In 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 Paul gives an interpretation of what happened from the OT Exodus 14:22 & Numbers 20:11 as something that leads to baptism and Christ Himself. With that in mind, would it be wrong or is allegorical to say that the Red Sea would represent the blood of Jesus that washes away, which provides a path to heaven?

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    The connection between the Red Sea and baptism is obviously water, and the fact that the Israelites weren't fully saved until they crossed the Red Sea just as we are not fully saved until baptism since it is in baptism that remission of sins and the Holy Spirit are received per Acts 2:38, and even Paul says we are children of God by faith because we were baptized in Galatians 3:26-27. – david brainerd Jan 20 '15 at 3:57
  • You've got me curious now... which hermeneutics class are you in, if you don't mind me asking? If you don't want to say which school specifically, could you tell me whether it's undergrad or graduate, and what branch of the church it is associated with? – Jas 3.1 Jan 24 '15 at 21:13
  • Acts 2:38 is the baptism of Jesus into the Holy Ghost. It is pre-Pauline and relates to Jewish-specific preparation for the arrival of the Messiah in 70AD. Gal 3:27 is baptism by the Holy Spirit into Christ: Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. – Ruminator Oct 25 '18 at 5:53

The Idea in Brief

The image of blood and water appears in the Red Sea crossing in addition to the crossing of the River Jordan into the Promised Land. That is, each crossing occurred in tandem with the Passover Sacrifice and Feast, and therefore appear as parallel chronological events (since they occurred in tandem with Passover). In the former instance, the crossing of the Red Sea occurred through Moses, and in the latter instance, the crossing of the River Jordan occurred through the Glory of the Lord (that is, the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant had led the people, and not Joshua).

In the first instance, the Red Sea crossing was immediate deliverance from slavery in Egypt, and in the latter instance, the Jordan crossing was immediate deliverance into the rest of the Promised Land.

What lies between both events on the Hebrew calendar (Passover to Passover) is the Day of Atonement, where blood covers the sins of all the people. In tandem with the Day of Atonement is the Feast of Tabernacles, which marks the time spent from slavery in Egypt until the time of entrance into the rest of the Promised Land. This period of time was the testing of faith, and most Israelites delivered from Egypt did not proceed into the rest of the Promised Land.

In the Christian New Testament, the death of Jesus occurred on the same dates as Passover and its Feast. The resurrection of Jesus, which occurred on Sunday, appears to be the same Sunday when the Egyptian Army was destroyed in the Red Sea - that is, in the Hebrew Bible the Red Sea crossing by the Israelites appears to have occurred on the seventh day of the week (Saturday); the destruction of the Egyptian Army then followed.

In brief summary, within the Christian New Testament, the image of the blood of the Passover sacrifice and Feast (Jesus is the Passover sacrifice in 1 Cor 5:7) appears in direct correlation with the water of the Red Sea (and with the water of the Jordan River). So while blood atones, or provides deliverance from the condemnation of sin, water in the Christian New Testament provides for eternal life, or the deliverance into the rest (or peace) of heaven.


The Crossing of the Red Sea Occurred on Saturday (the Sabbath)

The Hebrew Bible indicates that Moses was the hand of the extended arm of God from heaven in order to deliver the Israelites from Egypt. Thus the literal hand of Moses was the agent of power, which had inflicted the plagues and was what caused the parting of the Red Sea. The following passage from Isaiah clarifies this point.

Isaiah 63:12 (NASB)
12 Who caused His glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, Who divided the waters before them to make for Himself an everlasting name....

When Moses lifted his hand, the sea was divided. The hand of Moses was the agent, by which the outstretched arm from heaven exercised power on earth. The same hand caused the sea walls to collapse, and thus destroyed the Egyptian Army.

Exodus 14:21-26 (NASB)
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. 22 The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. 24 At the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. 25 He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from Israel, for the Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians.” 26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.”

The parting of the Red Sea occurred on the seventh day of the week, which is Saturday (the Sabbath). In other words, the parting and closing of the Red Sea was the last instance when Moses had used his hand in the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt.

Deut 5:15 (NASB)
15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.

The inauguration of the Fourth Commandment (observation of the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week as noted by Deut 5:15, above) was in direct reference to the deliverance by Moses, when he had used his hand to divide and then to close the Red Sea, and thus delivered the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt. That is, Moses was the hand of the outstretched arm from heaven.

The Day of Atonement

The Day of Atonement occurs in the "middle" of the year, and therefore appears between the two events of Passover, when viewed through the lens of the crossing at the Red Sea and the crossing at the River Jordan. That is, the Feast of Tabernacles, which occurs in tandem with the Day of Atonement, commemorates the time spent from slavery in Egypt until the time of entrance into the rest of the Promise Land. Thus the Feast of Tabernacles places the Day of Atonement in the logical "middle," since the escape from Egypt occurred with one Passover, and the entrance into the Promised Land occurred in tandem with a second Passover. The following diagram provides the suggested understanding.

enter image description here

The Festival of the Feast of Tabernacles (or Feast of Booths) captures the collective span of time spent from slavery in Egypt until the time of entrance into the rest of the Promise Land. The Day of Atonement appears in contrast to Passover. That is, the blood sacrifice is efficacious for all. (Even Egyptians participated with the Israelites in the Exodus according to Ex 12:38 and Deut 29:11.) The Day of Atonement covers sins of all people, with emphasis on sins committed in ignorance.

