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to God against them, since wey had already sea, for there was on each side a ridge of been permitted to go out. And they thought mountains that terminated at the sea, which they should easily overcome them, as they was impassable by reason of their roughness, had no armour, and would be weary with and obstructed their flight; wherefore they their journey. So they made haste in their there pressed upon the Hebrews, with their pursuit
, and enquired of every one they met, army, where the ridges of the mountains were which way they were gone? And indeed close with the sea, which army they placed that land was difficult to be travelled over, at the defiles of the mountains, that so they not only by armies, but single persons. Now might deprive them of any passage into the Moses led the Hebrews this way, that in case plain. the Egyptians should repent, and be desirous When the Hebrews, therefore, were neither to pursue after them, they might undergo the able to bear up, being thus, as it were, bepunishment of their wickedness, and of the sieged, because they wanted provisions, nor breach of those promises they had made to saw any possible way of escaping; and if them: he also chose this route on account of they should have thought of fighting, they the Philistines, who had quarrelled with had no weapons; they expected an universal them, and hated them of old; that by all destruction, unless they delivered themselves means they might not know of their depar- up voluntarily to the Egyptians: so they laid ture, for their country is near that of Egypt: the blame on Moses, and † forgot all the signs and thence it was that Moses led them not that had been wrought by God for the recoalong the road that tended to the land of the very of their freedom, and this so far, that Philistines, but he was desirous that they their incredulity prompted them to throw should go through the desert; and so, after a stones at the prophet, while he encouraged long journey, and after many afflictions, they | them, and promised them deliverance, and might enter upon the land of Canaan. "Ano- they resolved that they would deliver themther reason was, that God had commanded selves
up to the Egyptians; so there was sorhim to bring the people to mount Sinai; that row and lamentation among the women and there they might offer him sacrifices.
children, who had nothing but destruction Now, when the Egyptians had overtaken before their eyes, while they were encomthe Hebrews, they prepared to fight them, passed with mountains, the sea, and the eneand by their multitude they drove them into mies, and discerned no way of flying from a narrow place: for the number that pursued them. after them was six hundred chariots, with But Moses, though the multitude looked fifty thousand horsemen, and two hundred fiercely at him, did not relinquish the care of thousand footmen, all armed. They also them, but despised all dangers, out of his seized on the passages, by which they ima trust in God, who, as he had afforded them gined the Hebrews might fly, shutting them* the several steps already taken for the recoup between inaccessible mountains and the very of their liberty, which he had foretold,
* Take the main part of Reland's excellent note here, might evidently learn hence how it might be said that the which greatly illustrates Josephus and the Scriptures in Israelites were in Etham before they crossed the sea, and this history, with the small map thereunto belonging, as yet might be said to have come into Etham, after they had follows :-" A traveller," says Reland, “ whose name was passed over the sea. Besides, he gave me an account how Eneman, when he returned out of Egypt, told me, that he he passed over the river in a boat near the city Suez, went the saine way from Egypt to mount Sinai, which he which he said must needs be the Heroopolis of the ansupposed the Israelites of old travelled, and that he found cients, since that city could not be situated any where else several mountainous tracts that ran down towards the Red in that neighbourhood.” Sea, as he delineated them to me. See A, B, C. He As to the famous passage produced here by Dr. Berthought the Israelites had proceeded as far as the desert of nard, out of Herodotus, as the most ancient heathen tesEtham, (see Exod. xiii. 20.) when they were commanded timony of the Israelites coming from the Red Sea into by God to return back, (see Exod. xiv. 2.) and to pitch Palestine, Bishop Cumberland has shewn that it belongs to their
camp between Migdol and the sea ; and that when the old Canaanite, or Phænician shepherds, and their rethey were not able to fly, unless by sea, they were in the tiring out of Egypt into Canaan, or Phænicia, long before, place here denoted by the letter B, where they were shut the days of Moses. in on each side by mountains, and that on the part where | Exod. xiv. 11. stands D was the army of Pharaoh. He also thought we
