but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.
Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.
“Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us.
Come, we must deal shrewdly 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.”
So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities 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.
They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.
The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah,
“When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.”
The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.