Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Ex. 13-15


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Exodus Chapter Thirteen

  1. On the day following the Passover, Moses begins to instruct Israel concerning the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ex. 13:3-10; cf. 12:15-20).
  2. The Lord also began to instruct Israel concerning new responsibilities that will be theirs when they enter into the promised land—such as the redemption of the first-born (Ex. 13:1,2,11-16).
    1. The redemption of Israel was the Lord demanding His firstborn (Ex. 4:22).
    2. The work of power that accomplished this cost Egypt the lives of their firstborn (Ex. 4:23; 11:5; 12:29).
    3. The ultimate work of Redemption will be accomplished by the Firstborn of all Creation (Col. 1:15).
  3. The Lord provided clear and obvious guidance for the Exodus Route—a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night (Ex. 13:17-22).
    1. He sovereignly chose to have Israel avoid the northern road along the Mediterranean: the way of the land of the Philistines (v.17).  They were not yet ready for that test.
    2. He led them around by the way of the wilderness to the יַם־סוּף yam-suwph (v.18).
      1. סוּף suwph #5487: to come to an end, cease.
      2. סוּף suwph #5488: reed, rushes.
      3. τὴν ἐρυθρὰν θάλασσαν ten eruthran thalassan (LXX & Acts 7:36; Heb. 11:26).
      4. Yam-suwph may be rendered sea of reeds, or farthest sea (sea at the end/border).  In the Egyptian context, that would be a preferred etymology. 
      5. Eruthran thalassan, however must be rendered red sea, as eruthros is the Greek color “red.”
      6. Red Sea is not only the long-standing English name, but it is also the currently applied modern name to the body of water between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
    3. As Israel marched, they marched in a battle formation, וַחֲמֻשִׁים עָלוּ. 
      1. They had no training, or experience in war, but they’re going to learn.
      2. The first lesson: the battle is the lord’s (Ex. 14:14; 1st Sam. 17:47).
    4. Israel carried the bones of Joseph as they promised to do (Ex. 13:19; Gen. 50:24,25).
    5. The Exodus Route—leg #2: from Succoth to Etham (Ex. 13:20).
      1. Etham. אֵתָם ’etham #864: Egyptian origin. Meaning uncertain.
      2. On the edge of the wilderness.
    6. The Lord protected and provided guidance for Israel by means of the cloud and pillar (Ex. 13:21,22).
      1. They travelled day & night on these initial stages.
      2. The cloud provided shade in the heat of the day, while the fire provided heat in the cold of the night.
      3. Both cloud and fire provided clear direction to follow.

Exodus Chapter Fourteen

  1. The Exodus Route—leg #3: from Etham to the Red Sea.  The Lord sovereignly directed the direction of travel, and the establishment of each encampment (Ex. 14:1,2).
    1. Locations are all uncertain for Pi-hahiroth (place where sedge grows), Migdol (tower), and Baal-zephon (lord of the north) (v.2).
    2. Wherever Pi-hahiroth was, it meant that Israel must “turn back” (שׁוּב shuwb #7725) from the direction of their travel between Succoth and Etham (Ex. 14:2).
  2. The purpose for this change of direction, and deliberate encampment was to lure Pharaoh into another opportunity for the glory of God (Ex. 14:3,4).
    1. The site for this encampment and the yam-suwph crossing is another matter of debate.
    2. The “traditional” crossing has Israel passing through the Bitter Lakes, at the northern end of the Gulf of Suez, then proceeding southeast down the Sinai peninsula to the “traditional” Mt. Sinai at the southern tip.
    3. An alternate, minority, and often ignored view of the yam-suwph crossing has Israel passing through the Gulf of Aqaba, then proceeding south down the Arabian peninsula to a Midianite Mt. Horeb/Mt. Sinai. (This view was presented in the 2002 ABC OYTTB notebook).
  3. Pharaoh acts in accordance with the plan of God, and dispatches his chariot army to retrieve his “lost” slaves (Ex. 14:5-9).
  4. The children of Israel panic because they are trapped with no human escape possible (Ex. 14:10-12).
    1. The wilderness has shut them in (Ex. 14:3).
    2. The Egyptian armies had Israel trapped against the sea (Ex. 14:9).
  5. Moses gives Israel the answer every believer needs to hear (Ex. 14:13,14).
    1. Do not fear (v.13a; Jn. 6:20; 16:33).
    2. Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today (v.13b; Jn. 1:50,51; 5:20).
    3. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent (v.14; Isa. 30:15).
  6. Moses is instructed by the Lord to “divide” the sea, so that Israel may go through the midst of the sea on dry land (Ex. 14:16). בָּקַע baqa‘ #1234: to cleave, break open, break through (Num. 16:31; Zech. 14:4).
  7. The angel of God (pillar of cloud) positioned Himself between the Egyptian armies and the children of Israel, guarding their rear, while the sea was parted, and Israel passed through (Ex. 14:19-22).  This is Exodus Route—leg #3: through the yam-suwph.
    1. The path was “dry ground” (Ex. 14:16,21,22a).
    2. The walls were water (Ex. 14:22b).
  8. The Egyptian armies pursued Israel behind the pillar of fire, with hardened hearts, and confused minds (Ex. 14:17,18,23-25).
  9. At the Lord’s instruction, Moses brought the waters of the Red Sea “down” upon the armies of Egypt—a total destruction of the Egyptian forces (Ex. 14:26-29). Notice: the text does not specify Pharaoh’s death.
  10. The salvation of Israel was a work of Divine power, accomplishing what Israel could not do, and providing a redemption from bondage with no turning back.
  11. Israel was instructed in the power and majesty of God.  They saw what He told them they would see (Ex. 14:13,30,31).

