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Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 14

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

And the Lord spake. — It was of God, then, that the people fell into such straits: that where human help failed, divine might come in. Necesse est adesse divinum, ubi humanum cessat auxilium. - Philo Jud.

Verse 2

Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea.

That they turn, — i.e., Return. In passing the Red Sea, the Israelites made a semicircle. Compare Exodus 13:20 Numbers 33:8 . God must be followed, though he lead us through a maze or labyrinth.

Verse 3

For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They [are] entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.

They are entangled. — Perplexed; intricated; they know not what to do, or which way to turn. Enemies watch opportunities, but oft miss of their meaning.

Verse 4

And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I [am] the LORD. And they did so.

And I will be honoured. — By subduing this sturdy rebel, and bringing "his violent dealing upon his own pate." Psalms 7:16 When the prophet cried to Jeroboam’s altar, it clave presently asunder. 1 Kings 13:2-3 But the mighty "hammer" of "God’s word," Jeremiah 23:29 with ten miracles, gave ten mighty strokes at Pharaoh’s heart, and yet could find no entrance. God will therefore now take another course with him.

Verse 5

And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?

That the people fled, — i.e., Ran quite away, without any resolution ever to return. This troubled the tyrant. Crowns have their cares. Little David likes his hook the better ever since he saw the court.

Verse 6

And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him:

Made ready his chariot. — To meet his destruction.

Verse 7

And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them.

Six hundred chosen chariots. — They fought of old out of chariots armed with scythes and hooks; which at first were a terror, and after a scorn. Veget., lib. i. cap. 24.

Verse 8

And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.

With a high hand. — Bravely; boldly; in battle array, not as runaways; in all comely equipage.

Verse 9

But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses [and] chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.

But the Egyptians pursued. — And God made fair way before them, till they came into the Red Sea.

Verse 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 the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.

And they were sore afraid. — Because sorely distressed. They saw no way to escape, unless they could have gone up to heaven: which because they could not, heaven came down to them, though unworthy, that God might get him a name. Isaiah 63:12 ; Isaiah 63:14 The Israelites herein were far more happy than those ancient Britons, who, being greatly distressed by their northern enemies in the time of Valentinian III, implored the aid of Aetius, the Roman prefect of Gaul, using these words: "To Aetius, thrice consul, the sighs of the Britons": and after thus they complain, "The barbarous enemy beats us to the sea; the sea beats us back to the enemy: between these two kinds of deaths, we are either murdered or drowned." Daniel’s Chronicle. But their implorations prevailed not. Neither found they any other remedy than what the Prince of Orange showed to his soldiers at the battle of Newport; when they had the sea on one side and the Spaniards on the other. If, saith he, you will live, you must either eat up these Spaniards, or drink up this sea. Hist. of Netherl.

Verse 11

And they said unto Moses, 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 carry us forth out of Egypt?

Because there were no graves. — Thus "they provoked him at the sea, at the Red Sea; nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake." Psalms 106:7-8

Verse 12

[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.

Is not this the word?Invalidum omne natura querulum. Seneca. Weak spirits are ever quarrelling and contending.

Verse 13

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.

Stand still, and see the salvation. — Thus God "heard their cry at the Red Sea," Nehemiah 9:9 though it were not the cry of faith, but of fright and perturbation. So he "heard the voice of the lad." Genesis 21:17

Verse 14

The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

Ye shall hold your peace, — i.e., Ye shall neither say nor do.

Verse 15

And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:

Wherefore criest thou unto me? — so., With inward groanings, without any audible voice. Moses egit vocis silentio, ut corde clamaret. And God was readier to answer than he to ask.

Speak unto the children of Israel, — q.d., There is something more to be done than to pray. Ora et labora. August. We must not only crave God’s help, but be forward in the course whereby to make way for God’s help.

That they go forward. — Though upon a manifest danger. This is an act of strong faith, pure obedience.

Verse 16

But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry [ground] through the midst of the sea.

But lift thou up thy rod. — This rod God makes use of, fo: the greater manifestation of his own power, and the gracing of his servant Moses.

Verse 17

And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.

I will harden. — See on Exodus 9:35 .

Verse 18

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.

When I have gotten me honour. — Made me "a name as at this day." Nehemiah 9:10 For this he was famous in far countries. Jethro, the first proselyte to the Jewish Church, was hereby converted, say the Rabbins. And the Philistines cry, "Woe unto us! these are the gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness." 1 Samuel 4:8

Verse 19

And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:

And the Angel of God. — Christ, the Angel of God’s presence. See Exodus 13:21 ; Exodus 23:23 .

Went behind them. — So "the glory of the Lord" was "their rearward." Isaiah 58:8 He will be to his both van and rear. Isaiah 52:12

Verse 20

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.

A cloud and darkness to them.See Trapp on " Hebrews 12:2 "

Verse 21

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 waters were divided.

And Moses stretched out his hand. — Of that pseudo-Moses that cozened many credulous Jews of Crete into the midst of the sea, anno 434, see Funceius’s Chron. at that year.

And the waters were divided. — So was that torrent of fire, if Aristotle De Mundo, cap. 6. may be believed, that ran from Etna, consuming the country, and yet parted itself; making a kind of a lane for those that ventured to rescue their aged parents.

Verse 22

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.

Were a wall unto them. — Every main affliction is our Red Sea, saith one, which, while it threats to swallow, preserves us.

Verse 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.

And the Egyptians pursued. — God permitting it, and making fair weather before them, they also blustering, and "breathing out threatenings," saying, "I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil," …, till anon "they sank as lead in the mighty waters." Exodus 15:9-10

Verse 24

And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,

In the morning watch. — God "watcheth upon the evil to bring it" upon his enemies then when he may do them a greatest mischief. Daniel 9:14 He picketh his times for vengeance: "Now will I rise, saith the Lord; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself." Isaiah 33:10

The Lord looked unto the host. — He set his eyes upon them; as Paul did upon Elymus the sorcerer; with highest offence, and utmost indignation. After which lightning follows that terrible thunderclap, wherewith he troubled them and took off their wheels. See Psalms 77:18-19 ; Psalms 18:15 .

Verse 26

And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.

That the waters may come again. — By wind that God sent. Exodus 15:10 "The winds blow, the waters flow." Psalms 147:18

Verse 27

And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.

Returned to his strength. — For by being divided, it had been weakened. Si collidimur, frangimur. The daughter of dissension is dissolution.

Verse 28

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 much as one of them.

There remained not so much as one of them. — No more doth there of our subdued iniquities. Micah 7:10 Peccata non redeunt. We shall see them no more, any otherwise than these Israelites did their enemies, dead upon the shore.

Verse 29

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.

But the children of Israel walked upon dry land. — This is applied as a type of Christ, 1 Corinthians 10:2 to show that Christ is present with his people, to save them in all troubles and afflictions, Isaiah 43:2 and from all their spiritual enemies and sins, both by justification and sanctification, Micah 7:19 through faith in him, Hebrews 11:29 and will in the end give them songs of victory and triumph. Exodus 15:1-27 : 1 Kings 15:3

Verse 30

Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.

Ver. 30, 31. Thus the Lord. — A mercy never enough memorised. What, then, is our redemption from sin, death, and hell

Verse 31

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.

See Trapp on " Exodus 14:30 "

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Exodus 14". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/exodus-14.html. 1865-1868.
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