Pharaoh speaks to the people… … and taskmasters are set over them. The people of Israel must endure forced labor. But they multiplied all the more. And they built the cities of Pithom and Ramses for Pharaoh as storage cities. They were merciless to the people of Israel and Pharaoh told the Hebrew midwives Shiphrah and Puah to kill all sons at birth - but they pleased their God by letting the boys live. And when Pharaoh called them to account, they said, “The Hebrew women are so strong that they give birth before the midwife comes to them.”