This article was first published at
on 10 Jun 2019, i.e., on The Solemnity of Pentecost.
DOI of this paper:
Here it was published on Monday, 11 Jun 2019,
on the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of the Church.
The present paper reminds first that the passage of the fire and smoke between the halves of the divided animals (Gen 15:17) was the passage of signs of God who made the covenant with Abram in this way.
Then one proved that that passage is the historical source of interpretation for the analogous passage and covenant-making, namely for the passage of the pillar of fire and cloud, the signs of God who was passing with Israel between the halves of the waters of the Sea of Reeds (cf. Ex 14:15-29).
Then one analyzed the prophet Isaiah’s interpretation concerning that act as the passing between the halves of Rahab/Dragon/Leviathan (Isa 51:5-10) as the reality analogous to animals from Gen 15:17. Then the analyses concerned both the other prophecies of Jeremiah (11:1-8; 7:22-23; 31:31-33) and also Ezekiel’s allegories (16:6-8; 20:5-10; 23:1-49), as the supplement and confirmation of the previous results. The Book of Ezekiel appeared an excellent verification of such an understanding of Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jer 31:32) that God made a covenant with Israel accurately on the day He took her by the hand to bring her out of Egypt.
Table of contents:
One has shown in the previous analyses  that the Book of Exodus 1-18 has a literary structure composed of six elements which are the consecutive pericopes: 1:1-6:1; 6:2-11:10; 12:1-13:16; 13:17-14:31; 15:1-21; 15:22-18:27.
At the end of that research, one pointed out that the passage of the Lord in the signs of fire and cloud and of Israel between the halves of the divided sea resembles the passage of the partners of the ancient covenant between the halves of the divided animals. In the present paper, one will verify this observation by detailed analyses of the biblical texts.
However, one must immediately point out that Ex 1-18 does not once use the Hebrew term בְּרִית to reveal that God made the covenant with Israelites, what is dissimilar to many other biblical descriptions of the covenant-making. It is worth to mention that the origin of the term בְּרִית is not fully known. It is presumed to originate either from the root ברה – to feed, eat (→ the meal at the time of covenant), or to bind, bond (→ the partners by bindings), or to originate from the Akkadian ‘birit’ (between) or the Assyrian ‘birittu’ or the Akkadian ‘birtu’ (the ties → between partners) .
The work will be carried out in the following order:
First, the biblical event, fundamental for understanding the pattern of ancient covenants, will be recalled: the Lord’s passage, recorded in Gen 15, under the sign of fire and smoke between the halves of the animals divided by Abram. The analogies between the announcements of this pericope and their fulfillment in the relation of Ex 1-18 will complement these first analyses.
Next, the very act of moving sea waters apart will be shown as analogous to the splitting of an animal serving for the passage of the covenant partners between its halves.
Then one will present Jeremiah’s prophecy (31:32), in light of which the day of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt by the Lord is the day of the covenant-making between the Lord and Israel. The significance of this crucial text, one will confirm by the analysis of the other prophetic speeches of Jeremiah and Ezekiel .
Finally, we will compare two structures: the literary structure of Ex 1-18 and that of making/describing covenants in the Ancient East .
The fundamental methodological assumption of this part of the work we based on the observation of R. Meynet , who emphasizes that it is not enough in the analysis of the text to limit oneself to separating individual pericopes, but it is necessary to perceive the logic of connections between them. This French scholar stresses here the need for a proper approach to Scripture, different from the one introduced by the so-called ‘school of forms.’ In the view of Meynet, the biblical books are not so much a compilation (that is, a collection of earlier texts, not ordered according to some logic – as Formgeschichte wants) as a composition (that is, a logical structure of elements-pericopes; a structure given by the last editor of the book). One should notice that the works of Polish biblical scholars also make it possible to undertake such a logic of the research method .
It is worth emphasizing that the research will show the meaning of the biblical way to reveal the covenant relation by the means other than by the word בְּרִית, namely by the formula:
וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם לִי לְעָם וְהָיִיתִי לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים
the significant role of which in other parts of Scripture has already been discovered by some biblical scholars .
The Book of Genesis in chapter 15 presents the covenant-making between God and Abram. When Abram had believed in the promise of many offspring, God commanded him to prepare the animals. Abram split them in two and placed each half opposite the other. With the sun had set and it was dark, the smoke and the fire, the signs of the God, passed between the halves. Thus the Lord, following the custom of human covenants of that time, passing between the halves of cut animals, made a covenant with Abram .
The Hebrew word גֶּזֶר – half (of animal – Genesis 15:17) is significant for the analysis of this work. The same noun was used only once again in the whole Bible by the psalmist (Psa 136:13), describing the division of the waters of the Sea of Reeds :
He halved  the Sea of Reeds into halves: לְגֹזֵר יַם־סוּף לִגְזָרִים
In the quoted verse one can see the emphasis intended by the inspired author since he has included twice the word derived from the root גזר – first this root occurs in the verb to split and then in the noun halves.
Commentators also emphasize that among the many God’s acts leading to liberating Israelites from Egypt, the author of Psalm 136 mentioned only two: the killing of the firstborns of Egypt and the carrying out the People between the separated waters of the Sea of Reeds, with the simultaneous sinking of Pharaoh’s troops . It testifies to the particular importance of these two acts in Israel’s theology. Against this background, one should notice the meaning of the words of the root גזר.
The author of Psalm 136, through the emphatic use of two words of the root גזר to describe the division of the Sea of Reeds, indicates  the possibility of understanding the passage between the sea halves (as described in Ex 14) in light of the meaning of the passage between animal halves (as described in Gen 15). The psalmist inspired by God in his perceiving of both presented salvific events sees Gen 15 as the source for the understanding of events described in Ex 14, according to how God understands them. For the historical event was not subject to arbitrary (or unauthorized) interpretation by hagiographers, but was presented and interpreted by them as the Holy Spirit intended, even though hagiographers wrote in the human language of the concepts of their culture.
The interpretations of the authors of different biblical books are not contradictory but complementary, and they give together God’s view of events . One can see reading the Bible in this way that there are the following relationships between the two events in their broader context:
The Book of Genesis (15:18) explicitly reveals the meaning of this passage of signs of fire and smoke: thus the Lord made a covenant (בְּרִית) with Abram.
Can we deduct the same for the passage recorded in Ex 14:15-31?
Perhaps – yes! The analogies set forth above between Gen 15 and many significant places in Ex 1-14 seem to indicate the hidden but genuinely intended by the hagiographer meaning of that passage between the waters of the divided sea: thus the Lord made a covenant  with the descendants of Abraham.
The important thing is that in both cases the passage takes place between divided entities. The analogy between Gen 15 and Ex 14 is evident in the background of other possible ways of obtaining halves, from which God chose this one: He cut the sea in half.
The Lord could have made a way through the waters not by cutting them in half but into seven parts (for example) as it is in Isa 11:15f: “And the Lord will utterly destroy the tongue of the sea of Egypt; and will wave his hand over the River with his scorching wind, and will split it into seven channels, and make a way to cross on foot; so there shall be a highway from Assyria for the remnant that is left of His people, as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt” NRS.
In this case, comparing Ex 14 to Gen 15 would be ‘overinterpretation.’ However, according to an inspired interpretation of Psa 136:13 for the passage between sea waters (the description of which is in Ex 14), the Lord divided these waters – just as Abram divided the animals.
Further analyses will serve to check the research intuition indicated here .
|וַיֵּט מֹשֶׁה אֶת־יָדוֹ עַל־הַיָּם||a||14:21|
|וַיּוֹלֶךְ יְהוָה אֶת־הַיָּם בְּרוּחַ קָדִים עַזָּה כָּל־הַלַּיְלָה||b|
|וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת־הַיָּם לֶחָרָבָה||c|
|וְיָבֹאוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּתוֹךְ הַיָּם בַּיַּבָּשָׁה||a||14:22|
|וְהַמַּיִם לָהֶם חֹמָה מִימִינָם וּמִשְּׂמֹאלָם||b|
|14:21||a||And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,|
|b||and the Lord caused the sea to go apart  by a strong east wind all that night,|
|c||and he made the sea into dry land|
|d||and the waters were divided.|
|14:22||a||So the Israelites went into the midst of the sea on dry ground,|
|b||and the waters being a wall for them on their right and on their left.|
The words highlighted in the text indicate the necessity of reading both verses together as complementary thoughts. Particularly crucial for further analysis is the parallel reading of the verbs וַיּוֹלֶךְ and וַיִּבָּקְעוּ M:
The Lord throughout the night caused the sea to go apart so effectively that the waters were torn and cut; thanks to this, a dry surface appeared between the waters (חָרָבָה and יַבָּשָׁה), on which Israel could go to the other side.
While the verb הלך is very common in the Bible (it occurs 1547 times), the verb בקע is specific. It occurs much less frequently (51 times in the Bible), depicting an act of tearing something apart :
The listing above shows that we should understand the verb בקע as: split something, split into parts, cut, cause a gap, tear, rip, crack. In this sense, it appears in Ex 14:16.21:
The Lord caused the waters of the Sea of Reeds to split into two separate parts.
Finally, it is worth noting that the analysis of the description of the passage of the Lord and Israel through the Sea of Reeds in chapter 14 of the Book of Exodus is different from what is explained in Biblii Tysiąclecia 4 as follows:
“21 Mojżesz wyciągnął rękę nad morze, a Pan cofnął wody gwałtownym wiatrem wschodnim, który wiał przez całą noc, i uczynił morze suchą ziemią. Wody się rozstąpiły, 22 a Izraelici szli przez środek morza po suchej ziemi, mając mur z wód po prawej i po lewej stronie”.
21 “Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord withdrew the waters with a violent east wind, which blew all night and made the sea into dry ground. The waters parted, 22 and the Israelites walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, having a wall of water on the right and left side.
Based on this translation, the reader learns that the Lord, using the wind, dried a part of the sea so that His people could pass on the road between the walls of the waters. The expression “the waters parted” (wody się rozstąpiły) seems to be only another form of communicating what the first part of verse 21 says.
