Exodus 5
International Standard Version

Pharaoh Refuses to Let the People Go

1After Moses and Aaron arrived, they told Pharaoh, “This is what the LORD God of Israel says: ‘Let my people go so they may make a pilgrimage for me in the desert.’”

2Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD that I should listen toa him and let Israel go? I don’t know aboutb the LORD, nor will I let Israel go!”

3Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God so he does not strike us with pestilence or sword.”c

4The king of Egypt replied to them, “Moses and Aaron, why are you keeping the people from their labor? Go back to your work!”d 5Then Pharaoh said, “Look, the people in the land are now numerous, and you are stopping them from working.”e

Pharaoh Increases the Israelis’ Work

6That day Pharaoh ordered the taskmasters of the people and their officials, 7“You’re no longer to give the people straw for making bricks, as in the past.f They must gather straw for themselves. 8But you’re to impose the previous quotag of bricks that they’re making. You’re not to reduce it! It is because they’re lazy that they’re crying out, ‘Let’s go offer sacrifices to our God.’ 9So increase the work load on the people,h and let them do it so they don’t pay attention to deceptive speeches.”

10Then the taskmasters of the people and their officials went out and told the people, “This is Pharaoh’s response: ‘I’ll no longer give you anyi straw. 11Go get straw for yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work quotas won’t be reduced at all.’”j 12So the people scattered throughout the entire land of Egypt to collect stubblek for straw.

13The taskmasters pressured them by saying, “Finish your work—each day’s quotal —just as when you were given straw.”m

14The Israeli supervisors whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had appointed over them were beaten and told,n “Why didn’t you, both yesterday and today, fulfillo your quotap for making bricks as before?”

The Israelis’ Appeal Rejected by Pharaoh

15The Israeli supervisors came and cried out to Pharaoh, “Why are you doing this to us?q 16No straw is being given to us, yet they’re saying to us, ‘Make bricks!’ Look, we are being beaten. It’s wrong how you are treating your people!”

17Then Pharaohr said, “You are lazy, lazy! That’s whys you’re saying, ‘Let’s go offer sacrifices to the LORD.’ 18Now, go! Get to work! And straw won’t be given to you, but you are to deliver the samet number of bricks!” 19The Israeli supervisors realized they were in trouble when he said,u “You won’t reduce each day’s quota of bricks!”v

The Israelis Blame Moses and Moses Complains to God

20As they left Pharaoh’s presence,w they met Moses and Aaron standing there.x 21The supervisorsy told them, “May the LORD look on you and judge you!z You have made us repulsive toaa Pharaoh and his servants. You have putbb a sword in their hands to kill us.”

22So Moses returned to the LORD and asked him, “LORD, why have you caused trouble for this people? Why have you sent me here? 23Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has caused trouble for this people, and you have done nothing to deliver your people.”


Footnotes:
a 5:2 Or obey
b 5:2 The Heb. lacks about
c 5:3 i.e. invasions by foreign armies
d 5:4 Lit. burdens
e 5:5 Lit. from their burdens
f 5:7 Lit. like yesterday and the day before
g 5:8 Lit. as yesterday and the day before
h 5:9 Or men
i 5:10 The Heb. lacks any
j 5:11 Lit. from your labor
k 5:12 i.e. the stalks left in the field after grain is harvested
l 5:13 Lit. matter
m 5:13 Lit. when there was straw.
n 5:14 Lit. saying.
o 5:14 Lit. complete
p 5:14 Lit. prescribed amount
q 5:15 Lit. your servants; and so throughout the book
r 5:17 Lit. he
s 5:17 Lit. therefore
t 5:18 The Heb. lacks same
u 5:19 Lit. saying
v 5:19 Lit. your bricks
w 5:20 Lit. from with
x 5:20 The Heb. lacks there
y 5:21 Lit. they
z 5:21 The Heb. lacks you
aa 5:21 Lit. made our odor stink in the eyes of
bb 5:21 Lit. servants to give



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