Then beware lest you forget the Lord, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply more and, should war befall us, they join our enemies, fight against us, and escape out of the land. So they set over [the Israelites] taskmasters to afflict and oppress them with [increased] burdens. And [the Israelites] built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more [the Egyptians] oppressed them, the more they multiplied and expanded, so that [the Egyptians] were vexed and alarmed because of the Israelites. read more.
And the Egyptians reduced the Israelites to severe slavery. They made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar, brick, and all kinds of work in the field. All their service was with harshness and severity. Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, of whom one was named Shiprah and the other Puah, When you act as midwives 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. But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded, but let the male babies live. So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, Why have you done this thing and allowed the male children to live? The midwives answered Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; they are vigorous and quickly delivered; their babies are born before the midwife comes to them. So God dealt well with the midwives and the people multiplied and became very strong. And because the midwives revered and feared God, He made them households [of their own]. Then Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son born [to the Hebrews] you shall cast into the river [Nile], but every daughter you shall allow to live.
You shall no more give the people straw to make brick; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the number of the bricks which they made before you shall still require of them; you shall not diminish it in the least. For they are idle; that is why they cry, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let heavier work be laid upon the men that they may labor at it and pay no attention to lying words. read more.
The taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they said to the people, Thus says Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. Go, get straw where you can find it; but your work shall not be diminished in the least. So the people were scattered through all the land of Egypt to gather the short stubble instead of straw. And the taskmasters were urgent, saying, Finish your work, your daily quotas, as when there was straw. And the Hebrew foremen, whom Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, Why have you not fulfilled all your quota of making bricks yesterday and today, as before?
Then you shall say to your son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt, and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.