Exodus 14:11
And they said to Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? why have you dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
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(11) Because there were no graves in Egypt.—Spoken in bitter irony, doubtless, but scarcely with any conscious reference to Egypt as “a land of tombs.” They meant simply to say: “Might we not as well have died there as here?”

14:10-14 There was no way open to Israel but upward, and thence their deliverance came. We may be in the way of duty, following God, and hastening toward heaven, yet may be troubled on every side. Some cried out unto the Lord; their fear led them to pray, and that was well. God brings us into straits, that he may bring us to our knees. Others cried out against Moses; fear set them murmuring as if God were not still able to work miracles. They quarrel with Moses for bringing them out of Egypt; and so were angry with God for the greatest kindness ever done them; thus gross are the absurdities of unbelief. Moses says, Fear ye not. It is always our duty and interest, when we cannot get out of troubles, yet to get above our fears; let them quicken our prayers and endeavours, but not silence our faith and hope. Stand still, think not to save yourselves either by fighting or flying; wait God's orders, and observe them. Compose yourselves, by confidence in God, into peaceful thoughts of the great salvation God is about to work for you. If God brings his people into straits, he will find a way to bring them out.No graves in Egypt - This bitter taunt was probably suggested by the vast extent of cemeteries in Egypt, which might not improperly be called the land of tombs. 10. when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes—The great consternation of the Israelites is somewhat astonishing, considering their vast superiority in numbers, but their deep dismay and absolute despair at the sight of this armed host receives a satisfactory explanation from the fact that the civilized state of Egyptian society required the absence of all arms, except when they were on service. If the Israelites were entirely unarmed at their departure, they could not think of making any resistance [Wilkinson and Hengstenberg]. No text from Poole on this verse. And they said unto Moses,.... The Targum of Jonathan is,"the ungodly of that generation said unto Moses;''but it seems rather to be understood of the body of the people in general, and is not to be limited to some particular persons of the worse characters among them:

because there were no graves in Egypt; as if there had been none, when there were so many; the Egyptians being more solicitous about their graves than their houses, as Diodorus Siculus reports (u); thus upbraiding Moses in a sarcastic way for what he had done:

hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? that so there might be room and graves enough to bury them in, for nothing but death was before their eyes:

wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? which was very ungrateful and disingenuous.

(u) Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 47.

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?
11. Comp. similar expostulations in Exodus 16:3, Exodus 17:3, Numbers 11:4 f., Exodus 14:3, Exodus 16:13, Exodus 20:3 f., Exodus 21:5.

the wilderness] as v. 3, the Egyptian wilderness, W. of the Isthmus and Gulf of Suez.Verse 11. - And they said to Moses. It was not unnatural that, while flying to God as their only refuge, they should be angry with Moses. Moses, they would argue, ought to have known better than to have brought them into a situation of such peril. He, the leader, should have known the geography of the country - he, the courtier, should have known the temper of the court. It is always a satisfaction to men to vent their anger upon some one when they are in a difficulty. No graves in ]Egypt. Egypt, with a necropolis outside every city, was "a land of tombs;" surely they might have found graves there, instead of being led out to such a distance simply to die. When it was announced that Israel had fled, "the heart of Pharaoh and his servants turned against the people," and they repented that they had let them go. When and whence the information came, we are not told. The common opinion, that it was brought after the Israelites changed their route, has no foundation in the text. For the change in Pharaoh's feelings towards the Israelites, and his regret that he had let them go, were caused not by their supposed mistake, but by their flight. Now the king and his servants regarded the exodus as a flight, as soon as they recovered from the panic caused by the death of the first-born, and began to consider the consequences of the permission given to the people to leave his service. This may have occurred as early as the second day after the exodus. In that case, Pharaoh would have had time to collect chariots and horsemen, and overtake the Israelites at Hachiroth, as they could easily perform the same journey in two days, or one day and a half, to which the Israelites had taken more than three. "He yoked his chariot (had it yoked, cf. 1 Kings 6:14), and took his people (i.e., his warriors) with him," viz., "six hundred chosen war chariots (Exodus 14:7), and all the chariots of Egypt" (sc., that he could get together in the time), and "royal guards upon them all." שׁלשׁים, τριστάται, tristatae qui et terni statores vocantur, nomen est secundi gradus post regiam dignitatem (Jerome on Ezekiel 23:23), not charioteers (see my Com. on 1 Kings 9:22). According to Exodus 14:9, the army raised by Pharaoh consisted of chariot horses (רכב סוּס), riding horses (פּרשׁים, lit., runners, 1 Kings 5:6), and חיל, the men belonging to them. War chariots and cavalry were always the leading force of the Egyptians (cf. Isaiah 31:1; Isaiah 36:9). Three times (Exodus 14:4, Exodus 14:8, and Exodus 14:17) it is stated that Jehovah hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he pursued the Israelites, to show that God had decreed this hardening, to glorify Himself in the judgment and death of the proud king, who would not honour God, the Holy One, in his life. "And the children of Israel were going out with a high hand:" Exodus 14:8. is a conditional clause in the sense of, "although they went out" (Ewald, 341). רמה יד, the high hand, is the high hand of Jehovah with the might which it displayed (Isaiah 26:11), not the armed hand of the Israelites. This is the meaning also in Numbers 33:3; it is different in Numbers 15:30. The very fact that Pharaoh did not discern the lifting up of Jehovah's hand in the exodus of Israel displayed the hardening of his heart. "Beside Pihachiroth:" see Exodus 14:2.
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