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7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots
8 of Egypt, and captains over every one of them. AndtheLoRD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, who knew the
-, Israelites mere an undisciplined multitude, and therefore he pursued after the children of Israel : and the children of Israel went out with an high hand ; not lite fugitives, but oftenly and boldli/, and in military order, (c/i. xiii. 18.) being rescued
9 out of their bondage by the mighty flower of God. But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses [and] chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them just as they were encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzcphon.
10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid ; and no wonder, for they were in a strait between two mountains, the sea before them, and Pharaoh and all his army in their rear; and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord : some firayed sincerely, others only cried
J 1 for fear. Then they began to murmur, And they said unto
Moses, as if he had intended their destruction, Because [there
were] no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in
. the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to
12 carry us forth out of Egypt? [Is] not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For [it had been] better for us to serve the, Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.*
13 And Moses, who bore this with unparalleled meekness, made a most courageous and heroic answer, and said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show to you today; stand still in solemn admi. ration, till you see cause to break out into songs offiraise; for the Egyptians whom yc have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever, in that manner, namely, alive, armed,
14 and ready to devour you. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace; only forbear murmuring, and God will do all for you.
15 And the Lord said unto Moses, ftrobably in answer to some secret petition he had offered to God to pardon the people and a/i/icarfor them, Wherefore ci'iest thou unto me? this is not a time for firayer, but for active service: Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward toward the Red sea, that'
16 lies before them. But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it, command it in my name to divide itself: and the children of Israel shall go on dry
17 [ground] through the midst of the sea. And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of theEgyptians,and they shall followthem; and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen, and will make
* It was strange that they should thus despUe tht'n liberty, distant Cod'spower, and «(Front Mosts. JustlY docs the Psalmist lay. Psalm cv i. 7. 'Our fathcn understood nut thy wonders in Egypt; tnT remembered not the multitude oí thy mwvic« ; but provoked him at tbc sea, »vf n at thiiKed sea.'
18 myself known and feared through ail the earth. And the Egyptians shall know that I [am] the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel in the cloud, now removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them, and thus scfiarated between the Israelites and the Egyptians, giving light to one, and darkness to the
30 other; 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.
11 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go [back] by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry [land,] and the watei's were
22 divided, to the right hand and to the left. 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 on their left. God could immediately have frozen the sea, and made a way over it i but he chose to do a new and strange thing in the earth.
23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, [even] all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. It is probable they did not see where they
24 were going.* And it came to pass that in the morning watch, between daybreak and simrise, that the Lord looked unto the host of tire Egyptians, ,/roumed upon them, through the pillar of fire and of the cloud,t and troubled the host of the Egyptians, (I'm. xviii. 14.) with terrible and prodigious storms of thunder and lightning, (ch. xv. K>. Psa. lxxvii. 18,
35 whereby they were thrown into great disorder ; And, running Joul on eavh other, took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily ;perhaps the water began to rise through the sand, and their wheels sunk in: so that the Egyptians, seeing the dreadful case they were in, said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against
36 the Egyptians. They began to be wise too late. And while they were thus in the midst of tlie sea, all in confusion, and the Israelites on the shore, the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch
• It was about midnight, seven days after the fUn moon, thcrrfore dark; and the cloud between them and the Israelites might prevent their seeing the sea standing as walls on each side of them.
t Or the meaning mav be, that God turned the bright side of the cloud toward the Egyptians, on which they saw the fire.aml, by the light otic, che sea la walls, as it were; •« each side of them, and were terrified exceedingly.
out thjne hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their
57 horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength, to its ordinary course and motion, when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in
88 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
29 mutfh 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.
30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the
31 seashore. 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. They sang his praise, as in the next chapter, but soon forgat his works.
I. "O ROVIDENCE sometimes leads men into straits, to JL answer wise purposes ; to magnify his power and goodness in their remarkable deliverance ; to show the vanity of human helpers, and encourage confidence in him. Let not this seem strange, or discourage any. Wait on the Lord, be of good tourage, and he shall strengthen thine heart.
2. Observe and lament the great degree of hardness to which the heart may be brought. What folly and madness was Pharaoh guilty of! what excuse can be made for such a conduct? What could he intend by it? But he and his people were mad with, envy and revenge. One would have thought the last plague should have humbled him; but he grew worse and worse, till utter destruction came upon him. The conduct of the Israelites was equally strange, in doubting and murmuring, after all these glorious appearances for them. It had been righteous in God to cut them off. Bp. Hall observes,' God's patience was no less a miracle, than their deliverance.'
