Exodus 5 Brickmaking Without Straw QA Supplied

Brickmaking without Straw

Questions and Proposed Answers Supplied

 

Background and Printed Text: Exodus 5:1-6:1

 

Exodus 5:1 And afterward Draw [Moshe] and Oy!-Conception! [Aharon] Came. And they said unto Pharaoh, “So said Yehovah Gods of Israel, ‘Send my people. And they solemnized to me in the desert.’” 2And Pharaoh said, “Who is Yehovah whom I will hearken via his voice to send Israel? I didn’t know Yehovah. And I will also not send Israel.” 3And they said, “Gods of the Crossers [Hebrews] was called upon us. We will walk, na, a way of three days into the desert. And we sacrificed to Yehovah our Gods lest He suddenly-meet us via pestilence or via the sword.” 4And the king of Double-Adversity [Egypt] said unto them, “Why, Draw [Moshe] and Oy!-Conception! [Aharon], do ye unbridle the people from his works? Walk-ye to your burdens!”

 

5And Pharaoh said, “Behold, the people of the land now are many. And ye cease them from their burdens.” 6And Pharaoh commanded the rigour-masters and his officers into the people that day to say, 7 “Ye shall not gather to give straw to the people to brick-make the brick as yesterday, three-days-ago! They shall walk. And they shall stubble-gather to them! 8And ye shall put upon them the allotment of the bricks that they are making yesterday three-days-ago. Ye shall not diminish from him. For they are idle. Therefore they are screaming to say, ‘We will walk! We will sacrifice to our Gods!’ 9The slavery shall be heavy upon the men! And they did via her! And they shall not do via speeches of a lie!” 10And the taskmasters of the people exited, and his officers.

 

And they said unto the people to say, “So said Pharaoh, ‘I am not giving straw to you. 11Ye– Walk ye! Take straw to you from wherever ye shall find! For there is no slacking from your slavery to speak!’” 12And the people were scattered in all the land of Double-Adversity [Egypt] to stubble-gather stubble to straw.

 

13And the rigour-masters are hastening to say, “Finish your works, a speech of a day in his day just-as via [there] being the straw!” 14And they smote the officers of the children of Israel whom Pharaoh’s rigour-masters put over them to say, “Why didn’t ye finish your statute to brick-make as yesterday three-days-ago, also yesterday, also today?”

 

15And the officers of the children of Israel came. And they screamed unto Pharaoh to say, “Why wilt thou do so to thy slaves? 16No straw was given to thy slaves! And bricks– they say to us, make! And, behold, they are smiting thy slaves! And the sin is of thy people!” 17And he said, “Idle! Ye are idle! Therefore ye are saying, ‘We will walk! We will sacrifice to Yehovah!’ 18And now, walk ye! Slave ye! And straw will not be given to you! And ye shall give the establishment of bricks!”

 

19And the officers of the children of Israel saw them via bad to say, “Ye shall not slack from your bricks, a speech of a day in his day!” 20And they-suddenly met Draw [Moshe] and Oy!-Conception! [Aharon] positioning to meet them when via their exiting from with Pharaoh. 21And they said unto them, “Yehovah shall see concerning you! And He judged that ye made- our smell -stink in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his slaves to give a sword via their hand to slay us!”

 

22And Draw [Moshe] returned unto Yehovah. And he said, “My Lords! For what hast Thou bad-caused to this people? This is for what Thou hast sent me? 23And the bad is to this people from then [that] I came unto Pharaoh to speak via Thy name! And delivering, Thou hast not delivered Thy people!” 6:1And Yehovah said unto Draw [Moshe], “Now thou wilt see what I will do to Pharaoh! For he shall send them via a grasping hand! And he will drive them from his land via a grasping hand!”

 

 

 

I. Respectfully Commanding Pharaoh (verses 1-4)

 

Moshe and Aharon came to Pharaoh. They told him, “So said Yehovah Gods of Israel, ‘Send my people. And they solemnized to me in the desert.’” Pharaoh responded to them: “Who is Yehovah whom I will hearken via his voice to send Israel? I didn’t know Yehovah. And I will also not send Israel.”

