Exodus 1–3

1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, which came into Egypt (each man and his household came with Jacob): 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; 4 Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 All the people who came from the seed of Jacob were seventy people, but Joseph was in Egypt already.

6 Joseph died, as did all his brothers, and all that generation. 7 Nevertheless, the sons of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.

8 Now there rose up a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 He said to his people, “Surely, the people of the sons of Israel are more numerous and powerful than we. 10 Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass that when any war breaks out, they also join our enemies, and fight against us, and escape from the land.”

11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their labor. They built for Pharaoh storage cities: Pithom and Rameses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew so that as a result they abhorred the sons of Israel. 13 The Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor, 14 and they made their lives bitter with hard service—in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field, all their service in which they made them serve was with rigor.

15 The king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah, 16 and he said, “When you perform the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the stools, if it is a son, then you must kill him, but if it is a daughter, then she may live.” 17 However, the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but kept the male children alive. 18 The king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing and preserved the male children’s lives?”

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 midwives come to them.”

20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. 21 So it happened that because the midwives feared God, He gave them families.

22 Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, “You must cast every son that is born into the river, and you must preserve every daughter’s life.”

Chapter 2

1 Now a man of the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. 2 And the woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw him, that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. 3 When she could no longer hide him, she took for him a container made of bulrushes and daubed it with tar and with pitch. She then put the child in it and set it in the reeds by the river’s bank. 4 Then his sister stood afar off so that she might know what would happen to him.

5 The daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river while her maidens walked along by the river’s side, and when she saw the container among the reeds, she sent her maid, and she retrieved it. 6 When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying. She had compassion on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”

7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call for you a nursing woman of the Hebrew women so that she may nurse the child for you?”

8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the young girl went and called the child’s mother. 9 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 Now the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses and said, “Because I drew him out of the water.”

11 In those days, when Moses was grown, he went out to his brothers and looked on their burdens; and he saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his brothers. 12 He looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 When he went out the next day, two men of the Hebrews struggled with each other; and he said to him that did the wrong, “Why do you strike your companion?”

14 He said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Moses feared and said, “Surely this thing is known.”

15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian, and he dwelled by a well. 16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Then shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.

18 When they came to Reuel their father, he said, “Why is it you have come back so soon today?”

19 And they said, “An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds and also drew water for us and watered the flock.”

20 He said to his daughters, “So where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him so that he may eat bread.”

21 Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Zipporah, his daughter, to Moses. 22 Then she gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”

23 In the passing of time the king of Egypt died. And the children of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out, and their cry came up to God on account of the bondage. 24 God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 God looked on the children of Israel, and God had concern for them.

Chapter 3

1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb. 2 The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush, and he looked, and the bush burned with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 So Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.”

4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him from out of the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses.”

And he said, “Here am I.”

5 He said, “Do not approach here. Remove your sandals from off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Moreover He said, “I 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 he was afraid to look upon God.

7 The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 Therefore, I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me. Moreover, I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh so that you may bring forth My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

11 Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

12 And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this will be a sign to you, that I have sent you: When you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, all of you shall serve God on this mountain.”

13 Moses said to God, “I am going to the children of Israel and will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ When they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”

14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM,” and He said, “You will say this to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

15 God, moreover, said to Moses, “Thus you will say to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’

16 “Go, and gather 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, appeared to me, saying, “I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 Therefore, I said, I 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, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”’

18 “They shall listen to your voice, and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you must say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews has met with us. Therefore, now, let us go, we ask you, three days’ journey into the wilderness so that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’ 19 However, I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even under a forceful hand. 20 So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will perform in its midst, and after that he will let you go.

21 “I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and it will come to pass, that, when you go, you will not go empty-handed. 22 But every woman will borrow of her neighbor, and of her that sojourns in her house, articles of silver, and articles of gold, and clothing, and you will put them on your sons, and on your daughters—in this way you will plunder the Egyptians.”

Matthew 14:1–21

1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, 2 and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead. And therefore mighty works are at work in him.”

3 For Herod had laid hold of John, bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. 4 For John said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 When Herod would have put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they counted him as a prophet.

6 But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. 7 Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she would ask. 8 Being previously instructed by her mother, she said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head on a platter.” 9 The king was sorry. Nevertheless, for the oath’s sake and those who sat with him at supper, he commanded it to be given to her. 10 He sent and beheaded John in the prison. 11 His head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 12 His disciples came and took up the body and buried it. And they went and told Jesus.

13 When Jesus heard this, He departed from there by boat for a deserted place. But when the people heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14 Jesus went ashore and saw a great assembly. And He was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick.

15 When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a lonely place and the day is now over. Send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy themselves food.”

16 But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to depart. You give them something to eat.”

17 They said to Him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.”

18 He said, “Bring them here to Me.” 19 Then He commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to His disciples; and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 They all ate and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. 21 Those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.