Unit 10: Day 1, Exodus 14–15

    “Unit 10: Day 1, Exodus 14–15,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)

    “Unit 10: Day 1,” Old Testament Study Guide

    Unit 10: Day 1

    Exodus 14–15


    Following the 10th plague, Pharaoh allowed Moses and Aaron to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. After their departure, Pharaoh hardened his heart and led his army after the Israelites, who were encamped near the Red Sea. The Lord miraculously allowed the children of Israel to pass through the Red Sea on dry ground to escape, while the army of Pharaoh was drowned. The people of Israel sang songs of praise and thanks to the Lord. Acting according to inspiration, Moses healed the bitter waters of Marah so the Israelites could drink it.

    Exodus 14:1–14

    The Egyptian army pursues the Israelites

    When you think of the word enemy, what comes to mind?

    In Exodus, the Egyptians were considered enemies of the children of Israel because the Egyptians enslaved and threatened the lives of the Israelites. Today the enemies we face might be people who seek to harm or persecute us, but they could also be such things as temptation, addiction, sin, or doubt.

    What are some things you can do to stand against the enemies you face? As you study Exodus 14–15, look for principles that can guide you in challenging situations.

    In Exodus 14:1–3 we learn that after the Israelites left Egypt, the Lord told Moses to take them and camp near the edge of the Red Sea. What problems might the Israelites have faced as they were camped near the Red Sea?

    Pharaoh recognized that the location of the Israelite encampment would cause them to be trapped if his army attacked because the land “shut them in” (Exodus 14:3) and the sea blocked their retreat.

    Read Exodus 14:4, looking for what the Lord said the Egyptians would do when the Israelites camped by the sea. (As you read, notice that the Joseph Smith Translation helps us understand that the Lord did not harden Pharaoh’s heart [see Exodus 14:4, footnote a, and Exodus 14:8, footnote a]. Pharaoh hardened his own heart.)

    Read Exodus 14:5–9, looking for what Pharaoh did after the children of Israel departed Egypt.

    Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

    Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described the dangerous situation Moses and his people were in: “Moses’ challenge was how to get himself and the children of Israel out of this horrible predicament they were in. There were chariots behind them, sand dunes on every side, and just a lot of water immediately ahead. … In this case it was literally a matter of life and death” (“Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence” [Brigham Young University devotional, Mar. 2, 1999], 4;

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. How might you have reacted if you had seen Pharaoh’s army coming after you and your family while you were trapped against the sea after following the prophet there?

      2. Read Exodus 14:10–12, looking for how the children of Israel responded when they saw Pharaoh’s army approaching. How would you describe the people’s attitude toward Moses?

    Read Exodus 14:13–14, looking for Moses’s response to the people of Israel. You may want to mark what Moses told the people.

    What do you think Moses meant when he said, “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, … for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever” (Exodus 14:13)?

    Moses told the Israelites to have faith and to stand firm and watch God do His work of salvation for them; they would no longer need to worry about the Egyptians.

    The phrase “the Lord shall fight for you” (Exodus 14:14) might have different meanings in different situations. Occasionally the Lord fights for us by solving our problems. However, most often He fights for us by giving us the strength or knowledge we need to face the challenges of life.

    Complete the following principle we learn from this account: As we place our trust in the Lord, He will .

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. How might believing this principle help someone who is trying to overcome a particular sin or addiction?

      2. How might it help someone who is being persecuted because he or she believes in God?

    Exodus 14:15–31

    The children of Israel pass through the Red Sea, and the Egyptian army is drowned

    Imagine that you are with the children of Israel as they are trapped by the Red Sea on one side and by Pharaoh’s army on the other side.

    Read Exodus 14:15–18, looking for what the Lord told Moses to tell the people and what the Lord told Moses to do. Moses received this revelation from the Lord through the power of the Holy Ghost. Revelation from the Holy Ghost can come as thoughts to our mind or feelings in our hearts (see D&C 8:2–3). You may want to mark the phrase “go forward” in verse 15.

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. How might the command to “go forward” be important for someone who worries about serving a mission?

