THE COST OF BEING CRUEL AND STUBBORN 45
as when there was straw." The overseers of the Israelites, whom Pharaoh's task-masters had put over them, were also beaten and asked, "Why have you not finished to-day as many bricks as yesterday?"
Then the overseers of the Israelites went to Pharaoh and said, "Why do you deal in this way with your servants? No straw is given to your servants, and yet they say to us, 'Make bricks.' See how your servants are beaten and how you wrong your people." But he said, "You are lazy, you are lazy; therefore you say, 'Let us go and offer a sacrifice to Jehovah.' Now go and work, for no straw shall be given you; yet you must make the same number of bricks."
Then Moses turned again to Jehovah and said, "Jehovah, why hast thou brought misfortune upon this people? Why is it that thou has sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name he has wronged this people, and thou hast done nothing at all to rescue thy people."
Jehovah answered Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for compelled by a mighty power he shall surely let them go, and compelled by a mighty power he shall drive them out of his land."
THE COST OF BEING CRUEL AND STUBBORN
Then Jehovah said to Moses, "Pharaoh is stubborn; he will not let the people go. Go to Pharaoh early in the morning, as he is going out on the water, and stand by the bank of the Nile to meet him. Say to him, 'Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to you with this command: Let my people go that they may worship me in the wilderness, but so far you have not listened. Jehovah declares, By this you shall know that I am Jehovah: See, I will strike the waters which are in the river with the rod that is in my hand and they shall be changed into blood. The fish, too, that are in the Nile shall die, and the Nile shall become foul, so that the Egyptians will hate to drink its water.' "
Then Moses lifted up the staff and in the presence of Pharaoh and his servants struck the waters that were in the river Nile; and all its waters were changed into blood. The fish, too, that were in the Nile died, and the river became so foul that the Egyptians could not drink its water, but dug round about the Nile for water to drink.