The crossing of the Sea on the way out of Egypt is often associated with the barley wave sheaf, because it’s believed by many that the date Moses led the people across the Sea, was the “day after the Sabbath” that YHUH was referring to when He commanded Israel to wave the barley sheaf in Leviticus 23. For this reason, MOST who believe this will claim Israel crossed the Sea on Abib 16. In this article, we will examine the evidence of sacred, inspired writings that exalt the name of YHUH, exalt the Torah of Moses, and prophesy of Yahusha HaMashiach, and see which date they indicate Israel crossed the Sea of Reeds.
Concerning the timing they left Egypt, Numbers 33 and Deuteronomy 16:1 inform us the date and time of day. Remember as you read these verses and study the sequence of events, that a date/day begins when morning dawns:
Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto YHUH thy Aluhym: for in the month of Abib YHUH thy Aluhym brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. Deut. 16:1
And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians. Numbers 33:3
Because Exodus 19:1 says they left EGYPT two months before their arrival at Mount Sinai, this is another reason many believe this must mean they crossed the sea on the 16th of the 1st month, the morning after they left Rameses. I suggest that Exodus 19:1 is not saying they crossed the Sea two months before, but that they began their journey out of Egypt two months before arriving at Sinai. They left Rameses on the 15th, at night, in agreement with Numbers 33 and Deuteronomy 16:1.
The belief that the sheaf was waved on the 16th ties in with the date they believe Israel crossed the Sea. I, too, believe the crossing of the sea was at the timing of the waving of the sheaf. However, I understand this date to have occurred a week later than the date most have come to. I’m going to show where ancient scriptural scrolls say they crossed the Sea a week after the traditional date.
I, also, was taught the Israelites crossed the sea on the 16th, which is also when I was taught the sheaf was waved, when I started learning from Jewish rabbis. However, I started to wonder how that date could be possible for the Sea crossing in the light of the scriptures which say that when they left Rameses on the 15th (Num 33:3), they camped at Sukkot (Num 33:5).
The Israelites left Rameses and camped at Sukkoth. Numbers 33:5
The Book of Jasher 81:5 says they arrived at Sukkot on the 15th.
And the children of Israel traveled from Egypt and from Goshen and from Rameses, and encamped in Succoth on the fifteenth day of the first month. Jasher 81:5 (I believe they arrived at night, not during the Sabbath portion of the day. Deut 16:1 and Num. 33 say he brought them out by night, and on the 15th, so this did not break the commandment to keep the Sabbath day kadosh during the daylight hours on the 15th.)
Then they left Sukkot and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness (Num 33:5-6, Exodus 13:20, and Jasher 81:7).
They left Sukkoth and camped at Etham, on the edge of the desert. Numbers 33:6
And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. Exodus 13:20
And the Egyptians buried all their firstborn whom Ha Adon had smitten, and all the Egyptians buried their slain for three days. And the children of Israel traveled from Succoth and encamped in Ethom, at the end of the wilderness. Jasher 81:6-7
According to Jasher 81:8-11, THREE DAYS LATER, after they completed burying their dead, the Egyptians decided to find out why Israel had not returned, when they had only asked to leave for three days to celebrate a feast unto YHUH.
And on the third day after the Egyptians had buried their firstborn, many men rose up from Egypt and went after Israel to make them return to Egypt, for they repented that they had sent the Israelites away from their servitude. And one man said to his neighbor, Surely Moses and Aaron spoke to Pharaoh, saying, We will go a three days’ journey in the wilderness and sacrifice to the YHUH our Aluhym. Now therefore let us rise up early in the morning and cause them to return, and it shall be that if they return with us to Egypt to their masters, then shall we know that there is faith in them, but if they will not return, then will we fight with them, and make them come back with great power and a strong hand. And all the nobles of Pharaoh rose up in the morning, and with them about seven hundred thousand men, and they went forth from Egypt on that day, and came to the place where the children of Israel were. Jasher 81:8-11
Jasher 81:10 says the next morning (this would have been 4 days later) they went to ask Israel why they had not yet returned to their work in Egypt. Jasher 81:12 states that when the Egyptians found the Israelites, they were found feasting before Pi-hahiroth.
And all the Egyptians saw and behold Moses and Aaron and all the children of Israel were sitting before Pi-hahiroth, eating and drinking and celebrating the feast of YHUH. Jasher 81:12
Exodus 14:2 and Num 33:7 confirm Pi-hahiroth was the next camping spot BEFORE crossing the sea (see Num 33:1-8). Exodus 14:2 even says they camped by the sea before crossing it, in agreement with the Book of Jubilees and Jasher.
Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea. Exodus 14:2
They left Etham, turned back to Pi Hahiroth, to the east of Baal Zephon, and camped near Migdol. Numbers 33:7
Jasher 81:14 states that by the time the Egyptians find Israel at this spot, it’s now been 5 days since they left, and they have still to cross the sea.
