The Israelites in Egypt
1These are the names of the sons of Israel (that is, Jacob) who moved to Egypt with their father, each with his family: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, 4 Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 In all, Jacob had seventy[a] descendants in Egypt, including Joseph, who was already there.
6 In time, Joseph and all of his brothers died, ending that entire generation. 7 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.
8 Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done. 9 He said to his people, “Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are. 10 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.[b]”
11 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. 12 But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became. 13 So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy. 14 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.
15 Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah: 16 “When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver.[c] If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live, too.
18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives. “Why have you done this?” he demanded. “Why have you allowed the boys to live?”
19 “The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women,” the midwives replied. “They are more vigorous and have their babies so quickly that we cannot get there in time.”
20 So God was good to the midwives, and the Israelites continued to multiply, growing more and more powerful. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.
22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile River. But you may let the girls live.”
Israel Multiplies in Egypt
1Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; each came with his household: 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 people; Joseph was [already] in Egypt. 6 Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation, 7 but the [a]Israelites were prolific and increased greatly; [b]they multiplied and became extremely strong, so that the land was filled with them.
8 [c]Now a new [d]king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph [nor the history of his accomplishments]. 9 He said to his people, “Behold, the [e]people of the sons of Israel are too many and too mighty for us [they greatly outnumber us]. 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, so that they will not multiply and in the event of war, join our enemies, and fight against us and escape from the land.” 11 So they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with hard labor. And the sons of Israel built Pithom and Raamses as storage cities for Pharaoh. 12 But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more they multiplied and expanded, so that the Egyptians dreaded and were exasperated by the Israelites. 13 And the Egyptians made the Israelites serve rigorously [forcing them into severe slavery]. 14 They made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar, brick, and all kinds of field work. All their labor was harsh and severe.
15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah (beauty) and the other named Puah (splendor), 16 “When you act as midwives 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.” 17 But the midwives feared God [with profound reverence] and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded, but they let the boy babies live. 18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and allowed the boy babies to live?” 19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth quickly and their babies are born before the midwife can get to them.” 20 So God was good to the midwives, and the people [of Israel] multiplied and became very strong. 21 And because the midwives feared God [with profound reverence], [f]He established families and households for them. 22 Then [g]Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born [to the Hebrews] must be thrown into the Nile, but every daughter you shall keep alive.”
Notas al pie
- Exodus 1:7 In general, sons (children, descendants) of Israel or Israel or Israelites refers to all the people (males and females) of the various tribes descended from the twelve sons (Gen 35:23-26) of Jacob (later renamed Israel by God). In verses concerning things such as warfare or circumcision sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites usually refers only to the males. Tribes of ancient people were identified by the name of their founding ancestor. Therefore, this same general rule applies when referring to individual tribal groups, e.g. sons of Reuben, Reuben, Reubenites and so throughout.
- Exodus 1:7 Over two hundred years have passed since the death of Joseph.
- Exodus 1:8 The political attitude toward the Israelites living in Egypt changed from friendly and welcoming to suspicious and hostile, and Israel’s struggle for existence led to one of the most dramatic and memorable interventions that God would make in human history.
- Exodus 1:8 The identity of this pharaoh is uncertain. Some scholars think he was Ahmose I (1570-1546 b.c.), founder of the 18th dynasty of Egypt’s New Kingdom or Ahmose’s successor, Amenhotep I (1546-1525 b.c.). Others believe that this Pharaoh was one of the first of the Hyksos rulers; the Hyksos were foreign invaders.
- Exodus 1:9 This is the first record of the descendants of Israel (Jacob) being regarded as a separate nation (also see Gen 34:7 and note).
- Exodus 1:21 Lit made them houses.
- Exodus 1:22 If the early date of the exodus (1446 b.c.) is acknowledged, as most conservative scholars hold, then this pharaoh is likely Thutmose I (1525-1512 b.c.).