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Exodus 5:1-9 (New International Version)

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Bricks Without Straw

1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Let my people go,1 so that they may hold a festival2 to me in the desert.' " 2 Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD,3 that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go."4 3 Then they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey5 into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, or he may strike us with plagues6 or with the sword." 4 But the king of Egypt said, "Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor?7 Get back to your work!" 5 Then Pharaoh said, "Look, the people of the land are now numerous,8 and you are stopping them from working." 6 That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers9 and foremen in charge of the people: 7 "You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks;10 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.11 They are lazy;12 that is why they are crying out, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.'13 9 Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies."
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