God provides for His people through Joseph, to the extent that they come to inhabit “the best of the land (v. 6, 11). Scholars believe that this was sparsely populated by Egyptians but is was likely a military outpost on the eastern border of Egypt.
Again the younger is placed ahead of the older. However, this time it will not have as significant an impact concerning Israel’s history. By counting Joseph’s sons as his own, there will be twelve tribes who receive a portion in the promised land since the Levites will receive an inheritance of land.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Scribes for establishing traditions counter to the purposes of God. In this instance, their tradition of Corban (giving financial help intended for parents to the Lord) does not fulfill a higher purpose but denies a basic command of the law. Moreover, they misunderstood purity laws because they focused so much on the outside that they missed the personal matters of the heart.
These are prophecies about Israel’s sons. While there are many fascinating aspects, the most important are that regarding Judah (v. 8-12). Israel promises that one will arise who will rule, which is partially fulfilled by David, but ultimately by Christ.
Israel is buried with Machpelah, like his fathers before him. Additionally, Joseph gives orders concerning his body, that when God has completed His work and grown the people, they are to carry him out of Egypt to the promised land, fulfilled in Exodus 13:19.
Many want to sidestep the reality that Jesus calls the Syrophoenician woman a dog, However, in saying this and hearing her response, Jesus sees the depth of the faith that the woman has, for she is convinced that even the leftovers of His power could heal her daughter.
The people grow numerous in Egypt, and we see the devaluing of life on full display (see also Herod’s wickedness in Matthew 2). The midwives stand for the innocent lives. There appears to be a blessing of the women’s untruthfulness, yet here they demonstrate a hierarchy in their ethic that places saving life at the top.
Pharaoh’s daughter has a greater respect and compassion for life and apparently, raises Moses to know the people to whom he belongs (v. 11). He takes a life and “supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him” (Acts 7:25). Moses appears to have this mission in mind, though as the people reject him, this hope seems lost.
In one of the most crucial events of the Old Testament, God reveals Himself by His personal name, YHWH. While we do not know exactly how it was pronounced (since Jews never said the name), it appears to be connected to the Hebrew word for “I am,” thus many translations translate the name “I AM.”
Jesus chastises the Pharisees and Scribes being able to read meteorological signs, but not the signs of the times. And in the most misunderstood and misapplied pieces of Jesus teaching, Jesus says to Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . .” (v. 19). Catholics wrongly apply this to Peter and have developed a succession so that the Pope is said to have the keys. However, Protestants have understood the keys to belong to the church (variously understood) as the keys are given based on Peter’s confession.
God gives Moses displays of power as a testimony of God’s anointing. These function much like the miracles in the New Testament, to validate the messenger. Verses 24-26 are perhaps the most perplexing in the narrative. It appears as if Moses fell deathly ill as an act of judgment from God because He had neglected the sign of the covenant and had not circumcised his sons. His wife rectifies the situation, and God relents and returns health to Moses.
In the most Machiavellian of turns, Pharaoh chooses to silence the people through oppression. Such is to be expected from a descendant of one who ruthlessly killed infant children,
As God speaks to Moses, the focus should be on God’s remembering of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. After 400 years in Egypt, many under great oppression, it could seem as if God had forgotten or forsaken His covenant, but such was not the case, and he was soon to demonstrate His power on behalf of the people.
Many have wondered what Jesus means when he says, “there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom” (v. 28). While this could refer to the transfiguration, it more probably refers to the resurrection of Christ where He enters into His glory. All will one day see Him in that glory at His return.
Many may find difficulty with the Lord’s statement, “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and wonders in the land of Egypt” (v. 3). They may argue that it is unfair to punish Pharaoh for rebellion when God has hardened his heart. Two considerations are of great importance here. First, categories of fairness do not comport well with a good, perfect God. Second, God’s statement here is not inconsistent with the assertion in 8:15 that Pharaoh hardened His own heart. Thus we do well to remember the words of Paul, “who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it?” (Romans 9:20).
As the plagues progress, God demonstrates His power and authority over the Egyptians and their gods, bringing them low before His omnipotent power.
Jesus enters into another teaching discourse. Here the great misunderstanding is the phrase, “unless you are converted and become like little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven” (v. 3). Jesus here is not referring to some state of innocence within children. Since their question is about rank within the kingdom, this is better understood in the light of the ancient world where children were of no rank.
The distinction between the Israelites and the Egyptians is of vital importance because it shows that God targets His wrath at Pharaoh for his hardness of heart.
As the plagues progress, so does their financial consequence. The plagues decimate fields and livestock as the Lord pours out His wrath.
Verses 15-20 stand as the corrective to the often misquoted “judge not lest ye be judged.” Jesus demonstrates immense care for the holiness within the New Covenant community. Therefore, He establishes precedents for the people to watch over one another in love.
Since Pharaoh has not let God’s firstborn, Israel, out of bondage, God now strikes the firstborn of Egypt.
The lamb is sacrificed in a manner that pictures the sacrifice of Christ. Paul will say that “Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7). What the blood of the lamb sacrifices here is a substitutionary sacrifice for the people, just as Christ is the substitutionary sacrifice for His people. Additionally, whereas the other plagues did not affect the Israelites, this is not the case here. Without the Israelites’ obedience to sacrifice the lamb and spread the blood on the lintel of the door they faced the same dreadful judgment the Egyptians endured.
In trying to trap Jesus with a question, Jesus silences the Pharisees by saying that God permitted divorce due to the hardness of the human heart. Interestingly, Jesus attributes the words “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother . . .” to God. In Genesis, these words are not directly attributed to the Lord. Jesus words demonstrate that He believes the words of Scripture to be the very words of God.