Story 17: Parting of the Red Sea

Story 17

Parting of the Red Sea

Exodus 13:17-17:6



The Bridge: When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle. Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones with you from here.” And they moved on from Succoth and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people” (Exodus 13:17-22, ESV).


The Story:

  • When the Pharaoh realized that the Israelites were gone, and that his slave-labor pool had vanished, his heart was hardened and he sent his army, horses, and chariots to capture the slaves and bring them back to Egypt (Exodus14:9).
  • When they came to the Red Sea, the Israelites saw the warriors coming upon them. They panicked and thought they were trapped. They even began to complain to Moses saying they were better off in Egypt as slaves (Exodus 14:12).
  • Moses told them, “Fear not. Stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13-14). Moses lifted up his staff and the waters of the Red Sea separated, leaving two walls of water and dry ground so that the people with Moses could cross the sea on dry ground (Exodus 14:21-22).
  • The Egyptian army followed them into the sea, but as soon as the last Israelite crossed over, the waters swallowed up the chariots, horses, and soldiers (Exodus 14:23-28).
  • The Israelites continued to be led by the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire. When the pillar moved, they moved. They stayed in the presence of God all the time (Exodus 13:21-22; 40:36-37; Numbers 9:17-22; Nehemiah 9:12, 19).
  • During this time, God fed the Israelites with manna, a substance that came from heaven from which they made bread cakes. He also provided quail and water. In spite of this, the people still grumbled and complained at times (Exodus 16:1-36).


How does what God did in parting the Red Sea relate to our salvation?