Exodus 1:8-2:10

Exodus 1:8-2:10
Ordinary A39


1:Now a newA king arose over Egypt,B who did not knowC Joseph.D 

Notes on verse 1:8

A “new” = chadash. From chadash (to renew, repair, restore, or rebuild). This is a fresh or new thing.
B “Egypt” = mitsrayim. Perhaps from dual of matsor (besieged places, defense, fortified, siege enclosure, bulwark; can be used figuratively for distress or for something that holds fast); from tsur (to confine, bind, besiege, cramp; to confine used literally or figuratively; can also mean enemy). This is Egypt. Also used as a proper name.
C “know” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
D “Joseph” = Yoseph. From yasaph (to add, continue, increase, or exceed). This is Joseph, which means “he increases” or “let him add.”

He said to his people, “Look,E the Israelite peopleF are more numerousG and more powerfulH than we. 

Notes on verse 1:9

E “look” = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
F “Israelite” = ben + yisrael. Literally “children of Israel.” Yisrael is from sarah (to persist, persevere, contend, strive, wrestle) + el (God or a god). This means “God strives” or “one who wrestles with God.” It is another name for Jacob and for his offspring.
G “numerous” = rab. From rabab (to be or become much or many, multiply, increase; properly, to cast together). This is abundance, many, exceedingly, greatly, or full. It can refer to abundance of amount, size, age, rank, quality, etc.
H “powerful” = atsum. From atsam (to be vast or might, to be numerous; can also mean close eyes or crunch or break bones.) This is mighty, numerous, or powerful. Powerful implies numerous.

10 Come, let us deal shrewdlyI with them, orJ they will increaseK

Notes on verse 1:10a

I “deal shrewdly” = chakam. To be wise, teach wisdom, be skillful, or deal wisely. This is wisdom of thought, word, or deed.
J “or” = pen. This is properly removal. It could be lest or if.
K “increase” = rabah. Related to “numerous” in v9. This is to be or become much, many, or great; to multiply. This is increase in any aspect, to be in authority, enlarge, excel, nourish, be plenty.

and, in the event of war,L joinM our enemiesN and fightO against us and escapeP from the land.” 

Notes on verse 1:10b

L “war” = milchamah. From lacham (to devour, eat, feed on; figuratively consume so to overcome, fight or do battle; battle is implied as a form of destruction). This is battle, war, fighting, or warrior.
M “join” = yasaph. Related to “Joseph” in v8. See note D.
N “enemies” = sane. This is personal hatred and so enemy, foe, being hateful.
O “fight” = lacham. Related to “war” in v10. See note L above.
P “escape” = alah. To go up, ascend, or climb.

11 Therefore they set taskmastersQ over them to oppressR them with forced labor.S

Notes on verse 1:11a

Q “taskmasters” = sar + mas. Sar may be from sarar (to be or act as prince; to rule or have dominion). This is leader, chief, captain, ruler, or prince. Mas may be from masas (to dissolve, melt, discourage, be faint, to liquefy; figuratively this refers to wasting or waning from illness, fatigue, fear, grief, discouragement). This is forced labor, task-work, levy. Properly speaking, this is a burden or labor that leads one to faint – it is forced labor as a tax.
R “oppress” = anah. This is to be bowed down or browbeaten; depressed in a literal or figurative sense. So, chastened or humbled, forced, afflicted, or debased.
S “forced labor” = siblah. 6x in OT – all in Exodus. From sabal (to carry a heavy load, drag; carrying literally or figuratively; reflexively, this could mean to be burdensome; specifically, it can mean to be pregnant). This is burden or hard labor.

They builtT supplyU cities,V PithomW and Rameses,X for Pharaoh.Y 

Notes on verse 1:11b

T “built” = banah. To build, fortify, restore, repair, set up, have children. This is building in a literal or figurative sense.
U “supply” = miskenoth. 7x in OT. From sakan (to be of use, benefit, be familiar with, to be serviceable to, be customary). This is supply, storage, or storehouse.
V “cities” = iyr. From uwr (to awaken or wake oneself up). This can mean excitement in the sense of wakefulness or city. Properly, this is a place that is guarded. Guards kept schedules according to watches. This sense of the word would include cities as well as encampments or posts that were guarded.
W “Pithom” = pitom. 1x in OT. From Late Egyptian *Pi-Atōm (“house of Atum”; Atum was a sun god). This is Pithom. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pithom
X “Rameses” = ramses. 5x in OT. From Egyptian (literally “Ra is the one who bore him”). Rameses.
Y “Pharaoh” = paroh. From Egyptian p-r (palace, pharaoh; literally house + great, big). This is Pharaoh – title for Egyptian king.

