Daniélou, Jean, S.J. "Chapter Five: Types of Baptism: The Crossing of the Red Sea." The Bible and the Liturgy." Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1956, pp. 86-98.
Like the Deluge, Daniélou observes that the crossing of the Red Sea is focused on the destructive force of water. It is also one of the most frequently used types of baptism (Daniélou 1956, 86). Yet the time of Passover and the crossing of the Red Sea also corresponds with the time of the first eucharist, adding a layer of symbolic importance (Daniélou 1956, 87).
The crossing of the Red Sea is a strong symbol of God's victory for his people (Daniélou 1956, 87). The enemies of God are destroyed in the water, just as we see sin being drowned in the baptismal water (Daniélou 1956, 88). The slavery to sin is broken and a new life is ushered in. Baptism is thus seen more in terms of deliverance and creation than in terms of a washing for purification (Daniélou 1956, 89). The fourth century writers are largely focused on baptism as water which rescues from the enemies (Daniélou 1956, 90).
Other themes then cluster around that of deliverance. The pillar of cloud in the wilderness is seen as Jesus' presence, also appearing at the Anunciation, the Transfiguration, and Ascension (Daniélou 1956, 91). Daniélou concludes that the Fathers regularly attempted to make their interpretations, allegorical though they were, on a solid foundation. He illustrates this with a number of examples of their interpretation of the Red Sea and the cloud. The reading may be of assistance to someone who wishes to gain a deeper understanding of the interpretive thought processes of early Christian leaders.