"You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks;1 let them go and gather their own straw.
But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don't reduce the quota.2 They are lazy;3 that is why they are crying out, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.'49
Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies."
Then the slave drivers5 and the foremen went out and said to the people, "This is what Pharaoh says: 'I will not give you any more straw.
Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced6 at all.' "
So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw.
The slave drivers kept pressing them, saying, "Complete the work required of you for each day, just as when you had straw."
The Israelite foremen appointed by Pharaoh's slave drivers were beaten7 and were asked, "Why didn't you meet your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?"
Then the Israelite foremen went and appealed to Pharaoh: "Why have you treated your servants this way?
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."
Pharaoh said, "Lazy, that's what you are--lazy!8 That is why you keep saying, 'Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.'
Now get to work.9 You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks."