Isaac, Abraham's son, married and became the father of twins, Jacob and Esau. Later, God gave Jacob the new name of « Israel, » and he was chosen to carry on the promised line.
Jacob had twelve sons. One of them, Joseph, was sold into slavery by his own brothers, but through God's divine care, he eventually became ruler alongside the king of Egypt, the great Pharaoh.
Joseph, being a godly man, forgave his brothers and invited all his relatives to move to Egypt, saving them from a terrible famine. So the seventy descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, known as « The Children of Israel, » moved to Egypt, the country which would one day enslave them, just as God had foretold Abraham.
Now these descendants of Abraham bore many children, and the land of Egypt was filled with them; But a new pharaoh, who did not remember Joseph, began to worry.
He told the Egyptians, « Behold, the Children of Israel—these Hebrews—now outnumber us. We must deal wisely with them. If we let them continue to multiply and we become involved in a war, they might join our enemies and fight against us. »
Ainsi les Égyptiens utilisèrent les Hébreux comme esclaves. Ces chefs d'esclaves brutaux rendaient la vie des enfants d'Israël amère par des travaux terriblement durs, mais le plus qu'ils les maltraitaient le plus qu'ils grandissaient en nombre.
Alors Pharaon convoqua les sages femmes des Hébreux, et leurs dit, « Quand vous accoucherez les femmes des Hébreux, laissez les filles vivre, mais tous les garçons, faites-les mourir! »
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