Exodus, The

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This is the term commonly used to express the bringing out of the children of Israel from the slavery of Egypt. Under PLAGUES OF EGYPT are considered the preliminary dealings with Pharaoh which were intended to show him the power of the God whose people he was holding in slavery. The death of the first-born all over Egypt made the Egyptians beg them to depart, and made them willing to give them many things for which the Israelites “asked” (not “borrowed”). There being 600,000 men, it is calculated that including the women and children the number of the Israelites would not have been less than two millions. There was also a mixed multitude which went with them, and very much cattle. It must have been a wonderful sight to have seen such a number moving away from the scene of their slavery, and it is often referred to as the work of the mighty God. “He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes. Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them” (Psa. 105:37-3837He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes. 38Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them. (Psalm 105:37‑38)).
We read that the Israelites went out “harnessed,” or “by five in a rank” as it reads in the margin (Ex. 13:1818But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. (Exodus 13:18)). The same word, chamushim, is translated “armed,” in reference to the way in which the Israelites crossed the Jordan, when they had plenty of time to arrange themselves in due order (Josh. 1:1414Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valor, and help them; (Joshua 1:14); Josh. 4:1212And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them: (Joshua 4:12)). It is also translated “armed” when it refers to the army of the Midianites and the Amalekites as they were arrayed in the camp previous to action (Judg. 7:1111And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host. (Judges 7:11)). From this we gather that the Israelites did not travel in disorder: the heads of each tribe would have control over it, and could arrange its march. It may be they were ranked in fives, as we afterward read of “captains over fifties,” but it is clear that they marched in order: it was God who was bringing them out, and it would have been unworthy of Him to have had them moving as a disorderly rabble. Another expression is that Jehovah brought them out “by their armies” (Ex. 12:5151And it came to pass the selfsame day, that the Lord did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies. (Exodus 12:51)).
The people were led from Rameses to Succoth, thence to Etham, and to Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baal-zephon. The position of these places is not known, and there is no means of telling where they crossed the Red Sea. Attempts have been made to fix upon a part of the Red Sea where the water is shallow, so that the east wind spoken of could have driven back the waters; but these are only efforts to get rid of the miracle, and of the God who wrought it for His people. The word is very plain that the waters stood “a wall” on their right hand and on their left; and when the waters returned they were enough to drown all Pharaoh’s army: it must therefore have been at a deep part of the sea that they crossed. It also typified the death of the Lord Jesus for His people, when all the billows of God’s wrath against sin flowed over His soul (Psa. 42:77Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. (Psalm 42:7)). The Red Sea may have extended farther north than at present, but this does not affect the question.
The deliverance was complete: they passed the Red Sea on dry land, and they saw their enemies dead upon the sea shore. God had brought them out: His pillar of fire had protected them. God had made them willing to come; for some at least had said, “Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians” (Ex. 14:1212Is 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. (Exodus 14:12)). That might have satisfied their poor craven hearts, but it would not satisfy God, nor be according to His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They must be delivered and they were; and then they could sing praises to God who had “redeemed” them and had guided them in His strength unto His holy habitation (Ex. 15:1313Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation. (Exodus 15:13)). The manner of their deliverance thus became a type of the Christian being delivered from the thraldom of him who had the power of death, by the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

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