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Exodus 1

1
Israel and Oppression in Egypt
1And these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt; with Jacob, they each came with his family:#Literally “house” 2Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; 3Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; 4Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 5And all those who descended from Jacob#Literally “every soul/individual/life, the ones going out from the loins of Jacob” were seventy individuals,#Or “souls,” “lives” and Joseph was in Egypt. 6And Joseph died and all of his brothers and all of that generation. 7And the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” were fruitful and multiplied and were many and were very, very numerous, and the land was filled with them.
8And a new king rose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. 9And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” are greater and more numerous than us. 10Come, we must deal shrewdly with them, lest they become many, and when war happens, they also will join our enemies and will fight against us and go up from the land.” 11And they appointed commanders of forced labor over them in order to oppress them with their forced labor,#Literally “burdens” or “burdensome labor” and they built storage cities for Pharaoh—Pithom and Rameses. 12And as he oppressed them, so they became many, and so they spread out, and the Egyptians were afraid because of the presence of the Israelites.#Literally “sons/children of Israel” 13And the Egyptians ruthlessly compelled the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” to work. 14And they made their lives bitter with hard work with mortar and with bricks and with all sorts of work in the field—with all their work in which they ruthlessly enslaved them.
15And the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives—of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah and the name of the second was Puah—16and he said, “When you help the Hebrews give birth, you will look upon the pairs of testicles; if he is a son, you will put him to death, and if she is a daughter, she will live.” 17But the midwives feared God, and they did not do as the king of Egypt had said to them. They let the boys live. 18And the king of Egypt summoned the midwives, and he said to them, “Why have you done this thing and let the boys live?” 19And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, because they are vigorous; before the midwife comes to them, they have given birth.” 20And God did the midwives good, and the Israelite people became many and were very numerous. 21And so#Literally “and he/it was” because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.#Literally “houses” 22And Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you will throw into the Nile, and every daughter you will let live.”
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.”