One can notice there are translations which indicate more precisely that the waters have been divided – the American version  for example:
NAU 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.
Comparison of translations shows that in order to understand a hagiographer, it is necessary to analyze the text precisely . He says that the waters were cut, chopped, torn, split – two separate parts were created, distanced from each other. In the middle between these two halves, passed the Lord and His people.
In the scientific studies of the text of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, the biblical scholars point out the fragments that have words and phrases in common with the Book of Exodus. Their use by the hagiographer is to make the reader aware that there is a profound analogy in God’s plan between the exit from Egypt and the new exit announced by the prophet Isaiah – from Babylon .
In the framework of the present research, one must point out the significant text contained in the 51st chapter of the Book of Isaiah. The Prophet predicts in it not only a new exit (as in 51:11) but also in a new way speaks about the exit from Egypt.
Here is this significant parallelism, recorded by the prophet Isaiah (51:9-10), where the crucial part (9c-10ab) is after the invocation to the arm of the Lord (9ab):
|עוּרִי עוּרִי לִבְשִׁי־עֹז זְרוֹעַ יְהוָה||9a|
|Awake, awake, put on strength, o arm of the Lord!|
|עוּרִי כִּימֵי קֶדֶם דֹּרוֹת עוֹלָמִים||9b|
|Awake as in the days of old, in ages long ago!|
|הַמַּחְצֶבֶת רַהַב מְחוֹלֶלֶת תַּנִּין||הֲלוֹא אַתְּ־הִיא|
|cutting Rahab apart , piercing Tannin?||Are not You who was|
|הַמַּחֲרֶבֶת יָם מֵי תְּהוֹם רַבָּה||הֲלוֹא אַתְּ־הִיא|
|drying up a sea, waters of a great deep,||Are not You who was|
|הַשָּׂמָה מַעֲמַקֵּי־יָם דֶּרֶךְ לַעֲבֹר גְּאוּלִים|
|making depths of a sea a way for the passing of the redeemed?|
The analyzed text refers to the history of the ancient generations  (51:9ab) of Israel as the People of the Lord. When God led Israel out of Egyptian captivity and led them to the shores of the Sea of Reeds, He intervened with His powerful arm in order to consistently carry out the plan to save the redeemed. He brought in the wind so that the waters of the Sea of Reeds moved apart and the redeemed Israel could pass on its bare, dry bottom (cf. Ex 14:16. 21-22. 29; 15:8. 19).
The verb ‘redeemed’ (גְּאוּלִים), present in verse 10, is crucial for analyses; it originates – and this is very important – from the root גאל. What is more, the verb גאל appears in Exodus 1-18 in two places:
Biblia Tysiąclecia4 translates Isa 51:9c as: “Haven’t you dismembered Rahab into many pieces, haven’t you pierced Dragon?” The nearest analysis of words  will show the necessity to express the word הַמַּחְצֶבֶת as ‘to tear it in two/to cut up into two pieces.’ To be more precise, ‘the arm was tearing it in two/the arm was cutting it in two,’ but not ‘the arm was dismembering it into many pieces.’ One will show then the exegetical consequences of such precise translation of this word. For a full understanding of Isa 51:9, one will consider the meaning of all the parallel segments and therefore Isa 51:10.
The analyzed text contains in middle the thought expressed by the parallel (verses 9c-10a): the prophet in verse 9c equates the act of drying (הַמַּחֲרֶבֶת –M10a) of the sea waters by the Lord with His act of dividing the sea into halves: the tearing/cutting of Rahab in two (הַמַּחְצֶבֶת), piercing (מְחוֹלֶלֶת) of Tannin (Dragon).
The word הַמַּחְצֶבֶת in 9c is the participle of the verb חצב in the causative form hifil: the participle of this verb in the noun meaning denotes the stonemason, i.e., the man breaking rocks (1Kings 5:29; 12:13; 1Chr 22:2.15; 2Chr 2:1.17; 24:12; Ezra 3:7) or the woodcutter, that is, the man cutting wood (Isa 10:15); while the verb means: to forge in the rock a cistern (Deut 6:11; 2Chr 26:10; Neh 9:25; Jer 2:13) or a tomb (Isa 22:16); to engrave letters in a stone (Job 19:24); to carve out the columns (Prov 9:1); to forge the press (Isa 5:2); to hollow out the earth to extract the copper (Deut 8:9); in a figurative sense: to hew the men from the rock or by the prophets (Isa 51:1; Hos 6:5). The presented list of meanings of the word חצב shows its essence: it designates the act of splitting of the rock or wood. Therefore, Isa 51:9e must have the same meaning: The Lord chopped/split Rahab in the same way as woodcutter chops/splits wood, as stonemason chops/splits rock.
The word מְחוֹלֶלֶת in 9c is the participle of the verb חלל in the intensive form poel. This verb has three meaning groups . It occurs in the analyzed sentence in the meaning of the second group: to pierce, hurt, wound, flog. חלל in this meaning appears in six biblical verses . The essence of the activities described by this verb is to cut something or tear it apart: the skin of body (Prov 26:10; Isa 53:5; Ezek 28:9; 32:26), the heart (figuratively) (Psa 77:11; 109:22), the Serpent, and Tannin (Dragon) (Job 26:13; Isa 51:9).
The word הַמַּחֲרֶבֶת in 10a is the participle of the verb חרב in the causative form hifil: to dry, devastate, havoc, ruin, turn something into a desert . Thus this word depicts not only the effect of drying something but also the power of the acting God, who completely crushed the adversary; He turned it into nothingness what was living before. After all, water is life, and the lack of water is the lack of life, the complete ruin of life. In this case, God’s power manifests itself to the Great Abyss; it manifests itself to what is most worthy of the name ‘water,’ and what is the original source of water, and the super-abundant water. So if the Lord dried this what ‘is the most’ water, it means that the Lord is powerful really!
The juxtaposition of words shows that the prophet emphasized the parallelism of images (the cutting of Rahab apart / the piercing of Tannin / the drying up of the sea waters / the changing the sea depths into the way for the passage of the redeemed) not only by the identical beginning of verses 51:9c and 51:10a (“Are not You who was”). He did it also by the use of the participle in each of the analyzed verbs: The Lord’s arm is shown here as cutting Rahab apart, piercing Tannin, drying up the sea, making  the way. Thanks to this, one can see how much the hagiographer wanted the reader to notice this parallelism and thus the theological thought expressed by it: the separation of the Sea of Reeds (by draining a part of its waters) is equivalent to the splitting of an animal – Rahab, Tannin.
It is the same thought as in Psa 136:13 (see point 1.1), where the hagiographer also gave the participle: For the one who is dividing (halving) the Sea of Reeds in half:
לְגֹזֵר יַם־סוּף לִגְזָרִים
The parallel terms רַהַב and תַּנִּין in the Book of the prophet Isaiah need to be clarified . Their meaning we will show together with another word similar to them – לִוְיָתָן.
The noun רַהַב occurs 6 times in the Bible: Job 9:13; 26:12; Psa 87:4; 89:11; Isa 30:7; 51:9. One of the indicated verses speaks about Egypt so figuratively named (Isa 30:7), and the remaining about some powerful monster, in relation to whom God turns out to be more powerful.
The noun תַּנִּין (snake, dragon) appears 14 times in the Bible:
The noun לִוְיָתָן (Leviathan) is in five Biblical verses:
The hagiographers used the three analyzed nouns, on the one hand, to describe animals and, on the other hand, to symbolize powers which are represented by these animals, and in relation to which God proves incomparably stronger.
About the overcoming of the monster Rahab by God speak besides Isa 51:9 two more verses: Job 26:12 and Psa 89:11. Particularly remarkable is the text from Job because it contains significant parallelism:
בְּכֹחוֹ רָגַע הַיָּם
וּבִתְבוּנָתוֹ מָחַץ רָהַב
a by his power He cut the sea,
b and thanks to His wisdom, He broke Rahab.
Here there are parallel verbs רָגַע and מָחַץ.
The word מָחַץ one should translate as  ‘broke,’ (as in Deut 33:11), ‘wounded’ (as in Deut 32:39, Job 5:18), while the word רָגַע as ‘cut,’ identical as in Job 7:5:
|לָבַשׁ בְּשָׂרִי רִמָּה וְגִישׁ עָפָר עוֹרִי רָגַע וַיִּמָּאֵס|
|My body is covered with vermin and scabs; my skin cracks and splits out.|
This verse shows two phases of wound formation: the skin first breaks (רגע), then the resulting crack expands, goes wider (מאס) through the fact that the skin on one side of the crack moves in one direction and the skin on the other side of the crack moves in the opposite direction.
It was the case with the sea, which God first led to crack (Job 26:12a: רגע; cf. Ex 14:21: בקע), and then He caused the two parts of the sea to go out in opposite directions (הלך – Ex 14:21) and they split themselves.
