[b-hebrew] midwives

YODAN yodan at yodanco.com
Sun Oct 30 17:25:44 EST 2005

Shalom again,


Bryan, you're making interesting points...  


As to why use Egyptian midwives, my question was -- why would the Hebrew
women use Egyptian midwives and not Hebrew midwives?  Perhaps your point
actually does answer this question -- perhaps the Hebrew midwives refused to
serve as midwives (knowing they will have to kill the newborn boys) and the
Hebrew women had no choice but use Egyptian midwives.  


My thinking about "batim" is that God "gave" the midwives families of their
own.  There is a saying (superstition?) I heard somewhere (not sure where)
that midwives have the fate of not having their own families (too busy with
their careers? not wanting to go through what they see other women going
through? - all just speculations!), so maybe (just speculations - so,
please, learned people, don't blast me on this), the point here is that
THESE midwives (whoever they were) did have their own children because of
their actions to save the newborn boys. 


Kol tuv!






-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of B. M. Rocine
Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2005 1:44 PM
To: b-hebrew
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] midwives




Thanks Yigal and Rivka for your answers. I hope you and others will 

answer again.


The Hebrew in question is _lamyalldot ha`ibriyyot_.  If we only vocal 

ize the lamed with shewa instead of patakh, the expression becomes a 

construct chain translatable as "the midwives of the Hebrews."


A couple things recommend the shewa reading.  It seems strange to me to 

think that Pharaoh would request Hebrew midwives to kill Hebrew 

children.  In fact, Rivka asks why use Egyptians midwives with Hebrew 

children.  Answer: to achieve Pharaoh's genocidal aim.


I also note the expression in v. 21 vayy`as ['elohiym] lahem batiym. 

The event of v. 21 seems hardly worthy of note unless God made a place 

for Egyptian women as befitting noble Gentiles.


I repect the Jewish tradition that these two midwives were Yoxebed and 

Miryam, the LXX that translate "Hebrew midwives," and the standard 

translations that also seem to agree that they were Hebrews.


Thanks again, Bryan



Yigal Levin wrote:

> The simplest meaning of "hamiyaledot ha(ibriyyot" is "the Henrew

> I'd need a good reason from the contexts to render "the midwives for the 

> Hebrews".


> Yigal





>>What do you all think of the possibility that the midwives of Exo 1:15

>>were Egyptians rather that Hebrews?






B. M. Rocine

Living Word Church

6101 Court St. Rd.

Syracuse, NY 13026

(W): 315.437.6744


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