Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.
I. Joseph was still a son, though lord over Egypt (Genesis 45:9-11). His heart yearned over his father with all a child's clinging trustfulness.
II. Jacob's heart fainted, for the news was to him too good to be true. There is in life an element which is constantly upsetting probabilities; thus calling men up from lethargy. The news was too romantic at first for Jacob; but he always had an eye for the practical, and when he saw the wagons, his heart revived (vers. 25-28).
III. In the meeting of Joseph with his father there is a beautiful combination of official duty and filial piety. Joseph is administrator of the resources of Egypt; he cannot abandon his position and go away to Canaan, but he goes part of the way to meet his father (Genesis 46:29-30).
IV. Jacob summed up his earthly life by calling it a pilgrimage. His days seemed few and evil when he looked back upon them. We get to see the brokenness of the life, its incompleteness, its fragmentariness, when we get to the end of it (Genesis 47:7-9).
V. The last scene of this eventful history is given us in the text. (1) Joseph died. The best, wisest, and most useful men are withdrawn from their ministry. The world can get on without its greatest and best. The death of Joseph was a national event, an event of wide importance. (2) His brethren died. There we begin to lose individuality; we cannot all be equally conspicuous, each cannot have his name written in history as having died. The great thing is to leave behind us, not a mere name, but influences that hearts will feel.
Parker, The City Temple, 1871, p. 161.
References: Exodus 1:6.—R. S. Candlish, Scripture Characters and Miscellanies, p. 9.1:10-12.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xvii., No. 997. Exodus 1:12.—J. Van Oosterzee, Year of Salvation, vol. ii., p. 385. 1—J. Monro Gibson, The Mosaic Era, p. 1; Parker, vol. ii., p. 17.1:8-11, Exodus 2:5-10.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. ii., pp. 50, 53.1-2.—G. Gilfillan, Alpha and Omega, vol. ii., p. 42. 2—Parker, vol. ii., p. 19. Exodus 2:1-3.—H. Wonnacott, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xiv., p. 24. Exodus 2:3—J. Hamilton, Works, vol. v., p. 1. Exodus 2:5-15.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. ii., p. 55. Exodus 2:6.—T. Champness, Little Foxes, p. 72. Exodus 2:6-9.—F. W. Robertson, Sermons, 4th series, p. 250. Exodus 2:10.—Parker, vol. ii., p. 26. Exodus 2:1-10.—W. M. Taylor, Moses the Lawgiver, p. 7.
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,
Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.
And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation.
And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.
Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.
And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:
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.
Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.
But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.
And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:
And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.
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:
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.
But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.
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?
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.
Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.
And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.
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.