About God’s victory over Leviathan and Tannin, Prophet Isaiah (27:1) and Psalmist (74:13-15) speak particularly interestingly through the use of significant parallelisms:
|בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִפְקֹד יְהוָה בְּחַרְבוֹ הַקָּשָׁה וְהַגְּדוֹלָה וְהַחֲזָקָה|
|עַל לִוְיָתָן נָחָשׁ בָּרִחַ וְעַל לִוְיָתָן נָחָשׁ עֲקַלָּתוֹן|
|וְהָרַג אֶת־הַתַּנִּין אֲשֶׁר בַּיָּם|
|On that day the Lord with his sword – hard, great and strong – will punish|
|Leviathan, the timid serpent, Leviathan, the winding serpent,|
|and He will kill Tannin that is in the sea.|
It is worth noting the meaning of this verse: The Lord with his sword (בְּחַרְבוֹ) hit the Leviathan, Tannin (Dragon). The sword can one use to cut, to split the adversary (cf. Ezek 21:24; 23:47) – just as the Lord did according to Ex 14:21 with that Rahab-sea, which gave after the split in its center a desolate, dry land (חָָרָבָה)M.
|אַתָּה פוֹרַרְתָּ בְעָזְּךָ יָם||13|
|שִׁבַּרְתָּ רָאשֵׁי תַנִּינִים עַל־הַמָּיִם|
|אַתָּה רִצַּצְתָּ רָאשֵׁי לִוְיָתָן||14|
|תִּתְּנֶנּוּ מַאֲכָל לְעָם לְצִיִּים|
|אַתָּה בָקַעְתָּ מַעְיָן וָנָחַל||15|
|אַתָּה הוֹבַשְׁתָּ נַהֲרוֹת אֵיתָן|
|13||You broke the sea with Your power,|
|You broke Tannins’ heads on the waters.|
|14||You broke Leviathan’s heads,|
|You will give it to the people of the desert for food.|
|15||You cut the springs and streams;|
|You dried up the rivers that were constantly flowing.|
|פוֹרַרְתָּ||is the verb פרר in the form poel – to split, divide.|
|שִׁבַּרְתָּ||is the verb שׁבר in the intensive form piel – to break, break in pieces .|
|רִצַּצְתָּ||is the verb רצץ in the intensive form piel – to crush, oppress: cf. Judg 9:53; 2Kings 18:1; Psa 74:14; Eccl 12:6; Isa 36:6; 42:3f; 58:6; Ezek 29:7; Hos 5:11.|
|בָקַעְתָּ||is the verb בקע in the form qal – to cleave, divide, break through, break up, rip up, tear; the meaning of this verb was presented above in the Ex 14:21 analysis.|
|הוֹבַשְׁתָּ||is the verb יבשׁ in the causative form hifil – to make dry.|
From the verb יבשׁ comes  the noun יַבָּשָׁה.
It is worth noting that this noun appears in the description of the exodus of the Israelites from Egyptian captivity in Ex 14:16.22.29, and also in chapter 15, in the hymn sung by the Israelites in honor of the Lord after they have passed over to the other side of the sea (Ex 15:19). The noun יַבָּשָׁה means dry land, onto which a part of the Sea of Reeds was changed in a result of God’s miraculous intervention so that Israel could pass to its other shore. This dry land is the road between the divided sea waters.
Also, this verb and noun appear together in the description of Israel’s passage through Jordan (cf. Josh 4:22f), cut into two parts, in a result of which it was cut the natural joint between the spring and the streams of water flowing out of it. About this event, verse 15 of Psalm 74 speaks.
Analyzed Psalm 74 shows the parallelism between the event of the cutting of Jordan and the cutting of Sea of Reeds . The verses 13-14-15 show the heads of Tannins-Dragons (תַנִּינִים, which in singular is: תַּנִּין) and the heads of Leviathan (לִוְיָתָן), the sea and the river, while the verbs used here, describing the act of God performed on those monsters, illustrate the act of breaking, interrupting, cutting, dividing, crushing.
In their analyses of Psa 74, the Bible scholars draw attention to the particular significance of the problem of God’s victorious struggle against the powers represented by sea monsters. The word אַתָּה (You), with which the psalmist always turns to God to express his admiration for His wonderful deeds, appears in this Psalm 7 times, and this number is equal to the number of heads of the Leviathan, as indicated in ancient Ugaritic literature .
The description of the passage of Jordan, being parallel to the description of the passage of Sea of Reeds, contains another verb: כרת (cf. Josh 3:13.16; 4:7).
It is remarkable that the same verb is used to express the act of making the covenant (בְּרִית): the sequence בְּרִית + כרת appears in 55 verses of the Bible  (in the Book of Exodus: 23:32; 34:10.12.15.27; in the Book of Joshua: 9:6f.11.15f; 24:25). In the Book of Genesis, the same sequence is used to express God’s covenant with Abraham (15:18) and Abraham’s covenant with men (21:27.32; 26:28; 31:34).
By analogy between the crossing of Sea of Reeds and the crossing of Jordan, one can conclude that the cutting of sea waters one can express by the term כרת. Thanks to this, one can see in this act not only a manifestation of the power of God in the face of a threatening element but also an act belonging to a completely different category – the making (כרת) of the covenant by God with Israel .
The three nouns (רַהַב, תַּנִּין, and לִוְיָתָן, used in parallel to illustrate the act of cutting the sea or river waters, represent, on the one hand, a power that is dangerous to man and not to God. On the other hand, however, these nouns refer to their primordial, natural foundation, which is simply the mighty animals. It is thanks to this second dimension that the verses presented in this point of the work, when they are speaking about the cutting, breaking, or breaking-up Rahab, Dragon, Leviathan, they speak about the splitting a powerful animal.
Based on the presented analyses, and especially on the literary parallelism of Isa 51:9-10, the act of parting the waters of the Sea of Reeds, described in Ex 14:21, is analogous to the act of the Lord, cutting the mighty animal, Rahab. Therefore, the passage of the Lord and Israel between the wall of the waters (Ex 14:22.29) is the passage between the halves of a particular animal cut into two: Rahab – the sea. The Lord and Israel passed between the walls of the waters, just as the partners of the covenant used to pass between the halves of an ordinary animal.
The analyses of the verses from the Book of Exodus, the Book of Job, the Book of Psalms, the Book of Prophet Isaiah, describing the division of the waters of the sea, showed the convergence of the thoughts of these books, though expressed in different words. Both the verb בקע (Ex 14:16.21; Psa 74:15), חצב and חלל (Isa 51:9b), רגע and מחץ (Job 26:12), פרר and רצץ (Psa 74:13-15) express the same fundamental idea: to cut something, cause a crevice, divide into parts, split, split up, tear, pierce, break.
Thanks to the parallel structures used by the hagiographer in Isa 27:1 and Isa 51:9-10, the cutting by the Lord of the Sea of Reeds into halves one can understand as cutting into halves of Rahab, Dragon or Leviathan.
The same conclusion results from parallelisms in Job 26:12 and Psa 74:13-15.
Literary parallelism between the passage of the Sea of Reeds and the Jordan River, shown in Psalms 66:6 and 74:13-15, allows us to add one more verb to the collection of verbs that reflect that act of the Lord to the sea: כרת. Thanks to this the analogy between the cutting of the Sea of Reeds and the making (כרת) of the covenant is even more evident.
The Book of Exodus, therefore, shows that the Lord made the waters of the Sea of Reeds break into two separate parts, between which He and His people passed, as covenant partners pass between the halves of a divided animal. The divided Rahab served to the Lord to make a covenant with Israel.
The analyses have shown how profound is the analogy between two historical passages. The first was the passage of the Lord in the signs of fire and smoke between the halves of the animals, cut-apart by Abram (cf. Gen 15:17f). The second was the passage of the Lord (in the similar signs of fire and cloud) and the descendants of Abram between the parts of the cut-apart Sea of Reeds. Under the veil of Israel’s historical transition from Egyptian captivity to freedom, a historic salvation event took place: For the first time in the history of humankind, the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites as His Chosen People.
Analyses of the previous point of the work have shown that the passage through the Sea of Reeds is an act of passage of the Lord and Israel as partners of the covenant.
This unique event must have left a lasting mark not only in the Book of Exodus but also in the teaching of the prophets since, in order to interpret the present situation of Israel, they used to refer by principle to God’s interventions in history . A significant test of the analyses performed so far will be the Lord’s speeches in the Book of Prophet Jeremiah, which confirm this remarkable interpretation of that historical event.
The word בְּרִית in the meaning of “God’s covenant with Israel” appears in the following verses of this book: 11:2. 3. 6. 8. 10; 14:21; 22:9; 31:31. 32. 33; 34:13. Two fragments are particularly interesting: 11:1-8 and 31:31-33.
|הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר הָיָה אֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ מֵאֵת יְהוָה לֵאמֹר||¹|
|שִׁמְעוּ אֶת־דִּבְרֵי הַבְּרִית הַזֹּאת וְדִבַּרְתָּם אֶל־אִישׁ יְהוּדָה||2a|
|וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל||3a|
|אָרוּר הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִשְׁמַע אֶת־דִּבְרֵי הַבְּרִית הַזֹּאת||3b|
|אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי אֶת־אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם בְּיוֹם הוֹצִיאִי־אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ־מִצְרַיִם מִכּוּר הַבַּרְזֶל||4a|
|וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אוֹתָם כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־אֲצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם||4c|
|וִהְיִיתֶם לִי לְעָם וְאָנֹכִי אֶהְיֶה לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים||4d|
|לְמַעַן הָקִים אֶת־הַשְּׁבוּעָה אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לַאֲבוֹתֵיכֶם||5a|
|לָתֵת לָהֶם אֶרֶץ זָבַת חָלָב וּדְבַשׁ כַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה|
|וָאַעַן וָאֹמַר אָמֵן יְהוָה ס||5b|
|וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלַי קְרָאֶ את־כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה בְּעָרֵי יְהוּדָה||6|
|וּבְחֻצוֹת יְרוּשָׁלַםִ לֵאמֹר|
|שִׁמְעוּ אֶת־דִּבְרֵי הַבְּרִית הַזֹּאת וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אוֹתָם|
|כִּי הָעֵד הַעִדֹתִי בַּאֲבוֹתֵיכֶם בְּיוֹם הַעֲלוֹתִי אוֹתָם||7a|
|מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וְעַד־הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה הַשְׁכֵּם וְהָעֵד לֵאמֹר|
|וְלֹא שָׁמְעוּ וְלֹא־הִטּוּ אֶת־אָזְנָם וַיֵּלְכוּ אִישׁ בִּשְׁרִירוּת לִבָּם הָרָע||8a|
|וָאָבִיא עֲלֵיהֶםֶ אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵי הַבְּרִית־הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר־צִוִּיתִי לַעֲשׂוֹת וְלֹא עָשׂוּ ס||8b|
Jer 11:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord,
2a Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah
2b and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
3a You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel:
|3b||Cursed be the man who does not heed the words of this covenant|
|4a||that I commanded your fathers, in the day of My bringing them out from the land of Egypt, out of the iron furnace,|
4b Listen to my voice
4c and do all that I command you.
