Exodus, lines 200-298

An angel blocks the view of the pursuing army and the Israelites are able to rest for the night. In the morning Moses commands the warriors to summon the people with their trumpets. The soldiers prepare for battle, putting on their armor. [The poet calls the Israelites “flotan” (seafarers)]. We learn of the members of the army, their numbers and bravery. The army is ready and the standard is raised. The leader then exhorts his men, telling them not to fear because the Lord will kill the Egyptians and protect the Israelites. Moses says that he has brandished a “grene tacen” [a “green token”; Tolkien would emend to “tane.” The Latin in Exodus xiv.16 in the Vulgate uses “virga” here, and the poet may have thought it important to convey the specific meaning of “virga” as a freshly cut branch (hence “green”)] and that the sea is now opening up a wondrous pathway through the waves.

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