Exodus 1: 15-20
15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”
19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”
20 So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous.
6He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
I was reading Exodus the other day and was struck by the account of the Hebrew midwives and their interaction with the Pharaoh. He gives them instructions, they disobey his instructions, he asks them why they’ve disobeyed, and they lie to him in order to avoid a punishment. Yes, they were doing a noble thing by subverting the Pharaoh’s instructions to kill all male newborns, but they also lied to the Pharaoh. What’s fascinating is God’s reaction to the midwives. He was pleased by the conduct of the midwives and rewarded them despite their dishonesty.
Then we fast-forward to Revelation and we read about the fate of “liars” and other evil doers. Their punishment for their failure to be honest will be their placement in the “fiery lake”.
So if I am supposed to read these scriptures literally, then what are we to believe in regards to the fate of both Shiphrah and Puah?