Gen. 15:17).” Gispen, p. 140. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1968 [reprint]), II, p. 38. Many clues on the site have brought Professor Gader and his team to conclude that the bodies could be linked to the famous episode of the Exodus. 12:37) departed Egypt.137 Others understand that the Israelites did come out of Egypt at least partially armed, but all seem to agree that Israel was not at all prepared to fight a full scale battle at this point in time.138 It would be some time before the Israelites were ready to do battle. Hardening is thus a process, not a one-time event. In marked contrast to the destruction-bent pathway of the Egyptians is the security of the Israelites, whether or not they perceived it at the moment. For centuries, the famous biblical account of the “Red Sea Crossing” was dismissed by most scholars and historians as more symbolic than historical. The entire Egyptian army drowned along with Pharaoh. Egypt proper was next on their hit list, and they needed a miracle, the Sea Peoples had already overrun all of their newly acquired territories in Asia. 40:38; Numbers 9:15-23; 14:14; Deuteronomy 1:33; Nehemiah 9:12, 19; Psalms 78:14; 105:39; 1 Corinthians 10:1. 11:20) so that he would pursue Israel, and the final outcome would be that the Lord would gain glory for Himself through Pharaoh and his entire army, so that the Egyptians would know that He was the Lord (cf. God’s actions were for deliverance and protection first from the invading army and second from the drowning waters. Over the years, many divers have Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the LORD looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians. Like a jammed rifle, it didn’t seem to work. When confronted with the choice between the sea and the Egyptians, the sea would have been the less dangerous choice. The important thing to observe, I believe, is that God was faithful to provide the Israelites with a visible manifestation of His presence, protection, and guidance. They might have thought that the pillar needed repair. The poetic description of Psalm 77 seems to inform us that the occasion for the confusion was a thunderstorm: The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. Officials say 185 bodies and about 300 survivors were pulled from the water, but hundreds more remained unaccounted for as darkness fell. For centuries, the famous biblical account of the “Red Sea Crossing” was dismissed by most scholars and historians as more symbolic than historical. It was also for the purpose of glorifying God. “The fact is that it was not absolutely necessary for the Israelites to cross a body of water in order to travel from Egypt into the Sinai peninsula. No matter how strong and secure one might feel, opposing God is a deadly occupation. 14:22). When the Hebrews sang the Song of Moses in the chapter following the Red Sea miracle, they reveal to us that Pharaoh indeed perished when God closed the waters of the Red Sea. Instead, they plunged, headlong, into the waters (cf. 133 “Most traffic leaving Egypt heading eastward would take one of three roads. And what was seen in the first chapter was repeated: greed and the desire for gain once again came to the fore, now that the plagues had been gone for a few days. An Egyptian official speaking on condition of anonymity per regulations said the helicopter crashed over Red Sea waters outside Egyptian territorial boundaries. Through Moses, God ordered a change of direction which to many Israelites must have seemed strange and indeed risky, for their course was to turn in a southwesterly direction which in a short time would place great bodies of water between themselves and the Sinai peninsula to the east.145. Several principles of divine judgment are evident in the events of the exodus as described in our text. Moses was much more calm, at least initially. Exod. Too late, the Egyptians recognized that God was fighting for the Israelites and against them. 73:18-19). Amen. That is “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. homah) is to designate a passageway between two generally perpendicular masses. 132 W. H. Gispen, Exodus, trans. 77:16-19). Throughout that night the pillar brought darkness to the Egyptians and light for the Israelites, thus enabling the Israelites to see as they passed through the sea, and perhaps preventing the Egyptians from seeing the sea as they followed after them (v. 20). The ultimate issue, which determined the destruction or deliverance of God, was this: ON WHICH SIDE OF THE CLOUD DO YOU STAND? 6:15). (5) The hardening of the heart can occur both to believers and to unbelievers alike. It is therefore my opinion that Moses should have reasoned that the only direction he could and should go was toward Canaan, and that meant through the Red Sea. Wyatt reasoned that evidence should still exist at the Red Sea crossing site where God miraculously separated the waters and delivered His people from Egypt. