1 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith Yahweh Elohim of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.

This raised the issue at once-the intended issue-the issue involved in the whole Egyptian struggle. Not a question of the rights of the Hebrews-which formed a very subordinate element in the case-but a question of the authority of Yahweh Elohim of Israel to demand their liberation.

Visible Hand of God Ch 11 

2 And Pharaoh said, Who is Yahweh, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not Yahweh, neither will I let Israel go.

Pharaoh had never heard of Yahweh. If he had ever heard that the Hebrew slave race in his dominions had a God, he had never heard of him under this name: for this was a name specially assumed-a name by which He had never before been known-a name revealed for the first time at the commencement of the Egyptian wonders. (Ex 6:3)

Visible Hand of God Ch 11

5 And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.

The population explosion among the Israelites was causing secret fear to the rulers of Egypt. They were concerned that if an enemy invaded the land, the invaders might well receive help from the Israelites (Ex. 1:9-10).

Aaron's reference to "the sword" evidently increased the concern. Merneptah's fears of invasion were far from groundless, for a large force of Libyans invaded Egypt during his reign.

The Christadelphian Expositor

9 Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.

[This] is what would happen today were any despot so demanded to concede privileges to a serf race, and it is one of a thousand evidences of the truthfulness of the narrative that such should be recorded as the first result of the summons addressed to Pharaoh.

It was a perfectly natural result, but it was not in harmony with the expectations of the people, who naturally supposed that the deliverance that Moses had given them assurance of, would be effected straight away. Instead of deliverance, they felt the bonds drawing tighter. It was only a preparation for the interposing hand of relief.

Visible Hand of God Ch 11

9 Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.

The margin supplies the Hebrew: 

"Let the work be heavy upon the men."

Pharaoh was determined to wear the people out with toil. He saw that the Israelites still had some leisure, for they were able to find time to cultivate their fields (Deu. 11:10). He therefore increased their labour.

Actually, whilst denying the Israelites the right to worship as they desired, and increasing their toil, Pharaoh looked after their material needs very well. Later, they recalled the tasty food they had enjoyed in Egypt, and hankered after it (Num. 11:5).

In a very shrewd manner, whilst denying the people the privilege of true worship, Pharaoh devised a policy that supplied them with material wants, and filled their time with activity. The modern world repeats the policy of Pharaoh. It supplies all material wants to those who are prepared to give their time entirely to its service, whilst discouraging spiritual development.

The Christadelphian Expositor

12 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw.


There has been discovered in Egypt the city of Pithon,‭ ‬in which,‭ ‬in addition to the temple and city,‭ ‬vast walls of sundried brick,‭ ‬22‭ ‬feet thick,‭ ‬650‭ ‬feet square,‭ ‬enclose a series of store-houses or treasure-houses.‭ "‬They form lines of great square store-houses,‭ ‬entered only from above,‭ ‬walled with amazing thickness,‭ ‬and wholly built of unburnt brick.‭"

Some have bricks mixed with straw.‭ ‬But some consist of brick sun-baked,‭ ‬but wholly without straw.‭ ‬As Professor Sayce says:‭ "‬Here we see the work of the oppressed people,‭ ‬when the order came,‭ '‬Thus saith the Pharaoh,‭ ‬I will not give you straw.‭'" ‬And,‭ ‬as Sayce and Poole,‭ ‬and Naville,‭ ‬and Dawson,‭ ‬and others tell us‭-"‬Here the broad arrow of historic truth is stamped upon the narrative of Scripture and of the Exodus.‭"

‭The Christadelphian, June 1896. p224

23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.

It may sometimes be as it was with the children of Israel when Moses first demanded of Pharaoh to let them go. Their burdens were increased, and their afflictions at the hand of the taskmaster were so intensified as the result of Moses' interference, that when he comforted them with the prospect of release, "they hearkened not unto him for anguish of spirit."

The prospect of the Lord's coming has so long been a matter of faith and hope, and has yet done nothing for us so far as material results are concerned but embarrass our temporal relations, that we may, in anguish of spirit, refuse the comfort of the promise, and say with Israel,

"Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians."

Let us beware of this propensity. "Though the vision tarry," saith the Spirit,

"wait for it. It will surely come. At the end it will speak and not lie."

He that endureth to the end the same shall be saved. Blessed are those servants whom their Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching. The moment will come when our watching will be over, and when the announcement will ring through all ecclesias, penetrating even to the sleeping dust and waking a multitude of the dead,

" Christ has come at last."

Bro Roberts - Refreshment