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Wednesday, September 25 2013

Exodus 14: Crossing The Sea

The Pharaoh had repeatedly repented, only to shortly thereafter return to his obstinance and arrogance (see Exodus 7: The Waters Turned To Blood, Exodus 8: Let My People Go, Exodus 9: The Plagues Upon Crops And Livestock, Exodus 10: Locusts and Darkness and Exodus 12: The First Passover). Every time that he did so, the LORD delivered further wrath upon him. The Pharaoh's last change of mind, to pursue the Israelites after they had been liberated (see Exodus 13: Liberation, Not Liberal-ation), would be dealt with by means of an ambush, if the Pharaoh made it so for himself - the Israelites were the bait ("Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea") and the waters of the sea were the trap ("he shall follow after them").

"14:1 And the LORD [Who was and is Jesus Christ; see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God] spake unto Moses, saying, 14:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea. 14:3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. 14:4 And I 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 LORD. And they did so." (Exodus 14:1-4 KJV)

The hard-hearted Pharaoh pursued the Israelites with "six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them" - the largest part, and the best part, of his army.

The Pharaoh's Chariot

"14:5 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?

14:6 And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him: 14:7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them. 14:8 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.

14:9 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 Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon." (Exodus 14:5-9 KJV)

The faithless Israelites immediately became panic-stricken by the army that was approaching them.

"14:10 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.

14:11 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? 14:12 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." (Exodus 14:10-12 KJV)

Moses declared to them, "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever."

"14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 14:14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

14:15 And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: 14:16 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. 14:17 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. 14:18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen." (Exodus 14:13-18 KJV)

The LORD had led the Israelites out of Egypt. He temporarily moved to the rear of the column to stand between the Israelites and the Pharaoh's army that was about to attack; hence the "followed them: and that Rock was Christ" in "10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV)

Parting Of The Sea

"14:19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:

14:20 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." (Exodus 14:19-20 KJV)

The popular mythological idea (as depicted in hundreds of paintings, illustrations and movies) of the parting of the sea is that it was instantly split, but the Biblical reality was that "the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided." A wind does not cleave a path through the sea as is typically portrayed - it "caused the sea to go back." The "wall" of water, in the original Hebrew of the Scriptures, meant a barrier of any height (see the illustration).

"14:21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.

14:22 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." (Exodus 14:21-22 KJV)

It was during the night, under the light of the full moon (see Exodus 11: The Passover Moon At Midnight) that the Pharaoh's army entered into the sea after the Israelites who had just completing their crossing. Then, "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."

"14:23 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.

14:24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, 14:25 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 LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.

14:26 And the LORD 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.

14:27 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.

14:28 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." (Exodus 14:23-28 KJV)

So it was that the Israelites were at last free of the Pharaoh.

"14:29 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.

14:30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.

14:31 And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses." (Exodus 14:29-31 KJV)

Fact Finder: The adult generation of the Exodus Israelites refused to obey the LORD, so they never got to the Promised Land (see The Mount Sinai Riot, A Journey Without A Destination and Exodus 13: Liberation, Not Liberal-ation). Their children and grandchildren did however arrive at the Promised Land forty years later (see Deuteronomy: The Law and History Lessons By Moses). Did they experience a miraculous crossing of waters on dry ground too?
See The Jordan Crossing


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This Day In History, September 25

275: Marcus Claudius Tacitus was proclaimed the Emperor of Rome (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) after the assassination of Aurelian (see also Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).

1066: The Battle of Stamford Bridge ended the last Viking invasion of England.

1396: At Nicopolis, the Ottomans under Sultan Bajazet inflicted a severe defeat on the Church of Rome "Crusaders" led by "John the Fearless" of Nevers and King Sigismund of Hungary (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

The Spanish New World 1513: Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa became the first known European to sight the Pacific Ocean. He claimed the entire Pacific Ocean, and all lands anywhere that were touched by it, for Spain.

1555: In Germany, the Peace of Augsburg was declared. It was the first effort by the Holy Roman Empire to allow Lutheranism (Protestantism) and Catholicism to exist together in the Holy Roman Empire (which by then was officially known as the Holy Roman Empire of The German Nation; see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1629: The Truce of Altmark was signed. The 6 year peace settlement between Sweden and Poland ended the 1625-1629 phase of the Polish-Swedish War of Succession (1600-1660).

1644: Ole Romer was born. The Danish scientific researcher and astronomer was the first to accurately determine the speed of light - 186,000 miles per second. Light can travel around the entire earth 7 times in 1 second, or travel from the earth to the moon in just over 1 second. It takes light about 8 minutes to travel from the sun to the earth.

1726: The French-heritage Acadians of eastern Canada signed an English oath of allegiance on the condition they did not have to fight the French. Other Canadian Acadians left and went to the French colony of Louisiana (named after King Louis XIV of France) where "Acadian" became pronounced as "Cajun."

1818: The first human blood transfusion took place at a hospital in London, England.

1956: A transatlantic telephone cable between Britain and Canada was inaugurated with an exchange of greetings between London and Ottawa. Reaching from Oban, Scotland, to Clarenville, Newfoundland, the $42,000,000.00 cable consisted of 2 lines laid 30 kilometers apart on the ocean floor.

1996: Israeli troops and Palestinian security forces exchanged gunfire in Jerusalem and in other areas in Israel, set off by Palestinian opposition to an Israeli historical research tunnel dug in Jerusalem in the area of the Temple Mount (see David's Altar, Israel In History and Prophecy: The Temple and Raiders Of The Lost Ark). The confrontation was described as the heaviest fighting in Jerusalem since the area was captured by the Jews during the 1967 Six Day War (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).

2008: China launched Shenzhou 7, the third human spaceflight of the Chinese space program. It included the first Chinese extra-vehicular activity (i.e. outside the spacecraft) by Zhai Zhigang and Liu Boming.


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