1. And afterward Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, ``Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, `Let My people go that they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness.'" 2. But Pharaoh said, ``Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and besides, I will not let Israel go." 3. Then they said, ``The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, otherwise He will fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword." 4. But the king of Egypt said to them, ``Moses and Aaron, why do you draw the people away from their work? Get back to your labors!" 5. Again Pharaoh said, ``Look, the people of the land are now many, and you would have them cease from their labors!" 6. So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters over the people and their foremen, saying, 7. ``You are no longer to give the people straw to make brick as previously; let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8. ``But the quota of bricks which they were making previously, you shall impose on them; you are not to reduce any of it. Because they are lazy, therefore they cry out, `Let us go and sacrifice to our God.' 9. ``Let the labor be heavier on the men, and let them work at it so that they will pay no attention to false words."
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