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Exodus 1–2

Current version: ESV – English Standard Version – English

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Exodus 1

1These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household:
2Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,
3Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
4Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
5All the descendants of Jacob were seventy persons; Joseph was already in Egypt.
6Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation.
7But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.
8Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
9And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us.
10Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.”
11Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses.
12But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel.
13So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves
14and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.
15Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,
16“When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.”
17But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.
18So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?”
19The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”
20So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong.
21And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.
22Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.”

Exodus 2

1Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman.
2The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months.
3When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank.
4And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him.
5Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it.
6When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”
7Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?”
8And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother.
9And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him.
10When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”
11One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people.
12He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
13When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, “Why do you strike your companion?”
14He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known.”
15When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. And he sat down by a well.
16Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.
17The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them, and watered their flock.
18When they came home to their father Reuel, he said, “How is it that you have come home so soon today?”
19They said, “An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds and even drew water for us and watered the flock.”
20He said to his daughters, “Then where is he? Why have you left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.”
21And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah.
22She gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”
23During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God.
24And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
25God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.