Here’s a readers’ theatre setting of Exodux
1:8 – 2: , one of the suggested scripture readings for August 10 , 2 1 20 (the tenth Sunday after Pentecost). 1 1
For a shorter re-telling of this story, see The Birth of Moses.
1: 8 – 2: ) 10
Narr: After a while, a new king came to power in
He knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done.
He said to his people,
King: Look, the people of
now outnumber us Israel
and are stronger than we are.
We must make a plan to keep them from growing even more.
If we don’t, and if war breaks out,
they will join our enemies and fight against us.
Then they will escape from the country.
Narr: So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves.
They appointed brutal slave drivers over them,
hoping to wear them down with crushing labor.
They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses
as supply centers for the king.
But the more the Egyptians oppressed them,
the more the Israelites multiplied and spread…
and the more alarmed the Egyptians became.
So the Egyptians worked them even harder, showing no mercy.
They made their lives bitter,
forcing them to mix mortar and make bricks
and do all the work in the fields.
They were ruthless in all their demands.
Then Pharaoh, the king of
gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah:
King: When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver.
If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.
Narr; But the midwives feared God, and they refused to obey the king’s orders.
They allowed the boys to live, too.
After a while, the king of
called for the midwives. Egypt
King; Why have you done this? Why have you allowed the boys to live?
Narr: The midwives were ready with an answer.
Midwife: Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women.
They are more vigorous;
they have their babies so quickly that we cannot get there in time.
Narr: So God was good to the midwives, and the Israelites continued to multiply,
growing more and more powerful.
And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.
Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people:
King: Throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the
. Nile River
But you may let the girls live.
Narr: About this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married.
The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son.
She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months.
But when she could no longer hide him,
she got a basket made of papyrus reeds
and waterproofed it with tar and pitch.
She put the baby in the basket
and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the
. Nile River
The baby’s sister then stood at a distance,
watching to see what would happen to him.
Before long, Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe in the river,
and her attendants walked along the riverbank.
When the princess saw the basket among the reeds,
she sent her maid to get it for her.
When the princess opened it, she saw the baby.
The little boy was crying, and she felt sorry for him.
Princess: This must be one of the Hebrew children.
Narr: The baby’s sister, who had been watching, approached the princess.
She asked if the princess would like her to find a Hebrew woman
who could nurse the baby for her.
Princess: Yes, do!
Narr: So the girl went and called her mother.
Princess: Take this baby and nurse him for me.
I will pay you for your help.
Narr: So the woman took her baby home and nursed him.
Later, when the boy was older,
his mother brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter,
who adopted him as her own son.
The princess gave him the name Moses,
for, as she explained,
Princess: I lifted him out of the water.
For more worship resources related to this text, or other texts for August
, 2 1 20 (the tenth Sunday after Pentecost), click on Proper 1 1 A in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page. 1 6
For other readers’ theatre settings of scripture, click on Readers’ theatre in the list of “Labels” at the right.