1), serious*(1), surpassed(1), take more(1), thoroughly(1), use much(1), very(2), wealth(1). Gen. 1:22; Gen. 1:28; Gen. 3:16; Gen. 7:17; Gen. 7:18; Gen. 8:17; Gen. 9:1; Gen. 9:7; Gen. 15:1; Gen. 16:10; Gen. 17:2; Gen. 17:20; Gen. 22:17; Gen. 26:4; Gen. 26:24; Gen. 28:3; Gen. 34:12; Gen. 35:11; Gen. 38:12; Gen. 43:34; Gen. 47:27; Gen. 48:4; Exod. 1:7; Exod. 1:10; Exod. 1:12; Exod. 1:20; Exod. 7:3; Exod. 11:9; Exod. 16:17; Exod. 16:18; Exod. 30:15; Exod. 32:13; Exod. 36:5; Lev. 11:42; Lev. 25:16; Lev. 26:9; Num. 26:54; Num. 33:54; Num. 35:8; Deut. 1:10; Deut. 3:5; Deut. 6:3; Deut. 7:13; Deut. 7:22; Deut. 8:1; Deut. 8:13; Deut. 11:21; Deut. 13:17; Deut. 14:24; Deut. 17:16; Deut. 17:17; Deut. 19:6; Deut. 28:63; Deut. 30:5; Deut. 30:16; Jos. 13:1; Jos. 22:8; Jos. 24:3; Jdg. 9:29; Jdg. 16:24; Jdg. 20:38; 1 Sam. 1:12; 1 Sam. 2:3; 1 Sam. 7:2; 1 Sam. 14:30; 1 Sam. 26:21; 2 Sam. 1:4; 2 Sam. 8:8; 2 Sam. 12:2; 2 Sam. 12:30; 2 Sam. 14:11; 2 Sam. 18:8; 2 Sam. 22:36; 1 Ki. 4:29; 1 Ki. 4:30; 1 Ki. 10:10; 1 Ki. 10:11; 2 Ki. 10:18; 2 Ki. 21:6; 2 Ki. 21:16; 1 Chr. 4:10; 1 Chr. 4:27; 1 Chr. 5:9; 1 Chr. 5:23; 1 Chr. 7:4; 1 Chr. 8:40; 1 Chr. 20:2; 1 Chr. 23:11; 1 Chr. 23:17; 1 Chr. 27:23; 2 Chr. 11:12; 2 Chr. 14:13; 2 Chr. 16:8; 2 Chr. 25:9; 2 Chr. 31:5; 2 Chr. 33:6; 2 Chr. 33:23; 2 Chr. 36:14; Ezr. 9:6; Ezr. 10:1; Ezr. 10:13; Neh. 2:2; Neh. 4:1; Neh. 4:10; Neh. 4:19; Neh. 5:18; Neh. 6:17; Neh. 9:23; Neh. 9:37; Job 9:17; Job 10:17; Job 27:14; Job 29:18; Job 33:12; Job 34:37; Job 39:4; Job 41:3; Ps. 16:4; Ps. 18:35; Ps. 44:12; Ps. 49:16; Ps. 51:2; Ps. 71:21; Ps. 78:38; Ps. 107:38; Ps. 130:7; Ps. 139:18; Prov. 4:10; Prov. 6:35; Prov. 9:11; Prov. 13:11; Prov. 22:16; Prov. 25:27; Prov. 28:8; Prov. 28:28; Prov. 29:2; Prov. 29:16; Eccl. 1:16; Eccl. 2:7; Eccl. 5:7; Eccl. 5:11; Eccl. 5:12; Eccl. 5:17; Eccl. 5:20; Eccl. 6:11; Eccl. 7:16; Eccl. 7:17; Eccl. 9:18; Eccl. 10:14; Eccl. 11:8; Eccl. 12:9; Eccl. 12:12; Isa. 1:15; Isa. 9:3; Isa. 23:16; Isa. 30:33; Isa. 40:29; Isa. 51:2; Isa. 55:7; Isa. 57:9; Jer. 2:22; Jer. 3:16; Jer. 23:3; Jer. 29:6; Jer. 30:19; Jer. 33:22; Jer. 40:12; Jer. 42:2; Jer. 46:11; Jer. 46:16; Lam. 2:5; Lam. 2:22; Ezek. 11:6; Ezek. 16:7; Ezek. 16:25; Ezek. 16:26; Ezek. 16:29; Ezek. 16:51; Ezek. 19:2; Ezek. 21:15; Ezek. 22:25; Ezek. 23:19; Ezek. 24:10; Ezek. 28:5; Ezek. 31:5; Ezek. 36:10; Ezek. 36:11; Ezek. 36:29; Ezek. 36:30; Ezek. 36:37; Ezek. 37:26; Dan. 11:39; Dan. 12:4; Hos. 2:8; Hos. 8:11; Hos. 8:14; Hos. 10:1; Hos. 12:1; Hos. 12:10; Amos 4:4; Amos 4:9; Jon. 4:11; Nah. 3:16; Hab. 2:6; Hag. 1:6; Hag. 1:9; Zech. 10:8

And became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them - Became...mighty is translated in Lxx with the verb katischuo which means to be strong, dominant, having strength or capability to obtain an advantage and thus be able to prevail (Also used in Lxx of Ex 17:11+ = "Israel prevailed" in battle with Amalekites) or overcome (Mt 16:18). The verb became...mighty is used first in Genesis and gives us a good sense of what Moses is saying - "Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are too powerful for us.” Clearly the idea is not just increase in numbers but increase in strength or power, attributes which would definitely threaten the Pharaoh and his hold on power! The Psalmist explains how the people of Israel became exceedingly mighty writing "And He caused His people to be very fruitful, And made them stronger than their adversaries." (Ps 105:24). Israel was mighty not because of their inherent strength but because of God's sovereignty and grace. In so doing God was working out His promise that He would bring them out of Egypt and back to the land. Their prosperity would lead to Pharaoh's punishment which would lead them to cry out for a deliverer who would lead them out of the land and back to the Promised Land. It was all part of God's sovereign plan. 

Mighty (06105)(atsom) is a verb which means to be vast, mighty, numerous. It describes strength (Ge 26:16, Ex 1:7, Isa 31:1, Ps 38:19, Ps 69:4, Ps 105:24) In Jer 5:6 atsom describes Israel's apostasies as "numerous." (cf their sins in Jer 30:14-15)  David writes "How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!"  (Ps 139:17, cf Ps 40:5). As noted above the Lxx translates atsom in Ex 1:7 with the verb katischuo which means to be strong, dominant, etc.

Atsom is a "verb meaning to be numerous, mighty. It describes a person, people, or nation becoming or being powerful, strong. Israel and his family had become strong, numerous (Gen. 26:16); Israel multiplied to become a powerful people in Egypt (Ex 1:7, 20; Ps. 105:24). It refers to the enemies of a righteous person (Ps. 38:19). God's wonders are declared to be too many to number or tell about (Ps. 40:5). The might and strength of horsemen is emphasized (Isa. 31:1). It is used figuratively of the might of a male goat that represents Alexander the Great (Dan. 8:8, 24)." (The Complete Word Study Dictionary – OT) 

Atsom - 17x - became...mighty(2), gain power(1), made them stronger(1), mighty(2), numerous(6), powerful(2), strong(2), vast(1). - Gen. 26:16; Ex 1:7; Ex 1:20; Ps. 38:19; Ps. 40:5; Ps. 40:12; Ps. 69:4; Ps. 105:24; Ps. 139:17; Isa. 31:1; Jer. 5:6; Jer. 15:8; Jer. 30:14; Jer. 30:15; Dan. 8:8; Dan. 8:24; Dan. 11:23


Robert Neighbour - A MIGHTY NATION AT ITS BEGINNING (Exod. 1:7)
The Jewish race has been a race which began under the eye of Jehovah. It grew and developed under His blessing. It has been kept through all the vicissitudes of history in His hand, and it will finally be led out into a marvelous world-wide benefaction by His power. The nation of Israel was composed of twelve tribes. Each tribe was the outgrowth of one of the twelve sons of Jacob. The names of the tribes bear the names of Jacob's sons. These shall yet be united again in Palestine. We remember there was a division in Israel following the death of Solomon. Jeroboam and Rehoboam headed the two divisions. For the first time in history the twelve tribes will be united when Christ returns as their King. It was in the land of Egypt that the children of Jacob's sons began to multiply, and in the day of their Exodus they numbered six hundred thousand men, and much more than a million all told. What great things come from small beginnings! Away back God had said to Abraham, "Get thee out." He promised that from him should come a multitude of people. Abraham begat Isaac. Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob begat the twelve sons, which formed the twelve tribes. Those tribes today number, so far as human reckoning is concerned, more than fifteen million Jews.

Robert Neighbour - GOD'S BLESSINGS UPON ISRAEL (Exod. 1:7)
Our key text tells us that "the Children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them." Let us look at these words.

1. They were fruitful. This expression had to do more with their numerical increase. Many sons and daughters were added unto them. There is, however, a spiritual message. The Lord wants us to bear fruit. We read, "Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." God grant that we may not be a vine without any grapes, or a fig tree without any figs. It became true of Israel in her later history that God looked upon His vineyard to see if there was any fruit, and He found none.

2. They increased. As the decades passed the Children of Israel increased. We think of the days of the early Church. The Bible tells us of the small beginning, the twelve whom the Lord called. It also tells us how at Pentecost there were added unto them about three thousand souls. A little later we are told that the number of disciples multiplied greatly. What right do we have to be saved unless we are going to bring others to the Lord Jesus Christ? We are called to increase.

3. They were mighty. They were not only many in number, but they waxed great in influence and power. They filled the land. God grant that we, too, may be filled with the Holy Ghost and power, and that our testimony may grip men.

Exodus 1:8  Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.

BGT  Exodus 1:8 ἀνέστη δὲ βασιλεὺς ἕτερος ἐπ᾽ Αἴγυπτον ὃς οὐκ ᾔδει τὸν Ιωσηφ

NET  Exodus 1:8 Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power over Egypt.

LXE  Exodus 1:8 And there arose up another king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph.

NLT  Exodus 1:8 Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done.

KJV  Exodus 1:8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.

ESV  Exodus 1:8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.

NIV  Exodus 1:8 Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt.

ASV  Exodus 1:8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph.

CSB  Exodus 1:8 A new king, who had not known Joseph, came to power in Egypt.

NKJ  Exodus 1:8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.

NRS  Exodus 1:8 Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.

