The War Against Children - RR171B3

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: The War Against Children
Course: Course - Exodus; Unity of Law and Grace
Subject: Subject:Pentateuch
Lesson#: 3
Length: 0:30:21
TapeCode: RR171B3
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Exodus Unity of Law and Grace.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.

Let us worship God. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made the heaven and the earth. Seeing that we have a great high priest that is fast into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God. Let us therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Let us pray.

We praise thee, God the Father, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. That thy hand is upon this world and that nothing, not a hair falls from our head, nor a leaf from a tree apart from thy government and thy sovereign purpose. Give us, therefore, oh Lord, ever increasing patience that we may wait on thee, knowing that thy will shall be done and thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Make us joyful in thy government, obedient to thy word, and ever exuberant in thy spirit. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Our scripture is from Exodus 1: 15-22, The War against Children. Exodus 1:15-22. “And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 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. But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive? And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses. And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.”

There are two points of controversy, or evasion, in this text. First, how could Israel be as numerous as we are told it was and yet only have two midwives. In Exodus 12:37 following, we are told that in the exodus, 600,000 men of Israel with their women and children, plus a mixed multitude of Egyptians and other foreigners, left Egypt. Thus, the Hebrew population was perhaps two million. How could two midwives care for perhaps 600,000 women? Granted that only a limited percentage of these were at the point of childbirth at any given moment, how is this possible? [00:03:56]

Second, in spite of some evasive comments by some scholars...[edit]

Second, in spite of some evasive comments by some scholars, the two midwives lied to Pharaoh and God blessed them. Why did God bless them? And how should we interpret this fact? More than a few commentators have found this text very embarrassing. Turning to the midwives and to the many births, the usual explanation of their number is to say that either the two had guilds of midwives, or that the population data concerning Israel was wrong. Neither alternative is necessary, although it is possible that they headed up the midwives’ guilds. When Israel entered Egypt, it had 70 persons of Abrahamic blood, and some many thousands who are not of Abraham who were of related racial stock probably. Moreover, in the generations that followed, all these people intermarried.

Now, in all my years among the American Indians, I learned that before the coming of the white man, Indian women gave birth easily and readily. A child could be delivered under a tree, and the woman was at once able to resume her work or rejoin the others if they were moving to another campsite. The reason for it was that the head and shoulders of the Indian child were proportioned to the mother’s pelvic structure. However, when the first babies of mixed blood were born, it was a different matter, and the birth would rip the woman apart and cause her great pain, and the birth required help from others, something that was almost unheard of. Because of this fact, at first all such mixed blood babies were killed at birth because the Indians believed that they had to be demonic to damage their mother to that point. But later, when some were spared, they noticed that these mixed blood babies had a greater resistance to many diseases, many of which had been brought by Europeans, and as a result, they were treasured after that. But before the Indians had any mixed blood, it was rare for a woman to need assistance at delivery, and it was therefore, relatively uncommon.

Now with regard to the Hebrew women, we can assume a like ease in delivery. It is a modern assumption that every delivery requires a doctor or a midwife, and such an assumption is a valid one perhaps for our time, but we cannot read it back into the distant past, for any difficult deliveries two midwives could have sufficed. This was a first step towards the destruction of Israel. But the midwives told the Pharaoh that the Hebrew women were more lively. One commentator has noted that the term can possibly mean that the Hebrew women, like sheep and goats, gave birth easily and rapidly. The term they use could have been, depending on how it was said, express some contempt, and this may have enabled them to escape Pharaoh’s suspicion and wrath. The midwife said, “The Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women,” and this was very probably true. The Egyptian empire used many slaves from Asia, Africa, and even Europe so that a mixed genetic stock existed. This would create problems in childbirth. [00:08:24]

Then second, it is possible that the midwives were...[edit]

Then second, it is possible that the midwives were not Hebrews, but Egyptian and the term “Hebrew midwives” refers to the fact that they worked for Hebrew women. This is what Josephus said, but the point is not important. Pharaoh gave them an order and he expected it to be obeyed. Disobedience to the will of a living god was not common. Pharaoh had no knowledge to the facts of Hebrew women and their ease of childbirth. Perhaps he questioned some of his advisors after some of the midwives gave their explanation, and he may have been told that the Hebrew women indeed gave birth easily and without help. He very clearly accepted the story of the midwives. At the same time, we are very, very plainly told that the midwives were not abortionists. Wherever they were called, they went to save the men children alive, we are told. In the process, they almost certainly alerted the Hebrews of Pharaoh’s plans, that this was the first step towards the elimination of all males in Israel, starting with those that needed a midwife.

