The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do. (Exodus 1:17)
In the opening chapter of the second book of the Bible, the book of Exodus, we have a record of the actions of two women who changed the course of human history, by defying their King’s orders.
Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other was named Puah; and he said, “When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.”
But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live.
So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and let the boys live?”
The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife can get to them.”
So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty.
Because the midwives feared God, He established households for them. (Exodus 1:15-21)
The result of the midwives’ resistance and refusal to obey the King’s edict, was that one of the baby boys who was spared was named “Moses” and went on to become a prophet of God and the leader of the Hebrews, delivering them from their bondage and slavery, and the one who met with God on Mt. Sinai where the Ten Commandments and related laws were given for a new society.
The midwives themselves, who were apparently already leaders in the Egyptian culture and probably the head of a society or “midwives guild” that was used to assist in child births, were rewarded by God with “established households.”
That may not seem like much in our own cultural way of thinking here in the 21st Century, but an “established household” in times of antiquity was something akin to a family dynasty or empire.
Abraham, for example, the father of the Hebrews, had a “household” that at its height probably numbered well over 1000 people. He literally had his own trained armed forces, and in Genesis 14 we read:….Read More