13 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Consecrate every firstborn male to me, the firstborn from every womb among the Israelites, both man and domestic animal; it is mine.”3 Then Moses said to the people, “Remember this day when you came out of Egypt, out of the place of slavery, for the Lord brought you out of here by the strength of his hand. Nothing leavened may be eaten. 4 Today, in the month of Abib,[a] you are going out. 5 When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hethites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites,[b] which he swore to your fathers that he would give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you must carry out this ceremony in this month. 6 For seven days you must eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there is to be a festival to the Lord. 7 Unleavened bread is to be eaten for those seven days. Nothing leavened may be found among you, and no yeast may be found among you in all your territory. 8 On that day explain to your son, ‘This is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 9 Let it serve as a sign for you on your hand and as a reminder on your forehead,[c] so that the Lord’s instruction may be in your mouth; for the Lord brought you out of Egypt with a strong hand. 10 Keep this statute at its appointed time from year to year.11 “When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as he swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you, 12 you are to present to the Lord every firstborn male of the womb. All firstborn offspring of the livestock you own that are males will be the Lord’s. 13 You must redeem every firstborn of a donkey with a flock animal, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. However, you must redeem every firstborn among your sons.14 “In the future, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘By the strength of his hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. 15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of humans and the firstborn of livestock. That is why I sacrifice to the Lord all the firstborn of the womb that are males, but I redeem all the firstborn of my sons.’ 16 So let it be a sign on your hand and a symbol[d] on your forehead, for the Lord brought us out of Egypt by the strength of his hand.”
The Route of the Exodus
17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them along the road to the land of the Philistines, even though it was nearby; for God said, “The people will change their minds and return to Egypt if they face war.” 18 So he led the people around toward the Red Sea along the road of the wilderness. And the Israelites left the land of Egypt in battle formation.19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, because Joseph had made the Israelites swear a solemn oath, saying, “God will certainly come to your aid; then you must take my bones with you from this place.”20 They set out from Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to lead them on their way during the day and in a pillar of fire to give them light at night, so that they could travel day or night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night never left its place in front of the people.14 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Tell the Israelites to turn back and camp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you must camp in front of Baal-zephon, facing it by the sea. 3 Pharaoh will say of the Israelites: They are wandering around the land in confusion; the wilderness has boxed them in. 4 I will harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he will pursue them. Then I will receive glory by means of Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites did this.
The Egyptian Pursuit
5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about the people and said: “What have we done? We have released Israel from serving us.” 6 So he got his chariot ready and took his troops[e] with him; 7 he took six hundred of the best chariots and all the rest of the chariots of Egypt, with officers in each one. 8 The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the Israelites, who were going out defiantly.[f] 9 The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, his horsemen,[g] and his army—chased after them and caught up with them as they camped by the sea beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and there were the Egyptians coming after them! The Israelites were terrified and cried out to the Lord for help. 11 They said to Moses: “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Isn’t this what we told you in Egypt: Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”13 But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation that he will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you must be quiet.”
Escape through the Red Sea
15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to break camp. 16 As for you, lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 As for me, I am going to harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them, and I will receive glory by means of Pharaoh, all his army, and his chariots and horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I receive glory through Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”19 Then the angel of God, who was going in front of the Israelite forces, moved and went behind them. The pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and stood behind them. 20 It came between the Egyptian and Israelite forces. There was cloud and darkness, it lit up the night, and neither group came near the other all night long.21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back with a powerful east wind all that night and turned the sea into dry land. So the waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with the waters like a wall to them on their right and their left.23 The Egyptians set out in pursuit—all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen—and went into the sea after them. 24 During the morning watch, the Lord looked down at the Egyptian forces from the pillar of fire and cloud, and threw the Egyptian forces into confusion. 25 He caused their chariot wheels to swerve[h][i] and made them drive[j] with difficulty. “Let’s get away from Israel,” the Egyptians said, “because the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt!”26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the water may come back on the Egyptians, on their chariots and horsemen.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea returned to its normal depth. While the Egyptians were trying to escape from it, the Lord threw them into the sea. 28 The water came back and covered the chariots and horsemen, plus the entire army of Pharaoh that had gone after them into the sea. Not even one of them survived.29 But the Israelites had walked through the sea on dry ground, with the waters like a wall to them on their right and their left. 30 That day the Lord saved Israel from the power of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 When Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and believed in him and in his servant Moses.
15 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord. They said:I will sing to the Lord,
for he is highly exalted;
he has thrown the horse
and its rider into the sea.
2 The Lord is my strength and my song;[k]
he has become my salvation.
This is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
3 The Lord is a warrior;
the Lord is his name.4 He threw Pharaoh’s chariots
and his army into the sea;
the elite of his officers
were drowned in the Red Sea.
5 The floods covered them;
they sank to the depths like a stone.
6 Lord, your right hand is glorious in power.
Lord, your right hand shattered the enemy.
7 You overthrew your adversaries
by your great majesty.
You unleashed your burning wrath;
it consumed them like stubble.
8 The water heaped up at the blast from your nostrils;
the currents stood firm like a dam.
The watery depths congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy said:
“I will pursue, I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil.
My desire will be gratified at their expense.
I will draw my sword;
my hand will destroy[l] them.”
10 But you blew with your breath,
and the sea covered them.
They sank like lead
in the mighty waters.11 Lord, who is like you among the gods?
Who is like you, glorious in holiness,
revered with praises, performing wonders?
12 You stretched out your right hand,
and the earth swallowed them.
13 With your faithful love,
you will lead the people
you have redeemed;
you will guide them to your holy dwelling
with your strength.14 When the peoples hear, they will shudder;
anguish will seize the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 Then the chiefs of Edom will be terrified;
trembling will seize the leaders of Moab;
all the inhabitants of Canaan will panic;
16 terror and dread will fall on them.
They will be as still[m] as a stone
because of your powerful arm
until your people pass by, Lord,
until the people whom you purchased[n] pass by.17 You will bring them in and plant them
on the mountain of your possession;
Lord, you have prepared the place
for your dwelling;
Lord,[o] your hands have established the sanctuary.
18 The Lord will reign forever and ever!19 When Pharaoh’s horses with his chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought the water of the sea back over them. But the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. 20 Then the prophetess Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women came out following her with tambourines and dancing. 21 Miriam sang to them:Sing to the Lord,
for he is highly exalted;
he has thrown the horse
and its rider into the sea.
22 Then Moses led Israel on from the Red Sea, and they went out to the Wilderness of Shur. They journeyed for three days in the wilderness without finding water. 23 They came to Marah, but they could not drink the water at Marah because it was bitter—that is why it was named Marah.[p] 24 The people grumbled to Moses, “What are we going to drink?” 25 So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he threw it into the water, the water became drinkable.The Lord made a statute and ordinance for them at Marah, and he tested them there. 26 He said, “If you will carefully obey the Lord your God, do what is right in his sight, pay attention to his commands, and keep all his statutes, I will not inflict any illnesses on you that I inflicted on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy date palms, and they camped there by the water.
God delivered His people from the grip of Pharaoh in the crossing of the Red Sea in an incredible display of His power and deliverance. Both Moses and Miriam burst into song seeing God rescue the people. A song that praises God and His abundant might, power, and love.
However, the next section the people quickly doubt God and his ability to provide. How quick they were to forget. May we never be this way. Let us continue to sing the song of Moses to remind us of what God has done for us!