Exodus 5:1-23

5  And afterward Moses and Aaron went in and said to the Pharaoh “Says Israel’s God Jehovah, Let my people go and hold a feast to me in the wilderness.” 2  But the Pharaoh said “Who is Jehovah that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know Jehovah; and I am not going to let Israel go.” 3  And they said “The God of the Hebrews has met us: let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to our God Jehovah, for fear he should cut us down with pestilence or war.” 4  But the king of Egypt said to them “Why do you, Moses and Aaron, set the people to neglecting their work? Go carry your loads!” 5  And the Pharaoh said “Here there are too many of the populace already, and you are having them leave off carrying their loads.” 6  And the Pharaoh gave orders to the overseers of the people, and to their foremen, 7  “Do not give the people straw for making the bricks any longer as you have been doing: let them go and pick up straw for themselves. 8  And set them the same rate of bricks they have been making, do not reduce it, because they are having it too easy and that is why they cry out ‘let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ 9  Load the men heavily with work to do, and do not have them paying attention to fictions.” 10  And the people’s overseers and foremen went out and said to the people “Says the Pharaoh, I am not giving you straw; 11  go yourselves and get yourselves straw wherever you find it, because there is no reduction being made in your work.” 12  And the people scattered all through Egypt to pick up stubble and straw; 13  and the overseers hurried them, saying “Finish your work, a day’s stint in a day, as you did when there was straw”; 14  and the foremen of the sons of Israel, whom the Pharaoh’s overseers had set over them, were beaten and told “How comes it you have not finished your quota of brickmaking as you used to, neither yesterday nor today?” 15  And the foremen of the sons of Israel came and cried out to the Pharaoh “Why should you do like this to your servants? 16  Your servants are given no straw, and bricks they tell us to make; and here your servants are being beaten, and you are doing wrong.” 17  But he said “You are having it too easy, too easy; that is why you are saying ‘Let us go sacrifice to Jehovah.’ 18  Now go work; and you shall not be given straw, and you shall deliver the same quantity of bricks.” 19  And the foremen of the sons of Israel saw them in trouble at “You shall not reduce your bricks, a day’s stint in a day”; 20  and Moses and Aaron found them standing to meet them as they came out from the Pharaoh, 21 * and they said to them “Jehovah look on you and give judgment for your having made the Pharaoh and his officers hate the sight of us, putting a sword into their hands to kill us.” 22  And Moses went back to Jehovah and said “Lord, why have you done mischief to this people? what did you send me for, 23  when from the time I went in to the Pharaoh to speak in your name he has done mischief to this people, and you have not been delivering your people?”


5:21 Lit. made the smell of us bad in the eyes of the Pharaoh and his officers