12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multipliedZ and spread,AA so that the Egyptians came to dreadBB, CC the Israelites. 

Notes on verse 1:12

Z “multiplied” = rabah. Same as “increase” in v10.
AA “spread” = parats. This is to break through, break away, burst out, compel, or disperse. Used literally and figuratively.
BB “dread” = quts. 9x in OT. This is feeling loathing, dread, or grief. It can be feeling tired, being distressed, being weary, being disgusted or anxious, or to terrorize.
CC {untranslated} = paneh. From panah (to turn; by impl. to face; appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. Can be used to speak of divine favor.

13 The EgyptiansDD became ruthlessEE in imposing tasksFF on the Israelites,

Notes on verse 1:13

DD “Egyptians” = mitsri. Related to “Egypt” in v8. See note B above.
EE “ruthless” = perek. 6x in OT. Root may mean to fracture or break apart, emphasizing the severity or the break. This is harshness, severity, cruelty. Can also be used to say rigorously.
FF “imposing tasks” = abad. This is to work, serve compel; this is any kind of work, but it implies serving or tilling; causatively it can mean enslaving or keeping someone in bondage.

14 and made their lives bitterGG with hardHH serviceII in mortarJJ and brickKK and in every kind of fieldLL labor. They were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them.

Notes on verse 1:14

GG “made…bitter” = marar. 13x in OT. Properly, this means to trickle. It refers to being bitter in a literal or figurative sense. So, being angry or grieved, perhaps also bitter hostility. This is where Naomi’s chosen new name “Mara” comes from.
HH “hard” = qasheh. From qashah (to be hard, fierce, cruel, grievous; to be dense i.e. tough or severe, to be sore). This is hard, cruel, grievous, heavy, or obstinate.
II “service” = abodah. Related to “imposing tasks” in v13. From abad (see note FF above). This is any type of work, labor, service, or job. Could also specially refer to bondage or servitude as well as for a ministry, office, or rite.
JJ “mortar” = chomer. From chamar (to ferment, boil, or foam up; to be red or trouble; properly, to boil up so used for the fermentation process; also, glowing with redness or smearing with pitch). This is is properly bubbling up so it can refer to water rising in a wave, mire of the earth, a heap of any kind, cement, mortar, or motion. It is also used as a unit of measure for dry goods.
KK “brick” = lebenah. 11x in OT. From laben (to be or make white, to make bricks). This is a brick, tile, or pavement. From root in the sense of the clay’s whiteness.
LL “field” = sadeh. From the same as saday (field, land, almighty); from shadad (properly, to be burly; figuratively, powerful or passively impregnable; can imply destroy, oppress, rob or waste); earliest root may mean to spread out. This is field, land, ground, soil, country, or wild (to refer to wild animals as “beasts of the field”).

15 The king of Egypt said to the HebrewMM midwives,NN one of whom was namedOO ShiphrahPP and the other Puah,QQ 

Notes on verse 1:15

MM “Hebrew” = ibri. From Eber (the region beyond; a guy descended from Shem as well as the name of others); from abar (to pass over, through, or by; to cross over – used for transitions). This is Hebrew, which may mean descended from Eber or crossing over in reference to the Euphrates or the Jordan, which one crosses to get in or out of the holy land. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D7%A2%D7%91%D7%A8%D7%99#Hebrew
NN “midwives” = yalad. This is to bear young or bring them forth. Used as a participle, it is midwife as the one who brings forth young.
OO “named” = shem. May be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
PP “Shiphrah” = shiphrah. 1x in OT. From the same as shiphrah (fairness, clear sky, brightness); from shaphar (to be beautiful or fair) This is Shiphrah – fairness or beauty.
QQ “Puah” = puah. 1x in OT. May be from yapa (to shine or radiate – used often for God’s appearances). This is Puah – brightness, splendor, to be beautiful. Root may also mean glittering or brilliancy. See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Puah.html#.Xgz6ZuhKhPY

16 “When you act as midwivesRR to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstool,SS if it is a boy,TT kill him; but if it is a girl,UU she shall live.” 

