ESL Lesson 14 – The Jews Cross the Red Sea

Lesson 14

The Jews Cross the Red Sea

Exodus 14, 16, 19, and 20


Pharaoh did not want the Jews to leave Egypt.  He wanted them to stay and work as his slaves.  But God caused ten plagues to happen in Egypt.  These plagues were ten terrible things that were used to make Pharaoh willing to let the Jews go.  Finally Pharaoh said the Jews could leave Egypt.


As the Jews traveled away from Egypt, God used a very unusual way to show them where to go.  As they walked, a cloud went before them.  At night the cloud turned into fire to give them light so that they could see where they were going.  The Jews followed the cloud wherever it went. 


The Jews soon got tired of walking with all of their children and livestock and belongings.  God told them to camp by the Red Sea.


After the Jews left Egypt, Pharaoh thought about all the slaves he was losing.  Who would do his work now?  Pharaoh changed his mind again.  He decided he did not want to let the Jews go.  He sent his army to follow the Jews and make them come back to Egypt.


When the Jews saw that the Egyptian army was following them, they were very afraid.  The Red Sea was in front of them.  Mountains were beside them.  There was no way to escape.  They said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt?  It would have been better for us to be slaves in Egypt than to die in this desert!”


Moses told the Jews, “Don’t be afraid.  God will save you.  You will see the Egyptians today for the last time.”


God told Moses to hold his walking stick over the Red Sea.  When Moses did this, a strong wind blew a path through the sea.  Water piled up like walls on both sides of the path, but the ground on the path was dry.  The Jews gathered their belongings and walked across the path to the other side of the sea.


While they did this the cloud went behind the Jews and separated them from the Egyptians.  During the night one side of the cloud brought light to the Jews.  The other side brought darkness to the Egyptians. 


In the morning the Egyptians followed the Jews through the path in the sea.  When the whole army was on the path in the sea, God caused the army to be confused.  God made the wheels of their chariots to come off so that they could not drive them.  The Egyptians were afraid.  “Let’s get away from here,” they said.  “God is helping the Jews.”


Then God told Moses to raise his hand over the sea again.  When he did that the water came back over the path and drowned the Egyptian army.  Every Egyptian died.

In this way God saved the Jews from the Egyptians.  The Jews never had to be afraid of the Egyptians again.



Name of Place

Red Sea



willing (adj)

army (n)

turn into

walking stick

camp (v)

path (n)

lose (v)

pile up

decide (v)

confuse (v)


Irregular Verbs



Past Participle




has lost

will lose


1.  What did the Jews follow into the desert?

2.  What happened to the cloud at night?

3.  What happened when Moses held his walking stick over the Red Sea?

4.  When the cloud moved between the Egyptians and the Jews, why could the Jews see and the Egyptians couldn’t?

5.  What happened to the sea after the Jews crossed it and while the Egyptians were still crossing it?


God took care of the Jews in the desert.  There were probably more than two million (2,000,000) Jews.  God knew they would need food to eat.  


Every evening God caused a huge flock of birds called quail to fly just above the ground.  The people could catch them and eat them.  In the morning after the dew was gone, small white things covered the ground.  The people did not know what it was so they called it “manna.”  In their language “Manna” means “what is it?”  The manna was like bread.


God used the quail and manna to feed the Jews for many years.


One day God told Moses to go and talk to the people and give them a message.  Moses told the people, “God has brought us out of Egypt and taken care of us in the desert.  Now if we obey God, He will make us His special people.  He will help us more than any other nation.”


“Good,” the people said.  “We will do whatever God tells us to do.”


God gave Moses the Law.  The Law told the people how to act so that they could please God.  God gave the people many instructions in the Law.  It started with ten commands which are called the Ten Commandments.  God told the people:

 1.  Do not worship any God except me.

 2.  Do not make an idol or worship an idol.

 3.  Do not speak My name carelessly.

 4.  Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy.  Do not work on the Sabbath Day.

 5.  Honor your father and mother.

 6.  Do not murder anyone.

 7.  Do not commit adultery.

 8.  Do not steal.

 9.  Do not lie.

10.  Do not covet anything that belongs to someone else.



quail (n)

idol (n)

dew (n)

carelessly (adv)

manna (n)

Sabbath (n)

message (n)

honor (v)

instruction (n)

murder (v)

command (n)

commit adultery

commandment (n)

covet (v)



6.  What two kinds of food did God send the Jews in the desert?

7.  What are the Ten Commandments?

8.  Why did God give His law to the Jews?


To Think About

      1.  The Jews did not obey God’s commands.   Even though they tried to do right, they often did wrong.  They could never be good enough to please God.  So why did God give them the Ten Commandments and other laws to follow?


The Bible says God gave His Law so they would understand that the things they were doing were wrong.  When they disobeyed the law they knew they had sinned and hurt God.  They knew they needed someone to save them from their sin. 


God promised to send Someone to save the Jews from their sin.  When the Jews were sorry for their sin and believed in the Person God would send, God forgave them.


Over a thousand years later, Jesus became a man and died for the sins of all people.  Today when we are sorry for our sins and believe on Jesus to save us, God forgives us just like He forgave the Jews long ago.


2.  A man once asked Jesus “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”


Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…. And the second is like it:  Love your neighbor as yourself.”


Which of the Ten Commandments would you obey to show you loved God with all your heart?  Which of the Ten Commandments would you obey to show you loved your neighbor as much as yourself?  (Your neighbor can mean any person around you.)