Exodus - Chapter 1
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4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
6 Then Joseph died, and his brothers, and all that generation.
7 But the Israelites were fruitful and prolific; they became so numerous and powerful that eventually the whole land was full of them.
8 Then there came to power in Egypt a new king who had never heard of Joseph.
9 'Look,' he said to his people, 'the Israelites are now more numerous and stronger than we are.
10 We must take precautions to stop them from increasing any further, or if war should break out, they might join the ranks of our enemies. They might take arms against us and then escape from the country.'
11 Accordingly they put taskmasters over the Israelites to wear them down by forced labour. In this way they built the store-cities of Pithom and Rameses for Pharaoh.
15 The king of Egypt then spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was called Shiphrah, and the other Puah.
17 But the midwives were God-fearing women and did not obey the orders of the king of Egypt, but allowed the boys to live.
19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, 'Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women, they are hardy and give birth before the midwife can get to them.'
21 and since the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
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