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Exodus - Chapter 15

Bible Study Notes

Exodus 15:1-18 The children sang a song to the Lord for His glorious triumph, strength, and salvation. They recognized that He was their God, their father’s God. They praised the greatness of His majesty and exalted the Lord for destroying Pharaoh’s army. They honored the Lord by stating there was no God like Him, majestic in holiness and awesome in glorious deeds and wonders. The people recognized God’s great love in redeeming them from Egypt and His care in guiding them safely on the path toward His Holy Mountain, abode, and sanctuary as the nations around them tremble in fear, the Lord who reigns forever and ever!

Notes: The singular reference to my father’s God echoes the Lord’s words to Moses at the burning bush, which indicate that this phrase refers to “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (3:6) and equips Israel also to say of him, “this is my God.”

Exodus 15:19-21 Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron took a tambourine and led the women in song and dance, singing to the Lord for His glorious triumph over Pharaoh in the sea.

Notes: Miriam was the first woman to be given this honor. She herself claimed the Lord had spoken through her (Num. 12:2). She apparently played an important role in these rescue events because the prophet Micah states that God delivered Israel by the hand of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam (Mic. 6:4).

Exodus 15:22-25 Moses led the Jews to the wilderness of Shur for three days with no water. The water at Marah was bitter, and the Jews grumbled to Moses they had nothing to drink. Moses cried to the Lord, Who showed him a log that when thrown in water would make the water sweet for consumption. This was a miracle for no known wood can make bitter water sweet.

Notes: With the large number of people and livestock coming out of Egypt (see 12:37–38), the inability to find drinkable water is a significant problem (15:22–23). However, Israel has just experienced the Lord’s power over the waters of the Red Sea and thus their choice to grumble against Moses about the lack of something to drink (v. 24) is ironic.

Exodus 15:25-27 The Lord made a rule to test the Jews saying that IF they diligently listened to His voice and do which is right in HIS eyes, and give ear to HIS commandments, and keep all HIS rules, He will put none of the diseases on them as He did to the Egyptians. They then camped at Elim, a place of twelve springs of water and 70 palm trees and rested for a while.

Notes:  The statute calls Israel to give heed to all that he has commanded (e.g., Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the consecration of the firstborn) and all that he will reveal further, which requires implicitly that the people follow Moses as the one through whom they will “listen to the voice of the Lord.” The Lord’s reference to himself as your healer indicates that Israel has already been graciously spared from what happened to the Egyptians and that faithfulness is the means by which they will continue to appropriate the blessings of the covenant relationship with the Lord (see 23:25; Deut. 7:15).

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