||Toward the end of the night God struck at the Egyptian army with the pillar of fire and cloud. He panicked the Egyptian army.
Vayehi be'ashmoret haboker vayashkef Adonay el-machaneh Mitsrayim be'amud esh ve'anan vayahom et machaneh Mitsrayim.
||The chariot wheels became bogged down, and they could move only with great difficulty. The Egyptians cried out, 'Let us flee from Israel! God is fighting for them against Egypt!'
Vayasar et ofan markevotav vayenahagehu bichvedut vayomer Mitsrayim anusah mipney Yisra'el ki Adonay nilcham lahem beMitsrayim.
|toward the end of the night|
Literally, 'the morning watch.' This is the last third of the night, around 2 a.m. (Rashi; cf. Berakhoth 3a). Others say that it was around the first dawn or sunrise (Mekhilta; HaGra ad loc.).
(Radak, Sherashim; Genesis 41:6). Or 'gazed at' (Rashi). This is the thunder, lightning and rain that struck the Egyptians (Psalms 77:18,19; Targum Yonathan; Mekhilta; Yerushalmi, Sotah 8:3; Rashbam; Josephus 2:16:3).
(Septuagint; from root asar; cf. Ecclesiastes 4:14). Or, 'they tried to turn the chariots' wheels' (Rashbam; Ibn Ezra; Chizzkuni); or '[God] made the chariot wheels fall off' (Targum; Rashi).