10 And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw.
11 Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished.
12 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw.
13 And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw.
14 And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore 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 unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants?
16 There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people.
17 But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord.
18 Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks.
19 And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task.
20 And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh:
21 And they said unto them, The Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.
22 And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me?
23 For 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.
K.J.V. Bible Text
When the slave drivers began to implement Pharaoh’s orders for the Israelites to make bricks without straw, the Israelites attempted to find enough stubble to use for straw to continue to make bricks; but without the straw being provided, they could not meet their quota.
The Israelite overseers appealed to Pharaoh to no avail. Pharaoh told them they were lazy and that was the reason they kept saying they wanted to “go and sacrifice to the Lord”. He ordered them back to work.
The Israelites knew they were in trouble because they could not make the quota of bricks under the circumstances. They found Moses and Aaron and blamed them for having made the Israelites obnoxious to Pharaoh.
My thought about this: How tough it is to bring about changes in the mode of life to which people are accustomed. The Israelite people did not blame Pharaoh for being harsh and then harsher. They blamed Moses and Aaron for having brought them to Pharoah’s attention. They were not yet of a mind to risk everything by rebelling. They wanted things as they were before; because although their lives were difficult previously, now they had become even harder.
After the people complained to Moses, he went to the Lord and complained to him about the added trouble to the people. On first glance, this seems like what today we might call, “passing the buck,” but isn’t it always this way? No matter what mischief men may make upon themselves, the true solution always lies in placing the matter at the feet of the Lord.
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