bricks without straw

not having the proper materials or methods to accomplish something
—Understanding a new language without learning its idioms is like making bricks without straw.

Obeying God’s command from the burning bush, Moses returned to his people in Egypt, but by that time a new pharaoh had taken the throne. Before telling him about his plan to lead the Israelites to Canaan, Moses requested that they be allowed to make a trip outside of Egypt to offer sacrifices to God. But the pharaoh refused and instead punished the Israelites by stopping their supply of straw, a necessary ingredient in their method of brick making. He told those in charge of the slaves,

You must no longer give straw to the people for making bricks as before. Let them go and collect straw for themselves. But you must require of them the same quota of bricks that they were making before. Do not reduce it, for they are slackers. That is why they are crying, “Let us go sacrifice to our God.” Make the work harder for the men so they will keep at it and pay no attention to lying words! (Exodus 5:7-9)

Comments are closed.
  • All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://bible.org. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

    Scripture in brackets is from the King James Bible.

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed by Craig Thompson under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

    Any reproduction of this content using passages from the NET Bible must follow NET Bible's copyright policy for use of those passages.

    For information on creating translations of Putting Words in Our Mouths, please go here.

  • Visit My Blog: Clearing Customs

    Don’t Just Missionary On [—at A Life Overseas]

    Onward, Christian soldiers. Soldier on, Christians. These don’t mean the same thing, at least not to me. Paul uses the word soldier to describe someone faithfully acting in obedience to God when he exhorts Timothy, “Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:3 NIV). It’s a good thing to be […]

    Sing Along with Me: How Long? [—at A Life Overseas]

    Returning to the States after serving overseas was a hard time for my wife and me. We were grieving our losses and were struggling with the difficulties we’d already faced and those we saw ahead. We prayed and prayed but didn’t receive clear direction from God. In our spiritual malaise it was hard to slide […]