Shiphrah and Puah the Hebrew Midwives – Women of Faith

Today’s study is short but provides us a powerful example of faith. The article discusses the incredible bravery of two women who chose defy the most powerful man in Egypt. Where did this bravery come from? Read about Shiphrah and Puah in Exodus 1 verses 8-21.

‘Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they also join themselves unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store-cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor: and they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field, all their service, wherein they made them serve with rigor.
And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: and he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the birth-stool; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men-children alive. And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men-children alive? And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwife come unto them. And God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them households.’ Exodus 1:8-21

Pharaoh called on two Hebrew midwives to commit his evil attack against the Israelite people by instructing the women to kill the Hebrew male children. These two women, Shiphrah and Puah refused to carry out the sinful plan of Pharaoh because they feared God. They believed in the God Most High. The Lord, then, blessed these two midwives and provided households for them. Through this example of faithfulness, God used the opportunity to increase the Israelites number.

I cannot fathom the stress this caused these two women. To disobey the Egyptian king; I imagine they grappled greatly with this decision. But they feared God more and they trusted in Him no matter the consequences.

The bible explains the importance of a holy fear of God and how He will bless those who fear Him. Shiphrah and Puah represent women of faith because they feared the Lord and kept His commandments. “This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 112:13

Of course for me this story brings to mind the difference in the heart of many women today compared to the heart of Shiphrah and Puah. We live in a time when the decision to allow the killing of nearly born children is being celebrated. It’s more than apparent that most people today have a lack of fear for the Lord. Instead the majority of people look to Pharaoh’s arrogant example instead of the faithful example of Shiphrah and Puah. I pray that we can learn to fear God again and keep His commandments.

‘Though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and prolong his days, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, that fear before him:’ Ecclesiastes 8:12

“And Jehovah commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear Jehovah our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as at this day.” Deuteronomy 6:24 .

“Praise ye Jehovah.
Blessed is the man that feareth Jehovah,
That delighteth greatly in his commandments.” Psalm 112:1

“He will bless them that fear Jehovah,
Both small and great.” Psalm 115:13

Until next time

3 thoughts on “Shiphrah and Puah the Hebrew Midwives – Women of Faith

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