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle. This was no doubt to facilitate the need of the Israelites to quickly pass through the sea with their goods, which were likely loaded on wagons or carts of some sort. 6:28), which was an appeal to man’s ability to reason. The Egyptians were in hot pursuit. Hope Egypt to honestly preserve and record the precious ancient relics with honor! 15:4, 22; Dt. … The biblical data point to the Gulf of Suez, not to the Mediterranean Sea. How many Hebrews were in the Exodus 2.5-3.5 million Exodus Route home page Miracles of the Exodus and Red Sea Crossing Excluded Exodus Routes: Nuweiba Beech, Bitter lakes, Gulf … Finding themselves trapped between the soldiers and the sea, Moses then calls on God to part the waters – allowing them safe passage. A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy (Prov. “The statement that the Israelites left Egypt ‘armed for battle’ (some think that the word used here is related to the Egyptian word for ‘lance,’ others that it means ‘arranged in battle units,’ …) serves to explain their subsequent readiness to do battle with e.g., Amalek (ch. This pillar, the proof of the Lord’s presence, expressed His love and care for Israel (cf. … However, the Philistines were already mentioned in Genesis 26 as living in Canaan, and Gerar was called ‘the land of the Philistines’ in Genesis 21:32, 34. The reason given is that they would have encountered war and this would have caused them to lose heart and turn back to Egypt (v. 17). The Hebrew in such passages is yam sup, which means literally ‘sea of reeds,’ or ‘sea of rushes.’ In Exod. Had the pillar of cloud moved in this direction without any word from God, the people may have been inclined to disregard it. When one’s heart is hardened, they are unable to see the danger which is abundantly clear to others. I do not know of anyone else who has come to this conclusion, so I would caution you to think critically here (as elsewhere). At each decision point, the Egyptians were hardened or hardened themselves. Egyptian soldiers chasing Moses and the Jews may have died in some body of water the Bible calls the reed sea, but don’t trust the hoax that pops up occasionally that says archaeologists found the army in the Red Sea. Because we do not find any such instructions in our text, I am inclined to set this possibility aside. Verse 20 therefore does not describe a change in course, but begins to describe the course which was the outworking of God’s purpose for Israel, as outlined in verses 17-18. This brought about a “strong east wind”149 which drove back the sea all night long, even turning the seabed to dry ground (v. 21). God’s actions were very reasonable, when seen in terms of God’s purpose. But the Egyptians failed to reckon with the fact that they were opposing themselves to God and to His people. 146 “If Israel encamped by the Sea opposite Baal-Zephon (which lies on the other side), then Pharaoh would think that they were confused or had lost their way, and did not know their way in the wilderness east of Egypt and west of the Red Sea. God did not tell Abraham He would raise his son, Abraham reasoned it was so, based upon his experience of having a son when he and Sarah were “as good as dead” (Rom. The scientists led by Professor Abdel Muhammad Gader and associated with Cairo University’s Faculty of Archaeology, have already recovered a total of more than 400 different skeletons, as well as hundreds of weapons and pieces of armor. To Donald Hardy, to simplify the Trinity think of the body, word and Breath. 138 “… we may well believe they left Egypt with some arms in order to combat resistance at the border fortresses.” Hyatt, p. 149. In our text, the judgment of God and the salvation of God employed the same means—the Red Sea. While this story is an exciting account of Israel’s escape, it is also the awesome account of the destruction of the Egyptian army who pursued them. … The OT uses yam sup with more than one meaning. It is a poetic metaphor to explain why the Egyptian chariots could not sweep in to right and left, and cut Israel off; they had to cross by the same ford, directly behind the Israelites.” Cole, p. 121. The Israelites could have then fled over the passage before the wind died down and waters rose again, blocking the way for pursuing Egyptian soldiers in … 143 Cole is disappointingly wishy-washy here, leaning toward the explanation that the pillar was a desert ‘whirlwind.’ Cf. The Red Sea thus became the 140 “The exact locations of these places are unknown …” Cole, p. 118. Stephen also refers to this in Acts 7:15-16. In Num. Were there not enough graves in Egypt? 