The Miracle of the Exodus and the Red Sea Crossing and the 40 years in the wilderness.
Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? Ps 78:19
1. They travelled day and night
2. Nobody stumbled crossing the Red Sea
Introduction: Every aspect of the exodus was a miracle
1. General miracles of the Exodus:
a. The staff turning into a snake, eating other snakes, leprous hand: Exodus 4:1–8
b. The ten plagues that destroyed Egypt
c. Double miracle of power and wind in parting the Red Sea: Exodus 14:21-29
d. Pharaoh’s army stricken with confusion and the chariot wheels wobbled: Exodus 14:24–25
e. Bitter waters of Marah purified by a tree: Exodus 15:25
f. God defeats the Amalekites when Moses raised hand: Exodus 17:9-13
g. Miriam's sudden leprosy for insurrection and cure after 7 days: Numbers 12:1–16
h. Korah’s rebellion: The ground opens and fire kills 250 with firepans: Numbers 16:29–35
i. Aaron's staff is the only one of 12 that produces leaves, flowers and ripe almonds: Numbers 17:1-13
j. The bronze snake on a pole:
k. The crossing of the Jordan on dry ground, waters backed up to Adam: Joshua 3
l. Defeating all the 7 nations of Canaan.
2. Israel miraculously travelled day AND NIGHT and therefore walked far greater daily distances than under normal human conditions: Exodus 13:21; Num 9:21; 14:14; Deut 1:33; Neh 9:12; Ps 78:14
a. "The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night." (Exodus 13:21)
b. "If sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning, when the cloud was lifted in the morning, they would move out; or in the daytime and at night, whenever the cloud was lifted, they would set out." (Numbers 9:21)
c. “You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night” Num 14:14.
d. "who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go." (Deuteronomy 1:33)
e. “To light for them the way in which they were to go” Neh 9:12.
f. “He led them with the cloud by day and all the night with a light of fire” Ps 78:14.
g. The average human walking speed is 5 km per hour. Daily travel rates from Goshen to the Straits of Tiran were 29 km for each of the 17 travel days and 18 km for each of the 11 travel days from the Red Sea and Mt. Sinai. Without any miraculous assistance, 3 million Hebrews walking 5 km/h could easily travel 30 km in only 6 hours. That is 3 hours of walking in the morning and a 2-hour rest then 3 hours of walking in the afternoon. This fact alone voids all the standard daily travel rates used by those who oppose a Red Sea crossing on the Gulf of Aqaba.
3. God provided supernatural assistance while Israel walked long distances for long periods of time so that they did not get sore feet or sore muscles:
a. “Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years." (Deuteronomy 8:4)
b. “Indeed, forty years You provided for them in the wilderness and they were not in want; Their clothes did not wear out, nor did their feet swell." (Nehemiah 9:21)
4. God prevented anybody (young or old) from tripped or stumbled during the entire journey from Egypt to the Jordan River and especially while crossing the Red Sea: Isaiah 63:11-14; Ps 105:37
a. "Then He brought them out [of Egypt] with silver and gold, And among His tribes there was not one who stumbled." (Psalm 105:37)
b. "Then His people remembered the days of old, of Moses. Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit in the midst of them, Who caused His glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, Who divided the waters before them to make for Himself an everlasting name, Who led them through the depths? Like the horse in the wilderness, they did not stumble; As the cattle which go down into the valley, The Spirit of the Lord gave them rest. So You led Your people, To make for Yourself a glorious name." (Isaiah 63:11–14)
5. Miraculous food and water: “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?” Psalm 78:18–20
a. Israel departed Egypt with few food and water provisions: Exodus 12:34,39
b. God provided rain for water when needed, in addition to the split rock at Mt. Horeb and Kadesh Barnea: Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:11; Psalm 68:7-9; 78:15; 105:40-41; 107:35; 114:8; Judges 5:4–5; Isaiah 35:6-7; 48:21; 41:18
c. Manna: Exodus 16:13–21; Exodus 16:31–36; Psalm 105:40
d. Quail: Exodus 16:8–13; Numbers 11:31; Psalm 78:27–29; 105:40
e. Quail in huge numbers: Numbers 11:31–34. After leaving Mt. Sinai, God rained quail, 44 inches deep on the ground. Each man collected 10 donkey loads of quail, equal to about 63 bushels or 2200 litres in volume. “A homer contained about 220 liters (6 1/4 bushels). It was a large measure weighing the equivalent of the normal load a donkey could carry (the Hebrew word for “donkey” is hamor).” (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Weights and measures, 1986 AD)
f. Animals: It is inferred that God provided food and water for a “very large number” of sheep and cattle: Ex 10:9,26; 12:38; 34:3; Num 20:19.