 

Moshe and Aharon next identified their deity: Gods of the Crossers (Gods of the Hebrews). They told Pharaoh that He was called upon the Hebrews.

 

Moshe and Aharon continued, “We will walk, na, a way of three days into the desert. And we sacrificed to Yehovah our Gods lest He suddenly-meet us via pestilence or via the sword.”’

 

The king of Egypt asked them a question: “Why, Moshe and Aharon, do ye unbridle the people from his works?”

 

He then commanded them to walk to their burdens!

 

 

 

Questions

 

1. The text states, “And afterward Moshe and Aharon came.” After what did they come? They came after doing the miraculous signs in front of the Israeli leaders.

 

2. How did they manage to get to see Pharaoh? The text doesn’t say. Yehovah certainly made sure that this occurred.

 

3. Both Moshe and Aharon said, “So said Yehovah Gods of Israel, ‘Send my people. And they solemnized to me in the desert.’” Did Yehovah really say exactly that? Yes, He did. Moshe is a prophet; a Biblically true prophet is able to exactly quote Yehovah every time. That is what he did. Aharon is a prophet to Moshe as if Moshe is a god; thus, Aharon will also speak exactly the words of Yehovah.

 

4. What were Moshe and Aharon commanding to Pharaoh when they said that Yehovah said, “Send my people”? They were commanding Pharaoh to send the entire slave population (consisting of millions of individuals) from the land of Egypt.

 

5. Was this a reasonable command? It certainly wasn’t reasonable to Pharaoh and his government officials. It was perfectly reasonable to Yehovah, and He determined to make it reasonable to Pharaoh! He will do the very same thing later in earth’s history!

 

6. What does “And they solemnized to me in the desert” mean? To solemnize means to cause an event to be very serious and important. The event might be very enjoyable, but it will still be a very serious event. This is how some holidays are established in the first place.

 

The Israelis must do this event in the desert, and not in Egypt.

 

7. Didn’t Pharaoh know who Yehovah was (verse 2)? No, he didn’t. He had enough deities of his own, and he was supposedly a god; he hadn’t learned about Yehovah.

 

8. Was Pharaoh’s question, “Who is Yehovah whom I will hearken via his voice to send Israel,” a good question? Yes, it is a very good question. Pharaoh desired to know what credentials and powers Yehovah has before he hearkens to His voice.

 

9. Pharaoh next stated, “I didn’t know Yehovah. And I will also not send Israel.” Was this response reasonable? His admission that he didn’t know Yehovah was reasonable. His stating, “And I will also not send Israel” shows that he assumed that Yehovah was nothing.

 

10. What did Aharon and Moshe mean by ““Gods of the Hebrews was called upon us”? To be called upon in this way is to suddenly meet with someone, but it also means to be named. The Gods of the Hebrews (as one God) was called upon the Israelis; His Names and identifications were associated with the Israelis. Thus, whenever anyone considers this God, that person also considers the Israelis.

 

11. What does “We will walk, na, a way of three days into the desert” mean? The Hebrew word na shows that this is being said with respect, and not as a harsh demand. Moshe and Aharon are telling Pharaoh that the Israelis and they will walk for three days out of Egypt and into the desert.

 

12. Explain “And we sacrificed to Yehovah our Gods lest He suddenly-meet us via pestilence or via the sword:” The word sacrificed is in the past tense because that will be done once they go three days into the desert. The Israelis will sacrifice to Yehovah their Gods. They have to do this lest Yehovah will suddenly meet them by means of a disease outbreak (pestilence) or with a slaughter (by means of a sword).

 

13. Moshe and Aharon described Yehovah as being ready to attack the Israelis if they don’t comply. Is this a right picture of Yehovah’s character? If they go three days into the desert with sacrifices, and if they don’t sacrifice to Yehovah (like if they sacrifice to some other god or gods), it perfectly describes Yehovah! Moshe and Aharon purposely described Yehovah in a very threatening way. He will be very threatening to Pharaoh!

