Chapter 15

Israel’s Song

    • Moses and the Israelites sing a song in praise of the Lord:

      • Scholars believe this song of rescue to be one of the oldest preserved examples of the Hebrew language, attesting to its importance in Israel’s thought and faith. It is divided into three stanzas: 15:1-5, 6-12, 13-18. The first stanza rejoices in the Lord’s personal rescue of Moses and his people (note the recurrence of first-person pronouns). The second exults in the great contrast between the Lord and the Egyptians. The third stanza reflects on what these events would mean for the future.” (NLT Illustrated Study Bible)

      • First Stanza:

      • I will sing to the Lord and praise Him because He has thrown both the horse and rider into the sea.

      • The Lord is my strength and my salvation. This is my God and the God of my fathers and I will praise Him.

      • The Lord is a warrior and His name is Yahweh.

      • He threw Pharaoh’s chariots, armies, and officers into the sea. They sank like stones and drowned.

      • Second Stanza:

        • Lord, Your right hand is gloriously powerful, You shattered the enemy.

        • You are majestic and You defeat Your adversaries.

        • When You unleashed Your burning wrath, it burned them up like straw.

        • When You blew the breath from Your nostrils, the water separated and formed hard walls on either side.

        • The enemy bragged that they would catch us, plunder us, and destroy us.

        • But You blew Your breath and the sea overtook them. They sank like lead.

        • Lord, what other god is like You- gloriously holy, awesome, and able to perform great wonders?

        • When You raised Your hand, the earth swallowed our enemies.

      • Third Stanza:

        • You will lead the people that You have redeemed with Your faithful love, and guide them with Your strength to Your sacred home.

        • When the people hear, they will be terrified. The people who live in Philistia will be terrified, as will the chiefs of Edom, the leaders of Moab, and the people who live in Canaan.

        • They will all be silent and still until Your people pass by.

        • You will bring Your people in and establish them on Your mountain, the place that You have prepared for Your own dwelling. By Your own hands You have established Your sanctuary and the Lord will reign forever.

        • It is obvious, then, from the plentiful allusions to this song in holy scripture, that it is full of deep spiritual significance. It teaches us not only to praise God concerning the literal overthrow of Egypt, but to praise him concerning the overthrow of all the powers of evil, and the final deliverance of all the chosen.” (Spurgeon)

    • When Pharaoh’s forces followed the Israelites down the dry path into the sea, the Lord brought the waters crashing down on top of them. But the Israelites walked safely to the other side.

    • Aaron’s sister, Miriam the prophetess, played her tambourine and all the women followed her dancing while Miriam sang, “Sing to the Lord and praise Him because He has thrown the horse and rider into the sea.”

      • This is the first mention of Miriam by name, and she is described as the sister of Aaron, so she is therefore also the sister of Moses (Exodus 4:14)… We also see that Miriam had some kind of prophetic gift.” (Guzik)

Water Provided

    • From the Red Sea Moses led the people out into the Wilderness of Shur. They traveled for three days without finding water before they came to Marah, but the water there was bitter and undrinkable.

    • The people complained to Moses in their thirst, and Moses prayed. God showed him a tree and when Moses threw it into the water, it made the water drinkable.

    • At Marah, the Lord put forth a decree as a standard to test their faithfulness to Him. He said, “If you will obey Me, do what is right in My sight, pay attention to my commands, and obey My decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases that I sent to the Egyptians because I am the One who heals you.”

      • This was God’s promise to an obedient Israel. In many ways, their physical health was directly connected to their obedience… Dr. S.I. McMillen in his book None of These Diseases noted that many of God’s laws to Israel had a direct impact of hygiene and health. Practices such as circumcision, quarantine, washing in running water, and eating kosher made a real medical difference in keeping Israel free from disease… Beyond the direct medical implications, obedience also means we are at peace with God – and free from a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety in life. This has an obvious benefit to the health of any person.” (Guzik)

    • After this, the Israelites came and set up camp at Elim where there were 12 springs and 70 date palms.