Exodus 5:1

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, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’ ”

Read Exodus 5:1 Using Other Translations

And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.
Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.'"
After this presentation to Israel’s leaders, Moses and Aaron went and spoke to Pharaoh. They told him, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Let my people go so they may hold a festival in my honor in the wilderness.”

What does Exodus 5:1 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Exodus 5:1

And afterwards Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh
Whose name, some say, was Cenchres, others Amenophis, according to Manetho and Chaeremon F8; (See Gill on Exodus 3:10) went into Pharaoh's palace, and being introduced by the proper officer at court for that purpose, addressed him in the following manner:

thus saith the Lord God of Israel:
as ambassadors of him, who is King of kings, and Lord of lords; and so Artapanus F9, the Heathen, says that the Egyptian king, hearing that Moses was come, sent for him to know wherefore he was come, who told him, that the Lord of the world commanded him to let the Jews go, as it follows here:

let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness;
in the wilderness of Sinai or Arabia, at Horeb there, where they might keep it more freely and safely, without being disturbed by the Egyptians, and without giving any offence to them; and the demand is just; they were the people of God, and therefore he claims them, and service from them was due to him; and Pharaoh had no right to detain them, and what is required was but their reasonable service they owed to their God. This feast was to be held, not for themselves, but to God, which chiefly consisted in offering sacrifice, as is after explained; the entire dismission of them is not at once demanded, only to go a little while into the wilderness, and keep a feast there to the Lord; though it was not intended they should return, but it was put in this form to try Pharaoh, and that he might be the more inexcusable in refusing to grant what was so reasonable.


FOOTNOTES:

F8 Apud Joseph. contr. Apion. l. 1. c. 26. 32.
F9 Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 27. p. 434.
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