The Israelites in Egypt
Now Joseph and all his brothers and that whole generation died.
But the Isrealites were fruitful and prolific. They became strong as a tide,
and so numerous the land was filled with them. Then a new king who know nothing
of Joseph, came to power in Egypt. And to his subjects, spoke the king:
“Look how numerous and powerful the Israelite people are growing, more
so than we ourselves! Come, let us deal with them to stop this increase before
in time of war they may join our enemies to fight against us and leave our country.”
Taskmasters were set over the Israelites to oppress them with forced labor, accordingly.
Thus, they had to build for Pharoah the supply cities Phithom and Rameses.
Yet, the more oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread.
The Egyptians grew ill-at-ease,
then, and dreaded the Israelites even more and reduced them to cruel slavery,
making their life bitter for them with hard work in mortar and brick and field
Command to the Midwives
The king of Egypt told the Hebrew midwives, “When you act as midwives and see
the Hebrew women giving birth, if a boy, kill him; but the girls may be let be.”
The midwives, however, feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt had decreed,
but let the boys live. So the king summoned them and asked,
“Why have you disobeyed me?
Why have you acted thus to allow boys to live?” They answered Pharoah, “The Hebrew
woman are not like Egyptian woman. They give birth before the midwive is due,
being robust.” Therefore, God dealt well with the midwives. The people grew
strong and increased. And because the midwives feared God, He built up families onto
them. Pharoah commanded all his subjects, “Throw into the river every boy
that is born to the Hebrews; the girls may live, but the males you must destroy.”
The Birth of Moses
Now a certain man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman who bore
a son. Seeing he was a goodly child, she hid him for three months before
she could not hide him longer. She took a basket of papyrus reed,
daubed it with pitch, put him in it, and placed it among the weeds
on the river bank. His sister stationed herself at a distance to find out
what would happen to him. Pharoah’s daughter came down to the river and was about
to bathe, while her maids walked along the bank. Noticing the basket among the reeds,
she sent her handmaid to fetch it. On opening it, she looked in to see
there was a baby boy in it, crying! She was moved with pity and said,
“It is one of the Hebrew children set out in the river instead
of letting him die.” Then his sister asked Pharoah’s daughter, “Shall I go
and call a Hebrew woman to nurse him for you?,” and she answered, “Yes, do so.”
So the maiden called his own mother. Pharoah’s daughter said to her, “Take
this child and nurse it for me, and repayment to you I will make.”
The woman took the child and nursed it. When the child grew older, she brought
him to Pharoah’s daughter who adopted him as her son, ans she thought
to call him Moses, for she said, “I drew him out of the waters of the Nile.”
And Moses grew strong as a stately prince and she kept him as hers all the while.
On one occassion after Moses had grown when he visited with his kinsmen
and witnessed their forced labor, he saw an Egyptian striking one of them,
a Hebrew, one of his own kinsmen. Looking about and seeing no one,
he slew the Egyptian and buried him, hiding in the sand what he had done.
The next day he went out again and two Hebrews were fighting, so
he asked the culprit, “Why are you striking your fellow Hebrew with these blows?”
But he replied, “Who appointed you ruler and judge over us? Are you
thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” The Moses was afraid since he knew,
and thought, “The affair must be known.” Pharoah, too, heard of the affair
and sought to put Moses to death, but he fled away from there
and stayed in the land of Madian. As he was seated by a well,
seven daughters of a priest of Madian came out to draw water so they might fill
the troughs to water their father’s flocks. But some shephers came and drove them away.
Then Moses got up and defened them and watered their flock. And when they
returned to their father Raguel, he said, “How is it you have so soon returned?”
They answered, “An Egyptian saved us today from interference from shepherds
He even drew water and watered the flock!” He asked his daughters, “Where is he?
Why did you leave him there? Invite him to have something to eat here with me.”
Moses agreed to live there with him and was given his daughter in marriage by the man ---
Sepphora, who bore him a son named Gersam, for he said,
“I am a stranger in a foreign land.”
The Burning Bush
A long time passed, during which the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites still
groaned and cried out because of their slavery for release form their bondage until
it went up to God, and He heard their groaning and was mindful of His covenant onto
Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. He was the Isrealites and He knew . . .
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