Exodus Chapter 14: Seven Lessons from the Jews’ Crossing of the Red Sea

Introduction: Exodus Chapter 14 recounts the Jews’ crossing of the Red Sea. In Hebrew, it is called “Kriat Yam Suph”. This translates as the “Crossing of the Sea of Reeds”. Yet, English translations call this the Rea Sea. This is one of the most famous accounts in the Bible. It is retold in song in the Torah and the Psalms. Even the Muslims believe that it happened. Yet, today this account is under attack from archeologists who question the entire story of the exodus. This is, however, just one of the many schemes of the ruler of this world to cause you to doubt the promises of God’s Word. God never wastes a miracle. The purpose of this miracle was to show His power and supremacy. If He has the power to part the sea, there is no problem that is too big for Him to handle. From this account, God reveals seven important lessons for you.

First, from Pharaoh’s pursuit after the Jews, He reveals that Satan seeks to chase after you and place you back into bondage. Second, from the Jews’ fear at the sight of Pharaoh’s chariots, He reveals that you must put your faith in Him in times of distress. If you take your eyes off Him and fear those who seek to oppress or oppose you, you may be dawn off your walk with Him. Third, from Moses’ instructions to the people to have no fear and be quiet, He reveals that He wants you to trust Him to fight your battles for you. Fourth, from Moses’ instructions to the people to advance towards the sea in faith as the Egyptians approached, He reveals that you are to also press forward and trust Him when you are faced with tribulation. Just as He protected the backs of the Jews, He will protect yours as well. Fifth, through Paul’s revelation that the Jews were baptized as they crossed the Red Sea, He reveals that you must also be baptized with His living waters to pass over from the land of bondage to the eternal Promised Land. Sixth, from His destruction of Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea, He reveals that those who seek to harm or enslave His people will one day face His judgment and destruction. Finally, it is important that you believe that the Jews’ crossing of the Red Sea was a real event. He wants you to believe in the miracle of His parting of the Red Sea to have faith in His power to help you in times of crisis. There is no obstacle, enemy, or bondage that He cannot break when you have faith in Him.

1. Satan will Chase after You and Seek to Place You Back into Bondage. Ex. 14:1-9.

  • God’s taunt to Pharaoh. After the Jews had traveled for six days, God told them to camp next to the sea. He then hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that His power would be known throughout the world: “1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Tell the sons of Israel to turn back and camp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you shall camp in front of Baal-zephon, opposite it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the sons of Israel, ‘They are wandering aimlessly in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ Thus I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.’ And they did so.” (Ex. 14:1-4). God allowed Pharaoh to believe that the Jews were dazed and confused in the wilderness. Pharaoh believed that he could destroy and re-enslave the Jews: “The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my desire shall be gratified against them; I will draw out my sword, my hand will destroy them.”’ (Ex. 15:9). The devil also looks at believers as weak and ready to be enslaved again.

  • Pharaoh’s belief that the Jews had tricked him. Pharaoh believed that the Moses had tricked him into believing that the Jews would worship God after a three-day journey into the desert and then return to Goshen (Ex. 5:3). Because they had traveled for six days, he believed that Moses had broken his word. Thus, when it appeared to Moses that the Jews were trapped by the sea, he sent 600 of his best chariots to kill the Jewish leaders and bring the rest of the Jews back into captivity: “When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, ‘What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?’ So he made his chariot ready and took his people with him; and he took six hundred select chariots, and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he chased after the sons of Israel as the sons of Israel were going out boldly. Then the Egyptians chased after them with all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and they overtook them camping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.” (Ex. 14:5-9). The number six is the number of man. It is one short of perfection. The 600 chariots symbolized the imperfect plans of mankind. Although Pharaoh sent his best troops against unarmed and untrained civilians, this was still not enough to stop God.

  • Satan also seeks to re-enslave you. Like Pharaoh, Satan is a prowling lion looking for the right opportunity to strike when you are wandering aimlessly. As one commentator observes: “There is an analogy in this to the spiritual life. We sometimes think that Satan will let us go easily, or we think that that once we leave his kingdom he forgets about us. Yet just like Pharaoh after Israel, Satan pursues us, attempting to keep us at least on the fringes of his domain and hoping to destroy us if he can.” (David Guzik on Exodus 14). Thus, “[b]e of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8). Are you are meandering aimlessly in your walk with God where Satan might try to re-enslave you?

