Study

a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

1. The Israelites Oppressed

Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. 2Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already. 6And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation.

7And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. 8Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 9And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 10Come 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. 11Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. 13And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: 14And 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.

15And 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: 16And 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. 17But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. 18And 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? 19And 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. 20Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. 21And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses. 22And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.

13. And the Egyptians made. Thus Moses informs us that, so far from being induced to kindness by their fears, they were rather hardened, and spurred on to greater cruelty; for the wicked do not perceive that God is against them, when their perverse strivings are unsuccessful; and if this thought ever arises, still the blind impetuosity of their folly hurries them forwards, so that they doubt not to be able in their obstinate lust to prevail even in opposition to God; as will be made clearer in the progress of this history. The cruelty of the exactions is expressed, when he says that “their lives were made bitter,” nothing being sweeter than life; therefore, it appears, that their miseries were extreme and intolerable, which made life burdensome. He confirms this in other words, and also specifies their tasks, that they were engaged “in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of (similar) services.” He twice repeats that they were treated with rigor, i e., harshly.1818     “Par lequel mot il intend inhumanite, ou grande rudesse;” by which word he means inhumanity, or great severity. — Fr.


VIEWNAME is study