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Exodus 1:21

    Exodus 1:21 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them households.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And because the women who took care of the Hebrew mothers had the fear of God, he gave them families.

    Webster's Revision

    And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them households.

    World English Bible

    It happened, because the midwives feared God, that he gave them families.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.

    Clarke's Commentary on Exodus 1:21

    He made them houses - Dr. Shuckford thinks that there is something wrong both in the punctuation and translation of this place, and reads the passage thus, adding the 21st to the 20th verse: "And they multiplied and waxed mighty; and this happened (ויהי vayehi) because the midwives feared God; and he (Pharaoh) made (להם lahem, masc.). them (the Israelites) houses; and commanded all his people, saying, Every son that is born, etc." The doctor supposes that previously to this time the Israelites had no fixed dwellings, but lived in tents, and therefore had a better opportunity of concealing their children; but now Pharaoh built them houses, and obliged them to dwell in them, and caused the Egyptians to watch over them, that all the male children might be destroyed, which could not have been easily effected had the Israelites continued to live in their usual scattered manner in tents. That the houses in question were not made for the midwives, but for the Israelites in general, the Hebrew text seems pretty plainly to indicate, for the pronoun להם lahem, to them, is the masculine gender; had the midwives been meant, the feminine pronoun להן lahen would have been used. Others contend that by making them houses, not only the midwives are intended, but also that the words mark an increase of their families, and that the objection taken from the masculine pronoun is of no weight, because these pronouns are often interchanged; see 1 Kings 22:17, where להם lahem is written, and in the parallel place, 2 Chronicles 18:16, להן lahen is used. So בהם bahem, in 1 Chronicles 10:7, is written בהן bahen, 1 Samuel 31:7, and in several other places. There is no doubt that God did bless the midwives, his approbation of their conduct is strictly marked; and there can be no doubt of his prospering the Israelites, for it is particularly said that the people multiplied and waxed very mighty. But the words most probably refer to the Israelites, whose houses or families were built up by an extraordinary in crease of children, notwithstanding the cruel policy of the Egyptian king. Vain is the counsel of man when opposed to the determinations of God! All the means used for the destruction of this people became in his hand instruments of their prosperity and increase. How true is the saying, If God be for us, who can be against us?

    Barnes' Notes on Exodus 1:21

    Made them houses - i. e. they married Hebrews and became mothers in Israel. The expression is proverbial. See the margin reference.