The Egyptians are Drowned in the Red Sea
Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said to them: "Get the Israelites out from my people. Go and serve your Lord as you please. Take your flocks and your herds and begone, for the Lord hath smitten me and my people and we shall have no peace until you are out of this land."
The Egyptians urged the Israelites to go. They hastened to send them out of the land and gave them jewels, and silver, and gold, and plenty of clothes and food. They did all they could to hasten the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt, for fear the Lord would send another plague upon the people.
It must have been a great procession, for there were six hundred thousand of the Israelites on foot that were grown besides the children, and with them went great flocks and herds of cattle and great wagons carrying food. They had been in the land of Egypt for four hundred and thirty years and had grown to be great multitudes of people.
They left all their houses and their lands and turned their faces to the great desert, not knowing how long it would take them to reach the land of Canaan and how they were to be cared for on the way. They trusted in Moses and Aaron and in the word of the Lord. Moses took with him the bones of Joseph who had been buried in Egypt for four hundred years, in order that he might be buried again in the land from which Joseph came.
The great procession moved on into the wilderness having faith in God that he would protect them from all evil. In order to lead them in the right direction, the Lord sent a pillar of cloud that led them by day and a pillar of fire that gave them light by night.
When Pharaoh heard that the people of Israel had left the land of Egypt, and when he knew such a great multitude of workers had departed he changed his mind again as he had so often done and said to those around him: "Why have we done this and let Israel go from serving us?" Then he took his chariot and six hundred other chariots and many soldiers and pursued the children of Israel and overtook them as they were camped in the wilderness.
When Pharaoh came near the children of Israel, they lifted up their eyes and saw the Egyptians coming after them. They were afraid and cried out unto the Lord. They said to Moses: "Have you taken us to die in the wilderness? Why have you brought us out of Egypt and dealt with us in this way? It is better that we should serve Egypt than die in the wilderness."
But Moses stood up before the hosts of the people and said to them: "Fear not, but stand still for the Lord will save you from the Egyptians and after today you shall see them no more forever. Hold your peace and the Lord will fight for you."
The children were encamped by the Red Sea. In front of them were deep sullen waters; behind them was a pursuing host of horsemen and chariots led by a faithless king bent upon their destruction. They were unarmed and helpless and not accustomed to war and battle. They saw no hope but only destruction for themselves, their wives, and their children. Therefore, it was not strange that they cried out with great terror as they saw the hosts of Egypt coming upon them.
But the Lord had promised to take care of them and to provide a way for their escape and all they had to do was to trust in him and in his promise.
The Lord said unto Moses: "Tell the children of Israel to go forward. Then lift up thy rod and stretch out thy hand over the sea and divide it that the children of Israel shall go on dry ground into the midst of the sea." Then the angel of God and the pillar of cloud which had gone before the camp of Israel moved behind them and between them and their enemies. Thus it was that the Egyptians were in darkness and could not see the Israelites but the pillar gave light on the side of the people of Israel.
Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and a strong east wind blew all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided so that there was an open way for the children of Israel to march through the sea. Then the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, and the waters were piled up like a wall on their right hand and on their left hand.
Pharaoh came on pursuing the Israelites right into the midst of the sea with all his horses, chariots and horsemen. The children of Israel hastened through the sea and reached the other side but the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud troubled the hosts of Egypt. Their chariot wheels were broken and their horses stumbled and fell and the horsemen were confused in the darkness. The men of Egypt cried out with fear. "Let us flee from the face of Israel for the Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians."
When all the Israelites had reached the other side of the sea and the Egyptians were still confused with the wall of water on either side, the Lord said to Moses: "Stretch out your hand over the sea that the waters may go together again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and upon their horsemen." Moses stretched his hand over the sea and the waters came together and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the hosts of Pharaoh and not one of them escaped.
In this way the Lord saved Israel out of the hands of the Egyptians, and that same day the Israelites saw many Egyptians dead upon the seashore. Then the people believed the Lord and his servant Moses and knew they were safe from their enemies.