Exodus 1

Jacob Blesses His Sons

49 wThen Jacob called his sons and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you xin days to come.

Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob,

listen to Israel your father.

Reuben, you are ymy firstborn,

my might, and the zfirstfruits of my strength,

preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.

Unstable as water, you shall not have preeminence,

because you awent up to your father's bed;

then you defiled ithe went up to my couch!

bSimeon and Levi are brothers;

weapons cof violence are their swords.

Let my soul come not into their council;

dO my glory, ebe not joined to their company.

For in their anger they killed men,

and in their willfulness they fhamstrung oxen.

Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce,

and their wrath, for it is cruel!

I will gdivide them in Jacob

and scatter them in Israel.

Judah, hyour brothers shall praise you;

iyour hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;

jyour father's sons shall bow down before you.

Judah is ka lion's cub;

from the prey, my son, you have gone up.

lHe stooped down; he crouched as a lion

and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?

10  The mscepter shall not depart from Judah,

nor the ruler's staff nfrom between his feet,

until tribute comes to him;1

and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

11  Binding his foal to the vine

and his donkey's colt to the choice vine,

he has washed his garments in wine

and his vesture in the blood of grapes.

12  His oeyes are darker than wine,

and his teeth whiter than milk.

13  pZebulun shall dwell at the qshore of the sea;

he shall become a haven for ships,

and his border shall be at Sidon.

14  rIssachar is a strong donkey,

crouching between the sheepfolds.2

15  He saw that a resting place was good,

and that the land was pleasant,

so he bowed his shoulder to bear,

and sbecame a servant at forced labor.

16  tDan shall ujudge his people

as one of the tribes of Israel.

17  Dan vshall be a serpent in the way,

a viper by the path,

that bites the horse's heels

so that his rider falls backward.

18  I wwait for your salvation, O Lord.

19  xRaiders shall raid yGad,3

but he shall raid at their heels.

20  zAsher's food shall be rich,

and he shall yield royal delicacies.

21  aNaphtali is a doe let loose

that bears beautiful fawns.4

22  Joseph is ba fruitful bough,

a fruitful bough by a spring;

his branches run over the wall.5

23  The archers cbitterly attacked him,

shot at him, and harassed him severely,

24  yet dhis bow remained unmoved;

his arms6 were made agile

by the hands of the eMighty One of Jacob

(from there is fthe Shepherd,7 gthe Stone of Israel),

25  hby the God of your father who will help you,

by ithe Almighty8 jwho will bless you

with blessings of heaven above,

blessings of the deep that crouches beneath,

blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

26  The blessings of your father

are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents,

up to the bounties kof the everlasting hills.9

May they be lon the head of Joseph,

and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.

27  mBenjamin is a ravenous wolf,

in the morning devouring the prey

and at evening ndividing the spoil.

Jacob's Death and Burial

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him. 29 Then he commanded them and said to them, I am to be ogathered to my people; pbury me with my fathers qin the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave that is in the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, rwhich Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. 31 sThere they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There tthey buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah 32 the field and the cave that is in it were bought from the Hittites. 33 When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and uwas gathered to his people.

50 Then Joseph vfell on his father's face and wept over him and kissed him. And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to wembalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel. Forty days were required for it, for that is how many are required for embalming. And the Egyptians xwept for him seventy days.

And when the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, yIf now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, My father made me swear, saying, I am about to die: in my tomb zthat I hewed out for myself in the land of Canaan, there shall you bury me. Now therefore, let me please go up and bury my father. Then I will return. And Pharaoh answered, Go up, and bury your father, as he made you swear. So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father's household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left ain the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company. 10 When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, bthey lamented there with a very great and grievous lamentation, and he cmade a mourning for his father seven days. 11 When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning on the threshing floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning by the Egyptians. Therefore the place was named Abel-mizraim;1 it is beyond the Jordan. 12 Thus his sons did for him as he had commanded them, 13 for dhis sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, which Abraham ebought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. 14 After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.

