These are the names of the sons of Israel1 who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family:
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Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah;
Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin;
Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher.2
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The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all;3 Joseph was already in Egypt.
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Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died,4
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but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers5 and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.
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Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.6
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"Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become far too numerous7 for us.8
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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."10
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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.
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But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites
and worked them ruthlessly.15
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They made their lives bitter with harsh labor16 in brick17 and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly.18
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The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives,19 whose names were Shiphrah and Puah,
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"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."20
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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.
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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."23
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So God was kind to the midwives24 and the people increased and became even more numerous.
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And because the midwives feared25 God, he gave them families26 of their own.
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Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: "Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile,27 but let every girl live."28
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