|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-7 During more than 200 years, while Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived at liberty, the Hebrews increased slowly; only about seventy persons went down into Egypt. There, in about the same number of years, though under cruel bondage, they became a large nation. This wonderful increase was according to the promise long before made unto the fathers. Though the performance of God's promises is sometimes slow, it is always sure.
Verse 1. - Now these are the names. Literally, "And these are the names." Compare Genesis 46:8, where the phrase used is the same. We have here the first example of that almost universal practice of fife writers of the Historical Scriptures to connect book with book in the closest possible way by the simple copulative "and." (Compare Joshua 1:1, Judges 1:1, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.) This practice, so unlike that of secular writers, can only be explained by the instinctive feeling of all, that they were contributors to a single book, each later writer a continuator of the narrative placed on record by his predecessor. In the Pentateuch, if we admit a single author, the initial vau will be less remarkable, since it will merely serve to join together the different sections of a single treatise. Which came into Egypt. The next two words of the original, "with Jacob," belong properly to this clause. The whole verse is best translated, "Now these are the names of the children of Israel which came into Egypt with Jacob: they came every man with his household." So the LXX., Pagnini, Kalisch, Geddes, Boothroyd, etc. Every man and his household. This is important in connection with the vexed question of the possible increase of the original band of so-called "Israelites" within the space of 430 years to such a number as is said to have quitted Egypt with Moses (Exodus 12:37). The "household" of Abraham comprised 318 adult males (Genesis 14:14). The "households" of Jacob, his eleven sons, and his numerous grown-up grandsons, have been with reason estimated at "several thousands." (Kurtz, 'History of the Old Covenant,' vol. 2 p. 149, E. T.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now these are the names of the children of Israel which came down into Egypt,.... Of the twelve patriarchs, the sons of Jacob, who were heads of the twelve tribes, whose names are here given; since the historian is about to give an account of their coming out of Egypt, and that it might be observed how greatly they increased in it, and how exactly the promise to Abraham, of the multiplication of his seed, was fulfilled: or, "and these are the names" (b), &c. this book being connected with the former by the copulative "and"; and when this was wrote, it is highly probable there was no division of the books made, but the history proceeded in one continued account:
every man and his household came with Jacob; into Egypt, all excepting Joseph, and along with them their families, wives, children, and servants; though wives and servants are not reckoned into the number of the seventy, only such as came out of Jacob's loins: the Targum of Jonathan is,"a man with the men of his house,''as if only male children were meant, the sons of Jacob and his grandsons; and Aben Ezra observes, that women were never reckoned in Scripture as of the household or family; but certainly Dinah, and Serah, as they came into Egypt with Jacob, are reckoned among the seventy that came with him thither, Genesis 46:15.
(b) "et haec", Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
THE SECOND BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED EXODUS. Commentary by Robert Jamieson
Ex 1:1-22. Increase of the Israelites.
1. Now these are the names—(See Ge 46:8-26).
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