YLT  Exodus 1:8 And there riseth a new king over Egypt, who hath not known Joseph,

  • new king: Ec 2:18,19 9:15 Ac 7:18 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

TRANSFER OF POWER
TO A BAD KING

Their circumstances changed. It was similar to the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 which affected every life on the planet! Isn't that what happens in our life? The Hebrews did not know God was behind the scenes controlling the scenes He is behind, but He was. We should have the same assurance and confidence in our life, especially when affliction or trials occur and they are not of our own making (i.e., not the disciplining hand of the Lord - Heb 12:5-11). 

Now a new king arose over Egypt - Regarding the issue of the identity of this king see note above. This passage reminds me of the change of presidential administrations in America, where new administrations often result in many folks losing their comfortable positions. The Sons of Israel were very comfortable, really, too comfortable. And in a similar way, for all of us the danger of being too comfortable can lead to spiritual malaise and a tendency to forget God and our daily need of His grace to make it. Sometimes God has to allow or send affliction or tribulation into our lives to bring us to our knees (or our senses) and remind us of what is really important in life, which is our relationship with Jesus! So, if you are in the "pressure cooker" today, don't try to jump out, but make a conscious choice to not waste this trial either sent or allowed by our sovereign God! 

Acts 7:18+ Until THERE AROSE ANOTHER (Lxx = heteros - another of another king) KING OVER EGYPT WHO KNEW NOTHING ABOUT JOSEPH.

J Ligon Duncan on a new king - This may well indicate the coming of an entirely new dynasty. We don’t know which pharaoh this was, we don’t know when this happened, but we can speculate this. Either the pharaohs who were in control in the days of Joseph were foreign and a new dynasty came in which was indigenous to Egypt and ran them off, or the dynasty under which Joseph ruled was indigenous and a foreign dynasty came in. Either way it would explain why the new dynasty wouldn’t be that interesting in continuing the favors which had been given to the children of Israel because of Joseph. They wanted to start from scratch. They had new concerns and new agendas, and because it’s a new dynasty, there was no desire to perpetuate the favors which had been given to Israel because of Joseph or Joseph’s memory. By the way, isn’t that a reminder that God’s people ought never to put their trust in men and circumstances because those things change. So even there we see a lesson in that story.

Who did not know Joseph - The Septuagint (Lxx) uses (ou) indicating absolute negation, so that the new king had absolutely no knowledge of Joseph. The phrase rose over does not imply a peaceful transfer of power for the Hebrew verb arose (qum) combined with the preposition over ('al) often means to rise against and thus could be translated "rose up against Egypt." For example in Dt 19:11 we read "if there is a man who hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and rises up (qum) against ('al) him and strikes him so that he dies, and he flees to one of these cities... (GOES ON TO DESCRIBE THE CITIES OF REFUGE)."  In the description of the curses which would befall Israel is she were disobedient Moses warned "Jehovah shall cause your enemies who rise up (qum) against ('al) you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways.Dt 28:7) It follows that this verb arose over supports the interpretation by most conservative commentators that the king was a foreign king from the Hyksos, and this would also help understand why he would have been completely ignorant of Joseph.

John MacArthur agrees with the preceding writing that "This king is either to be identified as one of the Hyksos kings (see Introduction) during a period of political disintegration, or as Pharaoh Amose I (ED: See Ahmose I), founder of what archeologists have designated as the 18th Dynasty of the New Kingdom period in Egyptian history. It is probably best to take this new king, who did not know Joseph, as a Hyksos ruler. Furthermore, the term "arose" signifies "rose against," which accords well with a foreign seizure of the Egyptian throne. The Hyksos (ca. 1730-1570 b.c.) came from outside Egypt (cf. Acts 7:18+)." (MacArthur Study Bible)

In this change of kings, we once again see the providential hand of God, for as Daniel explains “It is He (GOD) Who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.: (Da 2:21+, 1 Sa 2:7, Pr 8:15-16, Acts 13:22, see also Pr 21:1)

J Ligon Duncan - The first thing is this. In verses 8 through 10 God uses second causes. I’ll come back and tell you what a second cause is in a minute. God uses second causes even when they don’t know it. God, of course, is the primary mover. The first cause of all things. But God employs second causes to accomplish His will. Sometimes these second causes are natural forces, such as when he causes the natural forces to accomplish His will of destruction or of blessing. He may cause it to rain, and He may use the normal meteorological laws of nature in order to accomplish that as a second cause for accomplishing His purpose. He may ordain a storm, using it as a second cause to accomplish His purpose as He did in the story of Jonah, who sought to escape Him. And He sent a storm and a whale and people who were confused about what was going on on a ship. All of whom who served as second causes to accomplish His purpose with Jonah. But often God uses people as second causes, even when they don’t know they are being used as instruments of God’s will. And one of the things that strikes us immediately in this passage is that Pharaoh is an instrument of God’s purposes in this passage and throughout this story, even though he doesn’t know it, and he wouldn’t like it if he did. In this passage in verses 8 through 10 we see a new dynasty come to power in Egypt. This dynasty has new concerns, new agendas and a very short memory. And that makes trouble for the children of Israel. 


Robert Neighbour - THE KING WHO KNEW NOT JOSEPH (Exod. 1:8)
1. Pharaoh knew not what Joseph had done. It was under God and by Joseph's wisdom and skill that Egypt had been greatly enriched through seven years of plenty, and the following seven years of famine. All the people of the earth had come to Joseph for bread.

How easy it is to forget the Lord and to imagine that the blessings which He gives through His people were begotten through our own power. There were ten lepers cleansed, but only one returned to give thanks unto God. There are multiplied millions who are recipients of God's graciousness. How many are there who thank Him for what He has done?

2. Pharaoh refused the Lord whom Joseph loved. The gods of Egypt were gods of wood and stone which see not, neither hear, nor know. The God of Joseph was Jehovah, the Lord. The gods of this present age are the gods of human intellect, brain and personality. The gods of accomplishment by human prowess and skill.

At this very moment the world is in a turmoil of difficulty. Never has there been such a world-wide S O S call, and yet our own government, and the other governments, are not turning their faces toward the Lord.

In the expression, "He knew not Joseph" there lies hidden the whole story of this present-hour depression. Had we known the Lord, obeyed His voice, and sought His will, we would not be in our present plight.

Exodus 1:9  He said to his people, "Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we.

BGT  Exodus 1:9 εἶπεν δὲ τῷ ἔθνει αὐτοῦ ἰδοὺ τὸ γένος τῶν υἱῶν Ισραηλ μέγα πλῆθος καὶ ἰσχύει ὑπὲρ ἡμᾶς

NET  Exodus 1:9 He said to his people, "Look at the Israelite people, more numerous and stronger than we are!

LXE  Exodus 1:9 And he said to his nation, Behold, the race of the children of Israel is a great multitude, and is stronger than we:

NLT  Exodus 1:9 He said to his people, "Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are.

KJV  Exodus 1:9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:

ESV  Exodus 1:9 And he said to his people, "Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us.

NIV  Exodus 1:9 "Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous for us.

ASV  Exodus 1:9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:

CSB  Exodus 1:9 He said to his people, "Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and powerful than we are.

NKJ  Exodus 1:9 And he said to his people, "Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we;

NRS  Exodus 1:9 He said to his people, "Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we.

YLT  Exodus 1:9 and he saith unto his people, 'Lo, the people of the sons of Israel is more numerous and mighty than we;

  • people: Nu 22:4,5 Job 5:2 Ps 105:24,25 Pr 14:28 27:4 Ec 4:4 Tit 3:3 Jas 3:14-16 4:5 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

GROWING FEAR
OF THE ISRAELITES

He said to his people, "Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we - Notice the phrase the people which in the Septuagint (Lxx) is ethnos the word usually used for nation, thus here would seem to mark the Egyptian king's recognition of sons of Israel as an actual nation. As discussed in the definition of mightier below, this passage is a beginning fulfillment of Genesis 18:18 that "Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation.(Lxx = same Greek word ethnos)." The word behold (Lxx = idou) is an attention getting word. Israel has gained his attention! This new king now has a sense of immediacy and urgency because of Israel's multiplication and might! They are now perceived as a significant threat to his throne! 

Behold (02009)(hinneh) is an interjection meaning behold, look. Hinneh generally directs one's mind to what follows.

Mightier (06099)(atsum from the verb atsom) is an adjective  which  means mighty, strong, numerous. Gilbrant writes that "Frequently, ʿātsûm occurs with other adjectives, especially rav/rab (as here in Ex 1:9), which means "much," "many" or "great," and can refer either to a measure of physical strength or to vast numerical quantity. Context decides which translation to choose, but often the most likely definition is difficult to determine since the meanings tend to overlap." The first use in Ge 18:18 was a prophecy by God thath "Abraham will surely become a great and mighty (atsum) nation."  Atsûm depicts many of the native peoples of Canaan who were more numerous and powerful than Israel. Yet God enabled Israel to defeat them and settle in their land (Deut. 4:38; 9:1; 11:23; Josh. 23:9). In the future Millennial Kingdom described in Micah 4:1-3+ we read that Messiah "will judge between many peoples and render decisions for mighty (atsum), distant nations. Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they train for war. Atsum is used in a description of God bringing Israel into the land of Canaan "driving out from before you nations greater and mightier (Heb - atsum; Lxxischuros) than you, to bring you in and to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today." (Dt 4:38+; Dt 11:23 cf "stronger [atsum] in Dt 7:1, "mightier [atsum]" in Dt 9:1, 14)

Atsum - 31x in 31v - great(1), large number(1), mightier(6), mighty(14), mighty men(1), mighty ones(1), numerous(1), strong(5), stronger(1). Ge 18:18; Exod. 1:9; Num. 14:12; Num. 22:6; Num. 32:1; Deut. 4:38; Deut. 7:1; Deut. 9:1; Deut. 9:14; Deut. 11:23; Deut. 26:5; Jos. 23:9; Ps. 10:10; Ps. 35:18; Ps. 135:10; Prov. 7:26; Prov. 18:18; Prov. 30:26; Isa. 8:7; Isa. 53:12; Isa. 60:22; Dan. 8:24; Dan. 11:25; Joel 1:6; Joel 2:2; Joel 2:5; Joel 2:11; Amos 5:12; Mic. 4:3; Mic. 4:7; Zech. 8:22

Exodus 1:10  "Come, let us deal wisely with them, or else they will multiply and in the event of war, they will also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land."

BGT  Exodus 1:10 δεῦτε οὖν κατασοφισώμεθα αὐτούς μήποτε πληθυνθῇ καί ἡνίκα ἂν συμβῇ ἡμῖν πόλεμος προστεθήσονται καὶ οὗτοι πρὸς τοὺς ὑπεναντίους καὶ ἐκπολεμήσαντες ἡμᾶς ἐξελεύσονται ἐκ τῆς γῆς

NET  Exodus 1:10 Come, let's deal wisely with them. Otherwise they will continue to multiply, and if a war breaks out, they will ally themselves with our enemies and fight against us and leave the country."