 

14. Pharaoh asked this question: “Why, Moshe and Aharon, do ye unbridle the people from his works?” What is wrong with a question like this? Some questions assume that things are true, and they are not true. It is like asking a man who was always kind to his wife, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” If he answers, “Yes,” he is admitting that he used to beat her, and he never did. If he answers, “No,” his is admitting that he is still beating her, and he isn’t.

 

Pharaoh’s question assumed that they both ‘unbridled’—that is, released them (like one would an animal from pulling a plow) the people from having to do their various works. Moshe and Aharon had not done anything like that.

 

15. What did he mean by, “Walk ye to your burdens”? This was the way to say, “Go back to work!” Pharaoh didn’t even realize that Moshe wasn’t one of the slaves.

 

 

 

II. Increased Work (verses 5-10)

 

Pharaoh wasn’t finished. He continued, “Behold, the people of the land now are many. And ye cease them from their burdens.” That bothered Pharaoh quite a bit. He commanded the rigour-masters and his officers to go into the people of Israel that day and to say to them, “Ye shall not gather to give straw to the people to brick-make the brick as yesterday, three-days-ago!” He changed the way of life to make it much harder.

 

“They shall walk. And they shall stubble-gather to them!” They had to do their own gathering as well as making the bricks.

 

“And ye shall put upon them the allotment of the bricks that they are making yesterday three-days-ago.” They had to deliver the very same amounts of bricks as before.

 

“Ye shall not diminish from him. For they are idle. Therefore they are screaming to say, ‘We will walk! We will sacrifice to our Gods!’”

 

Pharaoh then commanded, “The slavery shall be heavy upon the men! And they did via her! And they shall not do via speeches of a lie!”

 

At this point, the taskmasters of the people and Pharaoh’s officers exited to do Pharaoh’s commands.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1. Who are the people of the land, and what does this expression mean? The people of the land consists of farmers, ranchers and cattlemen/shepherds—folks whose work is with land and who depend on the land in a very direct way. The expression implies low class, since those who are middle and upper class have slaves do the work that handles the land and the soil. (Yehovah doesn’t see this the same way; all the peoples of the land are doing what humans were designed to do: to serve the soil. Their lives are often harder, and they must do much physical work, but they sometimes live much longer, and they tend to sin less than folks who live in luxury and have much time on their hands.

 

2. What does “Pharaoh commanded the rigour-masters and his officers into the people” mean? A rigour-master is a person who is very demanding. The word rigour means severity, harshness, and constantly very high accuracy and precision. These masters treated the Israelis very cruelly if the Israelis didn’t do exactly what they were told to do.

 

Commanding these masters into the people means that Pharaoh demanded that they become much stricter, much more demanding and much harsher on the people to get them to do what Pharaoh demanded. Thus, these rigour-masters had to go in among the Israelis far more often, beating them, threatening them, making cruel examples of them, etc. until they did the work demanded.

 

3. What does gather mean in, “Ye shall not gather to give straw”? Gathering in Hebrew includes making preparations; it also includes beginning to do something. Pharaoh told these rigour-masters that they were to do nothing that helped the Israelis obtain straw for the brick; the Israelis had to gather their own without help.

 

4. What does yesterday, three-days-ago mean? Yesterday means what has been done in recent times. Three days ago means what used to be done before recent times. Together, they indicate what was historically done. Thus, “Ye shall not gather to give straw to the people to brick-make the brick as yesterday, three-days-ago” means, “Ye shall not even begin to supply any straw to the people to make bricks as ye used to do.”

 

5. The text says, “They shall walk.” Where and why shall they walk? The Hebrews/Israelis shall walk over the land of Egypt to gather their own stubble for straw.

