The Bible is sacred to billions of people throughout the world. It is the fundamental book of the Jewish people, describing the way in which the Jewish people developed and became unified and instructing believers how they should serve God. Christianity adopted the Bible as part of its Holy Scripture and the Koran, Islam's holy book, features many of the characters that appear in the Bible.
Many Bible stories present people's actions and the ways in which they coped with hardships and challenges. These stories are meant to provide readers with explanations for various phenomena they see in the world around them and to guide them to behave as moral and good people.
The Parting of the Red Sea
The long period of slavery the People of Israel suffered in Egypt and the miracles that God performed in order to save them are central to the historical collective memory of the Jewish people. The story of the exodus from Egypt is told during the Passover holiday, which is also referred to as the Holiday of Freedom, the "sukkah" booths of the Sukkoth holiday are meant to remind us of the huts in which the People of Israel lived after they left Egypt and the Shavuot holiday marks the giving of the Torah to the People of Israel during their journey from Egypt to the Land of Canaan.
The story of the parting of the Red Sea, which appears in chapter 14 of the Book of Exodus, is a key point in the exodus from Egypt:
Shortly after permitting the People of Israel to leave and be free, Pharaoh changed his mind and led a large military force to chase after them and return them to slavery. Despite having witnessed the great miracles that God performed in Egypt, the People of Israel were nonetheless afraid and anxious, as characteristic of slaves who had no control over their own destinies. It is not difficult to imagine the terror they felt when they saw the Egyptian army's chariots approaching quickly, closing in on their camp on the shore of the Red Sea. A particularly large and unique miracle was needed to show the people that their status had changed drastically and that God's might was protecting them and would lead them to their new land.
It was late evening when God commanded Moses to raise his staff toward the sea that blocked the People of Israel's escape route. The sea split in two and created a path through which the people of Israel passed throughout the night. At dawn, when the last of them reached the other side, God commanded Moses to raise his staff once again toward the sea, which then returned to its former state and drowned the Egyptian army as it pursued the People of Israel.
The faith that motivated the People of Israel to take the risk and walk between the threatening walls of water created by the split sea strengthened the spirit of the former slaves and constituted an important and vital step in the process of unifying the People of Israel.