13When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself,14saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.”15And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.16People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument.17Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.18God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,20where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
1These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family:2Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah;3Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin;4Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher.5The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt.6Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died,7but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.8Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.9“Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us.10Come, 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.”11So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.12But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites13and worked them ruthlessly.14They 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.15The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah,16“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.”17The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.18Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”19The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”20So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous.21And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.22Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”
1Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman,2and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.3But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.4His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.5Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it.6She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.7Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”8“Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother.9Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him.10When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”
11One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people.12Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.13The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”14The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”15When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.16Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock.17Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.18When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”19They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”20“And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”21Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.22Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”23During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.24God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.25So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.
1I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.2He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.3He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORDand put their trust in him.4Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.5Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.6Sacrifice and offering you did not desire— but my ears you have opened — burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.7Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll.8I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”9I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, LORD, as you know.10I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly.11Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD; may your love and faithfulness always protect me.12For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me.13Be pleased to save me, LORD; come quickly, LORD, to help me.14May all who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.15May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be appalled at their own shame.16But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The LORD is great!”17But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.