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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.”
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1 THESE ARE the names of the sons of Israel who came into Egypt with Jacob, each with his household:
2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,
3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
5 All the offspring of Jacob were seventy persons; Joseph was already in Egypt.
6 Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation.
7 But the descendants of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, and the land was full of them.
8 Now a new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph.
9 He said to his people, Behold, the Israelites are too many and too mighty for us [and they outnumber us both in people and in strength].
10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply more and, should war befall us, they join our enemies, fight against us, and escape out of the land.
11 So they set over [the Israelites] taskmasters to afflict and oppress them with [increased] burdens. And [the Israelites] built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.
12 But the more [the Egyptians] oppressed them, the more they multiplied and expanded, so that [the Egyptians] were vexed and alarmed because of the Israelites.
13 And the Egyptians reduced the Israelites to severe slavery.
14 They made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar, brick, and all kinds of work in the field. All their service was with harshness and severity.
15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, of whom one was named Shiprah and the other Puah,
16 When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, she shall live.
17 But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded, but let the male babies live.
18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, Why have you done this thing and allowed the male children to live?
19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; they are vigorous and quickly delivered; their babies are born before the midwife comes to them.
20 So God dealt well with the midwives and the people multiplied and became very strong.
21 And because the midwives revered and feared God, He made them households [of their own].
22 Then Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son born [to the Hebrews] you shall cast into the river [Nile], but every daughter you shall allow to live.