Exodus 14:17 MEANING

Exodus 14:17
Verse 17. - I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians. Here, and here only, are the hearts of the Egyptians generally said to have been "hardened." Whatever meaning we attach to the expression, there will be no more difficulty in applying it to them than to Pharaoh. They had made themselves partakers in the monarch's guilt by mustering in hot haste when he summoned them, and had allowed themselves to revel in the anticipation of plunder and carnage (Exodus 15:9). Under such circumstances, the general laws which govern human nature would be quite sufficient to make their hearts grow hard. They shall follow them. Upon this act - rash, if the phenomenon had been a mere natural one - presumptuous and infatuated if the drying up were regarded as miraculous - depended altogether the destruction of the Egyptians. They had only to have "stood still" and allowed the escape, which a week previously they had done their best to encourage, in order to have remained safe and unhurt. It was their stupidity and blood-thirstiness which alone brought them into any danger. Upon his horsemen. Rather "his chariotmen." See the comment on verse 9.

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 I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians,.... That they shall have no sense of danger, and be fearless of it, incautious and thoughtless, hurried on with wrath and fury, malice and revenge:

and they shall follow them; the Israelites into the sea, supposing it to be as safe for the one as the other:

and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen: by the utter destruction of them, in just retaliation for the many innocent infants that had been drowned by them in the river Nile.

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