Exodus 1; Exodus 2; Exodus 3

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Exodus 1

1 When Jacobn went to Egypt, he took his sons, and each son took his own family with him. These are the names of the sons of Israel:
2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah,
3 Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin,
4 Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
5 There was a total of seventy people who were descendantsd of Jacob. Jacob's son Joseph was already in Egypt.
6 Some time later, Joseph and his brothers died, along with all the people who had lived at that same time.
7 But the people of Israel had many children, and their number grew greatly. They became very strong, and the country of Egypt was filled with them.
8 Then a new king began to rule Egypt, who did not know who Joseph was.
9 This king said to his people, "Look! The people of Israel are too many and too strong for us to handle!
10 If we don't make plans against them, the number of their people will grow even more. Then if there is a war, they might join our enemies and fight us and escape from the country!"
11 So the Egyptians made life hard for the Israelites. They put slave masters over them, who forced the Israelites to build the cities Pithom and Rameses as supply centers for the king.
12 But the harder the Egyptians forced the Israelites to work, the more the Israelites grew in number and spread out. So the Egyptians became very afraid of them
13 and demanded even more of them.
14 They made their lives bitter. They forced the Israelites to work hard to make bricks and mortar and to do all kinds of work in the fields. The Egyptians were not merciful to them in all their pain- ful work.
15 Two Hebrew nurses, named Shiphrah and Puah, helped the Israelite women give birth to their babies. The king of Egypt said to the nurses,
16 "When you are helping the Hebrew women give birth to their babies, watch! If the baby is a girl, let her live, but if it is a boy, kill him!"
17 But the nurses feared God, so they did not do as the king told them; they let all the boy babies live.
18 Then the king of Egypt sent for the nurses and said, "Why did you do this? Why did you let the boys live?"
19 The nurses said to him, "The Hebrew women are much stronger than the Egyptian women. They give birth to their babies before we can get there."
20 God was good to the nurses. And the Hebrew people continued to grow in number, so they became even stronger.
21 Because the nurses feared God, he gave them families of their own.
22 So the king commanded all his people, "Every time a boy is born to the Hebrews, you must throw him into the Nile River, but let all the girl babies live."

Exodus 2

1 Now a man from the family of Levi married a woman who was also from the family of Levi.
2 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw how wonderful the baby was, she hid him for three months.
3 But after three months she was not able to hide the baby any longer, so she got a basket made of reeds and covered it with tar so that it would float. She put the baby in the basket. Then she put the basket among the tall stalks of grass at the edge of the Nile River.
4 The baby's sister stood a short distance away to see what would happen to him.
5 Then the daughter of the king of Egypt came to the river to take a bath, and her servant girls were walking beside the river. When she saw the basket in the tall grass, she sent her slave girl to get it.
6 The king's daughter opened the basket and saw the baby boy. He was crying, so she felt sorry for him and said, "This is one of the Hebrew babies."
7 Then the baby's sister asked the king's daughter, "Would you like me to go and find a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby for you?"
8 The king's daughter said, "Go!" So the girl went and got the baby's own mother.
9 The king's daughter said to the woman, "Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you." So the woman took her baby and nursed him.
10 When the child grew older, the woman took him to the king's daughter, and she adopted the baby as her own son. The king's daughter named him Moses, because she had pulled him out of the water.
11 Moses grew and became a man. One day he visited his people and saw that they were forced to work very hard. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew man, one of Moses' own people.
12 Moses looked all around and saw that no one was watching, so he killed the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand.
13 The next day Moses returned and saw two Hebrew men fighting each other. He said to the one that was in the wrong, "Why are you hitting one of your own people?"
14 The man answered, "Who made you our ruler and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?" Moses was afraid and thought, "Now everyone knows what I did."
15 When the king heard what Moses had done, he tried to kill him. But Moses ran away from the king and went to live in the land of Midian. There he sat down near a well.
16 There was a priest in Midian who had seven daughters. His daughters went to that well to get water to fill the water troughs for their father's flock.
17 Some shepherds came and chased the girls away, but Moses defended the girls and watered their flock.
18 When they went back to their father Reuel, he asked them, "Why have you come home early today?"
19 The girls answered, "The shepherds chased us away, but an Egyptian defended us. He got water for us and watered our flock."
20 He asked his daughters, "Where is this man? Why did you leave him? Invite him to eat with us."
21 Moses agreed to stay with Jethro, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses to be his wife.
22 Zipporah gave birth to a son. Moses named him Gershom, because Moses was a stranger in a land that was not his own.
23 After a long time, the king of Egypt died. The people of Israel groaned, because they were forced to work very hard. When they cried for help, God heard them.
24 God heard their cries, and he remembered the agreement he had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
25 He saw the troubles of the people of Israel, and he was concerned about them.

Exodus 3

1 One day Moses was taking care of Jethro's flock. (Jethro was the priest of Midian and also Moses' father-in-law.) When Moses led the flock to the west side of the desert, he came to Sinai, the mountain of God.
2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire coming out of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire, but it was not burning up.
3 So he said, "I will go closer to this strange thing. How can a bush continue burning without burning up?"
4 When the Lord saw Moses was coming to look at the bush, God called to him from the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am."
5 Then God said, "Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground.
6 I am the God of your ancestors -- the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Moses covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.
7 The Lord said, "I have seen the troubles my people have suffered in Egypt, and I have heard their cries when the Egyptian slave masters hurt them. I am concerned about their pain,
8 and I have come down to save them from the Egyptians. I will bring them out of that land and lead them to a good land with lots of room -- a fertile land. It is the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
9 I have heard the cries of the people of Israel, and I have seen the way the Egyptians have made life hard for them.
10 So now I am sending you to the king of Egypt. Go! Bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt!"
11 But Moses said to God, "I am not a great man! How can I go to the king and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?"
12 God said, "I will be with you. This will be the proof that I am sending you: After you lead the people out of Egypt, all of you will worship me on this mountain."
13 Moses said to God, "When I go to the Israelites, I will say to them, 'The God of your fathers sent me to you.' What if the people say, 'What is his name?' What should I tell them?"
14 Then God said to Moses, "I am who I am. When you go to the people of Israel, tell them, 'I am sent me to you.'"
15 God also said to Moses, "This is what you should tell the people: 'The Lord is the God of your ancestors -- the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He sent me to you.' This will always be my name, by which people from now on will know me.
16 "Go and gather the older leaders and tell them this: 'The Lord, the God of your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to me. He said, I care about you, and I have seen what has happened to you in Egypt.
17 I promised I would take you out of your troubles in Egypt. I will lead you to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites -- a fertile land.'
18 "The older leaders will listen to you. And then you and the older leaders of Israel will go to the king of Egypt and tell him, 'The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, appeared to us. Let us travel three days into the desert to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.'
19 "But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go. Only a great power will force him to let you go,
20 so I will use my great power against Egypt. I will strike Egypt with all the miraclesd that will happen in that land. After I do that, he will let you go.
21 I will cause the Egyptians to think well of the Israelites. So when you leave, they will give gifts to your people.
22 Each woman should ask her Egyptian neighbor and any Egyptian woman living in her house for gifts -- silver, gold, and clothing. You should put those gifts on your children when you leave Egypt. In this way you will take with you the riches of the Egyptians."