6. The miraculous cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night served six purposes:
a. The cloud was continuous assurance of the presence of God to give them peace: Ex 13:22; Numbers 14:14; Deut 1:32-33; Nehemiah 9:19
b. A light while traveling at night: Exodus 13:21; Num 9:21; 14:14; Deut 1:33; Neh 9:12; Ps 78:14
c. A “night light” while camped at night: Exodus 40:38; Psalm 105:39
d. Route Guidance: Num 9:17–23; Ex 13:21; 40:36–37; Num 14:14; Deut 1:33; Neh 9:19
e. Protection from pharaoh's armies: Exodus 14:19,24
f. The cloud was like an “umbrella” that protected them from direct sunlight and rain: Ps 105:39; Isa 4:4-6
7. Their clothing and shoes did not tear, break or wear out for 40 years: Deut 8:4; 29:5; Neh 9:21
a. Did God protect their pottery from breaking?
b. Archaeologists have not found any pottery or objects directly connected with the Hebrews during the Late Bronze Age of the Exodus at either Kadesh Barnea at Petra or Mt. Sinai at Mt. Lawz, or any other proposed site. The obvious explanation is that it is difficult to find pottery sherds from a widely dispersed tribal population occupying 25 square kilometers of land. Archaeologists focus on excavating “tells” where the populations are concentrated. If you did find a sherd of Hebrew Late Bronze pottery in the middle of a large open area, it is difficult to connect it with the exodus without some epigraphical evidence.
c. The lack of pottery evidence for the exodus Hebrews, might be explained if God miraculously prevented their pottery from breaking. Yet, Moses ordered clay vessels (pottery) and ovens (tabuns) to be broken if they came in contact with a dead unclean animal. This however would be a rare occurrence because it is questionable if such a fine point of the law was followed, given they ignored so many of the larger statues. "As for any earthenware vessel into which one of them may fall, whatever is in it becomes unclean and you shall break the vessel. ‘Any of the food which may be eaten, on which water comes, shall become unclean, and any liquid which may be drunk in every vessel shall become unclean. ‘Everything, moreover, on which part of their carcass may fall becomes unclean; an oven or a stove (tabun) shall be smashed; they are unclean and shall continue as unclean to you." (Leviticus 11:33–35)
8. Miraculous plagues and population culls of the wicked by God:
a. Nadab and Abihu killed by God for not doing Bible things in Bible ways: Leviticus 10:1–3; Numbers 3:4; 26:61
b. During Korah’s rebellion, 14,700 killed by God in Kadesh Barnea: Numbers 16:49 in 1430 BC
c. Fire kills 250 during Korah’s rebellion in 1430 BC: Numbers 16:35
d. Many killed by snakes at the Zered River in 1407 BC: Numbers 21:4-9
e. 23-24,000 killed because of the immorality at Peor in 1406 BC: Num 25:9; 1 Cor 10:8
A. It was entirely by God's power that a city of 2-3 million survived in the desert for 40 years:
B. Non-Hebrews joined them in the exodus:
C. They took their flocks, being expert herdsman who Pharaoh wanted tend his own herds:
E. Their clothing and shoes and body did not grow weary from injury:
E. They were given supernatural help crossing the sea so that none tripped or stumbled:
"Like the horse in the wilderness, they did not stumble; As the cattle which go down into the valley, The Spirit of the Lord gave them rest." Isaiah 63:11-13
"Then He brought them out with silver and gold, And among His tribes there was not one who stumbled. " Psalm 105:37
G. God gave them supernatural food and drink:
1. "and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. " 1 Corinthians 10:3-4
2. "O God, when You went forth before Your people, When You marched through the wilderness, Selah. The earth quaked; The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel. You shed abroad a plentiful rain, O God; You confirmed Your inheritance when it was parched. " Psalm 68:7-9
3. "They asked, and He brought quail, And satisfied them with the bread of heaven. He opened the rock and water flowed out; It ran in the dry places like a river. " Psalm 105:37-41
4. "So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls bound up in the clothes on their shoulders. " ... "They baked the dough which they had brought out of Egypt into cakes of unleavened bread. For it had not become leavened, since they were driven out of Egypt and could not delay, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves. " Exodus 12:34,39
