ויאמר מלך מצרים למילדות. שרות היו על כל המילדות כי אין ספק כי יותר מחמש מאות מילדות היו אלא אלו שתיהן שרות היו עליהן לתת מס למלך מהשכר וככה ראיתי היום במקומות רבות. והאם והבת היו בדרך קבלה כי נכון הוא: AND THE KING OF EGYPT SPOKE TO THE HEBREW MIDWIVES. These midwives were in charge of all the other midwives. For there can be no doubt that there were more than five hundred midwives.144The number “five hundred” is not to be taken literally (Weiser). What I.E. means is that there must have been hundreds of midwives to serve the Israelite population. These two midwives were in charge of all the other midwives and saw to it that they gave a tax to the king from the money they collected for their services. I have seen such a practice in many places. The opinion that the two midwives were mother and daughter was handed down by tradition, for it is correct.145The Talmud identifies the midwives (Shiprah and Puah) with Jochebed and Miriam, the mother and sister of Moses. Cf. Sotah 11b.