*Literally ‘two stones’, like the ‘wheel’, literally ‘pair of stone discs’, of the potter in Jeremiah 18 (Jer 18:33Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel.), where the word ‘wheel’ is the same word as the word translated here with ‘two stones’. Presumably, the use of the birthstool points to the method of childbirth in which the woman was sitting on two stones. It may also be the custom that the woman was supporting herself on two stones in a crouching position during childbirth.
When Pharaoh sees that his ‘wise’ strategy does not have the desired effect, he turns against the newborn boys. His cruelty and ruthlessness are now clearly visible. What is more defenseless, but also more endearing than a newborn baby? Anyone who offends against it is heartless. We see this today in the blatant abortions of God-given life.
The Pharaoh demands that midwives kill the boys shortly after birth. But God makes use of these women who fear Him: they let the boys live. The midwives slyly circumvent the command of Pharaoh. They are more obedient to God than men (Acts 5:2929But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.) and God blesses their conduct. He sees what they do for His people as done for Him.
There has been speculation about whether the women have been allowed to use a ‘lie of distress’. Such speculation is not necessary. It is clearly stated that God was good to the midwives. Such a case we also see with Rahab who hides the spies and lies to those who want to capture them. But God judges it as an act of faith: “By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace” (Heb 11:3131By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.; Jam 2:2525In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?). In general, it is easy to judge certain acts of believers in circumstances we do not know. Therefore, in such situations, we must be careful when pronouncing a conviction. It may be that we turn against God.
The Pharaoh’s command to kill all the boys is reminiscent of the child murder in Bethlehem by Herod (Mt 2:1616Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi.). In the actions of Herod and of Pharaoh we see the actions of satan, the dragon: “And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth, he might devour her child” (Rev 12:4b4And his tail *swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.).
If Pharaoh does not reach the goal, he wants by means of the midwives, he calls upon his whole people to help in the killing of newborn boys. That must be done by throwing them into the Nile. The Nile symbolizes the natural, earthly blessings. All blessing in Egypt it owes to the Nile.
If we apply this spiritually, we see here a very strong trick of satan to suffocate the spiritual life of those who have only recently come to faith and have therefore become part of the people of God, the church, in the earthly blessings.