THE BOOK OF EXODUS
The Second Book of Moses is called EXODUS, from the Greek word EXODOS, which signifies going out: because it contains the history of the going out of the children of Israel out of Egypt. The Hebrews, from the words with which it begins, call it VEELLE SEMOTH: These are the names. It contains transactions for 145 years; that is, from the death of Joseph to the erecting of the tabernacle.
Exodus Chapter 1
The Israelites are multiplied in Egypt. They are oppressed by a new king, who commandeth all their male children to be killed.
1:1. These are the names of the children of Israel, that went into Egypt with Jacob: they went in every man with his household:
1:2. Ruben, Simeon, Levi, Juda,
1:3. Issachar, Zabulon, and Benjamin,
1:4. Dan, and Nephthali, Gad and Aser.
1:5. And all the souls that came out of Jacob's thigh, were seventy: but Joseph was in Egypt.
1:6. After he was dead, and all his brethren, and all that generation,
1:7. The children of Israel increased, and sprung up into multitudes, and growing exceedingly strong they filled the land.
1:8. In the mean time there arose a new king over Egypt, that knew not Joseph:
1:9. And he said to his people: Behold the people of the children of Israel are numerous and stronger than we.
1:10. Come let us wisely oppress them, lest they multiply: and if any war shall rise against us, join with our enemies, and having overcome us, depart out of the land.
1:11. Therefore he set over them masters of the works, to afflict them with burdens: and they built for Pharao cities of tabernacles, Phithom, and Ramesses.
Of tabernacles. . .Or, of storehouses.
1:12. But the more they oppressed them, the more they were multiplied and increased.
1:13. And the Egyptians hated the children of Israel, and afflicted them and mocked them:
1:14. And they made their life bitter with hard works in clay and brick, and with all manner of service, wherewith they were overcharged in the works of the earth.
1:15. And the king of Egypt spoke to the midwives of the Hebrews: of whom one was called Sephora, the other Phua,
1:16. Commanding them: When you shall do the office of midwives to the Hebrew women, and the time of delivery is come: if it be a man child, kill it: if a woman, keep it alive.
1:17. But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded, but saved the men children.
1:18: And the king called for them and said: What is it that you meant to do, that you would save the men children?
1:19. They answered: The Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women: for they themselves are skilful in the office of a midwife; and they are delivered before we come to them.
1:20. Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied and grew exceedingly strong.
1:21. And because the midwives feared God, he built them houses.
Because the midwives feared God, etc. . .The midwives were rewarded, not for their lie, which was a venial sin; but for their fear of God, and their humanity: but this reward was only temporal, in building them houses, that is, in establishing and enriching their families.
1:22. Pharao therefore charged all his people, saying: Whatsoever shall be born of the male sex, ye shall cast into the river: whatsoever of the female, ye shall save alive.