The instructions for the supervisors (Ex 5:6-5:14)

“That same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, as well as well as their supervisors, ‘You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as before.  Let them go and gather straw for themselves.   But 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.’  Let heavier work be laid on them.  Then they will labor at it and pay no attention to deceptive words.’”

Pharaoh gave orders that same day to his taskmasters and supervisors.  Make those Israelites get their own straw to make bricks, but don’t lower their quota.  The Israelites are lazy.  That is why they want to go and offer sacrifice to God.   Give them heavier work.  The slave owners always think that their slaves are lazy.

“So the taskmasters and the supervisors or foremen of the people went out and said to the people, ‘Thus says Pharaoh, I will not give you straw.  Go and get straw yourselves, wherever you can find it.  But your work will not be lessened in the least.’  So the people were scattered throughout the land of Egypt, to gather stubble for straw.  The taskmasters were pressing, saying, ‘Complete your work, the same daily assignment as when you were given straw.’  The supervisors or foremen 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?’”

Apparently, getting this straw for the bricks was a big deal. The supervisors were beaten because they were not getting the same amount of work out of them.

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