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Quotes About the Bible and History

 

L. Thomas Holdcroft

The Crossing of the Red Sea

"The site of Pi-hahiroth, where God next led the people constituted a strategic trap for the fleeing Israelites. On either side were mountains and desert. Before them was the Red Sea. As God intended, within a day or two this predicament invited pursuit by Pharaoh and his company of chariots. In such an hour of extremity, Moses exhorted the fearful people, "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord." Thus God intervened to provide for the crossing of the Red Sea. Some scholars feel that since the original implies this was a "Reed Sea" the body of water actually was not the gulf of Suez but a northern inland lake that is now extinct. It is evident that it is no insignificant body of water, for the entire army of Egypt was destroyed by the returning waves. Scripture points out that before long the bodies of dead Egyptians littered the shore and Josephus reports that the Israelites armed themselves with weapons that were salvaged on this occasion. 

In order to accomplish the events described in Scripture the body of water crossed would necessarily be several miles in width. The dividing of the waters seems to have been accomplished by causing them to congeal (as if they were frozen) and thus stand as a wall on either side of the marching Israelites. Elsewhere Scripture comments "He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as a heap" (Psa. 78:13). Scripture describes the role of the wind in connection with this division but it is to be noted that although a strong wind will somewhat influence the ebb or tide of a body of water no natural wind has been known actually to divide waters. Evidently the wind was only one aspect of God's working and not the whole means of His divine operation. The crossing of the Red Sea is a type of water baptism for the Christian. St. Paul wrote ". . . all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea" (1 Cor. 10:1, 2). In crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites who already were redeemed by blood now left Egypt forever and officially and determinately took on a new life and a new leader. Their slavery in bondage in Egypt was typical of the sinner's ensnarement in the bondage of sin. In effect, a nation of slaves now were a nation of freed men and in standing on the further shore of the Red Sea they were standing upon the shores of a new continent"

 
L. Thomas Holdcroft, "The Pentateuch" (California: Western Book Co. 1966) pp. 63-64

 

 

 

 


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