| Quote #1
That same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, 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.' (NRSV 5:6-9)
And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, 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 ought 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 labour therein; and let them not regard vain words. (KJV 5:6-9)
What a meanie. Why is Pharaoh doing this? It seems pretty nonsensical to make life harder for your own workers, especially when all they did was ask for time off for a religious holiday. This is unreasonable stubbornness, folks, and it's designed to make you, the reader, feel sympathetic towards the Israelites. Pretty sneaky.
| Quote #2
Moses told this to the Israelites; but they would not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel slavery. (NRSV 6:9)
And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage. (KJV 6:9)
The text goes out of its way to explain why these people are being stubborn. Wouldn't you be a little annoyed about the extra work Pharaoh assigned? So is it okay to be stubborn in certain situations?
| Quote #3
But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and I will multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. (NRSV 7:3)
And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. (KJV 7:3)
By making Pharaoh stubborn about letting the Israelites go, God gives himself an opportunity to show off his miracles. God's out for himself here folks—the Israelites are helping him just as much as he's helping them.