Exodus 14:1-4 The Lord instructed Moses to tell the people to camp in front of Pi-hahiroth with their back to the sea. Pharaoh will think the children of Israel trapped and will pursue them, but God will harden Pharaoh’s heart and get the glory in the end.
Notes: Hardened hearts lost all sensitivity to the recent tragedy and focused instead on the loss of the economic benefit Israel’s enslavement had provided. Those who had urged the Israelites to quickly leave now had the urge to force them to return!
See Bible Pictures "Crossing the Red Sea"
Exodus 14:5-14 Pharaoh now doubted his decision to free the Jews. Pharaoh gathered his army and with over 600 chariots pursed the Jews. The Jews cried out when they saw Pharaoh coming. They began to doubt Moses and feared for their lives saying they would have been better off staying in Egypt under slavery then to die in the Wilderness. Moses told them not to fear and to watch and be still and see that the Lord will fight on their behalf. The Lord will save them from the Egyptians, whom they will never see again.
Notes: When the people of Israel say, “it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness,” they are viewing their circumstances without reference to the fact that the Lord himself brought them to this place. As revealed throughout Israel’s history, the Lord is merciful in never leaving his people simply to themselves or to their circumstances. As both Daniel and his three friends will later assert (see Dan. 3:16–18; 6:10), whatever the Lord calls his people to face as a result of fearing him is in fact better than simply remaining alive.
Notes: Israel is being called once again not to fear any other nation or circumstance (see v. 10) but to fear the Lord (see v. 31).
Exodus 14:15-18 The Lord told Moses to act out his faith by telling the Jews to go forward toward the sea. The Lord instructed Moses to stretch out his staff over the sea and divide it that the people may go through the sea on dry ground. The Lord said He will harden Pharaoh’s heart to pursue the Jews through the sea, but that He will get all the glory over Pharaoh, the chariots, the horses, and his army. The Egyptians will then finally know that the Lord is the only true God.
Exodus 14:19-22 The Angel of the Lord (Pillar of Cloud) who guided the Jews forward moved behind the Jews, between the Jews and the Egyptians to prevent them from coming together all night. Moses stretched out his staff over the sea and the Lord parted the sea with a great wind all night until there was dry ground to cross. Two great walls of water to the right and left of the dry ground stayed in place. The Jews then crossed through the sea.
Exodus 14:23-25 The Egyptians then pursued the Jews (For the Lord must have removed the Pillar of Cloud to provoke Pharaoh and his army to follow the Jews) through the sea. The Lord then threw the Egyptian forces into a panic, causing their wheels to get clogged, slowing them down. They feared that the Lord was fighting for the Jews and wanted to turn back.
Exodus 14:26-29 After the Jews had finished crossing, the Lord instructed Moses to stretch out his staff over the sea so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians trapped in the midst of the sea. By morning, the sea had returned to normal. Not one Egyptian, chariot, or horse remained alive. All were drowned.
Exodus 14:30-31 The Jews saw the Egyptian dead on the seashore. They saw the great power of God that saved them, so they feared the Lord, believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses…. for now.