MemberApril 20, 2021 at 8:45 pm
Well, that was well done, Tim and Co. There is one detail I would like to have added (and I don’t recall if this came up in my interview): the Bitter Lakes are by far the deepest body of water in the Suez Isthmus. They are 30 ft (10 m) deep near the northern shore, and that was the measurement before the Suez Canal refilled them, and dissolved the salt pan in the bottom.
In support of this location, it should be noted that there are two important verbs in the account of the Red Sea crossing: “returned” (common verb) and “tossed” (uncommon verb):
Exo 14:27-28 NRSV So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the LORD tossed the Egyptians into the sea. (28) The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained.
A primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbially again: - etc
Total KJV occurrences: 1058
A primitive root (probably identical with H5286, through the idea of the rustling of mane, which usually accompanies the lion’s roar); to tumble about: - shake (off, out, self), overthrow, toss up and down.
Total KJV occurrences: 11
This indicates that the army was swept into a body of water, consistent with the water “returning” (Ex 14:27, 28; see also the same verb in the hiphil (causative) in 15:19). Even though there is mention of two “walls” during the crossing, there is no mention of water coming from both sides during the collapse of the division.
The above verbs and the omission of some kind of statement about the two “walls” crashing or collapsing together fit the idea of wind setdown from water from the lake being driven up the isthmus by the wind all night and held there. Then, when the wind stops, the water rushes back down the isthmus again and “tossed” the army off the shore into the lake. The water would keep coming so that the army could not regain the shore, and eventually the water “returned to its normal depth” (14:27) Thus, the account is specific and ‘scientific’.