12. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.
12. Quo autem magis premebant eum, magis crescebat et augebatur: et anxietate constricti sunt propter filios Israel.
13. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor.
13. Itaque adegerunt in servitutem filios Israel cum saevitia.
14. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigor.
14. Prelude amara illis fuit vita ipsorum in servitute dura, in caemento, in lateribus, et in omni opere agresti: quia servitium omne eorum quo serviebant illis, erat cum saevitia.
12. But the more. Moses relates the contest between the mercy of God and the cruelty of the king of Egypt. When, therefore, the wretched Israelites were tyrannically afflicted, he says that God came to their aid, and so powerfully that his interference was successful. Thus was that wicked and deceitful design frustrated, which the Egyptians had set on foot for destroying the Church. Thence may we, too, conceive the hope, that whatsoever the wicked imagine against us will come to nought, because God's hand is greater, and shall prevail. But we must bear afflictions patiently, because he would have us struggle against, and rise under the weight imposed upon us; and because we know that it is the peculiar office of God to oppose himself to unjust counsels, in order that they may not succeed, let us learn to abstain from all deceit and violence, lest we wantonly provoke God. But this passage is especially intended to console the believer, that he may be prepared to take up his cross more patiently; since God is sufficient to supply the help, to which the wrath of the wicked must finally yield. What is said in the second part of the verse, that the Egyptians were grieved, means, that they became more anxious, as they saw that they availed nothing, and that their unexpected increase threatened still greater danger; for, since they feared the Israelites before they had afflicted them, no wonder that they felt alarmed lest they should avenge themselves when provoked. And hence the profitable instruction may be gathered, that while the wicked proceed to horrible crimes in order to insure their safety, the Almighty visits them with the very just return, that thus their anxiety is augmented. Some render it, |the Egyptians hated the people of Israel;| and so the word qvph, kutz, is sometimes taken, but the construction of the passage demands the rendering which I have given.
13. And the Egyptians made. Thus Moses informs us that, so far from being induced to kindness by their fears, they were rather hardened, and spurred on to greater cruelty; for the wicked do not perceive that God is against them, when their perverse strivings are unsuccessful; and if this thought ever arises, still the blind impetuosity of their folly hurries them forwards, so that they doubt not to be able in their obstinate lust to prevail even in opposition to God; as will be made clearer in the progress of this history. The cruelty of the exactions is expressed, when he says that |their lives were made bitter,| nothing being sweeter than life; therefore, it appears, that their miseries were extreme and intolerable, which made life burdensome. He confirms this in other words, and also specifies their tasks, that they were engaged |in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of (similar) services.| He twice repeats that they were treated with rigor, i e., harshly.