Fleeing Egypt

Exodus 13:17-14:18

Our portion relates that God opted not to take the Israelites into the Land of Israel by the most direct route, as it would take them through Philistine territory and possibly discourage the people, sending them running back to Egypt. Instead, carrying the bones of Joseph, the Children of Israel are led towards the Red Sea led by a Godly Pillar of Cloud by day and Pillar of Fire by night.


God tells Moses to prepare the people for the eventual pursuit of Pharaoh, saying it is all a part of His plan to complete their humiliation and destruction. Indeed, when Pharaoh realizes his slaves are not going to return from serving their God, he sets out after them with 600 chariots. The Israelites, despite the advance notice, are frightened; They felt trapped with the sea before them, and the Egyptians pursuing them from behind! They turn on Moses. He tells them, however, that they have nothing to fear, as God will protect them. God tells Moses to lift his staff over the sea and part the waters. He instructs Moses to lead the people through the water on dry land and allow the Egyptians to drown.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

In 14:15, God asks Moses rhetorically why he is still praying when he should be commanding the people to cross the sea. Why does God discourage prayer here; isn’t prayer the ideal response to a difficult situation?

Comments ( 14 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bibleā„¢.

  • Donna Nelson

    Donna Nelson
    Are we allowed to comment more than once? A reply to Diana Brown, About the voice of G-d. This is the year of the voice! The letter L Hebrew letter pey. May have the letter wrong. Always learning! Yes the trumpet blast is sounding louder and louder and G-d is thundering His reply Exodus 19:19.

  • Heidi Lage

    There is time for everything . Now it was time to move ( like dear Moses praying is good, but you should go now ) .

    • Patricia Archer

      I agree . It was time for Moses to put his faith into action.

    • Donna Nelson

      Wow that is so good! Amazing how we can be so long in the Word and miss it! Studying Mark Ch. 5 about taking regions and nations. If we have nothing in common with the devil then all those legion demons can not touch us and the tombs in peoples souls can become whole!!! What a study (what lessons) and what dunamis power lives inside of each one of us believers and it is indeed time to use it! Yeshua came to set the captives free and He's using us or should say wants us to March and take back the land so souls can come into the Kingdom and were to LOVE LOVE LOVE! Thank you for this teaching. Blessings and Shalom

  • This time G-d showed Moshe that HE is giving the answer even before we pray. HE is so deep involved in even one persons life that He knows even our future prayer. (IMMANUEL) So G-d is not declining prayer, but wanted to go into a deeper level and ask of us to act in faith, to go forward in trust.

  • Diana Brown

    Because faith-in-action is needed by Moshe to ignite the spark of faith in the hearts of Bnei-Yisrael to believe that the G-d of their Fathers is the G-d who is leading them. Mighty Acts and Signs without remembering and Words of Prophecy without goodly purpose leads to confusion. G-d is saying I am faithful to the promises I made to your fathers Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. I am the One True G-d who sees, acts and knows.
    Moses prayed to a G-d he knew was there because he talked with Him. Bnai-Yisrael had not arrived at this spiritual aliyah yet. Doubt would creep in before Faith had a chance to grow.

    • Diana, you make a really interesting point about doubt creeping in. The people saw God’s miracles, but never heard His voice, while Moses spoke with God on a regular basis. Though they believed in God and His might, you are right that there is room for doubt-maybe God doesn’t talk to man? maybe Moses is not the true prophet? Perhaps that is why, during the revelation on Sinai, God tells Moses that He will speak to all the nation, so that they will believe in him (Moses) forever (19:9). Meaning, once the people hear the voice of God themselves, they can have a stronger belief in Him, and in His messenger.

  • Christine

    It seems to me that Moses is showing his humaness in that there was mentioned a few times in scripture that The Lord hardened Pharoahs heart so that all would know that I AM is Lord. We all , most of the time take a while to have understanding of Gods ways and really who He is as we want to be told and have explained each step of the way. Job. Psalms, Daniel and others are later in scripture for they are good exams of understanding God and His ways.

  • Kenneth Osterman

    Perhaps Moses was taking comfort in the fact that the LORD would protect them for he had said “you will see the salvation of the LORD” V13. It would seen natural to remain and watch this great deliverance, not to mention the fact that there was a sea blocking their only escape.
    Perhaps, what Moses did not comprehend was the pending deliverance was not simply from Egypt but that Pharaoh and his servants would be swallowed in the sea and seen no more.
    As Drew says, it was a time for action, but it seems Moses (and all God’s children) have a tendency to fear or stand still when the next step is not clear. That step of faith into the water required another miracle of Moses stretching forth his rod over the water. Perhaps this was God chiding Moses for Moses could have taken the first step into the water as was only one way to go and God would do the rest.

    • I definitely agree with both of you. Moses tells the people to stand back and watch the hand of God, but it seems like God wanted him to encourage the people to take that first step-they should step into the waters and trust God will save them. After all they witnessed in Egypt, they would have known that they could trust Him completely to save them in a miraculous way. Drew, maybe you were looking for Ecclesiastes 3:7-a time to be silent and a time to speak? Those verse definitely talk about there being a time for different actions/inactions-action and prayer are not specifically mentioned there, but can definitely be inferred.

  • Drew

    It would appear there is a time for action and a time for prayer (Ecclesiastes ? )
    This is a time for action.

    • I agree. Besides, there was no time to waste at this point in time; Yahweh is clearly showing Moshe and the other children of Israel that He is constantly watching us, and hence will not waste any time in rescuing us if the situation so dictates; He is always on time.

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