Exodus 1:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live."

New Living Translation
"When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live."

English Standard Version
“When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.”

New American Standard Bible
and he said, "When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live."

King James Bible
And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When you help the Hebrew women give birth, observe them as they deliver. If the child is a son, kill him, but if it's a daughter, she may live."

International Standard Version
"When you help the Hebrew women give birth," he said, "watch them as they deliver. If it's a son, kill him; but if it's a daughter, let her live."

NET Bible
"When you assist the Hebrew women in childbirth, observe at the delivery: If it is a son, kill him, but if it is a daughter, she may live."

New Heart English Bible
and he said, "When you perform the duty of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birth stool; if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth, look at the child when you deliver it. If it's a boy, kill it, but if it's a girl, let it live."

JPS Tanakh 1917
and he said: 'When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, ye shall look upon the birthstool: if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.'

New American Standard 1977
and he said, “When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
and he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women and see the sex, if it is a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.

King James 2000 Bible
And he said, When you serve as a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then you shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.

American King James Version
And he said, When you do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them on the stools; if it be a son, then you shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.

American Standard Version
and he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the birth-stool; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Commanding them: When you shall do the office of midwives to the Hebrew women, and the time of delivery is come: if it be a man child, kill it: if a woman, keep it alive.

Darby Bible Translation
and he said, When ye help the Hebrew women in bearing, and see [them] on the stool, if it be a son, then ye shall kill him, but if a daughter, then she shall live.

English Revised Version
and he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the birthstool; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it shall be a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it shall be a daughter, then she shall live.

World English Bible
and he said, "When you perform the duty of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birth stool; if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live."

Young's Literal Translation
and saith, 'When ye cause the Hebrew women to bear, and have looked on the children; if it is a son -- then ye have put him to death; and if it is a daughter -- then she hath lived.'
Study Bible
Pharoah Orders Male Children Killed
15Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other was named Puah; 16and he said, "When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live." 17But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live.…
Cross References
Acts 7:19
He exploited our people and oppressed our fathers, forcing them to abandon their infants so they would die.

Hebrews 11:23
By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after his birth, because they saw he was a beautiful child, and they were unafraid of the king's edict.

Exodus 1:15
Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other was named Puah;
Treasury of Scripture

And he said, When you do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them on the stools; if it be a son, then you shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.

and see them. or, rather, and ye see them by the stone-trough; a stone, seems to signify in which they washed the new-born infants. See this subject fully illustrated in Fragments to Calmet, nos.

Exodus 1:22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born …

Matthew 21:38 But when the farmers saw the son, they said among themselves, This …

Revelation 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did …

(16) Upon the stools.--Literally, upon the two stones. It has been suggested that a seat corresponding to the modern hursee elwildeh is meant. This is a "chair of a peculiar form," upon which in modern Egypt the woman is seated during parturition. (See Lane, Modern Egyptians, vol. iii. p. 142.) But it does not appear that this seat is composed of "two stones;" nor is there any distinct evidence of its employment at the time of child-birth in Ancient Egypt. The emendation of Hirsch--banim for bnaim, is very tempting. This will give the sense, "When ye look upon the children."

Verse 16. - The stools. The explanation furnished by a remark of Mr. Lane ('Modem Egyptians,' vol. 3. p. 142) is more satisfactory than any other. In modern Egypt, he says, "two or three days before the expected time of delivery, the midwife conveys to the house the kursee elwiladeh, a chair of a peculiar form, upon which the patient is to be seated during the birth." A chair of the form intended is represented on the Egyptian monuments. And he said, when ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women,.... Deliver them of their children:

and see them upon the stools; seats for women in labour to sit upon, and so contrived, that the midwives might do their office the more readily; but while they sat there, and before the birth, they could not tell whether the child was a son or a daughter; wherefore Kimchi (h) thinks the word here used signifies the place to which the infant falls down from its mother's belly, at the time of labour, and is called the place of the breaking forth of children, and takes it to be the "uterus" itself; and says it is called "Abanim", because "Banim", the children, are there, and supposes "A" or "Aleph" to be an additional letter; and so the sense then is, not when ye see the women on the seats, but the children in the place of coming forth; but then he asks, if it be so, why does he say, "and see them" there? could they see them before they were entirely out of the womb? to which he answers, they know by this rule, if a son, its face was downwards, and if a daughter, its face was upwards; how true this is, must be left to those that know better; the Jewish masters (i) constantly and positively affirm it: he further observes, that the word is of the dual number, because of the two valves of the womb, through which the infant passes:

if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; give it a private pinch as it comes forth, while under their hands, that its death might seem to be owing to the difficulty of its birth, or to something that happened in it. This was ordered, because what the king had to fear from the Israelites was only from the males, and they only could multiply their people; and because of the above information of his magicians, if there is any truth in that:

but if it be a daughter, then she shall live, be kept alive, and preserved, and brought up to woman's estate; and this the king chose to have done, having nothing to fear from them, being of the feeble sex, and that they might serve to gratify the lust of the Egyptians, who might be fond of Hebrew women, being more beautiful than theirs; or that they might be married and incorporated into Egyptian families, there being no males of their own, if this scheme took place, to match with them, and so by degrees the whole Israelitish nation would be mixed with, and swallowed up in the Egyptian nation, which was what was aimed at.

(h) Sepher Shorash. rad. (i) T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 11. 1. Niddah, fol. 31. 2.16. if it be a son, then ye shall kill him—Opinions are divided, however, what was the method of destruction which the king did recommend. Some think that the "stools" were low seats on which these obstetric practitioners sat by the bedside of the Hebrew women; and that, as they might easily discover the sex, so, whenever a boy appeared, they were to strangle it, unknown to its parents; while others are of opinion that the "stools" were stone troughs, by the river side—into which, when the infants were washed, they were to be, as it were, accidentally dropped.1:15-22 The Egyptians tried to destroy Israel by the murder of their children. The enmity that is in the seed of the serpent, against the Seed of the woman, makes men forget all pity. It is plain that the Hebrews were now under an uncommon blessing. And we see that the services done for God's Israel are often repaid in kind. Pharaoh gave orders to drown all the male children of the Hebrews. The enemy who, by Pharaoh, attempted to destroy the church in this its infant state, is busy to stifle the rise of serious reflections in the heart of man. Let those who would escape, be afraid of sinning, and cry directly and fervently to the Lord for assistance.
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