Exodus 13:

21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. 22He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.

There were two different types of pillars depending on the time of the day.

Exodus 14:

24 Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the Lord looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians.

Was this a third type of pillar with fire and cloud at the same time, like half and half?

1 Answer 1


Yes, the pillar was BOTH cloud and fire on that occasion, as the earlier verses in chapter 14 explain.

And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honor upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. (Exodus 14:18, KJV)

And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: (Exodus 14:19, KJV)

And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. (Exodus 14:20, KJV)

In other words, the cloud was on the side of the Egyptian army, to obscure their view and confuse their way so that they could not overtake the fleeing Israelites; whereas the fire side of the pillar gave light to the Israelites throughout the night.

  • 2
    This may contain great symbolic value as well. If we recognize that Egypt represented sin (the world), they were blinded (2 Cor. 4:3-4: "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light" (emphasis added). On the other hand, Israel could see the flame before them ("the Light"), AND 1 Cor. 10:1-2: "[Our] fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea".
    – Xeno
    Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 15:44
  • @Xeno Yes, well spotted.
    – Polyhat
    Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 15:59
  • 1
    Oops, meant to add +1.
    – Xeno
    Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 16:02

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