Exodus 14

1 Then the LORD said to Moses,
2 “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon.
3 Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’
4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” So the Israelites did this.
5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!”
6 So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him.
7 He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them.
8 The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly.
9 The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen[a] and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.
10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD.
11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?
12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.
14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.
16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.
17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen.
18 The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
19 Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them,
20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided,
22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
23 The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea.
24 During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.
25 He jammed[b] the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.”
26 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.”
27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward[c] it, and the LORD swept them into the sea.
28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.
29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
30 That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore.
31 And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

Images for Exodus 14

Exodus 14 Commentary

Chapter 14

God directs the Israelites to Pihahiroth, Pharaoh pursues after them. (1-9) The Israelites murmur, Moses comforts them. (10-14) God instructs Moses, The cloud between the Israelites and the Egyptians. (15-20) The Israelites pass through the Red sea, which drowns the Egyptians. (21-31)

Verses 1-9 Pharaoh would think that all Israel was entangled in the wilderness, and so would become an easy prey. But God says, I will be honoured upon Pharaoh. All men being made for the honour of their Maker, those whom he is not honoured by, he will be honoured upon. What seems to tend to the church's ruin, is often overruled to the ruin of the church's enemies. While Pharaoh gratified his malice and revenge, he furthered the bringing to pass God's counsels concerning him. Though with the greatest reason he had let Israel go, yet now he was angry with himself for it. God makes the envy and rage of men against his people, a torment to themselves. Those who set their faces heavenward, and will live godly in Christ Jesus, must expect to be set upon by Satan's temptations and terrors. He will not tamely part with any out of his service.

Verses 10-14 There was no way open to Israel but upward, and thence their deliverance came. We may be in the way of duty, following God, and hastening toward heaven, yet may be troubled on every side. Some cried out unto the Lord; their fear led them to pray, and that was well. God brings us into straits, that he may bring us to our knees. Others cried out against Moses; fear set them murmuring as if God were not still able to work miracles. They quarrel with Moses for bringing them out of Egypt; and so were angry with God for the greatest kindness ever done them; thus gross are the absurdities of unbelief. Moses says, Fear ye not. It is always our duty and interest, when we cannot get out of troubles, yet to get above our fears; let them quicken our prayers and endeavours, but not silence our faith and hope. "Stand still," think not to save yourselves either by fighting or flying; wait God's orders, and observe them. Compose yourselves, by confidence in God, into peaceful thoughts of the great salvation God is about to work for you. If God brings his people into straits, he will find a way to bring them out.

Verses 15-20 Moses' silent prayers of faith prevailed more with God than Israel's loud outcries of fear. The pillar of cloud and fire came behind them, where they needed a guard, and it was a wall between them and their enemies. The word and providence of God have a black and dark side toward sin and sinners, but a bright and pleasant side toward the people of the Lord. He, who divided between light and darkness, ( Genesis 1:4 ) , allotted darkness to the Egyptians, and light to the Israelites. Such a difference there will be between the inheritance of the saints in light, and that utter darkness which will be the portion of hypocrites for ever.

Verses 21-31 The dividing the Red sea was the terror of the Canaanites, ( Joshua 2:9 ) ; the praise and triumph of the Israelites, ( Psalm 114:3 , Psalm 106:9 , Psalm 136:13 ) . It was a type of baptism, #1Co. 10:1, #1Co. 10:2 . Israel's passage through it was typical of the conversion of souls, ( Isaiah 11:15 ) ; and the Egyptians being drowned in it was typical of the final ruin of all unrepenting sinners. God showed his almighty power, by opening a passage through the waters, some miles over. God can bring his people through the greatest difficulties, and force a way where he does not find it. It was an instance of his wonderful favour to his Israel. They went through the sea, they walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea. This was done, in order to encourage God's people in all ages to trust him in the greatest straits. What cannot he do who did this? What will not he do for those that fear and love him, who did this for these murmuring, unbelieving Israelites? Then followed the just and righteous wrath of God upon his and his people's enemies. The ruin of sinners is brought on by their own rage and presumption. They might have let Israel alone, and would not; now they would flee from the face of Israel, and cannot. Men will not be convinced, till it is too late, that those who meddle with God's people, meddle to their own hurt. Moses was ordered to stretch out his hand over the sea; the waters returned, and overwhelmed all the host of the Egyptians. Pharaoh and his servants, who had hardened one another in sin, now fell together, not one escaped. The Israelites saw the Egyptians dead upon the sands. The sight very much affected them. While men see God's works, and feel the benefit, they fear him and trust in him. How well were it for us, if we were always in as good a frame as sometimes! Behold the end to which a Christian may look forward. His enemies rage, and are mighty; but while he holds fast by God, he shall pass the waves in safety guarded by that very power of his Saviour, which shall come down on every spiritual foe. The enemies of his soul whom he hath seen to-day, he shall see no more for ever.