LXE  Exodus 1:10 come then, let us deal craftily with them, lest at any time they be increased, and whensoever war shall happen to us, these also shall be added to our enemies, and having prevailed against us in war, they will depart out of the land.

NLT  Exodus 1:10 We must make a plan to keep them from growing even more. If we don't, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape from the country. "

KJV  Exodus 1:10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.

ESV  Exodus 1:10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land."

NIV  Exodus 1:10 Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country."

ASV  Exodus 1:10 come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they also join themselves unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land.

CSB  Exodus 1:10 Let us deal shrewdly with them; otherwise they will multiply further, and if war breaks out, they may join our enemies, fight against us, and leave the country."

NKJ  Exodus 1:10 "come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land."

NRS  Exodus 1:10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land."

YLT  Exodus 1:10 give help! let us act wisely concerning it, lest it multiply, and it hath come to pass, when war happeneth, that it hath been joined, even it, unto those hating us, and hath fought against us, and hath gone out up of the land.'

  • Come: Ps 10:2 83:3,4 Pr 1:11 
  • wisely: Nu 22:6 Job 5:13 Ps 105:25 Pr 16:25 21:30 Ac 7:19 23:12 1Co 3:18-20 Jas 3:15-18 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

WORLDLY WISDOM
OF THE EGYPTIAN KING

James describes the king's wisdom as that which "not that which comes down from above (FROM GOD, FROM HEAVEN), but is earthly, natural, demonic (DEVILISH, HELLISH). For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. (James 3:15-16+). Demonic indeed, for Satan's desire has always been to destroy the nation of Israel to prevent the Messiah from coming (he knew Messiah had to come through Israel) and now he seeks to destroy Israel to keep Messiah from returning to keep the covenant promises to the nation of Israel. 

Come, let us deal wisely with them - Note the phrase "come let us," which is found 3 times in Genesis 11, the first two describing man's attempt to build a tower to Heaven ("Tower of Babel") (Genesis 11:3, 4, = "Come, let us make bricks...Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.." Compare two other negative uses - Ge 19:32, Ge 37:27) and the third the Triune God's reaction to their pride and rebellious spirit. It is fascinating that in both Ge 11:3 and  Ex 1:11, 14 we see them using bricks to build buildings.  This is wisdom according to the world's way. "Remember the builders of Babel had explicitly said, "Come, let us make a name for ourselves." (Ge 11:4) In contrast, in Genesis 12:2+, God had said to Abraham, "I will make a name for you. I will make your name great." Remember what Pharaoh means. It means great house. So the great house says, "Come, let us deal wisely with them."" (Duncan)

George Bush on wisely - The wisdom here proposed to be employed was the wisdom of the serpent; but with men of reprobate minds, governed solely by the corrupt spirit of this world, whatever measures tend to promote their own interests and circumvent their opponents, is dignified by the epithet wise, though it be found, when judged by a purer standard, to be in reality nothing less than the very policy of hell.

John Hannah notes let us deal wisely (shrewdly - NIV) "imply a policy that would check their increase and exploit their labor potential." (BKC)

Deal wisely sounds like a good thing doesn't it. But that is not the case. The ESV is a very good rendering "let us deal shrewdly" where shrewdly in this context means disposed to or marked by artful and cunning practices. The new king knows that he cannot take them on directly because they are more and mightier, so he is forced to deal with them through some sort of craftiness, just like his father (Jn 8:44) did in Genesis 3:1+! And so the Hebrew verb deal wisely (chakam) which is often used in a positive sense in the OT, in Exodus 1:10 is translated in the Septuagint (Lxx) with the verb katasophizomai which means to take advantage of by trickery or cunningly. To victimize subtly often with false arguments. We see a commentary on this in Stephen's sermon in Acts 7 

But as the time of the promise was approaching which God had assured to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt, 18 until THERE AROSE ANOTHER KING OVER EGYPT WHO KNEW NOTHING ABOUT JOSEPH (QUOTE FROM Ex 1:8). 19  “It was he who took shrewd advantage (katasophizomai) of our race and mistreated our fathers so that they would expose their infants and they would not survive (SUMMARIZING Ex 1:15-21, 22). (Acts 7:17-19+)

Deal wisely (02449)(chakam) is a verb meaning to be wise (Pr 23:15), make one wise (Ps 119:98), live wisely. Chakam describes King Solomon as "wiser than all men." (1 Ki 4:31) David says "The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple." (Ps 19:7+Goldberg explains that "The essential idea of cḥākam represents a manner of thinking and attitude concerning life's experiences; including matters of general interest and basic morality. These concerns relate to prudence in secular affairs, skills in the arts, moral sensitivity, and experience in the ways of the Lord." (TWOT)

See in depth discussion of the Hebrew noun for wisdom, chokam

Gilbrant In the OT, wisdom takes on both a moral aspect as well as a cognitive aspect. The wise person, first of all, has spent a period being trained in the task he is considered to be especially suited for. Those who possess true wisdom are those who follow the precepts of Yahweh's laws (Prov. 23:19; cf. v. 17). Psalm 58:5 refers to the skill of the snake charmer, and the preacher asks if it is worth pouring all of his wisdom and skill into his work and accumulating wealth, since he does not know if his heir will be wise or foolish (Ecc. 2:19). Solomon's wisdom is demonstrated by the number of his proverbs and songs and his extensive study of plant and animal life. People from many nations came to hear him and learn from his great wisdom (1 Ki. 4:31).

Wisdom is personified as a woman calling to all who will listen to her. Those who follow her instructions will become wise (Prov. 8:33), and wisdom brings its own rewards (9:12). Such advice stands opposite to the beckoning of immorality and lack of discipline. One can gain wisdom from many sources, including observing nature. Ants, rock badgers, locusts and lizards act with elements of wisdom and skill, which can teach their observers different aspects of wisdom (6:6; 30:24). Associating with wise people and accepting instruction and correction makes one wise (13:20; 19:20). Elihu, the youngest of Job's "comforters," told him that God gives people wisdom and that this is what makes us distinct from the animals (Job 35:11). The Law of the Lord makes people wise (Ps. 19:7). Moses mourned the fact that the people of Israel lacked wisdom and therefore did not understand what would happen to them if they turned from God and his Law (Deut. 32:29).(Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary)

Chakam - 26v -  acting wisely(1), becomes(1), been...wise(1), deal wisely(1), exceedingly(1), make me wiser(1), makes us wiser(1), making wise(1), skillful(1), teach his wisdom(1), wise(16), wiser(2). Ex 1:10; Dt. 32:29; 1 Ki 4:31; Job 32:9; Job 35:11; Ps. 19:7; Ps. 58:5; Ps. 105:22; Ps. 119:98; Prov. 6:6; Prov. 8:33; Prov. 9:9; Prov. 9:12; Prov. 13:20; Prov. 19:20; Prov. 20:1; Prov. 21:11; Prov. 23:15; Prov. 23:19; Prov. 27:11; Prov. 30:24; Eccl. 2:15; Eccl. 2:19; Eccl. 7:16; Eccl. 7:23; Zech. 9:2

Or else they will multiply - So even here we see his "wisdom" is to somehow limit Israel's numbers. First the king is concerned by their sheer numbers, their population and then with their power and the potential for overthrow of his government. 

The psalmist gives us a parallel summary of the events described int his section 

And He (JEHOVAH) called for a famine upon the land (PROVIDENCE, SOVEREIGNTY); He broke the whole staff of bread.  17 He (JEHOVAH) sent a man before them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave.  18 They afflicted ('anah = SAME VERB USED TO DESCRIBE ISRAEL'S AFFLICTION IN Ex 1:11) his feet with fetters, He himself was laid in irons;  19 Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him.  20 The king sent and released him, The ruler of peoples, and set him free.  21 He made him lord of his house And ruler over all his possessions,  22 To imprison his princes at will, That he might teach his elders wisdom.  23 Israel also came into Egypt (cf Exodus 1:1-7); Thus Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.  24 And He (JEHOVAH) caused His people to be very fruitful (Same verb in Ex 1:7 = parah), And made them stronger (Same verb in Ex 1:7 = atsom), than their adversaries (PROVIDENCE, SOVEREIGNTY).  25 He turned their (EGYPT) heart to hate His people (Read Proverbs 21:1), To deal craftily with His servants (PROVIDENCE, SOVEREIGNTY).(Psalm 105:16-25)

And in the event of war, they will also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land." - NLT says "If we don't, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape from the country." It is interesting the king does not want Israel to leave, but only to be under his control and for his benefit (e.g., building storage cities in Ex 1:11). The human king wants to detain Israel, while the the King of Heaven wants to deliver Israel (Ex 3:8). When a king's agenda comes into direct conflict with the agendas of the Almighty God, God always wins! Isaiah quotes the Almighty....

Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; 
-- Isaiah 46:10

As J Ligon Duncan explains "Clearly, Moses is setting up for us here, even in this passage, a great contest between Pharaoh and the God of Israel, even though Pharaoh is clueless. But Pharaoh is simply trying to secure his power. Pharaoh is simply trying to make his name great. Pharaoh is simply trying to exalt his nation. Suddenly, however, Pharaoh finds himself in a fight that’s a lot bigger than he ever anticipated. He has his own agendas. He doesn’t know anything about the God of Israel. He doesn’t know anything about Joseph. But suddenly his purposes are directly contradicting the promises and purposes of God. And God’s purposes will rule and overrule whether Pharaoh likes it or not. And in this setting, Pharaoh wants to come up with a plan that will exploit the presence of the Israelites while keeping their numbers and power in check, preventing their departure and keeping them from joining with an enemy." 

William MacDonald - Three evil rulers in Scripture ordered the slaughter of innocent children: Pharaoh, Athaliah (2 Kgs. 11), and Herod (Matt. 2). These satanically inspired atrocities were aimed at the extinction of the messianic line. Satan had never forgotten God’s promise in Genesis 3:15. (Believer's Bible Commentary)

Spurgeon The land of Goshen was fruitful, and the Israelites had been greatly favored by the Egyptian king. The mass of them, therefore, had little thought of ever leaving that country. They resolved that they would settle there permanently. In fact, though God would not have it so, they became Egyptians as much as they could. They were part of the Egyptian nation, and they began to forget their separate origin. In all probability, if they had been left to themselves, they would have melted and been absorbed into the Egyptian race and lost their identity as God’s special people. To a large degree, they began to adopt the superstitions, idolatries, and iniquities of Egypt. And these things clung to them in later years. Yet all the while God was resolved to bring them out of that evil connection. They must be a separated people. They could not be Egyptians nor live permanently like Egyptians, for Jehovah had chosen them for himself, and he meant to make an abiding difference between Israel and Egypt. The first thing to be done with the Israelites was to cause them to be anxious to come out of Egypt, for it is not God’s way to make people his servants, except so far as they willingly yield themselves to him. He never violates the human will, though he constantly and effectually influences it. God would not have the people dragged out of Egypt, or driven out in chains, against their own glad consent. He must bring them out in such a way that they would be willing to come out, so that they would march forth with joy and delight, being thoroughly weary and sick of all Egypt and, therefore, rejoicing to get away from it. How was this to be done? It was accomplished by a new king who did not know Joseph and his eminent services.


