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Jehovah’s Witnesses


Online Bible


Exodus 1:1-22

1  Now these are the names* of Israel’s sons who came into Egypt with Jacob; each man and his household came:+  Reu′ben,+ Sim′e·on,+ Le′vi+ and Judah,+  Is′sa·char,+ Zeb′u·lun+ and Benjamin,+  Dan+ and Naph′ta·li,+ Gad+ and Ash′er.+  And all the souls who issued out of Jacob’s upper thigh+ came to be seventy souls,* but Joseph was already in Egypt.+  Eventually Joseph died,+ and also all his brothers and all that generation.  And the sons of Israel became fruitful and began to swarm; and they kept on multiplying and growing mightier at a very extraordinary rate, so that the land got to be filled with them.+  In time there arose over Egypt a new king who did not know Joseph.+  And he proceeded to say to his people: “Look! The people of the sons of Israel are more numerous and mightier than we are.+ 10  Come on! Let us deal shrewdly with them,*+ for fear they may multiply, and it must turn out that, in case war should befall us,* then they certainly will also be added to those who hate us and will fight against us and go up out of the country.” 11  So they set over them chiefs of forced labor for the purpose of oppressing them in their burden-bearing;+ and they went building cities as storage places for Phar′aoh, namely, Pi′thom and Ra·am′ses.+ 12  But the more they would oppress them, the more they would multiply and the more they kept spreading abroad, so that they felt a sickening dread as a result of the sons of Israel.+ 13  Consequently the Egyptians made the sons of Israel slave under tyranny.+ 14  And they kept making their life bitter with hard slavery at clay mortar+ and bricks* and with every form of slavery in the field,+ yes, every form of slavery of theirs in which they used them as slaves under tyranny.+ 15  Later on the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives,+ the name of one of whom was Shiph′rah and the name of the other Pu′ah, 16  yes, he went so far as to say: “When YOU help the Hebrew women to give birth and YOU do see them on the stool for childbirth, if it is a son, YOU must also put it to death; but if it is a daughter, it must also live.” 17  However, the midwives feared the [true] God,+ and they did not do as the king of Egypt had spoken to them,+ but they would preserve the male children alive.+ 18  In time the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them: “Why is it YOU have done this thing, in that YOU preserved the male children alive?”+ 19  In turn the midwives said to Phar′aoh: “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women. Because they are lively, they have already given birth before the midwife can come in to them.” 20  So God dealt well with the midwives;+ and the people kept growing more numerous and becoming very mighty. 21  And it came about that because the midwives had feared the [true] God he later presented them with families.*+ 22  Finally Phar′aoh commanded all his people, saying: “Every newborn son YOU are to throw into the river Nile, but every daughter YOU are to preserve alive.”+


“Now these are the names.” Heb., Weʼel′leh shemohth′. In Heb. this second book of the Bible is named after these opening words; sometimes shortened to Shemohth′. LXXVg name this book “Exodus” (Gr., E′xo·dos; Lat., Ex′o·dus).
“Seventy souls,” MVg; LXX, “seventy-five.” See Ge 46:20, 27 ftns.
Lit., “him,” or, “it,” that is, the Israelite people.
“Us,” SamLXXSyVg; M omits.
That is, sun-dried bricks.
Lit., “and he made houses for them.”