but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous,1 so that the land was filled with them.
Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt.29
"Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous3 for us.410
Come, we must deal shrewdly5 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."611
So they put slave masters7 over them to oppress them with forced labor,8 and they built Pithom and Rameses9 as store cities10 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.1114
They made their lives bitter with hard labor12 in brick13 and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly.1415
The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives,15 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."1617
The midwives, however, feared17 God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do;18 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?"
The midwives answered Pharaoh, "Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive."1920
So God was kind to the midwives20 and the people increased and became even more numerous.