1. After this Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "This is what Yahweh, the God of Israel says: 'Let my people go that they may hold a feast for me in the desert."
2. Pharaoh replied, "Who is Yahweh that I should listen to his voice and let Israel go? I do not know Yahweh and I will not let Israel go."
3. They then said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Allow us to make a three days' journey to the desert. There we shall offer sacrifices to Yahweh, our God, lest he punish us with the plague or the sword."
4. The king of Egypt said to them, "Moses and Aaron, why do you take people away from their work? Get back to your tasks.
5. The people are now numerous and you are asking them to interrupt their work."
6. That same day Pharaoh gave the following order to the taskmasters of the people and to the Israelite foremen,
7. "You will no longer supply the people with straw for making bricks. Let them go and find it themselves;
8. but you will exact from them the same number of bricks as before, not one less. They are lazy and that is why they are crying out to go and sacrifice to their God.
9. Make the work harder for the people and pay no attention to their lies."
10. The slave drivers and their Israelite foremen went out and said to the people, "Pharaoh will not give you any more straw.
11. Go and get it yourselves wherever you can find it, but the amount of work done must be the same as before."
12. The people scattered throughout Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw.
13. The taskmasters kept pressing them, saying, "Complete the work required of you each day, as you did when you had straw."
14. The taskmasters beat the Israelite foremen they had placed over the people saying, "Why haven't your people completed the same amount of work as before?"
15. The Israelite foremen complained to Pharaoh saying, "Why do you treat us like this?
16. We are given no straw and yet we are told to make bricks. We are being beaten, but the fault is with your own people."
17. Pharaoh replied, "Lazy! You are lazy, and that is why you ask to go and sacrifice to Yahweh.
18. Go back to work. You will not be given straw but you will produce the same number of bricks."
19. The Israelite foremen felt they were in great trouble.
20. They met Moses and Aaron who were waiting for them
21. and said to them, "May Yahweh look upon you and judge you, because you have made us hateful to Pharaoh and his ministers, and placed in his hand a sword to kill us."
22. Moses then turned to Yahweh and said, "O Lord! Why have you treated your people so badly? Why did you send me?
23. From the time I spoke to Pharaoh in your name, he has brought trouble on this people and you have done nothing to rescue them!"