Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Ex. 1:1-4:17; 1 Chr. 6:1-3


YouTube video

Exodus Chapter One

  1. Exodus begins with a summary of how Israel came to live in Egypt (Ex. 1:1-5).
  2. Exodus then mentions a totally normal yet one of the most life-changing events in the course of a nation’s history—the passing of a generation (Ex. 1:6; cf. Jdg. 2:6-10).
  3. The Sons of Israel were extremely blessed with temporal-life prosperity (Ex. 1:7).  Note: there is no indication here of either spiritual-life prosperity, or adversity.
  4. Although the precise timing is not clear, it is certain that Israel became idolatrous during their time in Egypt (Josh. 24:14; Ezek. 20:7,8; 23:3ff.).
  5. A new Pharaoh arose who did not “know” (i.e. regard) Joseph (Ex. 1:8).  יָדַע yada‘ #3045: to know, regard.  The emphasis is not simply an acquaintance with, but a recognition of value, and hence a regard for (Ex. 33:12; Hos. 13:5; Am. 3:2; Nah. 1:7).
  6. Determining the secular names of the four to six Pharaohs of the Biblical record from Genesis 40 through Exodus 14 is one of the most contested matters of Old Testament chronological studies.
    1. Liberal scholars reject the Biblical dating, and attempt to make Biblical stories fit their secular archaeological dating.
    2. Conservative scholars accept Biblical dating, and recognize the flaws (and fraud) of liberal, secular, archaeology.
    3. The OT provides helpful time-frame passages (1st Kgs. 6:1; Jdg. 11:26).
    4. The best date for the Exodus, utilizing Biblical dates, is 1445BC.  Jacob’s migration down to Egypt, then, becomes 1845BC, 400 years earlier (Gen. 15:13).
    5. To give the Biblical Pharaohs then their secular names*:
      1. Senusret II (1897-1878BC), is the Pharaoh of Joseph’s exaltation (1854BC).
      2. Senusret III (1878-1841BC), is the Pharaoh of Jacob’s presentation (1845BC).
      3. The Pharaoh of Israel’s subjugation need not have been the very next Pharaoh to arise, but most likely was, given the overall time-frame of Israel’s bondage.  Possibly Amenemhet III (1842-1797BC).
      4. Amenhotep I (1521-1524BC) is the Pharaoh at Moses’ birth (1525BC).
      5. Thutmosis III (1504-1450BC) is the Pharaoh of Moses’ exile (1485BC).
      6. Amenhotep II (1453-1419BC) is the Pharaoh of the Exodus (1445BC).
  7. The Subjugation of Israel is described in earthly terms (Ex. 1:9-14).
    1. The Lord had previously made a prophetic announcement to Abraham concerning this exact subjugation (Gen. 15:13-16).
    2. Egypt’s fear of Israel is a worldly fear based upon earthly wisdom (Ex. 1:9,10; Jas. 3:15).
    3. The names of the storage cities, Pithom and Raamses, have been used by liberal scholars to support the “late” exodus, with Ramesses II as the Pharaoh of the Exodus.
    4. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel (Ex. 1:12). 
      1. This description also illustrates the history of the Church, which has actually thrived under persecution, and gone soft under prosperity.
      2. As Tertullian rightly said, “The blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church.” 
  8. Increased fear motivated Pharaoh to increased evil (Ex. 1:15-22).
    1. Pharaoh attempted a secret policy of infanticide against all Hebrew males (vv. 15-21).
    2. Two heroes among the Hebrew midwives include Shiphrah: “fair,” and Puah: “splendid.”  These women were rewarded by the Lord, and honored by the Hebrew people (vv.20,21).
    3. The Hebrew midwives feared God, and chose to disobey the unrighteous commands of secular authority (vv.17,21; cf. Acts 4:19; 5:29).
    4. When the secret policy failed, Pharaoh transformed it into public policy (v.22).

*This list is rather speculative, in that the secular dates for the Egyptian reigns are themselves in some dispute.  The list, though, is better than the 19th Dynasty, New Kingdom Pharaohs Seti I and Ramesses II, with all due respect to Charlton Heston’s The Ten Commandments.

