Straw is to bricks as slaves are to Egypt, one does not work without the other. As shown in this research text( Exod 5:1-21), the Pharaoh is having a hard time with giving up his slaves. Yet, the Pharaoh instead of showing favor to the Israelites so they would be less likely to leave their labors. He brings harder labors on them and still expects them to stay in Egypt. Now to gain a fuller understanding of this text (Exod. 5:1-21), the need of a better understanding of both slavery and the making of bricks in the ancient world are both very important. Slavery in the ancient world was nothing like the slavery of today. Yet, it was still slavery no matter how they spell it. This will also show how a brick, a simple piece of building material could affect the history of the world. To accomplish this the first thing we must look at are brick making and the use of bricks in the ancient Egyptian world. The second thing that they must explore is the life of a slave in the ancient world of Egypt. .
In the biblical East sun-dried mud bricks were always the cheapest and commonest building material, but were not specially durable. Mud brick construction is well known from ancient times though stones were plentiful and well used in building projects. They normally made bricks of a mixture of clay and water, and sometimes they included that straw prevented cracking. Bricks could be sun-dried or fired in a kiln. Nevertheless, in the passage that is looking at the bricks would have been sun-dried in a brick yard. That would have been close to a source of both water and mud. Which would normally be near the bakes of a river, then they would bring any other needed materials to the brick yard. Mud bricks were being used for either walls or buildings. The governing authorities of other nations in antiquity who made bricks sometimes had them stamped with royal seals (Harper's Bible Dictionary, Bricks). As far as could be discovered by excavations, they mainly constructed the tombs of the New Kingdom of brick (Kees 1961).