Verse 53. And he led them on safely, so that they feared not. After the first little alarm, natural enough when they found themselves pursued by their old taskmasters, they plucked up courage and ventured forth boldly into the sea, and afterwards into the desert where no man dwelt.
But the sea overwhelmed their enemies. They were gone, gone for ever, never to disturb the fugitives again. That tremendous blow effectually defended the tribes for forty years from any further attempt to drive them back. Egypt found the stone too heavy and was glad to let it alone. Let the Lord be praised who thus effectually freed his elect nation.
What a grand narrative have we been considering. Well might the mightiest master of sacred song select "Israel in Egypt" as a choice theme for his genius; and well may every believing mind linger over every item of the amazing transaction. The marvel is that the favoured nation should live as if unmindful of it all, and yet such is human nature. Alas, poor man! Rather, alas, base heart!
We now, after a pause, follow again the chain of events, the narration of which had been interrupted by a retrospect, and we find Israel entering into the promised land, there to repeat her follies and enlarge her crimes.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 53. They feared not. First, they had no cause for fear, in their departure from Egypt. Though they saw the Egyptians slain, yet against them not even a dog moved its tongue. 2. They were all in sound health. 3. They were enriched with the spoils of the Egyptians. 4. They went forth a great multitude. 5. They supplied themselves with arms. Secondly, they feared not to enter the Red Sea, for the fear started by the approach of Pharaoh was swiftly suppressed. Thirdly, they feared not to wander in the desert for forty years, God going before his pillar. Fourthly, they feared not, though enemies attacked them. Thomas Le Blanc.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS