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EXODUS 1 GROUND ZERO: PRAY
AUTHOR: John Fallahee
PUBLISHED ON: May 20, 2020
DOC SOURCE: John Fallahee
PUBLISHED IN: Bible Studies
TAGS: exodus

EXODUS 1

 

GROUND ZERO: PRAY

 

As you read the Scriptures below, ask God to help you understand what He wrote. Examine your life by the truths of the text and look for sin to confess and repent, changes in thinking, and any actions you might need to initiate today.

EXODUS 1:1-22

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: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; 4 Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 All those who were descendants of Jacob were seventy persons (for Joseph was in Egypt already). 6 And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation. 7 But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them. 8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; 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.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. 13 So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. 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. 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; 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.” 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. 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?” 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.” 20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. 21 And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them. 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.”

 

GROUND ZERO: PRAY

 

CONFESS…

 

 

 

CHANGE…

 

 

 

RENEW THE MIND: MEMORIZE

 

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.

Write out the passage each day by hand and say it each day.

Day 1

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6

 

 

 

STUDY THE TEXT: LEARN

 

QUESTIONS: Answer the questions day by day. Do not try to answer all in one day.

DAY 1 (EXODUS 1:1-6)

What do we learn about Jacobs’ sons and their descendants?

 

 

 

 

How many descendants of Jacob were in Egypt initially?

 

 

 

 

DAY 2 (EXODUS 1:7)

What is the most significant change we read in in Exodus 1:7, since the death of Jacob, his sons and that generation?

 

 

 

 

What promise did God fulfill to Abraham that is beginning to be fulfilled in this section? (Hint: See Genesis 12:1-3, Genesis 15:1–5, Genesis 12:12-16, Genesis 17:1-8, Genesis 18:17-18)

 

 

 

 

 

DAY 3 (EXODUS 1:8-11)

Why did Israel’s situation turn negative?

 

 

 

What did Pharaoh fear?

 

 

 

What was Pharaoh’s plan?

 

 

 

APPLICATION: Have you been jealous, fearful, threatened by the success and prosperity of others?

 

 

DAY 4 (EXODUS 1:12-14)

Did Pharaoh’s plan work?

 

 

What were the people of Egypt thinking and feeling?

 

 

What additional steps did Pharaoh take to deal with the nation’s fears?

 

 

APPLICATION: Do you think there is a connection between persecution and prospering? Why or why not?

 

 

DAY 5 (EXODUS 1:15-22)

What request did Pharaoh ask of the midwives?

 

 

 

Did they obey Pharaoh, why or why not?

 

 

 

Is God approving of the midwives lie? Why or why not?

 

 

 

APPLICATION: What would you do if placed in a similar situation?

 

 

 

Exodus 1:22 is a transition passage into chapter 2. Who are being prepared to meet?

 

 

 

CHAPTER SUMMARY: How would summarize Exodus 1:1-22 in 10 words or less?

 

 

ADDITIONAL INSIGHTS: REVIEW

 

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:

  • Transition verse from the book of Genesis.
  • Who entered Egypt? Each man and his household. Household means family, which includes spouse, children, and servants.
  • “Came with Jacob.” God calls them the “children of Israel”

Exodus 1:2-5 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; 4 Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 All those who were descendants of Jacob were seventy persons (for Joseph was in Egypt already).

  • Genesis 46 lists the 70 which includes sons and grandsons

BIRTH ORDER BY MOTHER:

  • Genesis 35:22 And it happened, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine; and Israel heard about it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:
    • 23 the sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun;
    • 24 the sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin;
    • 25 the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maidservant, were Dan and Naphtali;
    • 26 and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant, were Gad and Asher.
    • These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Padan Aram.

 

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

JOSEPH

  • The focus on Joseph is very important.
  • Already in Egypt, and thus he is used by God to save all of his family
  • Joseph is the only named brother who died as his identity is critical to understand the change of Egyptians toward the Israelites
  • Generation
    • Genesis 15:13 Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
      • A Generation represents 100 years at this point in time
    • “All that generation” – The “70”

APPLICATION: One faithful family member to God can make all the difference for the rest of the family.

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

  • Children of Israel – The transition from a family to a nation.
  • Contrast: Joseph, brothers, and generation died vs. Children of Israel fruitful & multiplied
    • Promises of God are not defeated by death
  • Fruitful & Multiply:
    • Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them (Adam & Eve(, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
    • Genesis 9:1 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
    • Genesis 15:5 Then He brought him (Abraham) outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
    • Genesis 17:6 I will make you (Abraham) exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.
    • Genesis 17:20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.
    • Genesis 28:3 “May God Almighty bless you, And make you fruitful and multiply you, That you may be an assembly of peoples; (Isaac speaking to Jacob).

 

HOW SATAN OPPRESSES GOD’S PEOPLE THROUGH AUTHORITIES TESTING THEIR FAITH IN GOD’S PROMISES

Revelation 12:1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.

