14 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea.
3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.
4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. And they did so.
5 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?
6 And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him:
7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them.
8 And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.
K.J.V. Bible Text
As the Israelites traveled, the Lord told Moses to tell the people to turn and encamp before Pihahiroth by the sea. He wanted Pharaoh to say that the people of Israel were entangled in wilderness. He would then harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he would follow after the people. Then the Lord would show the Egyptians once more that he was Lord and they would be forced to honor him.
When Pharaoh realized that the Israelites had actually fled, he and his servants wondered why they had ever let Israel go. Pharaoh made ready his chariot and took his people and six hundred chariots to pursue the Israelites.
It is interesting to me that the Lord had instructed the Israelites to encamp in a place where they looked almost like sitting ducks. All the same, Pharaoh almost seems foolish in his eagerness to pursue after them. It is incredible to me that in the face of all that the Lord had already done to rescue his chosen people from enslavement in Egypt that Pharaoh believed he had any chance of winning a conflict when the general for the other side was the Lord God.
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