These are the names of the sons of Israel1 who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family:
Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah;
Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin;
Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher.25
The descendants of Jacob numbered seventya in all;3 Joseph was already in Egypt.
Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died,47
but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous,5 so that the land was filled with them.
Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt.69
"Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous7 for us.810
Come, we must deal shrewdly9 with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country."1011
So they put slave masters11 over them to oppress them with forced labor,12 and they built Pithom and Rameses13 as store cities14 for Pharaoh.
But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites
and worked them ruthlessly.1514
They made their lives bitter with hard labor16 in brick17 and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly.1815
The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives,19 whose names were Shiphrah and Puah,
"When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live."2017
The midwives, however, feared21 God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do;22 they let the boys live.
Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, "Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?"