The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Exodus
Then the word of the Lord came to Moses,
bidding him give the Israelites fresh orders. They were to turn back and encamp round Phihahiroth, between Magdal and the sea, opposite Beelsephon, pitching their tents close to the western shore of the sea.✻
Pharao (the Lord told them) will think that the Israelites have no room to move, caught there in the desert;
and I will harden his heart, so that he will give pursuit. Then I will win victory over Pharao and all his armies, and Egypt will learn to know me, the Lord, for what I am.
The people did as they were bidden.
The people did as they were bidden.
And now, when the news of their escape reached the Egyptian court, Pharao and his servants changed their minds about the Israelites; What madness was this, they said, to let our slaves go free!
So Pharao harnessed his chariot, and took all his troops with him;
not only his best chariots, six hundred in number, but all that were to be found in Egypt, and all the captains of his army.
Thus the Lord hardened the heart of Pharao, king of Egypt, and he pursued the Israelites in the hour of their triumphant escape.
All Pharao’s horses and chariots, and the whole of his army, followed close on the track of the fugitives, and came upon them where they lay encamped by the sea, at Phihahiroth, opposite Beelsephon.
What fear fell upon the Israelites, how they cried out to the Lord, when they looked round at Pharao’s approach, and saw the Egyptians close behind them!
Were there no graves for us in Egypt, they asked Moses, that thou hast brought us here, to die in the desert? Was it not ill done, to bring us away from Egypt at all?
And did we not tell thee as much while we were still there? Leave us, we said, to our Egyptian bondage; better slavery here, than death in the desert.
But Moses said to the people, Have no fear; wait patiently; the Lord means to do a miracle to-day under your eyes. The Egyptians you see now, you are seeing for the last time; they will disappear from your sight for ever.
It is the Lord that will do battle for you; your part is silence.
And the Lord’s word came to Moses, No need to cry to me for aid; bid the Israelites march on.
And do thou, meanwhile, lift up thy staff, and stretch out thy hand over the sea, parting it this way and that, so that the Israelites can walk through the midst of the sea dry-shod.
Then I will harden Pharao’s heart, so that he will give pursuit, and I will win victory over Pharao and all his army, over his chariots and horsemen.
Vain the chariot, vain the horseman; I will teach the Egyptians to know me, the Lord, for what I am.
And with that, God’s angel, that went on before the host of Israel, moved to their rear; the pillar of cloud, too, left its place in the van and came behind them.
It stood there between the Egyptian camp and the camp of Israel, a cloud that shed light in the darkness, yet was itself deep mist, so that neither army could approach the other all that night.
Meanwhile, Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord cleared it away from their path. All night a fierce sirocco blew, and the Lord turned the sea into dry land, the waters parting this way and that.✻
So the Israelites went through the midst of the sea dry-shod, with its waters towering up like a wall to right and left.
And the Egyptians, still in pursuit, pressed on after them, all Pharao’s mounted troops, his chariots and horsemen, driving on through the midst of the sea.
It was already the first watch of the morning, when suddenly, through the pillar of fire and mist, the Lord looked down upon the Egyptians, and brought their army to its doom.
He turned the wheels of their chariots aside, so that they drove through deep places, and the Egyptians began to say, Back, back! There is no facing Israel; the Lord is fighting on their side against us.
Then the Lord said to Moses, Stretch out thy hand over the sea, so that its waters shall recoil on the Egyptians, on all their chariots and their horsemen.
And when Moses stretched out his hand towards the sea, at early dawn, it went back to its bed, so that its waters met the Egyptians in their flight, and the Lord drowned them amid the waves.
Back came the water, overwhelming all the chariots and horsemen of Pharao’s army that had entered the sea in their pursuit; not a man escaped.
But the sons of Israel made their way through the midst of the sea where it had parted, its waters towering like a wall to right and left.
So the Lord rescued Israel that day from the assault of the Egyptians;
and when they saw the dead Egyptians washed up on the shore, and the great defeat the Lord had inflicted upon them, the people learned to fear the Lord, putting their trust in him and in his servant Moses.
The Holy Bible