When Israel came out of Egypt, what did they resemble?
They resembled a dove that escaped from the hawk and went into a cranny and found there a nesting snake. The dove couldn’t get in – for the snake was still there and it couldn’t return – for the hawk was behind it.
So what did the dove do?
It started screaming and fluffing its wings, that the dovecote owner will hear it, and will come to save it.
This is how Israel looked at the (red) sea: To the water they couldn’t come in – for the the sea was not split for them yet.
To go back where they came from they couldn’t, because Pharaoh was approaching.
What did they do? “They were afraid and cried for God” (Exodus 14:10)
source: Shir hashirim Rabbah, portion B, my dove in the cranny rock, b