21 ADONAI went ahead of them in a column of cloud during the daytime to lead them on their way, and at night in a column of fire to give them light; thus they could travel both by day and by night.
22 Neither the column of cloud by day nor the column of fire at night went away from in front of the people.
It’s easy to come to the conclusion that the Hebrews didn’t know how to get to Caanan, but both this route and the route that they had to avoid would have both been known trading routes. There likely would have been Egyptian outposts along the way as you can’t miss two million Hebrews with livestock marching through the desert. Adonai leading them was as an armed guard. The Egyptians who have just gone through the plagues that showed God’s power over their Egyptian deities would already been in fear. The pillar of fire and column of cloud is Adonai visably showing the Egyptians that the Hebrews are still under supernatural protection.
17 As for me, I will make the Egyptians hardhearted; and they will march in after them; thus I will win glory for myself at the expense of Pharaoh and all his army, chariots and cavalry.
18 Then the Egyptians will realize that I am ADONAI, when I have won myself glory at the expense of Pharaoh, his chariots and his cavalry.”
19 Next, the angel of God, who was going ahead of the camp of Isra’el, moved away and went behind them; and the column of cloud moved away from in front of them and stood behind them.
20 It stationed itself between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Isra’el – there was cloud and darkness here, but light by night there; so that the one did not come near the other all night long.
The crossing of the Red Sea is a defining moment for the Israelites. This passage also shows how the Angel of the Lord moved behind them for protection against Egypt. It’s unlikely that Pharaoh wanted to kill all the Israelites, he wanted them rounded up and brought back to Egypt to continue as slaves under his oppressive rule. Egypt was devastated by the plagues and needs workers to recover. It served God’s purpose to bring the Hebrews out of Egypt and to protect them. This is also a lesson to learn as with the destruction of the Egyptian army in addition to the devastation of the land, Egypt was no longer a world empire.
This also looks forward to the Second Coming when the Jews come to repentance in Yeshua as the Messiah.
30 On that day, ADONAI saved Isra’el from the Egyptians; Isra’el saw the Egyptians dead on the shore.
31 When Isra’el saw the mighty deed that ADONAI had performed against the Egyptians, the people feared ADONAI, and they believed in ADONAI and in his servant Moshe.
1 Then Moshe and the people of Isra’el sang this song to ADONAI: “I will sing to ADONAI, for he is highly exalted: the horse and its rider he threw in the sea.
2 Yah is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. This is my God: I will glorify him; my father’s God: I will exalt him.
3 ADONAI is a warrior; ADONAI is his name.
This is the first mention of singing in the Bible. It’s important to note that the singing is centered on how Adonai brought them out of bondage from Egypt. It’s a song of rejoicing and celebration. This is in contrast to many modern evangelical worship songs which are somber and repetitive. It also looks to Adonai as a warrior which is what the Jews look for in the Messiah. This will be the Messiah at the Second Coming. This Song of Moses eventually became a standard at Temple Services on the Sabbath.
23 He told them, “This is what ADONAI has said: ‘Tomorrow is a holy Shabbat for ADONAI. Bake what you want to bake; boil what you want to boil; and whatever is left over, set aside and keep for the morning.'”
24They set it aside till morning, as Moshe had ordered; and it didn’t rot or have worms.
25 Moshe said, “Today, eat that; because today is a Shabbat for ADONAI – today you won’t find it in the field.
26 Gather it six days, but the seventh day is the Shabbat – on that day there won’t be any.”
27 However, on the seventh day, some of the people went out to gather and found none.
The Sabbath wasn’t instituted on Mount Sinai even though it’s the fourth commandment. The Sabbath looks back to the week of Creation and this also predates the revealing of the Law.
Shabbat is the most important ritual observance in Judiasm with Rabbi’s listing 39 categories of prohibited activities. While Christ is our rest as followers of Yeshua, the Sabbath is largely misunderstood. Yeshua didn’t come to abolish, but fulfill the Torah.
6 I will stand in front of you there on the rock in Horev. You are to strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so the people can drink.” Moshe did this in the sight of the leaders of Isra’el.
This event looks forward to Yeshua as Messiah. The Hebrews are bitter and Adonai tells Moses to strike the rock. Adonai directly says “I will stand in front of you there…”
On the Cross, Yeshua was struck with violence when water poured out. (John 19:34)
Paul directly connects this specific event to Yeshua as Messiah:
1 Corinthians 10:4
and they all drank the same drink from the Spirit – for they drank from a Spirit-sent Rock which followed them, and that Rock was the Messiah.