Our biblical text for today is an ancient story, crafted at least 2,500 years ago but set in a timeline at least 3,200 years ago. The main characters are an unnamed king at the top of the nation, two lowly Hebrew midwives named Shiphrah and Puah, and a God who works in hidden yet detectable ways.
The story begins with the death of Joseph, a wily and gifted man who rose from slavery to become the king’s right-hand man in charge of important pieces of national policy (Genesis 39-41). Now Joseph has died, and the king whom Joseph had worked for has also died. The new king now on the throne had never known Joseph.
 I’ve used some insights from Walter Brueggemann, “Exodus,” The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 1 (Nashville: Abingdon, 1994), 690-698; and Terence E. Fretheim, Exodus (Louisville: John Knox, 1991), 26-36.
- Exodus 1:6 - 22