|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:1-9 Pharaoh would think that all Israel was entangled in the wilderness, and so would become an easy prey. But God says, I will be honoured upon Pharaoh. All men being made for the honour of their Maker, those whom he is not honoured by, he will be honoured upon. What seems to tend to the church's ruin, is often overruled to the ruin of the church's enemies. While Pharaoh gratified his malice and revenge, he furthered the bringing to pass God's counsels concerning him. Though with the greatest reason he had let Israel go, yet now he was angry with himself for it. God makes the envy and rage of men against his people, a torment to themselves. Those who set their faces heavenward, and will live godly in Christ Jesus, must expect to be set upon by Satan's temptations and terrors. He will not tamely part with any out of his service.
Verses 1-4. - THE DIRECTION OF THE JOURNEY CHANGED. Hitherto the march of the Israelites had been to the south-east. Another day's journey in this direction would have taken them beyond the limits of Egypt, into the desert region east of the Bitter Lakes, which was dry, treeless, and waterless. In this tract there would have been but scant nourishment for their flocks and herds, and absolutely no water for themselves, unless it had been obtained by miracle. God therefore changed the direction of their route from south-east to due south, and made them take a course by which they placed the Bitter Lakes on their left hand, and so remained within the limits of Egypt, in a district fairly well watered, but shut off from the wilderness by the Bitter Lakes and the northern prolongation of the Gulf of Suez, with which they were connected. This route suited the immediate convenience of the host; and, having no suspicion of any hostile movement on the part of the Egyptians, they - not unnaturally - made no objection to it. It had, however, the disadvantage, in case of a hostile movement, of shutting them in between their assailants on the one hand, and the sea upon the other; and this circumstance seems to have led Pharaoh to make his pursuit.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Lord spake unto Moses,.... Out of the pillar of the cloud in which he went before them; either while they were at Etham, or when journeying from thence, and a little before they turned off to the right, as they were now directed:
saying; as follows:
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ex 14:1-31. God Instructs the Israelites as to Their Journey.
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