1Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 2“Tell the Israelites to turn back and camp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you must camp in front of Baal-zephon, facing it by the sea. # Ex 13:18; Nm 33:7; Jr 44:1 3Pharaoh will say of the Israelites: They are wandering around the land in confusion; the wilderness has boxed them in. 4I will harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he will pursue them. Then I will receive glory by means of Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh.” So the Israelites did this. # Ex 4:21; 7:5; Rm 9:17,22-23
The Egyptian Pursuit
5When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about the people and said: “What have we done? We have released Israel from serving us.” 6So he got his chariot ready and took his troops # Lit people with him; 7he took 600 of the best chariots and all the rest of the chariots of Egypt, with officers in each one. 8The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the Israelites, who were going out triumphantly. # Lit with a raised hand # Ex 6:1; 13:9; Nm 33:3; Ac 13:17 9The Egyptians — all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, his horsemen, # Or chariot drivers and his army — chased # Ex 15:9; Jos 24:6 after them and caught up with them as they camped by the sea beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.
10As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw the Egyptians coming after them. Then the Israelites were terrified and cried out # Jos 24:7; Neh 9:9; Ps 34:17 to the Lord for help. 11They said to Moses: “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you took us to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12Isn’t this what we told you in Egypt: Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” # Ex 5:21; Ps 106:7-8
13But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see # Gn 15:1; 46:3; Ex 20:20; 2Ch 20:15,17; Is 41:10 the Lord’s salvation He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. 14The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.” # Ex 14:25; Dt 1:30; 3:22; Jos 10:14; 2Ch 20:29; Is 30:15
Escape through the Red Sea
15The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to break camp. 16As for you, lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. # Ex 4:17; Nm 20:8-9; Is 10:26 17I am going to harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them, and I will receive glory by means of Pharaoh, all his army, and his chariots and horsemen. 18The Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh when I receive glory through Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”
19Then the Angel of God, # Ex 23:20,23; 32:34; 33:2 who was going in front of the Israelite forces, moved and went behind them. The pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and stood behind them. # Ex 13:21; Is 63:9 20It came between the Egyptian and Israelite forces. The cloud was there in the darkness, yet it lit up the night. # Perhaps the cloud brought darkness to the Egyptians but light to the Israelites; Ex 10:22-23; Ps 105:39. So neither group came near the other all night long.
21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back with a powerful east wind all that night and turned the sea into dry land. So the waters were divided, # Ex 15:8; Jos 3:16; Neh 9:11; Ps 74:13; 114:3,5; Is 63:12-13 22and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with the waters like a wall to them on their right and their left. # Ex 15:19; Ps 66:6; Is 63:13; Hab 3:10; 1Co 10:1; Heb 11:29
23The Egyptians set out in pursuit — all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen — and went into the sea after them. 24Then during the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the Egyptian forces from the pillar of fire # Ex 13:21; Nm 14:14; Neh 9:12 and cloud, and threw them into confusion. 25He caused their chariot wheels to swerve # Sam, LXX, Syr read He bound their chariot wheels # Or fall off and made them drive # Or and they drove them with difficulty. “Let’s get away from Israel,” the Egyptians said, “because Yahweh is fighting for them against Egypt! ”
26Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back on the Egyptians, on their chariots and horsemen.” 27So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea returned to its normal depth. While the Egyptians were trying to escape from it, the Lord threw them into the sea. # Ex 5:1,7; Jos 4:18; Ps 78:53; Heb 11:29 28The waters came back and covered the chariots # Ps 106:11; Heb 3:8,13 and horsemen, the entire army of Pharaoh, that had gone after them into the sea. None of them survived.
29But the Israelites had walked through the sea on dry ground, with the waters like a wall to them on their right and their left. 30That day the Lord saved Israel from the power of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31When Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and believed # Ps 106:12; Jn 2:11 in Him and in His servant Moses.