These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family:
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Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah;
Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin;
Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher.
The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all, including Joseph, who was already in Egypt.
Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died,
but the Israelites were fruitful and increased rapidly; they multiplied and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them.
Then a new king, who did not know Joseph, came to power in Egypt.
“Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become too numerous and too powerful for us.
Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase even more; and if a war breaks out, they may join our enemies, fight against us, and leave the country.”
So the Egyptians appointed taskmasters over the Israelites to oppress them with forced labor. As a result, they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.
But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and flourished; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.
They worked the Israelites ruthlessly
and made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar, and with all kinds of work in the fields. Every service they imposed was harsh.
Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah,
“When you help the Hebrew women give birth, observe them on the birthstools. If the child is a son, kill him; but if it is a daughter, let her live.”
The midwives, however, feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt had instructed; they let the boys live.
So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”
The midwives answered Pharaoh, “The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before a midwife arrives.”
So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied and became even more numerous.
And because the midwives feared God, He gave them families of their own.
Then Pharaoh commanded all his people: “Every son born to the Hebrews you must throw into the Nile, but every daughter you may allow to live.”