Old Testament

The Pentateuch

What happened to the Israelites before they had gone very far?

Pharaoh changed his mind about letting them go. Pharaoh, along with his chariots and soldiers, pursued the Israelites. Upon seeing the Egyptians’ rapid approach, the Israelites cried to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians?’ For it would have been better to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” (NRSV, Exodus 14:11–12) It was going to take some convincing to assure the Israelites that God would keep his promise of being with them always and leading them to the Promised Land.


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