Chapter 1

  1. Now these are the names of the children of Israel who came into Egypt, every man according to his household who came with Jacob: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls, for Joseph was in Egypt. And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation.
  2. And the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, and multiplied and waxed exceedingly mighty, and the land was filled with them. Now there arose up a new king over Egypt who knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come on, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply and it come to pass that, when there falls out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Therefore, they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure-cities: Pithom and Rameses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor, and they made their lives bitter with hard bondage: in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; all their service wherein they made them serve was with rigor.
  3. And 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. And he said, When you do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women and see them upon the birth stools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. And the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said unto them, Why have you done this thing and have saved the men children alive? And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women, for they are lively and are delivered before the midwives come in unto them. Therefore, God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and waxed very mighty. And it came to pass because the midwives feared God that he made them houses. And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born to you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.
  4. And there went a man of the house of Levi and took to wife a daughter of Levi, and the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a peculiar child, she hid him three months. And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of papyrus, and smeared it with tar and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the reeds by the river’s brink. And his sister stood afar off to know what would be done to him.
  5. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river, and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child; and behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children. Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to you a nurse of the Hebrew women that she may nurse the child for you? And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages. And the woman took the child and nursed it. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses, and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.
  6. And it came to pass in those days when Moses was grown that he went out unto his brethren and looked on their burdens. And he spied an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews quarreled together. And he said to him that did the wrong, Why do you smite your fellow? And he said, Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian? And Moses feared and said, Surely this thing is known.
  7. Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelled in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. And the shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that you have come so soon today? And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock. And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread. And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses Zipporah, his daughter. And she bore him a son, and he called his name Gershom, for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.