New International Reader's Version

Exodus 1:1-22

The Israelites Become Slaves in Egypt

1Here are the names of Israel’s children who went to Egypt with Jacob. Each one went with his family. 2Jacob’s sons were

Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah,

3Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin,

4Dan, Naphtali,

Gad and Asher.

5The total number of Jacob’s children and grandchildren was 70. Joseph was already in Egypt.

6Joseph and all his brothers died. So did all their children. 7The people of Israel had many children. The number of them greatly increased. There were so many of them that they filled the land.

8Then a new king came to power in Egypt. Joseph didn’t mean anything to him. 9“Look,” he said to his people. “The Israelites are far too many for us. 10Come. We must deal with them carefully. If we don’t, there will be even more of them. Then if war breaks out, they’ll join our enemies. They’ll fight against us and leave the country.”

11So the Egyptians put slave drivers over the people of Israel. The slave drivers treated them badly and made them work hard. The Israelites built the cities of Pithom and Rameses so Pharaoh could store things there. 12But the worse the slave drivers treated the Israelites, the more Israelites there were. So the Egyptians became afraid of them. 13They made them work hard. They didn’t show them any pity. 14The people suffered because of their hard labor. The slave drivers forced them to work with bricks and mud. And they made them do all kinds of work in the fields. The Egyptians didn’t show them any pity at all. They made them work very hard.

15There were two Hebrew women named Shiphrah and Puah. They helped other women having babies. The king of Egypt spoke to them. He said, 16“You are the ones who help the other Hebrew women. Watch them when they get into a sitting position to have their babies. Kill the boys. Let the girls live.” 17But Shiphrah and Puah had respect for God. They didn’t do what the king of Egypt had told them to do. They let the boys live. 18Then the king of Egypt sent for the women. He asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”

19The women answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like the women of Egypt. They are strong. They have their babies before we get there.”

20So God was kind to Shiphrah and Puah. And the number of Israelites became even greater. 21Shiphrah and Puah had respect for God. So he gave them families of their own.

22Then Pharaoh gave an order to all his people. He said, “You must throw every Hebrew baby boy into the Nile River. But let every Hebrew baby girl live.”

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2. Mosebog 1:1-22

Israelitternes slavetilværelse i Egypten

1Her er navnene på Jakobs sønner, som fulgte ham til Egypten sammen med deres familier: 2Ruben, Simeon, Levi og Juda, 3Issakar, Zebulon og Benjamin, 4Dan og Naftali, Gad og Asher. 5Josef var allerede i Egypten. I alt bestod Jakobs familie af 70 personer.1,5 Det vil sige Jakob selv, hans 12 sønner, Dina og hans sønnesønner, hvoraf to var døde i Kana’an.

6Som årene gik, døde Josef og hans brødre og hele deres generation. 7Men deres efterkommere fik mange børn og børnebørn, og de blev med tiden så mange, at de fyldte hele det område, de boede i.

8Der var nu en ny konge i Egypten, og han kendte ikke noget til Josef eller til, hvad han havde udrettet. 9„De israelitter er efterhånden så talrige og stærke, at de er ved at blive en trussel imod os,” sagde kongen til sine embedsmænd. 10„Det må vi få sat en stopper for, ellers risikerer vi, at de i krigstilfælde slutter sig til vores fjender og flygter ud af landet.”

11Så gjorde egypterne dem til slaver og satte brutale slavefogeder over dem, som skulle udmatte dem med hårdt arbejde. De tvang dem til at bygge to nye forsyningscentre for Farao—byerne Pitom og Ramses. 12Men jo mere egypterne mishandlede og undertrykte israelitterne, jo flere blev de. Egypterne blev bange for dem, 13og derfor lod de dem arbejde endnu hårdere. 14De var skånselsløse i deres krav og tvang dem til at lave mursten og mørtel til de egyptiske byggeprojekter foruden al slags hårdt markarbejde og drev i det hele taget rovdrift på deres arbejdskraft. 15Faraos næste påfund var at give følgende ordre til de hebræiske jordemødre Shifra og Pua: 16„Når I hjælper hebræerkvinderne med at føde, skal I dræbe alle drengebørnene. Lad kun pigerne leve.” 17Jordemødrene frygtede imidlertid Gud mere end kongen, og derfor nægtede de at gøre, som han sagde. De lod drengene leve.

18Da kaldte kongen dem til sig og sagde: „I lader jo drengene leve! Hvorfor gør I ikke, som jeg har sagt?”

19„Herre,” sagde de. „De hebræiske kvinder er ikke som de egyptiske. De føder så hurtigt, at vi simpelt hen ikke kan nå frem i tide!”

20-21Gud velsignede jordemødrene på grund af deres gudsfrygt, så de ikke selv havde problemer med at få børn, og han var stadig med israelitterne, så de blev endnu mere talrige og mægtige. 22Så gav Farao den egyptiske befolkning følgende ordre: „Kast alle nyfødte hebræiske drenge i Nilen! Pigerne kan få lov at leve.”