Exodus 1:1-22 Reading the Passage

The Threat of Vital Christianity – Exodus 1:1-22

1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, (each one came with his family): (2) Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; (3) Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; (4) Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. (5) All the descendants of Jacob were seventy in number—now Joseph was already in Egypt. (6) Joseph died, together with all his brothers and that whole generation. (7) But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly and multiplied and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them.

(8) Now a new king came to power in Egypt, one who did not know Joseph. (9) He said to his people, Look, the people of Israel have become more numerous and mightier than us! (10) Come, we must deal wisely with them or else they will continue to multiply and, if a war breaks out, they will align themselves with our enemies, fight against us, and leave the country. (11) Therefore the Egyptians appointed taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor—they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. (12) But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread throughout the land. So the Egyptians came to dread the children of Israel. (13) The Egyptians subjected the children of Israel to rigorous labor; (14) they made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of field work. In all their hard labor the Egyptians ruthlessly exploited them.

(15) The king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other was named Puah. (16) He said to them, When you are helping the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if they deliver a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live. (17) But the midwives feared God, so they did not do what the king of Egypt commanded them; they let the boys live. (18) Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live? (19) The midwives answered Pharaoh, The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; they are robust and deliver their babies before the midwife arrives. (20) God was good to the midwives, and the people of Israel continued to multiply and became even more numerous. (21) Because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own. (22) Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you must throw into the River, but you must let every girl live.

A note on the Scripture text that accompanies each individual message: The American Standard Version and the New International Version, along with the original Greek and Hebrew, have been used in an effort to achieve the greatest degree of accuracy and clarity. Where words or phrases have been added to the original text in an effort to better express its meaning, those words or phrases have usually been indicated by means of italics.

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.