From Eternity Past


Chapter 25—The Israelites Leave Egypt

This chapter is based on Exodus 12:34-51; 13 to 15.

Before the morning broke, the people of Israel were on their way. During the plagues the Israelites had gradually assembled in Goshen. Some provision had already been made for the necessary organization and control of the moving multitudes, they being divided into companies under appointed leaders. EP 194.1

And they went out, “about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, besides children. And a mixed multitude went up also with them”—not only those actuated by faith in the God of Israel but also a far greater number who desired only to escape from the plagues. This class were ever a hindrance and a snare to Israel. EP 194.2

The people took with them “flocks and herds, even very much cattle.” Before leaving Egypt, the people claimed a recompense for their unpaid labor; and the bondmen went forth laden with the spoil of their oppressors. EP 194.3

“And it came to pass ... that the Lord did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.” The Israelites bore with them the bones of Joseph, which, during the dark years of bondage, had been a reminder of Israel's promised deliverance. EP 194.4

Instead of pursuing the direct route to Canaan through the country of the Philistines, the Lord directed their course southward toward the shores of the Red Sea. “For God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt.” The Philistines, regarding them as slaves escaping from their masters, would not have hesitated to make war upon them. The Israelites had little knowledge of God and little faith in Him, and they would have become terrified and disheartened. They were unarmed and unaccustomed to war, their spirits were depressed by long bondage, and they were encumbered with women and children, flocks and herds. In leading them by the Red Sea, the Lord revealed Himself as a God of compassion. EP 194.5