Exodus 5

Moses and Pharaoh  

As Chapter 4 ended:

When Aaron told the elders of the children of Israel all that the Lord had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people, the people believed. When they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and had looked on their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshipped. (Exodus 4:30-31)

Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh.

Moses and Aaron: The Lord God of Israel says, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast for me in the wilderness.

Pharaoh: Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.

Moses and Aaron: The God of the Hebrews has met with us: let us go three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice to the Lord our God; lest he fall on us with pestilence, or with the sword.

The king of Egypt: Why do you, Moses and Aaron, let the people rest their works? Get to your burdens. The people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens.

Pharaoh (to the taskmasters of the people and their officers): You shall no longer give the people straw to make brick, as you have done until now. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the tally of bricks, which they made before, you shall require of them. You shall not diminish it, because they are idle. Therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let more work be laid on the men, that they may labor in it. And let them not regard vain words.

The taskmasters of the people and their officers went out and spoke to the people.

The taskmasters of the people and their officers: Pharaoh says, I will not give you straw. Go, get straw where you can find it, yet none of your work shall be diminished.

So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw.

And the taskmasters hurried them.

The taskmasters: Fulfill your work, your daily tasks, as when straw was provided for you.

And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and questioned.

The taskmasters (to the officers): Why have you not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and today, as before?

Then the officers of the children of Israel came to Pharaoh.

The officers of the children of Israel (to Pharaoh): Why do you deal with your servants in this way? No straw is given to your servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and we are beaten; but the fault is in your own people.

Pharaoh: You are idle, you are idle, therefore you say, Let us go and make sacrifice to the Lord. Go therefore now, and work; for no straw shall be given you, yet you shall deliver the tally of bricks.

The officers of the children of Israel saw that they were in evil case, after it was said, You shall not diminish any from the bricks of your daily task.

The officers of the children of Israel met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the path, as they came forth from Pharaoh.

The officers of the children of Israel (to Moses and Aaron): The Lord look on you and judge, because you have made our savor to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.

Moses returned to the Lord.

Moses: Lord, why have you so evil entreated this people? Why is it that you have sent me? Since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people. And you have not delivered your people at all.

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