¶ AND afterward Moses and Aaron went into the palace 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.
And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go?
I do not know the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.
¶ And they said, The LORD God of the Hebrews has appeared to us;
now let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God;
lest he fall upon us with the sword or with pestilence.
And the king of Egypt said to them, Wherefore do you, Moses and Aaron, cause the people to stop from their work?
Go back to your tasks.
And Pharaoh said to them, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and you cause them to stop from their work.
And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people and their scribes, saying,
You shall no more give the people straw to make bricks, as heretofore;
let them go and gather straw for themselves.
But the number of bricks which they did make heretofore, you shall lay upon them;
you shall not reduce the number thereof;
for they are idle;
that is why they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.
Let more work be assigned to the men, that they may be occupied, so that they may not think to engage in vain conversations.
¶ And the taskmasters of the people and their scribes went out and said to the people, Thus says Pharaoh, I will not give you straw.
Go, get straw for yourselves wherever you can find it;
but your work shall not be reduced.
So the people were scattered throughout all the land of Egypt to gather the stubble.
And the taskmasters pressed them, saying, Complete your work as you have always done, as when straw was given to you.
And the scribes of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had appointed over them, were beaten, and demanded, Why have you not completed your quota of bricks both yesterday and today, as heretofore?
Then the scribes of the children of Israel came and complained to Pharaoh, saying, Why are your servants treated in this manner?
There is no straw given to your servants, and yet they say to us, Make bricks: and, behold, your servants are beaten;
and you sin against your people.
But Pharaoh said to them, You are surely idle;
therefore you say, Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.
Go therefore now and work;
and straw shall not be given you, yet you shall deliver the number of bricks.
And the scribes of the children of Israel saw that they were in a bad situation, for it was said to them, You must not reduce the number of your bricks, of your daily task.
And they met Moses and Aaron standing opposite them, as they came out from the presence of Pharaoh;
And they said to them, May the LORD look upon you and judge;
because you have made us to be in disfavor in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hands to kill us.
And Moses returned to the LORD and said, O my LORD, Why hast thou caused this people to be ill-treated?
And why didst thou send me here?
For since the hour I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he has ill-treated this people;
and thou hast not delivered thy people at all.