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Exodus 1 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Israel and Oppression in Egypt

And these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt; with Jacob, they each came with his family:[a] Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. And all those who descended from Jacob[b] were seventy individuals,[c] and Joseph was in Egypt. And Joseph died and all of his brothers and all of that generation. And the Israelites[d] were fruitful and multiplied and were many and were very, very numerous, and the land was filled with them.

And a new king rose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the Israelites[e] are greater and more numerous than us. 10 Come, we must deal shrewdly with them, lest they become many, and when war happens, they also will join our enemies and will fight against us and go up from the land.” 11 And they appointed commanders of forced labor over them in order to oppress them with their forced labor,[f] and they built storage cities for Pharaoh—Pithom and Rameses. 12 And as he oppressed them, so they became many, and so they spread out, and the Egyptians were afraid because of the presence of the Israelites.[g] 13 And the Egyptians ruthlessly compelled the Israelites[h] to work. 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard work with mortar and with bricks and with all sorts of work in the field—with all their work in which they ruthlessly enslaved them.

15 And the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives—of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah and the name of the second was Puah— 16 and he said, “When you help the Hebrews give birth, you will look upon the pairs of testicles; if he is a son, you will put him to death, and if she is a daughter, she will live.” 17 But the midwives feared God, and they did not do as the king of Egypt had said to them. They let the boys live. 18 And the king of Egypt summoned the midwives, and he said to them, “Why have you done this thing and let the boys live?” 19 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, because they are vigorous; before the midwife comes to them, they have given birth.” 20 And God did the midwives good, and the Israelite people became many and were very numerous. 21 And so[i] because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.[j] 22 And Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you will throw into the Nile, and every daughter you will let live.”


  1. Exodus 1:1 Literally “house”
  2. Exodus 1:5 Literally “every soul/individual/life, the ones going out from the loins of Jacob”
  3. Exodus 1:5 Or “souls,” “lives”
  4. Exodus 1:7 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  5. Exodus 1:9 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  6. Exodus 1:11 Literally “burdens” or “burdensome labor”
  7. Exodus 1:12 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  8. Exodus 1:13 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  9. Exodus 1:21 Literally “and he/it was”
  10. Exodus 1:21 Literally “houses”
Lexham English Bible (LEB)

2012 by Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software

Exodus 1 New International Version (NIV)

The Israelites Oppressed

These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy[a] in all; Joseph was already in Egypt.

Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.

Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. 10 Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.”

11 So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites 13 and worked them ruthlessly. 14 They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.

15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”

19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”

20 So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”


  1. Exodus 1:5 Masoretic Text (see also Gen. 46:27); Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint (see also Acts 7:14 and note at Gen. 46:27) seventy-five
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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