Exodus 14:29
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

King James Bible
But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

American Standard Version
But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But the children of Israel marched through the midst of the sea upon dry land, and the waters were to them as a wall on the right hand and on the left:

English Revised Version
But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

Webster's Bible Translation
But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand, and on their left.

Exodus 14:29 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

When Moses stretched out his hand with the staff (Exodus 14:16) over the sea, "Jehovah made the water go (flow away) by a strong east wind the whole night, and made the sea into dry (ground), and the water split itself" (i.e., divided by flowing northward and southward); "and the Israelites went in the midst of the sea (where the water had been driven away by the wind) in the dry, and the water was a wall (i.e., a protection formed by the damming up of the water) on the right and on the left." קדים, the east wind, which may apply either to the south-east or north-east, as the Hebrew has special terms for the four quarters only. Whether the wind blew directly from the east, or somewhat from the south-east or north-east, cannot be determined, as we do not know the exact spot where the passage was made. in any case, the division of the water in both directions could only have been effected by an east wind; and although even now the ebb is strengthened by a north-east wind, as Tischendorf says, and the flood is driven so much to the south by a strong north-west wind that the gulf can be ridden through, and even forded on foot, to the north of Suez (v. Schub. Reise ii. p. 269), and "as a rule the rise and fall of the water in the Arabian Gulf is nowhere so dependent upon the wind as it is at Suez" (Wellsted, Arab. ii. 41, 42), the drying of the sea as here described cannot be accounted for by an ebb strengthened by the east wind, because the water is all driven southwards in the ebb, and not sent in two opposite directions. Such a division could only be produced by a wind sent by God, and working with omnipotent force, in connection with which the natural phenomenon of the ebb may no doubt have exerted a subordinate influence.

(Note: But as the ebb at Suez leaves the shallow parts of the gulf so far dry, when a strong wind is blowing, that it is possible to cross over them, we may understand how the legend could have arisen among the Ichthyophagi of that neighbourhood (Diod. Sic. 3, 39) and even the inhabitants of Memphis (Euseb. praep. ev. 9, 27), that the Israelites took advantage of a strong ebb, and how modern writers like Clericus have tried to show that the passage through the sea may be so accounted for.)

The passage was effected in the night, through the whole of which the wind was blowing, and in the morning watch (between three and six o'clock, Exodus 14:24) it was finished.

As to the possibility of a whole nation crossing with their flocks, Robinson concludes that this might have been accomplished within the period of an extraordinary ebb, which lasted three, or at the most four hours, and was strengthened by the influence of a miraculous wind. "As the Israelites," he observes, "numbered more than two millions of persons, besides flocks and herds, they would of course be able to pass but slowly. If the part left dry were broad enough to enable them to cross in a body one thousand abreast, which would require a space of more than half a mile in breadth (and is perhaps the largest supposition admissible), still the column would be more than two thousand persons in depth, and in all probability could not have extended less than two miles. It would then have occupied at least an hour in passing over its own length, or in entering the sea; and deducting this from the largest time intervening, before the Egyptians also have entered the sea, there will remain only time enough, under the circumstances, for the body of the Israelites to have passed, at the most, over a space of three or four miles." (Researches in Palestine, vol. i. p. 84.)

But as the dividing of the water cannot be accounted for by an extraordinary ebb, even though miraculously strengthened, we have no occasion to limit the time allowed for the crossing to the ordinary period of an ebb. If God sent the wind, which divided the water and laid the bottom dry, as soon as night set in, the crossing might have begun at nine o'clock in the evening, if not before, and lasted till four of five o'clock in the morning (see Exodus 14:27). By this extension of the time we gain enough for the flocks, which Robinson has left out of his calculation. The Egyptians naturally followed close upon the Israelites, from whom they were only divided by the pillar of cloud and fire; and when the rear of the Israelites had reached the opposite shore, they were in the midst of the sea. And in the morning watch Jehovah cast a look upon them in the pillar of cloud and fire, and threw their army into confusion (Exodus 14:24). The breadth of the gulf at the point in question cannot be precisely determined. At the narrowest point above Suez, it is only two-thirds of a mile in breadth, or, according to Niebuhr, 3450 feet; but it was probably broader formerly, and even now is so farther up, opposite to Tell Kolzum (Rob. i. pp. 84 and 70). The place where the Israelites crossed must have been broader, otherwise the Egyptian army, with more than six hundred chariots and many horsemen, could not have been in the sea and perished there when the water returned. - "And Jehovah looked at the army of the Egyptians in (with) the pillar of cloud and fire, and troubled it." This look of Jehovah is to be regarded as the appearance of fire suddenly bursting forth from the pillar of cloud that was turned towards the Egyptians, which threw the Egyptian army into alarm and confusion, and not as "a storm with thunder and lightning," as Josephus and even Rosenmller assume, on the ground of Psalm 78:18-19, though without noticing the fact that the psalmist has merely given a poetical version of the event, and intends to show "how all the powers of nature entered the service of the majestic revelation of Jehovah, when He judged Egypt and set Israel free" (Delitzsch). The fiery look of Jehovah was a much more stupendous phenomenon than a storm; hence its effect was incomparably grander, viz., a state of confusion in which the wheels of the chariots were broken off from the axles, and the Egyptians were therefore impeded in their efforts to escape.

Exodus 14:29 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Exodus 14:22 And the children of Israel went into the middle of the sea on the dry ground: and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand...

Job 38:8-11 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it broke forth, as if it had issued out of the womb...

Psalm 66:6,7 He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him...

Psalm 77:19,20 Your way is in the sea, and your path in the great waters, and your footsteps are not known...

Psalm 78:52,53 But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock...

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you...

Isaiah 51:10,13 Are you not it which has dried the sea, the waters of the great deep...

Isaiah 63:12,13 That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name...

a wall

Joshua 3:16 That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up on an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan...

Cross References
1 Corinthians 10:1
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,

Exodus 14:22
And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

Exodus 15:8
At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up; the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.

Exodus 15:19
For when the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, the LORD brought back the waters of the sea upon them, but the people of Israel walked on dry ground in the midst of the sea.

Psalm 66:6
He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot. There did we rejoice in him,

Isaiah 11:15
And the LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt, and will wave his hand over the River with his scorching breath, and strike it into seven channels, and he will lead people across in sandals.

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