Isaiah 63:12 / Didn't cross the Reed Sea?

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Isaiah 63:12 / Didn't cross the Reed Sea?

Postby David_L » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:14 am

...Who split the Sea before them to make Himself eternal renown?

Isaiah 63:12

In the Artscroll Milstein Edition of The Later Prophets / Isaiah, the commentary states:

The Splitting of the Sea was unnecessary for Israel's journey through the wilderness; they exited the Sea on the same side that they entered. Rather it was to inspire awe among mankind, and to demonstrate G-d's omnipotence (Radak).


Is that really Radak's (Rabbi David Kimchi's) opinion, and is it shared by others?
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Re: Isaiah 63:12 / Didn't cross the Reed Sea?

Postby rivka » Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:06 am

I believe it is commonly accepted by many mephorshim that they made a large U-turn and came out down the shore from where they started. The splitting of the sea got rid of their pursuers, and demonstrated that Hashem had both the power and the will to protect Bnei Yisrael in the face of direct attack. (The plagues had demonstrated His power and ability to punish their enemies, but it wasn't really a demonstration of protection in the same way.)
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Re: Isaiah 63:12 / Didn't cross the Reed Sea?

Postby David_L » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:31 am

Thanks for the confirmation.

Has this been described in more detail? For example, was there a U-shaped dry path through the sea? Or did the sea drown the Egyptians, then split open again to let the Israelites circle around and return on the same path?
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Re: Isaiah 63:12 / Didn't cross the Reed Sea?

Postby rivka » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:54 am

It's been many years since I learned that section in detail. (The really great chumash shiur I attended for years was still on earlier in sefer Shemos when our maggid shiur got married and moved out of town.) However, this enumeration of the Bertenura's commentary implies that it was only split where the Jews were. Split as they approached, and then closed again behind them.

I am not sure if that is as universally accepted. If so, a lot of artists have it wrong. ;)
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