Lesson 7 | Sabbath, 15 August 2020
Shiphrah means “to decorate,” and Puah means “shine.”
“And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of which 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 stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.” Exodus 1:15, 16.
“It is not in harmony with the instructions given at Sinai that gentlemen physicians should do the work of midwives. The Bible speaks of women at childbirth being attended by women, and thus it ought always to be. Women should be educated and trained to act skillfully as midwives and physicians to their sex. It is just as important that a line of study be given to educate women to deal with women’s diseases,… The wages of the woman should be proportionate to her services. She should be as much appreciated in her work as the gentleman physician is appreciated in his work.” –Counsels on Health, p. 365.
- Under what circumstances did the people of Israel suffer in the days of the two midwives? Will be slavery at the end of time?
Exodus 1:13, 14 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: 14And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.
Revelation 13:16; 19:17, 18 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads….
19:17And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God. 18That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
“The beast with two horns is also to say ‘to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast;’ and, furthermore, it is to command all, ‘both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,’ to receive the mark of the beast. Revelation 13:11-16. It has been shown that the United States is the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns, and that this prophecy will be fulfilled when the United States shall enforce Sunday observance, which Rome claims as the special acknowledgment of her supremacy. But in this homage to the papacy the United States will not be alone. The influence of Rome in the countries that once acknowledged her dominion is still far from being destroyed. And prophecy foretells a restoration of her power.” –The Great Controversy, p. 578.
- What did the names of the Hebrew midwives in Egypt mean? What did Pharaoh order them to do?
Exodus 1:15, 16 And the king of Egypt to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 16And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them on the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.
“Orders were issued to the women whose employment gave them opportunity for executing the command, to destroy the Hebrew male children at their birth. Satan was the mover in this matter. He knew that a deliverer was to be raised up among the Israelites; and by leading the king to destroy their children he hoped to defeat the divine purpose. But the women feared God, and dared not execute the cruel mandate. The Lord approved their course, and prospered them. The king, angry at the failure of his design, made the command more urgent and extensive. The whole nation was called upon to hunt out and slaughter his helpless victims. ‘And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.’” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 242.
- How did the midwives Shiphrah and Puah respond to Pharaoh’s infanticide order? What principle did these women adhere to in their civil disobedience?
Exodus 1:17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.
Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
“We may disguise poison by mingling it with wholesome food, but we do not change its nature. On the contrary, it is rendered more dangerous, as it is more likely to be taken unawares. It is one of Satan’s devices to combine with falsehood just enough truth to give it plausibility. The leaders of the Sunday movement may advocate reforms which the people need, principles which are in harmony with the Bible; yet while there is with these a requirement which is contrary to God’s law, His servants cannot unite with them. Nothing can justify them in setting aside the commandments of God for the precepts of men.” –The Great Controversy, p.587.
- In the response demanded from the midwives Shiphrah and Puah at the court of Pharaoh, what future events were foreshadowed? In contrast to the order made by Pharaoh, what was the mission of the Messiah?
Exodus 1:18 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?
Matthew 10:17, 18, 21, 22 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles…. 21And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
“The time of trouble is about to come upon the people of God. Then it is that the decree will go forth forbidding those who keep the Sabbath of the Lord to buy or sell, and threatening them with punishment, and even death, if they do not observe the first day of the week as the Sabbath.
“The powers of earth, uniting to war against the commandments of God, will decree that ‘all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond’ (Revelation
13:16), shall conform to the customs of the church by the observance of the false sabbath. All who refuse compliance will be visited with civil penalties, and it will finally be declared that they are deserving of death.
“Especially will the wrath of man be aroused against those who hallow the
Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and at last a universal decree will denounce
these as deserving of death.” –Last Day Events, pp. 257, 258.
5. What did the midwives Shiphrah and Puah reply to the Pharaoh? How did
God reward them?
Exodus 1:19-21 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. 20Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. 21And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
“In the closing period of earth’s history the Lord will work mightily in behalf of those who stand steadfastly for the right…. In the midst of the time of trouble, trouble such as has not been since there was a nation, His chosen ones will stand unmoved. Satan with all the hosts of evil cannot destroy the weakest of God’s saints. Angels that excel in strength will protect them, and in their behalf Jehovah will reveal Himself as a ‘God of gods,’ able to save to the uttermost those who have put their trust in Him.” –Maranatha, p. 270.
The death decree
- In his anger, what was the Pharaoh’s final cruel command? What future edicts, not only in the time of Christ but also in the end, did the Pharaoh’s command foreshadow?
Exodus 1:22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.
Matthew 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.
John 16:2-4 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
Revelation 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
“But many of all nations and of all classes, high and low, rich and poor, black and white, will be cast into the most unjust and cruel bondage. The beloved of God pass weary days, bound in chains, shut in by prison bars, sentenced to be slain, some apparently left to die of starvation in dark and loathsome dungeons. No human ear is open to hear their moans; no human hand is ready to lend them help.” –The Great Controversy, p. 626.
- What Biblical evidence do we have of the death decree that will be issued in the last days? How will God’s people overcome in the time of danger?
Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands;…
Matthew 24:9, 20; 10:23 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake…. 20But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:… 10:23But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
“As the decree issued by the various rulers of Christendom against commandment keepers shall withdraw the protection of government and abandon them to those who desire their destruction, the people of God will flee from the cities and villages and associate together in companies, dwelling in the most desolate and solitary places. Many will find refuge in the strongholds of the mountains. Like the Christians of the Piedmont valleys, they will make the high places of the earth their sanctuaries and will thank God for ‘the munitions of rocks.’ Isaiah 33:16.” –The Great Controversy, p. 626.
“During the night a very impressive scene passed before me. There seemed to be great confusion and the conflict of armies. A messenger from the Lord stood before me, and said, ‘Call your household. I will lead you; follow me.’ He led me down a dark passage, through a forest, then through the clefts of mountains, and said, ‘Here you are safe.’ There were others who had been led to this retreat. The heavenly messenger said. ‘The time of trouble has come as a thief in the night, as the Lord warned you it would come.’” –Maranatha, p. 270.
Additional study – a type of Christ
“He well knew that Moses, in breaking the yoke of bondage from off the children of Israel, prefigured Christ, who was to break the reign of sin over the human family. He knew that when Christ should appear, mighty miracles would be wrought as an evidence to the world that God had sent Him. Satan trembled for his power. By counterfeiting the work of God through Moses, he hoped not only to prevent the deliverance of Israel, but to exert an influence through future ages to destroy faith in the miracles of Christ. Satan is constantly seeking to counterfeit the work of Christ and to establish his own power and claims. He leads men to account for the miracles of Christ by making them appear to be the result of human skill and power. In many minds he thus destroys faith in Christ as the Son of God, and leads them to reject the gracious offers of mercy through the plan of redemption….
“At the court of Pharaoh, Moses received the highest civil and military training. The monarch had determined to make his adopted grandson his successor on the throne, and the youth was educated for his high station. ‘And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.’ Acts
7:22. His ability as a military leader made him a favorite with the armies of Egypt, and he was generally regarded as a remarkable character. Satan had been defeated been overruled by God for the training and education of the future leader of His people.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 264, 245.