Daily Bible Reading

July 4, 2023

Exodus 1:1-22(GNT)

God’s Saving Word: Mercy and Forgiveness


Exodus 1:1-22: Today we begin reading excerpts from the book of Exodus, the second book of the Bible. The name “Exodus” comes from a Greek word that means “exit” or “departure” and refers to an important event in Israel’s history described in this book—the departure of the people of Israel from Egypt where they had been slaves (Exodus 12:37—14:31). The central human figure in the book is Moses, the man chosen by God to lead the people out of Egypt. Today’s reading describes the time when the people of Israel (also known as Hebrews) became slaves in Egypt. It is years after the death of Joseph and his family. (You can read the story of Joseph’s arrival and life in Egypt in Genesis 37; 39—50.)  By now the Israelites had increased in number, posing a potential threat to the Egyptians; and the Egyptian king instructs two midwives to kill all baby boys born to Hebrew women. 

Scripture Reading

The Israelites Are Treated Cruelly in Egypt

The sons of Jacob who went to Egypt with him, each with his family, were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. The total number of these people directly descended from Jacob was seventy.[a] His son Joseph was already in Egypt. In the course of time Joseph, his brothers, and all the rest of that generation died, but their descendants, the Israelites, had many children and became so numerous and strong that Egypt was filled with them.

Then, a new king, who knew nothing about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. He said to his people, “These Israelites are so numerous and strong that they are a threat to us. 10 In case of war they might join our enemies in order to fight against us, and might escape from[b] the country. We must find some way to keep them from becoming even more numerous.” 11 So the Egyptians put slave drivers over them to crush their spirits with hard labor. The Israelites built the cities of Pithom and Rameses to serve as supply centers for the king. 12 But the more the Egyptians oppressed the Israelites, the more they increased in number and the farther they spread through the land. The Egyptians came to fear the Israelites 13-14 and made their lives miserable by forcing them into cruel slavery. They made them work on their building projects and in their fields, and they had no pity on them.

15 Then the king of Egypt spoke to Shiphrah and Puah, the two midwives who helped the Hebrew women. 16 “When you help the Hebrew women give birth,” he said to them, “kill the baby if it is a boy; but if it is a girl, let it live.” 17 But the midwives were God-fearing and so did not obey the king; instead, they let the boys live. 18 So the king sent for the midwives and asked them, “Why are you doing this? Why are you letting the boys live?”

19 They answered, “The Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they give birth easily, and their babies are born before either of us gets there.” 20-21 Because the midwives were God-fearing, God was good to them and gave them families of their own. And the Israelites continued to increase and become strong. 22 Finally the king issued a command to all his people: “Take every newborn Hebrew boy and throw him into the Nile, but let all the girls live.”

Today’s Key Verse: Exodus 1:20, 21

Because the midwives were God-fearing, God was good to them and gave them families of their own. And the Israelites continued to increase and become strong.


Why did the Egyptian king consider the Israelites a threat? How did the Egyptian king react when he learned that the midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, had defied his edict?What reason did they give for doing so? What are your thoughts about the midwives’ actions?


Merciful God, look with compassion on all the children in the world. May they grow strong and healthy, surrounded by your love and care. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.

Tomorrow’s Reading

Exodus 2:1-25: Moses is born.

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