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Exodus Chapter 1

1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt (every man and his household came with Jacob):

2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,

3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,

4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.

5 All the souls who came out of Jacob's body were seventy souls, and Joseph was in Egypt already.

6 Joseph died, as did all his brothers, and all that generation.

7 The children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.

8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who didn't know Joseph.

9 He said to his people, "Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we.

10 Come, let's deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it happen that when any war breaks out, they also join themselves to our enemies and fight against us, and escape out of the land."

11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. They built storage cities for Pharaoh: Pithom and Raamses.

12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out. They started to dread the children of Israel.

13 The Egyptians ruthlessly made the children of Israel serve,

14 and they made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and in brick, and in all kinds of service in the field, all their service, in which they ruthlessly made them serve.

15 The king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah,

16 and he said, "When you perform the duty of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birth stool, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live."

17 But the midwives feared God, and didn't do what the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the baby boys alive.

18 The king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said to them, "Why have you done this thing and saved the boys alive?"

19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women aren't like the Egyptian women; for they are vigourous and give birth before the midwife comes to them."

20 God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied, and grew very mighty.

21 Because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.

22 Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, "You shall cast every son who is born into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive."

Footnotes

Verse 9 (Behold)
"Behold" means look at, take notice, observe, see, or gaze at. It is often used as an interjection.
Verse 17 (God)
The Hebrew word rendered "God" is Elohim.

Version: World English Bible


Exodus Chapter 1 Guide

The first word of Exodus, "Now," might with equal accuracy be rendered "And." Either word serves to suggest continuity. The story of Genesis is taken up in Exodus. It begins by recording the prolific and rapid growth of the sons of Jacob in Egypt. They "were fruitful ... increased abundantly ... multiplied ... waxed exceeding mighty ... the land was filled with them." The progress of God is seen. After the fathers, the children, and the program of God is carried forward. Jacob and his sons lived in their children. Their faults were perpetuated through long generations. It is equally true that the underlying principle of faith continued, and though failure often occurred, seeming to overwhelm faith, the vital principle was never lost.

In the account of the enslavement and oppression of these people, human and divine elements are equally apparent. The policy of the new Pharaoh was politically selfish. He attempted to stay the growth and break the power of the people. How little he understood the infinite Force against which he was setting himself. All the sufferings endured by these people gained for them that strength which even today makes them a people who cannot be destroyed. Luxury ever tends to weakness in national life, while suffering stiffens and strengthens the national character.

From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.