5. "The angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched Elijah and said, "Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you." So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God." 1 Kings 19:7-8
6. "So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom; and they made a circuit of seven days' journey, and there was no water for the army or for the cattle that followed them. ... He said, "Thus says the Lord, 'Make this valley full of trenches.' "For thus says the Lord, 'You shall not see wind nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, both you and your cattle and your beasts. 'This is but a slight thing in the sight of the Lord; He will also give the Moabites into your hand. 'Then you shall strike every fortified city and every choice city, and fell every good tree and stop all springs of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.' " It happened in the morning about the time of offering the sacrifice, that behold, water came by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water. " 2 Kings 3:9,16-20
H. Christ, the cloud and pillar of fire, went led them like a shepherd who guided, fed and protected them.
Temple's first appearance on earth:
Assurance, Guidance, Light
Four purposes for cloud and pillar of fire:
1. Light to travel by night: Ex 13:22; Neh 9:12; Num 14:14; Ps 105:39; Ps 78:14
2. Route Guidance: Num 14:14,19; Ex 13:21; Deut 1:33
3. Shelter canopy from Sunlight and Rain: Isaiah 4:4-6; Psalm 105:39
4. Protection from pharaoh's armies: Exodus 14:19,24
5. Assurance of God’s presence: Exodus 13:22
1. Travel day and night:
a. "The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people." (Exodus 13:21-22)
b. "and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, O Lord, are in the midst of this people, for You, O Lord, are seen eye to eye, while Your cloud stands over them; and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. " (Numbers 14:14)
c. "“And with a pillar of cloud You led them by day, And with a pillar of fire by night To light for them the way In which they were to go." (Nehemiah 9:12)
d. "Then He led them with the cloud by day And all the night with a light of fire." (Psalm 78:14)
e. "Then He brought them out with silver and gold, And among His tribes there was not one who stumbled. Egypt was glad when they departed, For the dread of them had fallen upon them. He spread a cloud for a covering, And fire to illumine by night. They asked, and He brought quail, And satisfied them with the bread of heaven. He opened the rock and water flowed out; It ran in the dry places like a river. " (Psalm 105:37-41)
f. Perhaps even supernatural endurance to walk 24 hours without sleep. Although there is not any direct evidence that Israel traveled at 3-4 days at a time without sleep en-route to the Red Sea crossing point, there are examples of this in the Bible. Elijah was given spiritual food from God and traveled 40 days and nights non-stop. It may be that God performed a similar miracle to assist Israel in their exodus out of Egypt.
2. Route Guidance: Exodus 13:21
a. "and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, O Lord, are in the midst of this people, for You, O Lord, are seen eye to eye, while Your cloud stands over them; and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. " (Numbers 14:14)
b. "The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night." (Exodus 13:21)
c. "“But for all this, you did not trust the Lord your God, who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go." (Deuteronomy 1:32-33)
3. Shelter canopy from Sunlight and Rain: Isaiah 4:4-6; Psalm 105:39
a. "He spread a cloud for a covering [from heat of sun], And fire to illumine by night. " Psalm 105:39
b. "When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning, then the Lord will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy. There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain." Isaiah 4:4-6
4. Protection from pharaoh's armies: Exodus 14:19, 24
a. "The angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. " Exodus 14:19
b. "At the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. " Exodus 14:24
5. Assurance of God’s presence:
a. "He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people." (Exodus 13:22)
I. The Red Sea crossing was the actual point of deliverance from Egypt:
At the straits of Tiran, they were finally free from Egypt!
