First, Moshe and Aharon go to Paroh and Rashi says that they didn't have to slavery work amd the proof is they came and went to Paroh. Then Paroh told the taskmasters not to provide stubble for the bricks and the Jewish foremen went to Paroh to complain. Then Doson and Aviram were waiting outside Paroh's palace to scold Moshe and Aharon.

  1. How did Dasan and Aviram know right away what Paroh told Moshe? אין מוקדם ומאוחר בתורה can explain why it was not brought down earlier but not how they knew and were waiting right outside the palace. And it's hard to posit that moshe told them, knowing who they were.
  2. We see the Jewish formen going into paroh? Were they not slaves?
  • See the Siftei Chakhamim regarding point 1, where he says: "However, it seems to me that surely they were from among the officers [who had just cried out to Pharaoh]".
    – Shmuel
    Jan 7 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


According to Ramban (commentary to Shemot 5:22), the story described in Shemot Chapter 5 could actually have taken place over many months:

It is possible that there was a long period of time to this story recounted here by Scripture. When the officers of the children of Israel were beaten, days passed until they spoke to Pharaoh himself, saying to him, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants? It is not every person that has a right to come into the inner chambers of the king’s palace and speak to him face to face, and all the more the officers of those people abhorrent to him. Thus they suffered in their burden and oppression many days, and they would come even before the king’s gate until their outcry was heard before the king and he commanded that they come before him and speak with him...

When this was decreed by Pharaoh, Moses went to Midian and stayed there six months while Aaron remained in Egypt. At that time, Moses took his wife and sons back to Midian.” The Rabbis have furthermore said: “And they met Moses and Aaron. After six months, the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed Himself to Moses in Midian and said to him, Go, return unto Egypt. Moses then came from Midian, and Aaron from Egypt, when they were met by the officers of Israel as they came forth from Pharaoh.

(Chavel translation, my emphases)

I think this can answer your questions. Datan and Aviram (or whoever the people mentioned in Shemot 5:20 are) only complain to Moshe and Aharon many months after Par'oh's decree. And the foremen couldn't go into Par'oh as they pleased. They had to wait days for permission to speak to him.

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