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Archive for the ‘Notes on Exodus’ Category

My Notes on Exodus 14:5-18

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 21, 2013

Exo 14:5  And it was told the king of the Egyptians that the people was fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was changed with regard to the people, and they said: What meant we to do, that we let Israel go from serving us?

the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was changed. Pharaoh decides to withdraw his permission for the Israelites to leave (see Ex 12:31-32). Here we again see the fickleness of Pharaoh and his servants, as we have previously (Ex 8:1-11; Ex 8:16-28; Ex 9:22-35; Ex 10:16-20).

What meant we to do, that we let Israel go from serving us? Picks up a key word in Exodus, עבד (‛âbad), which can mean work, service, slavery, affliction, worship.  In a previous post, commenting on Exodus 1:14 I noted the following: work and service to Pharaoh’s designs were forced upon the people. Various forms of the Hebrew word עבד (‛âbad) are used here, denoting work and service. This forced work for Pharaoh and Egypt is to be seen in contrast to the work of service (i.e., worship) of God (Exodus 3:12, 7:16, 9:1, 9:13, 10:3, 10:24-26). In these latter passages various forms of the word עבד (‛âbad) are also used. Having finally allowed the Israelites to go and worship their God, the Pharaoh and his “servants” repentant, and want them back serving them.

Exo 14:6  So he made ready his chariot, and took all his people with him.

All his people. As the next verse makes clear, this is a reference to his entire army, not to all his subjects.

Exo 14:7  And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots that were in Egypt: and the captains of the whole army.

Six hundred chosen chariots. The best he had. They were the most likely to make first contact with the fleeing Israelites. Besides these top-of-the-line vehicles he also took all of the chariots that were in Egypt, perhaps indicating his desperation to get the fleeing people back. The entire force of anti-God have mobilized, an image that would become very important in latter Jewish writings such as Esther, where a massive persecution of Jews arises, and in Judith, a story which portrays individuals and peoples-enemies of Israel-from different time periods of Israelite history as allied together to exterminate the people.

Exo 14:8  And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; but they were gone forth in a mighty hand.

The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh. There are 20 references to Pharaoh’s hard heart in Exodus 4-14, employing 3 different verbs. In some instances the hardening is attributed to God, in others to Pharaoh. Concerning this seeming inconsistency regarding the source of Pharaoh’s hard heart Walther Eichrodt writes: The remarkable thing, however, is that this never led to a flat determinism, depriving Man of the responsibility for his actions. At all times the capacity for self-determination is insistently retained. The whole ethical exhortation of the prophets is based on the conviction that decision is placed in the hands of men. But the Law too … rests on this presupposition. The fundamental postulate of moral freedom is thus found in equal force alongside the religious conviction of God’s effective action in all things; and no attempt is made to create a harmonizing adjustment between them. It is testimony to the compelling power of the Old Testament experience of God that it was able to affirm both realities at once, and to endure the tension between them, without discounting anything of their unconditional validity (Walther Eichrodt, 1961–1967: Theology of the Old Testament, Vol. 2:178–79. Philadelphia: Westminster.). For more on the subject of Pharaoh’s hard heart one can profitably consult Protestant scholar Victor P Hamilton’s HANDBOOK ON THE PENTATEUCH, pages 161-167.

They were gone forth in a mighty hand. The hand of God. The statement recalls several earlier passages, most notably  Ex 7:3-5~He shall harden his heart…and I will lay my hand upon Egypt, and will bring forth my army and my people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt….and the Egyptians shall know that I am  the Lord, who have stretched forth my hand upon Egypt, and have brought forth the children of Israel out of the midst of them.

Exo 14:9  And when the Egyptians followed the steps of them who were gone before, they found them encamped at the sea side: all Pharaoh’s horse and chariots and the whole army were in Phihahiroth, before Beelsephon.

They found them encamped at the seaside. With the sea in front of them and Pharaoh’s army behind, they are in a tight  and dangerous predicament, humanly speaking.

All Pharaoh’s horse and chariot and the whole army. Like verse 7, verse 9 emphasizes the size and might of Pharaoh’s army, but these references are ominously separated by verse 8, which speaks of God’s mighty hand directing his fleeing people.

