Exodus 5:13 MEANING

Exodus 5:13
(13) The taskmasters hasted them.--The Egyptian monuments show us foreign labourers engaged in brick-making under Egyptian overseers, or "taskmasters," who are armed with sticks, and "haste" the labourers whenever they cease work for the purpose of resting themselves. The overseers are represented as continually saying to the workpeople, "Work without faintness." (See Wilkinson, in Rawlinson's Herodotus, vol. ii. p. 214.)

As when there was straw.--Heb., as when there, was the straw--i.e., as. when the straw was furnished to you.

Verses 13, 14. - The taskmasters hasted them. The Egyptian overseers, armed with rods, went about among the toiling Israelites continually, and "hasted them" by dealing out blows freely on all who made any pause in their work. The unceasing toil lasted from morning to night; yet still the required" tale" could not be produced; and consequently the native officers, whose business it was to produce the "tale," were punished by the bastinado at the close of the day not giving in the proper amount. Kalisch observes - "Even now the Arabic fellahs, whose position is very analogous to that of the Israelites described in our text, are treated by the Turks in the same manner. Arabic overseers have to give an account of the labours of their countrymen to the Turkish taskmasters, who often chastise them mercilessly for the real or imputed cf. fences of the Arabic workmen."

CHAPTER 5:15-19

5:10-23 The Egyptian task-masters were very severe. See what need we have to pray that we may be delivered from wicked men. The head-workmen justly complained to Pharaoh: but he taunted them. The malice of Satan has often represented the service and worship of God, as fit employment only for those who have nothing else to do, and the business only of the idle; whereas, it is the duty of those who are most busy in the world. Those who are diligent in doing sacrifice to the Lord, will, before God, escape the doom of the slothful servant, though with men they do not. The Israelites should have humbled themselves before God, and have taken to themselves the shame of their sin; but instead of that, they quarrel with those who were to be their deliverers. Moses returned to the Lord. He knew that what he had said and done, was by God's direction; and therefore appeals to him. When we find ourselves at any time perplexed in the way of our duty, we ought to go to God, and lay open our case before him by fervent prayer. Disappointments in our work must not drive us from our God, but still we must ponder why they are sent.And the taskmasters hasted them, Kept them tight and close to their work, and were urgent on them to make quick dispatch of it:

saying, fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw; they insisted upon it, that they did the same business at the brickkilns, made the same number of bricks every day, as they used to do when they had straw at hand. See Exodus 5:11.

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