Exodus Chapter Two

  1. Amram and Jochebed are the unnamed parents (Ex. 2:1; 6:20).
  2. Jochebed gave birth to a son (Moses) during Pharaoh’s public policy of murdering Hebrew males (Ex. 2:2).
    1. Miriam is already born (Ex. 2:4).
    2. Aaron is also already born (Ex. 7:7).
    3. Moses was kept hidden for three months as an act of faith by Amram & Jochebed (Heb. 11:23).
  3. When at the limit of human ability, Jochebed surrendered her son, Moses, into the Lord’s care (Ex. 2:3).
  4. Miriam stands by to see the deliverance of the Lord (Ex. 2:4 cf. 14:13).
  5. The Lord rewarded Jochebed’s faith, and blessed her with the return of her son (Ex. 2:5-10 & not precisely, but in a sense, Heb. 11:35).
    1. Pharaoh’s daughter saw the basket (v.5).  This “daughter of Pharaoh” may even be the famous Hatshepsut.
    2. She correctly recognizes him as a condemned Hebrew boy, and felt pity for him (v.6).  חָמַל chāmal #2550: to spare, pity, have compassion on (Used 41x, incl. 1st Sam. 15:3,9,15; 2nd Sam. 12:4,6).
    3. Miriam recognizes the pity of Pharaoh’s daughter, and steps forward with a courageous suggestion (v.7).
    4. God the Father arranges such an ironic turn of events, and allows for Jochebed to be the wetnurse for her own son (vv.8,9).
    5. Once he was weaned, Jochebed returned her son to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son (v.10).
      1. She named him Moses: drawn, because she drew him out of the water.
      2. Moses was given the best Egyptian education, and prospered in the Egyptian culture (Acts 7:22).
  6. As an adult, Moses understood that God had sovereignly placed him in power for Israel’s deliverance—but failed to seek the Lord’s will in the timing and manner of that deliverance (Ex. 2:11-15; Acts 7:23-29; Heb. 11:24-27).
    1. Moses disavowed his privileges as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, and chose to identify with his brethren (Ex. 2:11; Acts 7:23; Heb. 11:24-26).
      1. This was an act of faith, considering temporal-life wealth and pleasure to be worthless (Phil. 3:7ff.).
      2. Moses anticipated an eternal reward for his voluntary sacrifice (Matt. 19:27-30).
    2. He viewed himself as Israel’s defender and deliverer (Acts 7:25).
    3. In his pride, Moses assumed that God would honor his “secret” murder of an Egyptian (Ex. 2:12).
    4. His fellow Hebrews, however, were not impressed by their “savior” (Ex. 2:13,14a; Acts 7:26-28).
    5. Moses was afraid that his sin had been exposed (Ex. 2:14b), but he was not afraid of Pharaoh’s attempt to kill him (Ex. 2:15; Heb. 11:27).
  7. Moses settled in the land of Midian (Ex. 2:15-25).
    1. Midian was the fourth out of six sons of Abraham and Keturah (Gen. 25:2).  His nation was organized into five leading cities, derived from his five sons (1st Chr. 1:33; Num. 31:8).
    2. Midianites/Ishmaelites were the (slave) traders who took Joseph to Egypt (Gen. 37:25-28,36).
    3. During the wilderness wanderings, Midianites will join with Moabites in hiring Balaam to curse Israel (Num. 22:4-7).
    4. Midianite women (along with the Moabite women) will play the lead role in seducing Israel into worshiping Baal of Peor (Num. 25).  Cozbi is the most infamous of these Midianite women.
    5. Midian was the gentile nation that Gideon was selected to destroy in the deliverance of Israel (Jdg. 6-8).
  8. Reuel was Priest of Midian (Ex. 2:16; 3:1).
    1. Priest of Midian. כֹּהֵן kohen #3548: priest (pagan, YHWH, Levitical, Aaronic, Zadokite, or high-).
    2. Reuel (Ex. 2:18). רְעוּאֵל re‘uw’ēl #7467: friend of God, or even shepherd of God. רֵעַ rēa#7453: friend, neighbor.  רֹעֶה ro‘ēh #7462: shepherd.
    3. Jethro (Ex. 3:1).  יִתְרֹוyithrow #3503: His abundance.
    4. Although the Lord set apart Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob as His covenant nation among all other earthly nations, He did not abandon the gentiles.  Like Melchizedek, priest of El-Elyon to the Jebusites of Salem (Gen. 14:18), Jethro is a priest of El to the Midianites.
  9. Moses witnessed Reuel’s seven daughters struggling in the face of opposition by other Midianite shepherds, and was moved to provide for, and protect them (Ex. 2:16,17).
    1. The shepherds clearly have no fear of El, to be hassling the priest’s seven daughters.
    2. The shepherds (plural) have an earthly fear of one “Egyptian.”
  10. Reuel is amazed that the daughters returned so quickly, and is impressed by the graciousness exhibited by the “Egyptian” (Ex. 2:18-20).
  11. Moses accepted a position within the house of Reuel, shepherded Reuel’s flocks, and married Reuel’s daughter (Ex. 2:21,22).
    1. Zipporah. צִפֹּרָה tsipporāh #6855: bird.
    2. Gershom.  גֵּרְשֹׁם gereshōm #1647: foreigner.
    3. Not mentioned here, but Eliezer is the second son born to Moses (Ex. 4:20; 18:3,4; Acts 7:29).  אֱלִיעֶזֶר ’eliy‘ezer #461: God is help.
  12. While God was preparing Moses in Midian, He was preparing Israel in Egypt (Ex. 2:23-25), and bringing His period of longsuffering towards the Amorite to a close (Gen. 15:16).
    1. Egypt will have a change of Pharaohs (v.23a). 
      1. Thutmosis III reigned from 1504-1450BC (with Queen Hatshepsut the real ruler, from 1498-1483BC).
      2. Amenhotep II reigned from 1453-1419BC.  (3 years of co-regency with Thutmosis III).
    2. Israel is being prepared:
      1. to come out of Egypt with many possessions (Gen. 15:14),
      2. as a mighty nation (Gen. 46:3),
      3. to destroy seven nations greater and mightier than them (Deut. 7:1),
      4. after the Lord’s longsuffering towards the Amorite has reached its limit (Gen. 15:16).

