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Crossing the Sea of Reeds

Submitted by on Tuesday, 21 July 2009No Comment


NAB HomepageToday’s Readings

The account of the parting of the sea is a historical experience that has been “enhanced” by subsequent remembrance of the event in the liturgy of Israel. How the sea “parted” is a matter of speculation. Israelite memory remembers it as an act of God and Cecil B. de Mille made it the most spectacular show on earth.

McKenzie on the Route of the Crossing

In the Dictionary of the Bible, McKenzie discusses three theories about the crossing of the Red Sea. While he would lean towards a Northern crossing, instead of a southern one, he adds the following.

…the Ex account appears to incorporate more than one geographical traditin; and it is possible that the tradition as it appears in Ex is a reconstruction of the route from several accounts without any cerain knowledge of the places mentioned and therefore of the route followed.
Exodus” in McKenzie, Dictionary of the Bible, p. 257.

Symbolism of the Creator God Taming the Primordial Sea

In the article on “Sea” (Leon-Dufour, Dictionary of Biblical Theology, 526-528) we are told that mythological combat between the Creator God and the Primordial Enemy, “The Sea” is applied in the Old Testament in three ways: in the Creation narrative, historicized in the Crossing of the Red Sea, and in the final Apocalyptic combat. Here is the portion about the Crossing of the Red Sea

(T)he historical experience of the exodus in which Yahweh dries up the Red Sea to make a way for His people (Ex. 14-15; Psalm 77:17.20) becomes a divine victory over the ddragon of the great abyss (Isaiah 51:10); likewise the roaring of the pagan nations in revolt against God is likened to the roar of the sea (Isaiah 5:30; 17:12) (p.527)

“The Crossing of the Red Sea” from Resources on the Web

Psalm 77:17
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
17The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee: and they were afraid, and the depths were troubled.
Isaiah 51:10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
10Hast not thou dried up the sea, the water of the mighty deep, who madest the depth of the sea a way, that the delivered might pass over?
Isaiah 5:30; 17:12
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
530And they shall make a noise against them that day, like the roaring of the sea; we shall look towards the land, and behold darkness of tribulation, and the light is darkened with the mist thereof.
1712Woe to the multitude of many people, like the multitude of the roaring sea: and the tumult of crowds, like the noise of many waters.

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