The Egyptian army pursues them. They escape through the Red Sea. The Egyptian army drowns.
VERSE 1. The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
VERSE 2. “Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn back and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, before Baal Zephon. You shall encamp opposite it by the sea.
Speak to the children of Israel. To our recollection, this is the first time the Hebrew people have been referred to as “the children of Israel.”
VERSE 3. Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, ‘They are entangled in the land. The wilderness has shut them in.’
VERSE 4. I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will follow after them; and I will get honor over Pharaoh, and over all his armies; and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD.” They did so.
I will harden Pharaoh’s heart. The LORD God said he would harden Pharaoh’s heart. What does this mean? Read more »
VERSE 5. The king of Egypt was told that the people had fled; and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?”
the heart of Pharaoh … was changed. The LORD God said he would harden Pharaoh’s heart. What does this mean? Read more »
VERSE 6. He prepared his chariot, and took his army with him;
VERSE 7. and he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, with captains over all of them.
six hundred chosen chariots. All 600 charioteers and their horses will die, as we see in verse 28 below.
VERSE 8. The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; for the children of Israel went out with a high hand.
The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt. The LORD God said he would harden Pharaoh’s heart. What does this mean? Read more »
with a high hand. That is, “defiantly.”
VERSE 9. The Egyptians pursued them. All the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen, and his army overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baal Zephon.
his army overtook them. The Egyptian army caught up with the children of Israel.
VERSE 10. When Pharaoh came near, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them; and they were very afraid. The children of Israel cried out to the LORD.
they were very afraid. The emotion of fear is a natural reaction.
VERSE 11. They said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you treated us this way, to bring us out of Egypt?
have you taken us away to die in the wilderness. Now they are complaining.
Some people are always complaining. Or arguing. Those are destructive habits. They harm the individual. And the community. They need to STOP. Read more »
VERSE 12. Isn’t this the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians?’ For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”
VERSE 13. Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today; for you will never again see the Egyptians whom you have seen today.
NIV translation: Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today.”
Stand still, and see. They will not accomplish their own victory. It will not be due to their own might or power.
Rather, it will only be due to the Most High God.
you shall be still. They were to keep silent. They were to let the LORD God do the hard work of achieving their victory.
That is how contemplative prayer works. We sit quietly, and let God do the work.
VERSE 15. The LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward.
The Living Bible: “Quit praying and get the people moving! Forward, march!”
There comes a time when we must to stop praying. And start moving!
VERSE 16. Lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. Then the children of Israel shall go into the middle of the sea on dry ground.
stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it. This is a preposterous command. Moses is to divide the sea? By lifting his hand?
In reality, it is the LORD God who will part the sea. Moses will merely be the visible instigator of what God was doing.
on dry ground. Some people say the Red Sea was shallow enough for the Israelites to simply wade across.
However, this verse shows us they did not wade across. They walked on dry ground.
VERSE 17. Behold, I myself will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will go in after them. I will get myself honor over Pharaoh, and over all his armies, over his chariots, and over his horsemen.
I myself will harden the hearts of the Egyptians. The LORD God said he would harden Pharaoh’s heart. What does this mean? Read more »
I will get myself honor. The Old Testament foresees Gentiles coming to faith in the One God of Israel and bringing gifts to Jerusalem. Here are the key Bible verses about this »
VERSE 18. The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD when I have gotten myself honor over Pharaoh, over his chariots, and over his horsemen.”
The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD. These actions by the LORD God have an evangelistic purpose.
The Old Testament foresees Gentiles coming to faith in the One God of Israel and bringing gifts to Jerusalem. Here are the key Bible verses about this »
VERSE 19. The angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them, and stood behind them.
angel. The Hebrew word is מַלְאַ֣ךְ (“mal·’aḵ”). It means messenger. It is translated as ambassador, angel, envoy messenger.
Who is this angel of God?
the pillar of cloud moved from before them, and stood behind them. Sometimes we don’t want to go where the LORD God leads. So God stops leading. Instead, he circles behind and pushes us!
Also, God served as their rear guard. Not only did he annihilate the Egyptian army, but he also imposed a tremendous supernatural fire. It blocked anyone who might try to follow the Hebrew people!
VERSE 20. It came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel. There was the cloud and the darkness, yet it gave light by night. One didn’t come near the other all night.
There was the cloud and the darkness, yet it gave light. The Cloud was a cloud of darkness. And yet it gave light.
VERSE 21. Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
Moses stretched out his hand. Moses did as he was commanded. he stretched out his hand. However:
the LORD caused the sea to go back. It wasn’t Moses who caused the miracle. Rather, the miracle was caused by the LORD God.
VERSE 22. The children of Israel went into the middle of the sea on the dry ground; and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
on the dry ground. Some people claim the Red Sea was so shallow that the people waded through it.
However, the people didn’t wade through water. This verse says they walked on dry ground!
VERSE 23. The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the middle of the sea: all of Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
VERSE 24. In the morning watch, the LORD looked out on the Egyptian army through the pillar of fire and of cloud, and confused the Egyptian army.
VERSE 25. He took off their chariot wheels, and they drove them heavily; so that the Egyptians said, “Let’s flee from the face of Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians!”
VERSE 26. The LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come again on the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen.”
VERSE 27. Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it. The LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the middle of the sea.
VERSE 28. The waters returned, and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even all Pharaoh’s army that went in after them into the sea. There remained not so much as one of them.
the chariots. There are six hundred chariots, as we saw in verse 7 above.
There remained not so much as one of them. Some people claim the Red Sea was so shallow that the people simply waded across.
However, this verse shows us it was deep enough to drown the Egyptian army!
VERSE 29. But the children of Israel walked on dry land in the middle of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
VERSE 30. Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.
VERSE 31. Israel saw the great work which the LORD did to the Egyptians, and the people feared the LORD; and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.
the people feared the LORD. This was reverential respect, not dread.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.