Cross References 56

  • 1. Numbers 33:7; Jeremiah 44:1; Ezekiel 29:10
  • 2. ver 9
  • 3. S Exodus 4:21
  • 4. ver 8,17,23; Psalms 71:11
  • 5. S Exodus 9:16; Ro 9:17,22-23
  • 6. S Exodus 6:2; Ezekiel 32:15; Exodus 7:5
  • 7. S Genesis 31:21
  • 8. Psalms 105:25
  • 9. Exodus 15:4
  • 10. ver 4; S Exodus 11:10
  • 11. Numbers 33:3; Acts 13:17
  • 12. Genesis 47:17
  • 13. ver 6-7,25; Joshua 24:6; Isaiah 43:17
  • 14. Exodus 15:9
  • 15. ver 2
  • 16. Exodus 15:25; Joshua 24:7; Nehemiah 9:9; Psalms 5:2; Psalms 34:17; Psalms 50:15; Psalms 107:6,28
  • 17. S Exodus 5:21; Exodus 16:3; Exodus 17:3; Numbers 11:1; Numbers 14:22; Numbers 20:4; Numbers 21:5; Deuteronomy 9:7; Psalms 106:7-8
  • 18. S Exodus 5:21; Exodus 15:24; Exodus 17:2; Psalms 106:7-8
  • 19. S Genesis 15:1
  • 20. 1 Samuel 12:16; 2 Chronicles 20:17; Isa 41:10,13-14
  • 21. ver 30
  • 22. ver 25; Exodus 15:3; Deuteronomy 1:30; Deuteronomy 3:22; Deuteronomy 20:4; Joshua 10:14; Joshua 23:3,10; 2 Samuel 5:24; 2 Chronicles 20:29; Nehemiah 4:20; Psalms 24:8; Psalms 35:1; Isaiah 42:13; Jeremiah 41:12
  • 23. 1 Samuel 12:16; Psalms 37:7; Psalms 46:10; Psalms 116:7; Isaiah 28:12; Isaiah 30:15; Zechariah 2:13
  • 24. Joshua 7:10
  • 25. S Exodus 4:2; Exodus 4:17; Nu 20:8-9,11
  • 26. ver 27; Isaiah 10:26
  • 27. Exodus 4:21
  • 28. S ver 4
  • 29. S Exodus 6:2; Ezekiel 32:15
  • 30. S Genesis 16:7; Isaiah 63:9
  • 31. S Exodus 13:21; 1 Corinthians 10:1
  • 32. Isaiah 26:7; Isaiah 42:16; Isaiah 49:10; Isaiah 52:12; Isaiah 58:8
  • 33. Joshua 24:7
  • 34. S Exodus 7:19
  • 35. S Exodus 4:2; Job 26:12; Isaiah 14:27; Isaiah 23:11; Isaiah 51:15; Jeremiah 31:35; Acts 7:36
  • 36. S Genesis 41:6; Exodus 15:8; 2 Samuel 22:16; 1 Kings 19:11; Job 38:1; Job 40:6; Jeremiah 23:19; Nahum 1:3
  • 37. S ver 22; S Genesis 8:1
  • 38. 2 Kings 2:8; Psalms 74:13; Psalms 78:13; Psalms 114:5; Psalms 136:13; Isaiah 63:12
  • 39. ver 16; Numbers 33:8; Joshua 24:6; Isaiah 43:16; Isaiah 63:11; 1 Corinthians 10:1
  • 40. ver 21,29; S Exodus 3:12; Exodus 15:19; Deuteronomy 31:6-8; Joshua 3:16,17; Joshua 4:22; Nehemiah 9:11; Psalms 66:6; Psalms 77:19; Psalms 106:9; Isaiah 11:15; Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 43:5; Isaiah 44:27; Isaiah 50:2; Isaiah 51:10; Isaiah 63:13; Jeremiah 46:28; Nahum 1:4; Hebrews 11:29
  • 41. Exodus 15:8; Joshua 3:13; Psalms 78:13
  • 42. ver 7
  • 43. S Exodus 13:21; 1 Corinthians 10:1
  • 44. Exodus 23:27; Joshua 10:10; 1 Samuel 5:9; 1 Samuel 7:10; 1 Samuel 14:15; 2 Samuel 5:24; 2 Kings 7:6; 2 Kings 19:7
  • 45. S ver 14
  • 46. S ver 9; Deuteronomy 32:31; 1 Samuel 2:2; 1 Samuel 4:8
  • 47. Joshua 4:18
  • 48. ver 28; Exodus 15:1,21; Deuteronomy 1:40; Deuteronomy 2:1; Deuteronomy 11:4; Psalms 78:53; Psalms 106:11; Psalms 136:15; Hebrews 11:29
  • 49. ver 23; Exodus 15:19; Joshua 24:7
  • 50. S ver 27; Exodus 15:5; Judges 4:16; Nehemiah 9:11
  • 51. ver; 21,S 22; Joshua 24:11; 2 Kings 2:8; Psalms 74:15
  • 52. Psalms 78:13
  • 53. ver 29; 1 Samuel 14:23; 1 Chronicles 11:14; Psalms 44:7; Psalms 106:8,10,21; Isaiah 43:3; Isaiah 50:2; Isaiah 51:9-10; Isaiah 60:16; Isaiah 63:8,11
  • 54. S Exodus 9:16; Psalms 147:5
  • 55. Exodus 20:18; Deuteronomy 31:13; Joshua 4:24; 1 Samuel 12:18; Psalms 76:7; Psalms 112:1
  • 56. S Exodus 4:5; Psalms 22:4; Psalms 40:3; Psalms 106:12; John 2:11; John 11:45

