5:1 1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the Lord,2 the God of Israel, ‘Release3 my people so that they may hold a pilgrim feast4 to me in the desert.’ ” 5:2 But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord5 that6 I should obey him7 by releasing8 Israel? I do not know the Lord,9 and I will not release Israel!” 5:3 And they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Let us go a three-day journey10 into the desert so that we may sacrifice11 to the Lord our God, so that he does not strike us with plague or the sword.”12 5:4 The king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you cause the people to refrain from their work?13 Return to your labor!” 5:5 Pharaoh was thinking,14 “The people of the land are now many, and you are giving them rest from their labor.”
5:6 That same day Pharaoh commanded15 the slave masters and foremen16 who were17 over the people:18 5:7 “You must no longer19 give straw to the people for making bricks20 as before.21 Let them go22 and collect straw for themselves. 5:8 But you must require23 of them the same quota of bricks that they were making before.24 Do not reduce it, for they are slackers.25 That is why they are crying, ‘Let us go sacrifice to our God.’ 5:9 Make the work harder26 for the men so they will keep at it27 and pay no attention to lying words!”28
5:10 So the slave masters of the people and their foremen went to the Israelites and said,29 “Thus says Pharaoh: ‘I am not giving30 you straw. 5:11 You31 go get straw for yourselves wherever you can32 find it, because there will be no reduction at all in your workload.’ ” 5:12 So the people spread out33 through all the land of Egypt to collect stubble for straw. 5:13 The slave masters were pressuring34 them, saying, “Complete35 your work for each day, just like when there was straw!” 5:14 The Israelite foremen whom Pharaoh’s slave masters had set over them were beaten and were asked,36 “Why did you not complete your requirement for brickmaking as in the past—both yesterday and today?”37
5:15 38 The Israelite foremen went and cried out to Pharaoh, “Why are you treating39 your servants this way? 5:16 No straw is given to your servants, but we are told,40 ‘Make bricks!’ Your servants are even41 being beaten, but the fault42 is with your people.”
5:17 But Pharaoh replied,43 “You are slackers! Slackers!44 That is why you are saying, ‘Let us go sacrifice to the Lord.’ 5:18 So now, get back to work!45 You will not be given straw, but you must still produce46 your quota47 of bricks!” 5:19 The Israelite foremen saw48 that they49 were in trouble when they were told,50 “You must not reduce the daily quota of your bricks.”
5:20 When they went out from Pharaoh, they encountered Moses and Aaron standing there to meet them,51 5:21 and they said to them, “May the Lord look on you and judge,52 because you have made us stink53 in the opinion of54 Pharaoh and his servants,55 so that you have given them an excuse to kill us!”56
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