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Commentary » Exodus 14:1-Exodus 14:14 »

Hebrew Children Trapped at The Red Sea

A John Hopkins University doctor says, “We do not know why it is that worriers die sooner than the non-worriers, but that is a fact.” But I, who am simple of mind, think I know; We are inwardly constructed in nerve and tissue, brain cell and soul, for faith and not fo … More


Several days after the children of Israel had left Egypt the Egyptians were still  mourning  the death of their first-born. The Lord instructed Moses to have the people camp between Migdol and the Red Sea (vv. 1-2). News  of Israel’s departure caused Pharaoh to reconsider his generosity in letting the people go. He said I will make the King stubborn again, and he will try to catch you (vv. 3-4). He had lost his servants and the question was who was going to build their cities (v. 5)? When the King of Egypt heard that the Israelites had finally left, he and his officials changed their minds and said, “Look what we have done! We let them get away, and they will no longer be our slaves.”

Immediately the Egyptian chariots started out after the fleeing multitude (vv. 6-7). Pharaoh knew that they had turned and gone toward the Red Sea. He thought that they would be trapped in the wilderness with no way to get out. Pharaoh had with him 600 special chariots and all the other available chariots in Egypt. Some of the army were on horseback and some on foot. This was the greatest army in all the world at that time. 

When the Hebrew children saw Pharaoh’s army approaching they felt trapped and were very frightened (vv. 8-10). They had a mountain to the North and South. The waters of the Red Sea were to the east and all they could see was the dust of Pharaoh’s approaching army to the west. Then they blamed Moses for bringing them there and said, “It would have been better for us to go on serving the Egyptians then to die in the wilderness (vv 11-12).” Moses said, “Don’t be afraid” (v. 13)! “The Lord will save you and the Egyptians will never bother you again. The Lord will fight for you and you won’t have to do a thing (v. 14).


Sad  to say, the Jews were walking by sight and not by faith. When they  saw the army coming, they gave up in fear. Have I ever done this instead of trusting the Lord when things seemed hopeless?

Exodus 14:1-14 (English Standard Version)

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, 'They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.' And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD." And they did so. When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the mind of Pharaoh and his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, "What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?" So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him, and took six hundred chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the people of Israel while the people of Israel were going out defiantly. The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, "Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness." And Moses said to the people, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent."

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