Conclusion: God can prepare a table in the wilderness: Ps 78:19
1. Light to travel by night: Ex 13:22; Neh 9:12; Num 14:14; Ps 105:39; Ps 78:14
6. Route Guidance: Num 14:14,19; Ex 13:21; Deut 1:33
7. Shelter canopy from Sunlight and Rain: Isaiah 4:4-6; Psalm 105:39
8. Protection from pharaoh's armies: Exodus 14:19,24
"He divided the sea and caused them to pass through, And He made the waters stand up like a heap. Then He led them with the cloud by day And all the night with a light of fire. He split the rocks in the wilderness And gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths. He brought forth streams also from the rock And caused waters to run down like rivers. Yet they still continued to sin against Him, To rebel against the Most High in the desert. And in their heart they put God to the test By asking food according to their desire. Then they spoke against God; They said, "Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? "Behold, He struck the rock so that waters gushed out, And streams were overflowing; Can He give bread also? Will He provide meat for His people?" Therefore the Lord heard and was full of wrath; And a fire was kindled against Jacob And anger also mounted against Israel, Because they did not believe in God And did not trust in His salvation. Yet He commanded the clouds above And opened the doors of heaven; He rained down manna upon them to eat And gave them food from heaven. Man did eat the bread of angels; He sent them food in abundance. He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens And by His power He directed the south wind. When He rained meat upon them like the dust, Even winged fowl like the sand of the seas, Then He let them fall in the midst of their camp, Round about their dwellings. So they ate and were well filled, And their desire He gave to them. Before they had satisfied their desire, While their food was in their mouths, The anger of God rose against them And killed some of their stoutest ones, And subdued the choice men of Israel. In spite of all this they still sinned And did not believe in His wonderful works. So He brought their days to an end in futility And their years in sudden terror. When He killed them, then they sought Him, And returned and searched diligently for God; And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer. But they deceived Him with their mouth And lied to Him with their tongue. For their heart was not steadfast toward Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant. But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them; And often He restrained His anger And did not arouse all His wrath. Thus He remembered that they were but flesh, A wind that passes and does not return. How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness And grieved Him in the desert! Again and again they tempted God, And pained the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power, The day when He redeemed them from the adversary, When He performed His signs in Egypt And His marvels in the field of Zoan, And turned their rivers to blood, And their streams, they could not drink. He sent among them swarms of flies which devoured them, And frogs which destroyed them. He gave also their crops to the grasshopper And the product of their labor to the locust. He destroyed their vines with hailstones And their sycamore trees with frost. He gave over their cattle also to the hailstones And their herds to bolts of lightning. He sent upon them His burning anger, Fury and indignation and trouble, A band of destroying angels. He leveled a path for His anger; He did not spare their soul from death, But gave over their life to the plague, And smote all the firstborn in Egypt, The first issue of their virility in the tents of Ham. But He led forth His own people like sheep And guided them in the wilderness like a flock; He led them safely, so that they did not fear; But the sea engulfed their enemies. So He brought them to His holy land, To this hill country which His right hand had gained. He also drove out the nations before them And apportioned them for an inheritance by measurement, And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents. Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God And did not keep His testimonies, " Psalm 78:13-56
By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.
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In AD 2005, using the Bible only, Steven Rudd noticed 42 keys to decoding the Exodus Route that indicated the Red Sea crossing was at the Straits of Tiran, Mt. Sinai was in Saudi Arabia and Kadesh Barnea was at modern Petra.
As featured in Tim Mahoney’s
Patterns of Evidence
Red Sea Miracle”