he would not now suffer them to be subdued || ed on, for they were within sight. Now these by their enemies; to be either made slaves, were so distressed by the toil of their pursuit, or be slain by them; and standing in the that they thought proper to put off fighting midst of them, he said, “ It is not just for us to till the next day; but when Moses was come distrust even men, when they have hitherto to the sea-shore, he took his rod, and made well managed our affairs, as if they would not the supplications to God, and called upon him be the same men hereafter; but it is no bet to be their helper and assistant: and said, ter than madness, at this time, to despair of “ Thou art not ignorant, O Lord, that it is the providence of God, by whose power all beyond human strength, and human contrihas been performed which he promised, when vance, to avoid the difficulties we are now you expected no such things: I mean all that under; but it must be thy work altogether to Í have been concerned in for your deliv procure deliverance to this army, which has erance, and escape from slavery. Nay, when left Egypt at thy appointment. We despair we are in the utmost distress, as you see we of any other assistance or contrivance, and now are, we ought the rather to hope that have recourse only to that hope we have in God will succour us, by whose operation it is,
thee: and if there be any method that can that we are now encompassed within that promise us an escape by thy providence, we narrow place, that he may deliver us out of look
to thee for it; and let it come quickly, such difficulties as are otherwise insurmount and manifest thy power to us, and do thou able, and out of which neither you nor your raise up this people unto good courage, and enemies expect you can be delivered, and hope of deliverance, who are deeply sunk may at once demonstrate his own power, and into a disconsolate state of mind. We are in his providence over us; nor does God use to a helpless place; but still it is a place that give his help in small difficulties to those thou possessest, for the sea is thine, and the whom he favours, but in such cases where no mountains that enclose us are thine: so that one can see how any hope in man can better these mountains will open themselves if thou their condition. Depend, therefore, upon
commandest them; and the sea also, if thou such a Protector as is able to make small commandest it, will become dry land: nay, things great, and to shew that this mighty we might escape by a flight through the air, force against you is nothing but weakness; if thou shouldest determine we should have and be not affrighted at the Egyptian army; that way of salvation.” nor do you despair of being preserved, be When Moses had thus addressed himself to cause the sea before, and the mountains be God, he smote with his rod upon the sea, hind, afford you no opportunity of flying; for which parted asunder at the stroke, and, reeven these mountains, if God so please, may ceiving those waters into itself, left the ground be made plain ground for you, and the sea dry as a road, and a place of flight for the become dry land."*
Hebrews. Now when Moses saw this ap
pearance of God, and that the sea went out CHAP. XVI.
of its own place, and left dry land, be went first of all into it, and bid the Hebrews.follow
him along that divine road, and to rejoice at BREWS, WHEN THEY WERE PURSUED BY THE EGYPTIANS;
the danger their enemies, that followed them,
were in; and gave thanks to God for this THEN Moses had said this, he led them surprising deliverance which appeared from
to the seart while the Egyptians look him. This speech is very short in our copies. Exod. xiv. birth-right for a mess of pottage. The country which his 13, 14.
posterity possessed was called after his name, and so was † The Red Sea, called by the ancients Sinus Arabicus, the sea which adjoined to it; but the Greeks, not underand now Gulfo de Mecca, is that part or branch of the standing the reason of the appellation, translated it into southern sea which interposes itself between Egypt on the their tongue, and called it sgu fece Sarason, thence the west ; Arabia-Felix, and some parts of Petræa, on the Latin, Mare Rubrum, and we, the Red Sea. The Hecast: while the northern bounds of it touch upon Idumea, brews call it the Sea of Suph, or Flags, hy reason of the or the coast of Edom. Edom, in the Hebrew tongue, sig great abundance of that kind of weed, wbich grows at the nifies Red, and was the nickname given Esau for selling his bottom of it; and the Arabs at this day name it Dubr el
OF THE MIRACULOUS DIVISION OF THE SEA FOR THE HE
AND OF THE OVERTHROW OF THEIR ENEMIES.
