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Monday, October 22 2018

A Bible Journey, 64: How Did The LORD Part The Sea For The Israelites?

"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. 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"

The ignorant ("ignorant" actually means to ignore what has been made known - ignorant people know) Pharaoh had repeatedly repented, only to shortly thereafter return to his obstinacy and arrogance (see A Bible Journey, 57: Waters Of Blood and A Bible Journey, 58: Let My People Go, That They May Serve Me and A Bible Journey, 59: The Plagues On Cattle And Linen and A Bible Journey, 60: The Plague Of Locusts).

Every time that he did so, the LORD (see A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name) delivered further wrath upon him. The Pharaoh's last change of mind, to pursue the Israelites after they had been liberated (see A Bible Journey, 63: The Exodus Lesson), 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 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)

Sinai Waters

The 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 Israelites immediately became panic-stricken by the army that was approaching them. They never had to fight for themselves before, but they wouldn't have to then either.

"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 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 and A Journey Without A Destination). 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 then too?
See The Jordan Crossing


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This Day In History, October 22

362: The temple of Apollo at Daphne, outside Antioch (there were many others in other cities throughout the ancient Mediterranean area), was destroyed by fire (see also Paul's Letter To The True Church Of Rome).

741: Charles Martel died at age 53. The rulership of Gaul was divided between his two sons Pepin III and Carloman (see map below). Pepin became the first of the Carolingians, the family of Charles Martel, to become king. Martel's grandson, Charlemagne, extended the Frankish dominions to include much of the West, and became the first Emperor since the fall of Rome (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation). The Islamic prophesied "King of the South" already existed in the time of Charles Martel (see map above and The Prophet Daniel: Kings Of The North and South).

Frankish Kingsoms

794: Emperor Kanmu relocated the capital of Japan to Heiankyo, now known as Kyoto (see also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?).

Japan

1633: The Ming dynasty of China (1368-1644) defeated the Dutch East India Company in the Battle of Liaoluo Bay.

China

1707: The Scilly naval disaster. Four British Royal Navy ships ran aground near the Isles of Scilly because of faulty navigation. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell and thousands of sailors were drowned.

1721: Peter the Great became czar (czar is the Russian form of "Caesar," as is the German kaiser) of all Russia (see also Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).

1764: The Battle of Baksar, fought between the East India Company's forces and those of the Mughals. The decisive battle confirmed the British control of Bengal.

1784: Russia founded a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska. Russia sold Alaska to the U.S.A. in 1867.

Alaska

1797: The first successful parachute jump was made by Andre-Jacques Garnerin, from a balloon over Paris, France.

1836: Sam Houston became the first "President of the Republic of Texas" (unlike the "New England" States, Texas, which remained part of Mexico in 1776, rebelled against Mexico about 50 years later).

Mexico

1844: The date predicted by religious leader William Miller (Ellen White's "Seventh Day Adventist" organization, Herbert Armstrong's "Worldwide Church of God" and the present-day "Sacred Name" movement were among a number of early 20th Century offshoots of the Miller movement) when the Return of Jesus Christ would occur. Among the many thousands of his followers, the day became known as the "Great Disappointment." Miller and his followers chose to ignore the only Biblically-stated proof that Christ's return would soon happen - the beginning of the 42 month miraculous ministry of the "two witnesses," immediately after which Christ's return will happen (see The Two Signs Of Christ's Return; also Could Christ Return Tonight?).

Miller's Mistakes

1859: Spain declared war on the Moors in Morocco.

1952: The complete Jewish Torah was published in English for the first time.

1954: West Germany joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

1954: After Geneva accords conceded Communist control over North Vietnam (Vietnam was divided into North and South by France in its failed effort to make Vietnam a French colony), U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower authorized U.S. training of the South Vietnamese Army (the U.S. replaced the colonial involvement of France in Vietnam). The U.S. "advisors" soon became the primary combatants in that Vietnamese civil war; it ended in the 1970s with North and South Vietnam re-unified into a single nation that had existed for centuries before French and U.S. interference.

Vietnam

1966: The Soviet Union launched Luna 12 to orbit the moon.

1975: The Soviet unmanned spacecraft Venera 9 landed on Venus.

Venera

1979: The exiled Shah of Iran (a brutal, undemocratic dictator who had been supported by the U.S. for decades because he was "pro-western") arrived in the U.S. for medical treatment. In response, Iranian revolutionaries invaded the U.S. embassy in Tehran, thereby beginning the Iranian Hostage Crisis, demanding the return of the Shah in exchange for the U.S. diplomats/CIA agents.

2008: India launched its first unmanned lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1.





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