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Old 31st May 2018, 05:56 PM
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Default Exodus 14

[Exodus 14]
{14:1} Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
{14:2} “Speak to the sons of Israel. Let them turn back and encamp away from the region of Pihahiroth, which is between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal-zephon. In its sight you shall place your camp, above the sea.
{14:3} And Pharaoh will say about the sons of Israel, ‘They have been confined by the land; the desert has enclosed them.’

A true prophet is recognized when the events he says are fulfilled thereafter (Deuteronomy 18:22) for God is Eternity and is not bound to time or space (CCC# 600).

{14:4} And I will harden his heart, and so he will pursue you. And I will be glorified in Pharaoh, and in all his army. And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.

See previous chapters for the description of what "I will harden his [the Pharaoh's] heart" mean. This is a way of expression repeated throughout this narrative.

God is going to show His power over creation.

{14:5} And it was reported to the king of the Egyptians that the people had fled. And the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was changed about the people, and they said, “What did we intend to do, so that we released Israel from serving us?”
{14:6} Therefore, he harnessed his chariot, and he took all his people with him.

I don't think the Pharaoh reached the state of grace when he let the Israelite people go for he quickly changed his heart. He let them go most likely out of imperfect contrition only, out of selfishness, so that the One True God would stop afflicting him in some way or the other.

{14:7} And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and whatever chariots were in Egypt, and also the leaders of the whole army.
{14:8} And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he pursued the sons of Israel. But they were taken away by an exalted hand.
{14:9} And when the Egyptians followed the footsteps of those who preceded them, they found them in a camp above the sea. All the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and the entire army, were in Pihahiroth, opposite Baal-zephon.

It was a powerful army, in human capacity, which was after the sons of Israel (descendants of Jacob).

{14:10} And when Pharaoh had drawn near, the sons of Israel, lifting up their eyes, saw the Egyptians behind them. And they were very afraid. And they cried out to the Lord.
{14:11} And they said to Moses: “Perhaps there were no graves in Egypt, for which reason you took us to die in the wilderness. What is it that you intended to do, in leading us out of Egypt?

Notice the incredulity towards the chosen man of God, Moses, when tribulation comes, complains start to arouse, it is because of their limited understanding of the situations. Similarly, it happens today towards our Vicar of Christ, the Pope, when some of the flock don't understand development or deepening of doctrine.

{14:12} Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying: Withdraw from us, so that we may serve the Egyptians? For it was much better to serve them, than to die in the wilderness.”
{14:13} And Moses said to the people: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and see the great wonders of the Lord, which he will do today. For the Egyptians, whom you now see, will never again be seen, forever.
{14:14} The Lord will fight on your behalf, and you will remain silent.”

God will fight the army of the Egyptians. "Who against God" ? - Nobody, even if their chariots had the help of all the legion of demons, there are nothing against God.

{14:15} And the Lord said to Moses: “Why cry out to me? Tell the sons of Israel to continue on.

Notice the authority given by God to Moses towards the people of Israel.

{14:16} Now, lift up your staff, and extend your hand over the sea and divide it, so that the sons of Israel may walk through the midst of the sea on dry ground.
{14:17} Then I will harden the heart of the Egyptians, so as to pursue you. And I will be glorified in Pharaoh, and in all his army, and in his chariots, and in his horsemen.
{14:18} And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord, when I will be glorified in Pharaoh, and in his chariots, as well as in his horsemen.”

As we saw in previous chapters, the Egyptian people where polytheist, they believed in many gods, but now they can witness their error for there is only One God. There cannot possible be many gods; because they would be limited beings restrained in power by other gods, thus not making them truly God.

{14:19} And the Angel of God, who preceded the camp of Israel, lifting himself up, went behind them. And the pillar of cloud, together with him, left the front for the rear

God uses His Angels in order to perform His mighty deeds. In this case, one of His Angels mediated God's mighty deed. A time to remind of our own Angels, we all have a personal Guardian Angel (Matt 18:10), we can ask our respective Guardian Angels to intercede for us before our Lord (Gen 19:20-21) (Zechariah 1:12-13) (Hebrews 1:14) (Rev 5:8 ) and to help us in our endeavors in the name of Jesus (Col 3:17).

{14:20} and stood between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. And it was a dark cloud, yet it illuminated the night, so that they could not succeed at approaching one another at any time all that night.
{14:21} And when Moses had extended his hand over the sea, the Lord took it away by an intense burning wind, blowing throughout the night, and he turned it into dry ground. And the water was divided.

The burning wind might have evaporated some of the water. In any case, it was a miraculous event, of course.

{14:22} And the sons of Israel went in through the midst of the dried sea. For the water was like a wall at their right hand and at their left hand.
{14:23} And the Egyptians, pursuing them, went in after them, along with all of the horses of Pharaoh, his chariots and horsemen, through the midst of the sea.
{14:24} And now the morning watch had arrived, and behold, the Lord, looking down upon the camp of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of cloud, put to death their army.

The enemy army perished, God has sovereignty over creation, He give us life and He knows when to stop our earthy lives. Immediately after their souls departed their bodies, they had their personal judgement (as it happens to every human soul). If they were in state of actual mortal sin, they went to Hell to be punished forever justly but also mercifully for there are no different attributes in God. God is Mercy, Justice and all Good, all in One Divine Eternal Act. However, if they were (or some of them were) in state of grace (by a mystical baptism - such as desire) with a sincere but mistaken conscience, their objective mortal sins were not also actual mortal sins, they were saved but passing through the fires Purgatory (1 Cor 3:15). After they were purified they went to the Limbo of the Fathers (or Bosom of Abraham, or First Level of Purgatory) (Luke 16:19-31) where they waited until Jesus' soul descending into this place so they to can enter Heaven through Jesus, our only Redeemer who opened the gates of Heaven for us. There is little likelihood that some of these particular soldiers had invincible ignorance (CCC # 1793; Gaudium et Spes, n. 16) regarding the persecution of the sons of Israel by obeying the Pharaoh, punishment due for their venial sins remitted (or already covered in this life), and repentant actual mortal sins by implicit perfect contrition with all punishment due for their repentant actual mortal sins also remitted so that, after their deaths, they have gone straight/directly to Abraham Bosom (or upper level of Purgatory) where they only had waited for Jesus' glorious entrance and explicitly know/learn about Him and His Catholic Church, then enter Heaven.

{14:25} And he overturned the wheels of the chariots, and they were carried into the deep. Therefore, the Egyptians said: “Let us flee from Israel. For the Lord fights on their behalf against us.”
{14:26} And the Lord said to Moses: “Extend your hand over the sea, so that the waters may return on the Egyptians, over their chariots and horsemen.”
{14:27} And when Moses had extended his hand opposite the sea, it was returned, at first light, to its former place. And the fleeing Egyptians met with the waters, and the Lord immersed them in the midst of the waves.
{14:28} And the waters were returned, and they covered the chariots and horsemen of the entire army of Pharaoh, who, in following, had entered into the sea. And not so much as one of them was left alive.
{14:29} But the sons of Israel continued directly through the midst of the dried sea, and the waters were to them like a wall on the right and on the left.
{14:30} And so the Lord freed Israel on that day from the hand of the Egyptians.
{14:31} And they saw the Egyptians dead on the shore of the sea and the great hand that the Lord had exercised against them. And the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in Moses his servant.

After the Israelite people witnessed this mighty event, their trust in God and in His prophet Moses returned (at least for a while as we'll see later).
John 3:27; John 15:5; Matthew 19:26
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