4d Then you shall be my people, and I will be your God,
5a that I may perform the oath which I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day.
5b Then I answered, So be it, Lord.
6 Then the Lord said to me: Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem:
Hear the words of this covenant and obey them.
7a For I solemnly warned your fathers in the day of My bringing them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying,
7b Obey my voice.
8a But they did not listen or give ear. Each one followed the hardness of his evil heart,
8b And I bring on them all the words of this covenant, that I commanded to do, and they did not.
Jer 11:1-3a is the introduction to the text between verses 3b and 8, which are the Hebrew rhetorical inclusion for this fragment .
One must ask the following question, fundamental for the exegesis of the above admonition in Jer 11-8: About which covenant does God speak here through the prophet Jeremiah? About the covenant made at Sinai? It turns out not!
The comparative analysis of Jer 11:1-8 and Ex 1-18 shows that the key terms on which the prophet’s speech relies also appear in the revelations of God in Ex 1-18.
The words highlighted in the inclusion contained in Jeremiah’s speech, one ought to compare with the following words of God in the Book of Exodus:
וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם לִי לְעָם וְהָיִיתִי לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים
וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם הַמּוֹצִיא אֶתְכֶם מִתַּחַת סִבְלוֹת מִצְרָיִם
And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God,
and you will know that I am the Lord your God, who is bringing you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
וַיֹּאמֶר אִם־שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע לְקוֹל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ a
וְהַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינָיו תַּעֲשֶׂה וְהַאֲזַנְתָּ לְמִצְוֹתָיו וְשָׁמַרְתָּ כָּל־חֻקָּיו b
כָּל־הַמַּחֲלָה אֲשֶׁר־שַׂמְתִּי בְמִצְרַיִם לֹא־אָשִׂים עָלֶיךָ c
כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה רֹפְאֶךָ ס d
a And He said: “If you really listen to the voice of the Lord, your God,
b and do what is right in His eyes: if you heed his commandments and keep all his precepts,
c I will not afflict you with any of the diseases with which I afflicted the Egyptians;
d for I am the Lord, your healer.”
The comparative analysis:
(a) One must begin the analysis by pointing out a key phrase in Jer 11:3b-4a: God spoke by the prophet about the covenant He made not at Sinai, but on the day He was bringing  the Israelites out of the land of Egypt: בְּיוֹם הוֹצִיאִי־אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ־מִצְרַיִם. There is a similar phrase in Ex 6:7: “I יְהוָה your God, who is bringing you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. The term “I am bringing you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians / of the land of Egypt” stands as synthetic parallelism with “I will be God for you.” So the complementarity of the content of these verses means that God as the sovereign for Israel diligently fulfills his role as a defender. It is also the case in Lev 22:32f; Deut 13:6; Judg 2:12.
There is one more expression associated with this issue: “Then you shall be My people, and I will be your God” (Jer 11:4d). It also appears in Ex 6:7: “And I will take you for My people, and I will be your God.” In the Hebrew Bible, the most common word  for covenant is בְּרִית. The exegetes noticed, however, that in promises of making a covenant and in descriptions of covenant making or renewing, so-called ‘covenant formulas’  may occur instead of the term בְּרִית. To these belong the phrases of Jer 11:4d and Ex 6:7, as well as Jer 31:33. We will discuss them in the next section of the work.
The combination of the two groups of formulas is in Lev 22:32b-33: “I am the Lord, sanctifying you, bringing you up out of the land of Egypt, to become your God; I am the Lord!”
In this Book there is an even richer term: “I am the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give to you the land of Canaan, to become your God” (Lev 25:38).
The issue of giving land in connection with the making of the covenant belongs to the next point of analyses.
(b) We know about the promise of the land flowing with milk and honey (Jer 11:5a: אֶרֶץ זָבַת חָלָב וּדְבַשׁ) that God made it also to Moses, at the time of the first apparition at Horeb (Ex 3:8.17), and in some other words in the first Egyptian apparition (6:8); He renewed it while giving the Law of Passover (13:5; in slightly different words in 12:25). God in Egypt promised to lead the Israelites out of captivity and give them the land.
Israelites, just after they passed by the Sea of Reeds, praised the Lord in a song and already thanked Him for bringing them to that promised land (15:13-18); the hagiographer mentions the land of promise again (16:35) in connection with manna, which they ate until the day they arrived in it.
(c) The exhortations to keep the covenant, listen to the Lord’s voice, to do all He commanded, are contained in both fragments (compare Jer 11:4b with Ex 15:26a and Jer 11:4c with Ex 15:26b).
(d) A reference to the penalties provided for in the event of a breach of the covenant also appears in both texts, although in a different literary form: Jer 11:3b.4a corresponds to Ex 15:26c. Deut 28:1-69 clearly testifies to the identical meaning of sentences containing information about punishment: blessings and curses are associated with listening or not listening to the voice of the Lord (28:1.15) and of the words of the covenant (28:29): The same sequence of Hebrew words אִם־שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּן בְּקוֹל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם is in Ex 15:26; Deut 15:5; 28:1.15; Zech 6:15 . About the taking away of sickness, as a reward for listening to the voice of God’s angel, speaks Ex 23:20-26; about the sickness as a punishment – 2Chr 21:12-15 .
We must especially emphasize the presence of a warning of punishment already in Ex 1-18. Unnoticing this element, such essential component of treaties of ancient covenants, seems to be the main reason for interpreting Jeremiah’s speech (11:1-8) as a reference to the Sinai covenant, in connection with which God not only spoke extensively about punishment but also had been executing it in the history of Israel.
The author of Leviticus (10:1), for example, in reporting on the events that occurred during Israel’s stay at the foot of Sinai, when God gave the detailed regulations of the covenant made there, mentions the penalty of death on Nadab and Abihu for their use of a fire other than that prescribed by law for worship. The author of the Book of Numbers, describing the history of the way from Sinai, mentions the burning of part of the camp as punishment made by God in response to the murmuring of the Israelites against Him (11:1-3), and also the penalty of removing into the depths of the earth, performed on the Korah’s group (16:31-35).
However, Exodus 1-18 reveals a different reaction of God to murmuring /unbelieving – God in this first period of His relationship with His people was showing forbearance for Israel’s awkward first steps on the way of life with Him; not once did He send Him punishment.
Nevertheless, God continued to warn, instruct and give them the time for repentance, so that the Chosen People could assimilate what He expected as their legislator and ruler.
The presented comparison shows that the Lord, through the prophet Jeremiah (Jer 11:1-8), indicated the elements of the covenant, hidden in the pericopes of the Book of Exodus. He included those elements in the revelations which preceded Israel’s departure from Egypt, as well as in those which followed the passage of the Sea of Reeds. The specific expression (Jer 11:3b-4a) in the central part of the speech shows that this is not a set of random correlations between the Book of Exodus and the prophet’s speech. Here the Lord speaks clearly about one point of time when He was making the covenant with Israel; this one point of time is that day when He led Israel out of the land of Egypt, not the time of Israel’s stay at the foot of Sinai.
This analysis confirms the research from previous points of this work: the author of Exodus 1-18 presented the making of God’s covenant with Israel; he presented it in a way which is difficult to notice. Nevertheless, he did so in a manner which is indeed consistent with the other Scriptural expressions in the texts describing the making or renewing the covenant of God with Israel, and in the prophetic speeches which refer to the covenant obligations.
The analysis of the fragment from the Book of Jeremiah 11:1-8 will be supplemented by an indication of the meaning of the essential phrase בְּיוֹם הוֹצִיאִי־אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ־מִצְרַיִם contained in this book a little earlier:
|כִּי לֹא־דִבַּרְתִּי אֶת־אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם וְלֹא צִוִּיתִים||7:22a|
|בְּיוֹם הוֹצִיאִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם|
|עַל־דִּבְרֵי עוֹלָה וָזָבַח||7:22b|
|For I did not speak with your fathers, nor did I command them||7:22a|
|in the day of My bringing them out of the land of Egypt,|
|concerning the matters of burnt-offering and sacrifice.||7:22b|
|כִּי אִם־אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה צִוִּיתִי אוֹתָם לֵאמֹר||7:23a|
|וְהָיִיתִי לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים||7:23c|
|וְאַתֶּם תִּהְיוּ־לִי לְעָם||7:23d|
|וַהֲלַכְתֶּם בְּכָל־הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר אֲצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם לְמַעַן יִיטַב לָכֶם||7:23e|
|but only that word, just that, I commanded them, saying:||7:23a|
|Listen to My voice;||7:23b|
|then I will be your God||7:23c|
|and you shall be My people.||7:23d|
|Walk in all the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper.||7:23e|
In this speech, God states that on the day of Israel’s leaving Egypt (7:22a) He did not command them the burnt or bloody sacrifices (7:22b), but only commanded them, His people (7:23d), to obey Him, their God (7:23bc). It is a detail of great importance, and we must see two facts:
(a) According to Ex 1-18, God through Moses announced to Pharaoh that the necessity of offering the sacrifice to Him (Ex 3:18) is the reason for the Israelites’ leaving from Egypt to the desert. The act of sacrifice is expressed here by the verb זבח, representing only the act of sacrifice in general, not the specific type of it. The same verb, used concerning sacrifice as a reason for leaving Egypt, appears in the dialogues of Moses and Pharaoh (Ex 5:3.8.17; 8:22.214.171.124.24.25). Also the verb זבח appears in Ex 13:15, defining the act of offering all the firstborns to God, commanded by Him. In none of these places does appear the noun זֶבַח, which Jeremiah included in his speech (7:22b).
Then the noun זֶבַח appears once in the God’s command (Ex 12:27) but as a part of the compound word זֶבַח־פֶּסַח which describes the lamb-Passover, not the ordinary blood sacrifice זֶבַח.