2. Without Faith During Trials, You May Return to the Devil’s Bondage. Ex. 14:10-12.

  • The Jews’ lack of faith led to their rebellion. The Jews had directly observed 10 supernatural plagues. God’s pillar of light was also guiding them (Ex. 13:21). Nevertheless, they doubted Him when they saw the dust storm in the distance from the 600 royal chariots advancing towards them. With the sea on one side and mountain ranges on the two other sides, they panicked because they had no way to escape: “10 As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord. 11 Then they said to Moses, ‘Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘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.” (Ex. 14:10-12). The Jews’ attitude was in stark contrast to their prideful departure from Egypt. Moses reveals that they marched defiantly when they left Egypt, as if they were responsible for their release: “They journeyed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the next day after the Passover the sons of Israel started out boldly in the sight of all the Egyptians,” (Nu. 33:3). Yet, their pride melted at the first sign of danger. This was also the second time that they blamed Moses when Pharaoh retaliated against them. They also turned on Moses when Pharaoh ordered the Jews to build bricks without straw. They even sought to shame Moses for provoking Pharaoh. They said to him: “‘May the LORD look upon you and judge you, for you have made us odious in Pharaoh’s sight and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.”’ (Ex. 5:21). The Jews’ rebellion at the Red Sea was also their first of seven rebellions on the road to Mount Horeb / Sinai. Years later, Moses reminded the Jews how unworthy they were of God’s mercy and grace: “Remember, do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day that you left the land of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD.” (Dt. 9:7). “Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; they did not remember Your abundant kindnesses, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.” (Ps. 106:7). God has also blessed you with things you do not deserve. These include your eternal salvation, the Holy Spirit, and every good and perfect thing (Jam. 1:17). Are you repaying Him with complaints and rebellion?

  • You can’t revert to our old life, even when things feel unbearable. Jesus warns that “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Lk. 9:62). Are you longing for any portion of your old life or the things of the flesh?

  • When you cry out for God’s help, He is ready to help you. Although the Jews were undeserving of God’s help, He showed His mercy and grace by helping them when they cried out: “You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heard their cry by the Red Sea.” (Neh. 9:9). “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses.” (Ps. 107:6). “You called in trouble and I rescued you; I answered you in the hiding place of thunder; . . .” (Ps. 81:7(a)). “The righteous cry, and the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” (Ps. 34:17). If the enemy is closing in or things seem out of control, are you humbly crying out for His help?

3. Have the Faith to Let God Fight Your Battles for You. Ex. 14:13-14.

  • Moses’ command for the people to have faith while God fought their battle. Moses showed great faith at a time when the people panicked. He encouraged them not to fear and to keep silent while God fought their battle for them: “13 But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. 14 The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” (Ex. 14:13-14). God repeatedly told His people not to fear when they faced trouble (e.g., Gen. 15:1; 46:3; 20:20; 1 Sam. 11:13; 12:16; 2 Kin. 6:16; Is. 7:4, 41:10-13). The battle against the enemy always belongs to Him: “The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes,” (Dt. 1:30; 3:22). “When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you.” (Dt. 20:1). ‘“Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.’” (2 Chron. 20:15; 32:7-8). He always wants you to rely on Him, regardless of what lies behind you or in your past. He will be your rear guard: “But you will not go out in haste, nor will you go as fugitives; for the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” (Is. 52:12). There is an analogy to this in the armor of God. His armor has no protection for your back because He will protect you (Eph. 6:10-18). Do you trust God to forgive the sins behind you and fight on for His glory?

  • Trust God in times of crisis. Every believer can learn from the Jews’ failure of faith at the Red Sea. As one commentator observes: “Moses told the people of Israel to stop. This is often the LORD’s direction to the believer in a time of crisis. Despair will cast you down, keeping you from standing. Fear will tell you to retreat. Impatience will tell you to do something now. Presumption will tell you to jump into the Red Sea before it is parted.” (David Guzik on Exodus 14). Do you panic at the first sign of trouble?

