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The Israelites are multiplied in Egypt. They are oppressed by a new king, who commandeth all their male children to be killed.

[1] These are the names of the children of Israel, that went into Egypt with Jacob: they went in, every man with his household: [2] Ruben, Simeon, Levi, Juda, [3] Issachar, Zabulon, and Benjamin, [4] Dan, and Nephtali, Gad and Aser. [5] And all the souls that came out of Jacob' s thigh, were seventy: but Joseph was in Egypt.

[6] After he was dead, and all his brethren, and all that generation, [7] The children of Israel increased, and sprung up into multitudes, and growing exceedingly strong they filled the land. [8] In the mean time there arose a new king over Egypt, that knew not Joseph: [9] And he said to his people: Behold the people of the children of Israel are numerous and stronger than we. [10] Come, let us wisely oppress them, lest they multiply: and if any war shall rise against us, join with our enemies, and having overcome us, depart out of the land.

[11] Therefore he set over them masters of the works, to afflict them with burdens, and they built for Pharao cities of tabernacles, Phithom and Ramesses. [12] But the more they oppressed them, the more they were multiplied, and increased: [13] And the Egyptians hated the children of Israel, and afflicted them and mocked them: [14] And they made their life bitter with hard works in clay, and brick, and with all manner of service, wherewith they were overcharged in the works of the earth. [15] And the king of Egypt spoke to the midwives of the Hebrews: of whom one was called Sephora, the other Phua,

[11] Of tabernacles: Or, of storehouses.

[16] Commanding them: When you shall do the office of midwives to the Hebrew women, and the time of delivery is come: if it be a man child, kill it: if a woman, keep it alive. [17] But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded, but saved the men children. [18] And the king called for them and said: What is that you meant to do, that you would save the men children? [19] They answered: The Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women: for they themselves are skillful in the office of a midwife; and they are delivered before we come to them. [20] Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied and grew exceedingly strong.

[21] And because the midwives feared God, he built them houses. [22] Pharao therefore charged all his people, saying: Whatsoever shall be born of the male sex, ye shall cast into the river: whatsoever of the female, ye shall save alive.

[21] Because the midwives feared God: The midwives were rewarded, not for their lie, which was a venial sin; but for their fear of God, and their humanity: but this reward was only temporal, in building them houses, that is, in establishing and enriching their families.

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