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the coast of the Red-sea abounded. There are at this day several springs both of hot and salt water in this valley. Hence Bedea and ' Clysma, however they seem to be nearly of the same purport, may in some degree differ. Bedea is a place of springs and baths. Clysma is denominated from an inlet and inundation.
But whatever may have been the express meaning of the name, it is manifest from Ptolemy, that at Bedea must have been the ancient Clysma; and at this place was the inlet of the sea between the mountains of Hiroth, which obstructed the passage to the south. Here the children of Israel were stopped, being got into a narrow pass, to which there was no outlet. They were therefore obliged to encamp by the side of it, having the inundation to their right, and the sea in their front, and Baal-zephon upon the opposite shore. It is said, that Pharaoh was seen approaching in the very article of their encamping, and, as it is intimated, about the evening. And the children of Israel lift up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them, and they were sore afraid: And they
See the Map of Mons. D'Anville, and his Description du Golfe Arabique.
said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt ?—And Moses said, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to-day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. Exod. xiv. 10, 11, 13. We may well imagine how great the anxiety of the people must have been who had not true faith in their leader, and saw no possible means for their escape. Night now came on, which must have encreased their horrors and their murmurs against Moses. At last the word of command was given, and the Lord spake unto Moses, who seems to have been looking up to heaven for assistance. Wherefore criest thou to me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward. But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I, behold I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.
The situation to which the Israelites were reduced rendered them very fit for marching, For the strait in which they were confined necessarily brought them to the disposition of a long extended army. As soon as they were ordered to face about to the east, they could all move in fair front, and uniformly make their way. For had they gone lengthways, and by files, it must, according to the common course of operations, have taken up a very long time to have arrived together at any place of destination, so great were their numbers. It seems to have been dark night when they set out, at which time the sea miraculously divided. And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them: and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: and it came between the camp of the Egyptians, and the camp of Israel: and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. -And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and A a
the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them, to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, and took off their chariot-wheels, that they drave them heavily. It is probable that, when the Egyptians were thus troubled and disordered, they did not follow the regular way of those whom they pursued, but got among the rocks and mud, and those other impediments with which These the Red-sea particularly abounds. brake their wheels and disabled their chariots, so that they made little way. The Egyptians therefore cried out, Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians. This happened at the third watch of the night, some time before the dawn of
! There were four watches---οψε, μεσονυκτία, αλεκτρυοφωνια, πρωί. See Mark xiii. 35.
Homer divides the night into three watches; Ulysses says to Diomede:
-Παρωχηκεν δε πλέων νυξ
δυο μοιραων, τριτατη
επι μοιρα λελειπται.
Iliad. K. v. 253.
day. After they had been for a season, during the darkness in which they were involved, encountering with these difficulties, The Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea; that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea; and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared, and the Egyptians fled against it: and the Lord overthrew the Egyp tians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them: there remained not so much as one of them. And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians : and the people feared the Lord, and his servunt Moses. Exodus xiv.
Other Objections considered
As it was the purpose of God to set apart the children of Israel for a particular people, among whom his church was to be maintained, and to whom the divine oracles were to be committed, it was proper to wean them from their attachment to Egypt and their