Exodus 1, 400 years later...

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Helen, Jul 26, 2002.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    There are three major gaps in the Bible in terms of what was happening. This is the second. The first was before the Flood, when we skip, in Genesis 4, from the murder of Abel to the murders by Lamech, generations later. The last major gap is the one between the Old and New Testaments.

    This gap is 400 +/- years long. Once Joseph was dead, interest in the Israelites ceased and there is no chronicle of their lives. All we know is what Exodus 1:7 tells us, "but the Israelites were fruitful and mulitiplied greatly and became exceedinly numerous, so that the land was filled with them." We will see later that several million left Egypt with Moses. And yet only Jacob and 70 descendants had started, approximately 400 years earlier. I don't know how to do the math for this sort of thing, but I can see we are talking about a MAJOR population explosion!

    In the meantime, there has been a change of Egyptian rulers, and probably not just rulers, but probably entire dynasties, for the new king, or pharaoh, "did not know about Joseph." Since Joseph had saved the entire populace from starvation and set up the entire economic system for the country in the process, it is highly unlikely that anyone in the same dynasty as the Pharaoh Joseph served under would not know the incredible history involving this man and his people.

    So, given this combination -- an exploding Israeli population and a new king/Pharaoh that did not know about these people, you have a situation ripe for panic.

    And, basically, that is what happened. The Israelites were quickly enslaved by one means or another. And yet God continued to bless this strange people and their population kept growing. But the more of them there were, the more the Egyptians were nervous and treated them harshly as slaves.

    Finally the Pharaoh decides he has got to stop this population boom where it starts -- with all these healthy babies! Pharaoh commands that the midwives kill the baby boys, but allow the girls to live. The midwives quietly refuse, fearing God more than man. God blesses them, giving them families of thier own, and Pharaoh gets more and more upset, until he finally issues the command that all baby boys are to be drowned in the Nile. The girls, again, will be allowed to live.

    Just as a side note here, there were times when the Nile was considered a deity in itself -- was this throwing of the baby boys into the Nile something that was done supposedly to honor this deity? Is this how the Pharaoh got away with such a cruel order? Were the Egyptians honestly that callous? The Bible does not always give us all the details we would like, but that is the best. If we had more details we would be far more tempted to judge the various people in these histories. But that is not what they are for. They are to demonstrate God, not man.

    Getting back to Exodus, it is at this point, when all the baby boys are ordered thrown into the Nile, that Moses is born. These are precarious times, and the mothers must have been going between heartbroken and furious. Both fear and anger would have been building to intolerable levels.
     
  2. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Helen,

    I have always thought that Shiphrah and Puah were some of the unsung heroes of the Bible.

    Imagine defying the pharoah. Especially when he wanted your race and your culture exterminated. It took a tremendous faith in God to defy him.

    And just think, when he called them on it and asked why they had disobeyed, they lied to him and even insulted him.

    Whether they meant to insult him or not, I don't know. But they made a slur against Egyptian women. They basically said that because they were not as sturdy and healthy and active as Hebrew women that their labor was too long.

    And about the callousness of the Egyptian people. I have wondered about that myself many, many times. My Sunday School class pondered on that when we studied this chapter a while back.

    But, like you say, since the Nile had been a deity, it would make sense that they could justify pulling a baby from a screaming women's grasp and doing something to her, either hitting her or holding her, so that she did not or could not follow. If it was literally during birth, she would not be able to follow them for long, if at all.

    It would seem to me that that would be the only way those people could have slept at night. Thinking, albeit evil thinking, that they were appeasing their god with human sacrifice.

    But, to me, even so, I still don't see how they closed their eyes at night in peace.

    Anyway, may we as women be faithful like our sisters before us.

    Shiphrah and Puah.

    Peace-

    YSIC
    Scarlett O.
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  3. Helen

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    Thank you, Scarlett. For those who don't know, the two women named by Scarlett were the midwives who defied the Pharaoh's orders regarding killing the little boys.

    Think about it. Just a midwife. How would God use you? What could you do to make a difference?

    Just a housewife; just a factory worker; just a car mechanic; just an ordinary everyday person....how on earth could God use you?

    Ask Him... :D
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

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  5. Clint Kritzer

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