Exo 14:10  And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifting up their eyes, saw the Egyptians behind them: and they feared exceedingly, and cried to the Lord.
Exo 14:11  And they said to Moses: Perhaps there were no graves in Egypt, therefore thou hast brought us to die in the wilderness: why wouldst thou do this, to lead us out of Egypt?
Exo 14:12  Is not this the word that we spoke to thee in Egypt, saying: Depart from us, that we may serve the Egyptians? for it was much better to serve them, than to die in the wilderness.

And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel…saw the Egyptians behind them, and they feared exceedingly, and cried to the Lord. The drawing near of Pharaoh has made the people forget that God has been leading them on their way, a point emphasized at the end of  the previous chapter (Ex 13:17-22). As far as they are concerned, the only one who has been leading them is Moses and so they put this question to him (verse 11):  Perhaps there were no graves in Egypt, therefore thou hast brought us to die in the wilderness: why wouldst thou do this, to lead us out of Egypt? They then fudge the truth of what had originally transpired (verse 12). Originally the people had been open to the mission of Moses:  And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had said to Moses: and he wrought the signs before the people. And the people believed. And they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction: and falling down they adored (Ex 4:30-31). Only latter, when Pharaoh increased his oppression did the people complain (Ex 5:21). As Pharaoh was fickle in regard to repentance, the people of God are here portrayed as fickle in regard to trust.

Exo 14:13  And Moses said to the people: Fear not: stand, and see the great wonders of the Lord, which he will do this day; for the Egyptians, whom you see now, you shall see no more for ever.
Exo 14:14  The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.

Fear not: stand. Moses appeals for trust.

The Lord will fight for you. In Exodus 13:17-22 the people were described as armed, and in 13:20 as an encampment (military term). God was portrayed as a general leading his army. Here he is portrayed as a warrior who will fight on their behalf. God as a warrior who fights for his people is a major motif of the Exodus traditions (see Ex 14:25; Ex 15:3; Deut 1:30; Deut 3:22;Josh 23:3). All of this should be seen in relation to verse 8 above, where Pharaoh’s military pursuit of Israel is juxtaposed with God’s mighty hand.

Exo 14:15  And the Lord said to Moses: Why criest thou to me? Speak to the children of Israel to go forward.
Exo 14:16  But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch forth thy hand over the sea, and divide it: that the children of Israel may go through the midst of the sea on dry ground.

And the Lord said to Moses: Why criest thou to me? Moses has apparently been interceding on behalf of the people, or, he brought before the Lord the complaint of the people and the question is directed to them through Moses.

Speak to the children of Israel. He is told by God to order the people forward (contrasting Moses’ word “stand” in verse 14). This contrast is a reminder that it is ultimately God, and not Moses, who is leading the people (recall the comments on verses 10-12) The rod through which God had worked so many powerful wonders will yet work another, dividing the sea so that the people may walk to its other side on dry ground.

But lift up thy rod, and stretch forth thy hand. The term used here for “lift up thy rod” is the same word translated earlier as God’s “mighty (i.e., uplifted) hand” (verse 8). Behind the hand of Moses that uplifted the rod is the might hand of God. Another reminder of what the people have forgotten in their accusations against Moses in verses 11-12.

Exo 14:17  And I will harden the heart of the Egyptians to pursue you: and I will be glorified in Pharaoh, and in all his host, and in his chariots and in his horsemen.
Exo 14:18  And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall be glorified in Pharaoh, and in his chariots, and in his horsemen.

God will go to war against all Pharaoh’s hosts (military personnel). Pharaoh’s chariots and horsemen are singled out, recalling verses 7 and 9 (see comments above).

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My Notes on Exodus 2:1-15

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 14, 2013

As is usually the case I did not have a lot of time to devote to these notes. I’ve included a few suggested resources at the end of the post for those seeking more.

1 AFTER this there went a man of the house of Levi; and took a wife of his own kindred.
2 And she conceived, and bore a son: and seeing him a goodly child, hid him three months. 

