Israel Multiplies in Egypt
I hope you have kept it here and have not forgotten where we stopped at the end of Genesis. We close Genesis with the deaths of Jacob and Joseph with his brothers left living in Goshen.
Before we get into the book of Exodus, let us first hear what the Catholics have to say about it. Exodus, they say is from the Greek word exodos which means departure which is the main theme of the book. They continue to say, this is where they are quite honest, the church adopted the traditional Jewish view that Moses wrote the 5 books. This, they say, is not so much a statement of authorship as a religious affirmation that the book derives its authority from the work of Moses. They continue to say Moses cannot be conceived as the author of those books.
Exodus starts by listing the sons of Jacob who came to Egypt with him. You may be a little confused here;
1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household……….
Israel here does not refer to a people but to Jacob. It gets absurd from here, at verse 6, we are told Joseph died and his brothers and all that generation but the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly. How can this be? Who are these called Israel if the whole generation has passed on?
In verse 8, we are told a king arose in Egypt who did not know Joseph and feared their numbers and passed decrees to have them enslaved, treated harshly and ordered 2 midwives whom he later builds houses for to kill every male child. How could this one family give birth to threaten a whole kingdom? After being defied by two Hebrew midwives, the Pharaoh calls on all of Egypt to cast every son born to the Hebrews in the Nile River. I don’t know about you, but if I was king and my intention was to kill male babies and a midwife disobeyed that order, that would be her last day especially listening to the excuse they give!
This aside, however, why would a king be threatened by small male babies born to his slaves as we are told they were? There are better ways to deal with the population than killing male babies, don’t you think so. Why not just have all their women married by the Egyptians besides it is just one family and in a few years there would be none left who even remembers they were Hebrews to begin with. Unless there something we are missing?