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This first chapter opens with an account of the increase of the children of Israel: the jealousy of the king of Egypt, in consequence thereof: the cruel policy which he and his people adopted to decrease the growing number of the Israelites; and the Lord's gracious interposition to counteract their design.
The Holy Ghost is particular in several parts of his sacred word, to mention by name the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel: and the precise number of souls arising from that stock, which went down into Egypt. Revelation 21:2 ; Genesis 46:27 .
Ecclesiastes 1:4 . How sweet to contemplate him amidst the dying circumstances of our nature, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Psalms 102:11-24 , etc.
Acts 7:17 . It is worth the reader's serious remark, that the first half of the period of 430 years from Abraham's days when God promised the increase of his children, had produced only 70 souls. Whereas during the latter half, the seed of Israel multiplied to six hundred thousand men beside women and children. See Exodus 7:25 .
Acts 7:18 . It is a useful spiritual improvement to consider, that as Israel flourished more after Joseph's death, and under the oppression of another king which knew not Joseph: so the true Israelite now literally and truly abounds more in divine things in seasons of trouble, than in the sun-shine of life. And the church of Jesus hath abundantly increased since the Redeemer's return to glory, more than in all the time while he was personally with his disciples here upon earth. How clear a proof of that precious promise, Matthew 28:20 .
Is it not worthy remark, that the enmity of the world against the people of God, however variously manifested, is always the same. Reader! do not lose sight of what God said at the fall: I will put enmity between thee and the woman: and between thy seed and her seed. Genesis 3:15 ; Ezra 4:12 ; Esther 3:8 .
It is more than probable that those sharp trials were sanctified to some, and proved a savour of death unto others. Let the Reader consult Joshua 24:14 . with Ezekiel 20:8 ; Psalms 106:35 .
What a blessed evidence this is of God's love to his people. And depend upon it, it is the same now! Every persecution, every scoff, every sneer of the infidel shall be blessed. And there is not a pain, or sickness, or sorrow, but what Jesus shall convert into a joy. Psalms 105:24 ; Romans 8:28 .
It is sweet to trace God's hand in our afflictions. That is a strong expression: Psalms 105:25 .
Reader! This subject considered spiritually is very interesting. The enemy would destroy as soon as born everyone of the spiritual seed of Christ, as Herod thought to have done Christ himself. Matthew 2:16 ; Revelation 12:4-5 .
Is it not a mark of grace in these women? Proverbs 1:7 . And was it not similar to the faith of Rahab? Hebrews 11:31 .
I think it probable that the Hebrew women were distinguished with peculiar marks of divine favor in those seasons of child-bearing. Perhaps as a token to them and their husbands, that the hand of the Lord was with them. 1 Timothy 2:15 .
Some have thought that the houses here spoken of, which God is said to have built for them, means that they were incorporated and built up in the faith of God's people. Psalms 107:41 .
Such in all ages hath been the malice of the world against the faithful. See Daniel 7:23 .
WHAT a decided character is here drawn between the men of the world and the saints of God. And what an everlasting enmity we perceive running through all ages, between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. Gracious God! Be it my portion rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. My soul! Learn from this chapter a lesson of grace and patience. How slow soever the promises of God appear to his people in fulfilling, it is but in appearance, for they are all yea and amen in Christ Jesus. Though the seed of Abraham did not seem to increase immediately after the promise given, equal to what the haste of natural desires might expect, yet the Lord is not slack as some men count slackness. The vision is for an appointed time; it shall come, it will not tarry. May all faithful believers learn from hence how certain God's purposes are! Hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Exodus 1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany