Exodus 1

1Jacob ˻(Israel)˼ traveled to Egypt with his sons. Each son had his own family with him. These are the sons of Israel: 2Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, 3Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, 4Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher. 5There was a total of 70 people who were direct descendants of Jacob. (Joseph was one of the twelve sons, but he was already in Egypt.) 6Later, Joseph, his brothers, and all the people of that generation died. 7But the people of Israel had many children, and their number grew and grew. The people of Israel became strong, and the country of Egypt was filled with the Israelites. 8Then a new king began to rule Egypt. This king did not know Joseph. 9This king said to his people, “Look at the people of Israel. There are too many of them! And they are stronger than we are! 10We must make plans to stop the Israelites from growing stronger. If there is a war, the people of Israel might join our enemies. Then they might defeat us and escape from us.” 11The Egyptian people decided to make life hard for the people of Israel. So the Egyptians put slave masters over the people. These masters forced the Israelites to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses for the king. The king used these cities to store grain and other things. 12The Egyptians forced the Israelites to work harder and harder. But the more the people of Israel were forced to work, the more they grew and spread. And the Egyptian people became more and more afraid of the people of Israel. 13So the Egyptians forced the people of Israel to work even harder. 14The Egyptians made life hard for the Israelites. They forced the Israelites to work very hard making bricks and mortar. They also forced them to work hard in the fields. They forced them to work very hard in everything they did. 15There were two nurses who helped the Israelite women give birth to children. They were named Shiphrah and Puah. The king of Egypt talked to the nurses. 16The king said, “You will continue to help the Hebrew women give birth to their children. If a girl baby is born, then let the baby live. But if the baby is a boy, then you must kill him!” 17But the nurses trusted God. So they did not obey the king’s command. They let all the boy babies live. 18The king of Egypt called for the nurses and told them, “Why did you do this? Why did you let the boy babies live?” 19The nurses said to the king, “The Hebrew women are much stronger than the Egyptian women. They give birth to their babies before we can go to help them.” ( 20- 21God was happy with the nurses. So God was good to them and allowed them to have their own families. So the Hebrew people continued to have more children, and the people became very strong.) 22So Pharaoh gave this command to his own people: “Let all the girl babies live. But every time a ˻Hebrew˼ boy baby is born, you must throw him into the Nile River.”

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