Notes on verse 1:16

RR “act as midwives” = yalad. Same as “midwives” in v15.
SS “birthstool” = oben. Related to “children” in v9 & “built” in v11. 2x in OT. From eben (stone, rock, weight); from the root of banah (see note T above). This is wheel, disk, or birthstool. Used for a potter’s wheel or for a birthstool because they are similarly constructed.
TT “boy” = ben. Literally “son.”
UU “girl” = bath. Related to “children” in v9 & “built” in v11 & “birthstool” in v17. From ben (see note F above). This is daughter, used in a literal or figurative sense.

17 But the midwives fearedVV God;WW they did not doXX as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boysYY live. 

18 So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, “Why have you doneZZ this, and allowed the boys to live?” 

Notes on verses 1:17-18

VV “feared” = yare. This is to fear or be afraid. It can also be used in a moral sense as to revere.
WW “God” = Elohim.
XX “do” = asah. Do, make, advance, appoint, become – do or made in the widest sense.
YY “boys” = yeled. Related to “midwives” in v15. From yalad (see note NN above). This is child, son, boy, offspring, or fruit. Literally, it is something born.
ZZ “done” = asah. Same as “do” in v17.

19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew womenAAA are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorousBBB and give birthCCC before the midwife comes to them.” 

Notes on verse 1:19

AAA “women” = ishshah. From ish (man) OR from enosh (man, human mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, frail, or feeble). This is woman wife, or female.
BBB “vigorous” = chayeh. Related to “lives” in v14 & “live” in v17. From chayah (to live, keep alive, revive, nourish, save, be whole; to live literally or figuratively). This is lively or vigorous.
CCC “give birth” = yalad. Same as “midwives” in v15.

20 So God dealt wellDDD with the midwives; and the people multipliedEEE and became very strong.FFF 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gaveGGG them families.HHH 

Notes on verses 1:20-21

DDD “dealt well” = yatab. To be good, well, glad, pleasing, joyful, well-placed. To make glad, rejoice, do good to, deal weal with, do well in an ethical sense, be diligent. This is to make well literally as to make sound or beautiful. It can also be used figuratively as happy or successful.
EEE “multiplied” = rabah. Same as “increase” in v10.
FFF “became…strong” = atsam. Related to “powerful” in v9. See note H above.
GGG “gave” = asah. Same as “do” in v17.
HHH “families” = bayit. Related to “children” in v9 & “built” in v11 & “birthstool” in v16 & “girl” in v16. Perhaps related to banah (see note T above). This is house, home, room, family. Can also be palace, prison, shrine, court, or the Temple.

22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every boyIII that is bornJJJ to the Hebrews you shall throwKKK into the Nile,LLL but you shall let every girlMMM live.”

Notes on verse 1:22

III “boy” = ben. Literally “son.” Same as “children” in v9.
JJJ “born” = yillod. Related to “midwives” in v15 & “boys” in v17. 4x in OT. From yalad (see note NN above). This is a passive form of born – so, those who are born.
KKK “throw” = shalak. To throw down or away in a literal or figurative sense. Can be fling, cast, hurl, or pluck.
LLL “Nile” = yeor. From Egyptian aur (the river); from atur-aa (the great river). This is the stream of the Nile, flood, river in general. Also sometimes used for the Tigris as the main river of Assyria. See https://books.google.com/books?id=mJzNAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA172&lpg=PA172&dq=%22yeor%22+etymology+Egyptian&source=bl&ots=TR681AWOJ0&sig=ACfU3U2JxoLThQF6pQZGwMX33vIk-Hbj5g&hl=en&ppis=_e&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjCn8uewuXmAhXGG80KHbcfA48Q6AEwA3oECAcQAg#v=onepage&q=%22yeor%22%20etymology%20Egyptian&f=false
MMM “girl” = bath. Literally “daughter.” Same as “girl” in v16

2:1 Now a manNNN from the houseOOO of LeviPPP went and marriedQQQ a Levite woman.RRR 

Notes on verse 2:1

NNN “man” = ish. Related to “women” in v1:19. See note AAA above. This is man, husband, humankind.
OOO “house” = bayit. Same as “families” in v1:21.
PPP “Levi” = levi. Perhaps from lavah (to join, abide with, borrow, lender; properly, to twine, which implies uniting or remaining; can also refer to borrowing/lending as an obligation that binds). This is Levi – Jacob’s son and his tribe.
QQQ “married” = laqach. This is to take, accept, bring, or carry. It is take in a very broad sense; can include marriage i.e. to take someone as your wife/husband.
RRR “Levite woman” = bath + levi. Literally “a daughter of Levi.”

