Monday, January 17, 2011

Exodus 14:5 - Pursuit of released Israelites, or Pharaoh's change of heart.

As I have discussed it in some of my previous posts, the Tabernacle required relatively significant amount of precious metals (i.e Gold, Silver, e.t.c). As verses of Exodus describe (i.e Exodus 3:22, Exodus 11:2, Exodus 12:35, e.t.c), Israelites asked their Egyptian neighbours to loan them all kinds of jewelry and precious ornaments which they obviously had no intention of returning, and which had been later used in the construction of the Tabernacle.

Precise account of the precious materials used in the construction of the Tabernacle is outlined in Exodus 38:24-31, which raises an interesting point.

Here is a quote from the blog of Danny Ferguson where he comments on the verses of Exodus 38:24-31 and the amount of the precious metals:
"This was starting to compute to me as a lot of precious metals. This was on top of all the other gold that they had wasted on the golden calf and such. Seeing as this was their offering they must have had plenty more. This helped me understand why the Egyptian army would pursue the Israelites after they had been released. Not only were they losing their free labor they were also out lost out on a lot of coin."
Mr. Ferguson here has indeed somewhat valid idea here. Even though the amount of precious metals that were used in the construction of the Tabernacle was significant, Israelites indeed waisted some of it on the Golden Calf (Exodus 32:2 and Exodus 32:20). More specifically, Israelites waisted all "gold that was in their ears" on the Calf that probably was a significant amount.

And even later, when the Tabernacle was constructed, Israelites still had some amount of precious metals left, as it is described in Exodus 36:6.

So even though the original text (Exodus 14:5) does not explicitly confirms Mr. Ferguson's theory, I think that value of precious metals taken by Israelites indeed played significant role in helping "to harden Pharaoh's heart" which resulted in Pharaoh's army defeat at the Sea.


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