  • Fear only God. Moses told the people “fear not.” (Ex. 14:13). Jesus later quoted Moses when He told the disciples in the stormy sea: ‘“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.’” (Matt. 14:27; Mk. 6:50; Jo. 6:20). You are to only fear God (Prov. 1:7). You fear Him when you hate evil (Prov. 8:13). When you are walking with Him, you should never fear your enemies: “The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.” (Prov. 29:25). “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do.” (Lk. 12:4). Peter sank in the sea when he took his eyes off Jesus and became afraid of the waves around him (Matt. 14:30). Has your fear of some challenge or adversary taken your eyes off Jesus?

4. Have the Faith to Continue on When Faced with Trials or Attacks. Ex. 14:15-20.

  • God’s command to the Jews to press forward and let Him fight their battle. When Moses began to pray, God directed him to send the Jews into the sea. He then directed Moses to lift up his staff in faith for the sea to be split into two for the Jews to pass through: “15 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. 16 As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. 17 As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 Then the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord, when I am honored through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen. 19 The angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. 20 So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night.” (Ex. 14:15-20). God planned to once and for all answer Pharaoh’s question: ‘“Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice . . .?’” (Ex. 5:2). He also revealed that “Moses’ silent prayers of faith prevailed more with God than Israel’s loud outcries of fear.” (Matthew Henry on Exodus 14). This was the same staff that Moses used at the burning bush (Ex. 4:17). It was the same staff that turned the Nile into blood (Ex. 7:19). It was also the same staff that caused the frogs to rise from the Nile (Ex. 8:5). By using Moses’ staff, He also again showed that He uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary. If you think there is nothing special about you, you are in a perfect place for God to use you if you have faith.

  • God puts you through trials so that you may rely upon Him. After the Jews had escaped from Egypt, Moses explained that God frequently tests His people: “for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” (Ex. 20:20(b); Dt. 8:2). David warned that even the righteous are not beyond God’s testing: “The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked . . .” (Ps. 11:5). “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, . . .” (Jer. 17:10). God’s testing and discipline are done out of love (Heb. 12:6). When you are tested, you may find that your heart has hidden anger, lust, or covetousness. When God exposes wickedness, He expects you to repent of it: “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). David invited God’s testing to show him where he needed to change (Ps. 139:23). Your trials produce perseverance and endurance: “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;” (Ro. 5:3). “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” (Jam. 1:2-3). Paul faced a similar trial when he faced death in Asia. He advised that God put him through trials so that he would rely upon Him and not his own strength: “For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; . . .He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,” (2 Cor. 1:8-10). God knew that the only way to produce faith in the Jews was through their weakness. They had no army, and they could not have freed themselves without Him. Are you turning to Jesus to deliver you during your trials?

5. Through Faith, You are Baptized into the Eternal Life through Jesus. Ex. 14:21-22.

  • Israel’s passage through the Sea. In one of God’s greatest miracles, He supernaturally parted the sea to allow more than one million Jews and their animals to safely pass: “21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. 22 The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.” (Ex. 14:21-22). To allow the Jews to pass, He first divided the sea with a mighty wind: “He divided the sea and caused them to pass through, and He made the waters stand up like a heap.” (Ps. 78:13). He then “congealed” or hardened the walls of water on both sides (Ex. 15:8). He also made His presence felt through both thunder and lightning (Ps. 77:16-20). He also makes Himself known in your life. Are you recognizing His hand in your blessings?

  • Faith allowed the Jews but not the Egyptians to pass. It was only through the power of faith in God that He congealed or hardened the walls of water. For this reason, the Jews safely passed while the Egyptians could not: “By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.” (Heb. 11:29). The importance of faith as the force that kept the waters apart was repeated 40 years later at the Jews’ crossing of the Jordan river. With that crossing, the priests put the ark in the middle of the dry Jordan river bed to strengthen the Jews’ faith: “And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.” (Josh. 3:17). Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). If you are asking for His help without believing He will act, He is highly unlikely to respond: “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.” (Jam. 1:6). When you face a crisis, are you praying with faith that He can act in your life?

  • The Jews’ passage across the Red Sea symbolized their baptism. The Jews’ passage through the sea was also their baptism into God’s living waters: “For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;” (1 Cor.10:1-2). Like the Jews, you also have been baptized into the living waters of Christ: “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” (Ro. 6:3). “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Gal. 3:27). Just as you were baptized into the living waters of Christ, you are encouraged to teach others to do so as well: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” (Matt. 28:19). Are you encouraging others to be baptized into Christ?

