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.”
- 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.
- Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all.’”
- So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw.
- The slave drivers kept pressing them, saying, “Complete the work required of you for each day, just as when you had straw.”
- 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?”
- Then the Israelite overseers went and appealed to Pharaoh: “Why have you treated your servants this way?
- 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.”
- Pharaoh said, “Lazy, that’s what you are—lazy! That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’
- Now get to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks.”
- 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.”
- When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them,
- 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
- Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me?
- 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.
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Exodus 5 – King James Version (KJV)
Request to Pharaoh
- And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.
- And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.
- And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.
- And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens.
- And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.
- And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,
- Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.
- And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.
- Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.
- And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw.
- Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished.
- So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw.
- And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw.
- And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore?
- Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants?
- There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people.
- But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord.
- Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks.
- And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task.
- And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh:
- And they said unto them, The Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.
- And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me?
- For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.