The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Exodus 15

Exo 15:1

Exo 15: "The great moment of victory came as Moses led his people to the other side of the baptismal sea. Then came the victorious and glorious song of deliverance. It begins with redemption from the Sin power of Egypt, and concludes with the Glory of Yahweh in His dwelling place. But most of those who sang it on that occasion never entered the Land of Promise... To commence on the path of probation is one thing; to conclude it is another entirely. The song has its counterpart in Rev 15, when the glorious community of the saints will sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. So Moses sang: (1) The cause of the song: vv 1-3. (2) The defeat of the enemy: vv 4-8. (3) The enemies vain boast against the nation's deliverance: vv 9-13. (4) The effect of the victory on others: vv 14-18. (5) Refrain: v 19. (6) Miriam's song: the song of the Bride: vv 20,21. (7) The journey from the Red Sea to the Wilderness of Sinai: v 22. (8) The water at Marah... but they are bitter!: vv 23-26. (9) Refreshment at Elim: v 27.

"Egypt was destroyed in the Red Sea, but the mind of Egypt remained in the people. It took 40 hours to bring Israel out of Egypt, and 40 years to get Egypt out of Israel" (GEM).

The first recorded instance of songs and singing in the whole of the Bible.

Exo 15: JT's translation (Eur 3:451): "I will sing to Yahweh, (He who shall be) for He is greatly exalted: The horse and His rider he hath cast into the sea. Yah is my strength and my song and He hath become my salvation! He is my Ail (Strength, or Power), and Him will I extol; my fathers' Elohim (Mighty Ones), and Him will I exalt. Yahweh is a Man of war; Yahweh is His name. Pharaoh's chariots and hosts He cast into the sea; His chosen captains also He drowned in the Red Sea. The roaring billows covered them; they went down to the bottom as a stone. Thy right hand, O Yahweh, is glorious in power; Thy right hand, O Yahweh, hath crushed the foe. And in the greatness of Thine excellency, Thou hast overthrown Thine adversaries! Thou sentest forth Thy burning anger, it shall consume them as stubble. And by the blast of Thy nostrils the waters were heaped up the floods stood erect as a heap; the depths congealed in the midst of the sea. The enemy said, I will pursue; I will overtake; I will divide the spoil; My lust shall be satisfied upon them: I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them. Thou didst blow with Thy spirit, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters. Who is like unto Thee among the mighty ones (Ailim), Yahweh! Who like Thee glorious in holiness, terrible, worthy of praises, doing wonders? Thou stretchedst out Thy right hand, the earth swallowed them up. Thou hast led forth in Thy goodness the people whom Thou hast redeemed; Thou hast conducted in Thy might to the habitation of Thy holiness. Peoples shall hear; and they shall tremble; terror seized the inhabitants of Palestina. Then the Dukes of Edom shall be affrighted; trembling shall seize the mighty ones of Moab; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall be dissolved. There shall fall upon them terror and dread; by the greatness of Thy power they shall be still as a stone; until, O Yahweh, Thy people pass over; until the people whom Thou hast purchased pass over. Thou wilt bring them in, and plant them, in the mountain of Thy inheritance; the place, O Yahweh, Thou hast made for thee to dwell in; the holy place, O Adonai (noun plural, Lords) Thy hands have established. Yahweh shall reign for the Olahm (the Hidden Period) and beyond. And Miriam the Prophetess, Aaron's sister with a chorus of women, answered Moses and the Israelites, saying, 'Sing ye to Yahweh, for He is grandly exalted; the horse and his rider He hath cast into the sea."

"Such is the song of Moses, admirable for the boldness of its imagery, the sublimity of its sentiments, and the dignity of its style, which was sung by the Hebrew people standing upon the shore of Edom's sea. They were now a people saved by Yahweh -- a national salvation, coeval with [at the same time as] the signal overthrow of their enemies, and the destruction of their power. They had just put on Moses, having been all baptized into him in the cloud and in the sea (1Co 10:2). They now constituted the One Body of Moses, and the Firstborn Son of Yahweh (Exo 4:22; Zec 3:2; Jud 1:9): and when they arrived at Sinai, fifty days after the institution of the Passover, they became the kingdom of the Deity (Exo 19:5,6,8)... At that stage of their history the Israelites could only sing the song of Moses [ie, and not the 'Song of the Lamb': Rev 15:3]. They could sing it commemoratively and prophetically -- commemoratively, of their deliverance, and the destruction of the Egyptian army; and prophetically, of that still future and greater deliverance awaiting them in the time of Jacob's trouble; and of that grander and more marvellous overthrow of Babylon and the Beast, by the Lamb and those who accompany him whithersoever he goes. The song celebrative of these victories over the system of nations 'spiritually called Sodom and Egypt' -- 'the song of the Lamb' -- they could not [yet] sing" (Eur 3:452,453).

