[b-hebrew] midwives

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Mon Oct 31 22:50:48 EST 2005

On Monday 31 October 2005 19:02, B. M. Rocine wrote:
> Hi Harold,
> Harold R. Holmyard III wrote:
> > Dear Bryan,
> >
> >>What do you all think of the possibility that the midwives of Exo 1:15
> >>were Egyptians rather that Hebrews?
> >
> > HH: The fact this it is said of them twice that they feared God helps
> > convince me that they were Hebrews, who had knowledge of the living
> > God.
> The funny thing is, to me, the double reference to these midwives
> fearing God is all the more reason to think they were *not* Hebrews.  I
> ask myself why the narrator would "over-mention" their fearing God if
> they were Hebrews (for whom it would be less remarkable to fear God).
> On the other hand it would be particularly relevant to over-mention
> their fearing God if it *is* especially remarkable for some reason like
> that they are Egyptians.

ISTM that the point would be that they feared God more than they feared the 
Pharaoh and his punishment.  As for ha`ib:riy.owt being the absolute in a 
construct chain, the pointing of lam:yal.:dot suggests otherwise, since the 
patah under the lamed seems to indicate the definite article.  Of course, as 
we're often reminded, there's nothing sacred about the pointing.  Still, it 
gives us an idea as to how those who did the pointing understood the phrase.

Do we know anything about the names Shiphrah and Pu`ah?  They sure look 

Dave Washburn
"Maybe I'll trade it for a new hat."

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