Pillars of Cloud and Fire
17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by the way that goes to the land of the Philistines, although it was more direct, for God said, “If the people face war, they may change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people by the way that goes through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.[a] The Israelites went up from the land of Egypt in battle formation.
19 Moses also took the bones of Joseph with him, because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. Joseph had said, “God will surely come to your aid. Then you must bring up my bones with you from Egypt.” 20 They set out from Sukkoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on their way and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light. In this way they could travel by day and by night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night never left its place in front of the people.
Crossing the Red Sea
14 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Tell the Israelites to turn back and camp in front of Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to camp by the sea, facing Baal Zephon. 3 Then Pharaoh will say about the Israelites, ‘They are wandering around in the land. The wilderness has shut them in.’ 4 I will harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he will pursue them, and I will gain glory through Pharaoh and his entire army. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So that is what the Israelites did.
5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials had a change of heart concerning the people. They said, “What have we done? We have let Israel go! They will not serve us anymore!” 6 So Pharaoh prepared his chariot and took his troops with him. 7 He also took six hundred of the best chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. 8 The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites. The Israelites were going out defiantly.[b] 9 The Egyptians pursued them. All the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his charioteers,[c] and his army caught up with them where they were camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, which faces Baal Zephon.
10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians marching after them. The Israelites were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you took us to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Wasn’t this what we said to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone. Let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”
13 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm, and see the salvation from the Lord, which he will perform for you today. For the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you. You must wait quietly.”
15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to set out. 16 As for you, lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide the sea so that the Israelites can go through the middle of the sea on dry ground. 17 I myself will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go into the sea after them, and I will gain glory through Pharaoh and his entire army, through his chariots and his charioteers. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord, when I have gained glory through Pharaoh, his chariots, and his charioteers.”
19 Then the Angel of God, who was going in front of the Israelite forces, moved and went behind them. The pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and stood behind them. 20 It went between the Egyptian forces and the Israelite forces. The cloud was dark on one side, but it lit up the night on the other. Neither group approached the other all night long.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all night long the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned the sea into dry land. The waters were divided. 22 The Israelites went into the middle of the sea on dry ground. The waters were like a wall for them on their right and on their left. 23 The Egyptians pursued them, and all of Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his charioteers went after them into the middle of the sea. 24 During the last watch of the night, the Lord looked down on the Egyptian forces from the pillar of fire and cloud. Then he confused the Egyptian forces. 25 He jammed[d] their chariot wheels, and they had difficulty driving them. The Egyptians said, “We must flee from Israel, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt!”
26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, and the waters will come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their charioteers.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea returned to its normal place. While the Egyptians were fleeing from it, the Lord threw the Egyptians into the middle of the sea. 28 The waters came back and covered the chariots and the charioteers, the entire army of Pharaoh that went into the sea after the Israelites. Not even one of them survived.
29 But the Israelites went through the middle of the sea on dry land, and the waters were like a wall for them on their right and on their left. 30 On that day the Lord saved Israel from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Israel saw the mighty hand which the Lord put into action against the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in Moses, his servant.
The Song of Moses and Miriam
15 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord. They said:
I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted.
The horse and its rider he has thrown into the sea.
2 The Lord[e] is my strength and song.
He has become my salvation.
This is my God, and I will praise him;
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
3 The Lord is a warrior.
The Lord is his name.
4 He has cast Pharaoh’s chariots and his army into the sea.
His elite officers are drowned in the Red Sea.
5 The deep waters covered them.
They sank down to the depths like a stone.
6 Lord, your right hand is glorious in power.
Lord, your right hand has shattered the enemy.
7 In your great majesty you overthrew those who opposed you.
You sent out your burning anger.
It consumed them like stubble.
8 At the blast from your nostrils the waters piled up.
The flowing waters stood up like a dam.
The deep waters became solid in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy said, “I will pursue.
I will overtake. I will divide the plunder.
I will do whatever I want with them.
I will draw my sword,
and my hand will destroy them.”
10 But you blew with your breath,
and the sea covered them.
