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EXODUS 1:1-6 "Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already. 6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation."

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Joseph and all his brothers have died and Exodus chapter 1 begins three and one-half centuries after Genesis 50 ended.

EXODUS 1:7-12 "And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. 8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 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. 11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel."

Now a new Pharaoh has come to the throne of Egypt who does not know Joseph. The former kings were evidently told about how Joseph the Israelite had saved Egypt from the famine by interpreting the Kings dream and storing the food during the 7 years of plenty. They probably felt indebted to the nation of Israel. But this Pharaoh didn't know anything about Joseph. I know my children get tired of me telling them the stories of my youth and about things their great grandparents used to say and do but I feel it is very important to keep these memories alive in the younger generations. Likewise, when my children were younger, I told and retold them the stories from the Bible. They are both now grown with families of their own but they could tell you every detail of stories like David and Goliath, Joseph and his coat of many colors, Moses and the Red Sea, Joshua and the walls of Jericho and many more. It is so important to continually tell the children about God, the birth of Jesus, His death and Resurrection and all the great Bible Stories in the Old Testament lest the next generation forgets, just as The Egyptians had forgotten about Joseph. At one time Joseph was a hero in Egypt but here, just three and a half generations later, he has been completely forgotten.

Pharaoh was worried that the Israelites might join forces with enemies to Egypt and fight against them. This was certainly a possibility. The simple way to solve the problem would have been just to let the nation of Israel go but Pharaoh wanted slaves to build his treasure cities. The Israelites built the cities of Pithom and Raamses. Many people believe they built the pyramids but historians say they were actually built many years before Israel moved to Egypt. They built the treasure cities with brick made from straw. At first, the Egyptians provided the straw but later they were forced to hunt for their own straw. The more they were afflicted, the more they multiplied and grew and the more they multiplied and grew the more they were afflicted!

EXODUS 1:15-22 "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: 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. 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. 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? 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. 20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. 21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses. 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."

When the King of Egypt saw the Israelites were not being subdued by the work but continued to thrive, he ordered the midwives to kill the male babies when they were delivered. But the midwives feared the God of Israel. What a great thing to have said about you! It got their names immortalized in the Holy Bible! The name Shiphrah means "beauty" and the name Puah means "splendor". When asked by Pharaoh why they were saving the babies, they told him a lie - that the Hebrew women were delivering their babies before they could get there to help. Pharaoh then ordered the Israelites to throw their baby boys in the Nile. This was so cruel; I can't imagine having to do this! Because of their fear of Him and the way they handled the situation, God built houses for the midwives. It always pays to do the right thing!

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

How much Bible do you know? How much could you tell to your children or grandchildren without help from a book or the Bible? How many scriptures could you recite from memory? What are you doing to increase you knowledge of the Bible?

What would you do if you were in bondage and a dictator ordered you to throw your child in the river?

Do you think the midwives were justified in telling Pharaoh a lie? Are all sins equal?


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