 

6. What does stubble-gather mean? It means to gather what is left over in fields after the fields have been harvested. Stubble consists of left-over dead stalks of grains, dry leaves, and other plant parts that are not useful to the farmers who grew the crops. This stubble when mixed with mud and baked forms good bricks. Those bricks are not bothered by rain; they don’t soften in rain. They act like rocks. (Bring a brick to class to see how hard it is; it was originally made of clay mud!) Stubble mixed with mud makes very strong bricks. (This is strange because mud is very weak, and stubble is very weak.)

 

7. What is an allotment? It is the assigned amount, and it is the portion that must be produced. For example, if ten students must make twenty drawings, each student has an allotment of two drawings.

 

8. Pharaoh said, “Ye shall not diminish from him.” Who is him? He is the allotment of the people of Israel that they must produce.

 

9. What gave Pharaoh the impression that the Israelis were idle? Pharaoh thought that Moshe and Aharon, as representatives of all the Israelis, were screaming and saying, “We will walk! We will sacrifice to our Gods!” showing that they felt they could still get their work done and go three days out to sacrifice to their Gods.

 

10. What does “The slavery shall be heavy upon the men” mean? It means that the amount of work and demands will be greatly increased so that they won’t have time to waste.

 

11. What does “And they did via her” mean, and who is her? Her is the slavery (a feminine word). They, the Hebrews, did their labour by means of the slavery (that will be very heavy). Thus, the Israelis must be beaten much more, and they must be forced to work much harder.

 

12. Explain, “And they shall not do via speeches of a lie:” This means that the Hebrews shall not do their labour by giving speeches that are filled with a lie; they must do their labour by working and not by saying lies.

 

13. Where did the taskmasters and officers go once they exited? They went to force the Israelis to do what Pharaoh said and to beat the Israelis into working much harder.

 

 

 

III. The Terrible Announcement (verses 10-12)

 

The taskmasters and officers communicated Pharaoh’s orders to the Israelis: “So said Pharaoh, ‘I am not giving straw to you. Ye– Walk ye! Take straw to you from wherever ye shall find! For there is no slacking from your slavery to speak!’” The Israelis were then scattered throughout all Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1. Who are they who said unto the people what Pharaoh told them? They are the taskmasters—that is, the rigour-masters.

 

2. Pharaoh said, “I am not giving straw to you.” Was he giving straw before? He wasn’t giving straw, but he represented Egypt. Egypt was giving straw to the Israeli slaves to make bricks. Now, Egypt no longer provided the straw and the stubble.

 

3. Where were the Israelis supposed to find straw, now? They had to forage for straw in all the fields of Egypt!

 

4. How long would obtaining this straw take? It would take all day! They would have no time for making bricks! Pharaoh commanded them to do what couldn’t be done.

 

5. What was Pharaoh communicating when he said, “For there is no slacking from your slavery to speak”? Pharaoh never wanted to hear from the Israelis again about traveling, sacrificing, and other similar things! He determined that they would be too busy to say a word!

 

6. What is involved in gathering stubble? It involves hand-harvesting dried or partially dried stalks, many which are flat on the ground. Thus, it included doing much stooping, some crawling, much carrying, and very hard labour. The Israelis also had to walk very great distances to find the next fields from which to gather stubble. The following is a picture of field stubble from www.xlseedtreatment.com/plantresidue.html:

 

Field Stubble

 

 

 

IV. Israelis against Israelis (verses 13-14)

 

The rigour-masters were responsible to make certain that the Israelis produced just as many bricks as before: “Finish your works, a speech of a day in his day just-as via [there] being the straw!”

 

The rigour-masters smote the officers of the children of Israel. The rigour-masters had put those officers over the Israelis. As they beat them, they asked, “Why didn’t ye finish your statute to brick-make as yesterday three-days-ago, also yesterday, also today?”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1. What does “a speech of a day in his day” mean? The speech of a day is what is said in a day and what is done in a day. Every day ‘speaks’ what occurs in it.

 

The rigour-masters told the Hebrews how much work to do on a daily basis. Telling them is also the speech of the day. Each day had its own speech, though I suspect that all seven days seemed much the same to the Israeli slaves.