  • The passage through the Red Sea also symbolized the Jews’ redemption. God also makes clear that the passage through the sea to the Promised Land symbolized the Jews’ redemption:  “Was it not You who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep; who made the depths of the sea a pathway for the redeemed to cross over?” (Is. 51:10). The symbolism of redemption is repeated in Moses’ subsequent song of praise: “In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; in Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation.” (Ex. 15:13). Among other things, the sea is a symbol for “the wicked people”. (Is. 57:20-21). It is also symbolized both a “door” (Job 38:8-11) and a “boundary” (Prov. 8:29 NASB or NIV translations). The Jews understood that the Messiah would bring the people across the sea of distress: “And they will pass through the sea of distress and He will strike the waves in the sea, so that all the depths of the Nile will dry up; and the pride of Assyria will be brought down and the scepter of Egypt will depart.” (Zech. 10:11; Is. 11:15). Thus, Jesus’ control over the sea confirmed He was the Messiah: “They became very much afraid and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?’” (Mark 4:41). At the end of human time, the sea will disappear (Rev. 21:1). This symbolizes the departure of the wicked people. It also symbolizes that the path for believers to pass into the Promised Land of everlasting life is opened. If you are excited about the eternal path that Christ made possible for you through His death, how are you thanking Him? (Ro. 12:1-2).

6. God will Crush Those Who Seek to Harm His People. Ex. 14:23-29.

  • God destroys Pharaoh’s army in the sea. After the Jews had safely passed through the sea, God allowed the Egyptians to enter the same passageway. Yet, as the faith of those passing through disappeared, the walls first weakened and water began to seep into the ground. This trapped the Egyptian chariot wheels in the mud. The Egyptians’ lack of faith then caused the weakened sea walls to crumble down and crush them: “23 Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. 24 At the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. 25 He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from Israel, for the Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians.’ 26 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.’ 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state at daybreak, while the Egyptians were fleeing right into it; then the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh’s entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained. 29 But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.” (Ex. 14:23-29). Pharaoh’s defeat is retold throughout the Bible: “and what He did to Egypt’s army, to its horses and its chariots, when He made the water of the Red Sea to engulf them while they were pursuing you, and the LORD completely destroyed them;” (Dt. 11:4; Ex. 15:19). ‘“I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea; and Egypt pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea.’ But when they cried out to the LORD, He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them and covered them; and your own eyes saw what I did in Egypt.” (Josh. 24:6-7(a)). “He led them safely, so that they did not fear; but the sea engulfed their enemies.” (Ps. 78:53). “The waters covered their adversaries; not one of them was left.” (Ps. 106:11). “But He overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (Ps. 136:15). “You divided the sea before them, so they passed through the midst of the sea on dry ground; and their pursuers You hurled into the depths, like a stone into raging waters.” (Neh. 9:11). Are you sharing with others what God has freed you from?

  • God will crush His enemies during the end times. As established previously with the plagues, the events in Exodus foreshadow the end times. In the end times, Jesus will also bring death to the unrighteous at the battle in the valley of Armageddon (Rev. 16:12-21). Are you warning nonbelievers what awaits if they reject Jesus’ offer of salvation?

7. Have Faith in God’s Power to Keep You Free from Bondage. Ex. 14:30-31.

  • The faith of Israel was bolstered at God’s deliverance. The Jews rejoiced at the destruction of their oppressors. At their observation of this great miracle, their faith in God grew strong: “30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses.” (Ex. 14:30-31). God’s reputation also became known throughout the world. The people of Canaan knew what happened at the Red Sea and feared the Jews: “For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.” (Josh. 2:10). “When all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surrounding us saw it, they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.” (Neh. 6:16). This miracle was also widely known at the time the disciples sought to spread the Word of Christ throughout the world: “This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years.” (Acts 7:36). His amazing act will be retold on earth and in heaven forever: “Who caused His glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them to make for Himself an everlasting name,” (Is. 63:12). Is the Red Sea crossing relevant to your faith today?