14:10-12). It is possible that Moses knew what to do because God had already given him precise instructions. The team was searching for the remains of ancient ships and artifacts related to Stone Age and Bronze Age trade in the Red Sea area when they stumbled upon a gigantic mass of human bones darkened by age. Because of this, hardening the hearts of men dulls their sensitivity to sin and judgment so that it comes upon them suddenly and unexpectedly, as it did to the Egyptians. The hardening of a man’s heart compels that man to live out the consequences of his choices and lifestyle. Assuming that the Egyptians did not know they were entering the sea, can you imagine the horror of the charioteers when the first bolt of lightening revealed the seas towering above them? Our Lord Himself said. I believe Scriptures indicate that a similar hardening can happen to the Christian. At daybreak, God instructed Moses to once again lift his staff over the sea, but this time to bring the waters of the Red Sea thundering down upon the Egyptians. From what we are told in these verses, Pharaoh was ready for any sign of hope that he might recover the slave labor which he had released. The final judgment of God comes suddenly and unexpectedly upon those whose hearts have been hardened by sin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! It was discovered near the remains of a richly decorated war chariot, suggesting it could have belonged to a prince or nobleman. (4) The hardening of a person’s heart dulls and deadens their perception of danger and judgment. The isthmus of Suez at its narrowest is about 70 miles from north to south. 13:18 a body of water is referred to as the Red Sea, and that is the designation often used in other passages which speak of the crossing of the sea (Exod. v. 27) as they returned to their place. Second, the course which they were about to take would be one that would place them in a very dangerous position. The nation of Egypt will know for certain that God alone is Lord through this event (v. 18). The Egyptians felt confident and secure because it appeared that they had the upper hand. The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him (Deut. Reading the account of the Israelites passing through the Red Sea reminded me of the fact that things are often not what they seem to be. Q. The biblical answer, found in Exodus and confirmed in other biblical texts, is that they persisted to pursue their own destruction because their hearts were hardened. … In the light of the full context, however, preference certainly must be given to the former [perpendicular wall] viewpoint …” Davis, pp. They pulled the car far enough forward to park under the shower of water. 149 Davis concludes that while the wind is a ‘natural’ force, this ‘wind’ had to be supernatural: “This writer feels that the best interpretation of the ‘strong east wind’ is to regard it as a supernatural wind rather than a purely natural wind. I also know that to make such a choice will necessitate a change in my lifestyle. 11:19), when He commanded him to sacrifice his son. The divine violence of the drowning of the Egyptians in the deliverance of the Israelites through the Red Sea raises challenging questions about the character of liberation and the foundation of nations. 104:4).” Cole, p. 121. I urge you not to delay in this decision about the cross of Christ. The only thing which prevented this was the providential care of the God who had purposed and promised to deliver them safely to the promised land. Even worse, if you were to see the sea parted by the God of your adversary, would you be inclined to enter into that sea, knowing that you were seeking to capture the very people God was aiding to escape? The Israelites took not only jewelry, but also arms out of Egypt!” Gispen, p. 139. They were told to “fear not.” They need not fight, but only to stand firm and observe God’s victory over the Egyptians. The judgment of God begins sooner than His final destruction. 9:34-35). Moses was leading the Israelites in a daring escape from the Egyptian Army but when they approached the Red Sea… I think this is far from the case. … The third route, known today as ‘the pilgrim’s way,’ ran across the peninsula from the head of the Gulf of Suez to Exion-geber which was located at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba.” John J. Davis, Moses and the Gods of Egypt (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1971), pp. When God hardens a man’s heart, He does not cause a man to think and to do other than what that individual is inclined to do. Things do not always turn out the way we expect. At first, the people cried out to the Lord (v. 10), but as the troops drew nearer and as Israel’s hopes of escape faded, their fear turned to bitter regret, focused toward Moses. Had they not told Moses to leave them alone, and not to meddle with Pharaoh? This, the darkest hour before the dawn, was traditionally the time for attack, when men’s spirits are at their lowest.” Cole, p. 122. 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