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Or "charioteers" ; also in verses 17, 18, 23, 26 and 28
  • [b]. See Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint and Syriac; Masoretic Text "removed"
  • [c]. Or "from"

Chapter Summary


This chapter begins with directions of God to Moses, to be given to the children of Israel about the course they were to steer in their journey, with the reason thereof, Ex 14:1-4, which they observing, a report was brought to Pharaoh that they were fled, and this determined him and his servants to get ready and pursue after them, as they did with a great army, Ex 14:5-9, which when the Israelites saw, it put them in great fear, and set them to murmuring and complaining against Moses for bringing them out of Egypt, Ex 14:10,11,12, who desired them to be still and quiet, and they should see the salvation of the Lord, Ex 14:13,14, and he is bid to order the people to go on in their journey, and to take his rod and stretch it over the sea and divide it, that Israel might pass through it on dry ground, and the Egyptians follow them, whereby God would be honoured and glorified, Ex 14:15-18, upon which the Angel of the Lord in a pillar of cloud removed from before there, and went behind them for their protection, Ex 14:19,20, and Moses stretching out his hand over the sea, and a strong east wind blowing upon it, the waters divided and the Israelites went into it, and the Egyptians followed them, but their host being troubled by the Lord, and their chariot wheels taken off, they found themselves in great danger, and were thrown into a panic, Ex 14:20-25 and upon Moses's stretching out his hand again over the sea, the waters returned, and Pharaoh and his host were drowned, but the Israelites passed through safely, as on dry land, Ex 14:26-29, which great work of the Lord being observed by them, influenced their fear of him, their faith in him and his servant Moses, Ex 14:30,31.

Exodus 14 Commentaries

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