The male children were to be killed and the females kept alive. These girls would be added to the Egyptian harems and their progeny absorbed into Egypt, and this was a routine process in Egypt’s history. The Bible is very clear that the midwives did not as the king of Egypt commanded them. They violated Pharaoh’s commandments, and gave him and answer which was both evasive and false. Therefore, God blessed them and made them heads of houses, which means families or dynasties of commoners, well-to-do families. Had they done otherwise, the midwives would have been accessories to murder. Would that have been more moral or Godly than to lie? The Law reads, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” and the purpose of the Law is justice. If we assist evil, we are in violation of God’s Law, and we are accessories to the crime. We are told that even if by silence we give consent to a crime, let alone assisting it by telling the truth to men who seek to do evil, we are guilty of the crime, we are accessories. [00:11:40]

The abuse of this text by some people is a sorry commentary...[edit]

The abuse of this text by some people is a sorry commentary on the morality of those people who prefer to see evil done than to tell a lie. Such people are immoral. The text is very clear that the women disobeyed Pharaoh, that they lied about the matter, and that God blessed them greatly. Well, some commentators feel very free to correct God on His morality, and that is a fearful offense. Parker’s comments on this text are very good. He said, more than a century ago, and I quote: “So the king could not carry out his command. A king can give an order, but he requires the help of other people to carry it into effect. Think of the proud Pharaoh having to take two humble midwives into his confidence. The plan of murder is not so easy a plan after all. There are persons to be consulted who may turn round upon us, and on some ground, deny our authority. From the king, we have a right to expect protection, security, and encouragement. If the water of the fountain was poisoned, and the worm of destruction was gnawing the very roots of power, what if the midwives set themselves against Pharaoh? Two humble women may be more than a match for the great king of Egypt. No influence, how obscure so ever is to be treated with contempt. A child may baffle a king. A kitten has been known to alarm a bear. A fly once choked a Pope. What if a midwife should turn to confusion the counsels of a king?”

The midwives thwarted Pharaoh. They apparently alerted the Hebrews so that male babies who were hidden to prevent their execution by drowning the in Nile. The reference to stools in the text is, in verse 16 is to two stones, in which women at that time sat or knelt during delivery, and recently some gynecologists have said that it is a superior method of delivery. This method was still used in Egypt at least into the 19th century. What Pharaoh attempted to do was nothing unusual in Antiquity, and many, many states including Athens, Sparta, Rome and modern China have thought nothing of executing unwanted babies. Modern abortion aligned with ancient paganism, and it is now worldwide. Then, as now, the matter is treated by non-Christians casually. It is often treated as a necessary and even wise policy of state. Pharaoh was at least honest and openly designating a particular national or racial group for destruction. Nowadays, it is done less directly and with ostensible nobility, but certain racial groups and social classes are commonly urged to gain abortions by social worker advisers, who believe that a problem of overpopulation exists, especially among peoples they dislike. The result is a war against children, especially unborn babies. [00:16:09]

When a nation, and a worldwide order makes war on unborn...[edit]

When a nation, and a worldwide order makes war on unborn babies, and murders them by the millions, it passes a death sentence against itself, and the whole world is doing that now. We find a statement by our Lord, cited by three of the gospels; Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42 and Luke 17:2 which tells us, “But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better that a milestone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea.” Very clearly, the murder of the unborn little ones is an even greater offense. It brought judgment upon Egypt, and still brings judgment. Let us pray.

Oh, Lord, our God. Thy worth is truth. Thy word requires obedience and faithfulness. Give us grace day by day to stand in terms of thy word. Deliver us, oh Lord, and deliver the yet unborn babies of the years to come from the murder, the evil of the ungodly of our generation. Grand us this, we beseech thee in Christ’s name. Amen.

Are there any questions now in our lesson? Yes?

[Audience] I understand the numbers of abortions in the United States has reached 25 million, and there’s discussion about the fact of the percentage of the elderly is increasing, and concern that in 40 years or so the social security system will collapse because there aren’t enough younger people to support the older people. But if those 25 million abortions had not occurred, in 40 years they would account for at least 50 million more citizens, younger people.

[Rushdoony] Yes, and the logical answer is euthanasia, killing off the elderly. About the time that the Supreme Court made the decision that it did, I was in Milwaukee and I was in a radio discussion and call-in show. The other person was a woman doctor, a catholic, or so she said, very liberal. And she not only defended abortion, but when I called attention to the fact that the logical consequence would be euthanasia, given an increasingly elderly population, she refused to condemn euthanasia. So, I believe the champions of abortion have had this kind of thing in mind for a long time. Not only eliminating unborn babies and the elderly but any group they feel are unwanted in society. So, we see at the one time, in our time, unborn babies being executed, the elderly in legally in some countries, and illegally in others, executed. And, a war against Christians, and I’ll be in a courtroom defending a couple of pastors tomorrow, in Virginia. At the same time, criminal rights are being increasingly extended. [00:21:00]

[Audience] This comes under the heading of population...[edit]

[Audience] This comes under the heading of population control, does it not?

