1 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh (This was in Zoan, cp. Ps.78:12,13, where Pharaoh had his palace. It could not have been written in Babylon, for there the kings were not seen, and were hidden behind their ministers. Here, in Egypt, the king was his own minister, and could be easily approached. Cp. 3:10), "Thus says Lord God of Israel, 'Let My People go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.' " (Note Yahaveh's sixfold demand and Pharaoh's sixfold objection:-
I. "Thus says the Lord God"-5:1.
1. "Who is the Lord?"-5:2. [Question occ. only here]
II. "Let My People go"-5:1.
2. "Go. Sacrifice in the Land"-8:25.
III. "We will go 3 days journey into the wilderness"-8:27.
3. "Go, only not very far away"-8:28.
IV. "Let My People go"-10:3.
4. "Who are they that shall go?"-10:8.
V. All must go-10:9.
5. Not so. Men, but no children or flocks-10:11
6. Go. Children, but no flocks-10:24.
VI. Flocks too: "we know not...till" &c.-10:25,26.)
2 And Pharaoh said, "Who is the Lord (note the repetition of Pharaoh's "I" answered by Yahaveh's "I" 18 times in 6:1-8. #18=bondage), that I should obey His voice (put for commands uttered by it) to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go."
3 And they said, The God of the Hebrews has met with us (cp. 3:2-10): let us go, we pray you, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice to the Lord our God; lest He fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword."
H I 5:4-9. Pharaoh's order given. K 5:10-14. Evil case. L 5:16,16. Complaint: To Pharaoh. M 5:17. Answer. I 5:18. Pharaoh's order repeated. K 5:19. Evil case. L 5:20-23. Complaints: To Moses,20,21. By Moses,22,23. M 6:1. Answer.
4 And the king of Egypt said to them, "Why do you, Moses and Aaron, hinder the people from their works? you get to your burdens."
5 And Pharaoh said, "Behold, the People of the land now are many, and you make them rest from their burdens."
6 And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters (= the chiefs of tribute) of the People, and their officers (= scribes, who kept account of work done), saying,
7 "You shall no more give the people straw to make brick (= tebn, an Egyptian word for chaff, or chopped straw; not our Eng. stubble), as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.
8 And the tale (= number) of the bricks, which they did make before this time, you all shall lay upon them; you all shall not diminish any thereof (the suffix is Masc. and refers to the people, = "diminish your exaction's from them"): for they are idle; therefore they cry, saying, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.'
9 Let there be more work be laid upon the men, that they may labor therein; and let them not regard vain words." (Man's estimation of Divine revelation)
10 And the chiefs of tribute of the People went out, and their scribes (Hebrews), and they spoke to the people, saying, "Thus says Pharaoh, 'I will not give you straw.
11 Go you all, get you straw where you all can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished.' "
12 So the People were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather reeds instead of straw. (Shown in Egyptian pictures on the monuments)
13 And the chiefs of tribute hurried them, saying, "Fulfill your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw."
14 And the scribes of the sons of Israel, which Pharaoh's chiefs of tribute had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, "Why have you all not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and today, as before?"
15 Then the scribes of the sons of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, saying, "Why do you deal thus with your servants?
16 There is no straw given to your servants, and they say to us, 'Make brick:' and, behold, your servants are beaten; but the fault is in your own people."
17 But he said, "You all are idle, you all are idle: therefore you all say, 'Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord.'
18 Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall you all deliver the tale of bricks."
19 And the scribes of the sons of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, "You all shall not diminish any from your bricks of your daily task."
20 And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh:
21 And they said to them, "the Lord look upon you, and judge; because you have made our savor to be abhorred (= to be stink) in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us."
22 And Moses returned to the Lord, and said, "Lord, why have You so suffered to be evil entreated to this People? why is it that You have sent me? (We, like Moses, are full of similar questions, to our sin and sorrow. See 4:21)
23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has suffered to be evil to this People; neither have You delivered Your People at all."