Exodus 1:14
Parallel Verses
New International Version
They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.

King James Bible
And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.

Darby Bible Translation
and they embittered their life with hard labour in clay and bricks, and in all manner of labour in the field: all their labour with which they made them serve was with harshness.

World English Bible
and they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all kinds of service in the field, all their service, in which they ruthlessly made them serve.

Young's Literal Translation
and make their lives bitter in hard service, in clay, and in brick, and in every kind of service in the field; all their service in which they have served is with rigour.

Exodus 1:14 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

They made their lives bitter - So that they became weary of life, through the severity of their servitude.

With hard bondage - בעבדה קשה baabodah kashah, with grievous servitude. This was the general character of their life in Egypt; it was a life of the most painful servitude, oppressive enough in itself, but made much more so by the cruel manner of their treatment while performing their tasks.

In mortar, and in brick - First, in digging the clay, kneading, and preparing it, and secondly, forming it into bricks, drying them in the sun, etc.

Service in the field - Carrying these materials to the places where they were to be formed into buildings, and serving the builders while employed in those public works. Josephus says "The Egyptians contrived a variety of ways to afflict the Israelites; for they enjoined them to cut a great number of channels for the river, and to build walls for their cities and ramparts, that they might restrain the river, and hinder its waters from stagnating upon its overrunning its own banks; they set them also to build pyramids, (πυραμιδας τε ανοικοδομουντες), and wore them out, and forced them to learn all sorts of mechanic arts, and to accustom themselves to hard labor." - Antiq., lib. ii., cap. ix., sec. 1. Philo bears nearly the same testimony, p. 86, Edit. Mangey.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

their lives.

Exodus 2:23 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage...

Exodus 6:9 And Moses spoke so to the children of Israel: but they listened not to Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.

Genesis 15:13 And he said to Abram, Know of a surety that your seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them...

Numbers 20:15 How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelled in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers:

Deuteronomy 4:20 But the LORD has taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be to him a people of inheritance...

Deuteronomy 26:6 And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid on us hard bondage:

Ruth 1:20 And she said to them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.

Acts 7:19,34 The same dealt subtly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children...

in mortar.

Psalm 68:13 Though you have lien among the pots, yet shall you be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.

Psalm 81:6 I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots.

Nahum 3:14 Draw you waters for the siege, fortify your strong holds: go into clay, and tread the mortar, make strong the brick kiln.

was with rigour.

Exodus 1:13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor:

Exodus 5:7-21 You shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves...

Exodus 20:2 I am the LORD your God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Leviticus 25:43,46,53 You shall not rule over him with rigor; but shall fear your God...

Isaiah 14:6 He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hinders.

Isaiah 51:23 But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict you; which have said to your soul, Bow down, that we may go over...

Isaiah 52:5 Now therefore, what have I here, said the LORD, that my people is taken away for nothing? they that rule over them make them to howl...

Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free...

Jeremiah 50:33,34 Thus said the LORD of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together...

Micah 3:3 Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces...

Four Shaping Centuries
'Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt: every man and his household came with Jacob. 2. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3. Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4. Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 5. And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already. 6. And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. 7, And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

But, as for that which is Written, that God did Good to the Hebrew...
32. But, as for that which is written, that God did good to the Hebrew midwives, and to Rahab the harlot of Jericho, [2444] this was not because they lied, but because they were merciful to God's people. That therefore which was rewarded in them was, not their deceit, but their benevolence; benignity of mind, not iniquity of lying. [2445] For, as it would not be marvellous and absurd if God on account of good works after done by them should be willing to forgive some evil works at another time before
St. Augustine—Against Lying

Cross References
Acts 7:19
He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.

Exodus 1:11
So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.

Exodus 1:13
and worked them ruthlessly.

Exodus 1:15
The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah,

Exodus 2:23
During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.

Exodus 6:9
Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.

Leviticus 25:43
Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God.

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Bitter Bondage Brick Bricks Clay Conditions Egyptians Embittered Field Fields Hard Hardest Harshness Imposed Kind Kinds Life Lives Making Manner Mortar Rigor Rigorously Rigour Ruthlessly Serve Service Sorts Used Wherein Work
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