These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; each came with his family:
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah;
Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin;
Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher.
The total number of Jacob's descendantsa was 70;b Joseph was already in Egypt.
Then Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died.
But the Israelites were fruitful, increased rapidly,c multiplied, and became extremely numerous so that the land was filled with them.
A new king, who had not known Joseph, came to power in Egypt.
He said to his people, "Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and powerful than we are.
Let us deal shrewdly with them; otherwise they will multiply [further], and if war breaks out, they may join our enemies, fight against us, and leave the country."
So the Egyptians assigned taskmasters over the Israelites to oppress them with forced labor. They built Pithom and Ramesesd as supply cities for Pharaoh.
But the more they oppressed them, the more they multiplied and spread so that the Egyptians came to dreade the Israelites.
They worked the Israelites ruthlessly
and made their lives bitter with difficult labor in brick and mortar, and in all kinds of fieldwork. They ruthlessly imposed all this work on them.
Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,
"When you help the Hebrew women give birth, observe them as they deliver.f If the child is a son, kill him, but if it's a daughter, she may live."
The Hebrew midwives, however, feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt had told them; they let the boys live.
So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, "Why have you done this and let the boys live?"
The midwives said to Pharaoh, "The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before a midwife can get to them."
So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied and became very numerous.
Since the midwives feared God, He gave them families.
Pharaoh then commanded all his people: "You must throw every son born to the Hebrewsg into the Nile, but let every daughter live."