After this refers to the events narrated in chapter one, especially Pharaoh’s attempts at subduing, enslaving, and reducing the number of God’s people. His actions have laid the foundation for much of the story of Moses early life and prophetic/leadership career. Pharaoh’s attempt to get the Hebrews to kill of their own male children via the Hebrew mid-wives proved unsuccessful (Ex 1:15-21), and so the Pharaoh appealed to his own people (Ex 1:22).

The went a man of the house of Levi; and he took a wife of his own kindred. The parents of Moses are not named until Ex 6:20. In the present verse the focus is on their tribal ancestry, they both belong to the tribe of Levi. The levitical descent of Aaron, the brother of Moses (not mentioned in the present text) will become important later in the Pentateuch (Ex 6:14-20; Num 3:1-10; Num 26:57-61).

She conceived and bore a son. An ominous event in light of Pharaoh’s machinations, but the mother, seeing him a goodly child, hid him three months. Having enjoyed the creational blessing of God (“be fruitful and multiply”-Gen 1:28), the mother views the child from God’s perspective, seeing him as goodly (“and God saw that it was good”-Gen 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31).
3 And when she could hide him no longer, she took a basket made of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and pitch: and put the little babe therein, and laid him in the sedges by the river’s brink,

The mother’s action in regard to her son (who would become the God’s deliverer of his people) recalls in some ways the account of Noah (who brought relief to his people-Gen 5:28-29). The word basket used here is the same word used in the story of Noah for the ark or boat that carried him and his family over the destructive waters to safety (see Gen 6:14-9:18 where the word occurs 27 times). The water that Pharaoh tried to use as an instrument of death for the Hebrew boys (Gen 1:22), becomes a way deliverance for Moses; just as the flood waters that punished sinful humanity helped deliver the righteous Noah (Gen 6:9, 1 Pet 2:5).

And laid him in the sedges by the river’s bank. The Hebrew word here translated as sedges can refer to rushes, reeds (Isa 19:6), or seaweed (Jonah 2:5). Here the meaning is obviously “reeds,” or “rushes.” The placing of the basket in these reeds would keep it from floating away.

4 His sister standing afar off, and taking notice what would be done.

Pharaoh’s decree allowed the Hebrew daughters to live (Ex 1:16, 22), and now one of those Hebrew daughters (along with Pharaoh’s own daughter!) is about to become instrumental in delivering the future deliverer of God’s people (see verses 5-10 below)

The text show us that Moses had an older sister, but whether this is the sister later identified as Miriam is uncertain (Ex 15:20; Num 12:1-15). Aaron is named before Moses in the family genealogies of (Ex 6:20, Num 26:59 and 1 Chron 5:29), indicating that he was older than Moses. The fact that no mention is made of Aaron in these early chapters keeps the focus on the women in the story (mid-wives, mother of Moses, sister of Moses, Pharaoh’s daughter). Also, note that no mention is made of the father of Moses in regard his being put into the basket on the river.

5 And behold the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself in the river: and her maids walked by the river’s brink. And when she saw the basket in the sedges she sent one of her maids for it: and when it was brought,
6 She opened it, and seeing within it an infant crying, having compassion on him, she said: This is one of the babes of the Hebrews.

“No doubt the mother knew where Pharaoh’s daughter used to bathe and counted on her compassion to save the life of the child” (A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture).

Came down…saw…seeing…crying. The verbs used here in reference to pharaoh’s daughter are used in Ex 3:7-9 to describe God’s actions towards his people. God, like the daughter, comes down (Ex 3:8); sees (Ex 3:7); and hears crying (Ex 3:9). The actions of Pharaoh’s daughter preserves the life of Moses, allowing God to later used Moses to free people to serve him rather than Pharaoh.

The maids were probably Hebrew servant girls, lending further irony to the Pharaoh’s decision to allow the girls to live (see comment on verse 4).  At the bidding of the daughter of Pharaoh, these daughters of Hebrew slaves save Moses from what was supposed to be-according to Pharaoh’s instructions-the instrument of death for Hebrew boys.

Having compassion on him. The Hebrew word here translated as compassion is חמל (châmal), a word connoting softness and, by implication, pity, compassion, a will to spare. Perhaps we should see her attitude here in contrast to that of a later Pharaoh (her own son?) who would harden his heart towards the people of God (Ex 3:19; Ex 7:13, 22, Ex 8:19, Ex 9:2, etc).

