Exodus 5

1 Even though it Aaron is the spokesman he is speaking Moses' words, so this is worded as if both were speaking.

Pharaoh may have known Moses in his childhood forty years earlier. Even if he had only heard about Moses from others, he would certainly have considered Moses a traitor to Egypt. This probably factored against Moses while the message was being delivered. But Moses had God on his side, so the opinion of even the most powerful man in the world would not prevail.

2 I am certain we can't understand how absurd this request sounded to Pharaoh. The Egyptian religion considered Pharaoh one among many gods. Of course, Pharaoh believed that the Egyptian gods were the only real gods, and even if he recognized other gods he would not consider them as great as his own gods. Even more than this, he would have no respect for the God of an enslaved people.
3 This is a strange twist on the request, saying that God would punish the Hebrews for not worshiping Him. The Egyptians were already afraid of the increasing population of Hebrews, so it does not seem that something that would threaten the Hebrews would really impress Pharaoh.
4 The Israelites had undoubtedly been distracted by the arrival of Moses and Aaron.
5 The Israelite slaves were undoubtedly essential to Egypt's booming economy. They were an abundant source of cheap labor.
6 It is often true that if people work too much they forget the really important matters in life, like worshiping God.
7 Pharaoh's request was unreasonable, but this was not his goal. He wanted to beat the people in complete submission to him and not be distracted by other loyalties.
8 The accusation of laziness is completely unfounded. God designed us to require rest and worship on a weekly basis.
9 Pharaoh had oppressed the people. Now his goal was to completely break their spirit. He did not want them to have hope of rest, nor did he want them to turn to God for help.
14 Pharaoh's request was unreasonable, but this was his intention. His desire was to punish the people for seeking God and desiring some relief from their hard work.
21 The people could not turn against Pharaoh because he was too powerful. Instead, they turn on Moses and Aaron. They call judgement from God on them, even though they did not realize that God had sent Moses on this mission. The Bible does not say that Moses told the leaders that God predicted that Pharaoh would reject the proposal. Even so, even if the leaders knew that Pharaoh would become even worse, the bitter work seemed to make believing the promises of God more difficult.
22 Moses goes before God in complete honesty. He had not wanted this job in the first place, and now it was going badly for him and God's people. Moses is asking the question, "God, is this what I was supposed to do?" In our own ministries and lives we should take time to evaluate our actions and results. We should always ask God for continued guidance and help.
23 God had specifically told Moses that Pharaoh would not listen to him. Moses was looking for a quick solution, but this is not what God had in mind. God would release His people, but He also desired to discipline His people into obedience and punish Egypt for their disobedience.