Crossing the Red Sea and the Jordan

The crossing of the Red Sea by the Children of Israel after the 10th Plague of the Passover was akin to being born again.

The passage through the Red Sea was like being born through the uterus of the womb and when the walls of the sea turned back on itself to cover the Egyptians it was as if the umbilical cord had be cut and the Israelites had been born into a new world on the other side.

And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground; and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand, and on their left: (Exodus 14:22)

The womb of Egypt had provided clothing, nourishment and shelter to the Children of Israel and the period spent in Egypt is akin to being in an incubator where they had been fruitful and multiplied (See be Fruitful and Multiply in Egypt).

When the sea turned back on itself there was no turning back, the Israelites were cut off forever and cast into a brave new world and no chance to return even though on many occasions they wished they could. The word for Red Sea in Hebrew is Yam Suf ים סוף meaning ‘Sea of Reeds’, but the word suf סוף also means ‘end’ and the word for Infinity is ain sof אין סוף or ‘no end’. So the crossing of the Red Sea, the Sea of the End/Infinity, suggests the end of the old world and the beginning of the new.

Similarly, the crossing of the Red Sea is said to have taken place on the seventh day after the Passover and with the destruction of the Egyptian army, the joy real freedom was realised on the 8th day with Song of the Sea (see Miriam the prophetess and the drum). As described in (see hyperlink 8, 800) 8 is related to a covenant with God and it is also related to 50, the concept of rebirth and a new cycle; a new beginning {1} (See hyperlink 5, 50, 500).

The 50 days and the Counting of the Omer

Hence immediately after the Passover the Omer is counted for 50 days leading up to the Festival of Shavuot, or the Festival of Weeks (Pentecost in the Christian calendar). The 50th day was the day the Torah and The 10 Commandments was given on Mount Sinai and hence one of the three most important pilgrim festivals in the Jewish Calendar (See hyperlink Yithro).

The counting of the Omer is associated with the wheat harvest and the Book of Ruth adventing he coming of he Messiah. The period of the Omer is when the wheat is cut off from the Earth and cut off from is source of nourishment: it is cut off from the phenomenal world, just as the Children of Israel were cut off during their sojourn in the Sinai Desert (See hyperlink Shavuoth).

Rameses to Succoth

The concept of the fifty days in the first stage of the Exodus after the Passover is reiterated in Exodus 12:37 where we learn that the Israelites travelled from Rameses to Succoth:

And the people of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot, who were men, beside children: (Exodus 12:37).

In Hebrew the word Rameses, spelt רעמסס resh-ayin-mem-samach-samach = 200-70-40-60-60 = 430 and Succoth spelt סכת samach-caph-taf = 60-20-400 = 480. The 430 is the number of years the Children of Israel spent in Egypt {2}:

Now the sojourning of the people of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years: And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even on that very day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt: (Exodus 12:40-41)

Four hundred and thirty is also the gematrical value for the bodily soul or nefesh in Hebrew spelt נפש nun-peh-shin = 50-80-300= 430 and could indicate the souls of the Children of Israel being transferred out of Egypt.

Similarly 480 is the number of years after the Exodus from Egypt when King Solomon has completed the construction of the temple in Jerusalem:

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord: (1Kings:6:1:8)

So we see the link between the period of servitude in Egypt, the completion of the Temple in Jerusalem and the release of the souls of the children of Israel. (See hyperlink Miriam the prophetess and the drum).

Moreover, the difference between 480 and 430 is 50.The travelling from Rameses to Succoth represented by the ‘50’ reiterates the concept of rebirth (see hyperlink 5, 50, 500). It is rebirth from the World of Development and Multiplicity (Egypt) to the World of One (Canaan). As it is shown in (See hyperlink Bo- The Passover), the gematrical ratio between Egypt, (Mitzraim) and Canaan is 380:190 = 2:1 again confirming the transcendence of the children of Israel into the Land of Unity.

The Crossing of the Two Rivers

It is important to note that metamorphosis of the Children of Israel from being slaves to being free men occurred with the crossing of the Red Sea. Similarly, the transcendence of the Children of Israel from being wanderers in the desert to a nation of the Promised Land was the crossing of the Jordan River. The exit from Egypt and the entry to the Promised Land required the cross of two bodies of water. In both events the passing over water signified the end of one phase and the beginning of another: the last hurdle.

Sihon King of the Amorites and Og King of Bashan

The last hurdle was in fact the last battles the Children of Israel fought with Sihon King of the Amorites and Og King of Bashan just before they crossed over the River Jordan and took Jericho. The two kings and their defeat features so many times in the Bible {3} and in particular in reference to being ‘this’ side of the Jordan River, that one wonders why!

Moreover their lands were taken and occupied by the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh (See hyperlink The Wagons, he heifer and the soul)

And Moses gave to them, to the sons of Gad, and to the sons of Reuben, and to half the tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land, with its cities in the borders, even the cities of the country around: (Numbers:32:33)

If we look at the gematria for the two phrases: Sihon King of the Amorites and Og King of Bashan, in Hebrew Sihon melech ha Amori סיחן מלך האמורי =samech-yod-chet-nun, mem-lamed-chaf, heh-aleph-mem-resh-yod = 60-10-8-50; 40-30-20; 5-1-40-200-10 =474


Og melech ha Bashan עוג מלך הבשן ayin-vav-gimmel, mem-lamed-caph, heh-beth-shin-nun =70-6-3, 40-30-20, 5-2-300-50 =526

The total of the two phrases is 474+526=1000

What does this mean? The number 1000 is the value of the extreme. The Hebrew word for 1000 is eleph. It in fact has the same spelling as the letter aleph. So here we find a complete cycle from the aleph with its value of 1 and eleph with its value of 1000. It is the highest value of the letter aleph and where God has completed his cycle from the creation of the universe to the bringing of the Children of Israel into the Land.