Exodus Chapter Fifteen

  1. Israel’s response to the Lord’s salvation was to praise the Lord in song (Ex. 15:1).
  2. Redemption from bondage is described as a triumph of the Lord’s (Ex. 15:2).  So it is with the believer, who has been redeemed from the bondage of sin (2nd Cor. 2:14-16).
  3. The might of God’s power, in deliverance of man, cannot be compared to any angelic being (Ex. 15:11,12).
    1. אֵל ’ēl #410: God (the one true God), god (false gods), divine hero, angel.
    2. The deliverance of Israel was not just a political/social separation of an earthly nation from out of another earthly nation.  It was a spiritual battle with the servants of God fighting against the Satanic servants of darkness (Ps. 78:42).
    3. The armies of Pharaoh were plunged under the waves, but the armies of Satan were swallowed by the earth (Ex. 15:12; cf. 7:12; Num. 16:31-34; Lk. 8:31).
  4. The destruction of Egypt has left the other gentile nations quivering in fear (Ex. 15:14-16).  So it is, with the demonic allies of the defeated fallen-angelic armies (Col. 2:15; Jas. 2:19).
  5. Miriam the prophetess led a women’s ministry in praising the Lord (Ex. 15:20,21).
  6. The Exodus Route—leg #4: from the Red Sea, three days through the wilderness of Shur, to Marah (Ex. 15:22-26; Num. 33:8).
    1. The waters of Marah: bitter were indeed bitter—that’s why the place was called bitter!
    2. The people grumbled. לוּן luwn #3885: to lodge, remain overnight (Gen. 19:2; 24:23,25; Ex. 23:18; 34:25), to grumble (Ex. 15:24; 16:2,7,8; 17:3). מָלֹון malown #4411: lodging place, inn (Gen. 42:27; 43:21; Ex. 4:24).
    3. Hence, this episode, and many to come, are ironic plays on words.  Israel has come here to luwn (stay the night), and proceeds to luwn (grumble) about the bitter water.
    4. Moses was given a miracle to perform: a tree was cast into the water, turning bitter water into sweet (Ex. 15:25a).
    5. The Lord gave Israel the first of many statutes, and tested them regarding their willingness to obey His statutes (Ex. 15:25b,26; Deut. 28:58-61).
  7. The Exodus Route—leg #5: Marah to Elim (Ex. 15:27; Num. 33:9).  Locations between here and Kadesh-Barnea (Num. 13:1) are all uncertain.  “Traditional” scholars try to find likely spots in the Sinai peninsula.  Other likely spots have been found in the Arabian peninsula, east of the Gulf of Aqaba.