  • If He had the power to rescue the Jews, He can rescue you as well. God’s miracle at the Red Sea was not just meant to bolster the faith of the Jews. It was also meant to bolster your faith as well. There is no strangle hold of sin that is too great for Him to break when you cry out in faith for His help: “Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?” (Dt. 4:34). “Why was there no man when I came? When I called, why was there none to answer? Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, I dry up the sea with My rebuke, I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish stink for lack of water and die of thirst.” (Is. 50:2). Are you crying out in faith for God to free you from whatever form of bondage is controlling you?

  • Give praise for your deliverance. Here, the Jews learned their first of many lessons in building faith. The 10 plagues that they had just observed were not enough to keep their faith. Nor was God’s pillar of light that guided the Jews in the wilderness (Ps. 78:14). Instead, faith comes by hearing the Word (Ro. 10:17). To keep their faith strong, Moses showed them in the next chapter that they needed to constantly sing His praise (Ex. 15:1-21). They continued to sings songs of praise centuries later: “He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot; there let us rejoice in Him!” (Ps. 66:6). “Then they believed His words; they sang His praise.” (Ps. 106:12). They also celebrated this day with a feast exactly seven days after Passover, called the Feast of First Fruits. Are you singing songs of praise to remember each time He delivered you? Or, do you approach Him with a “what have you done for me lately” attitude”?

  • Have faith that God’s deliverance at the Red Sea was a real event. Today, some have sowed doubt about the crossing of the Red Sea. Some claim that there is no proof of the Jews’ crossing. Yet, this may be because they have looked in the wrong places. Many claim that they crossed in the flat lake region north of the Gulf of Suez, the bitter lakes of Timsah or Sirbonis. Yet, these lakes are not deep enough to have drowned the Egyptian army. A better answer is found using the name of the Jews’ last encampment. We should always begin with the Word in our search. The following seven facts point to a crossing in the eastern Sinai peninsula into modern day Saudi Arabia (Gal. 4:25).

  1. The crossing point was a mountain gorge that describes the eastern Sinai. In the Torah, God twice confirmed the name of the place where they crossed the Red Sea. It is called “Pi-hahiroth.” (Ex. 14:9; Nu. 33:7). In the Bible, two is the number of confirmation. God confirmed this place to verify its existence and to confirm the location of His miracle. “Pi-hahiroth” means either “mouth of the gorges” or “mouth of water”. This suggests that the Jews crossed at the end of a gorge between two mountains that led into the sea. The famous Jewish historian Josephus also confirmed that Pharaoh sought to trap the Jews between a mountain pass and the sea. (“Antiquities of the Jews,” Book II, Chapter XV). There are no mountain gorges leading to either Lake Timsah or Lake Sirbonis. Nor does it fit the description of the Gulf of Suez between the eastern Egyptian coast and the Sinai Peninsula. That area is relatively flat. Yet, this does fit the description of a narrow mountain gorge that opens up onto a beach on the Gulf of Aqaba on the east side of the Sinai peninsula at the straits of Tiran. Today, this place is called Nuweiba Beach.

  2. The Jews traveled day and night for six days from Goshen. Nuweiba Beach is located 465 km or 290 miles southeast from Cairo and 70 km or 40 miles south of the Israel-Egyptian border separating Taba and Eilat (source Wikipedia). There were 603,550 fighting men, a comparable number of women and children and “a large number of livestock.” (Nu. 1:46; Ex. 12:37). The Jews did not start in Cairo. They lived in Goshen, the northern delta area (Gen. 47:27; Ex. 9:26). Yet, they started their journey at the meeting point of the city of Rameses to the east (Nu. 33:3). Even if we reduce the number by 40 miles to 250 miles, this translates to approximately 41 miles a day for six days. Could the Jews with their families and live stock have traveled this distance in a mere six days? With God’s help, all things are possible: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13). We know that the Jews traveled at a fast pace for six straight days and nights. The Feast of Unleavened Bread lasted exactly seven days to correspond with their march through the wilderness (Ex. 13:3(b)-10; 12:14-20; Dt. 16:3-4, 8). They also marched at night by the pillar of light (Ex. 13:20-22). We also know that they were marching at a break neck speed because they did not have time to cook. That was the reason for eating unleavened bread. Along their route, they only stopped twice. The first stop was Sukkoth, means a “booth” or a “tabernacle.” (Ex. 12:37; Nu. 33:5). The second stop was Etham, which means “fortress.” (Ex. 13:20; Nu. 33:6). They camped the third and final time the evening of the sixth day and crossed on the seventh. The journey began on the 15th day of the first month (Nu. 33:3). At the time, this month was called “Abib” or “Avivi”, a Hebrew name which refers to the month in when the barley harvest was ripe. (Dt. 16:1; Lev. 23:5-6, 11). After Babylonian captivity, the name of this month changed “Nisan.” (Neh. 2:1; Ester 3:7). The journey would have ended on 22nd day of this same month. We know that God helped them during their marathon across the desert. Moses tells us that He supernaturally protected their feet from swelling or feeling pain: “Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.” (Dt. 8:4).

