We now come to the crossing of the Red Sea. God tell Moses where to camp so that it looks to Pharaoh like they’re wandering aimlessly. Then God decides that he is going to…oh here, read for yourself.
4I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, so that I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army; and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD. And they did so.Bibles, Harper . NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (p. 157). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
At this point, God just looks like he has two pawns that he is playing against each other. This is not a good and just God. This is pure evil in any context. He is going to drown the entire army of Egypt because he hardened their hearts.
Moses stretched out his over the sea and it parted so that there was land for the Israelites to walk on and cross to the other side. Of course, the Egyptian army chased after them and God told Moses to once again stretch out his hand over the sea so that the waters would close up around the Egyptian army and drown them all.
30Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31Israel saw the great work that the LORD did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the LORD and believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.Bibles, Harper . NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (p. 159). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
The Lord made the Egyptians chase after the Israelites in the first place so that he could prove his manliness as a God. He also killed a lot of men and horses. The God of Exodus is a monster.
The first part is song of praise to God for drowning the chariot drivers and their horses. It’s also a recounting of the events of the last chapter with no mention of Pharaoh’s hardened heart. Then the prophet Miriam (Aaron’s sister) joined in to celebrate the deaths of horses and riders.
They ended up in Marah, which means bitterness, and they could not drink the water because it was, you guessed it, bitter. So Moses cried out to God who gave him a piece of wood and he threw it into the water and that bitterness cleared right up.
Finally, God tells his people that they won’t catch any of the diseases that the Egyptians caught if the listen to him and heed his commandments. This is the God that heals them. They camped a lovely oasis with twelve springs and seventy palm trees.
This is a long story about bread with a lot of repetition. Anyway, it’s a test by God to see how well the Israelites follow directions. Each morning, God will provide the Israelites bread and they have to gather enough for the day for their families, no more, no less. They are not to keep the bread until the following morning. Some do just that and it bred worms (I see what they did there) and was inedible. So, they learned their lesson and collected and ate the bread in the same day.
On the sixth day, they were told to gather twice the amount of bread, which they did. They were told this time to save half for the following morning, which they did. This time the bread did not grow worms and go bad. The seventh morning, they went out to gather bread and found none and God got upset because they weren’t keeping the Sabbath. Aaron placed a portion before God as an offering to kept for generations.