Exod 4:18-6:1

Moses Returns to Egypt 18Moses went back to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, “Please let me go back to my kindred in Egypt and see whether they are still living.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”19The Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt; for all those who were seeking your life are dead.”20So Moses took his wife and his sons, put them on a donkey and went back to the land of Egypt; and Moses carried the staff of God in his hand.21And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders that I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.22Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: Israel is my firstborn son.23I said to you, “Let my son go that he may worship me.” But you refused to let him go; now I will kill your firstborn son.’ ”24On the way, at a place where they spent the night, the Lord met him and tried to kill him.25But Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin, and touched Moses' feet with it, and said, “Truly you are a bridegroom of blood to me!”26So he let him alone. It was then she said, “A bridegroom of blood by circumcision.”27The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he went; and he met him at the mountain of God and kissed him.28Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which he had sent him, and all the signs with which he had charged him.29Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the Israelites.30Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and performed the signs in the sight of the people.31The people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had given heed to the Israelites and that he had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.Chapter 5Bricks without Straw 1Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, so that they may celebrate a festival to me in the wilderness.’ ”2But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should heed him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go.”3Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has revealed himself to us; let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord our God, or he will fall upon us with pestilence or sword.”4But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their work? Get to your labors!”5Pharaoh continued, “Now they are more numerous than the people of the land! and yet you want them to stop working!”6That same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, as well as their supervisors,7“You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as before; let them go and gather straw for themselves.8But you shall require of them the same quantity of bricks as they have made previously; do not diminish it, for they are lazy; that is why they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’9Let heavier work be laid on them; then they will labor at it and pay no attention to deceptive words.”10So the taskmasters and the supervisors of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw.11Go and get straw yourselves, wherever you can find it; but your work will not be lessened in the least.’ ”12So the people scattered throughout the land of Egypt, to gather stubble for straw.13The taskmasters were urgent, saying, “Complete your work, the same daily assignment as when you were given straw.”14And the supervisors of the Israelites, whom Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and were asked, “Why did you not finish the required quantity of bricks yesterday and today, as you did before?”15Then the Israelite supervisors came to Pharaoh and cried, “Why do you treat your servants like this?16No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ Look how your servants are beaten! You are unjust to your own people.”17He said, “You are lazy, lazy; that is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’18Go now, and work; for no straw shall be given you, but you shall still deliver the same number of bricks.”19The Israelite supervisors saw that they were in trouble when they were told, “You shall not lessen your daily number of bricks.”20As they left Pharaoh, they came upon Moses and Aaron who were waiting to meet them.21They said to them, “The Lord look upon you and judge! You have brought us into bad odor with Pharaoh and his officials, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”22Then Moses turned again to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have you mistreated this people? Why did you ever send me?23Since I first came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has mistreated this people, and you have done nothing at all to deliver your people.”Chapter 6Israel's Deliverance Assured 1Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land.”