Now while the Hebrews made no stay, but came down with a torrent raised by storms went on earnestly, as led by God's presence, of wind,* and encompassed the Egyptians. the Egyptians supposed, at first, that they Showers of rain also came down from the were distracted, and were going rashly upon sky, and dreadful thunder and lightning, with manifest destruction; but when they saw that flashes of fire. Thunderbolts also were darted they were gone a great way without any upon them: nor was there any thing which harm, and that no obstacle or difficulty fell God sends upon men as indications of his in their journey, they made haste to pursue wrath, which did not happen at this time; them; and, hoping that the sea would be for a dark and dismal night oppressed them, calm for them also, they put their cavalry and thus did all these men perish, so that foremost, and went down into the sea. Now there was not one man left to be a messenger the Hebrews, while these were putting on of this calamity to the rest of the Egyptians.t their armour, were before-hand with them, The Hebrews were not able to contain and got first over to the land on the other side, themselves for joy at their wonderful deliverwithout any hurt, whence the others were en ance, and destruction of their enemies: now couraged, and more courageously pursued indeed, supposing themselves firmly delivthem, as hoping no harm would come to them ered, when those that would have forced them neither: but the Egyptians were not aware into slavery were destroyed, and when they that they went into a road made for the He found they had God so evidently for their brews, and not for others; that this road was protector: and how having escaped the danmade for the deliverance of those in danger, ger they were in, after this manner, and seebut not for those that were earnest to make ing their enemies punished in such a way as use of it for the other's destruction.
is never recorded of any other men, they therefore, as the whole Egyptian army was were all the night employed in singing of within it, the sea flowed to its own place, and | hymns, and in mirth. Mosest also Chaisem, i. e. the sea of Clysona, from a town situate on copies of Exodus, but fully extant in that of David, Ps. its western coast, much about that place where the Israel Ixxvii. 16, 17, 18. ites passed over from the Egyptian to the Arabian shore. † Exod. xiv. 28. But as the word Clysona may denote a drowning or over | What some have here objected against this passage of flowing with water, it is not improbable that the town built the Israelites over the Red Sea, in this one night, from in this place, as well as this part of the sea, might have the common maps, viz. that this sea being here about such a name given it, in memory of the fate of the Egyp thirty miles broad, so great an army could not pass over it tians, who were drowned herein. Well's Geography of the in so short a time, is a great mistake. Mons. Thevenot, Old Testament, vol. ii. B.
an eye witness, informs us, that this sea, for about five | Exod. xiv. 29. “ The waters were a wall unto them days' journey, is no where more than eight or nine miles on their right hand and on their left.” Diodorus Siculus across; and in one place but four or five miles, according relates that the Ichthyophagi, who lived near the Red Sea, to De Lisle's map, which is made from the best authohad a tradition handed down to them through a long line rities. of ancestors, that the whole bay was once laid bare to the What has been farther objected against this passage of very bottom, the waters retiring to the opposite shore, and the Israelites, and drowning of the Egyptians, being mirathat they afterwards returned to their accustomed chan culous also, viz. That Moses might carry the Israelites nel with amost tremendous revulsion. (Bib. Elist. lib. jii. over at a low tide, without any miracle; while yet the p. 174.). Even to this day the inhabitants of the neigh Egyptians, not knowing the tide so well as he, might be bourhood of Corondel preserve the remembrance of a drowned upon the return of the tide, is truly absurd. Yet mighty army having been once drowned in the bay, which does Artapanus, an ancient heathen historian, inform us, Ptolomy calls Clysma. (Shaw's Travels, p. 349.) The that this was what the more ignorant Memphites, who very country where the event is said to have happeneil
, lived at a great distance, pretended, though he confesses, in some degree bears testimony to the accuracy of the that the more learned Heliopolitans, who lived much Mosaical narrative. The scriptural Etham is still called nearer, owned the destruction of the Egyptians, and the Etti; the wilderness of Shur, the Mountain of Sinai, and deliverance of the Israelites to have been miraculous. the country of Paran, are still known by the same names. And De Castro, a mathematician, who surveyed this sea (Niebuhr's Travels, vol. i. p. 189, 191.) Marah’s Elath, with great exactness, informs us, that there is no great and Midian, are still familiar to the ears of the Arabs. flux or reflux in this part of the Red Sea, to give a colour The grove of Elim yet remains, and its twelve fountains to the hypothesis ; nay, that the elevation of the tide there have neither increased nor diminished in number since is little above half the height of a man. So vain and the days of Moses. B.
groundless are these and the like evasions and subterfuges || Exod. xiv. 21.
of our modern sceptics and unbelievers! and so certainly do * These storms of wind, thunder, and lightning, at this thorough enquiries, and authentic evidence, disprove and Jrowning of Pharaoh's army, are almost wanting in our. II.confute such evasions and subterfuges upon all occasions!.