English Revised Version
Pharaoh's First Refusal
1And afterward Moses and Aaron came, and said unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. 2And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should hearken unto his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, and moreover I will not let Israel go. 3And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword. 4And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, loose the people from their works? get you unto your burdens. 5And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land are now many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.
Bricks and Straw
6And the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, 7Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish aught thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. 9Let heavier work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard lying words.
10And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. 11Go yourselves, get you straw where ye can find it: for nought of your work shall be diminished. 12So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13And the taskmasters were urgent, saying, Fulfill your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw. 14And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task both yesterday and today, in making brick as heretofore?
The Israelites' Cry
15Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants? 16There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people. 17But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD. 18Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks. 19And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, when it was said, Ye shall not minish aught from your bricks, your daily tasks. 20And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: 21and they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.
22And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? 23For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath evil entreated this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.