New Living Translation

Exodus 1

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: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. In all, Jacob had seventy[a] 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. 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.”

Notas al pie

  1. 1:5 Dead Sea Scrolls and Greek version read seventy-five; see notes on Gen 46:27.
  2. 1:10 Or will take the country.
  3. 1:16 Hebrew look upon the two stones; perhaps the reference is to a birthstool.

New International Reader's Version

Exodus 1

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. Jacob’s sons were

Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah,

Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin,

Dan, Naphtali,

Gad and Asher.

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

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

Then a new king came to power in Egypt. Joseph didn’t mean anything to him. “Look,” he said to his people. “The Israelites are far too many for us. 10 Come. 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.”

11 So 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. 12 But the worse the slave drivers treated the Israelites, the more Israelites there were. So the Egyptians became afraid of them. 13 They made them work hard. They didn’t show them any pity. 14 The 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.

15 There 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.” 17 But 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. 18 Then the king of Egypt sent for the women. He asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”

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

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

22 Then 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.”