Exodus – Book Review
Casey Hopkins ⏐ Professor Wilmington ⏐ REL 1310.34: Christian Scriptures⏐ October 29, 2013Interpretations of Exodus 14:10-20I. Introduction        In the book of Exodus, the major theological themes are liberation, law, covenant and presence. Chapter 14 of Exodus is mainly focused with the narrative of liberation, due to the transition of oppression to freedom from Egypt. The author of Exodus is believed to be Moses, and was written around 1445-1405 B.C.E., with the setting in Egypt and Sinai. In order to show the power of God and all that he did for Israel, the intended audience is the Israelites’ descendants. Exodus is interesting because it is a narration from Moses who was heavily involved in the salvation of Israel. Exodus 14:10-20 is at the pinnacle of the conflict between the Israelites and Egyptians, and captures the fear and distress right before Moses leads the crossing of the Red Sea. In the time of sorrow, the Israelites turn their back on Moses when they discover that the Egyptians are following them. The Lord speaks as a voice of reason to strengthen Moses and his followers. This passage signifies the time of struggle for the Israelites, and foreshadows the trouble ahead of them.II. P. Kyle McCarter, Jr. Exodus. HarperCollins Bible Commentary. 2000.        Within HarperCollins, Exodus 14:5-31 is categorized as “The Escape at the Sea,” and is mainly from the sources J and P (134). The Crossing of the Red Sea is associated with the departure from Egypt, as well as the stay in the wilderness. In this interpretation, verses 10-14 present the idea of the “murmuring motif” that explain the indecisive behavior of the fleeing Israelites (135). The exclamation for Yahweh in the time of need portrays their weak state. When the Israelites see the Egyptian army following them, their doubt builds, and they regret their decision to leave Egypt. Afterwards they complain to Moses, implying the “murmuring” theme that symbolizes rebellion of Israel. The greatest support of the motif is salvation at the sea. In v.17, the priestly source is dominant because it expresses the power that the Almighty God has to harden the Pharaoh’s heart. Verse 19 highlights the pillar of cloud as the “angel of God,” and derives from source E. These events at the sea signify God’s final solution to the threat of the threating Egyptian king.III. Walter Brueggemann. The Book of Exodus: Introduction, Commentary, and Reflections. The New Interpreter’s Bible Vol. I. 1994.        The New Interpreter’s Bible subcategorizes Exodus 14:1-31 as “Crossing the Sea,” and stresses that the conflict is mainly between Moses and Israel. The narratives are arranged as petitions in vv. 10-12, as well as a responding salvation prophecy in vv. 13-14 (793). The Israelites respond by doing the only thing they can do, cry out for help. Their call is an example of Israel’s faith through protest, complaint, demand and hope, representing how the troubled turn to God. However, their exclamations are also an accusation against Moses by asking three angry, yet rhetorical questions: “Was it because
? What have you done
? Is this not
?” (793). During these allegations, the name Yahweh is absent in the text. The Israelites do not see Yahweh as an active role in the plot. Yet Moses believes that Yahweh is indeed alive and an important character in the situation.

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2013Interpretations Of Exodus 14:10-20I. Introduction And Israelites’ Descendants. (April 6, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/2013interpretations-of-exodus-1410-20i-introduction-and-israelites-descendants-essay/