First Encounter with Pharaoh
1Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let My people go, that they may hold ⚓a feast to Me in the wilderness.’ ”
2And Pharaoh said, ⚓“Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, ⚓nor will I let Israel go.”
3So they said, ⚓“The God of the Hebrews has ⚓met with us. Please, let us go three days’ journey into the desert and sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest He fall upon us with ⚓pestilence or with the sword.”
4Then the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people from their work? Get back to your ⚓labor.”
5And Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are⚓many now, and you make them rest from their labor!”
6So the same day Pharaoh commanded the ⚓taskmasters of the people and their officers, saying,
7“You shall no longer give the people straw to make ⚓brick as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves.
8And you shall lay on them the quota of bricks which they made before. You shall not reduce it. For they are idle; therefore they cry out, saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’
9Let more work be laid on the men, that they may labor in it, and let them not regard false words.”
10And the taskmasters of the people and their officers went out and spoke to the people, saying, “Thus says Pharaoh: ‘I will not give you straw.
11Go, get yourselves straw where you can find it; yet none of your work will be reduced.’ ”
12So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw.
13And the taskmasters forced them to hurry, saying, “Fulfill your work, your daily quota, as when there was straw.”
14Also the ⚓officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were ⚓beaten and were asked, “Why have you not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and today, as before?”
15Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried out to Pharaoh, saying, “Why are you dealing thus with your servants?
16There is no straw given to your servants, and they say to us, ‘Make brick!’ And indeed your servants are beaten, but the fault is in your own people.”
17But he said, “You are idle! Idle! Therefore you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’
18Therefore go now and work; for no straw shall be given you, yet you shall deliver the quota of bricks.”
19And the officers of the children of Israel saw that they were in trouble after it was said, “You shall not reduce any bricks from your daily quota.”
20Then, as they came out from Pharaoh, they met Moses and Aaron who stood there to meet them.
21⚓And they said to them, “Let the Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us abhorrent in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.”
Israel’s Deliverance Assured
22So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me?
23For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all.”