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Crossing the Reed Sea

14 The Lord told Moses, “Tell the Israelis that they are to turn back and camp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. You are to camp in front of Baal-zephon, opposite it by the sea. Pharaoh will say about the Israelis, ‘They’re wandering aimlessly in the land, and the desert has closed in on them.’ I’ve made Pharaoh’s heart stubborn[a] so he will pursue them. But I’ll receive honor by means of[b] Pharaoh and his army, so that the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So this is what the Israelis[c] did.

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the minds[d] of Pharaoh and his officials[e] changed toward the people, and they said, “What have we done in releasing Israel from serving us?” So Pharaoh[f] had his chariot prepared and took his troops[g] with him.

He took 600 of the best chariots, and all the other[h] chariots of Egypt with officers in charge of each one. The Lord made the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, stubborn,[i] and he defiantly[j] pursued the Israelis as they were leaving. The Egyptians pursued them—all the chariot-horses of Pharaoh, along with his horsemen and army—and they overtook them camped by the sea, near Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal Zephon.

10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelis looked up, and there were the Egyptians bearing down on them! Extremely frightened, the Israelis cried out to the Lord. 11 They also[k] told Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you took us out to die in the desert? What have you done to us, by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is this not what we told you in Egypt, when we said, ‘Leave us alone!’[l] and ‘Let us serve the Egyptians!’? Indeed, it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

13 Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid! Stand still and watch how the Lord will deliver you today, because you will never again see the Egyptians whom you’re looking at today. 14 The Lord will fight for you while you keep still.”

15 Then the Lord told Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelis to move out! 16 You are to raise your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it, so the Israelis may go into the middle of the sea on dry land. 17 Even now I’m hardening the heart of the Egyptians so they’ll go after the Israelis.[m] Then I’ll receive honor by means of[n] Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 Then the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I receive honor by means of[o] Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

19 Then the angel of God, who was going in front of the camp of Israel, moved behind them. The pillar of cloud also[p] moved from in front of them and stood behind them, 20 coming between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. The cloud remained there even[q] in the darkness,[r] illuminating the night, so that the one side did not come near the other all night.

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the water to retreat by a strong east wind all night, turning the sea into dry land. As the waters were divided, 22 the Israelis went into the middle of the sea on dry land, and the waters formed a wall for them on their right and on their left.

23 The Egyptians pursued—all the horses of Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen—and they went into the middle of the sea after them. 24 In the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the Egyptian camp through the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw the Egyptian camp into confusion. 25 He made the wheels of their chariots wobble[s] so that they drove them with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let’s flee from Israel because the Lord is fighting for them and against us.”[t]

The Egyptians Drown in the Sea

26 Then the Lord told Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea and the water will come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots, and over their horsemen.” 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the water returned to its normal depth at daybreak. The Egyptians tried to retreat in front of the advancing water,[u] but the Lord destroyed[v] the Egyptians in the middle of the sea. 28 The water returned, covering the chariots and the horsemen of Pharaoh’s entire army that had pursued the Israelis into the sea. Not a single one of them remained. 29 But the Israelis walked through the middle of the sea on dry land, and the water stood like a wall for them on their right and on their left.

30 On that day the Lord delivered Israel from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead along the seashore. 31 When Israel saw the great force[w] by which the Lord had acted against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed the Lord and Moses his servant.


  1. Exodus 14:4 Lit. strong
  2. Exodus 14:4 Or over
  3. Exodus 14:4 Lit. they
  4. Exodus 14:5 Lit. heart
  5. Exodus 14:5 Or servants
  6. Exodus 14:6 Lit. he
  7. Exodus 14:6 Or people
  8. Exodus 14:7 The Heb. lacks other
  9. Exodus 14:8 Lit. strong
  10. Exodus 14:8 Lit. with a high hand
  11. Exodus 14:11 The Heb. lacks also
  12. Exodus 14:12 Lit. cease from us
  13. Exodus 14:17 Lit. them
  14. Exodus 14:17 Or over
  15. Exodus 14:18 Or over
  16. Exodus 14:19 The Heb. lacks also
  17. Exodus 14:20 The Heb. lacks even
  18. Exodus 14:20 Lit. and the darkness
  19. Exodus 14:25 Or fall off
  20. Exodus 14:25 Lit. for them against the Egyptians
  21. Exodus 14:27 Lit. of it
  22. Exodus 14:27 Lit. shook off
  23. Exodus 14:31 Lit. hand