Exodus 15

1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song to God, and spoke, saying, Let us sing to the Lord, for he is very greatly glorified: horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.
2 He was to me a helper and protector for salvation: this is my God and I will glorify him; my father's God, and I will exalt him.
3 The Lord bringing wars to nought, the Lord his name.
4 He has cast the chariots of Pharao and his host into the sea, the chosen mounted captains: they were swallowed up in the Red Sea.
5 He covered them with the sea: they sank to the depth like a stone.
6 Thy right hand, O God, has been glorified in strength; thy right hand, O God, has broken the enemies.
7 And in the abundance of thy glory thou hast broken the adversaries to pieces: thou sentest forth thy wrath, it devoured them as stubble.
8 And by the breath of thine anger the water parted asunder; the waters were congealed as a wall, the waves were congealed in the midst of the sea.
9 The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoils; I will satisfy my soul, I will destroy with my sword, my hand shall have dominion.
10 Thou sentest forth thy wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty water.
11 Who is like to thee among the gods, O Lord? who is like to thee? glorified in holiness, marvellous in glories, doing wonders.
12 Thou stretchedst forth thy right hand, the earth swallowed them up.
13 Thou hast guided in thy righteousness this thy people whom thou hast redeemed, by thy strength thou hast called them into thy holy resting-place.
14 The nations heard and were angry, pangs have seized on the dwellers among the Phylistines.
15 Then the princes of Edom, and the chiefs of the Moabites hasted; trembling took hold upon them, all the inhabitants of Chanaan melted away.
16 Let trembling and fear fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm, let them become as stone; till thy people pass over, O Lord, till this thy people pass over, whom thou hast purchased.
17 Bring them in and plant them in the mountain of their inheritance, in thy prepared habitation, which thou, O Lord, hast prepared; the sanctuary, O Lord, which thine hands have made ready.
18 The Lord reigns for ever and ever and ever.
19 For the horse of Pharao went in with the chariots and horsemen into the sea, and the Lord brought upon them the water of the sea, but the children of Israel walked through dry land in the midst of the sea.
20 And Mariam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, having taken a timbrel in her hand—then there went forth all the women after her with timbrels and dances.
21 And Mariam led them, saying, Let us sing to the Lord, for he has been very greatly glorified: the horse and rider has he cast into the sea.
22 So Moses brought up the children of Israel from the Red Sea, and brought them into the wilderness of Sur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water to drink.
23 and they came to Merrha, and could not drink of Merrha, for it was bitter; therefore he named the name of that place, Bitterness.
24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
25 And Moses cried to the Lord, and the Lord shewed him a tree, and he cast it into the water, and the water was sweetened: there he established to him ordinances and judgments, and there he proved him,
26 and said, If thou wilt indeed hear the voice of the Lord thy God, and do things pleasing before him, and wilt hearken to his commands, and keep all his ordinances, no disease which I have brought upon the Egyptians will I bring upon thee, for I am the Lord thy God that heals thee.
27 And they came to Aelim, and there were there twelve fountains of water, and seventy stems of palm-trees; and they encamped there by the waters.

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.

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 15

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