The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fineSSS baby, she hidTTT him three months.UUU 

Notes on verse 2:2

SSS “fine” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing or good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
TTT “hid” = tsaphan. This is to hide, conceal – to hide by covering. This is implies hoarding or reserving. Can be used figuratively for deny, but also for protect. Can also mean lurk, watch stealthily, or ambush.
UUU “months” = yerach. 13x in OT. From the same as yareach (moon). This is month.

3 When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrusVVV basketWWW for him, and plasteredXXX it with bitumenYYY and pitch;ZZZ she put the childAAAA in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. 

Notes on verse 2:3

VVV “papyrus” = gome. 4x in OT. From gama (to drink literally or figuratively; to absorb). This is properly, absorbent, which refers to how porous bulrush is. Also used for reed, wicker, and papyrus.
WWW “basket” = tebah. Probably from Egyptian T-b-t (chest, coffin). This is a box, chest, or ark. Used for Moses’s basket and Noah’s ark.
XXX “plastered” = chamar. 6x in OT. Related to “mortar” in v1:14. See note JJ above. To smear with pitch.
YYY “bitumen” = chemar. Related to “mortar” in v1:14 & “plastered” in v2:3. From chamar (see note XXX & JJ above). This is bitumen, asphalt, or tar.
ZZZ “pitch” = zepheth. 3x in OT. Root may mean to liquefy. This is pitch or asphalt.
AAAA “child” = yeled. Same as “boys” in v1:17.

His sister stoodBBBB at a distance, to seeCCCC what would happenDDDD to him.

Notes on verse 2:4

BBBB “stood” = yatsab. This is to set or station oneself, taking a stand, remaining.
CCCC “see” = yada. Same as “know” in v1:8
DDDD “happen” = asah. Same as “do” in v1:17.

The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendantsEEEE walked besideFFFF the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maidGGGG to bring it. When she opened it, she saw the child.HHHH He was crying, and she took pityIIII on him. “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,” she said. 

Notes on verses 2:5-6

EEEE “attendants” = naarah. From naar (boy, youth, servant; boy who is active so an infant up to an adolescent; boy, which implies servant); perhaps from naar (to shake; shake out, free, or off; overthrow). This is a girl, maiden, or young lady from infancy through adolescence.
FFFF “beside” = al + yad. Literally “at hand.”
GGGG “maid” = amah. Maid, handmaid, female servant or slave.
HHHH {untranslated} = hinneh. Same as v1:9. See note E. Also untranslated naar, which is related to “attendants” in v2:5. See note EEEE.
IIII “took pity” = chamal. This is to commiserate, which implies to spare someone. It can be having compassion, mercy, pity, or concern.

Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get you a nurseJJJJ from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” 

Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Yes.”KKKK

So the girlLLLL went and called the child’s mother.MMMM 

Notes on verses 2:7-8

JJJJ “nurse” = yanaq. This is to suck. Causatively, it is to give milk. This can be used both for a nursing infant and for a nursing mother depending on the verb form.
KKKK “yes” = halak. Literally “go.” Miriam asked “shall I go?” and Pharaoh’s daughter said, “go.”
LLLL “girl” = almah. 7x in OT. From elem (young man, stripling); perhaps from alam (to conceal, hide self, cover from sight literally or figuratively). This is a young woman, girl, maid, or virgin. As this word refers to a young girl, virgin would be implied, but this is not the specific word for virgin (that’s betulah).
MMMM “mother” = em. This is mother as the one who binds the family together. Mother in a literal or figurative sense.

9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.”NNNN

So the woman took the child and nursedOOOO it. 10 When the child grew up,PPPP she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son.QQQQ She named him Moses,RRRR “because,” she said, “I drewSSSS him out of the water.”

Notes on verses 2:9-10

NNNN “wages” = sakar. From sakar (to hire, earn, reward). This is wages, compensation, salary, or payment of a contract. It implies compensation, benefit, or worth.
OOOO “nursed” = nuq. 1x in OT. This is to suckle or nurse.
PPPP “grew up” = gadal. This is to grow up, become great, become wealthy – to advance. The root meaning may be to twist in the sense of the process of growing.
QQQQ “son” = ben. Same as “children” in v1:9.
RRRR “Moses” = mosheh. From mashah (to draw; to pull out in a literal or figurative sense) OR from Egyptian me or mesu (child, son; i.e. child of…). This is Moses meaning drawing out of the water i.e. rescued.
SSSS “drew” = mashah. Related to “Moses” in v10. 3x in OT. See note RRRR above.

Image credit: “Mother of Moses” by Simeon Solomon, approximately 1860.

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