Did Egyptians have mid-wives?
NKJV - 19 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.
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Although the cited verse appears to indicate that both the Egyptians and Hebrews made use of midwives in giving birth, my understanding is that the names that are given for the two midwives mentioned in Exodus 1:15 (Shiphrah -- meaning "beautiful" -- and Puah -- meaning "lass" or "girl")) would have been of Semitic (rather than Egyptian) origin, and they thus would have been Jewish.
Because of how the Net Bible translates and explain this verse, I don't think the midwives were Hebrew. (that is, even though their names appear to be Hebrew). "So these were women who assisted in the childbirth process. It seems probable that given the number of the Israelites in the passage, these two women could not have been the only Hebrew midwives, but they may have been over the midwives (Rashi). Moreover, the LXX and Vulgate do not take “Hebrew” as an adjective, but as a genitive after the construct, yielding “midwives of/over the Hebrews.” This leaves open the possibility that these women were not Hebrews. This would solve the question of how the king ever expected Hebrew midwives to kill Hebrew children. And yet, the two women have Hebrew names."--as I mentioned.
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