Another instance when a phrase adds up to the gematrical value of 1000 is in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah where fire and brimstone gafrit ve esh in Hebrew also adds up to 1000 (See hyperlink Sodom Gomorrah and 1000). In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah it in showing the purification of the land prior to the birth of the second patriarch and the purification of the land just after God shows to Abraham extent of the Promised Land that will be given to his descendants.

Cabalists understand that there are 1000 worlds and that 974 worlds have already passed and a remaining 26 worlds remain. The event of Sodom and Gomorrah and the event of the battle with Sihon king of the Amorites and Og king of Bashan indicates the overcoming of the ultimate evil and wickedness in the world before entering the new world.

The Music of the Spheres

This concept of the final battle may be taken one step further in the philosophy of P. D. Ouspensky in his book In Search of the Miraculous {4}. Ouspensky was a Russian philosopher who developed a theory called ‘Music of the Spheres’ whereby he attributed the process of development of any aspect to be represented in the musical octave: A, B, C, D, E, F, G. As such ‘A’ would represent the beginning of a cycle and ‘G’ would represent its completion before going on to ‘A’ again in a higher scale and representing the beginning of a new cycle.

Gematrically the theory holds water inasmuch that the musical scale has seven notes A to G and the new cycle, the rebirth or renewal, is the ‘A’ in the next higher scale. He attributed the process of moving up the scale as the movement or transcendence of energy in the process of development of a certain phenomena. He extended this philosophy further in considering certain tones in the musical scale in which there is no semi-tone: these being the B-C interval and the E-F interval. He suggested the B-C and E-F intervals to be energy intervals which require a greater quantum leap of energy to jump from B to C or from E to F than the other tonal sequences which have a semi-tone in between.

This theory may be applied to any life experience whether it be cleaning the house or developing ones skills in playing the piano. The B-C interval is the inertia that one encounters at the beginning of any undertaking. After proceeding some time with initial enthusiasm, the enthusiasm soon drops and one either takes a break and begins the undertaking some time later, or one drops the enterprise altogether and decides to take up the violin instead.

The E-F interval is more difficult and requires a tremendous amount of energy to overcome the barriers to success – to become a master pianist. As applied to Sihon king of the Amorites and Og king of Bashan, it is indeed the last hurdle, the last battle before reaching the G note of the octave and crossing the River Jordan in order to begin the new cycle of life in the Promised Land.

From the text in the Bible we see that the Children of Israel accomplished this hurdle without any difficulty whatsoever. The battle itself is barely mentioned:

After he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived at Ashtaroth in Edrei: (Deuteronomy: 1:4).

This is in vivid contrast to the incident of the spies which had taken place 40 years early when uncertainty and the fear of failure encompassed the Children of Israel.

And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had spied to the people of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to spy, is a land that eats up its inhabitants; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature: (Numbers 13:32)

This indeed was the B-C interval of the Children of Israel on their first attempt to enter the Promised Land.

In an overall analysis we can follow the sequence from the beginning of the exodus from Egypt with the crossing of the Red Sea, through the entry into the Promised Land with the crossing of the River Jordan. The 40 years is a completion of a cycle and the transformation of a group of slaves with little identity into a nation with a land and later a temple of worship.


{1} In Tibetan theology when a person dies the soul spends 49 days in Bardo (a state between one life and the next) and is reborn on the 50th day (See Evans-Wentz, W. Y. (ed.) (1927) Tibetan Book of the Dead: or, The After-Death Experiences on the Bardo Plane; Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup (translator). Oxford: Clarendon Press ISBN 0-19-500223-7 (reissued 1960). On counting the Omer the 49th day is the final day of the harvest, threshing and milling of the wheat after which on the 50th day the flour is baked into loaves and offered to God. Similarly the Children of Israel are ‘reborn’ as a Holy Nation of God with the giving of The Law, The Torah.

{2} There is substantial debate about the number of years the children of Israel spent in Egypt, since Genesis:15:13 states: And he said to Abram, Know for a certainty that your seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years. Some rabbis say that the 430 years is not the number of years of servitude but rather the number of years since the birth of Isaac: that is when the Covenant with God took place.

{3} Numbers:21:21; Numbers:21:23; Numbers:21:26; Numbers:21:27; Numbers:21:28; Numbers:21:29; Numbers:21:33; Numbers:21:34; Numbers:32:33; Deuteronomy:1:4; Deuteronomy:2:24; Deuteronomy:2:26; Deuteronomy:2:30; Deuteronomy:2:31; Deuteronomy:2:32; Deuteronomy:3:1; Deuteronomy:3:2; Deuteronomy:3:3; Deuteronomy:3:4; Deuteronomy:3:6; Deuteronomy:3:10; Deuteronomy:3:11; Deuteronomy:3:13; Deuteronomy:4:46; Deuteronomy:4:47; Deuteronomy:29;6; Deuteronomy:31:4; Joshua:2:10; Joshua:9:10; Joshua:12:2; Joshua:12:4; Joshua:12:5; Joshua:13:10; Joshua:13:12; Joshua:13:21; Joshua:13:21; Joshua:13:27; Joshua:13:30; Joshua:13:31; Judges:11:19; Judges:11:20; Judges:11:20; Judges:11:21; 1Kings:4:19; Jeremiah:48:45; Psalms:135:11; Psalms:136:20; Nehemiah:9:22;

{4} E copy available at:


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