 

2. What does “just as their being the straw” mean? There was no change now that straw wasn’t provided; the Hebrews had to produce just as many bricks as they did before when there was the provided straw.

 

3. The text states, “And they smote the officers of the children of Israel whom Pharaoh’s rigour-masters put over them.” Who smote the officers, and what does this mean? The rigour-masters were Egyptian. The officers were Israelis. The rigour-masters chose Israelis to be officers over the Israelis. Instead of smiting (hitting very hard and beating) the Israelis directly, the rigour-masters struck and beat up the Israeli officers if the officers didn’t successfully force the Israelis to produce the normal number of bricks. This way, the rigour-masters were not in as much danger; they would ‘pick on’ the officers, and the officers in turn mistreated their own brethren, the Israelis, to avoid being beaten themselves!

 

4. What does “Why didn’t ye finish your statute” mean? The statute is the ruling of how many bricks must be produced. Every group had its tally, its ‘statute’—the number of bricks to make. The Israelis didn’t make enough bricks. The rigour-masters are asking the Israeli officers why they, the officers, didn’t finish what was required of them.

 

5. How many days were they behind in verse 14? They were four days behind: today, yesterday, and even yesterday three-days-ago. They didn’t mention two days ago.

 

 

 

V. Confronting Pharaoh (verses 15-18)

 

The officers of the children of Israel came directly to Pharaoh, and they screamed to him: “Why wilt thou do so to thy slaves? No straw was given to thy slaves! And bricks– they say to us, make! And, behold, they are smiting thy slaves! And the sin is of thy people!”

 

Pharaoh’s response was brief: “Idle! Ye are idle! Therefore ye are saying, ‘We will walk! We will sacrifice to Yehovah!’ And now, walk ye! Slave ye! And straw will not be given to you! And ye shall give the establishment of bricks!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1. Did the officers have direct access to Pharaoh? Yes. They made their complaints straight in front of Pharaoh.

 

2. What did the officers mean by “the sin is of thy people”? The word sin is used in the Bible in a different way than it is used by most folks who speak of the Bible. A sin can be an offense—a violation of man-made rules. It doesn’t have to be a wrong before Yehovah (or before other gods). In this case, Pharaoh was angry at the Israelis for not making the full number of bricks. The officers of the Israelis responded that the ‘sin’ that caused the brick numbers to be so low was caused by the Egyptians.

 

3. Pharaoh responded, “Idle! Ye are idle!” What was Pharaoh not doing? Pharaoh wasn’t listening. This will be his behaviour throughout these chapters. He was accusing the Israelis of being idle.

 

4. What was his proof (in his mind) that the Israelis were idle? He figured that all the Israelis were saying, “We will walk! We will sacrifice to Yehovah!” He was angry, and therefore he saw all Israelis as having the same view and request as Moshe and Aharon.

 

5. What type of response did Pharaoh portray by saying, “And now, walk ye! Slave ye! And straw will not be given to you”? This showed contempt. He had no care and no thought as he said, “Walk ye! Slave ye!” His own comfort was not touched. The Israelis were like cattle, to him.

 

6. What does “the establishment of bricks” mean? It means the amount established in previous commands.

 

 

 

VI. Anger against Moshe and Aaron (verses 19-21)

 

The officers of the children of Israel saw Moshe and Aharon as bad when they heard Pharaoh say, “Ye shall not slack from your bricks, a speech of a day in his day!” They suddenly met Moshe and Aharon who set themselves to meet them at the time they exited from Pharaoh. They said to Moshe and Aharon, “Yehovah shall see concerning you! And He judged that ye made- our smell -stink in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his slaves to give a sword via their hand to slay us!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1. Who are them in, “the officers of the children of Israel saw them via bad”? They are Moshe and Aharon. Those two made their lives totally miserable! The expression, via bad, means in a bad way!

 

2. How and why did they suddenly meet Moshe and Aharon? Moshe and Aharon had positioned themselves to meet with the officers after their meeting with Pharaoh. Moshe and Aharon wanted to know how the meeting went, and the officers wanted to tell Moshe and Aharon just how bad those two had made their lives.

