5:1 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 desert.'"

5:2 Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go."

5:3 Then they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword."

5:4 But the king of Egypt said, "Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor? Get back to your work!"

5:5 Then Pharaoh said, "Look, the people of the land are now numerous, and you are stopping them from working."

5:6 That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and foremen in charge of the people:

5:7 "You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw.

5:8 But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don't reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.'

5:9 Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies."

5:10 Then the slave drivers and the foremen went out and said to the people, "This is what Pharaoh says: 'I will not give you any more straw.

5:11 Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all.'"

5:12 So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw.

5:13 The slave drivers kept pressing them, saying, "Complete the work required of you for each day, just as when you had straw."

5:14 The Israelite foremen appointed by Pharaoh's slave drivers were beaten and were asked, "Why didn't you meet your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?"

5:15 Then the Israelite foremen went and appealed to Pharaoh: "Why have you treated your servants this way?

5:16 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."

5:17 Pharaoh said, "Lazy, that's what you are--lazy! That is why you keep saying, 'Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.'

5:18 Now get to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks."

5:19 The Israelite foremen realized they were in trouble when they were told, "You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day."

5:20 When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them,

5:21 and they said, "May the LORD look upon you and judge you! You have made us a stench to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us."

5:22 Moses returned to the LORD and said, "O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me?

5:23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all."