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Sunday, September 15 2013

Exodus 5: Bricks Without Straw

"The king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? Get you unto your burdens"

The return of Moses and Aaron (see The Meeting Of Moses And Aaron) to Egypt went exactly as the LORD God (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) prophesied. The Israelites believed the signs that they were given: "4:29 And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders [see also What Did The Elders Of Israel Do?] of the children of Israel: 4:30 And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 4:31 And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped." (Exodus 4:27-31 KJV; see Exodus 4: Signs For Israel). At the same time, the Pharaoh made himself obstinate, also as prophesied: "3:19 And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. 3:20 And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go." (Exodus 3:19-20 KJV).

"5:1 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.

5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go. " (Exodus 5:1-2 KJV)

Moses and Aaron then repeated the LORD's demand. The Pharaoh responded with ignorance ("ignorance" literally means to ignore, not merely to not know). He commanded Moses and Aaron to "get you unto your burdens" - he apparently thought that they had just arrived from the fields or brick pits.

Bricks Without Straw

"5:3 And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.

5:4 And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens. 5:5 And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens." (Exodus 5:3-5 KJV)

The Pharaoh's order to have the Israelites gather their own straw for making bricks was either a spiteful abuse of innocent people (Moses and Aaron delivered the command, not the people who were making the bricks), or, if he thought that Moses and Aaron were brick makers (the reason that he said to them "get you unto your burdens"), a direct rebuke and punishment to them.

"5:6 And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, 5:7 Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. 5:8 And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. 5:9 Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.

5:10 And 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. 5:11 Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished. 5:12 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. 5:13 And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw. 5:14 And 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 in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore?" (Exodus 5:6-14 KJV)

The overseers of the Israelites then protested because it make their task of pushing the Israelites more difficult, nearing impossible.

"5:15 Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants? 5:16 There 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.

5:17 But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the LORD. 5:18 Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks.

5:19 And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task. 5:20 And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: 5:21 And 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." (Exodus 5:15-21 KJV)

The first appearance of Moses and Aaron to the Pharaoh was not successful. They would return however, after which the Pharaoh would have preferred to have heeded the first demand from the LORD.

"5:22 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? 5:23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all." (Exodus 5:22-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did Egyptian historians also record the miraculous events that happened before the Exodus?
See Ipuwer's Exodus


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This Day In History, September 15

76 BC: Alexander Jannaeus (Alexander Yannai), the Hasmonean / Maccabean king of Judaea, died (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Hasmonean Judea and Christ's Hanukkah). The Maccabees led the people of Judah to independence after the original "abomination of desolation" was committed in Jerusalem by the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes (see A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation). Alexander Jannaeus succeeded his brother Aristobulus in 103 BC. He was an ally of the Sadducees and persecuted their opponents, the Pharisees (see The Origin Of The Essenes, Sadducees And Pharisees).

668: Eastern Roman Emperor Constans II was assassinated at Syracuse, Italy.

1648: The Larger and the Shorter Catechisms, both produced by the Westminster Assembly the previous year, were approved by the British Parliament. These two documents have been in regular use among various Presbyterians, Congregationalists and Baptists from that time.

1697: Augustus II, elector of Saxony, was crowned king of Poland.

Railway 1776: During the revolution of the New England colonies that had been established by English pioneers over 150 years earlier, British forces under General William Howe captured New York City (named after England's Duke of York).

1821: San Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala declared themselves independent of Spain.

1830: Britain's Liverpool and Manchester railway line opened.

1835: The HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, arrived at the Galápagos Islands (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).

1916: The first deployment of tanks in battle - 49 British "Big Willies" participated in the Battle of The Somme during the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1928: Scottish researcher Alexander Fleming discovered the antibiotic effect of penicillin.

1935: In Germany, the Nazis under the leadership of Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) enacted the Nuremburg Laws, beginning a program of violent religious and racial persecution. All Jews were deprived of their citizenship and the "ghettos" were created. The same day, the Swastika became the national flag of Germany.

1938: British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany to meet Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden, the first of two meetings to try and avoid the crisis over the Sudetenland.

1940: At the height of the Battle of Britain, Royal Air Force Hurricanes and Spitfires shot down 185 Nazi planes. The day has since been celebrated as Battle of Britain day.

1945: A hurricane destroyed over 350 military aircraft at a naval air station in Florida.

1959: Nikita Khrushchev became the first Russian head of state to visit the U.S.

1963: During the struggle for civil rights of black people in the U.S., four black children died when their church in Montgomery, Alabama was destroyed by a bomb.

1968: The unmanned Soviet Zond 5 spaceship was launched. It became the first vehicle to fly around the Moon and then return and re-enter the Earth's atmosphere.

1972: Two former White House aides, Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy, were added to the five men already charged with the break-in at the Watergate building during the Nixon regime.

1982: Despite Israel's protest, Pope John Paul II had a private meeting with Palestinian terrorist leader Yasser Arafat in the Vatican (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

2008: Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history to date.



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