ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 97



E XODUS
These are the names of the sons of Israel (that is, Jacob) who moved to
Egypt with their father, each with his family: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah,
Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. In all, Jacob
had seventy descendants in Egypt, including Joseph, who was already
there.
In time, Joseph and all of his brothers died, ending that entire generation. But their descendants, the Israelites, had many children and grandchildren. In fact, they multiplied so greatly that they became extremely
powerful and filled the land.
Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about
Joseph or what he had done. He said to his people, “Look, the people of
Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are. We must make a
plan to keep them from growing even more. If we don’t, and if war breaks
out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape
from the country.”
So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing
labor. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as
supply centers for the king. But the more the Egyptians oppressed them,
the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the
Egyptians became. So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without
mercy. They made their lives bitter, forcing them to mix mortar and make
bricks and do all the work in the fields. They were ruthless in all their
demands.
Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah: “When you help the Hebrew women as they
give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl,
let her live.” But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey
the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live, too.
So the king of Egypt called for the midwives. “Why have you done this?”
he demanded. “Why have you allowed the boys to live?”
“The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women,” the midwives
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