Exodus 14

1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses. 2 He said: ‘Tell the Israelites that they must stop. Tell them that they must stay near Pi Hahiroth. This is a place between Migdol and the sea. They must stay by the sea, across from Baal Zephon. 3 Then Pharaoh will think: “The Israelites are confused. They are walking round and round the country. The desert has shut them in.” 4 And I will cause Pharaoh to think cruel thoughts. He will go after the Israelites. Then I will show how great I am, by Pharaoh and his whole army. Because of this, the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.’ So the Israelites obeyed God.

5 Someone told the king of Egypt that the Israelites had run away. Then Pharaoh and his servants changed their minds about the Israelites. They said: ‘We have done a silly thing. We have let the Israelites go. We have lost our slaves!’ 6 So Pharaoh prepared his chariot and he took his army with him. 7 He took 600 of his best chariots with him. He also took all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers to drive them. 8 And the LORD made Pharaoh, king of Egypt think more cruel thoughts. So Pharaoh followed after the brave Israelites, when they marched out.

9 The Egyptians went after the Israelites. They went with all Pharaoh's horses, chariots and soldiers. They came near to the Israelites, who were by the sea. It was near Pi Hahiroth, across from Baal Zephon.

10 Pharaoh was coming nearer. The Israelites looked up. They saw that the Egyptians had marched after them. Then the Israelites were afraid and they shouted aloud to the LORD. 11 They said to Moses: ‘There are many places in Egypt to bury dead people! You did not have to bring us here! Have you brought us here to die in the desert? Why did you bring us out of Egypt? 12 We said to you in Egypt: “Leave us alone. Let us work for the Egyptians.” It would have been better for us to do that. Then, anyway, we would not die in the desert!’

13 Then Moses spoke to the people. He said: ‘Do not be afraid. Stand quietly. See how the LORD will save you today. The Egyptians that you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you. You will only have to be quiet.’

15 Then the LORD said to Moses: ‘Do not shout aloud to me. Command the Israelites to march on. 16 Lift up your stick. Lift up your hand over the sea. Then the water will become two separate parts. Then the Israelites can cross the sea on dry ground. 17 I will make the Egyptians angry and they will follow the Israelites into the sea. And I will show my powerful authority by Pharaoh and by his army and by all his chariots. 18 Then the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.’

19 The angel of God went in front of the army of the Israelites. Now he moved and he went behind them. The special cloud moved also and it stood behind the army. 20 It stood between the Egyptian army and the Israelite army. During the whole night, the Egyptians were in the dark, because of the cloud. But the Israelites were in the light, because there was fire in the cloud. So the Egyptians stayed away from the Israelites during the whole night.

21 Then Moses lifted up his hand over the sea. During that whole night, the LORD made the sea go back. He did this with a strong wind that made the water into two separate parts. The ground below the sea became like dry land. 22 Then the Israelites walked on the dry ground in the middle of the sea. The water was like a wall on their right side and on their left side.

23 The Egyptians went after them and followed them into the middle of the sea. All Pharaoh's horses and his chariots did this. And so did the men who drove the chariots. 24 In the early morning, the LORD looked down, from the cloud with fire in it. He looked at the Egyptian army and he confused them. 25 Their chariots could not move easily in the sand. It became very difficult for the Egyptians to drive their chariots. So the Egyptians said: ‘Let us run away from the Israelites. It is the LORD who fights for them, against Egypt.’

26 Then the LORD spoke to Moses. He said: ‘Lift up your hand over the sea. Then the waters will return. They will cover the Egyptians, their chariots and the men who drive them.’ 27 So Moses lifted up his hand over the sea. And at dawn, the sea returned to its own place. The Egyptians ran away from the water, as fast as they could. But the LORD killed them. The Egyptians drowned in the middle of the sea. 28 The water returned. It covered the chariots and the men that drove them. The water covered Pharaoh's whole army that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of those men remained alive.

29 But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea. The water was like a wall on their right side and on their left side. 30 On that day, the LORD saved the Israelites from the Egyptians. The Israelites saw the dead bodies of the Egyptians, which lay on the shore. 31 Then the Israelites saw what a great thing the LORD had done against the Egyptians. So the Israelites were afraid of the LORD. But they believed that he loved them. They also loved and obeyed Moses, the LORD's servant.