THE KING'S STRATEGY (Exod. 1:10)

1. An Acknowledgment. Pharaoh recognized Israel's growth and said, "Behold, the people of the Children of Israel are more and mightier than we." The men of the world cannot but see that God is with His own. They are compelled to recognize the superiority morally, intellectually, and every other way, of real God-led and God-filled saints to the common run of the unregenerate. He who walks with God walks in touch with the power and wisdom that is beyond man. He partakes of the might of his Lord.

2. Trusting human strategy. Pharaoh said, "Let us deal wisely with them." His conception of wisdom was some human manipulation by which he might deplete the number and the power of the people of God. He confessed his fear lest the Children of Israel should join in war against him, and against his people, possessing their land.

The Bible tells us that the wisdom of men is foolishness with God. Pharaoh proved utterly helpless and unwise in his dealings. Beloved, it is time for the Church to consider these things. If we are going forth to war, or to work for the Lord in our own wisdom and strength we will utterly fail; when the churches try to raise money, or to conduct their ministrations upon humanly conceived and humanly planned lines of activity, they are certain to fail.
Our power is in prayer. Our power is in our contact with Christ, the Head of the Church. The Holy Spirit is the One who must lead us on to victory.

Exodus 1:11  So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses.

BGT  Exodus 1:11 καὶ ἐπέστησεν αὐτοῖς ἐπιστάτας τῶν ἔργων ἵνα κακώσωσιν αὐτοὺς ἐν τοῖς ἔργοις καὶ ᾠκοδόμησαν πόλεις ὀχυρὰς τῷ Φαραω τήν τε Πιθωμ καὶ Ραμεσση καὶ Ων ἥ ἐστιν Ἡλίου πόλις

NET  Exodus 1:11 So they put foremen over the Israelites to oppress them with hard labor. As a result they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.

LXE  Exodus 1:11 And he set over them task-masters, who should afflict them in their works; and they built strong cities for Pharao, both Pitho, and Ramesses, and On, which is Heliopolis.

NLT  Exodus 1:11 So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labor. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as supply centers for the king.

KJV  Exodus 1:11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.

ESV  Exodus 1:11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses.

NIV  Exodus 1:11 So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.

ASV  Exodus 1:11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store-cities, Pithom and Raamses.

CSB  Exodus 1:11 So the Egyptians assigned taskmasters over the Israelites to oppress them with forced labor. They built Pithom and Rameses as supply cities for Pharaoh.

NKJ  Exodus 1:11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses.

NRS  Exodus 1:11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor. They built supply cities, Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh.

YLT  Exodus 1:11 And they set over it princes of tribute, so as to afflict it with their burdens, and it buildeth store-cities for Pharaoh, Pithom and Raamses;

  • to afflict: Ex 3:7 5:15 Ge 15:13 Nu 20:15 De 26:6 
  • hard labor: Ex 2:11 5:4,5 Ps 68:13 81:6 105:13 
  • Raamses: Ge 47:11 Pr 27:4 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Jewish Pogrom in 1614

THE FIRST POGROM
FORCED LABOR

A pogrom is defined (Wikipedia) as "a violent riot aimed at the massacre or persecution of an ethnic or religious group, particularly one aimed at Jews. The Slavic-languages term originally entered the English language in order to describe 19th and 20th century attacks on Jews in the Russian Empire (mostly within the Pale of Settlement). Similar attacks against Jews at other times and places also became retrospectively known as pogroms."

It is interesting that in the most horrible pogrom (to day), the Nazis subjected the Jews in concentration camps to forced labor, often literally working them to death! Perhaps the Nazis read about this evil king in Exodus! 

Scott Grant - In his harrowing personal account of the Holocaust (the Nazi Pogrom), "Night," Elie Wiesel describes the intensifying affliction that the Jews of Shiget, Transylvania, endured. First, they were herded into a ghetto. Then they were sent to concentration camps. Finally most of them died or were executed in the camps. At each stage hope of some kind bloomed but was soon crushed by the next brutal measure taken by the Nazis. A similar scene is described in the first chapter of Exodus. Intensifying affliction brought on by the Egyptians brings the Israelites to the point of destruction. But that's only part of the story. Each stage of increasing affliction is answered by God. Each attempt by the king of Egypt to rein in the Israelites is thwarted by God, who causes their numbers to increase. God will not be deterred from advancing his purposes for his people. We may face intensifying affliction. Things go from bad to worse. But the message of Exodus 1 is clear: God's purposes for his people will not be thwarted. His purposes for us advance despite intensifying affliction and through intensifying affliction. From our perspective, things may go from bad to worse. We agonize in the pains of labor. But God is giving birth.

Guzik on taskmasters There is a famous wall painting on an ancient tomb from Thebes, Egypt (modern Luxor) – the tomb of the overseer of brick-making slaves during the reign of Thutmose III. “The painting shows such overseers armed with heavy whips. Their rank is denoted by the long staff held in their hands and the Egyptian hieroglyphic determinative of the head and neck of a giraffe.” (Kaiser)  (Exodus 1)

So - This conjunction usually means for that reason or therefore and in this context clearly functions as a term of conclusion. When you encounter words that indicate a term of conclusion, a term of explanation, a term of purpose, a term of contrast, consider the "5P's" - Pause to Ponder the Passage then Practice it in the Power of the Spirit. 

John MacArthur comments that "Israel was assessed both as a threat to national security (Ex 1:10) and as an economic asset—slavery would, therefore, control the danger and maximize their usefulness." (MSB)

They appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor - Their earthly, natural, demonic logic (Jas 3:15b+) was as follows - since we fear the Israelites may overpower us, then we will be proactive and "overpower" them and afflict them with hard labor. If you think they can beat you, then beat them! There is in a sense a prophetic fulfillment in the use of the verb afflict, for this same verb was first used in Genesis 15:13+ "God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants (SONS OF ISRAEL) will be strangers in a land that is not theirs (EGYPT), where they will be enslaved and oppressed ('anah) four hundred years (SEE 400 YEARS)."

It is ironic that Moses uses this same verb 'anah with its other sense ("to humble") in the confrontation with the Pharaoh who was himself affliching ('anah) the Israelites, Moses and Aaron declaring to  Pharaoh “Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble ('anah - cf use in Dt 8:2-3) yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me." (Ex 10:3) 

THOUGHT - The tragic irony is that about 700 years later a prophecy would be given in Isaiah 53 that spoke of another Jew Who would be afflicted, and His affliction would make a way of deliverance for the Jews. Isaiah wrote "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted ('anah)....7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted ('anah), Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. (Isa 53:4, 7+) The Jewish Messiah was afflicted that He might deliver His people out of their affliction and slavery to Sin and yet John records "He came to His own, and those who were His own  did not receive Him (SOME DID RECEIVE HIM BUT MOST DID NOT)." (Jn 1:11+). 

Afflict (06031)('anah) means to be afflicted, be bowed down, be humbled, be meek. 'Anah frequently expresses the idea God sends affliction to discipline and to humble (Dt 8:2-3, context Dt 8:5, cf Ps 119:67, 71). Anah is the same word used to describe the suffering Joseph felt in prison (Ps 105:18)! Anah often speaks of harsh and painful treatment as here in Exodus 1:11 (cf Isa 53:4+, Ge 16:6). Anah is used in a prophecy by Zephaniah describing the future, final deliverance of Israel = "Behold, I am going to deal at that time (Jer 30:7+ - TIME OF JACOB'S TROUBLE) with all (NO MORE POGROMS!) your oppressors, I will save the lame and gather the outcast,and I will turn their shame into praise and renown In all the earth." (Zephaniah 3:19+)

How hard was this hard labor? It was like being in an iron furnace, Moses writing later in Deuteronomy "But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today." (Dt 4:20+)

And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses - Forced labor used for "food banks." The Hebrews did not build the Pyramids for they were built much earlier in Egypt's history (2700-1700 BC). Guzik makes a good point that "Since we don’t know exactly when this forced labor began, we don’t know how long it lasted. Some estimate the slavery lasted 284 years, others 134 years." (Exodus 1)

Pithom (Hebrew: פיתום‎) also called Per-Atum or Heroöpolis or Heroonopolis (Greek: Ἡρώων πόλις or Ἡρώ) was an ancient city of Egypt. Multiple references in ancient Greek, Roman,[2] and Hebrew Bible sources exist for this city, but its exact location remains somewhat uncertain. 

The name (רעמסס: Raˁamses, Raˁmeses) occurs in the Hebrew Bible, not as the name of a king but rather the name of one of the two cities was built for the Pharaoh of the oppression by the forced labor of the Israelites (Exodus, 1:11), the other such city being Pithom. Thus, the name was known to Jews and Christians long before the advent of modern Egyptology. The city is now commonly identified as Pi-Ramesses (House of Ramesses), the new capital founded by Ramesses II.


Ex. 1:11-22: The Bondage Breaker

ETS: God broke the bondage of the Hebrew people.

ESS: God can break your bondage

OSS: I want the hearers to trust God to break the bondage in their lives.

PQ: What truths can help us experience the breaking of bondage in our lives?

  1. The bondage is unwanted.
    1. The bondage of the Hebrews was unwanted.
      1. The bondage of the Hebrews was predicted.
      2. The bondage of the Hebrews was protracted.
      3. The bondage of the Hebrews was painful.
    2. We do not want bondage in our lives.
  2. The bondage is noticed.
    1. God noticed the bondage of His people in Egypt.
    2. God notices the bondage of people today.
  3. The bondage can be broken.
    1. God broke the bondage of the Hebrews when the odds seemed to be against them.
    2. God can break the bondage in your life.

Meeks' Preaching Notes - Meeks' Preaching Notes – Exodus: Preaching from Exodus.


THE KING'S PLAN (Exod. 1:11-14)
We spoke of the king's strategy, based solely upon his human wisdom.

