1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household:
2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,
3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
5 The total number of people born to Jacob was seventy. Joseph was already in Egypt.
6 Then Joseph died, and all his brothers, and that whole generation.
7 But the Israelites were fruitful and prolific; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.
The Israelites Are Oppressed
8 Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
9 He said to his people, ‘Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we.
10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.’
11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labour. They built supply cities, Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh.
12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.
13 The Egyptians became ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites,
14 and made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and brick and in every kind of field labour. They were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them.
15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, 16 ‘When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she shall live.’
17 But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live.
18 So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, ‘Why have you done this, and allowed the boys to live?’
19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, ‘Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.’
20 So God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and became very strong.
21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.
22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, ‘Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live.’
Birth and Youth of Moses
1 Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman.
2 The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him for three months.
3 When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river.
4 His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.
5 The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it.
6 When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him. ‘This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,’ she said.
7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?’
8 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Yes.’ So the girl went and called the child’s mother.
9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed it.
10 When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, ‘because’, she said, ‘I drew him out of the water.’
14 Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land
to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.
15 Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.
16 Is not the food cut off before our eyes, joy and gladness from the house of our God?
17 The seed shrivels under the clods, the storehouses are desolate; the granaries are ruined because the grain has failed.
18 How the animals groan! The herds of cattle wander about because there is no pasture for them; even the flocks of sheep are dazed.
19 To you, O Lord, I cry. For fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and flames have burned
all the trees of the field.
20 Even the wild animals cry to you because the watercourses are dried up, and fire has devoured
the pastures of the wilderness.