5 And afterwards Moses and Aaron went in, and said to Pharaoh, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, Let my people go that they may celebrate a feast to me in the wilderness.
2 And Pharaoh said, Who is Jehovah, to whose voice I am to hearken to let Israel go? I do not know Jehovah, neither will I let Israel go.
3 And they said, The God of the Hebrews has met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to Jehovah our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with sword.
4 And the king of Egypt said to them, Why do ye, Moses and Aaron, wish to have the people go off from their works? Away, to your burdens!
5 And Pharaoh said, Behold the people of the land are now many, and ye wish to make them rest from their burdens.
6 And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,
7 Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.
8 And the number of the bricks they have made heretofore shall ye lay upon them: ye shall not diminish any of it, for they are idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go [and] sacrifice to our God.
9 Let them put heavier labour on the men, that they may be taken up with it, and not regard vain words.
10 And 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:
11 go ye, get yourselves straw where ye may find it; but none of your work shall be diminished.
12 And the people were scattered abroad throughout the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw.
13 And the taskmasters urged [them], saying, Fulfil your labours, the daily work, as when there was straw.
14 And the officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, [and] it was said, Why have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick, both yesterday and to-day, as heretofore?
15 Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, saying, Why dost thou deal thus with thy bondmen?
16 There is no straw given to thy bondmen, and they say to us, Make brick; and behold, thy bondmen are beaten, but it is the fault of thy people.
17 And he said, Ye are idle, idle! therefore ye say, Let us go and sacrifice to Jehovah.
18 And now go—work! and straw shall not be given you, and ye shall deliver the measure of bricks.
19 And the officers of the children of Israel saw [that] it stood ill with them, because it was said, Ye shall not diminish anything from your bricks, the daily work.
20 And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood there to meet them, as they came out from Pharaoh.
21 And they said to them, Jehovah look upon you and judge, that ye have made our odour to stink in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his bondmen, putting a sword into their hand to kill us!
22 And Moses returned to Jehovah, and said, Lord, why hast thou done evil to this people? why now hast thou sent me?
23 For ever 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!
New International Version
Bricks Without Straw
3 Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey(E) into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, or he may strike us with plagues(F) or with the sword.”
4 But the king of Egypt said, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor?(G) Get back to your work!” 5 Then Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now numerous,(H) and you are stopping them from working.”
6 That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers(I) and overseers in charge of the people: 7 “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks;(J) let them go and gather their own straw. 8 But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota.(K) They are lazy;(L) that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’(M) 9 Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.”
10 Then the slave drivers(N) 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(O) 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,(P) 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!(Q) That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18 Now get to work.(R) 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(S) you! You have made us obnoxious(T) to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword(U) in their hand to kill us.”(V)
God Promises Deliverance
22 Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people?(W) 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(X) your people at all.”