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Exodus 5:1-6 Good News Translation (GNT)

Moses and Aaron before the King of Egypt

Then Moses and Aaron went to the king of Egypt and said, “The Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘Let my people go, so that they can hold a festival in the desert to honor me.’”

“Who is the Lord?” the king demanded. “Why should I listen to him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord; and I will not let Israel go.”

Moses and Aaron replied, “The God of the Hebrews has revealed himself to us. Allow us to travel three days into the desert to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God. If we don't do so, he will kill us with disease or by war.”

The king said to Moses and Aaron, “What do you mean by making the people neglect their work? Get those slaves back to work! You people have become more numerous than the Egyptians. And now you want to stop working!”

That same day the king commanded the Egyptian slave drivers and the Israelite foremen: “Stop giving the people straw for making bricks. Make them go and find it for themselves. But still require them to make the same number of bricks as before, not one brick less. They don't have enough work to do, and that is why they keep asking me to let them go and offer sacrifices to their God! Make them work harder and keep them busy, so that they won't have time to listen to a pack of lies.”

10 The slave drivers and the Israelite foremen went out and said to the Israelites, “The king has said that he will not supply you with any more straw. 11 He says that you must go and get it for yourselves wherever you can find it, but you must still make the same number of bricks.” 12 So the people went all over Egypt looking for straw. 13 The slave drivers kept trying to force them to make the same number of bricks every day as they had made when they were given straw. 14 The Egyptian slave drivers beat the Israelite foremen, whom they had put in charge of the work. They demanded, “Why aren't you people making the same number of bricks that you made before?”

15 Then the foremen went to the king and complained, “Why do you do this to us, Your Majesty? 16 We are given no straw, but we are still ordered to make bricks! And now we are being beaten. It is your people that are at fault.”

17 The king answered, “You are lazy and don't want to work, and that is why you ask me to let you go and offer sacrifices to the Lord. 18 Now get back to work! You will not be given any straw, but you must still make the same number of bricks.” 19 The foremen realized that they were in trouble when they were told that they had to make the same number of bricks every day as they had made before.

20 As they were leaving, they met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them. 21 They said to Moses and Aaron, “The Lord has seen what you have done and will punish you for making the king and his officers hate us. You have given them an excuse to kill us.”

Moses Complains to the Lord

22 Then Moses turned to the Lord again and said, “Lord, why do you mistreat your people? Why did you send me here? 23 Ever since I went to the king to speak for you, he has treated them cruelly. And you have done nothing to help them!”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you are going to see what I will do to the king. I will force him to let my people go. In fact, I will force him to drive them out of his land.”

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Exodus 5:1-6 New International Version (NIV)

Bricks Without Straw

Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’”

Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.”

Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword.”

But the king of Egypt said, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor? Get back to your work!” Then Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now numerous, and you are stopping them from working.”

That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people: “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.”

10 Then the slave drivers and the overseers went out and said to the people, “This is what Pharaoh says: ‘I will not give you any more straw. 11 Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all.’” 12 So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw. 13 The slave drivers kept pressing them, saying, “Complete the work required of you for each day, just as when you had straw.” 14 And Pharaoh’s slave drivers beat the Israelite overseers they had appointed, demanding, “Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?”

15 Then the Israelite overseers went and appealed to Pharaoh: “Why have you treated your servants this way? 16 Your servants are given no straw, yet we are told, ‘Make bricks!’ Your servants are being beaten, but the fault is with your own people.”

17 Pharaoh said, “Lazy, that’s what you are—lazy! That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18 Now get to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks.”

19 The Israelite overseers realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day.” 20 When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, 21 and they said, “May the Lord look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

God Promises Deliverance

22 Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.”

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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