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Complaint of the Foremen. 15 Then the Israelite foremen came and cried out to Pharaoh:[a] “Why do you treat your servants in this manner? 16 No straw is supplied to your servants, and still we are told, ‘Make bricks!’ Look how your servants are beaten! It is you who are at fault.” 17 He answered, “Lazy! You are lazy! That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to the Lord.’

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  1. 5:15 Cried out to Pharaoh: the Hebrew verb translated “cry out” and its related noun are normally used of appeals to God by Moses (8:8; 14:15; 15:25; 17:4), the people (3:7, 9; 14:10), or an oppressed individual (22:22, 26). Here, by implication, these minor Israelite officials appeal to Pharaoh as if he were their God. See v. 10.

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