And afterwardMoses and Aaroncame and said to Pharaoh, "1Thussays the LORD, the God of Israel, '2Let My peoplego that they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness.' "
But Pharaohsaid, "3Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to letIsraelgo? I do not know the LORD, and besides, 4I will not letIsraelgo."
Then they said, "5The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go a threedays'journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, otherwise He will fall upon us with pestilenceor with the sword."
But the king of Egyptsaid to them, "Moses and Aaron, why do you adraw the peopleaway from their bwork? Get back to your c6labors!"
Again Pharaohsaid, "Look, 7the people of the land are nowmany, and you would have them cease from their labors!"
So the samedayPharaohcommanded8the taskmasters over the people and their 9foremen, saying,
"You are nolonger to give the peoplestraw to makebrick as previously; let them go and gatherstraw for themselves.
"But the quota of brickswhich they were makingpreviously, you shall impose on them; you are not to reduceany of it. Because they are 10lazy, therefore they cry out, 'dLet us go and sacrifice to our God.'
"Let the labor be heavier on the men, and let them work at it so that they will paynoattention to falsewords."
So 11the taskmasters of the people and their foremenwent out and spoke to the people, saying, "ThussaysPharaoh, 'I am not going to give you any straw.
'You go and getstraw for yourselves wherever you can find it, but none of your labor will be reduced.' "
So the peoplescattered through all the land of Egypt to gatherstubble for straw.
The taskmasterspressed them, saying, "Complete your eworkquota, fyour dailyamount , just as when gyou hadstraw."
Moreover, 12the foremen of the sons of Israel, whomPharaoh'staskmasters had setover them, 13were beatenhand were asked, "Why have you not completed your requiredamounteitheryesterdayortoday in makingbrick as previously?"
Then the foremen of the sons of Israelcame and cried out to Pharaoh, saying, "Why do you dealthisway with your servants?
16"There is nostrawgiven to your servants, yet they keep saying to us, 'Makebricks!' And behold, your servants are being beaten; but it is the fault of your own people."
But he said, "You are 14lazy, very lazy; therefore you say, 'Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.'
"So gonow and work; for you will be givennostraw, yet you must deliver the quota of bricks."
The foremen of the sons of Israelsaw that they were in troubleibecause they were told, "You must not reducejyour dailyamount of bricks."
When they leftPharaoh'spresence , they metMoses and Aaron as they were kwaiting for them.
2115They said to them, "16May the LORDlook upon you and judge you, for you have 17madelus odious in Pharaoh'ssight and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us."
Then Mosesreturned to the LORD and said, "18O Lord, why have You broughtharm to thispeople? Why did You eversend me?
"Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has doneharm to thispeople, 19and You have not delivered Your people at all."