We now speak of the king's plan. This plan was the outgrowth of his own strategy and wisdom. The king sought to afflict the Children of Israel. He "set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens." This expression carries with it a great weight because it has been tried out frequently against God's people down through the ages. Some one, however, has truly written that "the blood of the martyrs has proved to be the seed of the Church."

Far back in the beginning Satan sought by affliction to rid the earth of a man who knew God. He entered into Cain, and Cain rose up and slew his brother. This spirit of persecution was used against Israel during the wars of David, and in subsequent wars. It was used against the Church in its earliest history. Remember how it was written, "And at that time there was a great persecution against the Church." (Acts 8:1+) The Apostles, Peter and John, were cast into prison. Stephen was stoned. James was killed (Acts 12:2+). Paul was driven from city to city.

We remember reading as a boy, the story of the early martyrs written by Fox. We know, however, that persecution and even martyrdom never stopped the increase of the Church. It seems that the more they were persecuted, the faster they multiplied. At this moment in Russia multiplied thousands of Christians have been murdered or exiled, and yet, in spite of it all, Christians still multiply in the land where atheism and Bolshevism rule. Thus it was that Pharaoh's plan utterly failed. We read in verse twelve: "The more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew." Pharaoh sought to make their lives bitter with hard bondage, but God kept His eye upon His people (Robert Neighbour)

Exodus 1:12  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.

BGT  Exodus 1:12 καθότι δὲ αὐτοὺς ἐταπείνουν τοσούτῳ πλείους ἐγίνοντο καὶ ἴσχυον σφόδρα σφόδρα καὶ ἐβδελύσσοντο οἱ Αἰγύπτιοι ἀπὸ τῶν υἱῶν Ισραηλ

NET  Exodus 1:12 But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more they multiplied and spread. As a result the Egyptians loathed the Israelites,

LXE  Exodus 1:12 But as they humbled them, by so much they multiplied, and grew exceedingly strong; and the Egyptians greatly abhorred the children of Israel.

NLT  Exodus 1:12 But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became.

KJV  Exodus 1:12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.

ESV  Exodus 1:12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel.

NIV  Exodus 1:12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites

ASV  Exodus 1:12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.

CSB  Exodus 1:12 But the more they oppressed them, the more they multiplied and spread so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.

NKJ  Exodus 1:12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel.

NRS  Exodus 1:12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.

YLT  Exodus 1:12 and as they afflict it, so it multiplieth, and so it breaketh forth, and they are vexed because of the sons of Israel;

  • they multiplied. Ps 105:24 Pr 21:30 Ro 8:28 Heb 12:6-11 
  • so that they were in dread: Ex 1:9 Job 5:2 Pr 27:4 Joh 12:19 Ac 4:2-4 5:28-33 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

ISRAEL GREW
LIKE WEEDS

The more we try to kill some species of weeds, the more they grow in our backyard! 

But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out - All three verbs are in the imperfect tense expressing continual action in past time They meant it for evil but God was using it for good (Ge 50:20), ultimately to deliver them out of bondage in Egypt. As Ps 105:24 we see Jehovah's hand again "He caused His people to be very fruitful." This reminds me of reports we hear of the church in China where the more it has been persecuted by the Communist regime, the more it has multiplied. This OT pattern of affliction

Spurgeon Had the contest been merely between Pharaoh and Israel, the Egyptian king could exercise power and policy enough to defeat the sons of Jacob and reduce them to serfdom; but when a new name is brought in, and the contest appears to be truly between Pharaoh and Jehovah the God of Israel, it is another matter, and a far different issue may be counted on. There is One behind the curtain who takes Israel’s part. It did seem to be a deep-laid plot, political and crafty indeed. Instead of murdering them wholesale, it did seem a wise, though a cruel thing, to make them slaves—to divide them up and down the country, to subject them to toil till their spirits were broken, to appoint them to the most menial work in the land that they might be crushed and their spirits become so base that they would not dare to rebel. Thus we may suppose it was hoped that their physical strength would be so relaxed, and their circumstances so reduced, that the clan would soon be insignificant if not utterly extinct. But God met and overruled this policy in various ways: “The more they oppressed them, the more they multiplied.” Had it been another people, the tactics might have succeeded; but they were God’s people, endeared to him by their ancestry, ennobled in his sight by their covenant destiny, and encompassed with his favor as with a shield.

Remember that God may be behind the scenes, unseen,
But He controls the scenes He is behind! 

(Including every act, every scene, every moment of our lives!)

THOUGHT - Perhaps as you read this note, you need to remember that truth about your Heavenly Father Who loves you profoundly and personally. And so even now you find yourself unjustly, unfairly afflicted or mistreated because of your love of Jesus Christ. He warned us this was coming, so we should not be surprised (Jn 15:18-21, Mt 10:22). But the Bible is just as clear that God will either bring us through the affliction or will use the affliction to refine us, but in both cases He personally walks through the affliction with each of us (Heb 13:5+, cf Ro 8:35-39+, Dt 31:6, Isa 41:10). Truth is what we must stand on when our world begins to shake and Paul spoke beautiful truth when he declared "For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; (cf Col 3:1,2+, 1 Pe 1:13+, Heb 12:2+) for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Cor 4:17-18+, cf 1 Peter 1:6-7+, Mt 5:11-12+, Lk 6:22-23+). Listen and be encouraged by the words of Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Not Home Yet."

Afflicted (06031) see preceding note on 'anah

Multiplied (07235) see preceding note on rabah which speaks of numerical increase

Annie Johnson Flint’s memorable lines are ever apropos.

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase.
To added affliction He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

The Sons of Israel did not know it but God was at work behind the scenes and a deliverer was soon to be raised up. 

David Guzik has an insightful note on Israel's growth - This was God’s purpose for Israel’s time in Egypt. Egypt served as a mother’s womb for Israel, a place where they rapidly grew from a large clan to a mighty nation. The nation could not grow this way in Canaan, because it was practically impossible to avoid intermarriage with the pagan and wicked inhabitants of Canaan. Egypt was so racially biased and had such an entrenched system of racial separation that Israel could grow there over several centuries without being assimilated.. This growth in the face of affliction has consistently been the story of God’s people, throughout all ages – the more they are afflicted, the more they grow. As the ancient Christian writer Tertullian said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”. Suffering and persecution are like a great wave that comes upon a ship and looks as if it will destroy it; but the ship catches the wave and just uses it to speed along. (Exodus 1)

So that - This is a term of purpose or result ("5P's" - Pause to Ponder the Passage then Practice it in the Power of the Spirit).

They were in dread of the sons of Israel - They were just fearful, but loathed the Israelites. And so the NET is more accurate rendering it "the Egyptians loathed the Israelites." Dread is a strong word used by God Himself of the nations in Canaan that He drove out saying "I have abhorred" them (clearly as a result of their many abominations, idolatry and immorality). As the Israelites made their way from Egypt to the Promised Land, the nation of Moab, like Egypt, "was in dread of the sons of Israel." (Nu 22:3) The Lxx translates dread with the verb bdelusso derived from bdéo (to stink or reek) and which means to emit a foul odor, to render foul and figuratively to strongly detest something on the basis that it is abominable (to abhor). To turn oneself away from a stench and so to feel disgust. 

Dread (06973)(qut) means to be or make disgusted, to loathe, to be sick of. It denotes deep emotional reaction of issuing in a desired repulsion (or destruction) of the object abhorred. 

Gen. 27:46; Exod. 1:12; Lev. 20:23; Num. 21:5; Num. 22:3; 1 Ki. 11:25; Prov. 3:11; Isa. 7:6; Isa. 7:16


G Campbell Morgan - This book of Exodus takes up the history of the children of Israel, and carries it on from the point where Genesis left it. Its opening word "Now" is exactly equivalent to "And," thus marking the continuity. It has a character all its own. It is the story of how God rooted the national life of this people in His own redeeming love and power. In their days of quiet and prosperity in the land of Goshen, they had never come to national constitution. They were a subject race. The first pages of this book introduce us to them in circumstances of darkness and difficulty. They were now not subjects, merely; they were slaves; and most unjustly and cruelly oppressed and afflicted. The hopes of Jacob and Joseph concerning a going back into their own land seemed to have no chance of realization. They were absolutely powerless, and if simply left to themselves they were positively threatened with extermination. It was to that end that the power of Egypt was working. If there were still any hope in their hearts, it was set on God. This was His hour. In the words we emphasize to-day, we have the first evidence of His presence and His blessing. On the level of the physical, they could not be destroyed, because God had chosen them for the fulfilment of His purposes. The principle is of perpetual application. Every successive age in the history of men has seen it working. The more the forces antagonistic to the will of God operate against the people of God, the more do these people rise and gain strength. It is not persecution, but patronage, that they have most to fear.

Exodus 1:13  The Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously;

BGT  Exodus 1:13 καὶ κατεδυνάστευον οἱ Αἰγύπτιοι τοὺς υἱοὺς Ισραηλ βίᾳ

NET  Exodus 1:13 and they made the Israelites serve rigorously.

LXE  Exodus 1:13 And the Egyptians tyrannised over the children of Israel by force.

NLT  Exodus 1:13 So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy.

KJV  Exodus 1:13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:

ESV  Exodus 1:13 So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves

NIV  Exodus 1:13 and worked them ruthlessly.

ASV  Exodus 1:13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor:

CSB  Exodus 1:13 They worked the Israelites ruthlessly

NKJ  Exodus 1:13 So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor.

NRS  Exodus 1:13 The Egyptians became ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites,

YLT  Exodus 1:13 and the Egyptians cause the sons of Israel to serve with rigour,


Subjected to Rigorous Labor

WORKING THE HEBREWS
RUTHLESSLY

The Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously - The NLT paraphrase is interesting "So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy." The Septuagint (Lxx) translates the Hebrew (perek) with the verb katadunasteuo (imperfect tense = over and over) which means to oppress or exploit (James 2:6+) This same verb is used by Peter in Acts 10:38+ to describe those "who were oppressed (katadunasteuo in present tense) by the devil." Does this latter use not give us a sense of what Sin and Satan desire to do to our souls (cf 1 Pe 2:11+)?! But note the good news in Acts 10:38 that the oppression of the devil is no match for "Jesus of Nazareth...anointed...with the Holy Spirit and with power." This begs the question - are you daily relying on the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ to fight your good fight of faith?