7 And the child’s sister said to her: Shall I go, and call to thee a Hebrew woman, to nurse the babe?
8 She answered: Go. The maid went and called her mother.
9 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her: Take this child, and nurse him for me: I will give thee thy wages. The woman took and nursed the child: and when he was grown up, she delivered him to Pharaoh’s daughter.

Pharaoh’s daughter said…take this child and nurse him for me. There is an interesting word play here in Ex 2:9 with the Pharaoh’s command to cast the Hebrew boys into the river in Ex 1:22. Cast= שׁלך (shâlak, pronounced shaw-lak’), Take= הלך (hâlak, pronounced haw-lak’). Once again the daughter is portrayed as the antithesis of her father.

When he was grown up. Not a reference to adulthood (as it is in verse 11), here, rather, it means the age his weaning (nursing) ended (see the parallel between growth and weaning in Gen 21:8). Typically weaning ended sometime during the child’s third year (see 2 Macc 7:27).

10 And she adopted him for a son, and called him Moses, saying: Because I took him out of the water.

Pharaoh’s daughter took the child “then adopted it as her own son, and called it Moses (מֹשֶׁה): “for,” she said, “out of the water have I drawn him” (מְשִׁיתִהוּ). As Pharaoh’s daughter gave this name to the child as her adopted son, it must be an Egyptian name. The Greek form of the name, Μωΰσῆς (lxx), also points to this, as Josephus affirms. “Thermuthis (the name of Pharaoh’s daughter in Jewish tradition),” he says, “imposed this name upon him, from what had happened when he was put into the river; for the Egyptians call water Mo, and those who are rescued from the water Uses” (Ant. ii. 9, 6, Whiston’s translation). The correctness of this statement is confirmed by the Coptic, which is derived from the old Egyptian.

“(Note: Josephus gives a somewhat different explanation in his book against Apion (i. 31), when he says, “His true name was Moüses, and signifies a person who is rescued from the water, for the Egyptians call water Moü.” Other explanations, though less probable ones, are attempted by Gesenius in his Thes. p. 824, and Knobel in loc.)“~Keil and Delitzsch

Because I took him out of the water. That water which was made an instrument of death by her own father’s decree.

According to Acts 7:22 this act of adoption led to Moses’ being instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.

11 In those days, after Moses was grown up, he went out to his brethren: and saw their affliction, and an Egyptian striking one of the Hebrews, his brethren.
12 And when he had looked about this way and that way, and saw no one there, he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.

After Moses was grown up. According to Acts 7:23 he was at least 40 years of age at this time.

He went out to his brethren: and saw their affliction. Moses’ act of seeing recalls the seeing of Pharaoh’s daughter (see note above on verses 5-6). It foreshadows God’s seeing his people’s afflictions in (Ex 2:25; Ex 3:7, 9; Ex 4:31; Ex 5:19).

And an Egyptian striking one of the Hebrews, his brethren…he slew the Egyptian. The same word נכה (nâkâh) is used for the striking of the Hebrew by the Egyptian (11) and the slaying of the Egyptian by Moses (12). The word itself is rather ambiguous, denoting anything from a light tap to a lethal blow. Moses probably did not intend to kill the Egyptian, but that is in fact what transpired. In verse 15 the word used to describe Pharaoh’s desire to kill Moses is quite strong,  הרג (hârag), meaning to strike or smite with deadly intent.

And he looked this way and that. Moses’ checking to see that there were no witnesses before acting implies that he is knowingly taking his life into his own hands by acting against what was allowed by law. Moses is acting here by his own authority, not Pharaoh’s, not God’s (see comment on verses 13-14 below).

13 And going out the next day, he saw two Hebrews quarrelling: and he said to him that did the wrong: Why strikest thou thy neighbour?
14 But he answered: Who hath appointed thee prince and judge over us? wilt thou kill me, as thou didst yesterday kill the Egyptian? Moses feared, and said: How is this come to be known?
15 And Pharaoh heard of this word, and sought to kill Moses: but he fled from his sight, and abode in the land of Madian, and he sat down by a well.

