When Jehovah led the children of Israel out of Egypt, he did so by power, with his arm bare for all to see.
A pillar of cloud led them by day, and a pillar of fire, by night. And when it seemed as though all was lost with the armies of Pharoah trapping Israel against the shores of the Red Sea, the Lord’s prophet raised his arms as Jehovah had directed. The sea parted. Israel was delivered. This amazing miracle was performed in the eyes of over a million Israelites.
But was this the only time that water was parted in such a miraculous manner? Was it the only time that pillars of cloud and fire powerfully testified of the Lord’s presence? Did you know that there are promises pertaining to pillars of cloud and fire, and partings… in the Last Days?
As we study the historical accounts and compare them to the promises yet to be fulfilled, our faith can be bolstered. We can know that the Lord will still deliver the children of Israel in their time of need.
Let’s explore . . .
Cloud and Fire
Exodus 13:21-22 – The Lord goes before the children of Israel, leading them by a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night.
Exodus 14:24 – The Lord watches the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and the cloud, and troubles them.
Exodus 24:16-18 – The glory of the Lord upon mount Sinai: Cloud for six days, and fire.
Exodus 40:38, Numbers 9:15-23, Deuteronomy 1:33, 5:22 – Resting on the tabernacle is a cloud by day, and fire by night. Israel moves when the cloud/fire moves.
Numbers 12:5-10 – The Lord comes down in a pillar of cloud, and stands in the door of the tabernacle to speak with Aaron and Miriam. The pillar departs.
Numbers 14:11-25 – The Lord is unhappy with Israel’s complaints. Moses intervenes and reminds the Lord that neighboring nations have heard that the Lord is among Israel (the cloud and the fire).
Deuteronomy 31:15 – The Lord comes down in a pillar of cloud, and stands in the door of the tabernacle to speak with Moses
Nehemiah 9:12,19 – After Ezra and Nehemiah teach the people, the Jews recount their blessings, including the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire, and the parting of the Red Sea.
Psalms 78:14, 105:39 – Other mentions of the cloud and fire.
Ezekiel 1:4 – The prophet Ezekiel sees in vision: a great cloud and a fire.
1 Nephi 1:6 – The Lord comes down in a pillar of fire and speaks with Lehi.
Helaman 5:20-52 – A prison miracle where Nephi and Lehi are surround by a cloud, and a pillar of fire.
Joseph Smith History 1:16 – The Father and the Son appear to Joseph Smith in a pillar of light, above the brightness of the sun.
Isaiah 4:5 and 2 Nephi 14:5 – There will be a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night, upon every dwelling of Zion.
Revelation 10:1 – John’s vision of a mighty angel clothed with a cloud, his face as the sun, his feet as pillars of fire.
DC 29:12 – The Lord will come again in a pillar of fire.
DC 76:63 and 76:102,105 – Those who will be caught up to meet the Lord and the returning City of Zion, and those who will not. Clouds for some . . . fire for others.
Partings and Crossings
Exodus 14:13-31 – Trapped against the Red Sea, Moses prays to the Lord. Moses lifts up his rod, and the Red Sea is divided. Pharoah’s army is kept back by a pillars of fire and cloud. Israel is led to the other side of the Red Sea, upon dry ground.
Joshua 3:7-17 – The Ark of the Covenant is carried by the priests of the Tabernacle into the River Jordan, causing it to divide (stop flowing). The Israelites pass over on dry ground.
2 Kings 2:1-15 – Elijah parts the waters of Jordan. Elijah is taken up to heaven by a chariot of fire and a whirlwind. Elisha parts the waters of Jordan.
Isaiah 51:9-16 – The strength of the arm of the Lord made a way in the sea for the ransomed to pass over.
Gospel Doctrine, Joseph F. Smith, page 499: – Fleeing mobs, the Saints cross the frozen Mississippi: “…real marvel and manifestation of the mercy and the power of God…making a roadway across the Mississippi…” (Ah… didn’t expect that one, did you? Although not a parting of the waters, it is still a very miraculous crossing, and the miracle was noticed by the saints.)
Zechariah 14:1-7 – The Lord to set his foot on the Mount of Olives causing it to divide, and Israel will flee to safety through the valley.
DC 45:48 – The Lord to set his foot on the Mount of Olives, causing it to cleave in twain. (We’ve had partings of water… but a parting of land? That will be a sight to see!)
In closing, let me point out just one more scripture reference that ties this all together . . .
Are you impressed by what the the Lord did for Israel in all of these accounts? I believe that the best is yet to come! Take a look at this:
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. (Jeremiah 16:14-15, emphasis mine)
That should certainly grab your attention! You thought the Exodus was miraculous? You ain’t seen nothing yet!
Are you aware of any other instances of pillars and partings? If so, please share!