Exodus 14:20
And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.
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14:15-20 Moses' silent prayers of faith prevailed more with God than Israel's loud outcries of fear. The pillar of cloud and fire came behind them, where they needed a guard, and it was a wall between them and their enemies. The word and providence of God have a black and dark side toward sin and sinners, but a bright and pleasant side toward the people of the Lord. He, who divided between light and darkness, Ge 1:4, allotted darkness to the Egyptians, and light to the Israelites. Such a difference there will be between the inheritance of the saints in light, and that utter darkness which will be the portion of hypocrites for ever.The angel of God - Compare the margin reference, and see Exodus 3:2. 19. the angel of God—that is, the pillar of cloud [see on [18]Ex 13:21]. The slow and silent movement of that majestic column through the air, and occupying a position behind them must have excited the astonishment of the Israelites (Isa 58:8). It was an effectual barrier between them and their pursuers, not only protecting them, but concealing their movements. Thus, the same cloud produced light (a symbol of favor) to the people of God, and darkness (a symbol of wrath) to their enemies (compare 2Co 2:16). It was a cloud and darkness to the Egyptians, to whom it brought their former horrible darkness to mind, and did both exceedingly affright them, and altogether hinder them from motion or action, as that also did for three days.

But it gave light by night to the Israelites, as the opposition showeth. And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel,.... That is, the pillar of cloud, and the Angel of God, or Jehovah, in it, whereby the camp of Israel was secured from being annoyed by the camp of the Egyptians; and was an emblem of the gracious interposition of Christ between his spiritual Israel, whom he has redeemed by his blood, and their spiritual enemies, the Egyptians, the men of the world that hate them, from whose rage and malice Christ is their protection and safeguard:

and it was a cloud and darkness to them; to the Egyptians; it cast a shade upon them, and made the darkness of the night still greater to them, so that they could not see their way, and knew not where they were:

but it gave light by night to these; to the Israelites, so that they could see their way, and walk on in the midst of the sea, as on dry land; and such a light and guide they needed; for it was now the twenty first day of the month, seven days after the full of the moon, when the passover began, and therefore could have no benefit from the moon. The Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem say, that half the cloud was light, and half darkness; and it seems plain from the account, that that side of it which was towards the Egyptians was dark, and that which was towards the Israelites was light, and so an hinderance to the one and a benefit to the other: thus Christ is set for the rising of some, and the fall of others; and his Gospel is to some the savour of death unto death, and to others the savour of life unto life; to the one it is a hidden Gospel, and lies in darkness and obscurity, and to others a great and glorious light:

so that one came not near the other all the night; an emblem of that division and separation which the grace of God, the blood of Christ, and the light of the Gospel, make between the true Israel of God, and the men of the world; and which will continue throughout time, and to all eternity, so that they will never come near to each other; see Luke 16:26.

And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave {k} light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.

(k) The cloud gave light to the Israelites, but to the Egyptians it was darkness, so that their two groups could not join together.

20. and he came] viz. the ‘angel of God’ (v. 19a). ‘Came’ follows ‘went’ (v. 19a) better than ‘stood’ (v. 19b).

and there was, &c.] The rend. (in ‘yet’) is forced; the Heb. would naturally be rendered, and it lit up the night, viz. so as to deter the Egyptians from approaching the Israelites. There must be some error in the text. ‘And when it was dark, the cloud lit up the night’ (We.) would in itself yield a suitable sense: but the existing Heb. text is not an easy corruption of it. According to Joshua 24:7 (E) Jehovah ‘put thick darkness [ma’ǎphçl] between’ the Egyptians and the Israelites.Verse 20. - It was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these. Though there is nothing in the Hebrew correspondent to the expressions "to them," "to these," yet the meaning seems to have been rightly apprehended By our translators. (See the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan, the Syriac version, and among moderns, Knobel, Maurer, Rosenmuller, and Kalisch.) "Jehovah will fight for you (לכם, dat comm.), but you will be silent," i.e., keep quiet, and not complain any more (cf. Genesis 34:5).
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