Who appointed thee prince and judge over us? wilt thou kill me, as thou didst…kill the Egyptian? Moses has no authority to act as judge or leader of his people and therefore cannot justify his intervention with the Egyptian, or with the Hebrew. Who is Moses after all?

This is the very question Moses put to God at his call: And Moses said to God: Who am I that I should go to Pharao, and should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? (Ex 3:11). Having no authority to strike the Egyptian, or, for that matter, to act as a mediator between two fighting Hebrews, Moses was forced to flee from Egypt; Who indeed is he? He is the one God will empower and authorize to lead the Hebrews; and the one through whom God will strike the Egyptians for their acts of injustice (see Ex 7:14-21, espcially verses 17 & 20 which use the same word נכה (nâkâh) which was used in verses 11 & 12. See comments there).

Moses’ experience in verses 11-15 thus prepare for his commissioning in chapter 3

And Pharaoh heard…and sought to kill Moses. As noted above in the comments on verses 11-12 the Pharaoh’s intent to “smite” Moses is deadly, hence the translation kill.

But he fled from his sight and abode in the land of Madian (Midian). Provides a transition into 2:16-25 and chapter 3


THE GOD OF FREEDOM AND LIFE by Stephen J. Binz. Catholic. A brief and very readable commentary on 147 pages.


PENTATEUCH: NAVARRE BIBLE COMMENTARY. Catholic. The Navarre Bible Commentary was the brain-child of St Josemaria Escriva. Its purpose is “to elucidate the spiritual and theological message of the Bible” (Preface).

THE PENTATEUCH AS NARRATIVE: A BIBLICAL-THEOLOGICAL COMMENTARY by John H. Sailhamer. Protestant. This work “focuses on the narrative and literary continuity of the Pentateuch as a whole” (from the back cover).

HANDBOOK ON THE PENTATEUCH by Victor P. Hamilton. Protestant. Very useful.

Posted in Bible, Books, Catholic, Catholic lectionary, Notes on Exodus, Notes on the Lectionary, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Notes on Exodus 1:8-14, 22

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 13, 2013

Background: It is common to refer to Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy as “books” but they are in fact parts of a major theological opus often called “The Law (Or Torah) of Moses,” or “The Pentateuch.” The five “books” form a unity and are meant to be seen in relation to one another:

“The Pentateuch…was conceived as a single book and the reader will understand and appreciate its message only if he sees and interprets each of its five parts in relation to the whole. Thus Genesis explains the origin of the people who became the first citizens of God’s theocratic kingdom of Israel. Exodus recounts the actual birth of the kingdom at Sinai. Leviticus impresses upon the reader the ‘holy’ nature of the kingdom, Numbers describes its communal organization and emphasizes the need for a hierarchy of authority. Deuteronomy inculcates the spirit of love by which the citizens of the kingdom are to be animated in relation to God and to each other.”~Ellis, Peter F. (1963). The Men and Message of the Old Testament. Collegeville, Minnesota: Order of St Benedict. Copyright 1963 Order of St Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota.

The Book of Exodus opens with these words: THESE are the names of the children of Israel, that went into Egypt with Jacob: they went in every man with his household. In this way a connection is drawn to the final major section of Genesis: the story of Jacob and his twelve sons, especially Joseph, whose brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt (see Gen 37-50). In this way God began to bring about events he had foretold to Abraham (Gen 15:13-14), the great-grandfather of Jacob’s twelve sons.  In spite of the evil of Joseph’s brothers, and, indeed, through it, God showed his providential care for his chosen people, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (see Gen 50:15-20 cf., Gen 45:5; Rom 8:28-39).

