THE LIFE OF MOSES – LESSON 10
PHARAOH’S HARSH RESPONSE
Pharaoh rejected Moses’ request. He accused him and Aaron of trying to get the slaves a few days of rest from their construction labors. His harsh response was to put more work upon the slaves and make it more difficult for them (Exodus chapter 5).
His command was twofold. He ordered their workload to be increased and would not allow complaints (vain words) about it.
The other part of his command made the work more difficult. The bricks for building were made of mud and straw which had to be mixed, formed, and hardened. The straw was a binding agent to make it strong, much the same way that our concrete has rock, stone, or shell added. Without these it is weak and brittle.
Pharaoh had been providing the straw. Now he said the Hebrew slaves would have to gather their own straw in addition to the added construction load.
When the workers were unable to fulfill the new higher daily quota, severe measures were taken. The Hebrew “straw bosses” [officers] were beaten by their Egyptian taskmasters. They blamed Moses and Aaron for the terrible turn of events, and the Hebrews confronted them about it in anger.
God then reaffirmed His promise with Moses. In Exodus chapter 6:9, Moses brought God’s message to the people, but they would not receive what he said due to their anger and the new intensity of Egypt’s cruelty.
God told Moses to go to Pharaoh again for the purpose of taking His people out of Egypt.
In our day there are multitudes of people who do not believe the bible, especially the accounts written long ago in the Old Testament. I love when archaeology proves the bible’s accuracy. This is the case with the brick and straw.
At Pithom, Egypt, the archaeologists Naville, (1883) and Kyle, (1908) found buildings where the lower courses of brick were filled with good, chopped straw. The middle courses had brick with less straw and included stubble plucked up by the root. The upper courses were pure clay with no straw or stubble. This was an amazing confirmation of the Genesis 5 account.
Faith demands that we believe, regardless of whether or not we can see in the natural that which we believe. However, it is beautiful when it actually is confirmed by what we see in the natural, when archaeology does this so often for us.
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