So at last Pharaoh let the people go. God did not lead them through the land of the Philistines, although that was the most direct route from Egypt to the Promised Land. The reason was that God felt the people might become discouraged by having to fight their way through, even though they had left Egypt armed; he thought they might return to Egypt. Instead, God led them along a route through the Red Sea wilderness.
but God led the people about by the way of desert, which way is beside the Red Sea. And the sons of Israel were armed, and went up from the land of Egypt. (but God led the people out by the way of the wilderness, which was towards the Red Sea. And so the Israelites were armed, and went up from the land of Egypt.)
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