17 When God let Pharaoh let the Israelites go, God decided not to let them go by the shorter route, which would have taken them through Philistia, because he was concerned (though he evidently didn’t know) that the prospect of fighting a war would make them turn around and go back to Egypt. 18 So, God led them around the outskirts of the desert towards the Red Sea.
19 Before he left, Moses dug up Joseph’s skeleton so that he could drag it back to Canaan. This came in handy because his arm made an excellent back scratcher.
20 They stopped over briefly in Etham, where they set up camp. 21 During the day, the Lord appeared as a pillar of smoke, leading them across the desert, but at night, he was a pillar of fire. 22 Some of the Israelites suspected that they might actually be heading towards a volcano, but Moses would have none of it even when somebody was crushed by a mysterious falling rock.
The Lord commanded Moses, 2 ‘Hey, if you double back to Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, Pharaoh will come and attack you, thinking that you’re just wandering aimlessly.’
‘Okay, well we won’t do that then,’ replied Moses. ‘Thanks for the heads up.’
3 ‘No, that’s exactly what I want to happen,’ chuckled the Lord.
‘I want to fuck with them some more.’
‘Hmm… Why’s he following us, anyway? He let us go.’
4 The Lord sniggered, ‘I’m hardening his heart again. Now they’ll see who is Lord!’
5 Just then, Pharaoh felt his heart hardening, and he gripped his chest in pain. ‘What have I done? I set my workforce free, and my cities aren’t even finished!’
‘But their god was sending plagues!’ objected his advisors.
‘That’s just superstition!’ retorted Pharaoh. ‘Ready my chariots!’
‘I bet his heart has hardened again,’ they muttered to each other.
6 So, the chariots of Pharaoh’s army were all hitched to the horses that had been killed by three different plagues. 7 He took his six hundred best chariots, his two hundred mediocre chariots, and his fifty quite shit chariots, and raced off after the Israelites. 8 For a moment, Pharaoh questioned whether he was being too rash, but the Lord hardened his heart even more, so he continued, and in no time, he had overtaken the Israelites and lay in wait by the sea.
10 When the Israelites saw the Egyptians approaching, they were terrified. 11 They called to Moses, ‘If we wanted to die at the hands of the Egyptians, we would have stayed in Egypt! You really haven’t thought this through, have you?’
12 Others cried, ‘I didn’t even want to leave anyway!’
One guy yelled, ‘I was having freaky sex with two of Pharaoh’s slaves! I wanna go back!’
13 Moses shot him a stern look, and then turned to the Israelites and said, ‘Don’t worry. 14 I’m sure God will fight for us.’
15 ‘Hey, don’t bring me into this,’ rebuked the Lord. ‘This is your mess.’
‘What?’ screeched Moses.
Of course, the Israelites couldn’t hear God speaking, so it seemed like Moses was shrieking to himself.
16 The Lord laughed and said, ‘I’m kidding. Raise your staff, and the sea will part. 17 When you’re across, I’ll make the Egyptians follow you, and I’ll bring the sea down on them. 18 then the Egyptians will know how awesome I am!’
‘But they’ll be dead,’ sighed Moses.
‘Hmm. But they’ll know how awesome I am before they die.’
19 The angel of God, who has been stalking the Israelites this whole time, got between the Israelites and the Egyptians. 20 The pillar of cloud, which was God in disguise, also moved between them, blocking the Egyptians’ path and engulfing them in darkness.
21 Moses stretched his staff over the sea, and a strong wind blew across the surface of the water, causing a rift to form. On each side, the water receded and formed walls, exposing a clear path of seabed for the Israelites to walk across. The Israelites and Egyptians looked on in astonishment.
One man cried, ‘I can’t go in there, I’ve just eaten, and I’ll get a cramp!’
Moses slapped the back of his head and said, ‘That’s swimming, you dummy.’
22 So, the Israelites set off across the seabed. It was a difficult journey because the rocks were slippery with seaweed and people kept stepping in jellyfish.
23 By nightfall, the Egyptians had managed to figure out how to get out of the cloud of darkness, and they charged after the Israelites. 24 The Lord looked out from his pillar of fire and realised he had to stop them, 25 so he declared, ‘I’ll fix their wagon!’ and knocked the wheels off their chariots.
‘Oh no!’ called the Egyptians. ‘Plagues and miraculously dividing seas are one thing, but damaging our chariots…! I mean, those wheels were really on there tight!’
And they began to retreat.
26 The Lord said to Moses, ‘Now stretch your staff over the sea again. I’m going to drown the fuckers!’
‘But they’re retreating!’ protested Moses.
‘That’s the funniest part!’
27 So, Moses did as he was told, and the walls of water began to tumble down on top of the Egyptians. 28 The torrents surged into the chasm, sweeping the Egyptians off their feet, and toppling their chariots. 29 Some of the Egyptians were completely consumed, whilst others were left as corpses floating on the surface of the sea or washed onto ashore.
30 The Israelites, who were now safely on dry land, were deeply fearful of the Lord. A being that was capable of such vindictive barbarism with a callous distain for life was not one that they wanted to serve, but it certainly wasn’t one that they wanted to make an enemy of. 31 And so, the Lord had taught the Israelites a valuable lesson: it’s not about who is worthy of worship, it’s about who will punish you most severely if you don’t.