SynopsisMoses and Aaron have come back to Egypt, talked to the Hebrew leaders, and told them what God has promised: He is going to deliver them from their slavery in Egypt, into the Promised Land. Everyone is happy about this, and feels reassured that God has heard their cries.
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.” (verse 2)They tell Pharaoh that God himself has met with them, and asked them to have this festival, but Pharaoh can only think about the fact that Moses and Aaron are taking the people away from their work.
At this point, the Israelites are much more concerned about their troubles with Pharaoh than any promises the LORD might have made to them, through Moses.
Then the Israelite foremen went and appealed to Pharaoh: “Why have you treated your servants this way? 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.”
Pharaoh said, “Lazy, that’s what you are—lazy! That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.’ Now get to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks.”
When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, 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.” (verses 20–21)I find it interesting that they say “May the LORD … judge you”, since He is the one they claim sent them in the first place.