dealt well with the midwives
1:20 dealt well with the midwives. The midwives had both disobeyed their rulers and lied to them, both of which actions are normally sinful in God’s sight (e.g., I Peter 2:13; Ephesians 4:25), and yet God rewarded them. When situations arise in which the commands of rulers conflict with explicit commandments of God (in this case, the murder of innocent children conflicts with the commandment against murder and also His explicit commandment and promise to Jacob–note Genesis 46:3,4), then God’s word must be obeyed (Acts 5:29) rather than the unlawful orders of men. The midwives protected the infants at the risk of their own lives. What may seem superficially to have been a “false witness” was not “against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16), but in hazardous protection of their neighbor, just as was the case with those Christians who hid their Jewish neighbors during Hitler’s pogroms.
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