Rightly Dividing the Red Sea

I’ve written a piece over on TGC, on the Red Sea Crossing.

We shouldn’t be surprised by the resurfacing of the birth theme just as Israel is about to leave Egypt, the womb in which it has been growing. After the contractions of the plagues, the Passover is the start of labor. In the Red Sea the waters of the womb are broken and Israel, God’s firstborn son, passes through a narrow passage into the light of a new day, to be greeted by joyful songs on the other side. The Red Sea crossing is thus a birth event in which a new people are created (cf. Isa. 63:11–14).

Read the whole thing here.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
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6 Responses to Rightly Dividing the Red Sea

  1. Pingback: Правильно разделив Красное море - Life

  2. Mike Ford says:


    The Red Sea crossing is a “baptism”, as you noted in your article! Note that on Day 3 of Creation, (Genesis 1:9) God separated the waters “seas” from the dry ground “land”. This parallels the Red Sea Crossing where Israel went through the sea and walked on dry ground.

    Water baptism (practiced by John the Baptist) is going under the water (symbolizing death of Old Creation) and emerging from it (symbolizing birth of New Creation). However, BAPTISM also symbolizes RESURRECTION!! This is why Christ was resurrected on the “third day – Day 3” in “accordance with Scripture”!!

    The true, eschatological baptism (of which all other baptisms point to!) is baptism with the Holy Spirit by Jesus, which guarantees resurrection (dry ground/land) from the grave (waters/seas). This is also pictured in Jonah, which is why Jesus referred to it as a “sign” of His resurrection!

    Blessings to your ministry! Coram Deo!

    • Mike Ford says:

      Note that the Flood during Noah’s time when water destroyed the Earth (Old Creation), and the Earth was re-created again (the “dry land” appeared again – i.e. New Creation) was referred to in 1 Peter 3:21 as a “baptism”.
      Also the deliverance of Noah’s “household” (Genesis 7:1 – “you and all your household”) is echoed in Acts 16:31 (believe in Jesus and you and your household will be saved), so that the baptism of the Holy Spirit by Jesus is the “true” meaning of the “death” of Old Creation (death to self-will, sin) and “resurrection” of the New Creation (alive to God through indwelling Holy Spirit).

  3. Geoff says:

    Many thanks Alastair. Saw it on GC site.
    What a sparkling piece: succinct yet expansive, a joy of worship and of loving God with your mind.
    While it is far more than this, it brought to mind my own adult believer’s, full immersion, baptism.
    It was well outside Anglican liturgy, in a farmers field in N Yorkshire through which a large stream flowed, where the water pooled at the edge of a slow moving meander. It was a hot sunny summers day. As I was raised, my eyes opened to sparkling, almost blinding, squinting brightness of water and sun.
    Uncreated light, is unimaginable.
    Ps, You’ve succumbed to starting a sentence with, “So”. Arrrrgh.

  4. Mike Ford says:

    Moses’s name meaning ” I drew him out of the water” (Exodus 2:10) echoes Jesus’ command to his disciples to be “fishers of men” (i.e. men symbolized as “fish” and earth symbolized as the “sea”
    or “waters below”. This is fundamental to God’s principle of separating the set-apart from the profane (day/night, waters above/waters below, etc.).

    • Mike Ford says:

      To amplify on “water above/waters below” and “drawing out/separation” from :
      The “waters below” symbolize Earth and “born of flesh”.
      The “waters above” symbolize “born of God”, Jesus as the “living water” pours out the Holy Spirit from the “true” Temple, fulfilling Ezekiel 36:25, “I will sprinkle clean water on you”.

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