Date: 1571 BC – Year: 2433 – Ref: Ex 1:16-2:2a;
About half-way through the period of Egyptian captivity, God provides a glimpse of the attitude of the Israelites regarding the Dominion Mandate.
“1:16 and [Pharaoh] said, "when you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see [them] upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live." 17 But the midwives feared god, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live. … 20 So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty. 21 because the midwives feared God, he established households for them. … 2:1 Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. 2 The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months.” (Ex 1:16, 17, 20, 21; 2:1, 2 NAS95)
In the midst of Pharaoh’s threats to kill all boys born to Hebrew households, God’s people still continued to be fruitful and God preserved the growing Israelite people. The Hebrew midwives refused to obey Pharaoh’s evil command. As a direct result of their fear of the Lord, God established households for them.
Pharaoh eventually relented and released the Israelites 215 years after Jacob’s family sojourned into Egypt to survive during the years of famine. It is Israel’s faithfulness to God’s command "be fruitful and multiply" that directly leads to their release.