3. Let us adore the divine power in thus dividing the sea. Whatever objection there may be raised against this miracle, we may justly say with the Psalmist, What ailed thcr, 0 thou sea, that thoufleddest ? Psal. cxiv. 5. No wonder it divided at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob! We are called upon to behold, and meditate on this great work, Psal. lxvi. 5, 6, 7. Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men. He turned the sea into dry land; they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejeice in him. He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations; let
not the rebellious exalt themsetve». Observe God's power; the •waters sato thee, O God, the waters »aw thee, the depths also were troubled. The sea is Ms, and he made it; he governs it as he pleaseth. God is still able to defend his people ; and he promises, When tliou /lassest through the waters, I will be, vñth thee, and through tlte rivers, they sliall not overflow thee ¡ vahen thou loalkest through thejire, thou shall -not be. burned; neither shall the ßame kindle upon thee; therefore trust in him. The apostle says, Heb. xi. 29. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land. And the prophet Isaiah exhorts us to trust in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah z?everlasting strength.
4. With what horror and confusion will sinners at last see their misery, when it is too late, and God looks upon them with the terrors of his final wrath! What a terrible scene of confusion was here, when the ground began to open under them, when the waves were rolling down upon them, and no possibility of escape! The Lord is known by the judgments which he cxecuteth. The sea swallowed them up, and having overwhelmed them awhile, cast them on its sands, a spectacle of triumph to the adversaries. Like this. shall be the case of impenitent sinners; they oppose God, but sudden destruction comet h -ц/юп them, from which they shall not escape. With what horror will sinners see the bottomless pit open before them 1 They will then be glad to return to the body, or the world they have left ; but they are swallowed up in the gulf of immeasurable eternity 1 Let sinners hear and fear, and sin no more presumptuously.
5. With what joy shall good men, at last, see all their enemies destroyed, and themselves secured in perfect victory and triumph. The enemies that perplex them at present, shall at length be destroyed, and vex them no more for ever. So shall God overwhelm Satan and all his hosts; death and destruction shall be swallowed up in victory. The people of God shall stand on the shore of another world, and see them all destroyed, to rise no more! In the faith and hope of this great work indeed, let us
fear the Lord and believe the Lord, and his servant Manes; then shall we be made meet to share in the deliverances of God's people, and to join in the song of Moses and the Lamb for ever.
CHAP. XV. 1—19.
Contains the song of Moses, the servant of the Lord. It was indited by him, and sung by him and the Israelites on the shore of the Red sea, on the last day of unleavened bread, which was appointed to be an holy convocation. The design of it "mas, to express joy in God for their late deliverance, and to cherish sentiments of gratitude and obedience to him, both in Moses and the people.*
1 ' I ' HEN sang Moses and the children of Israel this song
I unto the Lord, and every one, being impressed with a lively sense of his deliverance, spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously ; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. Though the horses were numerous and terrible, yet God overthrew them all, as
2 easily as if there had been but one horse and one rider. The Lord [is] my strength, not only my powerful helper, but my strength and courage itself, having had no occasion to exert any of my own; and my song, he alone is the subject of it: and he is become my salvation, he did it all himself, and personally engaged for me: he [is] my God, particularly concerned for my happine&s as an Israelite, and the sole object of my worship, love and trust; and I will prepare him an habitation, contribute cheerfully to it out of my spoils; he is also my father's God; not a strange God, unknown till this day, but the ancient protector of my family, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will exalt him; / have a thousand proofs of his love and care, therefore I will maintain the highest veneration for him, tpeak well of his name, celebrate his praise, and join heartily in
3 his worship. The Lord [is] a man of war, a noble warrior, an irresistible champion, belter than thousands of chariots and horsemen: the Lord Jehovah [is] his name, the Almighty
•t God that keepeth his word. Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea with violence, like an arrow shot out of a bow: his chosen captains also, the most valiant, the greatest tyrants, are drowned in the Red sea, which was thought to
5 be under the protection of the gods of Egypt. The depths have covered them : they sank into the bottom as a stone, as unable to rise again, as a stone plunged in the defxth of the sea. Then Moses, leaving the plain narration of the fact, breaks out
C into the most grand and sublime figures. Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O
* This is. undoubtedly. the most ancient and noble piece of poetry in the world. A French critic observes,' the turn is great, the thoughts noble, the stile sublime and magnificent; the expressions strong, the figures bold: every part abounds with images that strike the mind and possess the imagination. Some of the finest passages In heathen writers appear cold and groveling, when compared with this song.'
Vol. I. LI