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Exodus 1

1
The People of Israel Suffer
1-5 # Gn 46.8-27. When Jacob went to Egypt, his son Joseph was already there. So Jacob took his eleven other sons and their families. They were: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. Altogether, Jacob had 70 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren#1.1-5 70 children … great-grandchildren: See Genesis 46.8-27. who went with him.
6After Joseph, his brothers, and everyone else in that generation had died, 7#Ac 7.17. the people of Israel became so numerous that the whole region of Goshen was full of them.
8 # Ac 7.18. Many years later a new king came to power. He did not know what Joseph had done for Egypt, 9and he told the Egyptians:
There are too many of those Israelites in our country, and they are becoming more powerful than we are. 10#3 Macc 3.24; Ac 7.19. If we don't outsmart them, their families will keep growing larger. And if our country goes to war, they could easily fight on the side of our enemies and escape from Egypt.
11The Egyptians put slave bosses in charge of the people of Israel and tried to wear them down with hard work. Those bosses forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses,#1.11 Pithom and Rameses: This is the only mention of Pithom in the Bible; its exact location is unknown, though it was probably in the northern Delta of Egypt. Rameses is the famous Delta city that was the home of Rameses II; its exact location is also unknown. where the king#1.11 the king: The Hebrew text has “Pharaoh,” a Hebrew word sometimes used for the title of the king of Egypt. could store his supplies. 12But even though the Israelites were mistreated, their families grew larger, and they took over more land. Because of this, the Egyptians feared them worse than before 13and made them work so hard 14that their lives were miserable. The Egyptians were cruel to the people of Israel and forced them to make bricks and to mix mortar and to work in the fields.
15Finally, the king called in Shiphrah and Puah, the two women who helped the Hebrew#1.15 Hebrew: An earlier term for “Israelite.” mothers when they gave birth. 16He told them, “If a Hebrew woman gives birth to a girl, let the child live. If the baby is a boy, kill him!”
17But the two women were faithful to God and did not kill the boys, even though the king had told them to. 18The king called them in again and asked, “Why are you letting those baby boys live?”
19They answered, “Hebrew women have their babies much quicker than Egyptian women. By the time we arrive, their babies are already born.” 20-21God was good to the two women because they truly respected him, and he blessed them with children of their own.
The Hebrews kept increasing 22#Ac 7.19. until finally, the king gave a command to everyone in the nation, “As soon as a Hebrew boy is born, throw him into the Nile River! But you can let the girls live.”
1
The Israelites Are Treated Cruelly in Egypt
1 # Gn 46.8-27 The sons of Jacob who went to Egypt with him, each with his family, were 2Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, 3Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, 4Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5The total number of these people directly descended from Jacob was seventy.#1.5: One ancient translation seventy-five (see Ac 7.14). His son Joseph was already in Egypt. 6In the course of time Joseph, his brothers, and all the rest of that generation died, 7#Ac 7.17 but their descendants, the Israelites, had many children and became so numerous and strong that Egypt was filled with them.
8 # Ac 7.18 Then, a new king, who knew nothing about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. 9He said to his people, “These Israelites are so numerous and strong that they are a threat to us. 10#Ac 7.19 In case of war they might join our enemies in order to fight against us, and might escape from#1.10: escape from; or take control of. the country. We must find some way to keep them from becoming even more numerous.” 11So the Egyptians put slave drivers over them to crush their spirits with hard labor. The Israelites built the cities of Pithom and Rameses to serve as supply centers for the king. 12But the more the Egyptians oppressed the Israelites, the more they increased in number and the farther they spread through the land. The Egyptians came to fear the Israelites 13-14and made their lives miserable by forcing them into cruel slavery. They made them work on their building projects and in their fields, and they had no pity on them.
15Then the king of Egypt spoke to Shiphrah and Puah, the two midwives who helped the Hebrew women. 16“When you help the Hebrew women give birth,” he said to them, “kill the baby if it is a boy; but if it is a girl, let it live.” 17But the midwives were God-fearing and so did not obey the king; instead, they let the boys live. 18So the king sent for the midwives and asked them, “Why are you doing this? Why are you letting the boys live?”
19They answered, “The Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they give birth easily, and their babies are born before either of us gets there.” 20-21Because the midwives were God-fearing, God was good to them and gave them families of their own. And the Israelites continued to increase and become strong. 22#Ac 7.19 Finally the king issued a command to all his people: “Take every newborn Hebrew boy and throw him into the Nile, but let all the girls live.”