But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)All the horses and chariots of Pharaoh.—Heb., all the chariot-horses of Pharaoh.
And his horsemen.—It is questioned whether “horsemen” are really intended here, and suggested that the word used may apply to the “riders” in the chariots. But it certainly means “horsemen” in the later books of Scripture, and, indeed, is the only Hebrew word having exactly that signification. Though the Egyptians do not represent cavalry in any of their battle pieces, yet there is abundant testimony that they employed them. Diodorus Siculus gives his Sesostris 24,000 cavalry to 27,000 chariots (Book i. 54, § 4). Shishak invaded Judæa with 60,000 (2Chronicles 12:3). Herodotus makes Amasis lead an army on horseback (ii. 162). The Egyptian monuments appear to make frequent mention of cavalry as forming a portion of the armed force. (Records of the Past, vol. ii., pp. 68, 70, 72, 83, &c, vol. iv., 41, 44, 45, &c.) It is suspected that some conventional rules of art prevented the representation of cavalry in the sculptures, which never show us an Egyptian, and but rarely a foreigner, on horseback.
And his army—i.e., his infantry. The host of this Pharaoh, like that of Shishak (2Chronicles 12:3), consisted apparently of the three arms, cavalry infantry, and chariots.Exodus 14:9-10. Chariots and horsemen — It seems he took no foot with him, because the king’s business required haste. The children of Israel cried out unto the Lord — Partly by petition, and partly by complaint and expostulation; probably, however, more from despair than trust in God, for they were sore afraid, and their fears were aggravated by the presence and outcries of their wives and children. They knew the strength of the enemy, and their own weakness; numerous indeed they were, but all foot, unarmed, undisciplined, dispirited by long servitude, and now pent up, so that they could not escape. On one hand was Pi-hahiroth, a range of craggy rocks unpassable; on the other hand were Migdol and Baal-zephon, forts upon the frontiers of Egypt; before them was the sea, behind them were the Egyptians; so that there was no way open for them but upward, and thence their deliverance came.Exodus 14:5.
all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army; by the latter Aben Ezra understands the foot, as distinguished from the cavalry, the horses and horsemen; and perhaps these, as before observed, might be carried in the chariots for quicker dispatch:
and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon; where they had pitched their camp by divine appointment, Exodus 14:2.But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. In the Heb. the order is, ‘And the Egyptians pursued after them, and overtook them encamping by the sea, [all the horses (and) chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army,] by Pi-haḥiroth, before Baal-zephon’; and the awkward position of the bracketed words makes it almost certain that they are a misplace gloss upon ‘the Egyptians,’ suggested by the similar words in Exodus 14:17 b, Exodus 14:18 b, 23b, Exodus 14:26 b, Exodus 14:28.
horsemen] so Exodus 14:17-18; Exodus 14:23; Exodus 14:26; Exodus 14:28; Exodus 15:19, Joshua 24:6. The term seems to be an anachronism: the Egyptians used chariots in warfare; and though barbarians are represented on the monuments as fleeing on horseback, ‘we have no representations of Egyptians on horseback’ (Erman, p. 492). ‘For a much later time Egyptian cavalry is indeed attested by Isaiah 31:1; Isaiah 36:9; and so it is the more intelligible, when later Biblical writers presuppose it also for the Mosaic age’ (Di.). There is a similar anachronism in Genesis 50:9.Verse 9. - All the horses and chariots of Pharaoh Rather, "all the chariot horses." There is no "and" in the original. His horsemen. Rather "his riders," or "mounted men " - i.e., those who rode in the chariots. That the Egyptians had a powerful cavalry at a later date appears from 2 Chronicles 12:3; but the Hebrew text of Exodus, in remarkable accordance with the native monuments of the time, represents the army of this Pharaoh as composed of two descriptions of troops only - a chariot and an infantry force. (See Hengstenberg, Aegypten und Mose, pp. 127-9). Overtook them. It is uncertain how long the Israelites remained encamped at Pi-hahiroth. They would wait so long as the pillar of the cloud did not move (Numbers 9:18-20). It must have taken Pharaoh a day to hear of their march from Etham, at least another day to collect his troops, and three or four days to effect the march from Tanis to Pi-hahiroth. The Jewish tradition that the Red Sea was crossed on the night of the 21st of Nisan (Abib) is therefore, conceivably, a true one.
CHAPTER 14:10-14 Exodus 14:30, Exodus 14:31). Pharaoh would say of the Israelites, They have lost their way; they are wandering about in confusion; the desert has shut them in, as in a prison upon which the door is shut (על סנר as in Job 12:14); and in his obduracy he would resolve to go after them with his army, and bring them under his sway again.
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