The initial word "מצה" (Mazah- "This Unleavened Bread, which we eat") is depicted at the top of the page. The gold and blue, large square letters are inhabited with grotesques and flowers and adorned with scrolls painted in ink. To the left a bearded man is standing, wearing a large hat. He is holding in his left hand a round Mazah, while pointing with his right elongated index finger, to the initial word.
The Israelites crossing the Red Sea and pursued by the Egyptians (Ex. 14: 5-31) illustrate the facing pages (fols. 20v and 21) in their outer boarders, framing the text. Beginning with folio 21, in the lower and outer left margins, the Israelites are crossing the Red Sea. Moses is lifting his golden rod and leading the Israelites to pass through the midst of waters, in several paths. Inscribed above Moses:
"לחרבה בקע משה המים וינער כל מצרים."
"Moses cleaved the water and made it dry land (Ex. 14:21), and overthrew all the Egyptians (Ex. 14:27)."
Above the Israelites:
"כל ישראל עוברים בין הגזרים."
"All the Israelites pass between the pieces" (divided sea; based on Gen. 15:17; Ps. 136:13; Mechilta DeRabbi Yishmael, Jethro, 9).
To the left is a gold winged angel on top of a pillar of water (possibly a pillar of light), who led the Israelites (Ex. 13:21; Ex. 14:19), inscribed:
"נורא תהילה האיר לישראל הלילה."
"Awesome in praise (God), gave light to the Israelites by night."
The Israelites in the back of the procession are pointing towards the army, while in the rear is another winged angel, who moved to the back in order to protect them from the Egyptians pursuing them (Ex. 14:19). Inscribed above the angel:
"ויסע מלאך אלהים מפניהם ויסע עמוד ענן מאחריהם."
"The angel of God who went before them (removed and went behind them) and the pillar of cloud went behind them" (Ex. 14:19).
The Egyptian army is pursuing the Israelites in the lower and outer margins (fol. 20v). Crowned Pharaoh is wearing full armor, riding a white horse and leading the army towards the left (fol. 21). Inscribed above him:
"שנאה קלקל (!) השורה פרעה רוכב ראשון במהרה."
"Hatred disturbed the natural order (Gen. Rabbah (Vilna), 55:11) Pharaoh rides quickly at the head."
A group of armed equestrians with spears and banners follows him. Inscribed above:
"אחרי ישראל רדף פרעה וכל חילו הרכבים ושלישי' על כולו."
"Pharaoh and all his army pursued the Israelites, the charioteers and captains all of them" (Ex.14:7).
Inscribed on the right:
"ויהם יי' מחנה מצרים ויביאם תוך המים."
"The Lord troubled the Egyptian hosts (Ex.14:24) and brought them into the water."
| (formerly Jerusalem, Schocken Library, 24087)
I | Israelites | Israelites crossing the Red Sea
O | Ornamentation: | Initial word, decorative
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Foliate scrolls