Exo 15:6

RIGHT HAND: Strength (Exo 15:6; Psa 20:6; 63:8; 118:15,16); righteousness (Psa 48:10); authority (Isa 62:8); honor (Gen 48:13-18; 1Ki 2:19); salvation (Psa 17:7; 60:5); and fellowship (Psa 16:11).

Exo 15:17

AND PLANT THEM ON THE MOUNTAIN OF YOUR INHERITANCE: Here is the beginning of a theme which runs through the prophets: Israel as a "vine" planted by Yahweh in His land: Psa 80:8,15; Isa 5:2; Jer 2:21. And, even in the NT, the "Israel" of God are pictured as being "planted" or "rooted" together in Christ: Rom 6:5, KJV; Eph 3:17.'

O LORD: Orig "Yahweh" altered to "Adonai" by Sopherim (Comp App 32).

Exo 15:20

The force of example: 1Ch 12:21,22; 2Ch 20:3,4,5,13,18,27; 17:3; 1Sa 14:21,22; Joh 1:37; 20:8; 21:3; Act 27:35,36.

Exo 15:21

THE HORSE AND ITS RIDER: Kings were not to multiply horses (Deu 17:16: Psa 20:7; 147:10). Horse, chariot = military power.

Exo 15:22

SHUR: "Circling round about". Searching for water, but finding none. "Being shut in" -- ie enmity everywhere. Poss an Egyptian line of defense in this area.

Exo 15:23

We can find "water of life", not among nations, but only at "Marah" (Christ), where bitter is made sweet: The bitterness of suffering/affliction becomes sweetness of life: Heb 12:11.

Exo 15:24

13 murmurings: Exo 5:21; 14:10; 15:24; 16:2; 17:2; 32:1; Num 11:1,4; 12:2; 14:2; 16:3; 20:2; 21:5. Cp Joh 6:41-43. Those who murmur without cause are soon given cause to murmur.

Doubt after deliverance: great anticlimax. The majesty of God is forgotten after only 3 days.

Exo 15:25

A PIECE OF WOOD: Tree, or cross of Christ: 1Pe 2:24; cp 2Ki 2: Elisha with salt (same principle); 2Ki 4 (the meal).

THERE HE TESTED THEM: Suggestion: here would have been a good place to circumcise the Egyptians -- because a few days' rest and recuperation would be required (Tes 71:451). This painful operation, following the frightening escape from Egypt and a thirsty and stressful trek, would have been a severe test on the Israelites.

Exo 15:26

I WILL NOT BRING ON YOU ANY OF THE DISEASES: "The LORD "forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases" (Psa 103:3).

Exo 15:27

TWELVE SPRINGS: 12 = Israel: ie 12 apostles, 12 thrones (Mat 19:28), 12 foundations (Rev 21:14).

SPRINGS: "Wells" (AV): cp Joh 4:6; 7:37.

SEVENTY: 70 disciples (Luk 10:1,17).

PALM TREES: Psa 92:12; Joh 12:13.

The twelve wells of water represent the wellsprings of salvation found in the promise to Israel (Jacob) who had twelve sons. They might also represent the 12 apostles who later were to go out into all the world and spread the life-giving message of the Word (symd by water) of God. Seventy is the Bible number for the nations -- 70 nations being listed in Genesis 10. Palm trees represent the righteous, because they are upright, with their feet firmly into the water table, and fruit only growing in the crown or head of the tree. Palm trees are also used in the Bible to speak of the Gentiles -- Jericho was the City of Palm Trees. So at Elim ("The Mighty Ones") both Jew and Gentile, found rest around 12 springs of fresh running water -- 70 palm trees (sym the righteous from among the Gentile nations), providing shade and fruit, were continually fed from these wells. Israel having escaped from King Sin in Egypt, have come to settle as the "Kingdom of God" at Elim.

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