This noun appears even in Ex 1-18 twice and, what is worth to notice, as a component of the sequence ‘blood sacrifices and burnt offerings’, i.e., the same as in Jer 7:22b (זֶבַח, עֹלָה), but not within God’s commands. Namely, Ex 10:25 presents the words of Moses to Pharaoh about the need to give the Israelites animals that they would offer to God in the desert; Ex 18:12 speaks about the burnt offering that Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, the priest of Midian, offered in honor of God in thanksgiving for bringing Israel out of captivity. This sacrifice, as not commanded directly by God, is not in the center of the cult prescribed in the law of Passover (in the center is the celebration at night 15. Abib, the lamb-Passover, non-acid foods for seven days, the offering of the firstborns).
(b) God ordered to make burnt sacrifices and feast sacrifices within the framework of the Sinai covenant.
In the Bible, both types of victims as many as 43 times  appear together as offerings of the same, highest cultic importance.
This pair is nowhere in Ex 1-18 as an element of worship commanded by God .
In Ex 19-40, this pair of victims occurs only once, and besides not as the realization of God’s command. However it appears in the central point of Israel’s history – the one describing the making of the Sinai covenant – 24:5! Moses ordered the young men to put these two victims on the altar and then sprinkle the altar and the People with the blood of the offered animals, ‘the blood of the covenant’ (24:8).
In the next books, this pair of sacrifices, the most important in the Sinai covenant, appears more frequently, no longer as a result of an initiative of a man but that of God Himself: cf. Lev 4:10; 7:37; 17:8; Num 10:10; 15:5.8. In the next covenant, made on the steppes of Moab, the Lord through Moses also commanded these sacrifices: cf. Deut 12:6.11.27.
What does result from the presented two facts?
The word distinguished in Jer 7:22-23 is צוה – to command . In Ex 1-18, it occurs exactly 15 times, which is numerically equal to the date of departure from Egypt, and thus to the date of making the covenant of the exodus. In exactly 12 of these 15 places, God is the One who commands. This number corresponds to the number of 12 tribes of Israel, the addressee of God’s commands.
No less important is the content of these verses: they show the obedience of Moses, Aaron, Israelites to the God commanding them. These texts appear in the key places of the description of Exodus: Ex 4:28; 6:13; 7:126.96.36.199; 12:28.50; 16:16.32.34; 18:23.
Based on these observations one can see:
The phrase crucial for understanding Jeremiah’s prophecies, which describes the day of making the covenant as
בְּיוֹם הוֹצִיאִי־אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ־מִצְרַיִם
on the day of My bringing them out of Egypt
– points to the 15th day of Abib. The prophet speaks about the day of leaving Egypt. He does not speak about the more widely understood time of leaving Egypt (e.g., 40 years of wandering) or the time of Israel’s stay at the foot of Sinai.
|הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים נְאֻם־יְהוָה||31a|
|וְכָרַתִּי אֶת־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת־בֵּית יְהוּדָה בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה ׃||31b|
|לֹא כַבְּרִית אֲשֶׁר כָּרַתִּי אֶת־אֲבוֹתָם||32a|
|בְּיוֹם הֶחֱזִיקִי בְיָדָם לְהוֹצִיאָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם||32b|
|אֲשֶׁר־הֵמָּה הֵפֵרוּ אֶת־בְּרִיתִי וְאָנֹכִי בָּעַלְתִּי בָם נְאֻם־יְהוָה||32c|
|כִּי זֹאת הַבְּרִית אֲשֶׁר אֶכְרֹת אֶת־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל אַחֲרֵי הַיָּמִים הָהֵם נְאֻם־יְהוָה||33a|
|נָתַתִּי אֶת־תּוֹרָתִי בְּקִרְבָּם וְעַל־לִבָּם אֶכְתֲּבֶנָּה||33b|
|וְהָיִיתִי לָהֶם לֵאלֹהִים וְהֵמָּה יִהְיוּ־לִי לְעָם׃||33c|
|31a||The days are coming, says the Lord|
|31b||when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.|
|32a||It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers|
|32b||in the day of My taking their hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt,|
|32c||for they broke my covenant and I had to show myself their master, says the Lord.|
|33a||But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord.|
|33b||I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts;|
|33c||I will be their God, and they shall be my people.|
The analysis of the text:
(a) First of all, one should pay attention to the meaning of verses 31-33 in the broader context of Jer 30-31. God, through the prophet, announces the return of His people from exile to the land of Israel, the rebuilding of the destroyed country, the bringing back of normality to the life of the nation. Therefore the new covenant announced in Jer 31:31-33 connects with the promise of a return to the land of Canaan, just as in the Book of Exodus the God foretells to Israelites a way out of bondage into this land also, the land of their fathers.
From the promises of that first covenant, however, it has remained not only this but also the specific covenant formula, already discussed in the previous point of the work. The verses 31-34, the high point of the theology of the prophet Jeremiah , are highly valuable for our analysis since they combine the two basic phrases used to express the fact of making a covenant – Jer 31:31a and 31:33c:
כָּרַת בְּרִית and וְהָיִיתִי לָהֶם לֵאלֹהִים וְהֵמָּה יִהְיוּ־לִי לְעָם
Based on this, one should conclude that where God speaks, ‘I will be God to them, and they will be My people’ (33c), He says about the making the covenant (33a). Because the formula of 33c is in Ex 1-18 (in 6:7), so God speaks there about making the covenant.
(b) The above translation well reflects the general idea of prophecy. There is, however, a particular fragment of the Hebrew text – verses 32 a b – which requires a precise understanding of the temporal relations that occur between the date of making the covenant and the day of Israel’s departure from Egypt. This passage will now be the focus of our attention:
|with their fathers||I made||which||like the covenant||not|
|of Egypt||of the land||to bring them out||their hand||of My taking||in the day|
The entire text 31:32b acts as an adverbial of time in the sentence.
The word הֶחֱזִיקִי is an infinitive of the verb חזק in the causative form hifil; this infinitive has the final י. – a noun suffix used to denote the first person of the singular as the subject of the act .
The infinitive has a noun meaning. Hence the translation states: ‘of My taking.’
It is worthwhile to give the following linguistic note at this point:
One can illustrate the infinitive in the meaning of the verbal noun by the comparison of two verses from the Book of Leviticus (7:15-16). In the first one, the hagiographer used the noun קָרְבָּן (an offering), and in the second one the infinitive of the verb קרב (to offer) to express an identical thought; both words have at the end the noun suffix of the 3rd person singular (וֹ):
Lev 7:15a and 7:16a
|on the day of offer of it, it will be eaten||בְּיוֹם קָרְבָּנוֹ יֵאָכֵל|
|on the day of his offering, his sacrifice will be eaten||בְּיוֹם הַקְרִיבוֹ אֶת־זִבְחוֹ יֵאָכֵל|
One can understand by this remark what Jer 31:32 says:
So here the prophet does not speak about the covenant at Sinai: although God and Israel made the covenant there thanks to bringing Israel out of Egypt, it was not on that very day of bringing them out, but about three months later (cf. Ex 19:1ff).
The same understanding of the Hebrew text Jer 31:32a accurately rendered its translation into Greek (Septuagint ) and in this form was taken over by the author of the Letter to the Hebrews (8:9):
31:32 a1: οὐ κατὰ τὴν διαθήκην ἣν διεθέμην τοῖς πατράσιν αὐτῶν
31:32 a2: ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ἐπιλαβομένου μου τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῶν ἐξαγαγεῖν αὐτοὺς ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου
where a2 means: in the day of My taking their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt
The expression analogous  to the one highlighted here is in Bar 2:28 LXX:
καθὰ ἐλάλησας ἐν χειρὶ παιδός σου Μωυσῆ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ἐντειλαμένου σου αὐτῷ γράψαι τὸν νόμον σου ἐναντίον υἱῶν Ισραηλ λέγων
According to the words spoken by your servant Moses on the day when you ordered him to write your Law before the children of Israel, saying.
To be more precise, part of the phrase is: on the day of your giving commands to him.
If the translation of the sequence בְּיוֹם הֶחֱזִיקִי בְיָדָם לְהוֹצִיאָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם (Jer 31:32b) is like ‘when I held their hand to bring them out of the Egyptian land,’ i.e., when it contains a verb in the past tense (I held), it makes that the whole sequence of the translation seems to be in the past tense. This dominant of the past in translation is probably the reason why the time of making this covenant is commonly identified among biblical scholars with the time of the making the covenant at Sinai , i.e., with the time when God, after He had taken fathers’ hand, led them for this God’s mountain.
In the translated version – Hebrew – there is no such dimension ! On the contrary, this sequence is so constructed to primarily emphasize the simultaneity that occurs between the day of making the covenant and the day of taking over the fathers’ hand in order to lead them out of Egypt .
Based on this conclusion, one should read the analyzed text taking into account the final words ‘to lead out’:
God made a covenant with the fathers on the day He had not yet brought them out, but He began to lead them out – He took them to lead them out.
Thus God says in Jer 31:32:
The day of making my covenant with your fathers is the day of my taking them by the hand that I may lead them out of Egypt .
(c) Specific confirmation of the above understanding of the inspired text Jer 31:31-33 is the pericope Ex 13:17-14:31.
At the beginning of this pericope, the act of God regarding the fathers was expressed with the verb נחה (to lead), while the final verse states: “And Israel saw the great hand (אֶת־הַיָּד הַגְּדֹלָה) with which the Lord had work against the Egyptians.”
In order to fully understand the meaning of the words distinguished here, it is necessary to see them in the context of several biblical sentences showing the relationship between the act of leading someone and the preceding it act of taking by his hand.
Although Ex 14:31 relates the hand of the Lord not to Israel but Egypt – the Lord has defeated the enemy of Israel with this hand – but the mere statement of the hagiographer that Israel saw this hand of the Lord is unique . Also, there is a connection between the act of leading (נחה: Ex 13:17.21), which the Lord did concerning His people, and the act of taking them by the hand (see Jer 31:32).
Here is a list of sentences that show the relationship between the act of leading somebody and the act of taking somebody by the hand:
Psa 78:53: He led (נחה) them safely, so that they did not fear; but the sea engulfed their enemies.
