The king answered the elders, saying: "This is the plan
advised by me against Israel, from which we will not depart.
Behold, Pithom and Raamses are cities not fortified against
battle. It behooves us to fortify them. Now, go ye and act
cunningly against the children of Israel, and proclaim in
Egypt and in Goshen, saying: 'All ye men of Egypt, Goshen,
and Pathros! The king has commanded us to build
Pithom and Raamses and fortify them against battle. Those
amongst you in all Egypt, of the children of Israel and of
all the inhabitants of the cities, who are willing to build with
us, shall have their wages given to them daily at the king's
order.'

"Then go ye first, and begin to build Pithom and
Raamses, and cause the king's proclamation to be made

 
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