1Then the lord gave these instructions to Moses: 2“Order the Israelites to turn back and camp by Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and the sea. Camp there along the shore, across from Baal-zephon. 3Then Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are confused. They are trapped in the wilderness!’ 4And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after you.# Hebrew after them. I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the lord!” So the Israelites camped there as they were told.
The Egyptians Pursue Israel
5When word reached the king of Egypt that the Israelites had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds. “What have we done, letting all those Israelite slaves get away?” they asked. 6So Pharaoh harnessed his chariot and called up his troops. 7He took with him 600 of Egypt’s best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt, each with its commander. 8The lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, so he chased after the people of Israel, who had left with fists raised in defiance. 9The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh’s army—all his horses and chariots, his charioteers, and his troops. The Egyptians caught up with the people of Israel as they were camped beside the shore near Pi-hahiroth, across from Baal-zephon.
10As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the lord, 11and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? 12Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”
13But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. 14The lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
Escape through the Red Sea
15Then the lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! 16Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground. 17And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will charge in after the Israelites. My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers. 18When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the lord!”
19Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them. 20The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night.
21Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. 22So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!
23Then the Egyptians—all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers—chased them into the middle of the sea. 24But just before dawn the lord looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw their forces into total confusion. 25He twisted# As in Greek version, Samaritan Pentateuch, and Syriac version; Hebrew reads He removed. their chariot wheels, making their chariots difficult to drive. “Let’s get out of here—away from these Israelites!” the Egyptians shouted. “The lord is fighting for them against Egypt!”
26When all the Israelites had reached the other side, the lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers.” 27So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but the lord swept them into the sea. 28Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteers—the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived.
29But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides. 30That is how the lord rescued Israel from the hand of the Egyptians that day. And the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the seashore. 31When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the lord had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the lord and in his servant Moses.