17 Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.”18 Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the [a]Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt.19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely [b]take care of you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you.”20 Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness.21 The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might [c]travel by day and by night.22 [d]He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
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