      2. How might the command to “go forward” be important for someone worried about getting married?

      3. How might the command to “go forward” be important for a married couple worried about having children?

      4. How might the command to “go forward” be important for you when you are worried about counsel from the prophet that you may not fully understand the reason or purpose for?

    Exodus 14:19–20 contains an example of how the Lord fought for His people when they were trapped by their enemy. As you read these verses, notice what the Lord did.

    Read Exodus 14:20, footnote a, for clarification from the Joseph Smith Translation on the miracle the Lord gave His people.

    Read Exodus 14:21–29, looking for another example of how the Lord fought for His people.

    Moses parting the Red Sea

    Notice that even though the Lord provided a way for His people to escape the Egyptians by parting the Red Sea, the Israelites still had to exercise their faith in Him by moving forward between the walls of water.

    This account helps us understand that as we exercise faith by doing what the Lord commands, He will provide a way for us to overcome our challenges.

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. When have you seen or read about someone exercising faith in the Lord?

      2. How did the Lord provide a way for this person to overcome his or her challenge?

    Read Exodus 14:30–31, looking for what the children of Israel saw when they found themselves safely on the other side of the Red Sea. How did the Israelites respond when they recognized the works of God?

    From this account we learn that recognizing the works of the Lord in our lives can help increase our trust and faith in Him. You may want to write this principle in the margin of your scriptures.

    To help you recognize the works of God in your life, set a goal to exercise your faith by doing what the Lord commands. (Some examples could be to read and study your scriptures, to pray more diligently, to put the Lord first in your life, to honor your parents, or to pay tithing.) Then take some time at the conclusion of the next few days to ponder how the Lord worked in your life that day. Write your experiences in your personal journal, and if they are not too personal, share them with a family member.

    Exodus 15:1–21

    Israel sings songs of praise and thanks to the Lord

    When have you felt really grateful for something? What did you do to express your gratitude?

    Read Exodus 15:1, looking for what Moses and the children of Israel did to express their gratitude for their deliverance from Egypt.

    congregation singing
    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. What are some ways we can appropriately express our gratitude to the Lord?

      2. What can we learn from the Israelites’ response to being delivered?

    Exodus 15:1–21 contains the words of the song Moses and the people sang to tell the story of their experience with the Red Sea and to give thanks to God.

    Exodus 15:22–27

    The Lord inspires Moses to heal the waters of Marah

    If you were traveling in a desert wilderness, what would be one of the most important resources to have with you?

    In Exodus 15:22–23 we learn that after the children of Israel passed through the Red Sea, they traveled for three days without finding any water. After the third day they came to a place called Marah. Marah had water, but it was bitter and unfit to drink.

    How might you have responded if you didn’t have water to drink after three days in a desert?

    Read Exodus 15:24, looking for how the people of Israel responded in this difficult situation.

    What could the Israelites have done instead of murmuring?

    Read Exodus 15:25–27, looking for what Moses did because of the Israelites’ need for water.

    What are the differences between how Moses responded to the situation and how the people responded to it?

    From Moses’s example, we learn that if we seek the Lord’s guidance through prayer when facing difficulties, He can inspire us to know how to proceed.

    What are some ways the Lord can give us the inspiration we need?

    1. journal icon
      In your scripture study journal, write about a time when the Lord inspired you as you sought His guidance in a difficult matter.

    The account of Moses healing the waters of Marah can be compared to how the Lord can heal us. If we follow the inspiration the Lord gives us and keep His commandments, we invite the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to remove the bitterness from our lives.

    President Boyd K. Packer

    Consider the testimony of President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “For some reason we think the Atonement of Christ applies only at the end of mortal life to redemption from the Fall, from spiritual death. It is much more than that. It is an ever-present power to call upon in everyday life. When we are racked or harrowed up or tormented by guilt or burdened with grief, He can heal us. While we do not fully understand how the Atonement of Christ was made, we can experience ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding’ [Philippians 4:7]” (“The Touch of the Master’s Hand,” Ensign, May 2001, 23).

    1. journal icon
      Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

      I have studied Exodus 14–15 and completed this lesson on (date).

      Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: