Exodus 1:18
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?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1:15-22 The Egyptians tried to destroy Israel by the murder of their children. The enmity that is in the seed of the serpent, against the Seed of the woman, makes men forget all pity. It is plain that the Hebrews were now under an uncommon blessing. And we see that the services done for God's Israel are often repaid in kind. Pharaoh gave orders to drown all the male children of the Hebrews. The enemy who, by Pharaoh, attempted to destroy the church in this its infant state, is busy to stifle the rise of serious reflections in the heart of man. Let those who would escape, be afraid of sinning, and cry directly and fervently to the Lord for assistance.Upon the stools - Literally, "two stones." The word denotes a special seat, such as is represented on monuments of the 18th Dynasty, and is still used by Egyptian midwives. 17. But the midwives feared God—Their faith inspired them with such courage as to risk their lives, by disobeying the mandate of a cruel tyrant; but it was blended with weakness, which made them shrink from speaking the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. No text from Poole on this verse.

And the king called for the midwives,.... Perceiving, by the increase of the Israelites, that they did not obey his commands:

and said unto them, why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive? not only did not kill them, but did everything for them that was necessary for their future preservation and health; see Ezekiel 16:4.

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?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Exodus 1:18When questioned upon the matter, the explanation which they gave was, that the Hebrew women were not like the delicate women of Egypt, but were חיות "vigorous" (had much vital energy: Abenezra), so that they gave birth to their children before the midwives arrived. They succeeded in deceiving the king with this reply, as childbirth is remarkably rapid and easy in the case of Arabian women (see Burckhardt, Beduinen, p. 78; Tischendorf, Reise i. p. 108).
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