Crossing The Red Sea

How long did it take the Israelites to cross the Red Sea after leaving Egypt?

I do not have anyone else's figures. However, I will make my own for you.

The Romans many years after the flight from Egypt positioned their soldiers so that they fought and marched in an area six feet across and six feet deep. This is basically equivalent to putting men side by side with their arms stretched to their sides and finger tips touching on either side. If the Roman soldiers could fight this way, then surely the Israelites could march this way. They might be carrying more supplies, but they would have small children among the group as well. Anyway, it is a place to start.

If the Israelites moved in a line one mile wide, the six foot calculation would stretch them out 880 people wide. By computing the same distance for the depth, you could have 774,400 people in a square mile. Three square miles would hold 2,323,200 people--very close to the number of people crossing.

Now, I figure a speed of one mile an hour. Two miles an hour is quite slow, so one mile an hour is very slow. But this slow speed would probably be required for such a group.

Having made the above assumptions, we can calculate that the last of the Israelites would cross the crest into the basin of the Red Sea about three hours after the first ones began. If the Red Sea is one mile wide at the place of crossing, the stragglers would get out about four hours after the trek began. If the Red Sea was wider at this point, time would need to be added.

Exodus 14:21 states, "And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided." Verse 24 says, "And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians."

These verses indicate that the Israelites passed over the Red Sea throughout the night and the Egyptians gave chase in the morning. The figures above show that this would have been plenty of time for 2 million or so people to get across the Red Sea.

David Reagan
Daily Proverb

Proverbs 21:22

A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.