KJV 1 Corinthians 10 : 2

And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

The children of Israel crossed two water points a sea and a river on their way to Canaan.There were more or less similar conditions for both crossings the waters are said to have formed walls and they crossed on dry ground.

KJV Exodus 14 : 21 - 22

And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

KJV Joshua 3 : 16 - 17

That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. 17 And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.

The apostle refers to the sea (Red) as their place of baptism not the Jordan River

Was there something symbolic about the sea or the events that took place there that led the apostle to refer to the sea over the river?

  • It happened first when they left Egypt!
    – Dottard
    Commented Jun 18, 2022 at 6:34

2 Answers 2


Was there something symbolic about the sea or the events that took place there that led the apostle to refer to the sea over the river?

First, Moses never crossed the Jordan river.

He died in Deuteronomy 34:5...

5 And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said.

Before they crossed the Jordan in Joshua 3:16 - 17

It's difficult to be baptized unto Moses at the Jordon river if Moses is already dead.

Second, the crossing of the sea was the moment when the Israelites were fully free to serve God.

Previously, Moses was only asking for permission from Pharoah for a three days journey to serve God. Presumably they would have been required to return afterward since they were still his slaves.

Exodus 5:3 Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.”

It was only after the Pharoah was destroyed in the sea were the Israelites fully free to serve God being thus freed from slavery to the Egyptians.

Exodus 14:13 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.

Exodus 14:30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.

This baptism into Moses for the freedom from the Egyptians so that they may fully serve God parallels our baptism into Jesus Christ for the freedom from our sins so that we may fully serve God.

Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness [literally freedom] of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.


The generation of adults that left Egypt were baptized in the sea, but did not make it to the promised land. In contrast, the generation born in the wilderness plus minors who left Egypt crossed the Jordan and made it there. They were like the victorious runner of 1 Corinthians 9:24. Paul urges the Corinthians to learn from the history of Israel, avoid their mistakes, and be like the second generation.

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