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ihew to you to-day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to-day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 'The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.
But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Irael shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
. 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.
And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
And the Angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them, and the pil lar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them.
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.
And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea: and the Lord caused the sea to go back by 4 strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, und 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 oil their left.
And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariot6, and his horsemen.
And it came to pass that in the morning- watch the Q 5 Lord Lord looked unto 'the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, and took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily; so that the Egyptians snid, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord Eghteth for them against the Egyptians.
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.
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 if: and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
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.
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.
Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand ef the Egyptians: and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea-shore.
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.
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
Had (the Israelites been left to follow the dictates of their owa .minds, in all probability they. would have taken the nearest way to the land of Canaan; but they were very unfit for war, as they were easily intimidated, .midated, having had their spirits kept in subjection by severe bondage; they were therefore utterly. unqualified to encounter. such formidable enemies as the Philistines, >who would naturally oppose the passage of such a numerous body of men through their land. Besides, the Israelites were apt to murmur and repine at every disappointment, and it is likely they would have revoked, and joined themselves to other nations, if they had perceived a prospect of present advantage. It certainly was the gracious intention of God, not only to biess them, •but to teach them how they might pay him acceptable service :. and for this purpose also he led them# about through the wilderness, that in such a retirement they might without interruption receive and learn those laws his wisdom should ordain for them; and by degrees, be entirely weaned from idolatrous practices so abominable in his sight i which there is reason to suppose many of them were addicted to, and would most likely have retained in the promised land.
We find that the Israelite* marched out of Egypt in > regular order, and that Moses did not forget to take the bones of Joseph with him: these circumstances prove that the people enjoyed perfect tranquillity of mind, and had no dread of the enemy, at that time. ,
The pillar of fire, which went before the Israelites, was a token that the Lou D God was .present with them: of its appearance we can form no idea: for without doubt it was very different from that of common fire» or any other object in nature: one very astonishing particular attended it, which was, that it put on different forms at the same time, affording light to one people, and. casting darkness on another. To the Israelites it served not only as a guiUe in their journiyings, but as a defence from the assaults. of their enemies: it covered Q S them them from the heat of the sun in the wilderness, where there were but few trees to shelter them; it also served as a standing oracle, to which they might on all occasions resort and know the Divine will. This cloud may properly be called the vehicle of the Lord God, the place of his majestic presence.
Had not Go D condescended to give a visible token of His presence, the Israelites would scarcely have had courage to leave Etham, and follow Moses; for they were ordered to encamp in a place which was so situated, as to furnish no means of escape from utter destruction, but by the miraculous interposition of their heavenly leader. On one side of them a range of craggy rocks, on the other tas is supposed) forts and garrisons of the Egyptians: before them the sea; behind them the host of their enemies, at whose appearance, in all probability, they had iten used to tremble; who had humbled their very souls by their barbarous treatment, and whose commands it was death to dispute: they were strangers to the arts of war, unskilled to wield the sword, to draw the bow, or throw the spear and lance; nor could they climb the lofty rocks, and hide themselves from the impending dangers; neither were . they furnished with vessels to carry them across the sea in search of a place of refuge or retreat.
The Loan knew-* that Pharaoh had not given the Israelites leave to depart in obedience to His commands, but merely from sudden dread of Divine vengeance, and that both he and his people would repent and pursue after them: the Lo R n therefore removed His terror from the minds of Pharaoh and his people, and left them at liberty to follow the dictates of their own obdurate hearts; in consequence of which, while they were yet
* Wisdom xix. 1, 2.
mourning . mourning and making lamentation at the graves of the dead, they committed another act, which discovered minds void of judgment, for hearing that, instead of returning, the Israelites continued their journey, they pursued those as fugitives whom they had just before entreated to be gone *.
• To a set of unarmed men, the sight of such a formidable host must have been very dreadful, but after the numerous instances of the power and goodness of the Loup, which they had so recently witnessed, the Israelites had sufficient foundation to hope that they should be effectually delivered from their enemies, and therefore it was sinful in them to throw aside their confidence, even while the. Lord was visibly among them; but considering them as the posterity of His faithful servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and in remembrance of His covenant, the Lord pardoned their weakness, and animated their faith by fresh promises. Their situation was such, that they could do nothing for themselves: all that God required was, that they shculd remain quiet, and only observe in what manner He would effect their deliverance.
Whoever has viewed the sea, may easily recollect with what magnificence and strength its waves follow each other; their ordinary force cannot be resisted by the most powerful army; how wonderful must it then have been to see them dividing and standing stili on heaps at the lifting up of the rod of God, which Moses held in his hand!
The Angel Of The Lord undoubtedly was the same Almighty Being who had been to mankind from the creation, the Visible Image of the only true God.
It is said, that the pillar of the cloud gave light to the Israelites, but cast darkness upon the Egyptians, * Wisdom xix. 3.