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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
Israel Comes to Egypt
1These are the names of the sons of Israel (that is, Jacob) who came with him to Egypt with their families: 2Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; 3Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; 4Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. 5Joseph was already in Egypt. The total number of Jacob’s descendants was 70.
6Eventually, Joseph, all his brothers, and that entire generation died. 7But the descendants of Israel had many children. They became so numerous and strong that the land was filled with them.
The Israelites Become Slaves
8Then a new king, who knew nothing about Joseph, began to rule in Egypt. 9He said to his people, “There are too many Israelites, and they are stronger than we are. 10We have to outsmart them, or they’ll increase in number. Then, if war breaks out, they will join our enemies, fight against us, and leave the country.”
11So the Egyptians put slave drivers in charge of them in order to oppress them through forced labor. They built Pithom and Rameses as supply cities for Pharaoh. 12But the more the Israelites were oppressed, the more they increased in number and spread out. The Egyptians couldn’t stand them ⌞any longer⌟. 13So they forced the Israelites to work hard as slaves. 14They made their lives bitter with back-breaking work in mortar and bricks and every kind of work in the fields. All the jobs the Egyptians gave them were brutally hard.
Pharaoh Tells the Midwives to Kill All Hebrew Baby Boys
15Then the king of Egypt told the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16“When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth, look at the child when you deliver it. If it’s a boy, kill it, but if it’s a girl, let it live.”
17However, the midwives feared God and didn’t obey the king of Egypt’s orders. They let the boys live. 18So the king of Egypt called for the midwives. He asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”
19The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women. They are so healthy that they have their babies before a midwife arrives.”
20God was good to the midwives. So the people increased in number and became very strong. 21Because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.
22Then Pharaoh commanded all his people to throw into the Nile every ⌞Hebrew⌟ boy that was born, but to let every girl live.