Finally, the Christian New Testament brings connects the Day of Atonement to water. The following passage mentions the Day of Atonement and the water filtered through the ashes of the Red Heifer.

Hebrews 9:11-14 (NASB)
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

This passage from the Book Hebrews is in reference to the Day of Atonement, when the High Priest presented the blood of goats and bulls on the Mercy Seat of the Holy of Holies. The comment about "ashes of a heifer sprinkled" is not in reference to blood, but in reference to WATER. The water of the Red Heifer is not what removes the defilement of sin, but the defilement of spiritual death. That is, blood and water provided complete cleansing (the former concerned sin, and the latter concerned death).

For example, the atoning death of Jesus (blood) was just as important as his resurrection (water). If there were no resurrection, then the atoning death of Jesus Christ would have been in vain.

1 Cor 15:14-19 (NASB)
14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

Thus in the following verses, the Book of Hebrews correlates blood (atonement) and water (eternal life).

Hebrews 9:19-20 (NASB)
19 For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.”

The reference in this passage was to the Hebrew Bible (verse, below); however, the verse in question in the Hebrew Bible makes no mention of the water of the ashes of the Red Heifer in the chapter!

Exodus 24:8 (NASB)
8 So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

This chapter in Exodus mentions nothing about water, much less the water filtered through the ashes of the Red Heifer, which removed the defilement of death. In other words, the Christian New Testament amplifies the idea of "blood" to include not the idea of mortal life, but eternal life as well. Thus the image of water and blood emerging from the dead body of Jesus (John 19:34) would seem to indicate that both his mortal life and eternal life had departed his human body. The image of the water and blood operating in tandem with the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:6-8) also indicates how this eternal life was conceived and robed in human flesh.

Jesus is the Second Moses leading the Second Exodus

When Jesus appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses mentioned the following to Jesus.

Luke 9:28-31 (NASB)
28 Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. 30 And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, 31 who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

In the Greek (NA28) the last verse is as follows -

οἳ ὀφθέντες ἐν δόξῃ ἔλεγον τὴν ἔξοδον αὐτοῦ, ἣν ἤμελλεν πληροῦν ἐν Ἰερουσαλήμ.

The word for "departure" is ἔξοδος, which is the same Greek word for the Exodus from Egypt in Hebrews 11:22. Arndt, et al. (2000) indicate the wider usage of this word in antiquity that includes the Exodus from Egypt.

enter image description here

In summary, the following diagram depicts the suggested model for understanding the death (blood) and resurrection (water) of Jesus Christ in contradistinction to the Exodus from Egypt. This Exodus was the "departure from Jerusalem," which Moses (and Elijah) had mentioned to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus. Please click the image to enlarge.

enter image description here

Thus Jesus would have died on Thursday, according to the Biblical Texts. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ would make him "the Prophet" (mentioned in Deut 18:15), who would follow Moses (as fulfilled in Acts 3:22). That is, like Moses, Jesus Christ "saves" his people through blood and water. But not all people who follow Jesus embrace him through faith, and thus like the Israelites in the desert who were delivered from slavery in Egypt, many do not make the Jordan River crossing, which is final deliverance into the rest of the Promised Land.


The Israelites who escaped from the bondage of Egypt were circumcised. That is, they had the Israelite "sacrament" of circumcision, but they did not enter into the rest of the Promised Land notwithstanding. On the other hand, the Israelite males who did cross into the rest of the Promised Land did not have the "sacrament" of circumcision. That is, they were circumcised AFTER they had crossed into the Promised Land (Joshua 5:1-9).

In like manner, the Israelites who had crossed the Red Sea through the hand of Moses were "baptized" through him. Moses was the agent, who led the Israelites to Sinai where they received the Law from heaven (on the day of the celebration of the Feast of Weeks, which is Pentecost). These Israelites also partook of "spiritual food" (bread) and "spiritual drink" (cup) in the wilderness wanderings (where they had lived in tabernacles or booths). In other words, in 1 Cor 10:1-4, the Apostle Paul had indicated that these Israelites had the analog "sacraments" of baptism (and circumcision), "the spiritual food" (Eucharist Bread, or Body of Christ), and "the spiritual drink" (Eucharist Cup, or Blood of Christ). Thus they were "sacramentalized," but they were not saved in the ultimate sense. That is, they never made the crossing into the rest of the Promised Land.

In summary, the blood of Christ is for all men everywhere (as was evident on the Day of Atonement, or even the Passover, when Egyptians also had escaped from Egypt with the Israelites). However, not all receive the eternal life of Jesus Christ, which is living water. Not all make the crossing into the rest of the Promised Land.