 

Step 1 | Remove their history

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

  • How did the Israelites transition from a symbiotic relationship with the Egyptians to enslavement by the Egyptians? The King / Pharaoh did not know Joseph. The memory of one man and his world-saving deeds are forgotten.
  • Ecclesiastes 1:11 There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come By those who will come after.
  • HISTORY: It is believed the Hyksos ruled during Joseph’s time. They were non-Egyptians. The Egyptians ousted the Hyksos and began ruling Egypt. It is believed, this King is Egyptian. The favored relationship between Hyksos and the Israelites would have alienated the Egyptians against the Jews.

 

Step 2 | Reframe their relationship

9 And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; 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.”

  • Come: This is a leader calling and rallying his people behind his scheme.
  • One man’s prosperity can be another man’s jealousy, fear, and suspicion.
    • Should have taken Abimelech’s advice
      • Genesis 26:16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”
  • God had promised to bless Israel, and He does! Interestingly, the people of Israel never choose to wage war. There are two sides to this issue. Egypt was successful in keeping them oppressed. Israel failed to see the need to take up arms, but rather submitted to their oppressive authority.
  • Shrewdly: Normally translated as wise. In this context, it is to scheme and plan to self-advantage.
  • New Testament Perspective:
    • Acts 7:17 “But when the time of the promise drew near which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt 18 till another king arose who did not know Joseph. 19 This man dealt treacherously with our people, and oppressed our forefathers, making them expose their babies, so that they might not live.
      • Treacherously: exploit and taken advantage of others with cunning and deceit.
  • Fear – At the heart of all this is fear of man. They look at the Israelite, and reframe them in several ways: (1) More in population, (2) More in power, (3) Future population will multiply, (4) Go to war, (5) Leave us with no slaves.
    • Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.
    • Bottom line: Keep their lifestyles. This is materialism. This is Idolatry
    • Colossians 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
  • Go out of the land: Pharaoh’s worst fear would be fulfilled. God will be his enemy and the Israelites will leave the land after plundering the nation.

 

Step 3 | Reduce them to slaves

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

  • Genesis 15:13 Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.
  • Afflict: Oppress physically
  • Burden: Compulsory labor
  • NOTE: Atum, sun god was worshipped in Pithom.

 

Step 4 | Reinforce their hatred

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

  • God providentially helps the Israelites to persevere but permits their suffering for a long time!
  • Dread: loathed, disgusted, abhor

Step 5 | Regard them as disposable

13 So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. 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.

  • Exodus 12:8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
  • Traditionally, the bitter herbs are symbolic of this time of hardship.
  • How difficult was this enslavement?
    • Serve: Toil, servitude
    • Rigor: brutality, violence, torment, slavery
    • Bitter: anguish, weeping, furious, desperate bewildered
    • “Hard” Bondage/Service: fierce, heavy, strict   
    • Later God would instruct them:
      • Leviticus 25:43 You shall not rule over him with rigor, but you shall fear your God.
  • How did they respond?
    • Exodus 2:24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.
    • Remained slaves, a few exceptions…such as the young Moses…Exodus 2:11 Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
  • How would you respond?
    • 1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For “He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. 11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
  • God behind the scenes (Exodus 1:7)
    • (1) Fruitful
    • (2) Increased
    • (3) Multiplied
    • (4) Grew exceedingly mighty
    • (5) land was filled

 

Step 5 | Reveal a secret program of genocide at birth

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; 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.”

  • Failure: All measures up to this point have failed. This is the “Nuclear Option.”
  • Midwives: Most likely Egyptian, since it is unlikely an Egyptian women would want an Hebrew women assisting in their births.
  • Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
  • History Repeats: Matthew 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.”

 

Response of God-fearing people

17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. 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?” 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.” 20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. 21 And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.

  • WARNING: Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
  • Midwives:
    • Fear & Faith: Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
      • Only fear and faith in God can you rightfully see through the “social norms”
    • What was Pharaoh’s precise order?
      • Since the midwives arrived after the birth, it is clear that Pharaoh did not expect the midwives to kill the children post-birth.
      • Therefore, the murder must be as soon as the sex of the child can be known. Thus, while giving birth.
    • Did the midwives lie to Pharaoh?
      • No. No where in the text is this implied. Additionally, Pharaoh could have easily uncovered such a plot. Thus, their response to Pharaoh was true and verifiable.
    • God protects those who trust in Him!
      • Blessing: Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Step 6 | Reveal a Non-Secret program of genocide after birth

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.”

  • Commanded/Decree: Pharaoh’s initial genocidal plan failed, so he now will kill babies after their born!
  • Foreshadow: All of pharaoh’s army (all males) would be drowned in God’s judgment
  • Nile: Blinded by false religion anything is justifiable. The Egyptians and false religion would see this in a different light than the Hebrews.

Hail to thee, O Nile, that issues from the earth and comes to

keep Egypt alive! Hidden in his form of appearance, a darkness

by day, to whom minstrels have sung. He that waters

the meadows which Re created, in order to keep every kid alive.…

The Bringer of Food, rich in provisions, creator of all

good, lord of majesty, sweet of fragrance (italics mine).[1]

[1] Eugene Carpenter, Exodus, ed. H. Wayne House and William D. Barrick, vol. 1, Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012), 118.

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