Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.…
I. A RETROSPECTIVE VIEW.
1. These verses lead us back to the time when Jacob came with his family to Egypt.
(1). It was a time of great distress from famine in Canaan.
(2) It was a crisis-time in the history of the chosen family (Genesis 45:17-28; Genesis 46:1-4).
(3) It was a time of great encouragement from what had been disclosed in Joseph's history.
2. These verses summarize the history of the children of Israel from the time of Jacob's emigration to Egypt till the bondage of the Israelites — about 115 years.
(1) This was a time of great happiness and prosperity for the Israelites.
(a) The entire period, from the call of Abraham to the Exodus, was 430 years.
(b) Up to the descent into Egypt, a period of 215 years, the family had increased to only "seventy souls."(c) From the going down to Egypt to the Exodus — 215 years — the 70 had multiplied to 600,000 males, giving a population of nearly 2,000,000.
II. THE CHANGE OF ADMINISTRATION (ver. 8). Not merely another, but a "new" king, implying a change of dynasty. Now, probably, commenced the rule of the "shepherd kings."
2. The phrase, "who knew not Joseph," suggests the prestige of Joseph's name to the former Pharaohs. A good man's influence dies not with the death of his body.
III. THE CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT POLICY (vers. 9-14).
1. The nature of this change. From being a fostering government to being cruel and repressive. Unwise policy, because suicidal.
2. The reason for this change (ver. 10).
3. The result of this change (ver. 12).
(1) Such a result is according to God's law of nations. Working classes always more fruitful than others.
(2) Such a result was according to God's covenant law.Lessons:
1. God's children in Egypt a type of God's children in the world.
2. The policy of the new king a type of the godlessness, selfishness, and inhumanity of those who work from a worldly standpoint.
3. The frustration of this policy a type of God's overruling power.
(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.