Exodus 15

Listen to Exodus 15

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.
2 3The LORD is my strength and my 4song, and he has become 5my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, 6my father's God, and 7I will exalt him.
3 The LORD is 8a man of war; 9the LORD is his name.
4 10"Pharaoh's chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and his chosen 11officers were sunk in the Red Sea.
5 The 12floods covered them; they 13went down into the depths like a stone.
6 14Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, your right hand, O LORD, 15shatters the enemy.
7 In the 16greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it 17consumes them like stubble.
8 At the 18blast of your nostrils the waters piled up; the 19floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy said, 20'I will pursue, I will overtake, I 21will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.'
10 You 22blew with your wind; the 23sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters.
11 24"Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in 25glorious deeds, 26doing wonders?
12 You stretched out 27your right hand; the earth swallowed them.
13 "You have 28led in your steadfast love the people whom 29you have redeemed; you have 30guided them by your strength to your holy abode.
14 31The peoples have heard; they tremble; pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 Now are the chiefs of Edom 32dismayed; trembling seizes the leaders of 33Moab; 34all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.
16 Terror and 35dread fall upon them; because of the greatness of your arm, they are still 36as a stone, till your people, O LORD, pass by, till the people pass by whom 37you have purchased.
17 You will bring them in and 38plant them on your own mountain, the place, O LORD, which you have made for your abode, 39the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established.
18 40The LORD will reign forever and ever."
19 For when 41the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, 42the LORD brought back the waters of the sea upon them, but the people of Israel walked on dry ground in the midst of the sea.
20 Then 43Miriam 44the prophetess, the 45sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and 46all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing.
21 And Miriam sang to them: 47"Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea."

Bitter Water Made Sweet

22 Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of 48Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water.
23 When they came to 49Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah.[b]
24 And the people 50grumbled against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?"
25 And he 51cried to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a log,[c] and he 52threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD [d] made for them a statute and a rule, and there he 53tested them,
26 saying, 54"If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the 55diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, 56your healer."
27 Then 57they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water.

Images for Exodus 15

Exodus 15 Commentary

Chapter 15

The song of Moses for the deliverance of Israel. (1-21) The bitter waters at Marah, The Israelites come to Elim. (22-27)

Verses 1-21 This song is the most ancient we know of. It is a holy song, to the honour of God, to exalt his name, and celebrate his praise, and his only, not in the least to magnify any man. Holiness to the Lord is in every part of it. It may be considered as typical, and prophetical of the final destruction of the enemies of the church. Happy the people whose God is the Lord. They have work to do, temptations to grapple with, and afflictions to bear, and are weak in themselves; but his grace is their strength. They are often in sorrow, but in him they have comfort; he is their song. Sin, and death, and hell threaten them, but he is, and will be their salvation. The Lord is a God of almighty power, and woe to those that strive with their Maker! He is a God of matchless perfection; he is glorious in holiness; his holiness is his glory. His holiness appears in the hatred of sin, and his wrath against obstinate sinners. It appears in the deliverance of Israel, and his faithfulness to his own promise. He is fearful in praises; that which is matter of praise to the servants of God, is very dreadful to his enemies. He is doing wonders, things out of the common course of nature; wondrous to those in whose favour they are wrought, who are so unworthy, that they had no reason to expect them. There were wonders of power and wonders of grace; in both, God was to be humbly adored.

Verses 22-27 In the wilderness of Shur the Israelites had no water. At Marah they had water, but it was bitter; so that they could not drink it. God can make bitter to us that from which we promise ourselves most, and often does so in the wilderness of this world, that our wants, and disappointments in the creature, may drive us to the Creator, in whose favour alone true comfort is to be had. In this distress the people fretted, and quarrelled with Moses. Hypocrites may show high affections, and appear earnest in religious exercises, but in the time of temptation they fall away. Even true believers, in seasons of sharp trial, will be tempted to fret, distrust, and murmur. But in every trial we should cast our care upon the Lord, and pour out our hearts before him. We shall then find that a submissive will, a peaceful conscience, and the comforts of the Holy Ghost, will render the bitterest trial tolerable, yea, pleasant. Moses did what the people had neglected to do; he cried unto the Lord. And God provided graciously for them. He directed Moses to a tree which he cast into the waters, when, at once, they were made sweet. Some make this tree typical of the cross of Christ, which sweetens the bitter waters of affliction to all the faithful, and enables them to rejoice in tribulation. But a rebellious Israelite shall fare no better than a rebellious Egyptian. The threatening is implied only, the promise is expressed. God is the great Physician. If we are kept well, it is he that keeps us; if we are made well, it is he that recovers us. He is our life and the length of our days. Let us not forget that we are kept from destruction, and delivered from our enemies, to be the Lord's servants. At Elim they had good water, and enough of it. Though God may, for a time, order his people to encamp by the bitter waters of Marah, that shall not always be their lot. Let us not faint at tribulations.

