Exodus 5

1 Then Moses ad Aaro wet and told Pharao, thus sayth the Lorde God of Israel. Let my people goo, that they may kepe holye daye vnto me in the wildernesse.
2 And Pharao answered: what felowe is the Lord, that I shulde heare his voyce for to let Israel goo?
3 I knowe not the Lorde, nether will let Israel goo.And they sayde: the God of the Ebrues hath mett with vs: let vs goo (we praye the) iij. dayes iourney in to the deserte, that we maye sacrifice vnto the Lorde oure God: lest he smyte vs ether with pestilence or with swerde.
4 Then sayde the kinge of Egipte vnto them: wherfore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people fro their worke, gett you vnto youre laboure.
5 And Pharao sayde further more: beholde, there is moch people in the londe, and ye make them playe and let their worke stonde.
6 And Pharao commaunded the same daye vnto the taskemasters ouer the people and vnto the officers saynge:
7 se that ye geue the people no moare strawe to make brycke with all as ye dyd in tyme passed: let them goo and gather them strawe them selues,
8 and the nombre of bricke which they were wont to make in tyme passed, laye vnto their charges also, and minysh nothinge therof. For they be ydill ad therfore crye saynge: let vs goo and do sacrifice vnto oure God.
9 They must haue more worke layed vpon them, that they maye laboure theryn, and than will they not turne them selues to false wordes.
10 Than went the taskemasters of the people and the officers out and tolde the people saynge: thus sayeth Pharao: I will geue you no moare strawe,
11 but goo youre selues ad gather you strawe where ye can fynde it, yet shall none of youre laboure be minyshed.
12 Than the people scatered abrode thorowe out all the lande of Egipte for to gather them stubyll to be in stead of strawe.
13 And the taskemasters hastied the forward sayng: fulfill youre werke daye by daye, eue as when strawe was geuen you.
14 And the officers of the childern of Israel which Pharaos taskmasters had sett ouer them, were beaten. And it was sayde vnto them: wherfore haue ye not fulfilled youre taske in makinge brycke, both yesterdaye and to daye, as well as in tymes past.
15 Than went the officers of the childern of Israel ad complayned vnto Pharao saynge: wherfore dealest thou thus with thy servauntes?
16 there is no strawe geuen vnto thy servauntes, and yet they saye vnto vs: make brycke. And loo, thy servauntes ar beaten, and thy people is foule intreated.
17 And he answered: ydill are ye ydill and therfore ye saye: let vs goo ad do sacrifice vnto the Lorde.
18 Goo therfore and worke, for there shall no strawe be geuen you, and yet see that ye delyuer the hole tale of brycke.
19 when the officers of the childern of Israel sawe them silfe in shrode case (in that he sayde ye shall minysh nothinge of youre dalye makige of brycke)
20 than they mett Moses and Aaro stondinge in there waye as they came out fro Pharao,
21 and sayde vnto them: The Lorde loke vnto you and iudge, for ye haue made the sauoure of vs stincke in the sighte of Pharao and of his servauntes, and haue put a swerde in to their handes to slee vs.
22 Moses returned vnto the Lorde and sayde: Lorde wherfore dealest thou cruelly with this people: and wherfore hast thou sent me?
23 For sence I came to Pharao to speke in thy name, he hath fared foull with this folke, ad yet thou hast not delyuered thy people at all.

Exodus 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

Pharaoh's displeasure, He increases the tasks of the Israelites. (1-9) The sufferings of the Israelites, Moses' complaint to God. (10-23)

Verses 1-9 God will own his people, though poor and despised, and will find a time to plead their cause. Pharaoh treated all he had heard with contempt. He had no knowledge of Jehovah, no fear of him, no love to him, and therefore refused to obey him. Thus Pharaoh's pride, ambition, covetousness, and political knowledge, hardened him to his own destruction. What Moses and Aaron ask is very reasonable, only to go three days' journey into the desert, and that on a good errand. We will sacrifice unto the Lord our God. Pharaoh was very unreasonable, in saying that the people were idle, and therefore talked of going to sacrifice. He thus misrepresents them, that he might have a pretence to add to their burdens. To this day we find many who are more disposed to find fault with their neighbours, for spending in the service of God a few hours spared from their wordly business, than to blame others, who give twice the time to sinful pleasures. Pharaoh's command was barbarous. Moses and Aaron themselves must get to the burdens. Persecutors take pleasure in putting contempt and hardship upon ministers. The usual tale of bricks must be made, without the usual allowance of straw to mix with the clay. Thus more work was to be laid upon the men, which, if they performed, they would be broken with labour; and if not, they would be punished.

Verses 10-23 The Egyptian task-masters were very severe. See what need we have to pray that we may be delivered from wicked men. The head-workmen justly complained to Pharaoh: but he taunted them. The malice of Satan has often represented the service and worship of God, as fit employment only for those who have nothing else to do, and the business only of the idle; whereas, it is the duty of those who are most busy in the world. Those who are diligent in doing sacrifice to the Lord, will, before God, escape the doom of the slothful servant, though with men they do not. The Israelites should have humbled themselves before God, and have taken to themselves the shame of their sin; but instead of that, they quarrel with those who were to be their deliverers. Moses returned to the Lord. He knew that what he had said and done, was by God's direction; and therefore appeals to him. When we find ourselves at any time perplexed in the way of our duty, we ought to go to God, and lay open our case before him by fervent prayer. Disappointments in our work must not drive us from our God, but still we must ponder why they are sent.

Chapter Summary


Moses and Aaron go in to Pharaoh, and desire leave for the children of Israel to go into the wilderness three days' journey, to sacrifice to the Lord, and are answered in a very churlish and atheistical manner, and are charged with making the people idle, the consequence of which was, the taskmasters had orders, to make their work more heavy and toilsome, Ex 5:1-9 which orders were executed with severity by them, Ex 5:10-13, upon which the officers of the children of Israel complained to Pharaoh, but to no purpose, Ex 5:14-19, and meeting with Moses and Aaron, lay the blame upon them, Ex 5:20,21, which sends Moses to the Lord to expostulate with him about it, Ex 5:22,23.

Exodus 5 Commentaries

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