Pharaoh's First Refusal
1After these things Moses and Aaron went in, and said to Pharao: Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: Let my people go that they may sacrifice to me in the desert. 2But he answered: Who is the Lord, that I should hear his voice, and let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go. 3And they said: The God of the Hebrews hath called us, to go three days' journey into the wilderness and to sacrifice to the Lord our God: lest a pestilence or the sword fall upon us. 4The king of Egypt said to them: Why do you Moses and Aaron draw off the people from their works? Get you gone to your burdens. 5And Pharao said: The people of the land is numerous: you see that the multitude is increased: how much more if you give them rest from their works?
Bricks and Straw
6Therefore he commanded the same day the overseers of the works, and the taskmasters of the people, saying: 7You shall give straw no more to the people to make brick, as before: but let them go and gather straw. 8And you shall lay upon them the task of bricks, which they did before, neither shall you diminish any thing thereof: for they are idle, and therefore they cry, saying: Let us go and sacrifice to our God. 9Let them be oppressed, with works, and let them fulfill them: that they may not regard lying words.
10And the overseers of the works and the taskmasters went out and said to the people: Thus saith Pharao, I allow you no straw: 11Go, and gather it where you can find it: neither shall any thing of your work be diminished. 12And the people was scattered through all the land of Egypt to gather straw. 13And the overseers of the works pressed them, saying: Fulfill your work every day as before you were wont to do when straw was given you. 14And they that were over the works of the children of Israel were scourged by Pharao's taskmasters, saying: Why have you not made up the task of bricks both yesterday and to day as before?
The Israelites' Cry
15And the officers of the children of Israel came, and cried out to Pharao, saying: Why dealest thou so with thy servants? 16Straw is not given us, and bricks are required of us as before: behold we thy servants are beaten with whips, and thy people is unjustly dealt withal. 17And he said: You are idle, and therefore you say: Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord. 18Go therefore, and work: straw shall not be given you, and you shall deliver the accustomed number of bricks. 19And the officers of the children of Israel saw that they were in evil case, because it was said to them: There shall not a whit be diminished of the bricks for every day. 20And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood over against them as they came out from Pharao: 21And they said to them: The Lord see and judge, because you have made our savour to stink before Pharao and his servants, and you have given him a sword to kill us.
22And Moses returned to the Lord, and said: Lord, why hast thou afflicted this people? wherefore hast thou sent me? 23For since the time that I went in to Pharao to speak in thy name, he hath afflicted thy people: and thou hast not delivered them.