- 1 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 seventy children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who went
2 (SEE 1:1)
3 (SEE 1:1)
4 (SEE 1:1)
5 (SEE 1:1)
6 After Joseph, his brothers, and everyone else in that generation had died,
7 the people of Israel became so numerous that the whole region of Goshen
was full of them.
8 Many years later a new king came to power. He did not know what Joseph had
done for Egypt,
9 and he told the Egyptians: There are too many of those Israelites in our
country, and they are becoming more powerful than we are.
10 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.
11 The 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, where the king could store his supplies.
12 But even though the Israelites were mistreated, their families grew larger,
and they took over more land. Because of this, the Egyptians hated them worse
13 and made them work so hard
14 that 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
15 Finally, the king called in Shiphrah and Puah, the two women who helped
the Hebrew mothers when they gave birth.
16 He told them, "If a Hebrew woman gives birth to a girl, let the child
live. If the baby is a boy, kill him!"
17 But the two women were faithful to God and did not kill the boys, even
though the king had told them to.
18 The king called them in again and asked, "Why are you letting those
baby boys live?"
19 They answered, "Hebrew women have their babies much quicker than Egyptian
women. By the time we arrive, their babies are already born."
20 God was good to the two women because they truly respected him, and he
blessed them with children of their own. The Hebrews kept increasing
21 (SEE 1:20)
22 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."
The Contemporary English Version c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary