And Moses said to the people, Fear you not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom you have seen to day, you shall see them again no more for ever.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Fear ye not, stand still.—There are times when all our strength must be “in quietness and confidence” (Isaiah 30:15). So long as we have means of resistance put in our power, with a reasonable prospect of success, it is our duty to use them—to exert ourselves to the uttermost, to make all possible efforts. God, for the most part, “helps those who help themselves.” But there are occasions when we can do nothing—when all must be left to Him. (Comp. 2Chronicles 20:17.) Under these circumstances, our duty and our true wisdom is to wait patiently, quietly, courageously. Moses, probably, did not yet know how God would effect Israel’s deliverance, but he was confident that, in one way or another, it would be effected.
The Egyptians whom ye have seen . . . —Heb., As ye have seen the Egyptians to-day, ye shall see them no more for ever: i.e., never again shall ye see them in the pride of power, haughty, menacing, terrible. When next you behold them they will be stiff and lifeless—pale corpses strewing the Red Sea shore (see Exodus 14:30). The reference is to the present time only, not to the future relations of the two peoples.Exodus 14:13-14. Moses said, Fear ye not, stand still — Hebrew, make yourselves to stand. Let not your hearts fail, or sink, or stagger, through unbelief: but with quiet minds look up to God. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace — Ye shall contribute nothing to the victory, neither by your words nor by your deeds. A remarkable instance this of the composure of Moses’s mind, and the sedateness of his temper, and how well he deserved the character given him Numbers 12:3, of being one of the meekest of men. He did not answer these fools according to their folly: he does not chide, but comforts them; and with an admirable presence of mind, not in the least disconcerted or disheartened, either by the approach of Pharaoh, or the tremblings of Israel, he stills their murmurings, calmly exhorting them to take heart and trust in God. It is our duty when we cannot get out of our troubles, yet to get above our fears, so that they may only serve to quicken our prayers and endeavours, but may not prevail to silence our faith and hope.Stand still; Heb. make yourselves to stand; let not and your hearts fail and sink, or stagger through unbelief, but with quiet minds look up to God. It notes the frame of their minds, not the posture of their bodies. Whom ye have seen; or, as ye have seen them, to wit, alive and armed, ready to devour you; for otherwise they did see them dead, and disarmed, Exodus 14:30.
fear ye not; Pharaoh and his numerous host, do not be dismayed at them or possess yourselves with a dread of them, and of destruction by them:
stand still; do not stir from the place where you are, do not offer to run away, or to make your escape by flight (and which indeed seemed impossible), keep your place and station, and put yourselves in such a situation as to wait and observe the issue of things:
and see the salvation of the Lord which he will shew to you today; which is expressive of great faith in Moses in the midst of this extremity, who firmly believed that God would save them from this numerous and enraged army, and that very quickly, even that day; at least within twenty four hours, within the compass of a day; for it was the night following that salvation was wrought for them, and their eyes beheld it: and it may be called the salvation of the Lord, for it was his own hand that only effected it, the Israelites not contributing anything in the least unto it, and was typical of the great salvation which Christ with his own arm, and without the help of his people, has wrought out for them:
for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever; that is, in such a posture or manner, no more armed, nor alive, and the objects of their fear and dread; for otherwise they did see them again, but then they were on the sea shore dead; for it should be rendered, not "whom", but "how", or "in what manner" (w).And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. stand still] rather, stand firm, without fleeing; cf. Deuteronomy 7:24; Deuteronomy 11:25, 2 Samuel 21:5. Comp. the quotation in 2 Chronicles 20:17 (EVV. set yourselves [not ‘stand still’]).
salvation] The Heb. word is used here in its original etym. sense—which, as Arabic shews, was properly breadth, spaciousness, freedom—of a material deliverance; so Exo 1 Samuel 14:45, Psalm 3:2 (EVV. help), 8 (see RVm.), Psalm 18:50, Psalm 28:8, Job 30:15 (EVV. welfare), Isaiah 26:18, &c. Elsewhere in the prophets and Psalms the word often implies spiritual blessings as well. Cf. the writer’s Parallel Psalter, p. 455 f.
13b. The marg. gives the correct meaning.Verse 13. - And Moses said... fear ye not. Moses knew that the pursuit of Israel by the host of the Egyptians was a part of the counsel of God, and was to tend in some way or other to the promotion of God's honour and glory (ver. 4). He had sufficient faith to believe in a deliverance the nature of which it is not likely that he could anyway conjecture. Whether hail would fall from heaven and destroy them (Joshua 10:11); or the earth gape and swallow them up (Numbers 16:32); or the angel of death smite them all in the night (2 Kings 19:35); or any other strange form of destruction come upon them, he did not know; but he concluded from what had been revealed to him, that God was about to vindicate his own honour without the aid of man. Hence his words - Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord - which assigned to the Israelites a mere passive attitude of expectation. For the Egyptians, etc. The order of the words in the original favours the marginal rendering, which is to be adopted with one slight change. Translate - "For, as ye have seen the Egyptians to-day, ye shall see them again no more for ever," i.e., ye shall see them no more alive, vigorous and menacing, but still and lifeless upon the Red Sea shore (ver. 30). There is no reference to any other Egyptians than those with Pharaoh in the camp, nor to any later relations between Egypt and the chosen people. 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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