And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous, and are delivered before the midwives come in unto them.
Read Chapter 1
George Leo Haydock
Skilful Hebrew Caioth means midwives: or they are full of vigour, or bring forth alive, like brutes. By this allusion they not only excuse themselves, but seem also to enter into the king's sentiments of hatred and scorn for the Hebrews. (Menochius)
Women in Egypt, and in the eastern regions, are easily delivered, and hardly stand in need of any assistance. (Ludolf) (1 Kings iv. 19.) Perhaps, therefore, the midwives spoke truth, with regard to the generality of the Hebrew women. But they gave way to a lie of excuse, with regard to some, (ver. 17,) which St. Augustine would not allow, even to save all the Hebrew children. (contra Mend. 15.) It was not so easy to discover this delusion, as women in that country seldom appear in public; and hence Jochabed was enabled to hide Moses so long. (Calmet)