Exodus 14:21

21 Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the LORD opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land.

Exodus 14:21 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 14:21

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
night;
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.


FOOTNOTES:

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.

Exodus 14:21 In-Context

19 Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them.
20 The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night.
21 Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the LORD opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land.
22 So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!
23 Then the Egyptians—all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers—chased them into the middle of the sea.