Exo 1:8  In the mean time there arose a new king over Egypt, that knew not Joseph:

In the mean time. After the death of Joseph (verses 5-6) the people of God increased in numbers in Egypt over a period of about 400 years (verse 7, and see Acts 7:6). The increase in the number of “the children of Israel” mentioned in verse 7 serves to draw a connection with the book of Genesis. The  five Hebrew verbs used in verse 7: The children of Israel increased, and sprung up into multitudes, and growing exceedingly strong they filled the land, recalls previous promises and blessings of God:

To Adam: Gen 1:28
To Noah: Gen 9:1, 7
To Abraham: Gen 13:16, 15:5, 17:2
To Jacob: Gen 28:14, 46:3

There arose a new king over Egypt. A new king is, according to ancient usage of the phrase, a king who does not continue the policies, protocols and governing principles of his predecessors. It is said that he knew not Joseph, wording that should be seen in relation to the description of him as a new king. His lack of knowledge concerning Joseph does not mean he is unaware of how the Hebrews came to be in Egypt, rather, he is guilty of a willful ignorance used to serve his new policies. He has knowing rejected knowledge of his predecessors policies regarding the Hebrews.

The unnamed king (Pharaoh) is usually identified as Seti  I. The Pharaoh at the time of the Exodus is usually identified as Ramses II.

Exo 1:9  And he said to his people: Behold the people of the children of Israel are numerous and stronger than we.
Exo 1:10  Come let us wisely oppress them, lest they multiply: and if any war shall rise against us, join with our enemies, and having overcome us, depart out of the land.

The children of Israel are numerous and stronger than we. Stephen J. Binz suggests that the Pharaoh is left unnamed so that he might become “a symbol for the forces of slavery and death which take on the God of freedom and life”~Binz, Stephen J (1993). The God of Freedom and Life. Collegeville, Minn.: The Liturgical Press. Copyright 1993 Order of St Benedict.

Come let us wisely oppress them . Wisely. The Hebrew  הִתְחַכֵּם indicates a craftiness, here political in nature. .

lest they multiply: and if any war shall rise against us, join our enemies. Excavations dating to the time of Seti and Ramses indicate that major building efforts were underway in the Nile Delta in Egypt. Slave laborers were employed for these projects which were located on the Eastern frontier of Egypt, an area prone to foreign invasion.

Lest they…depart out of the land. In verses 8-10a it is God’s blessings and promises of life, success and fertility that motivate the Pharaoh’s opposition, showing him to be anti-God. Here, in the second part of verse 10, it is Pharaoh’s fear that God’s people will leave the land of Egypt that is at odds with God’s promise to Abraham (Gen 15:7, 13-16; 17:8). slavery trumps xenophobia. Also, his fear of God’s people is at odds with the promise to Abraham in Genesis 22:18~And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Exo 1:11  Therefore he set over them masters of the works, to afflict them with burdens: and they built for Pharaoh cities of tabernacles, Phithom, and Ramesses.

He set over them masters of the work. The Hebrew could be translated: he set over them burdeners (i.e., men to burden them).

Exo 1:12  But the more they oppressed them, the more they were multiplied and increased. And the Egyptians hated the children of Israel,

The more they oppressed them, the more they were multiplied. Recalls Tertullian’s words in his Apologia: The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. “God is not man that he should be moved by threats, nor human, that he may be given an ultimatum” (Judith 8:16).

Exo 1:13  And  afflicted them and mocked them:
Exo 1:14  And they made their life bitter with hard works in clay and brick, and with all manner of service, wherewith they were overcharged in the works of the earth.

Affliction, work and service to Pharaoh’s designs were forced upon the people. Various forms of the Hebrew word עבד (‛âbad) are used here, denoting work and service. This forced work for Pharaoh and Egypt is to be seen in contrast to the work of service (i.e., worship) of God (Exodus 3:12, 7:16, 9:1, 9:13, 10:3, 10:24-26). In these latter passages various forms of the word עבד (‛âbad) are also used.

Exo 1:22  Pharaoh therefore charged all his people, saying: Whatsoever shall be born of the male sex, ye shall cast into the river: whatsoever of the female, ye shall save alive.

In spite of all Pharaoh’s machinations, including trying to force upon the Hebrews the complacency and complicity of killing their own male children (verses  15-21), God’s blessing and promises continued to be operative among the people who refused to play  the role of Jezebel (Rev 2:20-23) or the Nicolaitans (Rev 2:14-15), causing him to undertake more drastic measures. He turned his own people from oppressors into murderers. In this too, however, he will also be thwarted.

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