|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:8-14 The land of Egypt became to Israel a house of bondage. The place where we have been happy, may soon become the place of our affliction; and that may prove the greatest cross to us, of which we said, This same shall comfort us. Cease from man, and say not of any place on this side heaven, This is my rest. All that knew Joseph, loved him, and were kind to his brethren for his sake; but the best and most useful services a man does to others, are soon forgotten after his death. Our great care should be, to serve God, and to please him who is not unrighteous, whatever men are, to forget our work and labour of love. The offence of Israel is, that he prospers. There is no sight more hateful to a wicked man than the prosperity of the righteous. The Egyptians feared lest the children of Israel should join their enemies, and get them up out of the land. Wickedness is ever cowardly and unjust; it makes a man fear, where no fear is, and flee, when no one pursues him. And human wisdom often is foolishness, and very sinful. God's people had task-masters set over them, not only to burden them, but to afflict them with their burdens. They not only made them serve for Pharaoh's profit, but so that their lives became bitter. The Israelites wonderfully increased. Christianity spread most when it was persecuted: the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church. They that take counsel against the Lord and his Israel, do but imagine a vain thing, and create greater vexation to themselves.
Verse 13. - The Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour. The word translated rigour is a very rare one. It is derived from a root which means "to break in pieces, to crush." The "rigour" would be shown especially in the free use of the stick by the taskmaster, and in the prolongation of the hours of work.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour. Or with breach (c), with what might tend to break their strength; they laid heavier burdens upon them, obliged them to harder service, used them more cruelly and with greater fierceness, adding to their hard service ill words, and perhaps blows.
(c) "in fractione", Cajetan. apud Rivet.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13, 14. The Egyptians … made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick—Ruins of great brick buildings are found in all parts of Egypt. The use of crude brick, baked in the sun, was universal in upper and lower Egypt, both for public and private buildings; all but the temples themselves were of crude brick. It is worthy of remark that more bricks bearing the name of Thothmes III, who is supposed to have been the king of Egypt at the time of the Exodus, have been discovered than of any other period [Wilkinson]. Parties of these brickmakers are seen depicted on the ancient monuments with "taskmasters," some standing, others in a sitting posture beside the laborers, with their uplifted sticks in their hands.
Exodus 1:13 Parallel Commentaries
Exodus 1:13 NIV
Exodus 1:13 NLT
Exodus 1:13 ESV
Exodus 1:13 NASB
Exodus 1:13 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible