Puah means "Brilliant", "Shining One"
Scriptures to read:
1750-1550 b.c. Hyksos rule Egypt
Death of Joseph
(Let me take a moment to explain a few things before continuing with this time line. There are a couple of theories as to which dynasty this is. There is The Early Date Theory which I will show first. According to The Early Date Theory this will be the start of the 18th Dynasty. This corresponds with chronology suggested in 1 Kings 6:1 and Judges 11:26.)
1490-1438 b.c. Thutmosis III
Phiphrah and Puah save babies
Moses is born
1440-1412 b.c. Amenhotep II
1400 b.c. The Exodus
1400-1350 b.c. Israel's Conquest
(The other theory is The Late Date Theory. According to this one the new dynasty is actually the 19th Dynasty. This one is based on archeological evidence. Also, Exodus 1:11 states that a treasured city called Rameses was built. Ramesis II is known as the builder of this city and Pithom. This chronology also corresponds with Galatians 3:17.)
1317-1304 b.c. Sethos I
Shiphra and Puah save babies
Moses is born
1304-1237 b.c. Ramesis II
1280 b.c. The Exodus
1237-1227 b.c. Merneptah
1240-1200 b.c. Israel's Conquest
Which theory do you think is right? The Late Date Theory is what The Prince of Egypt basis there's off of apparently because the "bad guy" is Ramesis II. ;)
Question I asked myself while reading these scriptures...
What is a birth stool (Exodus 1:16)? The Hebrew term for stool used here ('obnayim -- which is also used in Jeremiah 18:3 but is translated to "potter's wheel"-- interesting) is plural -- possibly means more than one part. Archeological findings suggest it was two colorfully painted rocks pushed close enough together to support the mother's weight. All I could think was... ouch!!!! I need pillows and padding. =o) Either way, those Hebrew women were stronger than me. Apparently this was easier for birthing because gravity worked for the mother but it was a bit harder for the midwife. It was to create something similar to this:
What did these women do in just a couple of scriptures? They defied Pharaoh and followed the Lord.
Pharaoh saw the Israelites were great than he, so he ordered the midwives to kill all the male babies. However, they had eternity in their sight and chose to fear God more than Pharaoh. When Pharaoh called them to his court to find out why they were not murdering the baby boys they said, "Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them." Basically, they told him the Hebrew women are stronger than the Egyptian women and he believed them. Obviously, he'd never witnessed childbirth and was quite gullible.
Another neat thing about these courageous midwives is that because of their righteousness the "[Lord] made them houses." Houses meaning households or posterity. So they were young women who had not had children yet. What amazing examples for our young women today to have -- other young women who cared more of what God thought than their friends, Egyptians or Pharaoh. Because of this, they were able to save a nation from destruction.
Applied to us today:
Do we fear God more than anyone else? Do we worry about fashion, the size of our house, a new car, or do we concern ourselves with serving others and teaching our children to serve the Lord and to do His will? Today's society has chosen to ignore/forget God but I hope and pray that my children will remember these courageous young women and put God and eternity ahead of everything else. We must choose the Lord and not "Pharaoh". What does Pharaoh represent in your own life?
To get a better understanding of choosing the Lord, I recommend the following talk -- amazing!!