In light of the last of psalms, one sees that the Lord led the people not only through the desert before the Sea of Reeds (as described in Ex 13:17.21), but also the way through the sea cut to half.
In the same way, one should read the stanza from the song of Moses (Ex 15:13); in parallel to נחה there is the verb נהל, which has the same meaning:
In your mercy you led (נחה) the people you redeemed;
in your strength you guided (נהל) them to your holy dwelling.
The same parallelism is also in Psa 31:4b:
for Your name’s sake lead (נחה) and guide (נהל) me .
This sentence contains the same sequence יָד + ב + חזק as Jer 31:32.
Isa 51:18 – there is the valuable parallelism here:
אֵין־מְנַהֵל לָהּ מִכָּל־בָּנִים יָלָדָה
וְאֵין מַחֲזִיק בְּיָדָהּ מִכָּל־בָּנִים גִּדֵּלָה
None is leading (נהל) for her out of all the sons she had borne,
and none is grasping (חזק) her by the hand יָד + ב out of all the sons she reared!
Based on the whole list, one should conclude that:
In light of the Book of Exodus and the Book of Psalms, God led (נהל, נחה) Israel, His people, from Egypt through the desert, the Sea of Reeds and next through the desert to the land of Canaan. However, He had previously taken Israel by the hand (יָד + ב + חזק). The Book of Exodus does not speak directly about it but does it the Book of Prophet Jeremiah (31:32) and the Letter to the Hebrews (8:9).
Finally, one must conclude: The Lord, foretelling through the prophet Jeremiah (31:32) a new covenant, refers to the first covenant He made with Israel on that particular day when He took Israel by her hand to lead her (נחה: Ex 13:15.21; 15:13) on the way to freedom, to bring her out of Egypt.
(d) The analysis of the scriptures found in Qumran  confirm to some extent the presented understanding of the inspired text Jer 31:31-33:
(d1) The author of The Temple Scroll (11QTa) indicates that the new covenant announced by the prophet Jeremiah will be renewal not of the Sinai covenant but the covenant made with the earlier Fathers  – he wrote the sentence in verse 29:10:
“As the covenant that I made with Jacob at Bethel…”,
which is a modification of the phrase from Jer 31:32:
“Not like the covenant that I made with your Fathers…”:
11QTa (the first verse) and Jer 31:32 (the second verse):
|כברית אשׁר כרתי עם יעקוב בבית אל|
|כברית אשׁר כרתי את אבותם||לא|
This comparison shows that the writer-theologian from Qumran knew the new covenant would not be similar to the one made at Mount Sinai.
(d2) Another trace seems to be the fragment marked as 4Q470. The author of the text refers to the prophet Jeremiah through vocabulary and speaks about the covenant that the Angel Michael (מיכאל) makes in the name of God with Zedekiah (צדקיה)M. This covenant is supposed to be kept, and so it is to have the characteristics of the ‘new covenant’ of Jer 31:31-34. Verse 6 of this passage announces that the Angel will make a covenant with Zedekiah before the eyes of the congregation (הקהל) of the people:
אכרתה עמך ברית לעיני הקהל
Conclusion: The presence of the Angel of Yahweh during the crossing the Sea of Reeds in Ex 14:19 (and maybe essential is that he was also before – in Ex 3:2) may, therefore, testify that the act of passage of God and the whole assembly of the People was the act of making the covenant between God and Israel, just as says 4Q470. This covenant is, after all, really unlike the covenant made at Sinai, as expects the text 11QTa 29:10.
The analysis compared the text Ex 1-18 with these prophetic speeches of Jeremiah, which contain the word בְּרִית in the sense of ‘God’s covenant with Israel,’ namely: Jer 11:1-8 (with the essential supplement in 7:22-23) and Jer 31:31-33. Word and content analysis were carried out.
The lexical studies have shown the need to understand the phrase that defines the time of making the covenant בְּיוֹם הוֹצִיאִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם (Jer 11:4a) strictly as “on the day of My bringing them out of the land of Egypt,” and not only generally “at the time of bringing them out of…”. God, through the Prophet, speaks not about the whole time of leaving Egypt and going all the way to Canaan, and therefore also not about the time of the day of the covenant on Sinai, which would seem to be the most crucial time of 40 years way of leaving. God speaks about a specific, short time – about the day of leaving Egypt.
The analyses have shown that this understanding one can confirm by the expression appearing among others in Jer 11:4d, ‘you shall be my people, and I shall be your God.’ This term is already present in Ex 6:7, and therefore in the pericope 6:2-11:10, which states as an introduction to the procedure of making the covenant. According to the research of biblical scholars, in the descriptions announcing a covenant and in the descriptions of making or renewing a covenant, instead of the term בְּרִית (covenant) there may be equivalent ‘covenant formulas.’  These include the terms of Jer 11:4d and Ex 6:7, and also Jer 31:33.
The analysis of the prophecy in Jer 7:22-23 testifies to the correctness of the understanding of the meaningful phrase in Jer 11:4a. In this prophesy God speaks about a covenant not related to the necessity of offering Him burnt and bloody sacrifices but only (and simultaneously just how very much!) with the requirement of obedience to Him, who is commanding (צוה) the Israelites to walk His way. This covenant, according to the term given by God, was made “on the day of My bringing them out of Egypt” (phrase identical to Jer 11:4a). We found that because the Sinaitic covenant (and every next one, too) requires these sacrifices, God in Jer 7:22-23 speaks not about it but the earlier one. That earlier covenant God made between the halves of the divided waters of the Sea of Reeds, in the first period of the way to Canaan, on the day of leading the Israelites out of Egypt by Him.
It is the word צוה – to command – that is singled out in Jer 7:22-23. In Ex 1-18 it occurs precisely 15 times, which is the number corresponding to the date of departure from Egypt, and thus the date of making the exodus covenant. In exactly 12 of these 15 places, God gives commands. This number corresponds to the number of 12 tribes of Israel, the addressee of God’s commandments.
No less important is the content of these verses: they show the obedience of Moses, Aaron, the Israelites to the God commanding them. These texts appear in the key places of the description of the exodus: Ex 4:28; 6:13; 7:188.8.131.52; 12:28.50; 16:16.32.34; 18:23.
The analysis of Jer 31:31-33, in turn, has shown that the Lord, foretelling through the prophet Jeremiah a new covenant (31:32), refers to the earliest covenant He made with Israel – that made on the day He took Israel by her hand to bring her out of Egypt.
The analyses have shown that the sequence בְּיוֹם הֶחֱזִיקִי בְיָדָם לְהוֹצִיאָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם, contained in Jer 31:32b, is intended primarily to emphasize the simultaneity between the day of making the covenant and the day of taking the fathers by the hand in order to lead them out of Egypt. On this basis, the analyzed prophecy Jer 31:31-32 was read, drawing attention to the final words, ‘to bring them out of’: God made the covenant with the fathers on the day that He had not yet brought them out, but had begun to bring them out of Egypt.
That day is not the day of making the covenant on Sinai, but the day described in particular in Ex 13:17-14:31. For then God, in order to lead (נחה: Ex 13:17.21; 15:13) Israel on the way to freedom, in a certain sense took her by the hand, giving her a visible sign of his presence: a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud, going before the people, as does the guide. Previously Israel was not on the way but was staying in its place, in the captivity of the Egyptians. Whereas later (on Sinai) the Lord did not have to ‘take Israel by the hand’ to bring her out – He had already done it before, on the 15th day of Abib.
It is worth considering the following question: Is it not true that the Sinai covenant is the focus of the Old Testament?
In the Book of Deuteronomy (5:2) there is the following statement:
The Lord, our God, made a covenant with us at Horeb;
יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ כָּרַת עִמָּנוּ בְּרִית בְּחֹרֵב
The Sinai covenant and its renewal is at the center of the contemporary exegesis of Deuteronomy and many other books of the Old Testament . It would seem to everyone that the same was valid throughout the history of Israel.
However, the analysis of the Book of Exodus and the Book of Prophet Jeremiah, presented in the previous parts of the work, showed a surprising understanding of the passage of Israel from Egypt as an act of making a covenant. It is worth asking, therefore, whether there is any other confirmation of this thought in the Bible?
The exegetes take it for granted that there are connections between the Book of Exodus and the Book of Ezekiel, the prophet of the time of the exile to Babylon . Admittedly, the word בְּרִית (covenant) appears 18 times in the Book of Prophet Ezekiel, but nowhere in connection with Sinai; nowhere does the word הַר (mountain) appear in the sequence ‘Mount Sinai,’ nor does the word סִינַי (Sinai) or חֹרֵב (Horeb) itself.
The biblical scholars noticed  that at the center of the theology of this book is the glory of the name Yahweh – יְהוָה:
the sequence אֲנִי יְהוָה (I am Yahweh) occurs  here 87 times, i.e., in 6.6% of verses of this book;
for comparison: in Ex: 1.3%; Ex 1-18: 2.8%; Lev: 6.1%; Num: 0.5%; Deut: 0.1%; 1Kings: 0.2%; Isa: 1.7%; Jer: 0.3%; Joel: 2.7%; Zech: 0.5%; Mal: 1.8%.
the sequence ידע כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה (you will know that I am Yahweh) occurs  here 58 times, i.e., in 4.6% of verses;
for comparison: Ex: 0.6%; Ex 1-18: 1.6%; Deut: 0.1%; 1Kings: 0.2%; Isa: 0.2%; Joel: 1.4%.
The list given above shows how in the Book of Ezekiel it is especially important to know the name of God. In this way, the book refers to the first 18 chapters of the Book of Exodus , and this testifies to the message that God entrusted to the prophet Ezekiel: it is to remind the People of the Lord about the beginning of his relationship with Him, which presents Ex 1-18.
Three allegorical stories of Israel , contained in Ezek 16; 20; 23, confirm this observation.
Chapter 16 presents the symbolic story of the people of Israel as the unfaithful bride of God. It starts with the mention (Ezek 16:3) about her origins from the land of Canaan, from her father Amorite and mother Hittite . The beginning of this relationship – the marriage covenant  – the prophet first describes in verses 4-7 as the intervention of the future husband for the future wife on the day of her birth in Egypt .
