Hidden Heroes of the Bible: The Women of the Exodus

Hidden Heroes of the Bible: The Women of the Exodus

Exodus 1:13-22; 2:15-22; 15:20-21

FIRST READING Exodus 1:13-22
13 The Egyptians subjected the Israelites to hard servitude 14 and
made their lives bitter with hard servitude in mortar and bricks and in
every kind of field labor. They were ruthless in all the tasks that they
imposed on them.
15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was
named Shiphrah and the other Puah, 16 “When you act as midwives to the
Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, kill him, but
if it is a daughter, she shall live.” 17But the midwives feared God; they
did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys
live. 18 So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them,
“Why have you done this and allowed the boys to live?” 19 The midwives
said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian
women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to
them.” 20 So God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied
and became very strong. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he
gave them families. 22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every


son that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you
shall let every daughter live.”

SECOND READING Exodus 2:15-22
15 When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses.
So Moses fled from Pharaoh. He settled in the land of Midian and sat
down by a well. 16 The priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came
to draw water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 But
some shepherds came and drove them away. Moses got up and came to
their defense and watered their flock. 18 When they returned to their
father Reuel, he said, “How is it that you have come back so soon
today?” 19 They said, “An Egyptian helped us against the shepherds; he
even drew water for us and watered the flock.” 20 He said to his
daughters, “Where is he? Why did you leave the man? Invite him to
share a meal.” 21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave Moses
his daughter Zipporah in marriage. 22 She bore a son, and he named him
Gershom, for he said, “I have been an alien residing in a foreign land.”