JN Darby on The Red Sea – Red Sea and Jordan

J N Darby on The Red Sea by Subject – the second subject in this series

·     The Red Sea –  JN Darby Bible Notes & Synopsis

·     Israel’s Experience in the Red Sea

·     Red Sea and Jordan

·     The Red Sea and Prophecy

·     The Red Sea and Wilderness and God’s Purpose

·     Christian Teaching from the Red Sea

·     Moses’ Song after the Red Sea

·     The Waters of Marah


  1. Scripture quotations here are from the Darby Translation
  2. The notes are a combination of those from the 1890 and 1961 editions of the Darby Bible. Where notes refer to another scripture, the notes from that scripture are used. In many notes in the 1890 edition there is a list of which manuscripts (MSS) use which terms.  These MSS have not been listed.
  3. The Synopsis has been slightly edited to simplify the English.


Notes from Darby’s Writings


The difference between the Red Sea and Jordan is that the Red Sea is Christ’s dying and rising again for us effectually; in Jordan, it is our death and resurrection with Him.Therefore the moment they had passed the Jordan, they were all circumcised. The first thing in the knowledge of the church’s place in heaven is the destruction of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ (where it is real). We want to have things real with God and not ideas. We cannot go on without faith.


The coming of Christ is such a different thing to the soul when our true position is understood. Instead of my desiring it that I may get rid of myself and what I may be doing on the earth, it will be that I may enjoy Him and be with Him in heaven. The affections may be attached to Christ; but unless righteousness is known, there cannot be the quiet waiting for Christ. I dare not look for Him until I know the righteousness of God in Christ. If I have not liberty, I may be wishing for Christ to give me liberty: but when the soul has liberty, it is the peaceful enjoyment of the soul with Him and happy affections! Nothing more easily slips from our souls, even when there is a true desire for it, than the coming of Christ. “Be not conformed to this world.”

JND Collected Writings Volume 21 (Evangelical 2) p239



2 Corinthians 3




The cross of Christ is for the believer that impassable Red Sea, that Jordan through which he has now gone, and which is his deliverance from Egypt for ever, and, now he has realised it, his entrance into Canaan in Christ. If Jordan and the power of death overflowed all its banks, for him the ark of the covenant passed in. It is just his way into Canaan.That which, if he had himself assayed to go through, as the Egyptians, would have been his destruction, has been a wall on the right hand and the left, and only destroyed all that was against him. He was a man in the flesh, he is a man in Christ. Amazing and total change, from the whole condition and standing of the first Adam responsible for his own sins, into that of Christ, who, having borne the whole consequence of that responsibility in his place, has given him, in the power of that, to us, new life, in which He rose from the dead, a place in and with Himself, as He now is as man before God.


JND Collected Writings Volume 21 (Evangelical 2) p275



2 Corinthians 12




Ques. “Meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light”. Is that the Red Sea, or Jordan?

I should say it was the Red Sea, although in reality the Red Sea and Jordan coalesce.

In the Red Sea I get Christ’s death and resurrection, and in this sense all is complete; but in Jordan I get my death and resurrection with Christ, and then you find the experimental sense of things, and also Gilgal.

Colossians is not quite in the land; it is a kind of in-between thing. Ephesians views a man dead in his sins, and then there is a new creation, quickened together with Christ.

Ques. In Colossians 2:11, is that circumcision after being in the land?

Yes; you are over Jordan, but without being seated in the heavenly places. In Ephesians we are; not of course with Christ, but in Him.


Notes & Jottings p 107




It is quite false to make the wilderness a matter of progressive experience, as at the end of the desert: it is our identification with Christ’s death, and Jordan is identical in fact, though not in application, with the Red Sea. But at the Red Sea it is a redemption wrought for me: in Jordan I died — not by experience, but I died; that is, it connects itself with our state, though we do not change that state by experience. But I experience that I have changed my position.

I do not know if you have seen what I have taught, that the wilderness is no part of the counsels of God but of His ways; and that the Red Sea and Jordan coalesce, only at Jordan they go up into the land. Further, in its full character the Red Sea closes all: they are brought to God, to His holy habitation, but not to the result of His plans as to us. The thief had no wilderness


JND Letters vol 3 p 33


The Red Sea is in contrast to the Jordan representing our death with Christ, and, as to our state subjectively, our resurrection with Him-analogous to the forty days He passed on earth. To this the teaching of Colossians answers. Hence heaven is in hope.  In Romans we are not risen with Christ. That involves, as a consequence, our being identified with Him where He is; and so, by the Holy Ghost when we are sealed, union. In Colossians we are risen with Him, but not in heavenly places. Colossians treats of life, with a hope laid up for us in heavenly places; not at all of the Holy Ghost. In Ephesians 2 we are risen with Him and sitting in heavenly places in Him, and then begins the conflict with spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, and testimony according to what is heavenly; so far this is Jordan and Canaan, and here the sealing and gift of the Holy Ghost is fully spoken of, and our relationship with the Father and with Christ, as sons, and as body and bride. Only Ephesians begins with our being dead in sins, so that it is a new creation; it is not death to sin. The blood-shedding, however, in one respect, has a more glorious character. God is glorified in it, though by crossing Jordan we are experimentally placed higher. That too is the fruit of the blood-shedding, in which there is not only the bearing of sins to meet our responsibility, but a glorifying of God, so as to bring us withal into God’s glory with Him, which is beyond all questions of responsibility.


Synopsis Exodus 14




Author: Sosthenes

Once the ruler of the synagogue at Corinth Then a co-writer of a letter by Paul - just a brother - no longer an official Now a blogger seeking to serve the Lord by posting some words that the Lord has given His Church.