TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Exodus 5

1Afterward Moshe and Aharon went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says Hashem, the God of Yisrael: Let My people go that they may celebrate a festival for Me in the wilderness.”

אוְאַחַר בָּאוּ מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־פַּרְעֹה כֹּה־אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל שַׁלַּח אֶת־עַמִּי וְיָחֹגּוּ לִי בַּמִּדְבָּר׃

2But Pharaoh said, “Who is Hashem that I should heed Him and let Yisrael go? I do not know Hashem, nor will I let Yisrael go.”

va-YO-mer par-OH MEE a-do-NAI a-SHER esh-MA b'-ko-LO l'-sha-LAKH et yis-ra-AYL LO ya-DA-tee et a-do-NAI v'-GAM et yis-ra-AYL LO a-sha-LAY-akh

בוַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה מִי יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר אֶשְׁמַע בְּקֹלוֹ לְשַׁלַּח אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא יָדַעְתִּי אֶת־יְהֹוָה וְגַם אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא אֲשַׁלֵּחַ׃

5:2 I do not know Hashem

The wilderness of Israel’s Negev desert.

Only in complete absence of recognition of Hashem and His ways can one treat others the way Pharaoh treated the Israelites. Had he acknowledged the Lord, Pharaoh would not have been able to treat them that way. Therefore, God emphasizes (Exodus 7:5) that the purpose of the ten plagues is to prove to the Egyptians and the entire world that He is the one and only omnipotent God.

 

3They answered, “The God of the Hebrews has manifested Himself to us. Let us go, we pray, a distance of three days into the wilderness to sacrifice to Hashem our God, lest He strike us with pestilence or sword.”

גוַיֹּאמְרוּ אֱלֹהֵי הָעִבְרִים נִקְרָא עָלֵינוּ נֵלֲכָה נָּא דֶּרֶךְ שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים בַּמִּדְבָּר וְנִזְבְּחָה לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ פֶּן־יִפְגָּעֵנוּ בַּדֶּבֶר אוֹ בֶחָרֶב׃

4But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moshe and Aharon, why do you distract the people from their tasks? Get to your labors!”

דוַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם לָמָּה מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן תַּפְרִיעוּ אֶת־הָעָם מִמַּעֲשָׂיו לְכוּ לְסִבְלֹתֵיכֶם׃

5And Pharaoh continued, “The people of the land are already so numerous, and you would have them cease from their labors!”

הוַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה הֵן־רַבִּים עַתָּה עַם הָאָרֶץ וְהִשְׁבַּתֶּם אֹתָם מִסִּבְלֹתָם׃

6That same day Pharaoh charged the taskmasters and foremen of the people, saying,

ווַיְצַו פַּרְעֹה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא אֶת־הַנֹּגְשִׂים בָּעָם וְאֶת־שֹׁטְרָיו לֵאמֹר׃

7“You shall no longer provide the people with straw for making bricks as heretofore; let them go and gather straw for themselves.

זלֹא תֹאסִפוּן לָתֵת תֶּבֶן לָעָם לִלְבֹּן הַלְּבֵנִים כִּתְמוֹל שִׁלְשֹׁם הֵם יֵלְכוּ וְקֹשְׁשׁוּ לָהֶם תֶּבֶן׃

8But impose upon them the same quota of bricks as they have been making heretofore; do not reduce it, for they are shirkers; that is why they cry, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God!'

חוְאֶת־מַתְכֹּנֶת הַלְּבֵנִים אֲשֶׁר הֵם עֹשִׂים תְּמוֹל שִׁלְשֹׁם תָּשִׂימוּ עֲלֵיהֶם לֹא תִגְרְעוּ מִמֶּנּוּ כִּי־נִרְפִּים הֵם עַל־כֵּן הֵם צֹעֲקִים לֵאמֹר נֵלְכָה נִזְבְּחָה לֵאלֹהֵינוּ׃

9Let heavier work be laid upon the men; let them keep at it and not pay attention to deceitful promises.”

טתִּכְבַּד הָעֲבֹדָה עַל־הָאֲנָשִׁים וְיַעֲשׂוּ־בָהּ וְאַל־יִשְׁעוּ בְּדִבְרֵי־שָׁקֶר׃

10So the taskmasters and foremen of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh: I will not give you any straw.

יוַיֵּצְאוּ נֹגְשֵׂי הָעָם וְשֹׁטְרָיו וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־הָעָם לֵאמֹר כֹּה אָמַר פַּרְעֹה אֵינֶנִּי נֹתֵן לָכֶם תֶּבֶן׃

11You must go and get the straw yourselves wherever you can find it; but there shall be no decrease whatever in your work.”

