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Exodus 1.1 - 14

posted 28 Mar 2014, 02:20 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com
These are the names of Israel’s sons—the ones who traveled from Canaan and entered into Egypt with Jacob during the great famine. Each of these men arrived in Egypt with his family:

Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah;

Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin;

Dan and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.

At that time, Jacob had 70 children and grandchildren. All of them came to Egypt, except for Joseph; he was already there.[a] Joseph died, and so did all of his brothers. It was not long before that entire generation was gone. But the people of Israel were prolific; they had children easily, and their numbers increased rapidly. As their numbers grew so did their strength. Eventually, they filled the land.

God has done what He promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: He has made Israel’s children fertile, productive, and strong. Over time Jacob’s 70 children have become a nation within a nation, and the Egyptians are taking notice. History teaches the Pharaohs and the ruling classes to be wary of outsiders. So now that the Israelites are swarming all over the land like flies, and they are not fully assimilating into Egyptian life and culture, the Pharaoh thinks they pose a clear and present danger. So the Egyptian king decides that strong measures are necessary. The welcome that Joseph and his family once enjoyed turns into outright hostility.

One day, a new king came to power and ruled over Egypt, but this king had no knowledge of Joseph.

Pharaoh (to some of his advisors): Look! There are more Israelites than ever before, and they are growing more powerful than we are. 10 We need to be careful in our dealings with them. Otherwise, they may grow even greater in number, and in a time of war join forces with our enemies, fight against us, and then leave the land.

11 So the Egyptian authorities enslaved the Israelites and appointed cruel slave drivers over them to oppress them with hard, back-breaking labor. They forced them to build the storage cities of Pithom and Raamses for Pharaoh.

12 But the harder the slave drivers pushed the Israelites, the more rapidly they had children and spread throughout the land. Because of this, the Egyptians grew to detest the Israelites even more 13 and violently forced them to work until they were sore and tired—far beyond exhaustion. 14 The Egyptians made life bitter for all those Israelites forced to mix mortar, make bricks, and do all types of grueling work in the fields. They tormented their Israelite slaves until all the work was done.