The Suicidal Stupidity of the Egyptians
1But the godless continued to feel your pitiless anger until the very end. You knew what they would do before they did it. 2You knew that even though they let your people go and made them leave quickly, they would change their minds and pursue them. 3-4While the Egyptians were still mourning at the graves of their dead, they forgot why all this had happened, and they foolishly decided that the people they had begged to leave were runaways. So they chased after them. They were led into this as part of the punishment they deserved, so that they would suffer the rest of the torments they were due to receive. 5They were to meet a strange death, while your people continued on their miraculous journey.
God Guides and Protects His People
6The whole nature of the universe was changed at your command so that your people would not be harmed. 7They saw the cloud over their camp and dry land where water had been. There was a grass-covered plain between the stormy waves of the Red Sea, making it easy for them to cross over. 8All your people, under your protection, saw this miracle and went across. 9They pranced about like horses let out to pasture; they skipped about like lambs and praised you, Lord, for saving them. 10They still remembered what life had been like when they were slaves — how the earth bred gnats instead of cattle, how the river produced huge numbers of frogs instead of fish. 11-12Later, when they desperately wanted better food, quails came up from the sea to satisfy their hunger. The quail was a bird they had never seen before.
The Punishment of the Egyptians
13But violent thunder gave warning of the punishment that was coming on those sinners. They suffered a well-deserved punishment for their great wickedness. No nation had ever hated strangers so bitterly. 14Other people had been known to refuse welcome to strangers who came to them, but these people made slaves of those who were their guests and who had shown them kindness. 15Any nation will be punished if it does not welcome foreigners, 16but these people, who had earlier welcomed the foreigners with happy celebrations and treated them as equals, later made them suffer cruelly. 17These people were also struck with blindness, like the men of Sodom who came to the door of that righteous man Lot. They found themselves in total darkness, as each one groped around to find his own door.
God's Miraculous Power
18On a harp each string keeps its own pitch, but each sound can be combined with others to make different melodies. That is how it was in those days, when the very elements entered into new combinations. Look at what happened! 19Land animals took to the water, and swimming creatures came up on the land. 20Fire burned even in water, which could not put it out. 21And yet the flames could not burn the flesh of the perishable creatures walking in them, and did not melt that heavenly food that would ordinarily have melted like frost.
22Lord, you have made your people great — glorious in all respects. You have never neglected them. You have given them help, always, everywhere.