 

3. What did the officers mean by, “Yehovah shall see concerning you”? That was a nice way of saying, “Yehovah will see about you”—a statement close to a curse.

 

4. The officers said that Moshe and Aharon made their smell stink in the eyes of Pharaoh and Pharaoh’s slaves. What does this mean? In this picture and wording, everyone has a ‘smell.’ Some folks ‘smell good’—that is, others like them. Some folks ‘stink’—that is, others strongly don’t like them, and don’t like being around them. In this case, according to the officers, Moshe and Aharon made the officers stink—but not in the nose of Pharaoh, but instead in the eyes of Pharaoh and his slaves, meaning that Pharaoh and his personal slaves no longer desired to see the officers.

 

5. Explain “…to give a sword via their hand to slay us:” The officers accused Moshe and Aharon of so greatly turning Pharaoh and his personal slaves against them, that it was as if Moshe and Aharon had put a sword in their hand so that they would kill the officers. Thus, Moshe and Aharon made Pharaoh and his slaves hate the officers of Israel.

 

 

 

VII. Moshe and Yehovah Discuss  (verse 22-23, Exodus 6:1)

 

Moshe returned to Yehovah. He set the blame at Yehovah’s feet: “My Lords! For what hast Thou bad-caused to this people? This is for what Thou hast sent me?” This made no sense.

 

“And the bad is to this people from then [that] I came unto Pharaoh to speak via thy name! And delivering, Thou hast not delivered Thy people!” Moshe was angry!

 

Yehovah responded to Moshe, “Now thou wilt see what I will do to Pharaoh! For he shall send them via a grasping hand! And he will drive them from his land via a grasping hand!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1. How did Moshe feel toward Yehovah after he heard from the officers? Moshe was quite angry at Yehovah. Yehovah had made things worse for the Israelis.

 

2. What does “For what hast Thou bad-caused to this people” mean? It means, “For what reason hast Thou caused trouble for this people”? Moshe was quite angry!

 

3. Moshe then asked, “This is for what Thou hast sent me?” What was he expressing? Moshe is expressing outrage! Why did Yehovah waste both of their times with this mission?

 

4. Moshe continued, “And the bad is to this people from then [that] I came unto Pharaoh to speak via thy name!” Word this in more modern English: The wording might be like this: “And the trouble began for this people from the time that I came unto Pharaoh to speak using Thy name!”

 

5. What had Moshe expected to occur? Moshe thought that Yehovah would immediately begin to diminish the slavery load on the Israelis!

 

6. What did Moshe mean by, “And delivering, Thou hast not delivered Thy people”? Doubling the verb (the verb is deliver in this case) greatly intensifies and strengthens the statement. It is like saying, “Thou certainly didn’t deliver Thy people!”

 

7. Was Yehovah angry at Moshe for being so blunt with Yehovah, and for basically accusing Him of making a mess? No, Yehovah was not angry. Moshe had done nothing wrong. He expressed the way he saw things, and he showed Yehovah respect in the process.

 

8. What was Yehovah expressing when He told Moshe, “Now thou wilt see what I will do to Pharaoh”? Yehovah is in charge. He is over Pharaoh; He is sovereign (meaning that He is able to do exactly what He desires to do, and He can and will overrule Pharaoh whenever He desires to do so). He is going to do things to Pharaoh.

 

9. What does “For he shall send them via a grasping hand” mean? This means that Pharaoh will send the Israelis, and he will send them by means of a grasping hand—his own hand! He will basically throw them out of Egypt!

 

10. What does “And he will drive them from his land via a grasping hand” mean? This means that he will force the Israelis out of Egypt as if he is grabbing the hand of all Israel to tow Israel out!

 

11. Some teach that asking Yehovah a ‘why’ question is not right. Is this true? No, it isn’t! Asking a ‘why’ question is fine. One will usually have to wait to obtain the answer, however.

 

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