  3. The Bible places mount Sinai / Moreb in Saudi Arabia, not the Sinai Peninsula. Many assume that Mount Horeb / Sinai is located in the modern day Sinai peninsula. Yet, that location was based upon an alleged dream of emperor Constantine. Saint Catherine then selected a mountain where a monastery now stands. The Bible, however, confirms that Mount Sinai / Horeb was in Saudi Arabia: “Now this . . . Mount Sinai in Arabia . . .” (Gal. 4:25). God told Moses to bring the people to “worship God at this mountain” at a time when Moses was living in the land of Midian (modern day Saudi Arabia) (Ex. 3:12). At the time God gave this instruction to Moses, he was also tending to his father-in-law Jethro’s sheep (Ex. 3:1). Moses would not have been able to take Jethro’s sheep cross the Gulf of Aqaba into Sinai. Furthermore, while living in Midian, he named his first son Gershom because he had “been a sojourner in a foreign land.” (Ex. 2:22). If Moses were living in Sinai, he would not have been living in a foreign land. The Sinai was controlled by the Egyptians with military posts throughout. Indeed, Pharaoh may have sent his 600 chariots from an outpost on the Sinai. For this same reason, the Jews would not have lived securely for years in Sinai if the Egyptians had hostile military garrisons all around them.

  4. The Jews did not cross into Israel until they reached the Jordan River 40 years later. The Jews spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness with the entire generation dying off (Nu. 32:13). Only Joshua and Caleb were allowed to live in the Promised Land: “‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers, . . .’” (Dt. 1:34-40). If the Jews did not cross the Gulf of Aqaba, they would have all entered southern Israel as they walked around the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. Specifically, they would have crossed into Israel through the port city called Eliat. Because they never entered Israel, Mount Sinai / Horeb was in Saudi Arabia.

  5. God promised to mark the crossing point with pillars. God also promised to mark the crossing point with pillars: “In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border.” (Is. 19:19). God gave similar instructions to Joshua to mark with stones the point where the Jews crossed the Jordan River 40 years later (Josh. 4:9). Today, identical pillars exist at both Nuweiba Beach in Sinai and directly across from it in Saudi Arabia. Investigator Ron Wyatt has photographs these columns at his web site, which he attributes King Solomon. There would be no reason for these two identical pillars to be placed at both sides of this crossing unless they were markers for the crossing.

  6. The only suitable underwater land bridge exists at Nuweiba Beach. Nuweiba beach is also the only place where an underwater land bridge rises from the sea floor to allow for a possible crossing by land from Egypt into Saudi Arabia. On both sides of the plateau, the water drops to 3,000 and 5,000 feet respectively. Not by coincidence, “Nuweiba” is short for the Arabic phrase “Nuwayba’ al Muzayyinah.” This translates as “Waters of Moses’ Opening.” (source Wikipedia).

  7. Photographs exist of human bones, horse bones, and chariot wheels at the crossing. Investigator Ron Wyatt connected the dots to debunk tradition and find this more Biblically consistent route. Mr. Wyatt’s team has even found human bones, horse bones, and possible chariot wheels on the underwater land bride at this crossing site. None of this proves that Moses crossed at this spot. His findings have not been independently confirmed by others. A true skeptic might claim that a ship filled with people, horses, and chariots sank at this narrow underwater land bridge. Yet, that also requires faith. Mr. Wyatt’s findings are consistent with the Biblical evidence. The following are pictures from Mr. Wyatt’s discoveries. He has made them available to all through the internet:

  • crossing site photos of human bones.

  • a possible chariot wheel at the crossing site.

 

Red Sea Crossing and Exodus Arabia