Cross References 57

  • 1. Psalms 106:12; [Judges 5:1; 2 Samuel 22:1]
  • 2. ver. 21
  • 3. Psalms 18:1, 2; Psalms 59:17; Psalms 118:14; Psalms 140:7; Isaiah 12:2
  • 4. Deuteronomy 10:21; Psalms 109:1
  • 5. Psalms 18:46; Habakkuk 3:18
  • 6. Exodus 3:6, 15, 16
  • 7. 2 Samuel 22:47; Psalms 34:3; Psalms 99:5, 9; Psalms 118:28; Psalms 145:1; Isaiah 25:1
  • 8. Psalms 24:8; Revelation 19:11
  • 9. Exodus 3:15; Exodus 6:3; Psalms 83:18; Isaiah 42:8; Malachi 3:6
  • 10. Exodus 14:28
  • 11. Exodus 14:7
  • 12. ver. 10; Exodus 14:28
  • 13. Nehemiah 9:11
  • 14. ver. 12; Psalms 118:15, 16; Isaiah 51:9
  • 15. Psalms 2:9; Revelation 2:27
  • 16. Deuteronomy 33:26
  • 17. [Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 47:14; Malachi 4:1]
  • 18. Exodus 14:21, 22; 2 Samuel 22:16; Job 4:9; Psalms 18:15; [2 Thessalonians 2:8]
  • 19. Psalms 78:13; [Joshua 3:16; Habakkuk 3:10]
  • 20. Exodus 14:9
  • 21. Genesis 49:27; Judges 5:30; Isaiah 53:12; Luke 11:22
  • 22. Exodus 14:21; [Isaiah 11:15; Isaiah 40:24]
  • 23. ver. 5; Exodus 14:28
  • 24. Deuteronomy 3:24; 1 Samuel 2:2; 2 Samuel 7:22; 1 Kings 8:23; 2 Chronicles 6:14; Jeremiah 10:6
  • 25. [Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8]
  • 26. Psalms 77:14
  • 27. ver. 6
  • 28. Psalms 77:20
  • 29. Psalms 77:15
  • 30. Psalms 78:54
  • 31. Numbers 14:14; Deuteronomy 2:25; Joshua 2:9, 10; Joshua 9:24
  • 32. [Deuteronomy 2:4]
  • 33. Numbers 22:3
  • 34. Josh. 2:9, 11, 24; Joshua 5:1
  • 35. Deuteronomy 2:25; Deuteronomy 11:25
  • 36. 1 Samuel 25:37
  • 37. Psalms 74:2; [1 Peter 2:9]
  • 38. Psalms 44:2; Psalms 80:8; [Jeremiah 32:41]
  • 39. Psalms 78:54; Psalms 132:13, 14
  • 40. Psalms 10:16; Psalms 29:10; Psalms 45:6; Psalms 146:10; Revelation 11:15
  • 41. Exodus 14:23
  • 42. Exodus 14:28, 29
  • 43. Micah 6:4
  • 44. [Judges 4:4; 2 Kings 22:14; Nehemiah 6:14; Luke 2:36]
  • 45. Exodus 2:4; Numbers 26:59
  • 46. Judges 11:34; 1 Samuel 18:6; Psalms 68:25; Psalms 149:3; Psalms 150:4
  • 47. ver. 1
  • 48. Genesis 16:7; Genesis 25:18; 1 Samuel 15:7
  • 49. [Ruth 1:20]
  • 50. Exodus 16:2; Exodus 17:3
  • 51. Exodus 14:10; Exodus 17:4
  • 52. [2 Kings 2:21; 2 Kings 4:41]
  • 53. Exodus 16:4; Deuteronomy 8:2, 16; Judges 2:22; Judges 3:1, 4; Psalms 66:10
  • 54. See Leviticus 26:3-13; Deuteronomy 7:12-15
  • 55. Deuteronomy 28:27, 60
  • 56. Exodus 23:25; Psalms 103:3; Psalms 147:3; Hosea 6:1
  • 57. Numbers 33:9

Footnotes 4

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains the song of Moses, and of the children of Israel, on the banks of the Red sea; in which they celebrate their passage through it, the destruction of Pharaoh and his host in it, and the glory of the divine perfections displayed therein, interspersed with prophetic hints of things future, Ex 15:1-19 which same song was sung by the women, with Miriam at the head of them, attended with timbrels and dances, Ex 15:20,21, an account is given of the march of the children of Israel from the Red sea to the wilderness of Shur, and of the bitter waters found at Marah, which occasioned a murmuring, and of their being made sweet by casting a tree into them, Ex 15:22-25 when they were told by the Lord, that if they would yield obedience to his commandments, they should be free from the diseases the Egyptians had been afflicted with, Ex 15:26, and the chapter is concluded with their coming to Elim, where they found twelve wells of water, and seventy palm trees, and there encamped, Ex 15:27.

Exodus 15 Commentaries