The Midwives Call

I’ve preached the midwives
and how, without Shiphrah and Puah —

Moses would have never grown up,
to be rash and tongue-tied,
observant enough to notice
the bright, hot Spirit in a common bush,
humble enough to go barefoot,

and so on and on —
blood on the lintel, water parted,
manna and listening to his father-in-law,
two sets of engraved holy stones,
the view
from the mountain of it-ends-here,
to the one of transfigure-this,

but I never realized
that the story isn’t about this at all.

The story is not
about Shiphrah and Puah saving Moses.

It is about Shiphrah and Puah
who saved every baby boy, every time.

Notice how many men of Moses generation
departed in the Exodus.

And the footnote that the two midwives
quit to raise their own families …
Code for:
Pharaoh-forced early retirement.

Shiphrah, Puah, Jocheved, Miriam, Pharoah’s Daughter, and the infant Moses
Date:before 245 Dura-Europos Synagogue

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7 Responses to The Midwives Call

  1. Rosalie Sugrue says:

    Good point!

  2. Shiphrah and Puah are two of my favorite Biblical people. I like how they used their wits and Pharaoh’s own prejudice against him, when they saved the baby boys by telling him the Israelite women gave birth differently than the Egyptian women.

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