יאאַתֶּם לְכוּ קְחוּ לָכֶם תֶּבֶן מֵאֲשֶׁר תִּמְצָאוּ כִּי אֵין נִגְרָע מֵעֲבֹדַתְכֶם דָּבָר׃

12Then the people scattered throughout the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw.

יבוַיָּפֶץ הָעָם בְּכָל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם לְקֹשֵׁשׁ קַשׁ לַתֶּבֶן׃

13And the taskmasters pressed them, saying, “You must complete the same work assignment each day as when you had straw.”

יגוְהַנֹּגְשִׂים אָצִים לֵאמֹר כַּלּוּ מַעֲשֵׂיכֶם דְּבַר־יוֹם בְּיוֹמוֹ כַּאֲשֶׁר בִּהְיוֹת הַתֶּבֶן׃

14And the foremen of the Israelites, whom Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten. “Why,” they were asked, “did you not complete the prescribed amount of bricks, either yesterday or today, as you did before?”

ידוַיֻּכּוּ שֹׁטְרֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר־שָׂמוּ עֲלֵהֶם נֹגְשֵׂי פַרְעֹה לֵאמֹר מַדּוּעַ לֹא כִלִּיתֶם חָקְכֶם לִלְבֹּן כִּתְמוֹל שִׁלְשֹׁם גַּם־תְּמוֹל גַּם־הַיּוֹם׃

15Then the foremen of the Israelites came to Pharaoh and cried: “Why do you deal thus with your servants?

טווַיָּבֹאוּ שֹׁטְרֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּצְעֲקוּ אֶל־פַּרְעֹה לֵאמֹר לָמָּה תַעֲשֶׂה כֹה לַעֲבָדֶיךָ׃

16No straw is issued to your servants, yet they demand of us: Make bricks! Thus your servants are being beaten, when the fault is with your own people.”

טזתֶּבֶן אֵין נִתָּן לַעֲבָדֶיךָ וּלְבֵנִים אֹמְרִים לָנוּ עֲשׂוּ וְהִנֵּה עֲבָדֶיךָ מֻכִּים וְחָטָאת עַמֶּךָ׃

17He replied, “You are shirkers, shirkers! That is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to Hashem.'

יזוַיֹּאמֶר נִרְפִּים אַתֶּם נִרְפִּים עַל־כֵּן אַתֶּם אֹמְרִים נֵלְכָה נִזְבְּחָה לַיהֹוָה׃

18Be off now to your work! No straw shall be issued to you, but you must produce your quota of bricks!”

יחוְעַתָּה לְכוּ עִבְדוּ וְתֶבֶן לֹא־יִנָּתֵן לָכֶם וְתֹכֶן לְבֵנִים תִּתֵּנּוּ׃

19Now the foremen of the Israelites found themselves in trouble because of the order, “You must not reduce your daily quantity of bricks.”

יטוַיִּרְאוּ שֹׁטְרֵי בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֹתָם בְּרָע לֵאמֹר לֹא־תִגְרְעוּ מִלִּבְנֵיכֶם דְּבַר־יוֹם בְּיוֹמוֹ׃

20As they left Pharaoh's presence, they came upon Moshe and Aharon standing in their path,

כוַיִּפְגְּעוּ אֶת־מֹשֶׁה וְאֶת־אַהֲרֹן נִצָּבִים לִקְרָאתָם בְּצֵאתָם מֵאֵת פַּרְעֹה׃

21and they said to them, “May Hashem look upon you and punish you for making us loathsome to Pharaoh and his courtiers—putting a sword in their hands to slay us.”

כאוַיֹּאמְרוּ אֲלֵהֶם יֵרֶא יְהֹוָה עֲלֵיכֶם וְיִשְׁפֹּט אֲשֶׁר הִבְאַשְׁתֶּם אֶת־רֵיחֵנוּ בְּעֵינֵי פַרְעֹה וּבְעֵינֵי עֲבָדָיו לָתֶת־חֶרֶב בְּיָדָם לְהָרְגֵנוּ׃

22Then Moshe returned to Hashem and said, “O Hashem, why did You bring harm upon this people? Why did You send me?

כבוַיָּשָׁב מֹשֶׁה אֶל־יְהֹוָה וַיֹּאמַר אֲדֹנָי לָמָה הֲרֵעֹתָה לָעָם הַזֶּה לָמָּה זֶּה שְׁלַחְתָּנִי׃

23Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has dealt worse with this people; and still You have not delivered Your people.”

כגוּמֵאָז בָּאתִי אֶל־פַּרְעֹה לְדַבֵּר בִּשְׁמֶךָ הֵרַע לָעָם הַזֶּה וְהַצֵּל לֹא־הִצַּלְתָּ אֶת־עַמֶּךָ׃