And all the Egyptians said to the children of Israel, Surely you said, We will go a journey for three days in the wilderness and sacrifice to our Aluhym and return. Now therefore this day makes five days since you went, why do you not return to your masters? Jasher 81:13-14
Jasher 81:15 says Moses and Aaron informed the Egyptians that they would not be returning to Egypt.
And Moses and Aaron answered them, saying, Because YHUH our Aluhym has testified in us, saying, “You shall no more return to Egypt, but we will take ourselves to a land flowing with milk and honey,” as YHUH our Aluhym had sworn to our ancestors to give to us. Jasher 81:15
Jasher 81 goes on to say that Israel fought with the Egyptians, and gave them a beating, and the Egyptians returned to tell Pharaoh the Israelites were not going to return.
And when the nobles of Egypt saw that the children of Israel did not hearken to them, to return to Egypt, they girded themselves to fight with Israel. And YHUH strengthened the hearts of the children of Israel over the Egyptians, that they gave them a severe beating, and the battle was sore upon the Egyptians, and all the Egyptians fled from before the children of Israel, for many of them perished by the hand of Israel. And the nobles of Pharaoh went to Egypt and told Pharaoh, saying, the children of Israel have fled, and will no more return to Egypt, and in this manner did Moses and Aaron speak to us. Jasher 81:16-18
This all took some time. Though the Bible does not mention the fighting between them, it does mention Pharaoh was informed that Israel had no plans to return to Egypt in Exodus 14:5.
And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us? Exodus 14:5
So when Pharaoh’s army arrives, Israel is still camped at Pi-hahiroth, they had been feasting during the week of Unleavened Bread. Now it’s the 22nd, and they are very afraid, and not wanting to fight. Moses tells them they won’t have to lift a finger in defense. (Exodus 14:13-14 and Jasher 81:28, 32)
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of YHUH, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. YHUH shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:13-14
And Moses said to them, Fear not, stand still and see the salvation of YHUH which He will effect this day for you. Jasher 81:28
And Moses said to them, Stand in your places, for YHUH will fight for you, and you shall remain silent. Jasher 81:32
I don’t see how Israel could have camped at all 3 places, stopping to bake unleavened bread (Exodus 12:39) before crossing the sea, if they crossed on the 16th, the morning after they left Rameses, according to Numbers 33:5-8 and Exodus 13 and 14. The Book of Jubilees tells us when they crossed:
…and the festival of unleavened bread, that they should eat unleavened bread seven days, and that they should observe its festival, and that they bring an oblation every day during those seven days of joy before YHUH on the altar of YHUH your ALMIGHTY. For you celebrated this festival with haste when you went forth from Egypt till you entered into the wilderness of Shur; for on the shore of the sea you completed it. (49:22-23)
So they completed the feast on the shore before they crossed the Sea. I believe that when Miriam led Israel in song and dance with tambourines on the morning of Abib 23, the first day of the week, after the Egyptians were washed away in the Sea, that was symbolic of the wave sheaf offering of barley, as that is the day after the Sabbath AFTER Unleavened Bread. It may have even occurred at the time of the morning sacrifice that day. It could be YHUH commanded the wave sheaf that day to commemorate the crossing of the Sea, and that is how the belief came to be that the wave sheaf was on the day of the Sea crossing! How appropriate!
Conclusion: We have established with more than the required number of witnesses from scripture, that the claim that Israel crossed the Sea on or before the 16th of the first month, is BOGUS! I also believe we have established that a very symbolic, very significant event has taken place on the date that I, Leviticus 23, Exodus 19, Exodus 24, Jasher, and Jubilees, pinpoints for the day the sheaf was waved. If you count 7 sabbaths, 50 days, 7 COMPLETE weeks from the Sea crossing on Abib 23, you come to the date Jubilees and Exodus 19 say Israel entered the covenant with the exchange of the wedding vows, and receiving of the law…on the 16th day of the 3rd month…
In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. Exodus 19:1
And it came to pass in the first year of the exodus of the children of Israel out of Egypt, in the third month, on the sixteenth day of the month, [2410) Anno Mundi] that Aluhym spake to Moses, saying: ‘Come up to Me on the Mount…” Jubilees 1:1
Isn’t it just beautiful how these numerous witnesses in the Bible, the Book of Jubilees, and the Book of Jasher, all line up in complete agreement, strengthening this testimony, and giving us our 2-3 witnesses required to establish this matter? Many will try to discredit Jubilees and Jasher, because these books testify that some individuals are holding to and teaching false doctrines. They slander the testimony of these books, these books which proclaim the law and the testimony, and prophesy of Messiah Yahusha, just as the Torah does. Let us not listen to false witnesses about these books without hearing the testimony (reading the books) ourselves, and testing it with Torah. Remember, the Bible mentions Jasher more than once. These books also support a lunar Sabbath, just as the Bible does.
To continue the story and see how/when Israel entered the marriage covenant on Shabuot/Shabuat, on the 16th day of the 3rd month, please read my article entitled, The Exchange of Vows on 3-16.