Bricks Without Straw
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.
2 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.
3 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.
4 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.
5 And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye 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 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.
9 Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.
K.J.V. Bible Text.
After conferring with the Israelites, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and asked him to let the people go to hold a festival for God in the wilderness.
As the Lord had predicted, Pharaoh refused. He didn’t know the Lord and saw no reason to obey him.
Moses and Aaron warned Pharaoh that God wanted them to take a three-day trip to the wilderness and if they did not do so, he might strike Egypt with plagues.
Pharaoh was not moved by this. He was angry that Moses and Aaron were distracting the numerous Israelite people from their work.
That same day, Pharaoh gave the slave drivers orders to cease supplying the people with straw for making bricks. The quota of bricks they would be required to make, would, however, remain the same.
Pharaoh said that the people were lazy and were saying they wanted to go to sacrifice to God because they did not want to work. He thought that compelling them to do more work would stop them from paying attention to what Moses and Aaron had to say.
I just shook my head as I read this. Throughout history, people that have been oppressed have always rebelled and sought to escape their tormentors. Increasing their torment will never increase their contentment, but Pharaoh did not care how the people felt. He was certain he was all-powerful and could give whatever orders he wished, but we know his power would prove no match to that of the Lord.
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