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Exodus 5 Living Bible (TLB)

After this presentation to the elders, Moses and Aaron went to see Pharaoh. They told him, “We bring you a message from Jehovah, the God of Israel. He says, ‘Let my people go, for they must make a holy pilgrimage out into the wilderness, for a religious feast, to worship me there.’”

“Is that so?” retorted Pharaoh. “And who is Jehovah, that I should listen to him, and let Israel go? I don’t know Jehovah and I will not let Israel go.”

But Aaron and Moses persisted. “The God of the Hebrews has met with us,” they declared. “We must take a three days’ trip into the wilderness and sacrifice there to Jehovah our God; if we don’t obey him, we face death by plague or sword.”

4-5 “Who do you think you are,” Pharaoh shouted, “distracting the people from their work? Get back to your jobs!” That same day Pharaoh sent this order to the taskmasters and officers he had set over the people of Israel: 7-8 “Don’t give the people any more straw for making bricks! However, don’t reduce their production quotas by a single brick, for they obviously don’t have enough to do or else they wouldn’t be talking about going out into the wilderness and sacrificing to their God. Load them with work and make them sweat; that will teach them to listen to Moses’ and Aaron’s lies!”

10-11 So the taskmasters and officers informed the people: “Pharaoh has given orders to furnish you with no more straw. Go and find it wherever you can; but you must produce just as many bricks as before!” 12 So the people scattered everywhere to gather straw.

13 The taskmasters were brutal. “Fulfill your daily quota just as before,” they kept demanding. 14 Then they whipped the Israeli work-crew bosses. “Why haven’t you fulfilled your quotas either yesterday or today?” they roared.

15 These foremen went to Pharaoh and pleaded with him. “Don’t treat us like this,” they begged. 16 “We are given no straw and told to make as many bricks as before, and we are beaten for something that isn’t our fault—it is the fault of your taskmasters for making such unreasonable demands.”

17 But Pharaoh replied, “You don’t have enough work, or else you wouldn’t be saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to Jehovah.’ 18 Get back to work. No straw will be given you, and you must deliver the regular quota of bricks.”

19 Then the foremen saw that they were indeed in a bad situation. 20 When they met Moses and Aaron waiting for them outside the palace, as they came out from their meeting with Pharaoh, 21 they swore at them. “May God judge you for making us stink before Pharaoh and his people,” they said, “and for giving them an excuse to kill us.”

22 Then Moses went back to the Lord. “Lord,” he protested, “how can you mistreat your own people like this? Why did you ever send me if you were going to do this to them? 23 Ever since I gave Pharaoh your message, he has only been more and more brutal to them, and you have not delivered them at all!”

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Exodus 5 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.”

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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