The Meaning of Exodus 14:20 Explained

Exodus 14:20

KJV: 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.

YLT: and cometh in between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel, and the cloud and the darkness are, and he enlighteneth the night, and the one hath not drawn near unto the other all the night.

Darby: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and was a cloud and darkness, and lit up the night; and the one did not come near the other all the night.

ASV: and it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud and the darkness, yet gave it light by night: and the one came not near the other all the night.

What does Exodus 14:20 Mean?

Context Summary

Exodus 14:10-20 - The Murmuring People Encouraged
We cannot wonder at their consternation. Before, the surf of the beach; behind, the serried ranks of Egypt's chivalry; on either side, impassable cliffs. It seemed a veritable death-trap. But Moses reckoned confidently on the salvation of God. All they had to do, in the first instance, was to stand still and see it. It is hard to stand still when the situation becomes acute. If you don't know what to do, stand still until you do; it is God's business to direct and defend the believing soul. Let God do the fighting, Exodus 14:14. This Angel, Stephen tells us, was our Lord, Acts 7:38. He always puts Himself between us and our strong enemies. Note Exodus 14:19. The ordinary man puts circumstances between himself and God, but the consecrated soul inserts God between himself and circumstances. When God says Forward! He will open the path and lead His people, as a shepherd leads His flock, by a way they know not. [source]

Chapter Summary: Exodus 14

1  God instructs the Israelites in their journey
5  Pharaoh pursues after them
10  The Israelites murmur
13  Moses comforts them
15  God instructs Moses
19  The cloud removes behind the camp
21  The Israelites pass through the Red sea, which drowns the Egyptians

What do the individual words in Exodus 14:20 mean?

So it came between the camp of Egypt and of Israel thus it was [to the one] a cloud and darkness and it gave light [to the other] - by night So that not did come near this to all night
וַיָּבֹ֞א בֵּ֣ין ׀ מַחֲנֵ֣ה מִצְרַ֗יִם וּבֵין֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַיְהִ֤י הֶֽעָנָן֙ וְהַחֹ֔שֶׁךְ וַיָּ֖אֶר אֶת־ הַלָּ֑יְלָה וְלֹא־ קָרַ֥ב זֶ֛ה אֶל־ כָּל־ הַלָּֽיְלָה

וַיָּבֹ֞א  So  it  came 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: בֹּוא 
Sense: to go in, enter, come, go, come in.
בֵּ֣ין ׀  between 
Parse: Preposition
Root: בַּיִן 
Sense: between, among, in the midst of (with other preps), from between.
מַחֲנֵ֣ה  the  camp 
Parse: Noun, common singular construct
Root: מַחֲנֶה  
Sense: encampment, camp.
מִצְרַ֗יִם  of  Egypt 
Parse: Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: מִצְרַיִם  
Sense: a country at the northeastern section of Africa, adjacent to Palestine, and through which the Nile flows adj Egyptians = “double straits”.
יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל  of  Israel 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יִשְׂרָאֵל  
Sense: the second name for Jacob given to him by God after his wrestling with the angel at Peniel.
וַיְהִ֤י  thus  it  was  [to  the  one] 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אֶהְיֶה 
Sense: to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out.
הֶֽעָנָן֙  a  cloud 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: עָנָן  
Sense: cloud, cloudy, cloud-mass.
וְהַחֹ֔שֶׁךְ  and  darkness 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: חֹשֶׁךְ  
Sense: darkness, obscurity.
וַיָּ֖אֶר  and  it  gave  light  [to  the  other] 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Hifil, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אֹור  
Sense: to be or become light, shine.
אֶת־  - 
Parse: Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
הַלָּ֑יְלָה  by  night 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: לַיִל 
Sense: night.
וְלֹא־  So  that  not 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Adverb, Negative particle
Root: הֲלֹא 
Sense: not, no.
קָרַ֥ב  did  come  near 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: קָרַב  
Sense: to come near, approach, enter into, draw near.
זֶ֛ה  this 
Parse: Pronoun, masculine singular
Root: זֶה  
Sense: this, this one, here, which, this … that, the one … the other, another, such.
הַלָּֽיְלָה  night 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: לַיִל 
Sense: night.

What are the major concepts related to Exodus 14:20?

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