Exodus 15:1

The Song of Moses

1 Then Moses and the people of Israel 1sang this song to the LORD, saying, 2"I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider[a] he has thrown into the sea.

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Exodus 15:1 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 15:1

Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the
Which is the first song recorded in Scripture, though no doubt before this time songs of praise were sung to the Lord; the people of God having occasion in all ages more or less to sing his praises. The Jews F14 speak of ten songs, the first of which was sung by Adam, when his sins were forgiven him, and this song of Moses is the second; though sometimes they say F15, from the creation of the world to the standing of Israel by the Red sea, we do not find that ever any man sung a song but Israel; God created the first man, but he sang no song: however, this is the first on record, and is a typical one; Moses the composer of it, and who bore a principal part in it, and was the deliverer of the people of Israel, was a type of Christ, the Redeemer of his church: and Israel that joined with him in it, and were the persons delivered, were typical of the spiritual Israel of God redeemed by Christ; and the deliverance here celebrated bore a great resemblance to the redemption wrought out by him; and Christ, the Angel of the Lord, that went before the Israelites through the Red sea, and fought for them, is the principal person concerned in it, and who is meant by the Lord throughout the whole of it, and to whom it is sung; and a song upon a similar occasion to this will be sung in the latter day, upon the destruction of spiritual Egypt, or antichrist, and is called the song of Moses and the Lamb in allusion to it, ( Revelation 15:3 ) The Jews F16 say, this shall be sung at the time, when the wicked shall perish out of the world, and observe that it is not written (rv) , "then sung", but (ryvy) , "then shall sing" Moses had reason to sing, since God had heard his prayer, and had done him honour before the people, and he was both an instrument of and a sharer in the salvation wrought; and the children of Israel had reason to sing, inasmuch as they were a people chosen of God, and distinguished by him; were redeemed from bondage, called out of Egypt, and now saved out of the hands of their enemies, who were all destroyed, and they brought safely through the Red sea, and landed on firm ground. And the time when they sung this song was then, when they had passed through the sea on dry land; and when they had seen the Egyptians their enemies dead on the sea shore; and when they were in a proper frame of spirit to sing, when they had taken notice of and considered what great and wonderful things the Lord had done for them, and their minds were suitably impressed with a sense of them; when they were in the exercise of the graces of the fear of God, and faith in him, and which is necessary to the performance of all religious duties, and particularly this of singing the praises of God: and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord:
that went before them in a pillar of cloud and fire; who had led them safely through the Red sea, and troubled and destroyed the host of the Egyptians; even the same Jehovah, who has undertook the salvation of his people, is become the author of it, and to whom the song of redeeming grace is due: for he hath triumphed gloriously;
over Pharaoh and all the Egyptians, the enemies of Israel, as Christ has over sin, in the destruction of it by his sacrifice, and over Satan, and his principalities and powers, when he spoiled them on the cross, and over death the last enemy, and all others; over whom he has made his people more than conquerors, through himself: or, "in excelling he excels" F17; all the angels of heaven, in his name, and nature, relation, and office; and all the sons of men, even the greatest among them, being King of kings, and Lord of lords; in the wonderful things done by him, no such achievements having ever been wrought by any of them: or, "in magnifying, he is magnified" {r}; appears to be what he is, great in his nature, perfections, and works; and to be magnified, or declared to be great, and extolled as such by all that know and fear him; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea;
the horses and horsemen of Pharaoh; and which is not amiss allegorically applied, by Tertullian F19, to the world and the devil; the world is the horse, and the rider the devil; that being under his power and direction, he being the god of it, and working effectually in it; spurring and exciting the men of it to every sinful lust and pleasure; and may be put for all the spiritual enemies of God's people, especially their sins; which are cast by the Lord into the midst of the sea, never to be seen and remembered any more, and which is to them matter of a song of praise and thanksgiving.


F14 Targum in Cant. i. 1.
F15 Shemot Rabba, sect. 23. fol. 107. 3.
F16 Tikkune Zohar, correct. 10. fol. 20. 2.
F17 (hag hag) "excellendo excelluit", Piscator.
F18 "Magnificando magnificatus est", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus.
F19 Contr. Marcion, l. 4. c. 20.

Exodus 15:1 In-Context

1 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD, saying, "I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
2 The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.
3 The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name.
4 "Pharaoh's chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea.
5 The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone.

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Cross References 2

  • 1. Psalms 106:12; [Judges 5:1; 2 Samuel 22:1]
  • 2. ver. 21

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or its chariot; also verse 21