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The Great Bible 1539



1:1These are the names of the children of Israel, which came to Egypte wyth Iacob, euery man came wt hys housholde:
1:2Ruben, Simeon, Leui, and Iuda,
1:3Isachar Zabulon, and Beniamin,
1:4Dan Nephtali, Gad and Aser.
1:5All the soules that came out of the loynes of Iacob were .lxx. But Ioseph was in Egypte allredie.
1:6And Ioseph dyed and all hys brethren and all that generacyon,
1:7and the chyldren of Israel grewe, encreased, multiplyed, and waxed exceadinge myghtye: and the lande was full of them.
1:8But there rose vp a newe kynge in Egypte whych knewe not Ioseph.
1:9And he sayde vnto his folke: beholde, the people of the chyldren of Israel are greater and myghtyer than we.
1:10Come on, let vs playe wisely wyth them, lest they multiplye, & lest it happen, that (yf there chaunce any warre) they ioyne them selues vnto oure enemyes and fyghte agaynst vs, and so gete them out of the lande.
1:11Therfore dyd they sette taskmasters ouer them, to kepe them vnder wt burthens. And they bylte vnto Pharao treasure cities: Phiton and Rameses.
1:12But the more they vexed them, the moare they multiplyed and grewe, so that they abhorred the chyldren of Israel.
1:13And the Egyptians helde the chyldren of Israel in bondage without mercye.
1:14Therfore was their lyfe bytter vnto them in that cruell bondage, in claye & brycke, and all maner of worke in the feldes. For all their bondage which they serued them, was full of tyrannye.
1:15And the kynge of Egypte sayde vnto the mydwiues of the Hebrues women, of which the ones name was Sephora and the other Phua:
1:16when ye do the offyce of a mydwife to the women of the Ebrues and se in the byrth tyme that it is a boye, ye shall kyll it. But yf it be a daughter, it shall lyue.
1:17Not withstondynge the mydwiues feared God and dyd not as the kynge of Egypte commaunded them: but saued the men chyldren.
1:18And the kynge of Egypte called for the mydwiues and sayde vnto them: why haue ye delt on thys maner, and haue saued the menchyldren?
1:19And the mydwiues answered Pharao, that the Hebrues wemen are not as the wemen of Egypte: for they are sturdie women, and are delyuered yer the midwyues come at them.
1:20And God therfore delt well with the midwyues. And the people multiplyed and waxed very myghtye.
1:21And it fortuned because the midwyues feared God, he made them houses.
1:22And Pharao charged all hys people, sayinge: All the menchyldren that are borne, cast into the ryuer, and saue the maydechyldren alyue.
The Great Bible 1539

The Great Bible 1539

The Great Bible of 1539 was the first authorized edition of the Bible in English, authorized by King Henry VIII of England to be read aloud in the church services of the Church of England. The Great Bible was prepared by Myles Coverdale, working under commission of Thomas, Lord Cromwell, Secretary to Henry VIII and Vicar General. In 1538, Cromwell directed the clergy to provide "one book of the bible of the largest volume in English, and the same set up in some convenient place within the said church that ye have care of, whereas your parishioners may most commodiously resort to the same and read it."