Exodus 5:6
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people:

New Living Translation
That same day Pharaoh sent this order to the Egyptian slave drivers and the Israelite foremen:

English Standard Version
The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen,

New American Standard Bible
So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters over the people and their foremen, saying,

King James Bible
And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
That day Pharaoh commanded the overseers of the people as well as their foremen: "

International Standard Version
That day Pharaoh ordered the taskmasters of the people and their officials,

NET Bible
That same day Pharaoh commanded the slave masters and foremen who were over the people:

New Heart English Bible
The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
That same day Pharaoh gave these orders to the slave drivers and foremen:

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying:

New American Standard 1977
So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters over the people and their foremen, saying,

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people and their officers, saying,

King James 2000 Bible
And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,

American King James Version
And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,

American Standard Version
And the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,

Douay-Rheims Bible
Therefore he commanded the same day the overseers of the works, and the taskmasters of the people, saying:

Darby Bible Translation
And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,

English Revised Version
And the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,

Webster's Bible Translation
And Pharaoh commanded the same day the task-masters of the people, and their officers, saying,

World English Bible
The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,

Young's Literal Translation
And Pharaoh commandeth, on that day, the exactors among the people and its authorities, saying,
Study Bible
Bricks and Straw
5Again Pharaoh said, "Look, the people of the land are now many, and you would have them cease from their labors!" 6So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters over the people and their foremen, saying, 7"You are no longer to give the people straw to make brick as previously; let them go and gather straw for themselves.…
Cross References
Exodus 1:11
So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses.

Exodus 3:7
The LORD said, "I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.

Exodus 5:7
"You are no longer to give the people straw to make brick as previously; let them go and gather straw for themselves.

Exodus 5:10
So the taskmasters of the people and their foremen went out and spoke to the people, saying, "Thus says Pharaoh, 'I am not going to give you any straw.

Exodus 5:13
The taskmasters pressed them, saying, "Complete your work quota, your daily amount, just as when you had straw."

Exodus 5:14
Moreover, the foremen of the sons of Israel, whom Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, "Why have you not completed your required amount either yesterday or today in making brick as previously?"
Treasury of Scripture

And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,

taskmasters. oppressors. These taskmasters were Egyptians, but the officers were Hebrews.

Exodus 5:10,13,14,15,19 And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and …

Exodus 1:11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with …

Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man regards the life of his beast: but the tender mercies …

officers. {Shoterim,} from the Arabic {saytara,} to overlook, superintend, seems to denote, as {musaytar} in Arabic also does, overseers, superintendents. They may have been somewhat like the chiefs of trades, who are found in every city in the East; where every trade has a head, who is entrusted with authority over them, and is in some measure answerable for them to Government.

Exodus 2:14 And he said, Who made you a prince and a judge over us? intend you …

(6) Taskmasters . . . officers.--Three grades of officials are mentioned as employed in superintending the forced labours of the Hebrews--(1) "lords of service" (sarey massim), in Exodus 1:11; (2) "taskmasters" (nogeshim), here and in Exodus 5:10; Exodus 5:13-14; and (3) "officers"--literally, scribes (shoterim), here and in Exodus 5:11-21. The "lords of service" were probably a small body who exercised a general superintendence, and determined the works in which the Hebrews should be employed. They were, no doubt, native Egyptians. The nogeshim, or "taskmasters," were their subordinates--Egyptians like themselves--comparatively numerous, and serving as intermediaries between the "lords" and the "officers." These last were Hebrews, and engaged mainly in keeping the tale of the bricks, and seeing that the proper number was reached. Such an organisation is consonant with all that we know of the Egyptian governmental system, which was bureaucratic and complex, involving in every department the employment of several grades of officials.

Verses 6-9. - Rulers are not always content simply to refuse inconvenient demands. Sometimes they set to work with much ingenuity and worldly wisdom to prevent their repetition. This is especially the case where they entertain a fear of their petitioners. The Spartans removed Helots, who had earned their freedom, by the Crypteia. The massacre of St. Bartholomew was caused by the Huguenot demand for freedom of worship and the difficulty of repressing it. The Pharaoh now is not content to let things take their course, but devises a plan by which he hopes to crush altogether the aspirations of the Hebrew people, and secure himself against the recurrence of any such appeal as that which had been made to him by Moses and Aaron. The Israelites had recently been employed chiefly in brickmaking. They had had to dig the clay and temper it, to mix it with straw, and mould it into the form of bricks; but the straw had been supplied to them. The king determined that this should be no longer done; the Israelites should find the straw for themselves. It has been estimated that by this change their labour was "more than doubled." (Canon Cook.) It was a not unreasonable expectation that under this system popular meetings would cease (ver. 9); and that Moses and Aaron, not being backed up by the voice of the people, would discontinue their agitation. Verse 6. - The same day. Pharaoh lost no time. Having conceived his idea, he issued his order at once-on the very day of the interview with the two leaders. It would be well if the children of light were as "wise" and as energetic on all occasions as the children of darkness. Taskmasters and officers. The word translated "taskmaster" here is not the same as the expression similarly rendered in Exodus 1:11; and it is thought not to designate the same class. The sarey massim of the former passage are thought to be general superintendents of works, few in number and of high rank, the nogeshim of the present place to be subordinates, numerous and inferior in position. Both of these classes were probably Egyptians. The "officers" (shoterim) were undoubtedly Hebrews. They were especially employed in keeping the tale of the bricks, and seeing that they reached the proper amount. Literally, the word shoterim means "scribes," and is so rendered in most passages. And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people,.... Who were Egyptians, and whom Pharaoh sent for the same day, to give them orders to oppress them yet more and more, so far was he from complying with their request:

and their officers; who were Israelites, and were under the taskmasters, and accountable to them for each man's work that they had the inspection and care of:

saying, as follows. 6. Pharaoh commanded—It was a natural consequence of the high displeasure created by this interview that he should put additional burdens on the oppressed Israelites.

taskmasters—Egyptian overseers, appointed to exact labor of the Israelites.

officers—Hebrews placed over their brethren, under the taskmasters, precisely analogous to the Arab officers set over the Arab Fellahs, the poor laborers in modern Egypt.5:1-9 God will own his people, though poor and despised, and will find a time to plead their cause. Pharaoh treated all he had heard with contempt. He had no knowledge of Jehovah, no fear of him, no love to him, and therefore refused to obey him. Thus Pharaoh's pride, ambition, covetousness, and political knowledge, hardened him to his own destruction. What Moses and Aaron ask is very reasonable, only to go three days' journey into the desert, and that on a good errand. We will sacrifice unto the Lord our God. Pharaoh was very unreasonable, in saying that the people were idle, and therefore talked of going to sacrifice. He thus misrepresents them, that he might have a pretence to add to their burdens. To this day we find many who are more disposed to find fault with their neighbours, for spending in the service of God a few hours spared from their wordly business, than to blame others, who give twice the time to sinful pleasures. Pharaoh's command was barbarous. Moses and Aaron themselves must get to the burdens. Persecutors take pleasure in putting contempt and hardship upon ministers. The usual tale of bricks must be made, without the usual allowance of straw to mix with the clay. Thus more work was to be laid upon the men, which, if they performed, they would be broken with labour; and if not, they would be punished.
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