6852. And I have heard their cry from before their taskmasters. That this signifies the aid of mercy against those who desired to compel them to serve, is evident from the signification of a "cry," as being entreaty (see n. 6801); and from the signification of "to hear," as being to obey and notice (n. 5017); but when it is said of Jehovah or the Lord, it denotes to bring the aid of mercy to him who implores it. It is with hearing as it is above (n. 6851) with seeing, namely, that the Lord hears all, and thus brings aid to all, but according to the necessities. They who cry, and implore Him for themselves alone, and thus against others, as the wicked are wont to do; these also the Lord hears, but He does not bring them aid, and when He does not bring aid, it is said that He "does not hear"-and from the signification of "taskmasters," as being those who desire to compel to serve. That a "taskmaster" or "exactor" denotes one who compels to serve, is evident from these passages:
The peoples shall take them, and bring them to their place, and they shall rule over their exactors. It shall come to pass in the day that Jehovah shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy trouble, and from the hard service wherein thou wast made to serve, that thou shalt utter this parable concerning the king of Babylon. How hath the exactor ceased! (Isa. 14:2-4).
I will encamp about My house because of the army, because of him that goeth and of him that returneth, that the exactor may not pass through upon them anymore (Zech. 9:8).
They were called "exactors" who exacted tribute (2 Kings 23:35; Deut. 15:3), and also they who compelled them to work according to the imposition of the tributes. They are also called "princes of tributes" (Exod. 1:11); that these are they who compelled them to serve may be seen above (n. 6659).