And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea
With his rod in it, as he was directed to, ( Exodus 14:16 ) . What the poet says F26 of Bacchus is more true of Moses, whose rod had been lift up upon the rivers Egypt, and now upon the Red sea:
and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east
wind all that
and the direction of the Red sea being nearly, if not altogether, north and south, it was in a proper situation to be wrought upon and divided by an easterly wind; though the Septuagint version renders it a strong south wind. No wind of itself, without the exertion and continuance of almighty power, in a miraculous way, could have so thrown the waves of the sea on heaps, and retained them so long, that such a vast number of people should pass through it as on dry land; though this was an instrument Jehovah made use of, and that both to divide the waters of the sea, and to dry and harden the bottom of it, and make it fit for travelling, as follows:
and made the sea dry land;
or made the bottom of it dry, so that it could be trod and walked upon with ease, without sinking in, sticking fast, or slipping about, which was very extraordinary:
and the waters were divided;
or "after the waters were divided" F1; for they were first divided before the sea could be made dry. The Targum of Jonathan says, the waters were divided into twelve parts, answerable to the twelve tribes of Israel, and the same is observed by other Jewish writers F2, grounded upon a passage in ( Psalms 136:13 ) and suppose that each tribe took its particular path.
F26 "Tu flectis amnes, tu mare barbarum--" Horat. Carmin. l. 2. Ode 19.
F1 (weqbyw) "quum diffidisset se aqua illius", Piscator; so (w) seems to be used in ch. xvi. 20.
F2 Pirke Eliezer, c. 42. Targum Jon. & Hieros. in Deut. i. 1. Jarchi, Kimchi, and Arama in Psal. cxxxvi. 13.