Study Guide

Book of Exodus Chapter 5

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Chapter 5

Regional Grain Dispute Politics

  • Moses and Aaron ask Pharaoh to let the Israelites go into the wilderness and worship for a few days. Heads up: they do not ask for complete freedom. This isn't a revolution yet.
  • Pharaoh says he's never heard of God… so no.
  • He also tells the Israelites that they must now deliver the same number of bricks per day, but that from this point on, the Egyptians will no longer provide straw. In today's terms, this would be like receiving a government contract to build a building, and then having the government illegalize the sale of steel and concrete to your company.
  • The Israelite supervisors go and talk with Pharaoh, but he tells them to get lost. Think of this as a kind of regional trade dispute. Even though the Bible makes it seem like the Israelites were slaves, these negotiation scenes suggest a kind of work relationship. Nobody negotiates with their master, right?
  • Moses is berated by the Israelite supervisors, and he asks God why he was sent here if God is doing nothing to help.

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