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Israel Increases Greatly in Egypt

1These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household:2Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,3Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,4Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.5All the descendants of Jacob were seventy persons; Joseph was already in Egypt.6Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation.7But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.

Pharaoh Oppresses Israel

8Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.9And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us.10Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.”11Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses.12But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel.13So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves14and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.

15Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,16“When you serve as midwife 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.”17But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.18So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?”19The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”20So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong.21And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.22Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version ©2001 Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved.
English Standard Version, ESV, and the ESV logo are registered trademarks of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. Click here to review ESV Full Copyright Notice and Permissions Information.

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