1:1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family:

1:2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah;

1:3 Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin;

1:4 Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher.

1:5 The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt.

1:6 Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died,

1:7 but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them.

1:8 Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt.

1:9 "Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous for us.

1:10 Come, 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."

1:11 So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.

1:12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites

1:13 and worked them ruthlessly.

1:14 They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly.

1:15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah,

1:16 "When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live."

1:17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.

1:18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, "Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?"

1:19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, "Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive."

1:20 So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous.

1:21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

1:22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: "Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live."