Musings on Exodus 1:8-14

The Lord be with you

Back on July 29 I posted some musings about the first paragraph in the book of Exodus. I said I’d post some more, if there was interest. There was a bit, but not a lot. Nonetheless, what follows are some “musings” on the second paragraph. Once again, I do not offer these thoughts as “the” way to view these verses. Most any modern commentary will not touch on most of these thoughts. However, these thoughts may serve as a jumping off point for meditations, devotions, Bible studies, even a kernel thought for a sermon. My overriding thought, here, is finding Jesus. After all, he is the one who said: “You search the Scriptures because You think that in them You have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me” (John 5:39).

8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph [who was this king? A placeholder for Herod, Satan, and all who do not know Christ; unnamed king – those who don’t have faith in Christ are “unnamed” in the kingdom of Christ (Luke 16:19-31, rich man unnamed in this parable); the things of the world change but Christ is changeless (Hebrews 13:8; Ecclesiastes 3:1-8;); put not your trust in princes (Psalm 146:3).]. 9And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us [Those with a sinful heart, often live in fear of that which they need not fear (Israel before Goliath (1 Samuel 17:11), Herod when he heard the news of the birth of Christ from the wise men (Matthew 2:3), etc.), those who have faith, like the midwives, act boldly (Exodus 1:17); The sinful heart jealous/envious of the blessings God bestows on others (Naboth’s vineyard (1 Kings 21:1-16); parable where all receive same wage (Matthew 20:1-16)]. 10Come, let us deal shrewdly [human wisdom fails to understand the ways of Christ and persecutes his people (Proverbs 3:7; 1 Corinthians 1:20)] with them, lest they multiply [but they did multiply, for Jesus watched over them, even if they didn’t appreciate it (Exodus 1:7; Acts 7:17); men cannot thwart God’s saving plan (Isaiah 14:27)], and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land” [But they did escape the land and without the aid of human war or other human contrivances; Pharaoh was kicking against the goads (Acts 26:14); the Egyptians/Pharaoh feared the Israelites when they/he should have feared Israel’s God (Psalm 14:1; Psalm 111:10)]. 11Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens [Christ carried our “heavy burden” of sin (Isaiah 43:24); the way of the devil/sin is oppression (1 Peter 5:8), the way of Christ is freedom (Psalm 102:20; John 8:32)]. They built for Pharaoh [“pharaoh” means “great house,” but “unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain (Psalm 127:1); Christ will enter Pharaoh’s house and plunder his goods (Matthew 12:29; Mark 3:27) and, because his house was not built on the rock of Christ and his word, “great was its fall” (Matthew 7:27); compare to David, whose “house” God builds to last forever, 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Psalm 89:4, 29, 36-37 ], Pithom [Pithom, Egyptian Pa-Tum, means “house of Tum,” the sun-god, the pagan name defies the true Lord Jesus, Isaiah 42:8; Jeremiah 10:5, 14] store cities, [Pharaoh was all about temporal success when he should have been concerned with spiritual success. Like so many, he confused the two (Luke 12:20)] and Raamses [vanity of man, city named after himself, Psalm 89:47; Ecclesiastes 1; Jeremiah 10:3]. 12But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad [Christ was persecuted by the Sanhedrin, yet rose victorious; the Apostolic Church was persecuted, and prospered, (Acts 8:1; 19:20); Divine reversal (Genesis 50:20); man proposes but God disposes]. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel [Their dread was because they mistreated the Israelites; those who persecuted and murdered Jesus felt the same dread (Luke 22:2; Acts 5:28)]. 13So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves 14and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field [Satan ruthlessly works to make our lives bitter (1 Peter 5:8) but Jesus has defeated the devil and his ways (John 16:11; Hebrews 2:14)]. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves [We are slaves to our sinful nature, and Satan, but Christ sets us free (John 8:34; Romans 5:15; 6:16, 5:23)].

Dating questions based on the city name of Raamses are an unimportant side-issue, designed to take our eyes off of Jesus. Let the commentaries worry about that, we keep our eyes on Christ. Again, if there is any interest, I’ll post more.