Exodus Chapter Three

  1. Moses was faithful as a son in the house of Jethro (Ex. 3:1), but will be called to be faithful as a servant of the Lord.
    1. The “rear part” of the wilderness. This is sometimes understood to be in the land of Midian, but that is not a necessary reading. Ex. 18:27 and Num. 10:30 are much more conclusive in placing Horeb/Sinai/the mountain of God outside of Midian rather than within.
    2. Horeb.  The Mountain of God.
      Perhaps an even more controversial debate than the investigations of the Pharaoh’s, the location of Mt. Horeb is in considerable dispute.  Mt. Horeb & Mt. Sinai are certainly two different names for one location.  Horeb may refer to a range, and Sinai may refer to a specific peak.  The traditional location is on the southern end of the Sinai peninsula.  An alternate location would be to the east, in Midian.  Present research points to Jebel Sin Bishr (northwest Sinai) as a top candidate. See below, on the route of the Exodus, and the parting of the יַם־סוּף yam-suwph (Red Sea).
  2. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in the form of a blazing fire (Ex. 3:2-9).
    1. The fire appeared in the midst of a bush, and yet did not consume the bush (v.2).
    2. Having caught Moses’ attention through a work of Divine power, the Lord uttered His Divine call (vv.3,4).
    3. The Lord warned Moses concerning the holiness of His presence (v.5).
    4. The Lord identified Himself by His covenant relationship to Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob (v.6a; Gen. 28:11-22; 35:9-15).
    5. Moses hid his face in fear and humility before the Lord (v.6b).
    6. The Lord promised to deliver Israel from their bondage (vv.7-9).
  3. The Lord instructs Moses to go to Egypt, and be His tool in Israel’s deliverance (Ex. 3:10).
    1. This quickly brings about Moses’ sense of inadequacy (Ex. 3:11).
    2. The Lord assures Moses with a promise and a sign that can only be manifest to Moses after the redemption of Israel is secured (Ex. 3:12).
  4. Moses accepts the challenge, and desires to have an intimacy with the Lord even greater than the intimacy Jacob/Israel enjoyed (Ex. 3:13 cf. Gen. 32:29).
  5. The Lord (יהוה YHWH #3068) revealed Himself to Moses as “I Am” (אֶהְיֶה ehyeh, from הָיָה hāyāh #1961), and gave the name of “I Am” to Israel as the significance to the memorial name YHWH (Ex. 3:14,15).  The “I AM” principle is more fully developed by the Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John.
  6. The Lord then gave Moses instructions for gathering the elders of Israel, and petitioning Pharaoh for a wilderness sacrifice (Ex. 3:16-22).
    1. The Lord stated that the elders of Israel would listen to Moses (v.18).
    2. The Lord stated that Pharaoh would require “a strong hand” (compulsion) to let Israel go (vv.19,20).
    3. The Lord prophesied that the Egyptian people will send Israel away with much plunder (vv.19-22).

Exodus Chapter Four

  1. Moses has no faith to accept the Lord’s word (Ex. 4:1 cp. 3:18).
    1. The Lord gave Moses three signs to perform in the presence of the elders of Israel, so that they will believe Moses’ words (Ex. 4:2-9).  The serpent here is a נָחָשׁ nāchāsh #5175 (Gen. 3:1ff.; Job 26:13; Isa. 27:1).
    2. Some will believe at the first sign, some will believe at the second sign, and the rest will believe at the third sign.
  2. Moses has no confidence to accept the Lord’s work-assignment (Ex. 4:10-13).
    1. The man of power in words and deeds (Acts 7:22) feels unqualified for the job.
    2. The Lord encourages him that He is the Sovereign God, and He will guide Moses’ words (v.11,12).
    3. Moses replies for the Lord to send whomever He wishes (anybody but him) (v.13).
  3. Moses’ lack of faith brings the Lord to anger (Ex. 4:14-17).
    1. The Lord appoints Aaron as Moses’ mouth (vv.14-16).
    2. The Lord orders Moses to take his staff and go (v.17).

(Chapter Four continues tomorrow)