The Geneva Bible Translation Notes, , at sacred-texts.com
exo 1:1Now (a)these [are] the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.
The Argument - After Jacob by God's commandment in (Gen 46:3) had brought his family into Egypt, where they remained for four hundred years, and from seventy people grew to an infinite number so that the king and the country endeavoured both by tyranny and cruel slavery to suppress them: the Lord according to his promise in (Gen 15:14) had compassion on his Church, and delivered them, but plagued their enemies in most strange and varied ways. The more the tyranny of the wicked raged against his Church, the more his heavy judgments increased against them, till Pharaoh and his army were drowned in the sea, which gave an entry and passage to the children of God. As the ingratitude of man is great, so they immediately forgot God's wonderful benefits and although he had given them the Passover as a sign and memorial of the same, yet they fell to distrust, and tempted God with various complaining and grudging against him and his ministers: sometimes out of ambition, sometimes lack of drink or meat to satisfy their lusts, sometimes idolatry, or such like. For this reason, God punished them with severe rods and plagues, that by his correction they might turn to him for help against his scourges, and earnestly repent for their rebellion and wickedness. Because God loves them to the end, whom he has once begun to love, he punished them not as they deserved, but dealt with them mercifully, and with new benefits laboured to overcome their malice: for he still governed them and gave them his word and Law, both concerning the way to serve him, and also the form of judgments and civil policy: with the intent that they would not serve God after as they pleased, but according to the order, that his heavenly wisdom had appointed.
(a) Moses describes the wonderful order that God observes in performing his promise to Abraham; (Gen 15:14).
exo 1:7And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the (b) land was filled with them.
(b) He means the country of Goshen.
exo 1:8Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which (c) knew not Joseph.
(c) He did not consider how God had preserved Egypt for the sake of Joseph.
exo 1:10Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and [so] (d) get them up out of the land.
(d) Into Canaan, and so we shall lose our conveniences.
exo 1:12But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And (e) they were grieved because of the children of Israel.
(e) The more God blesses his own, the more the wicked envy them.
exo 1:15And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one [was] (f) Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah:
(f) These seem to have been the main of the rest.
exo 1:19And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew (g) women [are] not as the Egyptian women; for they [are] lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.
(g) Their disobedience in this was lawful, but their deception is evil.
exo 1:21And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he (h) made them houses.
(h) That is, God increased the families of the Israelites by their means.
exo 1:22And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall (i) cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.
(i) When tyrants cannot prevail by deceit, they burst into open rage.