THE men here are forcing the people to work. Look at the man who is hitting one of the workers with a whip! The workers are of the family of Jacob, and are called Israelites. And the men forcing them to work are Egyptians. The Israelites have become slaves of the Egyptians. How did this happen?
For many years Jacob’s big family lived at peace in Egypt. Joseph, who was the most important man in Egypt next to Pharʹaoh the king, took care of them. But then Joseph died. And a new Pharʹaoh, who did not like the Israelites, became king in Egypt.
So this bad Pharʹaoh made the Israelites slaves. And he put men in charge of them who were mean and cruel. They forced the Israelites to work very hard building cities for Pharʹaoh. But still the Israelites kept growing in numbers. After a while the Egyptians became afraid that the Israelites would become too many and too strong.
Do you know what Pharʹaoh did? He spoke to the women who helped the Israelite mothers when they gave birth to their babies, and said: ‘You must kill every baby boy that is born.’ But these were good women, and they would not kill the babies.
So Pharʹaoh gave this command to all his people: ‘Take the baby Israelite boys and kill them. Only let the baby girls live.’ Wasn’t that a terrible thing to command? Let’s see how one of the baby boys was saved.