Oppression in Egypt
1Now these are the names of Bnei-Yisrael who came into Egypt with Jacob, each man with his family:
2Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah;
3Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin;
4Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
5The souls that came out of the line of Jacob numbered 70 in all, while Joseph was already in Egypt.
6Then Joseph died, as did all his brothers and all that generation.
7Yet Bnei-Yisrael were fruitful, increased abundantly, multiplied and grew extremely numerous—so the land was filled with them.
8Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
9He said to his people, “Look, the people of Bnei-Yisrael are too numerous and too powerful for us.
10Come, we must deal shrewdly with them, or else they will grow even more numerous, so that if war breaks out, they may join our enemies, fight against us, and then escape from the land.”
11So they set slave masters over them to afflict them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Raamses as storage cities for Pharaoh.
12But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread. So the Egyptians dreaded the presence of Bnei-Yisrael.
13They worked them harshly,
14and made their lives bitter with hard labor with mortar and brick, doing all sorts of work in the fields. In all their labors they worked them with cruelty.
15Moreover the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,
16and said, “When you help the Hebrew women during childbirth, look at the sex. If it’s a son, then kill him, but if it’s a daughter, she may live.”
17Yet the midwives feared God, so they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the boys live.
18So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this—let the boys live?”
19The midwives told Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women. They are like animals, and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”
20So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, growing very numerous.
21Because the midwives feared God, He gave them families of their own.
22But Pharaoh charged all his people saying, “You are to cast every son that is born into the river, but let every daughter live.”