The book of Exodus begins in this portion and moves from the account of the history of a clan to the history of the Hebrew nation. A new king, who does not know Joseph, ascends the throne of Egypt and enslaves the Israelites. Moses is born to Israelite parents, but owing to a set of strange circumstances, he grows up in Pharaoh’s palace as an Egyptian prince. He goes out to observe the Israelites at work and kills an Egyptian taskmaster for beating a slave. He is then forced to flee for his life to Midian where he marries and becomes a shepherd for his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. While tending his flock at Mt. Horeb (Sinai), Moses encounters God in a burning bush and is commissioned to return to Egypt and free his people. Accompanied by his brother, Aaron, he makes an appeal to Pharaoh which is totally rejected. Events are thus set in motion which will lead to the Exodus and Moses’ life-long task of bringing his people back to their land.