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
11 Lord, who is like you among the gods?
Who is like you, glorious in holiness,
awesome in praise, working wonders?
12 You stretched out your right hand,
and the earth swallowed them.
13 In your mercy you will lead the people that you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them to your holy pastureland.[f]
14 The nations will hear and tremble.
Anguish will grip the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 Then the chiefs of Edom will be terrified.
Trembling will seize the leaders of Moab.
All the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away in despair.
16 Terror and dread will fall upon them.
By the great power of your arm they will be as still as stone
until your people pass by, O Lord,
until the people whom you have purchased pass by.
17 You will bring them in and plant them
on the mountain that belongs to you,
the place, O Lord, that you have made for your dwelling,
the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have established.
18 The Lord will reign forever and ever.
- Exodus 13:18 The Hebrew name for the sea, Yam Suf, seems to mean Sea of Reeds and includes the present Red Sea, the Gulf of Suez west of the Sinai Peninsula, and the Gulf of Aqaba east of the Sinai Peninsula.
- Exodus 14:8 Literally with an upraised hand
- Exodus 14:9 At this point of military history, the Hebrew word often translated horsemen very likely refers to chariot crews, not cavalry. It seems cavalry was not common before the Assyrian period.
- Exodus 14:25 The Samaritan Pentateuch and the Greek and Syriac versions read bound up or jammed. The Hebrew reads removed.
- Exodus 15:2 The divine name Yahweh here appears in the shortened form Yah.
- Exodus 15:13 That is, the land of Israel
Jesus’ Authority Questioned
23 When Jesus went into the temple courts, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him while he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things?” and “Who gave you this authority?”
24 Jesus answered them, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer it, I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?”
They discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we are afraid of the crowd, since they all regard John as a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.”
He said to them, “Then I will not tell you by what authority I do these things.”
28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered, ‘I will not,’ but later he changed his mind and went. 30 He came to the second and said the same thing. The second son answered, ‘I will go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?”
They said to him, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Amen I tell you: The tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, but you did not believe him. However, the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him. Even when you saw this, you did not change your mind and believe him.
The Parable of the Wicked Tenants
33 “Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a watchtower. He leased it out to some tenant farmers and went away on a journey. 34 When the time approached to harvest the fruit, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. 35 The tenant farmers seized his servants. They beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then the landowner sent even more servants than the first time. The tenant farmers treated them the same way. 37 Finally, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. 38 But when the tenant farmers saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance!’ 39 They took him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 So when the landowner comes, what will he do to those tenant farmers?”
41 They told him, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end. Then he will lease out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his fruit when it is due.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?[a]
43 “That is why I tell you the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces its fruit. 44 Whoever falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he was talking about them. 46 Although they were looking for a way to arrest him, they were afraid of the crowds because the people regarded him as a prophet.
Vindicate Me, O Lord
Affirmation of Innocence and Plea for Judgment
1 Judge me favorably, O Lord,
because I have walked in my integrity.
In the Lord I have trusted. I have not wavered.
2 Test me, O Lord, and examine me.
Refine my thoughts and my emotions,
3 for your mercy is in front of my eyes,
and I keep walking in your truth.
Separation From Evil
4 I do not sit with deceivers.
I do not associate with hypocrites.
5 I hate the company of evildoers.
I do not sit with the wicked.
Affirmation of Innocence and Love for God
6 I wash my hands from sin,
so I can march around your altar, O Lord,
7 to shout thanks to you
and to proclaim all your wonderful deeds.
8 Lord, I love the house where you reside,
the place where your glory dwells.
Separation From Evil
9 Do not snatch my soul away along with sinners,
nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
10 who grasp wicked schemes in their hands,
whose right hands are full of bribes.
Affirmation of Innocence and Prayer for Redemption
11 But as for me, I will walk in my integrity.
Redeem me and be merciful to me.
12 My feet stand on level ground.
In the assemblies I will bless the Lord.
Things That Are Disgusting to the Lord
16 These are six things the Lord hates,
seven things that really disgust him:
17 arrogant eyes, a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that run quickly to do evil,
19 a false witness who breathes lies,
and a person who spreads conflict between brothers.