Rigorously (06531)(perek) means harshness, severity. It refers to cruelty or the violence which stems from it. 6 uses - rigorously(2), severity(4).  Exod. 1:13; Exod. 1:14; Lev. 25:43+; Lev. 25:46+; Lev. 25:53+; Ezek. 34:4 = "with severity you (false shepherds of Israel) have dominated them"

MacArthur writes that "Between vv. 12 and 13 a major change in Egyptian history took place—the Hyksos were driven out (ca. 1570 b.c.)." (Ibid)

J Ligon Duncan - And as we study the section, we learn that God is so committed to growing us in grace, that He will spare no effort, and He will spare us no hardship necessary to that task and goal. Israel could have been very comfortable. They had the best of the land. They had enjoyed a period of influence and prosperity in the times of Joseph, and they could have very easily forgotten God and rested on their laurels. And in that very setting isn’t it interesting that God in His providence chooses to put them through hardships for His glory and for their good, because He is committed to their growth and grace.

Exodus 1:14  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.

BGT  Exodus 1:14 καὶ κατωδύνων αὐτῶν τὴν ζωὴν ἐν τοῖς ἔργοις τοῖς σκληροῖς τῷ πηλῷ καὶ τῇ πλινθείᾳ καὶ πᾶσι τοῖς ἔργοις τοῖς ἐν τοῖς πεδίοις κατὰ πάντα τὰ ἔργα ὧν κατεδουλοῦντο αὐτοὺς μετὰ βίας

NET  Exodus 1:14 They made their lives bitter by hard service with mortar and bricks and by all kinds of service in the fields. Every kind of service the Israelites were required to give was rigorous.

LXE  Exodus 1:14 And they embittered their life by hard labours, in the clay and in brick-making, and all the works in the plains, according to all the works, wherein they caused them to serve with violence.

NLT  Exodus 1:14 They made their lives bitter, forcing them to mix mortar and make bricks and do all the work in the fields. They were ruthless in all their demands.

KJV  Exodus 1:14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.

ESV  Exodus 1:14 and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.

NIV  Exodus 1:14 They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly.

ASV  Exodus 1:14 and they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field, all their service, wherein they made them serve with rigor.

CSB  Exodus 1:14 and made their lives bitter with difficult labor in brick and mortar and in all kinds of fieldwork. They ruthlessly imposed all this work on them.

NKJ  Exodus 1:14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage-- in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor.

NRS  Exodus 1:14 and made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and brick and in every kind of field labor. They were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them.

YLT  Exodus 1:14 and make their lives bitter in hard service, in clay, and in brick, and in every kind of service in the field; all their service in which they have served is with rigour.

  • their lives: Ex 2:23 6:9 Ge 15:13 Nu 20:15 De 4:20 26:6 Ru 1:20 Ac 7:19,34 
  • in mortar  Ps 68:13 81:6 Na 3:14 
  • rigorously imposed on them: Ex 1:13 Ex 5:7-21 Ex 20:2 Lev 25:43,46,53 Isa 14:6 Isa 51:23 Isa 52:5 Isa 58:6 Jer 50:33,34 Micah 3:3 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

And they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field -  Made their lives bitter is translated in the Septuagint with the verb katodunao (kata - intensifies + odunao - to grieve, suffer mental pain and distress) which means to afflict grievously, to embitter and in the imperfect tense pictures this as occurring over and over.

Note the root verb odunao means "to cause intense pain or to be in anguish." This word was used particularly to describe the pain inflicted by the ancients in order to induce men to make confession of their crimes. These torments or tortures were the keenest that they could inflict, such as the rack, scourging, or burning. The torment of the rich man was not only physical torment, but also mental anguish."

All their labors which they rigorously imposed on them - The NET says "Every kind of service the Israelites were required to give was rigorous."

Bitter (04843)(marar) is a verb meaning to be bitter, to make bitter, to grieve. Marar has the predominant sense of experiencing and causing bitterness in the sense of anguish and great distress. Marar conveys a sense of harshness, embitterment, offensiveness, affliction. Marar speaks of a physical attack in some contexts (Ge 49:23; Da 8:7; 11:11); of difficult work (Ex 1:14; 23:21); of the effect of calamities in life (Ruth 1:13, 20; 1Sa. 30:6; 2Ki 4:27; Job 27:2; Isa 38:17; Lam 1:4). 

Exodus 1:15  Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other was named Puah;

BGT  Exodus 1:15 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Αἰγυπτίων ταῖς μαίαις τῶν Εβραίων τῇ μιᾷ αὐτῶν ᾗ ὄνομα Σεπφωρα καὶ τὸ ὄνομα τῆς δευτέρας Φουα

NET  Exodus 1:15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,

LXE  Exodus 1:15 And the king of the Egyptians spoke to the midwives of the Hebrews; the name of the one was, Sepphora; and the name of the second, Phua.

NLT  Exodus 1:15 Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah:

KJV  Exodus 1:15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah:

ESV  Exodus 1:15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,

NIV  Exodus 1:15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah,

ASV  Exodus 1:15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah:

CSB  Exodus 1:15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,

NKJ  Exodus 1:15 Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah;

NRS  Exodus 1:15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,

YLT  Exodus 1:15 And the king of Egypt speaketh to the midwives, the Hebrewesses, (of whom the name of the one is Shiphrah, and the name of the second Puah),

THE SECOND POGROM

See note above on pogrom

Enslavement was not working so now the evil king moved to plan B which was even more sinister. 

Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives - Fortunately they were not Egyptian midwives! The Hebrew word for midwives refers to "those who help to bear."

NET Note - The word for "midwife" is simply the Piel participle of the verb yalad, "to give birth". So these were women who assisted in the childbirth process. It seems probable that given the number of the Israelites in the passage, these two women could not have been the only Hebrew midwives, but they may have been over the midwives (Rashi). Moreover, the LXX and Vulgate do not take "Hebrew" as an adjective, but as a genitive after the construct, yielding "midwives of/over the Hebrews." This leaves open the possibility that these women were not Hebrews. This would solve the question of how the king ever expected Hebrew midwives to kill Hebrew children. And yet, the two women have Hebrew names.

One of whom was named Shiphrah and the other was named Puah - The text does not specifically tell us why these two women are named, but commentators suggest they were the two who were in charge of all the midwives. Clearly since the population of the Hebrews was approaching 2 million at this time, there would need to be considerably more than just two midwives. 

Cole “Shiphrah and Puah are two good Semitic names, of an archaic type….meaning something like ‘beauty’ and ‘splendour’ respectively.” (Ibid)

Believer's Study Bible - The recording of specific names is another indication that this is authentic historical material. Some question the historicity of the first chapter of Exodus because two midwives would not have been able to deliver all the children born to the multitude of Israelites. However, this is quickly dismissed in that the text does not specify that there were only two midwives; rather it mentions two by name. The pharaoh of Egypt at this time was probably Amenhotep I (1546-1526 B.C.) or Thutmose I (1526-1512 B.C.).

Exodus 1:16  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."

BGT  Exodus 1:16 καὶ εἶπεν ὅταν μαιοῦσθε τὰς Εβραίας καὶ ὦσιν πρὸς τῷ τίκτειν ἐὰν μὲν ἄρσεν ᾖ ἀποκτείνατε αὐτό ἐὰν δὲ θῆλυ περιποιεῖσθε αὐτό

NET  Exodus 1:16 "When you assist the Hebrew women in childbirth, observe at the delivery: If it is a son, kill him, but if it is a daughter, she may live."

LXE  Exodus 1:16 And he said, When ye do the office of midwives to the Hebrew women, and they are about to be delivered, if it be a male, kill it; but if a female, save it.

NLT  Exodus 1:16 "When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live."

KJV  Exodus 1:16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.

ESV  Exodus 1:16 "When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live."

NIV  Exodus 1:16 "When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live."

ASV  Exodus 1:16 and he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the birth-stool; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.

CSB  Exodus 1:16 "When you help the Hebrew women give birth, observe them as they deliver. If the child is a son, kill him, but if it's a daughter, she may live."

NKJ  Exodus 1:16 and he said, "When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live."

NRS  Exodus 1:16 "When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she shall live."

YLT  Exodus 1:16 and saith, 'When ye cause the Hebrew women to bear, and have looked on the children; if it is a son -- then ye have put him to death; and if it is a daughter -- then she hath lived.'

  • then you shall put him to death: Ex 1:22 Mt 21:38 Rev 12:4 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

HEBREW
INFANTICIDE

Infanticide (or infant homicide) is the intentional killing of infants.

And he said, "When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool  - Birthstool is the word "oben" derived from eben (stone) and means "two stones," where the midwives would place themselves in order to catch the baby. 

if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live - The king is ordering the midwives to murder all the Hebrew males, a request that is clearly contrary to the commands of God. If you kill all the males, it would be the end of the line of the Messiah, so in effect the Seed (Gal 3:16+) would be snuffed out!  

Guzik points out what was undoubtedly Satanic inspiration behind the kin g's evil edict - We may see the command of Pharaoh as consistent with Satan’s plan of Jew-hatred through the centuries, as an attack against God’s Messiah and ultimate plan for Israel in His plan of redemption. Satan knew that the Messiah – the Seed of the Woman, the One who would crush his head (Genesis 3:15+) – would come from the children of Israel. Therefore he tried to destroy the whole nation in one generation by ordering all the male children killed. (Bolding added)

Gene Getz - It was a wicked and terrible strategy, one that could only be contrived in the heart of a ruthless, egotistical man who was terribly weak on the inside and all façade on the outside. In order to curtail the birthrate, the Pharaoh decided to kill outright all the newborn sons of Israel. In his evil mind, the king reasoned that if hard work wouldn't stop procreation, the ruthless destruction of newborn males would. Who would feel free to bring a child into the world when there was a 50/50 probability that the child would be killed? (Men of Character)

NET Note - The instructions must have been temporary or selective, otherwise the decree from the king would have ended the slave population of Hebrews. It is also possible that the king did not think through this, but simply took steps to limit the population growth. The narrative is not interested in supplying details, only in portraying the king as a wicked fool bent on destroying Israel.

Exodus 1:17  But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live.

BGT  Exodus 1:17 ἐφοβήθησαν δὲ αἱ μαῖαι τὸν θεὸν καὶ οὐκ ἐποίησαν καθότι συνέταξεν αὐταῖς ὁ βασιλεὺς Αἰγύπτου καὶ ἐζωογόνουν τὰ ἄρσενα

NET  Exodus 1:17 But the midwives feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them; they let the boys live.

LXE  Exodus 1:17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt appointed them; and they saved the male children alive.

NLT  Exodus 1:17 But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king's orders. They allowed the boys to live, too.

KJV  Exodus 1:17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.

ESV  Exodus 1:17 But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.

NIV  Exodus 1:17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.

ASV  Exodus 1:17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men-children alive.

CSB  Exodus 1:17 The Hebrew midwives, however, feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt had told them; they let the boys live.

NKJ  Exodus 1:17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.

NRS  Exodus 1:17 But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live.