[Rushdoony] Yes, and population control means control of those whom you dislike. There’s no way of getting around that. It has always meant that in history. Yes?

[Audience] Well abortion and euthanasia, some people are justifying on the basis of some sort of social policy, but there are some manifestations of our society’s hatred of children that just cannot be justified in any way in social policy. Child pornography is one. Another one is a couple of toy companies have come out lines of toys and some bubble gum cards which depict brutal mutilation of children in a humorous way, and they’re made into toys and pay things. There’s no way that I can see that that can be justified on any basis with social policy. That’s just manifestation of a society’s hatred of its children.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And what we see increasingly is that increasingly many segments of the church are unwilling to deal with the subject. They are humanists. Turn on most TV evangelists. What are they saying? Not what God requires of us, but what God can do for you. What’s in it for you? Now that’s humanism even if it uses a form of the Bible. It turns the whole of the faith upside down. Well, nothing has changed from the days of Pharaoh. The only thing notable about this text is it involved God’s covenant people and in particular, God’s man, Moses. This kind of thing was so routine in Antiquity that we only know of it when someone chose to record it, and it’s not normally recorded favorably. Read Plutarch’s Lives. There’s no condemnation when he reports on infanticide. None whatsoever. It was a policy of state, and in Plato and Aristotle it is right for the state to do what is necessary for its purposes, whether it involves requiring babies to be preserved because they need the manpower, or requiring that they be killed at birth, because they don’t want anymore. Yes? [00:23:58]

[Audience] Simon Shust argued during the French Revolution...[edit]

[Audience] Simon Shust argued during the French Revolution that everyone owed their life to the state, that the state could demand your life at any time for its purposes, since the state had protected you and made it possible for you to live.

[Rushdoony] Yes, and they debated on what was the ideal population for France. Half, a third, or two-thirds.

[Audience] Five million out of twenty-five.

[Rushdoony] Five million out of twenty-five, yes, and I don’t think any of the revolutionary regimes have changed on that since, they’re less open about it. But they still set a population policy. Yes?

[Audience] What’s interesting to me while you were speaking this morning, I was thinking Pharaoh’s campaign against the Jews began with the murder of their sons, and that God wasn’t mocked. It ended with the death of their Egyptian sons.

[Rushdoony] Exactly. It ended with the death of their firstborn. It ended with disaster, agricultural and political for Egypt. God brought judgment upon them. And yet, this is in Sunday School lessons across the country, how often do they make the parallel to today, as the lesson is taught? Will there not be a judgment on churches for refusing to see the implications of this? Yes?

{Audience} Last week, last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Would you comment on what Lent, Lent season is represented and what is it all about in church history?

[Rushdoony] Yes. Lent means, a period when you concentrate on the fact that…now, before I begin, let me say there are many writers who point to all kinds of pagan parallel. That’s easy to find, just as at Christmas time we’re told of the pagan worship of trees and therefore, we’re pagans for having them. And yet, those same people will say nothing when you tell them, “The tree from the Bible is made clear to be a symbol for Christ, the tree of life. Well, what Lent stood for was a way of teaching very ordinary people, barbarians, because that’s what they were dealing with, the significance of the atonement. And so, they were to concentrate on that time, on the awareness of what they were, and they were to cut back on their diet, and this is no longer done, but I recall when it was still done, by Protestants, although it was diminishing when I was a boy, on saving on their food budget and giving that money for the relief of the starving, or the poor, or for missions, because “Freely ye have received, freely give.” Now, that was the Lent that I grew up with, or knew as a boy, but it has pretty much been forgotten by Protestants, and now Catholics are increasingly putting it on the back burner. Now, I think in due time there should be a revival of the meaning of Lent and placing it in its proper perspective. There’s no question that, over the generations, there have been a variety of customs that have been added to the practices of Lent that have been extraneous, but in origin, it was a way of pointing people annually to the meaning of Christ’s atonement, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” A remembering of “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” That was a very commonly used text in Lent. Well, if there are no further questions, let us conclude in prayer. [00:28:57]

Oh Lord, our God, we give thanks unto thee for thy...[edit]

Oh Lord, our God, we give thanks unto thee for thy mercies unto us. We pray our Father, that thou wouldst give us a merciful heart towards those outside the faith, towards those who are being executed every day. To those who, in the days to come, would be executed. Oh Lord, as thou didst deliver thy covenant people from Pharaoh of old, deliver us from the Pharaohs of our time. And make us strong in thy service. And now, go in peace. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost bless you and keep you, guide and protect you, this day and always. Amen. [00:30:12]

Tape ends.