New American Bible (Revised Edition)
1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 2 Speak to the Israelites: Let them turn about and camp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea.(A) Camp in front of Baal-zephon,[a] just opposite, by the sea. 3 Pharaoh will then say, “The Israelites are wandering about aimlessly in the land. The wilderness has closed in on them.” 4 I will so harden Pharaoh’s heart that he will pursue them. Thus I will receive glory through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.
This the Israelites did. 5 (B)When it was reported to the king of Egypt that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart about the people. “What in the world have we done!” they said. “We have released Israel from our service!” 6 So Pharaoh harnessed his chariots and took his army with him. 7 He took six hundred select chariots and all the chariots of Egypt, with officers[b] on all of them. 8 The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites while they were going out in triumph. 9 The Egyptians pursued them—all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, his horsemen,[c] and his army—and caught up with them as they lay encamped by the sea, at Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.
Crossing the Red Sea. 10 Now Pharaoh was near when the Israelites looked up and saw that the Egyptians had set out after them. Greatly frightened, the Israelites cried out to the Lord. 11 To Moses they said, “Were there no burial places in Egypt that you brought us to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Did we not tell you this in Egypt, when we said, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? Far better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13 But Moses answered the people, “Do not fear! Stand your ground and see the victory the Lord will win for you today. For these Egyptians whom you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you have only to keep still.”
15 Then the Lord said to Moses: Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to set out. 16 And you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea, and split it in two, that the Israelites may pass through the sea on dry land. 17 But I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them, and I will receive glory through Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord, when I receive glory through Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.
19 The angel of God,[d] who had been leading Israel’s army, now moved and went around behind them. And the column of cloud, moving from in front of them, took up its place behind them, 20 so that it came between the Egyptian army and that of Israel. And when it became dark, the cloud illumined the night; and so the rival camps did not come any closer together all night long.[e] 21 (C)Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord drove back the sea with a strong east wind all night long and turned the sea into dry ground. The waters were split, 22 so that the Israelites entered into the midst of the sea on dry land, with the water as a wall to their right and to their left.
Rout of the Egyptians. 23 The Egyptians followed in pursuit after them—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen—into the midst of the sea. 24 But during the watch just before dawn, the Lord looked down from a column of fiery cloud upon the Egyptian army and threw it into a panic; 25 and he so clogged their chariot wheels that they could drive only with difficulty. With that the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from Israel, because the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”
26 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may flow back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and their horsemen. 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea returned to its normal flow. The Egyptians were fleeing head on toward it when the Lord cast the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. 28 (D)As the water flowed back, it covered the chariots and the horsemen. Of all Pharaoh’s army which had followed the Israelites into the sea, not even one escaped. 29 But the Israelites had walked on dry land through the midst of the sea, with the water as a wall to their right and to their left. 30 Thus the Lord saved Israel on that day from the power of Egypt. When Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore 31 and saw the great power that the Lord had shown against Egypt, the people feared the Lord. They believed in the Lord(E) and in Moses his servant.
- 14:2 Pi-hahiroth…Migdol…Baal-zephon: these places have not been definitively identified. Even the relative position of Pi-hahiroth and Baal-zephon is not clear; perhaps the former was on the west shore of the sea, where the Israelites were, and the latter on the opposite shore.
- 14:7 Officers: cf. 1 Kgs 9:22; Ez 23:15. The Hebrew word shalish, rendered in 1 Kgs 9:22 as “adjutant,” has yet to have its meaning convincingly established. Given the very possible etymological connection with the number “three,” others suggest the translation “three-man crew” or, less likely, the “third man in the chariot” although Egyptian chariots carried two-man crews. The author of the text may have been describing the chariots of his experience without direct historical knowledge of Egyptian ways.
- 14:9 Horsemen: the usage here may be anachronistic, since horsemen, or cavalry, play a part in warfare only at the end of the second millennium B.C.
- 14:19 Angel of God: Hebrew mal’ak ha’elohim (Septuagint ho angelos tou theou) here refers not to an independent spiritual being but to God’s power at work in the world; corresponding to the column of cloud/fire, the expression more clearly preserves a sense of distance between God and God’s creatures. The two halves of the verse are parallel and may come from different narrative sources.
- 14:20 The reading of the Hebrew text here is uncertain. The image is of a darkly glowing storm cloud, ominously bright, keeping the two camps apart.
New International Version
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol(A) and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon.(B) 3 Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ 4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart,(C) and he will pursue them.(D) But I will gain glory(E) for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”(F) So the Israelites did this.
5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled,(G) Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds(H) about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” 6 So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. 7 He took six hundred of the best chariots,(I) along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. 8 The Lord hardened the heart(J) of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly.(K) 9 The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses(L) and chariots, horsemen[a] and troops(M)—pursued the Israelites and overtook(N) them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.(O)
10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried(P) out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?(Q) What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”(R)
13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid.(S) Stand firm and you will see(T) the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see(U) again. 14 The Lord will fight(V) for you; you need only to be still.”(W)
15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me?(X) Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff(Y) and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water(Z) so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts(AA) of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them.(AB) And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord(AC) when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
19 Then the angel of God,(AD) who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud(AE) also moved from in front and stood behind(AF) them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness(AG) to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand(AH) over the sea,(AI) and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind(AJ) and turned it into dry land.(AK) The waters were divided,(AL) 22 and the Israelites went through the sea(AM) on dry ground,(AN) with a wall(AO) of water on their right and on their left.
23 The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen(AP) followed them into the sea. 24 During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud(AQ) at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.(AR) 25 He jammed[b] the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting(AS) for them against Egypt.”(AT)
26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place.(AU) The Egyptians were fleeing toward[c] it, and the Lord swept them into the sea.(AV) 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea.(AW) Not one of them survived.(AX)
29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground,(AY) with a wall(AZ) of water on their right and on their left. 30 That day the Lord saved(BA) Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. 31 And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand(BB) of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared(BC) the Lord and put their trust(BD) in him and in Moses his servant.