The Escape from Egypt

Pharaoh frees the slaves

The Egyptians were horrified at the deaths of their sons and urged the Israelites to leave hastily before any more people died. Here, Pharaoh is standing on the battlements, commanding the Israelites to leave Egypt. The Israelites are leaving with their right hands raised and some are carrying lumps of dough. Moses had reminded his people that they had to leave in a hurry, and that their bread dough would not have time to rise. They were therefore told to make 'unleavened' bread (bread made without yeast) To commemorate this, unleavened bread is eaten by Jewish people during the Passover festival.


 Escape across the Red Sea
As the Israelites had left, Pharaoh changed his mind. He called his army and set off to pursue the Israelites on chariots. The Israelites in great fear, cried to Moses 'it would have been better for us to stay than to die in the wilderness'. But Moses told them that God would help them. God ordered Moses to stretch out his staff over the Red Sea, and the sea parted. This allowed the Israelites to escape across the sea,  and away from Egypt unharmed. Meanwhile, the Pharaoh and his army followed them by charging into the sea. But Moses waved his staff, and the sea returned to its normal height, swallowing up the entire army of Pharaoh.

The story of the escape from Egypt is commemorated by Jewish people every year during the festival of Passover. In this way the idea of freedom is kept alive, and is continually passed on by families to their children.