The question therefore is whether or not one accepts not only the deliverance from the slavery to sin (analog here is to crossing the Red Sea by God's appointed leader and the "sacraments"), but whether or not one enters into the Promised Land (analog here is to crossing the River Jordan by the Spirit of God with or without the "sacraments," since uncircumcised Israelites had indeed entered the Promised Land). The discriminator therefore is not the forgiveness of sins, but faith as is evident through the trials and tests that occur in the "middle" of the desert.


Aland, K., Aland, B., Karavidopoulos, J., Martini, C. M., & Metzger, B. M. (2012). Novum Testamentum Graece (28th Edition., Lk 9:31). Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (3rd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 350-351.


Typological-theological perspective

My understanding from this passage and other NT texts is that the blood of the Passover Lamb represents Jesus' blood, while the Red Sea represents baptism.

The reason this can be confusing (if I'm following your question) is that both the Red Sea crossing (type) and baptism (antitype) seem to be salvific in texts like this one, as if a person's salvation were concurrent with (if not equivalent to) baptism. In other words, "baptism into Moses" seems to be set in typological parallel with "baptism into Christ" (cf. Romans 6). This apparent difficulty is cleared up once it is recognized that (A) baptism was the preferred method for committing yourself to Christ in the NT era, and (B) Jesus' work on the cross precedes our activities of embracing His work at baptism. In other words, the Passover Lamb can represent the work of Christ on the cross for all mankind, while the crossing of the Red Sea represents our embrace of His work personally at baptism.

Paul's intent

Of course, none of this has to do with Paul's primary intent in the passage. He simply wanted to make it clear that we ought not to think that we are safe from idolatry, failure, and judgment simply because we're currently "in" the church. Take communion all you want... if you're an idolator you will not enter the "Promised Land".


Yes it would be wrong to say that the Red Sea represents the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The baptism takes place because of the cloud that guided the Israelites.It was a cloud of Water and Fire and Jesus would baptise with fire as recorded in The book of Matthew .The Israelites were not under the sea-but they were under the cloud (baptism).The sea has more to do with the birth of the Nation of Israel.

Some people say that the waters were divided but my view is the waters were broken.See this question.The broken waters came before the birth of a nation.Israel was born through water and blood and out of this nation one would be born who would rule the nations with an iron sceptre , who also came through water and blood when he was born.See first comment to this Question.

1 John 5:6 New International Version

6 This is the one who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.


The water and the blood that Israel had to pass through before the nation was born, is symbolic of the spiritual and human birth of Jesus Christ.


The text is saying that all were baptised "into Moses" in the cloud and in the sea:

2 καὶ πάντες εἰς τὸν Μωϋσῆν ⸀ἐβαπτίσαντο ἐν τῇ νεφέλῃ καὶ ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ, (SBLGNT 1Co 10.2)

It appears as both baptisms, cloud and sea, together represent one baptism: that "into Moses".

The New Testament talks about a baptism of all believers in a body (of Christ) in 1Co 12:13. This baptism is a work of the Holy Spirit and happened spiritually when Jesus was lifted up in the cross, acc. to Joh 12:32-33 and Joh 11:52.

During Jesus ministry, after having been baptised in the baptism of John, Jesus spoke of a certain baptism he was looking forward to take part, acc. to Luke 12:50. Well, he wasn't going to be baptised into himself, nor in water, but in death, as a result of Him voluntarily giving up his life on the cross.

Since he died and was raised from among the dead ones after being lifted up in the cross, the believers that were placed in Him (by virtue of the previous baptism in His body) were also baptised into this same baptism of death (followed by ressurection). See, for instance, how Jesus includes the family of Zebedee (v.20) in his death baptism in Matt 20:22-23. This is fully confirmed by Rom 6:3.

Finally, the New Testament most frequently speaks of believers as being "in Christ", the familiar expression "ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ" and it's equivalents.

Since Moses' ministry was several times a type of Jesus', the New Testament drawing several comparisons between them, Joh 1.17, Joh 3:14, and Heb 3:1-6, to list a few, it seems accurate to recognize the following parallels:

The baptism in the cloud being a figure of the baptism in the body of Jesus - a baptism into that which is lifted up (recall Joh 12:32-33).

The baptism in the sea being a figure of the baptism in death. This is also supported by Jesus comparing His 3-day stay in the place of the dead with the sign of Jonah, who spent 3 days under sea-level, Matt 12:40.

The baptism (or being) into Moses being a figure of the baptism (or being) into Christ, the overall operation that places believers forever ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ, in a similar manner Israelites were placed under the Law (to this day!).

While the people of Israel stayed in Moses or under the Law, Christians remain in Christ, under Grace. The entering on the sea (not getting wet but lowering below sea-level) represents all Christians' death with Jesus, while leaving the sea (getting out of the region below sea-level) represents the resurrection, spiritually on the believers, physically to Jesus and to the first-fruits.

It can't be a reference to Jesus blood as nowhere in the Bible Jesus blood is used as a baptism (immersion) medium, but as a washing spiritual agent - a very important distinction!

To sum up, the red sea would be a representation of death. The joint one Jesus and those in union with Him experienced.

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