Exodus 14:15 MEANING

Exodus 14:15
(15-18) Wherefore criest thou unto me?--Like the people (Exodus 14:10), Moses had cried to Jehovah, though he tells us of his cry only thus indirectly. God made answer that it was not a time to cry, but to act: "Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward," &c. The Israelites were to strike their tents at once, and prepare for a forward movement. Moses was to descend to the edge of the sea, with his rod in his hand, and to stretch it out over the sea, and then await the consequences, which would be a "division" of the waters--the sea-bed would for a certain space become dry, and Israel would be able to cross to the other side (Exodus 14:16); the Egyptians would follow, and then destruction would come upon them, and God would "get himself honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host" (Exodus 14:17-18). The exact mode of the destruction was not announced.

Verses 15-18. - GOD'S ANSWER TO MOSES' PRAYER. To the faithful prayer of Moses, albeit pitched perhaps in too low a key, God made gracious answer. A "cry" had been unnecessary, since his word was already pledged to bring his people safe to Canaan, and to get himself honour upon Pharaoh in connection with the pursuit (ver. 4). But, as the appeal has been made, he responds with a plain statement of what has now to be done: -

1. The Israelites are to make themselves ready for a forward movement (ver. 15);

2. Moses is to stretch oat his rod over the Red Sea, and it will be divided;

3. The Israelites are then to make the passage on dry ground;

4. The Egyptians are to follow, and then honour is to be gotten upon them; and they are to know by the result that God is indeed Jehovah. Verses 15, 16. - Wherefore criest thou to me? It is evident that Moses, while boldly encouraging the people, himself needed the support and consolation of prayer. The Syriac translator shows us that he divined the fact aright, when he without authority intruded the words, "Moses then cried to Jehovah." The form of the Divine reply to his prayer seems to indicate a certain amount of reproach, as if Moses himself had become unduly anxious. Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward. The Israelites were not to rest in their encampment, but to form in line of march, and descend to the very shore of the sea, and there hold themselves in readiness. Moses was to lift up his rod - the rod with which his other miracles had been wrought - and stretch out his hand over the sea, and then the drying up was to begin. Thus was most of the night passed.

14:15-20 Moses' silent prayers of faith prevailed more with God than Israel's loud outcries of fear. The pillar of cloud and fire came behind them, where they needed a guard, and it was a wall between them and their enemies. The word and providence of God have a black and dark side toward sin and sinners, but a bright and pleasant side toward the people of the Lord. He, who divided between light and darkness, Ge 1:4, allotted darkness to the Egyptians, and light to the Israelites. Such a difference there will be between the inheritance of the saints in light, and that utter darkness which will be the portion of hypocrites for ever.And the Lord said unto Moses, wherefore criest thou unto me?.... The Targum of Jonathan is,"why standest thou and prayest before me?''and no doubt this crying is to be understood of prayer, of mental prayer, of secret ejaculations put up by Moses to the Lord without a voice, for no mention is made of any: this shows, that though Moses most firmly believed that God would work salvation for them, yet he did not neglect the use of means, prayer to God for it; nor was the Lord displeased with him on that account, only he had other work for him to do, and he had no need to pray any longer, God had heard him, and would save him and his people:

speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward; a little further, as Aben Ezra observes, until they were come to the sea shore, near to which they now were; and thither they were to move in an orderly composed manner, as unconcerned and fearless of their enemies.

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