Exodus 5:1; Exodus 5:2–7:25

Making Bricks Without Straw

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 ta feast to me in the wilderness.


But Pharaoh said, uWho is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, vI will not let Israel go. Then they said, The wGod of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword. But the king of Egypt said to them, Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your xburdens. And Pharaoh said, Behold, ythe people of the land are now many,1 and you make them rest from their burdens! The same day Pharaoh commanded the ztaskmasters of the people and their aforemen, You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God. Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.

10 So the btaskmasters and the foremen of the people went out and said to the people, Thus says Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. 11 Go and get your straw yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced in the least. 12 So the people were scattered throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13 The ctaskmasters were urgent, saying, Complete your work, your daily task each day, as when there was straw. 14 And the foremen of the people of Israel, whom Pharaoh's ctaskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, Why have you not done all your task of making bricks today and yesterday, as in the past?

15 Then the foremen of the people of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, Why do you treat your servants like this? 16 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. 17 But he said, You are idle, you are idle; that is why you say, Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord. 18 Go now and work. No straw will be given you, but you must still deliver the same number of bricks. 19 The foremen of the people of Israel saw that they were in trouble when they said, You shall by no means reduce your number of bricks, your daily task each day. 20 They met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them, as they came out from Pharaoh; 21 and dthey said to them, The Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.

22 Then Moses turned to the Lord and said, O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.

God Promises Deliverance

But the Lord said to Moses, Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with ea strong hand he will fdrive them out of his land.

God spoke to Moses and said to him, gI am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as hGod Almighty,2 but by my name the iLord I did not make myself known to them. jI also established my covenant with them kto give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. Moreover, lI have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the people of Israel, mI am the Lord, and nI will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and oI will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I pwill take you to be my people, and qI will be your God, and you shall know that mI am the Lord your God, who has brought you out nfrom under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into rthe land that I sswore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. mI am the Lord. Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they tdid not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.

10 So the Lord said to Moses, 11 Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the people of Israel go out of his land. 12 But Moses said to the Lord, Behold, the people of Israel have tnot listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh listen to me, for uI am of uncircumcised lips? 13 But the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them a charge about the people of Israel and about Pharaoh king of Egypt: to bring the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

The Genealogy of Moses and Aaron

14 These are the heads of their fathers' houses: the vsons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi; these are the clans of Reuben. 15 The wsons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the clans of Simeon. 16 These are the names of the xsons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, the years of the life of Levi being 137 years. 17 The ysons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, by their clans. 18 The zsons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, the years of the life of Kohath being 133 years. 19 The asons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the clans of the Levites according to their generations. 20 bAmram took as his wife Jochebed his father's sister, and she bore him Aaron and Moses, the years of the life of Amram being 137 years. 21 cThe sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. 22 The dsons of Uzziel: Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri. 23 Aaron took as his wife Elisheba, the daughter of eAmminadab and the sister of fNahshon, and she bore him gNadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24 The hsons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph; these are the clans of the Korahites. 25 Eleazar, Aaron's son, took as his wife one of the daughters of Putiel, and ishe bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers' houses of the Levites by their clans.

26 These are the Aaron and Moses jto whom the Lord said: Bring out the people of Israel from the land of Egypt kby their hosts. 27 It was they who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing out the people of Israel from Egypt, this Moses and this Aaron.

28 On the day when the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 the Lord said to Moses, lI am the Lord; mtell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you. 30 But Moses said to the Lord, Behold, nI am of uncircumcised lips. How will Pharaoh listen to me?

Moses and Aaron Before Pharaoh

And the Lord said to Moses, See, I have made you like oGod to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your pprophet. qYou shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land. But rI will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I smultiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians tshall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them. Moses and Aaron did so; they did just as the Lord commanded them. Now Moses was ueighty years old, and Aaron eighty-three years old, when they spoke to Pharaoh.

Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, When Pharaoh says to you, vProve yourselves by working a miracle, then you shall say to Aaron, Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent. 10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the wmagicians of Egypt, also xdid the same by their secret arts. 12 For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Still rPharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, ras the Lord had said.

The First Plague: Water Turned to Blood

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go. 15 yGo to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water. Stand on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand zthe staff that turned into a aserpent. 16 And you shall say to him, The bLord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, Let my people go, cthat they may serve me in the wilderness. But so far, you have not obeyed. 17 Thus says the Lord, By this dyou shall know that I am the Lord: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and eit shall turn into blood. 18 The fish in the Nile shall die, and the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will fgrow weary of drinking water from the Nile. 19 And the Lord said to Moses, Say to Aaron, Take your staff and gstretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, their canals, and their ponds, and all their pools of water, so that they may become blood, and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.

20 Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants he hlifted up the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the iwater in the Nile turned into blood. 21 And the fish in the Nile died, and the Nile stank, so that the Egyptians jcould not drink water from the Nile. There was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. 22 But kthe magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts. So lPharaoh's heart remained hardened, and he would not listen to them, as mthe Lord had said. 23 Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and he did not take even this to heart. 24 And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink the water of the Nile.

25 Seven full days passed after the Lord had struck the Nile.