Exodus 14:8
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.
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(8) The children of Israel went out.—Rather, were going out.

With an high hand—i.e., confidently, boldly, perhaps somewhat proudly, as having brought the Egyptians to entreat them to take their departure (Exodus 12:33).

Exodus 14:8. With a high hand — Boldly and resolutely. It seems the latter part of the verse had better be rendered, even the children of Israel, going away with a high hand, or, in other words, in spite of him.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.Six hundred chosen chariots - The Egyptian army comprised large numbers of chariots, each drawn by two horses, with two men, one bearing the shield and driving, the other fully armed. The horses were thoroughbred, renowned for strength and spirit. Chariots are first represented on the monuments of the 18th dynasty. By "all the chariots of Egypt" we are to understand all that were stationed in Lower Egypt, most of them probably at Rameses and other frontier garrisons near the headquarters of Pharaoh.

Captains - The word שׁלישׁ shâlı̂ysh, literally "third or thirtieth," may represent an Egyptian title. The king had about him a council of thirty, each of whom bore a title, Mapu, a "thirty man." The word occurs frequently in the Books of Kings. David seems to have organized the Shalishim as a distinct corps (see 2 Samuel 23:8 Hebrew), retaining the old name, and adopting the Egyptian system.

6, 7. he made ready his chariot—His preparations for an immediate and hot pursuit are here described: A difference is made between "the chosen chariots" and "the chariots of Egypt." The first evidently composed the king's guard, amounting to six hundred, and they are called "chosen," literally, "third men"; three men being allotted to each chariot, the charioteer and two warriors. As to "the chariots of Egypt," the common cars contained only two persons, one for driving and the other for fighting; sometimes only one person was in the chariot, the driver lashed the reins round his body and fought; infantry being totally unsuitable for a rapid pursuit, and the Egyptians having had no cavalry, the word "riders" is in the grammatical connection applied to war chariots employed, and these were of light construction, open behind, and hung on small wheels. Either,

1. Of God, with a Divine hand or power, by comparing Exodus 13:16. Or,

2. Their own, not with hands hanging down, a posture betraying weakness and fainting, fear and shame, Hebrews 12:12, but with hands lifted up; with courage and confidence, not like fugitives, but like valiant and victorious soldiers, openly, boldly, resolvedly; as men are said to sin with a high hand, Numbers 15:30, that sin in such a manner. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt,.... As he said he would, Exodus 14:4,

and he pursued after the children of Israel; took their rout in pursuit of them:

and the children of Israel went out with an high hand: not once dreaming they should be pursued by Pharaoh as an enemy, when they went out with his full consent, and with such pressing solicitations to be gone, and with so much favour shown them by the Egyptians; wherefore they set out, and went on with great boldness, courage, and intrepidity; "with an uncovered head", as the Targum of Onkelos, without any fear, and with great alacrity and cheerfulness; they carried both their heads and their hands high, were fearless and thoughtless of any danger when this mighty preparation was making against them.

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 {e} high hand.

(e) With great joy and boldness.

8. and the children of Israel were going: out, &c.] cf. the participle in v. 10.

with an high hand] i.e. proudly and defiantly; cf. Numbers 33:3 (P): in Numbers 15:30 used of sins committed wilfully, in deliberate defiance of God’s will. The ‘high hand’ is properly the hand uplifted to deliver a blow: cf. Job 38:15 (‘the high arm is broken’), Micah 5:9; Deuteronomy 32:27 (the same Heb.). The representation of P differs from the of J (so Di.): in J the Israelites ‘flee’ (v. 5) after obtaining the Pharaoh’s leave for a temporary absence (Exodus 12:31 f.): in P they from the first leave Egypt defiantly, regardless of the Pharaoh’s wishes. Cf. on Exodus 6:11.Verse 8. - The Children of Israel went out with a high hand - i.e., boldly and confidently, not as fugitives, but as men in the exercise of their just fights - perhaps with a certain amount of ostentation. Passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea; Destruction of Pharaoh and His Army. - Exodus 14:1, Exodus 14:2. At Etham God commanded the Israelites to turn (שׁוּב) and encamp by the sea, before Pihachiroth, between Migdol and the sea, before Baalzephon, opposite to it. In Numbers 33:7, the march is described thus: on leaving Etham they turned up to (על) Pihachiroth, which is before (על־פּני( e in the front of) Baalzephon, and encamped before Migdol. The only one of these places that can be determined with any certainty is Pihachiroth, or Hachiroth (Numbers 33:8, pi being simply the Egyptian article), which name has undoubtedly been preserved in the Ajrud mentioned by Edrisi in the middle of the twelfth century. At present this is simply a fort, which a well 250 feet deep, the water of which is so bitter, however, that camels can hardly drink it. It stands on the pilgrim road from Kahira to Mecca, four hours' journey to the north-west of Suez (vid., Robinson, Pal. i. p. 65). A plain, nearly ten miles long and about as many broad, stretches from Ajrud to the sea to the west of Suez, and from the foot of Atkah to the arm of the sea on the north of Suez (Robinson, Pal. i. 65). This plain most probably served the Israelites as a place of encampment, so that they encamped before, i.e., to the east of, Ajrud towards the sea. The other places just also be sought in the neighbourhood of Hachiroth (Ajrud), though no traces of them have been discovered yet. Migdol cannot be the Migdol twelve Roman miles to the south of Pelusium, which formed the north-eastern boundary of Egypt (Ezekiel 29:10), for according to Numbers 33:7, Israel encamped before Migdol; nor is it to be sought for in the hill and mountain-pass called Montala by Burckhardt, el Muntala by Robinson (pp. 63, 64), two hours' journey to the northwest of Ajrud, as Knobel supposes, for this hill lies too far to the west, and when looked at from the sea is almost behind Ajrud; so that the expression "encamping before Migdol" does not suit this situation, not to mention the fact that a tower (מגדּל) does not indicate a watch-tower (מצפּה). Migdol was probably to the south of Ajrud, on one of the heights of the Atkah, and near it, though more to the south-east, Baalzephon (locus Typhonis), which Michaelis and Forster suppose to be Heroopolis, whilst Knobel places it on the eastern shore, and others to the south of Hachiroth. If Israel therefore did not go straight into the desert from Etham, on the border of the desert, but went southwards into the plain of Suez, to the west of the head of the Red Sea, they were obliged to bend round, i.e., "to turn" from the road they had taken first. The distance from Etham to the place of encampment at Hachiroth must be at least a six hours' journey (a tolerable day's journey, therefore, for a whole nation), as the road from Suez to Ajrud takes four hours (Robinson, i. p. 66).
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