The following sentences require particular attention:
Ezek 16:5b-8 You were thrown out into the open field because you were detested on the day you were born. 6 When I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood, I said to you while you were in your blood, ‘Live!’ 7 I made you like a plant of the field. Then you grew up, became tall, and reached the age for fine ornaments; your breasts were formed and your hair had grown. Yet you were naked and bare.
|8a Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread the corner of my cloak over you and covered your nakedness.|
|8b I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine, declares the Lord God.|
Based on the analyses of the first chapter of the whole dissertation, we should note that Exodus 1-18 presents the two main phases of God’s approach to His beloved Israel:
|Ex 1:1-6:1:||God continually assured the numerous growth of Israel and did not intervene in any other way, even though the first Pharaoh carried in his heart the desire to kill sons of Israel.|
|God bound himself with an oath to Israel and led her out of the captivity of the second Pharaoh, led her to the mountain of His residence – to Mount Sinai.|
The Book of Ezekiel presents the same two phases :
Ezek 16:5b-7 is the first phase,
Ezek 16:8 is the second phase.
Here is an analysis of the text that justifies the above statement:
(a) Ezek 16:5b-6a: the situation described here refers to Israel’s stay in Egypt .
This fragment is an allegory of Israel as the People of the Lord, of the beginning of them, which also is described by the Book of Exodus 1:1-6:1. Oppressed by Pharaoh, being under the yoke of his order to kill all boys at birth, indeed Israel in Egypt was squirming in her blood. The reason for such a deadly command was indeed ‘detestation’ toward Israel (cf. Ezek 16:5b; Ex 1:12) . Also ‘the open field’ (פְּנֵי הַשָּׂדֶה) is intrinsically linked to the record of this pericope. During the first Pharaoh’s time, the Egyptians oppressed the Israelites by forcing them to work hard with clay and brick and all kinds of field work (1:13-14), while at the time of the second Pharaoh – to make bricks and therefore also collect stubble from the fields of ‘all the land of Egypt’ (5:12). The Israelites, being beaten for their failure to comply with norms, were undoubtedly in their blood.
Such an understanding of Ezekiel’s interpretation of Israel’s origins has its source in Moses’ hymn from the Book of Deuteronomy (32:1-43) . Israel is shown there as the inheritance and portion of the Lord (32:9); God found her in the desert land (בְּאֶרֶץ מִדְבָּר)M, in the waste howling wilderness (32:10). Because it was only later that God, like an eagle, lifted her to the heights (32:11-13), to Mount Sinai, which is why the following conclusion is clear: Moses here speaks about the Israelites living in the wilderness in the time before they left Egypt, so he speaks about their stay in Egypt! – here, in Egypt, God found Israel ‘in the waste howling wilderness’ .
(b) Ezek 16:6b-7: in this situation, the moan of Israel (cf. Ex 2:23f), God intervenes – He does not allow Israel die, increases her number (cf. Ex 1:7.12.20) , but He still does not change her situation, i.e., her subordination to the Egyptians, worshiping idols .
(c) Ezek 16:8a: speaks about God marrying Israel in Egypt (this is the second phase of nearing of God to Israel).
The Book of Exodus describes the beginning of this second phase as follows: in the situation of the groaning of Israel (cf. Ex 2:24; 6:5), God revealed Himself to Moses and ordered him to bring her out of Egypt. Before this took place, God raised his hand and made a vow to the Israelites that He will be their God and they will be His people (cf. Ex 6:7). It means that at that time God made a covenant of love with Israel, just as the bridegroom binds by an oath to the bride.
Ezekiel’s image of stretching the coat has identical content, although written in a different language. It becomes clear through the Book of Ruth (3:9): there Ruth the Moabitess asks Boaz to ‘spread the corner of his cloak over her,” that is, to marry her , being her close relative, goel (גֹאֵל – a noun derived from the verb גאל as its participle).
The verb גאל in the Book of Exodus occurs twice: once in God’s pledge of the covenant, in which He guarantees the liberation of Israel (6:6), once in Israel’s thanksgiving for the fulfillment of this pledge (15:13). God, as the גֹאֵל of Israel, married her even before the conclusion of the covenant at Sinai .
The verification of such a love relationship are the words of Moses: God chose Israel out of love for her (cf. Deut 7:8) and because He wanted to faithfully fulfill the covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whom He loved beforehand (cf. Deut 4:37) .
(d) A remarkable confirmation of the interpretation contained in (c) is the existence of a significant  sequence פרשׂ כנף in the Bible.
The task fulfilled by the Lord in the allegory of the eagle (Deut 32:11) in a specific way – through the sequence of polysemic words פרשׂ כנף – links to the task fulfilled by the goel of the Book of Ruth and to what the Lord did according to Ezekiel:
the Lord as an eagle spreads His wings
and takes Israel for them
|Rut 3:9||Rut asks: Spread the corner of your cloak over me.||עַל־אֲמָתְךָ||כְנָפֶךָ||וּפָרַשְׂתָּ|
|Ezek 16:8||the Lord to Israel: I spread the corner of my cloak over you||עָלַיִךְ||כְּנָפִי||וָאֶפְרֹשׂ|
What does result from the existence of such a sequence? One must conclude that it is not a coincidence but a deliberate intention of the Holy Spirit  to show the reader parallel places for the full interpretation of the text. It is still necessary to remember in exegesis that God is the author of the Holy Scriptures – He is the first, most important, irreplaceable author! The hagiographers as the authors of various books, being inspired by His Spirit, wrote this and only what He wanted. It means that hagiographers worked as every human writer: they took up the trouble of understanding the events described, selecting literary genres, words, and phrases, in order to best express different matters of God and human in writing. However, God’s Spirit has not disabled Himself from influencing their thoughts, and therefore the authorship of these phrases, words, genres, understandings cannot be attributed to them alone. It is this that is called ‘inspiration.’
The most difficult is to understand the text of Ezekiel. While Ruth 3:9 explains as a wedding  the symbolism of the stretching of a coat, Deut 32:11-12 allows to read precisely the place and time of entering into this relationship. Two questions are therefore resolved:
Where is the place of this marriage? – It is Egypt and the way of the passage from Egypt to Mount Sinai. For behold, in light of these two verses, the Lord takes Israel on his wings (Deut 32:11) and leads (32:12). The word נחה – to lead – as the Lord’s action towards Israel appears in the Ex 13:17.21; 15:13, so in the description of the exodus and in the hymn of gratitude for it. God, therefore, took Israel on the wings and lead from Egypt to God’s Mount Horeb. And there God – in light of Ex 19:4 – immediately, at the first revelation to Moses, ordered to pass on to the Israelites:
“You have seen what I have done to Egypt
and how I have carried you upon eagles’ wings
and brought you to myself.”
One can conclude from this that God firmly wants the reader of the Scriptures to pay attention to the historical and salvific significance of the allegory of the eagle! 
(e) Ezek 16:8b speaks in parallel to 16:8a about taking Israel for wife by God as a covenant made in Egypt.
After presenting the allegory of the marriage in the first part of verse 16:8, the inspired text explains its meaning immediately in the second part. The Lord announces there:
וָאֶשָּׁבַע לָךְ וָאָבוֹא בִבְרִית אֹתָךְ נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה וַתִּהְיִי לִי ׃
I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord God, and you became mine.
Here is the crucial point of analysis, because the prophet Ezekiel uses here three legal terms, complementary, almost equivalent :
וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם לִי לְעָם וְהָיִיתִי לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים
And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God
Since the outer terms of Ezek 16:8 are related to the content of Ex 6:7-8, so the middle ones also. Hence the conclusion is that already in Ex 6:7-8 there is similar content: here God promises to make a covenant, to marry, to give the land to the bride.
Finally, one must conclude:
Basing on many analogies from Ezekiel’s picture of Israel as the bride which the Lord married in Egypt (by spreading the corner of the cloak of the Lord, a golem, over her) and liberated from Egypt (by raising her on the Lord’s wings and leading to Sinai), we see that:
The act of marriage of God with Israel, what is equivalent to the act of making the ovenant (Ezek 16:8), was not at Sinai but in Egypt. The God as the eagle was to later bring to Sinai the bride, the one who in Egypt was ‘covered by His cloak’ and ‘taken on His wings.’
NKJ Ezek 20:5 Say to them, Thus says the Lord God: On the day when I chose Israel and raised My hand in an oath to the descendants of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I raised My hand in an oath to them, saying, I am the Lord your God (אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם).M6 On that day I raised My hand in an oath to them (בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא נָשָׂאתִי יָדִי לָהֶם), to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, flowing with milk and honey, the glory of all lands. 7 Then I said to them, Each of you, throw away the abominations which are before his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the Lord your God. (אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם)M8 But they rebelled against Me and would not obey Me. They did not all cast away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, I will pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt. 10 Therefore I made them go out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness.
The quoted text is the beginning of the sorrowful speech of God, who revealed Himself to the prophet Ezekiel to admonish the leaders of Israel in Babylon.
God began His revelation by telling about the earliest stage of the history of His relationship with Israel as His bride: He chose Israel already in Egypt as His bride, and the bride already in Egypt was unfaithful!
Ezek 20:5 indicates the oath God gave to Israel in Egypt at the time of the first revelation (the text specifies the place of that revelation!).
Particularly noteworthy is the fact that in Ezek 20:5-10 God emphasized where He had married Israel:
The next sentences of the 20th chapter of the Book of Ezekiel show how much God pains over the idolatry  of Israel to whom He promised in the Egyptian revelation to be her God. As a result of this unfaithful attitude of Israel, the Lord fulfilled on her the threat of removing her from the land which He had promised her for the first time in Egypt . Israel did not give up the idolatry she had learned in Egypt.
