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Exodus: Chapter 5

Pharaoh chides Moses and Aaron for their message, 1-5. He increases the Israelites' task, 6-14. He checks their complaints, 15-18. They cry out upon Moses and Aaron, 19-21. Moses complains to God, 22, 23.

1 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'Let my people go, so that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.'" 2 And Pharaoh said, "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." 3 And they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Let us go, we pray you, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword." 4 And the king of Egypt said to them, "Why do you, Moses and Aaron, hinder the people from their works? Go to your burdens." 5 And Pharaoh said, "Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens." 6 And Pharaoh commanded the same day the task-masters of the people, and their officers, saying, 7 "You shall no longer give the people straw to make brick, as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 And the number of the bricks which they made before, you shall lay upon them. You shall not diminish anything thereof. Because they are idle, therefore they cry, saying, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.' 9 Let more work be laid upon the men, so that they may labor therein, and do not let them regard vain words."

10 And the task-masters of the people went out, along with their officers, and they spoke to the people, saying, "Thus says Pharaoh: 'I will not give you straw. 11 Go, get yourselves straw where you can find it, yet not anything of your work shall be diminished.'" 12 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt, to gather stubble instead of straw. 13 And the task-masters hastened them, saying, "Fulfill your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw." 14 And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's task-masters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, "Why have you not fulfilled your task in making brick, both yesterday and today, as before?"

15 Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, saying, "Why do you deal thus with your servants? 16 There is no straw given to your servants, and they say to us, 'Make brick.' And behold, your servants are beaten, but the fault is in your own people." 17 But he said, "You are idle, you are idle. Therefore, you say, 'Let us go, and do sacrifice to the LORD.' 18 Therefore, go now, and work. For no straw shall be given to you, yet you shall deliver the number of bricks." 19 And the officers of the children of Israel saw that they were in evil case, after it was said, "You shall not diminish anything from your bricks of your daily task." 20 And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh, 21 And they said to them, "May the LORD look upon 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 hands to slay us."

22 And Moses returned to the LORD, and said, "Lord, why have you so ill treated this people? Why is it that you have sent me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, neither have you delivered your people at all."