But the Israelites were fruitful, increased rapidly, 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 Rameses as supply cities for Pharaoh.
But the more they oppressed them, the more they multiplied and spread so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.