Exodus 5:16

16 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.”

Read Exodus 5:16 Using Other Translations

There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people.
No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, 'Make bricks!' And behold, your servants are beaten; but the fault is in your own people."
“We are given no straw, but the slave drivers still demand, ‘Make bricks!’ We are being beaten, but it isn’t our fault! Your own people are to blame!”

What does Exodus 5:16 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Exodus 5:16

There is no straw given unto thy servants
As used to be, which they supposed Pharaoh knew nothing of, and by which it appears that the order given by Pharaoh, ( Exodus 5:6 Exodus 5:7 ) was not given in the hearing of the officers, only to the taskmasters, and by them to be made known to the officers, though indeed both are there mentioned, and both represent this to the people, ( Exodus 5:10 )

and they say to us, make brick,
though they had no straw to make or burn it with:

and, behold, thy servants are beaten;
because the same number of bricks is not made as heretofore, but the fault is in thine own people; the taskmasters, who sent the people abroad to get straw or stubble themselves, and therefore could not make the same bricks as before; or "thy people sin" F14, the guilt is theirs: or by thy people are meant the Israelites, whom they call Pharaoh's people to gain favour with him; and then the sense is, either "sin" is imputed "to thy people" {o}, the blame is laid upon them, or punishment is inflicted on them without cause, sin being often put for punishment; they are wrongfully charged with a fault, and wrongfully punished.


FOOTNOTES:

F14 (Kme tajxw) "et peccat populus tuns", Montanus, Drusius, Cartwright.
F15 So Vatablus, Piscator, and some in Munster, Pagninus.
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