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This is what the LORD the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so they may hold a festival to me in the desert.’” –Exodus 5:1

You may read Exodus 5:1-6:13 here: Bible Gateway.

The Israelites acceptance of Moses’ message quickly sours as Moses’ fears are realized: Pharaoh defies God’s demands. Although historical records show that Egyptian serfs were allowed to take time off for religious festivals, Pharaoh did not know or respect God. He believes Moses is lying.

So Pharaoh exasperates the Israelites by demanding the same quota of bricks. But this time they would have to gather their own straw to mix with the mud. After the Israelite foremen were beaten, because the Israelites couldn’t keep up with the slave drivers demands, they appeal to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh stubbornly persists in oppressing the Israelites.

Now Moses and Aaron are the foremen’s target of frustration: “May the…

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