Monday, June 14, 2010

Of Midwives and Sons - The Exodus and A New Creation

Exodus begins with the arrival in Egypt of the sons of Israel, and then moves forward beyond Joseph's day. Joseph has died and "the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied" (1v7) - which is to say they're doing what they were comissioned to do. They still live in Egypt but they are fulfilling the call of God to be fruitful and multiply and increase.

The next section is curious. Joseph is forgotten and oppression comes, from a new unnamed king (1v15 - Shiphrah and Puah the midwives are named, but not the Pharaoh...). This Tyrant enslaves those who were once were blessed by an earlier king. What you do with the descendents of Abraham is what you get from God - bless and be blessed, curse and be cursed...(Genesis 12:1-3) nonethless he acts against them. The tension is set - chaos is mounting.

Women take centre stage next. 1v15-22 is all about midwives, repeatedly.  2v1-10 is all about daughters, repeatedly (a daughter of Levi and daughter of Pharaoh). Emphatically, any son we meet here is the seed of a woman. And we've long been looking for one of those - since Genesis 3:15.
"I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
The tyrant-king is attempting to strike this son (who is saved through water - like the people he will lead) as we'd expect the serpent-seed to do....  in time these two will face off against one another - a seed of the woman with the power of the Triune God behind him... the Triune God who comes to liberate his firstborn son (4v22-23) so that he may serve him rather than be enslaved by the tyrant. The stage is set.

3 comments:

  1. My husband and I are working our way though an old testament bible study at the moment - thanks for this, it adds nicely to it!

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  2. I'm in the early days of what I hope will be several months in Exodus. It's great to see how it all holds together. The Pentateuch is so rich and absolutely foundational for the rest of Scripture.

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