Exodus 5:7
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw.

New Living Translation
"Do not supply any more straw for making bricks. Make the people get it themselves!

English Standard Version
“You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves.

New American Standard Bible
"You are no longer to give the people straw to make brick as previously; let them go and gather straw for themselves.

King James Bible
Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Don't continue to supply the people with straw for making bricks, as before. They must go and gather straw for themselves.

International Standard Version
"You're no longer to give the people straw for making bricks, as in the past. They must gather straw for themselves.

NET Bible
"You must no longer give straw to the people for making bricks as before. Let them go and collect straw for themselves.

New Heart English Bible
"You shall no longer give the people straw to make brick, as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Don't give the people any more straw to make bricks as you have been doing. Let them gather their own straw,

JPS Tanakh 1917
Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore. Let them go and gather straw for themselves.

New American Standard 1977
“You are no longer to give the people straw to make brick as previously; let them go and gather straw for themselves.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Ye shall no longer give the people firewood to make brick as until now; let them go and gather firewood for themselves.

King James 2000 Bible
You shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as before: let them go and gather straw for themselves.

American King James Version
You shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.

American Standard Version
Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.

Douay-Rheims Bible
You shall give straw no more to the people to make brick, as before: but let them go and gather straw.

Darby Bible Translation
Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.

English Revised Version
Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.

Webster's Bible Translation
Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore; let them go and gather straw for themselves.

World English Bible
"You shall no longer give the people straw to make brick, as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves.

Young's Literal Translation
'Ye do not add to give straw to the people for the making of the bricks, as heretofore -- they go and have gathered straw for themselves;
Study Bible
Bricks and Straw
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. 8"But the quota of bricks which they were making previously, you shall impose on them; you are not to reduce any of it. Because they are lazy, therefore they cry out, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.'…
Cross References
Genesis 11:3
They said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly." And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar.

Exodus 5:6
So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters over the people and their foremen, saying,

Exodus 5:8
"But the quota of bricks which they were making previously, you shall impose on them; you are not to reduce any of it. Because they are lazy, therefore they cry out, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.'
Treasury of Scripture

You shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.

straw. The straw was mixed with clay, in order to make the bricks. This is expressly affirmed by Philo who was himself a native of Alexandria, in Egypt. He says, describing the oppression of the Israelites, that some were obliged to work in clay, and others to gather straw for the formation of bricks. Philo's account is confirmed by Dr. Shaw, who says that some of the Egyptian pyramids are made of brick, the composition whereof is only a mixture of clay, mud, and straw, slightly blended and kneaded together, and afterwards baked in the sun. The straw, which keeps the bricks together, and still preserves its original colour, seems to be a proof that these bricks were never burnt or made in kilns. The same materials are now used for building in Egypt. Mr. Baumgarten says, The houses are for the most part of bricks that are only hardened by the heat of the sun, and mixed with straw to make them firm.

(7) Straw to make brick.--"The use of crude brick was general in Egypt for dwelling-houses, tombs, and ordinary buildings, the walls of towns, fortresses, and the sacred enclosures of temples, and for all purposes where stone was not required, which last was nearly confined to temples, quays, and reservoirs" (Wilkinson, in Rawlinson's Herodotus, vol. ii. p. 213). These crude bricks were always made of the mud of the Nile, mixed with chopped straw, which served to bind them together (Rosellini, Monumenti Civili, vol. ii. p. 252).

Let them go and gather straw.--It has been estimated that this requirement would "more than double" the people's toils (Canon Cook). They would have to disperse themselves over the harvest fields, often lying at a considerable distance from the brick-fields, to detach the straw from the soil, gather it into bundles, and convey it to the scene of their ordinary labours. Having done this they were then required to complete the ordinary "tale."

Verse 7. - Straw to make brick. Straw was used in Egypt to bind together the clay, or mud, which was, of course, the main material of the bricks. (See Wilkinson, in the author's 'Herodotus,' vol. 2. p. 2130 It is usually chopped into small pieces. Let them go and gather straw. This would involve the leaving of the brickfields, and the scattering of the people over the harvest-grounds, where alone they would be able to find straw in any quantity. There are so many harvests in Egypt, that straw would perhaps be obtainable somewhere during the greater part of the year. Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick,.... Whether this was given and used to mix with the clay, as is done in some places (h), that the bricks made thereof might be firmer and stronger, or to burn them with in the furnaces, or to cover them from the heat of the sun, that they might not dry too soon and crack, is not easy to determine; though it is said that the unburnt bricks of Egypt formerly were, and still are made of clay mixed with straw. The Egyptian pyramid of unburnt brick, Dr. Pococke (i) observes, seems to be made of the earth brought by the Nile, being of a sandy black earth, with some pebbles and shells in it; it is mixed up with chopped straw, in order to bind the clay together, as they now make unburnt bricks in Egypt, and many other eastern parts, which they use very much in their buildings. He says he found some of these bricks (of the pyramid) thirteen inches and a half long, six inches and a half broad, and four inches thick; and others fifteen inches long, seven broad, and four inches three quarters thick. But be the straw for what use it will, it had been dealt out to them by proper persons to be used in one way or another; but now it was forbidden to be given them:

as heretofore it had been done:

let them go and gather straw for themselves; out of the fields where it lay, after the corn had been reaped and gathered in, or in barns, where it had been threshed; to do which must take up a good deal of their time, and especially if the straw lay at any distance, or was hard to be come at.

(h) Vide Vitruvium de Architectura, l. 2. c. 3. p. 46. & Philander in ib. (i) Observations on Egypt, p. 53. 7. Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick—The making of bricks appears to have been a government monopoly as the ancient bricks are nearly all stamped with the name of a king, and they were formed, as they are still in Lower Egypt, of clay mixed with chopped straw and dried or hardened in the sun. The Israelites were employed in this drudgery; and though they still dwelt in Goshen and held property in flocks and herds, they were compelled in rotation to serve in the brick quarries, pressed in alternating groups, just as the fellaheen, or peasants, are marched by press gangs in the same country still.

let them go and gather straw for themselves—The enraged despot did not issue orders to do an impracticable thing. The Egyptian reapers in the corn harvest were accustomed merely to cut off the ears and leave the stalk standing.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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