Clinton church of Christ

Moses and the Parting of the Red Sea.

September 27, 2010

John Allan

It was big news this past week: some researchers believe they have unearthed a natural explanation for the parting of the Red Sea recorded in Exodus 14. Through the use of computer models they found that an east wind blowing at 63 miles-per-hour for 12 hours straight could have created the conditions necessary for people to pass on dry land.

Sounds exciting, right? After all, the Bible even mentions God using “a strong east wind” (Exodus 14:22) in connection with the Red Sea parting. So, what are we to make of this? I suspect most will have one of three general responses:

 1.) Some will conclude that God used natural laws to part the Red Sea (non-miraculous providence instead of a miracle).

 2.) Some will conclude that the Red Sea crossing has a scientific explanation and there is no need to believe that a higher power was involved in any way.

 3.) Some will conclude that the researchers have not found the explanation.

Before you make your conclusion consider the following:

The Exodus account has the water parting when Moses lifted up his rod and stretched out his hand over the sea (Exodus 14:16, 21) and the water returning when Moses stretched his hand over the sea on the other side (Exodus 14:26-28). Does that sound like a natural occurrence to you? If the parting of the Red Sea is to be explained through purely scientific means then Moses had no impact at all, he was simply in the right place at the right time. This does not harmonize with the Bible.

Significantly, the computer model parted a portion of the Nile delta; not the Red Sea. Researchers ruled out the Red Sea because its north-to-south flow could not be parted by the east wind in their model. In other words, if this model were the explanation for Israel crossing the Red Sea on dry land they did not cross the Red Sea at all! Again, this is inconsistent with the Bible.

It is not new for scholars to try to debunk supernatural events in the Bible with natural explanations. If they can do so they discredit the Bible and therefore also discredit the God of the Bible. Our belief in the Bible as the inspired word of God must prompt us to reject explanations that do not harmonize with it.

This entry was posted on Monday, September 27th, 2010 at 4:01 pm and is filed under Bible, Christian Evidences.

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