Exodus 1: Courageous Midwives

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 42


What do you do when you know something is wrong but you are told by powerful and important people to do it anyway? Exodus 1 gives an example of a group of women faced with that kind of a situation.

Understanding the Scriptures

Exodus 1

Deal wisely with them (v. 10)Govern them in a way that will benefit us 
Taskmasters (v. 11)Person who assigns hard jobs 
Serve with rigour (vv. 13–14)Treat cruelly by requiring very hard work 
Bitter (v. 14)Difficult 
Midwives (vv. 15–21)Women who help deliver babies 
Stools (v. 16)Places where women gave birth 
Feared God (vv. 17, 21)Honored and cared more about God than other things 
Lively (v. 19)Strong and healthy 
Ere (v. 19)Before 

Studying the Scriptures

Do either activities A and B or activity C only as you study Exodus 1.

Activity A iconFinish These Sentences

  1. 1.

    Pharaoh made life more difficult for the children of Israel because …

  2. 2.

    Pharaoh commanded the midwives to …

  3. 3.

    The midwives disobeyed Pharaoh’s commands because …

Activity B iconIdentify the Principle

Read Doctrine and Covenants 3:7–8. How does it apply to what the midwives did? You may want to write “Exodus 1:15–22” in the margin next to verses 7–8.

Activity C iconApply the Principle

  1. 1.

    Write about whether you think it is easier to fear what friends think or to fear God, and explain why.

  2. 2.

    Name a way you think people your age fear man more than God. Write a letter in your notebook to a person with this challenge to help him or her understand what should be done. Use what you learn in Doctrine and Covenants 3:7–8 and the story in Exodus 1 in what you write.