The Children of Israel have all safely crossed the Red Sea. The Egyptian army is close behind. Before any of the soldiers can reach the shore, the sea closes and they drown.
Cue Exodus Chapter 15.
|1||Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and they spoke, saying, I will sing to the Lord, for very exalted is He; a horse and its rider He cast into the sea.||Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD. They said: I will sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously; Horse and driver He has hurled into the sea.|
|2||The Eternal’s strength and His vengeance were my salvation; this is my God, and I will make Him a habitation, the God of my father, and I will ascribe to Him exaltation.||The LORD is my strength and might; He is become my deliverance. This is my God and I will enshrine Him; The God of my father, and I will exalt Him.|
|3||The Lord is a Master of war; the Lord is His Name.||The LORD, the Warrior— LORD is His name!|
|4||Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He cast into the sea, and the elite of his officers sank in the Red Sea.||Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; And the pick of his officers Are drowned in the Sea of Reeds.|
|5||The depths covered them; they descended into the depths like a stone.||The deeps covered them; They went down into the depths like a stone.|
|6||Your right hand, O Lord, is most powerful; Your right hand, O Lord, crushes the foe.||Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, Your right hand, O LORD, shatters the foe!|
|7||And with Your great pride You tear down those who rise up against You; You send forth Your burning wrath; it devours them like straw.||In Your great triumph You break Your opponents; You send forth Your fury, it consumes them like straw.|
|8||And with the breath of Your nostrils the waters were heaped up; the running water stood erect like a wall; the depths congealed in the heart of the sea.||At the blast of Your nostrils the waters piled up, The floods stood straight like a wall; The deeps froze in the heart of the sea.|
|9||[Because] the enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will share the booty; my desire will be filled from them; I will draw my sword, my hand will impoverish them.||The foe said, “I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; My desire shall have its fill of them. I will bare my sword— My hand shall subdue them.”|
|10||You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the powerful waters.||You made Your wind blow, the sea covered them; They sank like lead in the majestic waters.|
|11||Who is like You among the powerful, O Lord? Who is like You, powerful in the holy place? Too awesome for praises, performing wonders!||Who is like You, O LORD, among the celestials; Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in splendor, working wonders!|
|12||You inclined Your right hand; the earth swallowed them up.||You put out Your right hand, The earth swallowed them.|
|13||With Your loving kindness You led the people You redeemed; You led [them] with Your might to Your holy abode.||In Your love You lead the people You redeemed; In Your strength You guide them to Your holy abode.|
|14||Peoples heard, they trembled; a shudder seized the inhabitants of Philistia.||The peoples hear, they tremble; Agony grips the dwellers in Philistia.|
|15||Then the chieftains of Edom were startled; [as for] the powerful men of Moab, trembling seized them; all the inhabitants of Canaan melted.||Now are the clans of Edom dismayed; The tribes of Moab—trembling grips them; All the dwellers in Canaan are aghast.|
|16||May dread and fright fall upon them; with the arm of Your greatness may they become as still as a stone, until Your people cross over, O Lord, until this nation that You have acquired crosses over.||Terror and dread descend upon them; Through the might of Your arm they are still as stone— Till Your people cross over, O LORD, Till Your people cross whom You have ransomed.|
|17||You shall bring them and plant them on the mount of Your heritage, directed toward Your habitation, which You made, O Lord; the sanctuary, O Lord, [which] Your hands founded.||You will bring them and plant them in Your own mountain, The place You made to dwell in, O LORD, The sanctuary, O LORD, which Your hands established.|
|18||The Lord will reign to all eternity||The LORD will reign for ever and ever!|
|19||When Pharaoh’s horses came with his chariots and his horsemen into the sea, and the Lord brought the waters of the sea back upon them, and the children of Israel walked on dry land in the midst of the sea,||For the horses of Pharaoh, with his chariots and horsemen, went into the sea; and the LORD turned back on them the waters of the sea; but the Israelites marched on dry ground in the midst of the sea.|
|20||Miriam, the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women came out after her with timbrels and with dances.||Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her in dance with timbrels.|
|21||And Miriam called out to them, Sing to the Lord, for very exalted is He; a horse and its rider He cast into the sea||And Miriam chanted for them: Sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously; Horse and driver He has hurled into the sea.|
|Exodus 15:1-21, Chabad, translation The Judaica Press, Rabbi A.J. Rosenberg.||Exodus 15:1-21, Sefaria, translation Urim Publications|
Many translations of the original Hebrew into English will differ significantly. These are pretty close. The Jewish Publication Service version (JPS Tanakh 1917) is slightly different from each of the ones above, but still quite close.
This may be because The Song of the Sea is likely older than the rest of Exodus (including a different layout in Torah than any other verses).
The Song of the Sea is noted for its archaic language. It is written in a style of Hebrew much older than that of the rest of Exodus. A number of scholars consider it the oldest surviving text describing the Exodus, dating to the pre-monarchic period. An alternative is that it was deliberately written in an archaic style, a known literary device. Proposed dates range from the 13th to the 5th century BCE.Song of the Sea, Wikipedia
Or because we sing part of it, Mi Chamocha, regularly in services. Here is a High Holiday version of the song, with a special melody shared by another prayer. Barechu-Mi Chamocha by Congregation Ner Shalom.
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