Exodus 5:16

16 Nobody gives us any straw and they tell us, 'Make bricks!' Look at us - we're being beaten. And it's not our fault."

Exodus 5:16 Meaning and Commentary

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.


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

Exodus 5:16 In-Context

14 The Israelite foremen whom the slave-drivers had appointed were beaten and badgered. "Why didn't you finish your quota of bricks yesterday or the day before - and now again today!"
15 The Israelite foremen came to Pharaoh and cried out for relief: "Why are you treating your servants like this?
16 Nobody gives us any straw and they tell us, 'Make bricks!' Look at us - we're being beaten. And it's not our fault."
17 But Pharaoh said, "Lazy! That's what you are! Lazy! That's why you whine, 'Let us go so we can worship God.'
18 Well then, go - go back to work. Nobody's going to give you straw, and at the end of the day you better bring in your full quota of bricks."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.