MemberMay 2, 2021 at 9:30 pm
The parting of the Red Sea is not the only miracle of the wilderness era that was effected by the action of the wind. There are three. Everything in the wilderness narratives is arranged in sets of three. And that’s another miracle, this time a literary one.
Here is the first provision of the wind in the Spring of the year. The locusts were brought into Egypt by the SE wind, the Hamsin from the Arabian desert, and driven out by the prevailing NW wind off the Mediterranean Sea. The Desert Wind alternates with the Sea Wind in the transitional seasons.
Exo 10:13-19 NRSV So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night; when morning came, the east wind had brought the locusts.... (19) The LORD changed the wind into a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea; not a single locust was left in all the country of Egypt.
And here is the third provision of the wind, also in the Spring season (of the next year).
Num 11:31 NRSV Then a wind went out from the LORD, and it brought quails from the sea and let them fall beside the camp, about a day's journey on this side and a day's journey on the other side, all around the camp, about two cubits deep on the ground.
Are these miracles? Clearly they are… with natural causes. Those locusts and quails were hatched from eggs some months before in the usual way! They ate, they grew, they swarmed, they migrated. This is what quail and locusts do. They were delivered to their target by the winds that God had already long established as natural features of the region. They arrived at exactly the right time and in the required quantities.
So here is the second provision of the wind, also in the Spring season.
Exo 14:21 NRSV Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided.
All three of these miracles were effected by the natural action of the normal winds of the region. The strong SE wind, the Hamsin, drove floodwater ahead of it up a long shallow incline through a wide shallow valley (the Suez Isthmus) and held it there. This is what wind and water do in such circumstances. Then, as with the plague of locusts, the SE Hamsin suddenly switched with the NW wind off the Med Sea, and all that water came rolling back.