Second Lesson of Paschal Vigil

Exodus 14:24-31; 15:1

In those days, it came to pass in the morning watch, and behold the Lord looking upon the Egyptian army through the pillar of fire, and of the cloud, slew their host: and overthrew the wheels of the chariots, and they were carried into the deep. And the Egyptians said: Let us flee from Israel: for the Lord fighteth for them against us. And the Lord said to Moses: Stretch forth thy hand over the sea, that the waters may com again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and horsemen. And when Moses had stretched forth his hand towards the sea, it returned at the first break of day to the former place: and as the Egyptians were fleeing away the waters came upon them, and the Lord shut them up in the middle of the waves. And the waters re-turned, and covered the chariots and the horsemen of all the army of Pharao, who had come into the sea after them: neither did there so much as one of them remain. But the children of Israel marched through the midst of the sea upon dry land, and the waters were to them as a wall on the right hand and the left: and the Lord delivered Israel on that day out of the hand of the Egyptians. And they saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore, and the mighty hand of the Lord had used against them: and the people feared the Lord, and they believed the Lord, and Moses His servant. Then Moses and the children of Israel sung this canticle to the Lord, and said:


Chapter 14

Verse 24. Watch. About four o’clock. The Hebrews divided the night into three equal parts, (C.) or four, consisting each of three hours, (M.) which varied in length as the night was longer. H. — Slew many by his thunderbolts, as Artapanus relates, and the Scripture elsewhere insinuates. C. xv. 6. 12. Ps. lxxvi. 16. 18. Josep. ii. 7.

Verse 25. Lord. thus they reluctantly confess his might, and are forced to glory Him in their destruction. Their change is only the effect of fear and temporal danger, v. 18. H.

Verse 31. Sea-shore. The Hebrews would thus again be enriched by their spoils. C. — Servant. Those who believe God, submit to the directions of his ambassadors. S. Jerom in Philem. 5. In this merited catastrophe of the Egyptians, which fixed the last seal to the mission of Moses, the fathers contemplate how God’s servants are rescued by baptism, and by the merits of Jesus Christ, from Satan and from all sin. 1 Cor. x. 1. 4. Orig. hom. 5. H.

Chapter 15

Verse 1. Canticle. Origen reckons this to be the most ancient piece of poetry. It is truly sublime, and calculated to fill the souls of those, who say their late cruel masters, now prostrate at their feet in death, with sentiments of the greatest gratitude and piety towards their almighty benefactor. H. — God miraculously gave utterance to the dumb on this occasion, (Widsom x. 21.) and taught the whole congregation of Israel to join in harmonious concert. (De Mirab. S. S. inter. op. S. Aug.) This mode of perpetuating the memory of past benefits by canticles, is very common in Scripture. C. — Let us sing. So the Sept. The Heb. has “I will sing…for he hath triumphed gloriously.” This canticle was composed by Moses, about 1491 years B.C. H.

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