YLT  Exodus 1:17 And the midwives fear God, and have not done as the king of Egypt hath spoken unto them, and keep the lads alive;

  • feared God: Ge 20:11 42:18 Ne 5:15 Ps 31:19 Pr 8:13 Pr 16:6 Pr 24:11,12 Ec 8:12 Ec 12:13 Da 3:16-18 6:13 Ho 5:11 Mic 6:16 Mt 10:28 Lu 12:5 Ac 4:19 Acts 5:29 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

But the midwives feared God (Ex 1:21) - Solomon writes that "“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil" and the midwives hated the evil of murdering the Hebrew infants. Solomon adds "I know that it will be well for those who fear God, who fear Him openly." (Eccl 8:12) These women were like the apostles in Acts 5:29+ (Acts 4:19+).

Midwives - Gen. 35:17; Gen. 38:28; Exod. 1:15; Exod. 1:17; Exod. 1:18; Exod. 1:19; Exod. 1:20; Exod. 1:21

Feared (verb)(03372) (yare) fear as when one senses a threat to one's life, but in other contexts expresses the idea of reverence and deep respect (as in Ps 25:14+). In the OT fear of the Lord involves a person's total response to the Lord. It is notable that more than 75% of the over 370 uses (see below) of yare are in the context of reverencing the Lord. In English our word reverence (from Latin reverentia "awe, respect," from revereri "to stand in awe of, respect, honor, fear, be afraid of; revere,") refers to a feeling of profound respect for someone or something, and with yare in the OT as noted this is most often to God. The classic use is Pr 1:7+ "The fear (yare) of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge." Notice that a genuine holy fear of the Lord is often equated with believers (e.g. Mal 3:16+, Mal 4:2+,  Eccl 8:12-13, cf the last worldwide proclamation of the Gospel which says "Fear God..." - Rev 14:6-7+)

Yare in Exodus - Exod. 1:17; Exod. 1:21; Exod. 2:14; Exod. 3:6; Exod. 9:20; Exod. 9:30; Exod. 14:10; Exod. 14:13; Exod. 14:31; Exod. 15:11; Exod. 18:21; Exod. 20:20; Exod. 34:10; Exod. 34:30;

And did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live  - Note the powerful principle. Who you fear will determine how you live. What you believe will determine how you behave. The fact that they let the boys live indicates that they made a conscious choice to do this and implies that they could simply have let them die. 

GuzikThey probably feared Pharaoh and his power; but they feared God more. For them, the choice was clear. The civil government commanded something that was clearly against God’s command. The midwives did the only right thing: they obeyed God rather than men....Though generally we are called to obey the government and honor civic rulers (Romans 13:1-5), we are never called to put government in the place of God. Therefore if the government tells us to do something against God’s will, we are to obey God first.

Related Resources:

Exodus 1:18  So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, "Why have you done this thing, and let the boys live?"

BGT  Exodus 1:18 ἐκάλεσεν δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς Αἰγύπτου τὰς μαίας καὶ εἶπεν αὐταῖς τί ὅτι ἐποιήσατε τὸ πρᾶγμα τοῦτο καὶ ἐζωογονεῖτε τὰ ἄρσενα

NET  Exodus 1:18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, "Why have you done this and let the boys live?"

LXE  Exodus 1:18 And the king of Egypt called the midwives, and said to them, Why is it that ye have done this thing, and saved the male children alive?

NLT  Exodus 1:18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives. "Why have you done this?" he demanded. "Why have you allowed the boys to live?"

KJV  Exodus 1:18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive?

ESV  Exodus 1:18 So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, "Why have you done this, and let the male children live?"

NIV  Exodus 1:18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, "Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?"

ASV  Exodus 1:18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men-children alive?

CSB  Exodus 1:18 So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, "Why have you done this and let the boys live?"

NKJ  Exodus 1:18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, "Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?"

NRS  Exodus 1:18 So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, "Why have you done this, and allowed the boys to live?"

YLT  Exodus 1:18 and the king of Egypt calleth for the midwives, and saith to them, 'Wherefore have ye done this thing, and keep the lads alive?'

So - This is a term of conclusion, functioning much like a "therefore." So based on the actions of the midwives, the king springs into action. 

The king of Egypt called for the midwives - One can imagine that although they feared God, the call to come to the king brought a shiver to their spine. 

and said to them, "Why have you done this thing, and let the boys live? - The king directly accuses them of disobeying his order to let the Hebrew boys die. 

The actions of the midwives recall the words of Peter and John which ordered by the Jewish religious leaders to stop preaching the Name of Jesus to which they replied "“Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; 20for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20+) And again in response to orders not to teach in the Name of Jesus Peter and the apostles answered and said "We must (dei = obligation, necessity) obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29+)

We also think of the bold response of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego who when they were told to bow down to idols "replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. “If it be so, our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Da 3:16-18+)

Believers are commanded to "be subject unto higher powers" (Ro 13:1+) and to "submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake" (1 Pe 2:13+), with this one exception. Obedience to God trumps obedience to men. In the examples in Acts, the apostles had been commanded not to "teach in this name" (Acts 5:28+), but God had said: "Stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life." (Acts 5:20+). God's commands take priority, God's commands take priority, but they should be His commands, NOT our extensions of those commands. And be aware that if obedience to God demands disobedience to authority, then one must be prepared to suffer the consequences. (cf Acts 5:40,41+ cp Mt 5:10, 11, 12+)

Exodus 1:19  The midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife can get to them."

BGT  Exodus 1:19 εἶπαν δὲ αἱ μαῖαι τῷ Φαραω οὐχ ὡς γυναῖκες Αἰγύπτου αἱ Εβραῖαι τίκτουσιν γὰρ πρὶν ἢ εἰσελθεῖν πρὸς αὐτὰς τὰς μαίας καὶ ἔτικτον

NET  Exodus 1:19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women– for the Hebrew women are vigorous; they give birth before the midwife gets to them!"

LXE  Exodus 1:19 And the midwives said to Pharao, The Hebrew women are not as the women of Egypt, for they are delivered before the midwives go in to them. So they bore children.

NLT  Exodus 1:19 "The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women," the midwives replied. "They are more vigorous and have their babies so quickly that we cannot get there in time."

KJV  Exodus 1:19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.

ESV  Exodus 1:19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them."

NIV  Exodus 1:19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, "Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive."

ASV  Exodus 1:19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwife come unto them.

CSB  Exodus 1:19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, "The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before a midwife can get to them."

NKJ  Exodus 1:19 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them."

NRS  Exodus 1:19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them."

YLT  Exodus 1:19 And the midwives say unto Pharaoh, 'Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women, for they are lively; before the midwife cometh in unto them -- they have borne!'

  • Jos 2:4-24 1Sa 21:2 2Sa 17:19,20 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

The midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife can get to them." - Some like Getz (below) think this was not the complete truth, but it is possible that it is. I used to deliver babies and can testify that when the baby is ready to come out, there is no waiting (I found that out by almost finishing a delivery in the elevator coming up from the ER)! One could certainly see God's hand in this expedient expulsion of the male infants, for then the  parents would have time to hide the male child before the midwife could arrive and kill the child. The alternative possibility to faster deliveries is that the midwives simply "dragged their feet" in coming to assist the delivery, so that it was completed prior to their arrival. In either event we see that God blessed them.

Gene Getz - Though they told only a half-truth when confronted by the king, God still honored the deeper motives of their hearts. They risked their own lives to save the newborn baby boys in Israel. Consequently, God honored and blessed them (Ex 1:18-21). (Ibid)

Matthew PooleThis might be no lie, as many suppose, but a truth concerning many of them, and they do not affirm it to be so with all…So here was nothing but truth, though they did not speak the whole truth, which they were not obliged to do.” 

Exodus 1:20  So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty.

BGT  Exodus 1:20 εὖ δὲ ἐποίει ὁ θεὸς ταῖς μαίαις καὶ ἐπλήθυνεν ὁ λαὸς καὶ ἴσχυεν σφόδρα

NET  Exodus 1:20 So God treated the midwives well, and the people multiplied and became very strong.

LXE  Exodus 1:20 And God did well to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and grew very strong.

NLT  Exodus 1:20 So God was good to the midwives, and the Israelites continued to multiply, growing more and more powerful.

KJV  Exodus 1:20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.

ESV  Exodus 1:20 So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong.

NIV  Exodus 1:20 So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous.

ASV  Exodus 1:20 And God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.

CSB  Exodus 1:20 So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied and became very numerous.

NKJ  Exodus 1:20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty.

NRS  Exodus 1:20 So God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and became very strong.

YLT  Exodus 1:20 And God doth good to the midwives, and the people multiply, and are very mighty;

NAB  Exodus 1:20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives. The people, too, increased and grew strong.

NJB  Exodus 1:20 For this, God was good to the midwives, and the people went on increasing and growing more powerful;

  • God: Ps 41:1,2 61:5 85:9 103:11 111:5 145:19 Pr 11:18 19:17 Ec 8:12 Isa 3:10 Mt 10:42 25:40 Lu 1:50 Heb 6:10 
  • the people: Ex 1:7,12 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

GOD'S GOODNESS TO
MIDWIVES AND ISRAEL

So God was good to the midwives - So functions like a term of conclusion (like a "therefore") concluding that as a result of the midwives being good to the Hebrew infants, Gos was good to them. 

NET Note on was good to ("treated well" - NET) -  In this stem the word means "to cause good, treat well, treat favorably." The vav consecutive shows that this favor from God was a result of their fearing and obeying Him." 

And the people multiplied, and became very mighty - We have already seen "the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly" (Ex 1:7) but now even in spite of the evil attempts to decrease their numbers, God increased their numbers. Unfortunately this would cause the king to go to "Plan C," the third Jewish pogrom (Ex 1:22). 

Guzik This is a wonderful example of the goodness and the power of God. Pharaoh said, “less” and God said, “more.” Pharaoh said, “stop” and God said, “go.”

John Hannah has an interesting thought that "God's purpose in granting the increase seems to have been to stir the ire and fear of the Egyptians so that they would more severely discomfort God's people and thus cause them to desire deliverance. So immediate blessing effected a negative action that later precipitated a larger future blessing." (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Exodus 1:21  Because the midwives feared God, He established households for them.

BGT  Exodus 1:21 ἐπειδὴ ἐφοβοῦντο αἱ μαῖαι τὸν θεόν ἐποίησαν ἑαυταῖς οἰκίας

NET  Exodus 1:21 And because the midwives feared God, he made households for them.

LXE  Exodus 1:21 And as the midwives feared God, they established for themselves families.

NLT  Exodus 1:21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

KJV  Exodus 1:21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.

ESV  Exodus 1:21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.

