Exodus , CHAPTER 1
Jacob’s Descendants in Egypt.
These are the names of the sons of Israel who, accompanied by their households, entered into Egypt with Jacob:
Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah;
Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin;
Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher.
The total number of Jacob’s direct descendants was seventy.a Joseph was already in Egypt.
Now Joseph and all his brothers and that whole generation died.
But the Israelites were fruitful and prolific. They multiplied and became so very numerous that the land was filled with them.
Then a new king, who knew nothing of Joseph, rose to power in Egypt.
He said to his people, “See! The Israelite people have multiplied and become more numerous than we are!
Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase; otherwise, in time of war they too may join our enemies to fight against us, and so leave the land.”
Accordingly, they set supervisors over the Israelites to oppress them with forced labor.d Thus they had to build for Pharaoh the garrison cities of Pithom and Raamses.
Yet the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians began to loathe the Israelites.
So the Egyptians reduced the Israelites to cruel slavery,
making life bitter for them with hard labor, at mortar and brick and all kinds of field work?cruelly oppressed in all their labor.
Command to the Midwives.
The king of Egypt told the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was called Shiphrah and the other Puah,
“When you act as midwives for the Hebrew women, look on the birthstool: if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she may live.”
The midwives, however, feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt had ordered them, but let the boys live.
So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this, allowing the boys to live?”
The midwives answered Pharaoh, “The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women. They are robust and give birth before the midwife arrives.”
Therefore God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and grew very numerous.
And because the midwives feared God, God built up families for them.
Pharaoh then commanded all his people, “Throw into the Nile every boy that is born,e but you may let all the girls live.”