The characteristic feature of the Book of Prophet Ezekiel is the accentuation of the choice of Israel in Egypt, granting her rights in Egypt and in the first stage of the way out of captivity. Especially the obligation to celebrate the Sabbath, given even before the People reached Horeb , an obligation unfortunately not fulfilled by Israel as the Lord’s bride, is in the center of attention of the speech of God, contained in the 20th chapter of the Book of Ezekiel . This Book, however, does not mention the Sinai covenant – which is particularly evident in the next verses of the 20th chapter, which present the story of infidelity, of breaking the Sabbath. This characteristic disproportion, this no-mentioning about Sinai, is therefore deliberate – God, through Ezekiel, refers to this choice of Israel, to this covenant, which, from His point of view, was the most important in the whole history of God’s relationship with His people: to the choice and oath in Egypt.
The third allegorical story of Israel, the unfaithful bride of God, is contained in the 23rd chapter of the Book of Ezekiel. God showed here two sisters, representing Samaria and Jerusalem , who were His brides.
God with pain stated here five times (see verses: 184.108.40.206.27) that in Egypt His bride, still unmarried, learned prostitution and was continually returning to prostitution, although she was His and although she gave birth to His sons and daughters (verse 4). The statement ‘they have become mine’ (וַתִּהְיֶינָה לִי) is analogous to the statement ‘you become mine’ (וַתִּהְיִי לִי) from Ezek 16:8 and ‘I will take you for My people’ (וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם לִי לְעָם) from Ex 6:7.
We should emphasize that God in three allegorical stories (Ezek 16; 20; 23) of His spousal relationship with unfaithful Israel always indicates a stay in Egypt as the beginning of this relationship. He sealed it with a solemn oath, by making the covenant. It is in Egypt that God made Himself known to Israel as His bridegroom:
It is the sequence  אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם, first spoken in Egypt, that expresses His call and His love relationship. To this beginning He refers time and time again in the Book of Ezekiel , thus pointing to the fundamental meaning of the covenant He made with Israel not after leaving Egypt (in Sinai), but in the land of Egypt.
Based on many analogies from Ezekiel’s picture of Israel as the bride in Egypt married (by spreading the corner of the cloak of the Lord as a golem over her) and liberated from Egypt (by raising her on the Lord’s wings and leading her to Sinai), we see that:
The act of marriage of God with Israel, what is equivalent to the act of making the covenant (Ezek 16:8), was not at Sinai but in Egypt. The God as the eagle was to later bring to Sinai the bride, the one who in Egypt was ‘covered by His cloak’ and ‘taken on His wings.’
The book of the prophet Ezekiel is an excellent confirmation of the thought of the prophet Jeremiah, who showed that God made a covenant with His people on this special day of Israel’s stay in Egypt when he took by her hand to lead her out of bondage (Jer 31:32).
|The analyses carried out allow to answer in a new way the question posed by biblical scholars: “Why do the prophets of the 8th century B.C., like Amos, Hosea, Isaiah and Micah, hardly use the term ‘covenant’ ? It is because all these prophets refer to this original covenant, which God and Israel made between the waters of the Sea of Reeds. Unlike the covenant made at Mount Sinai, this one was occasionally only referred to as בְּרִית in an earlier Tradition.|
Before one can proceed to the next steps of analyses, it is worth to complement the observations already made with the following comments:
(a) The image of Israel as God’s bride is one of two unique, complementary, parallel expressions for the Chosen People . The second term, son, firstborn son, also indicates a special closeness to God, a nearness that differentiates Israel from other nations.
God applies the second image in the statement which He ordered to Moses to submit for Pharaoh, warning him about the consequences of the detaining the God’s People in Egypt (cf. Ex 4:22-23). Israel, therefore, was already in Egypt (and not only after the covenant made in Sinai) as close to God as the son is to the father. Thanks to the parallelism of the images, one can express it in other words that Israel was in Egypt as close to God as a bride is to a bridegroom after entering into the marriage covenant .
(b) The biblical scholars  noted that the Hebrew word בְּרִית, used to express the covenant relationship between God and Israel, Septuagint renders by διαθήκη, although at the time of making this translation (the third century B.C.) was more common another term, συνθήκη. Scientists suppose the reason for this choice is that διαθήκη, just as בְּרִית, exposes the one- rather than two-sided nature of the relationship. In the covenant, God is a partner like Israel, but God is in an entirely different situation. He imposes the conditions of the covenant, while Israel must accept them in their entirety if she wants God to allow her to enter into the covenant. The word συνθήκη does not contain this accent.
However, J. Swetnam  does not share this opinion. According to him the following facts one should take into account:
Swetnam  supposes that the translator of the Book of Exodus at Septuagint could have taken into account this original meaning of διαθήκη:
In this sense, we can understand the promised land (6:8) as the place where Israel-son dwells in a peace guaranteed by God-powerful ruler.
Based on both remarks, one should finally conclude that one correctly interpreted the meaning of the prophetic texts analyzed in this point of the work.
The next step of analysis – point 2.5 – is available in English at Academia.edu as an article entitled: The literary scheme of the Book of Exodus 1-18 as the scheme of the Hittite treaties.
In the second chapter of the whole dissertation, one showed, referring to the analysis of biblical and extra-biblical texts, the literary structure of Exodus 1-18 as the structure of the ancient treaty of the covenant.
One considered, as the first issue, the influence of an ancient manner of the covenant-making which God applied to form a deep relation with Abram, as the Book of Genesis (15:17) describes. One has shown that the passage of the fire and smoke between halves of the divided animals – the passage of signs of God who makes the covenant with Abram in this way – is a historical source for the analogous passage. Namely, it concerns the passage of the pillar of fire and cloud, the signs of God who is passing with Israel between the halves of Rahab, i.e., the Sea of Reeds.
One can not overestimate the meaning of this common element of the two covenants because it points out the crucial moment for the interpretation of the Ex 1-18 text: the very act of concluding (literally in Hebrew: cutting) the covenant. Subsequent analyses have only shown the need to link the very act of the covenant-making with the passage not only by the divided sea but also by the desert lying between two points: the first one is the place from which Israel started this crossing, guided from the beginning by God in the sign of the pillar of fire and cloud – cf. Ex 13:17; the second one is the Sea of Reeds. 
An excellent complement to this image of that passing is the significant parallelism contained in Isaiah 51:9-10, which portraits the Lord as the One who is cutting Rahab apart, piercing Tannin, drying up the sea, making depths of the sea the way.
The thought expressed by this parallelism is: the splitting of the Sea of Reeds is tantamount to the splitting of the animal, which is named Rahab, Dragon, Tannin.
The complement for all analyses was a thorough juxtaposition of the meaning of the nouns רַהַב (Rahab), תַּנִּין (Tannin/Dragon), לִוְיָתָן (Leviathan) and the verbs describing the act of God against the designata of these nouns.
Then one carried out analyses of Jeremiah’s speeches containing the word בְּרִית in the meaning of ‘the God’s covenant with Israel’: Jer 11:1-8 (with the supplement in 7:22-23) and Jer 31:31-33.
The lexical studies have shown the need to correctly understand the phrase בְּיוֹם הוֹצִיאִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם (Jer 11:4a). It strictly defines the time of the covenant-making as ‘on the day of My bringing them out of the land of Egypt.’ This phrase not only generally expresses that time as ‘the time of their bringing them out…’. God, through the prophet, speaks not about the whole time of leaving Egypt and going all the way to Canaan, and therefore not about the time containing the day of the covenant-making at Sinai. He speaks about the concrete, short time – He speaks about the day of leaving Egypt and going all the way to the other side of the Sea of Reeds.
One has shown that the confirmation of this understanding is in the statement of Jer 11:4d, ‘You shall be my people, and I shall be your God,’ already present in Ex 6:7, and thus in the pericope 6:2-11:10, which initiates the covenant-making procedure. According to biblical scholars’ research, in the descriptions of the announcement of the covenant, and the descriptions of the conclusion or renewal of the covenant, instead of the term בְּרִית, there may be an equivalent “Formula of the covenant.”  These include the terms of Jer 11:4d and Ex 6:7, and Jer 31:33.
The analysis of Jer 31:31-33 showed that the Lord, foretelling a new covenant through the prophet Jeremiah (31:32), refers to the first covenant He made with Israel on the day He took her hand to bring her out of Egypt. One cannot identify this day with the day of the covenant-making at Sinai, but with the day described especially in Ex 13:17-14:31. It had been strictly on that day when God – in order to lead (נחה: Ex 13:15.21; 15:13) Israel on the way to freedom – took her by the hand giving her a visible sign of His presence, the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud, walking before the People, as the guide walks. Previously Israel was not on the way but kept remaining in the captivity of the Egyptians, and later (on Sinai) the Lord did not have to ‘take by the hand’ of Israel to bring her out – He had already done it before, in the 15th day of Abib.
Then the analyses of Ezekiel’s prophetic speeches were carried out. One found that God in three allegorical stories (Ezek 16; 20; 23) of the spousal relationship with unfaithful Israel always indicates the stay of Israel in Egypt as the beginning of this relationship. It is worth paying particular attention to the fact that in light of the Book of Ezekiel, the spousal relationship was sealed by God already in Egypt with a solemn oath, the conclusion of a covenant with Israel (see 16:8). Thus, Ezekiel’s prophecies confirm that the Book of Exodus 1-18 is a treaty documenting the fact and manner of the covenant-making. It was in Egypt that God made himself known to Israel-bride, and there He said for the first time the sequence אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם – I am the Lord your God – by which expresses His name and His relationship in the love covenant for Israel.
It is characteristic at the same time that from among several dozen biblical verses containing this the most important name of God as the covenant partner, the first is in Ex 6:7, i.e., in the pericope Ex 6:2-11:10, in which He initiates the Passover/Exodus covenant with Israel.
The Lord, the God of Israel, refers eight times in the Book of Ezekiel to this name and the related covenant made in Egypt, thus indicating the fundamental significance of the covenant He made with Israel not after leaving Egypt (at Sinai) but in the land of Egypt.
The Book of Ezekiel is an excellent verification of such an understanding of Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jer 31:32) that God made a covenant with Israel accurately on the day He took her by the hand to bring her out of Egypt.