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Exodus 1

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 1 Now these are the names of the children of Israel who came into Egypt with Jacob, each man with his household:

 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,

 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,

 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.

 5 There were seventy descendants of Jacob; for Joseph was in Egypt already.

 6 Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation.

 7 The descendants of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly. They multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, and the land was filled with them.

 8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know about Joseph.

 9 And he said to his people, "Behold, the people of the sons of Israel have become more numerous and mighty than we.

 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us, and so leave the land."1

 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.

 12 But the more they oppressed them, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians were in dread of the children of Israel.

 13 So the Egyptians made the children of Israel into slave laborers.

 14 They made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar, in brick, and in all kinds of labor in the field. And all their labor was with severity.

 15 Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, the names of whom were Shiphrah and Puah,

 16 And he said, "When you act as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birth stools, if the child is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live."

 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.

 18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said to them, "Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?"

 19 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous, and give birth before the midwives come to them."

 20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives and the people multiplied and grew very strong.

 21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he provided households for them.

 22 Then Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, "Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, and every daughter you shall keep alive."


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1 Let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us, and so leave the land. Remember, the Hebrews were sent to Goshen to be shepherds. Joseph told his brothers to tell Pharoah they were shepherds, because every shepherd was an abomination to Egypt. So they got the best land in Egypt, because the Egyptians didn't want it. When the Hebrews increased dramatically, it appears that Egypt became afraid these filthy shepherds would join with their enemies, leave the land, and move into their cities.

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