part like the Red Sea; open up like the Red Sea

to divide into two sections
—The crowd of people parted like the Red Sea and let the honored guest reach the stage.

The Egyptian army chased the Israelites who were escaping slavery in Egypt, trapping them on the shore of the Red Sea (or, according to some translations, the Sea of Reeds). God then saved them with a miracle:

Moses stretched out his hand toward the sea, and the Lord drove the sea apart by a strong east wind all that night, and he made the sea into dry land, and the water was divided. So the Israelites went through the middle of the sea on dry ground, the water forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. (Exodus 14:21,22)

After the Israelites were safe on the other side, God caused the water to return to its place, drowning the Egyptians who were chasing them.

A “parting of the waters” can be “a dramatic change, or an event that brings about a new direction” in actions, thoughts, perceptions, etc. It can also be “a dividing of people or opinions.”

The word exodus began as the Latin name for the Old Testament book that tells the story of the Hebrew people’s escape from Egypt. It comes from a Greek word meaning “a going out.” Today it is still used for the departure of a large group, as in mass exodus.

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