Exodus 1:1 - 22
ESV - 1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah.
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The nation of Israel (which, at the time, consisted of only seventy people in the household of Jacob (otherwise known as Israel (Genesis 32:28)(Exodus 1:5)) initially sojourned in Egypt out of necessity because of famine in their homeland. The Egyptians initially treated the Israelites favorably because of their relationship to Jacob's son Joseph, who had previously been sold as a slave to the Egyptians by his envious brothers, but who had saved himself by interpreting Pharaoh's dreams and saving the Egyptians from the famine. Over hundreds of years, the nation of Israel grew greatly in size, causing the Egyptians to oppress them as slaves, in order to keep them in subjection. God eventually chose Moses (starting in Exodus 3) to lead the Israelites out of Egypt to the land of Canaan (which God had earlier promised to Abraham and his descendants), and afflicted the Egyptians with various plagues (culminating in the deaths of the Egyptians' first-born) to compel the Egyptians to let the Israelites go. However, even after letting the Israelites leave, the Egyptians still attempted to pursue them and re-capture them, but were drowned (Exodus 14).
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