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to look upon God. And the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their task-masters; for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey."
The Story of Moses and the Brickmakers.
(From the 5th Chapter of Exodus.)
And the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron that they should go in and say unto Pharaoh, “ Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.” And they did so. And Pharaoh said, 66 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.” 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.” And the king of Egypt said unto them, “Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, hinder the people from their work ? Get ye unto your burdens.”
And Pharaoh commanded the same day the task-masters of the people, and their officers, saying, “Ye shall no more give the people straw to make bricks, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. And 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.' Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labor therein ; and let them not regard vain words.” And the task-masters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, “ Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not aught of your work shall be diminished.” So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt, to gather stubble instead of straw. And the task-masters hasted them, saying, “Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw.” And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's task-masters 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 ?” Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, “Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants? 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." But he said, “Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, “Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord.' Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks."