“You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; 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. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’
Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.”
Then the slave drivers and the overseers 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 reduced 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.”
And Pharaoh’s slave drivers beat the Israelite overseers they had appointed, demanding, “Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?”