God's Good Purposes

15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him. 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, Your father gave this command before he died: 17 Say to Joseph, Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you. And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of fthe God of your father. Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers also came and gfell down before him and said, Behold, we are your servants. 19 But Joseph said to them, Do not fear, for ham I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but iGod meant it for good, to bring it about that many people2 should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; jI will provide for you and your little ones. Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

The Death of Joseph

22 So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father's house. Joseph lived 110 years. 23 And Joseph saw Ephraim's children kof the third generation. The lchildren also of Machir the son of Manasseh were mcounted as Joseph's own.3 24 And Joseph said to his brothers, I am about to die, but nGod will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land othat he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 25 Then pJoseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here. 26 So Joseph died, being 110 years old. They qembalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

Exodus Illustration

Exodus

Israel Increases Greatly in Egypt

aThese are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. All the descendants of Jacob were bseventy persons; Joseph was already in Egypt. Then cJoseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. dBut the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.

Pharaoh Oppresses Israel

Now there arose a new king over Egypt, ewho did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, Behold, fthe people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. 10 gCome, hlet us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land. 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them ito afflict them with heavy jburdens. They built for Pharaoh kstore cities, Pithom and lRaamses. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. 13 So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel mwork as slaves 14 and nmade their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.

15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, 16 When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live. 17 But the midwives ofeared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. 18 So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, Why have you done this, and let the male children 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 pSo God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. 21 And because the midwives feared God, qhe gave them families. 22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, rEvery son that is born to the Hebrews1 you shall cast into sthe Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.

The Birth of Moses

Now a tman from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son, and uwhen she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes1 and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the vreeds by the river bank. And whis sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him. Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children. Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you? And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. So the girl went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages. So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became xher son. She named him Moses, Because, she said, I ydrew him out of the water.2

Moses Flees to Midian

11 One day, zwhen Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their aburdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people.3 12 He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he bstruck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 When che went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, Why do you strike your companion? 14 He answered, dWho made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian? Then Moses was afraid, and thought, Surely the thing is known. 15 When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But eMoses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. And he sat down by fa well.

16 Now the gpriest of Midian had seven daughters, and hthey came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. 17 The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them, and iwatered their flock. 18 When they came home to their father jReuel, he said, How is it that you have come home so soon today? 19 They said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds and even drew water for us and iwatered the flock. 20 He said to his daughters, Then where is he? Why have you left the man? Call him, that he may keat bread. 21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter lZipporah. 22 She gave birth to a son, and he called his name mGershom, for he said, I have been a nsojourner4 in a foreign land.

God Hears Israel's Groaning

23 oDuring those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel pgroaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. qTheir cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. 24 And rGod heard their groaning, and God sremembered his covenant with tAbraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 God usaw the people of Israeland God vknew.

The Burning Bush

Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the wmountain of God. xAnd ythe angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned. When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, zGod called to him aout of the bush, Moses, Moses! And he said, Here I am. Then he said, Do not come near; btake your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. And he said, cI am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face, for dhe was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord said, eI have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their ftaskmasters. I know their sufferings, and gI have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and hto bring them up out of that land to a igood and broad land, a land jflowing with milk and honey, to the place of kthe Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, lthe cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the moppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 nCome, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt. 11 But Moses said to God, oWho am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt? 12 He said, pBut I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, qyou shall serve God on this mountain.

13 Then Moses said to God, If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, What is his name? what shall I say to them? 14 God said to Moses, I am who I am.1 And he said, Say this to the people of Israel: rI am has sent me to you. 15 God also said to Moses, Say this to the people of Israel: The Lord,2 the sGod of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is tmy name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. 16 Go and ugather the elders of Israel together and say to them, The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, vI have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, 17 and I promise that wI will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land wflowing with milk and honey. 18 And xthey will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel yshall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has zmet with us; and now, please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. 19 But I know that the king of Egypt awill not let you go unless compelled bby a mighty hand.3 20 So cI will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with dall the wonders that I will do in it; eafter that he will let you go. 21 And fI will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, 22 but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for gsilver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So hyou shall plunder the Egyptians.