Exodus 1:3 MEANING

Exodus 1:3
(3-4) Reuben . . . --The sons of the legitimate wives are placed first, then those of the concubines. Leah has precedence over Rachel; Bilhah over Zilpah. The children of each wife and concubine are given in order of seniority. The omission of Joseph from the list is explained in the last clause of Exodus 1:5.

1:1-7 During more than 200 years, while Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived at liberty, the Hebrews increased slowly; only about seventy persons went down into Egypt. There, in about the same number of years, though under cruel bondage, they became a large nation. This wonderful increase was according to the promise long before made unto the fathers. Though the performance of God's promises is sometimes slow, it is always sure.Issachar, Zebulun,.... The other two sons of Jacob, by Leah:

Benjamin; the youngest of all Jacob's sons is placed here, being his son by his beloved wife Rachel. Joseph is not put into the account, because he did not go into Egypt with Jacob.

Courtesy of Open Bible