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AND it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that Cop led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near ; for Go D said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt. But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up, harnessed *, out of the land of Egypt. And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. - And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them in the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people. And the Lo R n spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel that they turn and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baal-zephon: before it shall ye encamp by * the sea. * For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They
* Or five in a rank. Margin of the Bible, Q 4 are
are intangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. And l will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them ; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lok D. And they did so. And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us? And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him. And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them. -z And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. But the Egyptians pursued after them, (all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army), and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pi—hahiroth, before Baal-zephon. And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid; and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness; wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? for it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lo R D, which he wiłł shew
shew to you to-day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to-day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward. But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Irael shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them, and the pil lar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them. , And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these ; so, that the one came not near the other all the night. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea: and the Lo R D caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, und the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground : and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand and on their left. And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. : - , , . . . . " And it came to pass that in the morning watch the Q 5 Lok D
LoRD looked unto 'the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, and took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily ; so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lor D fighteth for them against the Egyptians. And the Lo R D said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea ; and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared : and the Egyptians fled against it: and the LoRD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them : there remained not so much as one of them. But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea : and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand and on their left. Thus the Lo RD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians: and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea-shore." And Israel saw that great work which the Lo RD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lo R p, and believed the Lo RD, and his servant Moses.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONs.
Had the Israelites been left to follow the dictates of their own minds, in all probability they would have taken the nearest way to the land of Canaan; but they were very unfit for war, as they were easily intimidated, midated, having had their spirits kept in subjection by severe bondage; they were therefore utterly unqualified to encounter, such formidable enemies as the Philistines, . who would naturally oppose the passage of such a numerous body of men through their land. Besides, the Israelites were apt to murmur and repine at every disappointment, and it is likely they would have revolted, and joined themselves to other nations, if they had perceived a prospect of present advantage. It certainly was the gracious intention of God, not only to bless them, but to teach them how they might pay him acceptable service : and for this purpose also he led them, about through the wilderness, that in such a retirement they might without interruption receive and learn those laws his wisdom should ordain for them ; and by degrees, be entirely weaned from idolatrous practices so abominable in his sight: which there is reason to suppose many of them were addicted to, and would most likely have retained in the promised land. o We find that the Israelites marched out of Egypt in • regular order, and that Moses did not forget to take the bones of Joseph with him ; these circumstances prove that the people enjoyed perfect tranquility of mind, and had no dread of the enemy, at that time.
The four of fire, which went before the Israelites, was a token that the Lok D God was present with them : of its appearance we can form no idea: for without doubt it was very different from that of common fire, or any other object in nature: one very astonishing particular attended it, which was, that it put on different forms at the same time, affording light to one people, and casting darkness on another. To the Israelites it served not only as a guitle in their journeyings, but as a defence from the assaults of their enemies; it covered Q 6 * them