NIV  Exodus 1:21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

ASV  Exodus 1:21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them households.

CSB  Exodus 1:21 Since the midwives feared God, He gave them families.

NKJ  Exodus 1:21 And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.

NRS  Exodus 1:21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.

YLT  Exodus 1:21 and it cometh to pass, because the midwives have feared God, that He maketh for them households;

  • He established households for them: 1Sa 2:35 25:28 2Sa 7:11-13,27-29 1Ki 2:24 11:38 Ps 37:3 Ps 127:1,3 Pr 24:3 Ec 8:12 Jer 35:2
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries 

GOD'S BLESSING ON
THE MIDWIVES

Because - Term of explanation.

The midwives feared God - Pr 8:13 says "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil." (cf Pr 16:6, Pr 19:23)  To kill the Hebrew babies was the antithesis of the midwives' mindset. The midwives by their very occupation were to bring life into the world, not to take life from one who has just come into the world! Their fear of Jehovah caused them to hate this evil decree by the Pharaoh. Indeed, Pr 10:27 says "The fear of the LORD prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened." 

Cole makes a poignant comment - Even if they lied, it is not for their deceit that they are commended, but for their refusal to take infant lives, God’s gift. Their reverence for life sprang from reverence for God, the life-giver (Exod. 20:12, 13), and for this they were rewarded with families. The relevance of this to modern controversy about abortion should be carefully pondered. (TOTC-Exodus)

He established households for them - Midwives held their occupation because they had no children of their own but in this case 

God blessed them with increased fertility, just as He had the sons of Israel (Ex 1:7)

As Solomon wrote "By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established." Pr 22:4 says "The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches, honor and life." Ps 127:1, 3 says "'Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward."  Clearly the LORD built the houses of these midwives. 

THOUGHT - The principle of a healthy, holy fear of the LORD is timeless, for one of the major keys to an abundant (spiritual, not necessarily material) life is a genuine fear of the Lord. This principle reverberates through both the OT and the NT. In fact, it is so important that Peter commands believers to fear declaring "If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct (aorist imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth." (1 Pe 1:17+) Paul emphasizes how important fear is to our progressive sanctification writing "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Cor 7:1+). We even see this truth echoed in the future in Heaven! John writes "And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.”" (Rev 19:5+) Beloved, do you daily (enabled by His Spirit) make the conscious choice to reverentially fear the LORD which motivates and enables you to turn away from evil like Job "a man in the land of Uz...(who) was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil." (Job 1:1)?

Related ResourceThe Fear of the Lord

Exodus 1:22  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."

BGT  Exodus 1:22 συνέταξεν δὲ Φαραω παντὶ τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ λέγων πᾶν ἄρσεν ὃ ἐὰν τεχθῇ τοῖς Εβραίοις εἰς τὸν ποταμὸν ῥίψατε καὶ πᾶν θῆλυ ζωογονεῖτε αὐτό

NET  Exodus 1:22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, "All sons that are born you must throw into the river, but all daughters you may let live."

LXE  Exodus 1:22 And Pharao charged all his people, saying, Whatever male child shall be born to the Hebrews, cast into the river; and every female, save it alive.

NLT  Exodus 1:22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: "Throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile River. But you may let the girls live."

KJV  Exodus 1:22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.

ESV  Exodus 1:22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, "Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live."

NIV  Exodus 1:22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: "Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live."

ASV  Exodus 1:22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.

CSB  Exodus 1:22 Pharaoh then commanded all his people: "You must throw every son born to the Hebrews into the Nile, but let every daughter live."

NKJ  Exodus 1:22 So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, "Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive."

NRS  Exodus 1:22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, "Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live."

YLT  Exodus 1:22 and Pharaoh layeth a charge on all his people, saying, 'Every son who is born -- into the River ye do cast him, and every daughter ye do keep alive.'

  • Every son: Ex 1:16 7:19-21 Ps 105:25 Pr 1:16 4:16 27:4 Ac 7:19 Rev 16:4-6 
  • Exodus 1 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

POGROM 
NUMBER THREE

Then - Marks subsequent action, in this context based on the fact that the Hebrew numbers were increasing, not decreasing. 

Pharaoh commanded all his people - Now Pharaoh shifts from depending on the Hebrew midwives to charging the Egyptian people themselves to carry out the infanticide. Is this not similar to the evil "extermination" program of Nazi Germany where the Nazis called on the citizens to aid in their satanic scheme? And even if the German citizens did not overtly aid the rounding up of Jews, they were absolutely complicit in their heartless apathy to furnaces spewing out "white snow" from the ashes of the Jewish corpses! 

Saying, "Every son who is born you are to cast into the Nile -  One can only imagine the weeping and wailing among the Hebrew women as their newborn sons were snatched from their ' breasts and thrown into the murky waters of this Egyptian river (filled with crocodiles). Little did the Pharaoh know that what he meant for evil God would use for good and would virtually repeat the truth in Genesis 50:20 in the life of Moses - "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive." In Moses' case of course the preservation would be deliverance for the nation of Israel. 

This same pattern of an attempt to destroy a generation of Hebrew males was instituted by the evil ruler Herod at the time of the birth of Jesus. (Mt 2:16+)

Cole To execute by drowning was an obvious method in a country such as Egypt and Babylonia, just as death by stoning was obvious in rocky Israel (Josh. 7:25). Whether Israel in general obeyed pharaoh’s edict, we do not know: certainly the parents of Moses braved pharaoh’s anger (Heb. 11:23+).(TOTC-Ex)

Hannah So the oppression against the Israelites deepened, but as God's people were suffering under this subjugation, God prepared a deliverer. (Ibid)

Guzik The method Pharaoh commanded for the death of the male children of Israel became the divine provision for training the deliverer of Israel.

Nile (river)(02975)(yeor) means a river or stream forming a channel of water though a land and most uses refer to the Nile River in Egypt (Ge 41:1-3, Ex 1:22, 2 Ki 19:24, Amos 8:8, 9:5) or its tributaries (Ex 7:19). Alexander says yeor "is employed five basic ways. First, it refers to the river Nile. In judgment contexts, the drying up of the Nile portrays Egypt's life-source being severed (Isaiah 23:3); the Nile's dominance over the land of Egypt is compared to the comprehensiveness of Egypt's judgment (Isaiah 19:6-8; Ezekiel 29:3-10) and that of others (Isaiah 23:10); the fluctuation of the Nile is likened to the rise and fall of nations (Jer 46:7-8; Amos 8:8). Second, the Nile's canals are depicted by the plural of this term, often describing the vastness of Egypt (Isaiah 7:18). Third, this noun sometimes conveys the general idea of "river" (Isaiah 33:21). Fourth, Daniel employs the term in reference to the Tigris river (or Hiddekel, cf. Daniel 10:4 and Daniel 12:5-7) (Map). Fifth, Job uses this noun to describe man's ability to cut rock channels (Job 28:10; cf. peleg)." (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament) 

Yeor - 48v - Gen. 41:1; Gen. 41:2; Gen. 41:3; Gen. 41:17; Gen. 41:18; Exod. 1:22; Exod. 2:3; Exod. 2:5; Exod. 4:9; Exod. 7:15; Exod. 7:17; Exod. 7:18; Exod. 7:19; Exod. 7:20; Exod. 7:21; Exod. 7:24; Exod. 7:25; Exod. 8:3; Exod. 8:5; Exod. 8:9; Exod. 8:11; Exod. 17:5; 2 Ki. 19:24; Job 28:10; Ps. 78:44; Isa. 7:18; Isa. 19:6; Isa. 19:7; Isa. 19:8; Isa. 23:3; Isa. 23:10; Isa. 33:21; Isa. 37:25; Jer. 46:7; Jer. 46:8; Ezek. 29:3; Ezek. 29:4; Ezek. 29:5; Ezek. 29:9; Ezek. 29:10; Ezek. 30:12; Dan. 12:5; Dan. 12:6; Dan. 12:7; Amos 8:8; Amos 9:5; Nah. 3:8; Zech. 10:11

And every daughter you are to keep alive - The text does not say, but presumably the Hebrew women would become slaves and  intermix with the Egyptian population until the "sons of Israel" were absorbed and were no longer a distinct people group. 


PHARAOH'S CLIMACTIC STROKE (Ex 1:22)

1. In this slaughter of Israel's sons. we see Satan's effort to stay the numerical increase of God's people. If the sons were slain there could be no multiplication among the Children of Israel. This was the objective of the king.

2. In this slaughter of the sons we see a Satanic background. an effort on Satan's part to make impossible the birth of THE Son. God promised that through Abraham the Seed of the woman was to come, the. Seed which was to bruise the serpent's head. Satan, therefore, was one with Pharaoh in this slaughter, thinking, perhaps, that the people of Israel would be annihilated, and that, therefore, the Son of God could never come.

3. In this slaughter the natural result would be the amalgamation of the race with the Egyptians. With the male children slain, Israel's daughters would be taken as wives to the Egyptians. In that way the identity of Israel, as a separate people, would be entirely lost, and within the course of years, partaking the nature of their fathers, Israel would be Egyptianized. Satan still seeks to swallow up the saints by causing them to mingle with the world until their peculiar power as a separated people is entirely lost.

4. In this slaughter against the sons we see, in anticipation, the final strategy of Satan against the Son. There is a verse of Scripture which tells us the dragon sought to slay the Son as soon as it was born. Jesus Christ was scarcely born when an edict of Herod went forth that all the male children in Judea should be slain, God, however, shielded His Son and protected Him from the wrath of the king.


ILLUSTRATION - CHOKING THE WEEDS
"The way to destroy ill weeds is to plant good herbs that are contrary." We have all heard of weeds choking the wheat; if we were wise we should learn from our enemy, and endeavor to choke the weeds by the wheat. Pre-occupation of mind is a great safeguard from temptation. Fill a bushel with corn, and you will keep out the chaff: have the heart stored with holy things, and the vanities of the world will not so readily obtain a lodging-place. Herein is wisdom in the training of children. Plant the mind early with the truths of God's Word, and error and folly will, in a measure, be forestalled. The false will soon spring up if we do not early occupy the mind with the true. He who said that he did not wish to prejudice his boy's mind by teaching him to pray, soon discovered that the devil was not so scrupulous, for his boy soon learned to swear. It is well to prejudice a field in favor of wheat at the first opportunity. In the matter of amusements for the young, it is much better to provide than to prohibit. If we find the lads and lasses interesting employments they will not be so hungry after the gaities and ensnarements of this wicked world. If we are afraid that the children will eat unwholesome food abroad, let us as much as possible take the edge from their appetites by keeping a good table at home.—Charles. H. Spurgeon

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