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.”
So the Egyptians turned the Hebrews into slaves. The brutal slave masters made the lives of the Children of Israel bitter with impossibly-hard work. But the more they were mistreated, the more they grew in number.
Then Pharaoh summoned the Hebrew nurses, and told them, “When you act as midwives for the Hebrew women, let their daughters live, but all newborn sons, you must kill.”