Exodus 1-3 Bible in Basic English

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The Affliction of the Israelites in Egypt

1 1  Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came into Egypt; every man and his family came with Jacob. 2  Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; 3  Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; 4  Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 5  All the offspring of Jacob were seventy persons: and Joseph had come to Egypt before them. 6  Then Joseph came to his end, and all his brothers, and all that generation. 7  And the children of Israel were fertile, increasing very greatly in numbers and in power; and the land was full of them.

8  Now a new king came to power in Egypt, who had no knowledge of Joseph. 9  And he said to his people, See, the people of Israel are greater in number and in power than we are: 10  Let us take care for fear that their numbers may become even greater, and if there is a war, they may be joined with those who are against us, and make an attack on us, and go up out of the land. 11  So they put overseers of forced work over them, in order to make their strength less by the weight of their work. And they made store-towns for Pharaoh, Pithom and Raamses. 12  But the more cruel they were to them, the more their number increased, till all the land was full of them. And the children of Israel were hated by the Egyptians. 13  And they gave the children of Israel even harder work to do: 14  And made their lives bitter with hard work, making building-material and bricks, and doing all sorts of work in the fields under the hardest conditions.

15  And the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew women who gave help at the time of childbirth (the name of the one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah), 16  When you are looking after the Hebrew women in childbirth, if it is a son you are to put him to death; but if it is a daughter, she may go on living. 17  But the women had the fear of God, and did not do as the king of Egypt said, but let the male children go on living. 18  And the king of Egypt sent for the women, and said to them, Why have you done this, and let the male children go on living? 19  And they said to Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are strong, and the birth takes place before we come to them. 20  And the blessing of God was on these women: and the people were increased in number and became very strong. 21  And because the women who took care of the Hebrew mothers had the fear of God, he gave them families. 22  And Pharaoh gave orders to all his people, saying, Every son who comes to birth is to be put into the river, but every daughter may go on living.

The Birth of Moses

2 1  Now a man of the house of Levi took as his wife a daughter of Levi. 2  And she became with child and gave birth to a Son; and when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she kept him secretly for three months. 3  And when she was no longer able to keep him secret, she made him a basket out of the stems of water-plants, pasting sticky earth over it to keep the water out; and placing the baby in it she put it among the plants by the edge of the Nile. 4  And his sister took her place at a distance to see what would become of him.

5  Now Pharaoh's daughter came down to the Nile to take a bath, while her women were walking by the riverside; and she saw the basket among the river-plants, and sent her servant-girl to get it. 6  And opening it, she saw the child, and he was crying. And she had pity on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children. 7  Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, May I go and get you one of the Hebrew women to give him the breast? 8  And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the girl went and got the child's mother. 9  And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Take the child away and give it milk for me, and I will give you payment. And the woman took the child and gave it milk at her breast. 10  And when the child was older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son, and she gave him the name Moses, Because, she said, I took him out of the water.

Moses Flees from Egypt

11  Now when Moses had become a man, one day he went out to his people and saw how hard their work was; and he saw an Egyptian giving blows to a Hebrew, one of his people. 12  And turning this way and that, and seeing no one, he put the Egyptian to death, covering his body with sand. 13  And he went out the day after and saw two of the Hebrews fighting: and he said to him who was in the wrong, Why are you fighting your brother? 14  And he said, Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? are you going to put me to death as you did the Egyptian? And Moses was in fear, and said, It is clear that the thing has come to light. 15  Now when Pharaoh had news of this, he would have put Moses to death. But Moses went in flight from Pharaoh into the land of Midian: and he took his seat by a water-spring.

16  Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came to get water for their father's flock. 17  And the keepers of the sheep came up and were driving them away; but Moses got up and came to their help, watering their flock for them. 18  And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that you have come back so quickly today? 19  And they said, An Egyptian came to our help against the keepers of sheep and got water for us and gave it to the flock. 20  And he said to his daughters, Where is he? why have you let the man go? make him come in and give him a meal. 21  And Moses was happy to go on living with the man; and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses. 22  And she gave birth to a son, to whom he gave the name Gershom: for he said, I have been living in a strange land.

23  Now after a long time the king of Egypt came to his end: and the children of Israel were crying in their grief under the weight of their work, and their cry for help came to the ears of God. 24  And at the sound of their weeping the agreement which God had made with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob came to his mind. 25  And God's eyes were turned to the children of Israel and he gave them the knowledge of himself.

The Call of Moses

3 1  Now Moses was looking after the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian: and he took the flock to the back of the waste land and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2  And the angel of the Lord was seen by him in a flame of fire coming out of a thorn-tree: and he saw that the tree was on fire, but it was not burned up. 3  And Moses said, I will go and see this strange thing, why the tree is not burned up, 4  And when the Lord saw him turning to one side to see, God said his name out of the tree, crying, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5  And he said, Do not come near: take off your shoes from your feet, for the place where you are is holy. 6  And he said, I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses kept his face covered for fear of looking on God.

7  And God said, Truly, I have seen the grief of my people in Egypt, and their cry because of their cruel masters has come to my ears; for I have knowledge of their sorrows; 8  And I have come down to take them out of the hands of the Egyptians, guiding them out of that land into a good land and wide, into a land flowing with milk and honey; into the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. 9  For now, truly, the cry of the children of Israel has come to me, and I have seen the cruel behaviour of the Egyptians to them. 10  Come, then, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may take my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.

11  And Moses said to God, Who am I to go to Pharaoh and take the children of Israel out of Egypt? 12  And he said, Truly I will be with you; and this will be the sign to you that I have sent you: when you have taken the children of Israel out of Egypt, you will give worship to God on this mountain. 13  And Moses said to God, When I come to the children of Israel and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you: and they say to me, What is his name? what am I to say to them? 14  And God said to him, I AM WHAT I AM: and he said, Say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you. 15  And God went on to say to Moses, Say to the children of Israel, The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has sent me to you: this is my name for ever, and this is my sign to all generations.

16  Go and get together the chiefs of the children of Israel, and say to them, The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has been seen by me, and has said, Truly I have taken up your cause, because of what is done to you in Egypt; 17  And I have said, I will take you up out of the sorrows of Egypt into the land of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, into a land flowing with milk and honey. 18  And they will give ear to your voice: and you, with the chiefs of Israel, will go to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and say to him, The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has come to us: let us then go three days' journey into the waste land to make an offering to the Lord our God. 19  And I am certain that the king of Egypt will not let you go without being forced. 20  But I will put out my hand and overcome Egypt with all the wonders which I will do among them: and after that he will let you go. 21  And I will give this people grace in the eyes of the Egyptians, so that when you go out you will go out with your hands full. 22  For every woman will get from her neighbour and from the woman living in her house, ornaments of silver and gold, and clothing; and you will put them on your sons and your daughters; you will take the best of their goods from the Egyptians.

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