Exodus 15

The Song of Moses and Israel

1 1Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and said, "2I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; 3The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.
2 "4The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; 5This is my God, and I will praise Him; 6My father's God, and I will 7extol Him.
3 "8The LORD is a warrior; 9The LORD is His name.
4 "10Pharaoh's chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; And the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red * Sea.
5 "The deeps cover them; 11They went down into the depths like a stone.
6 "12Your right hand, O LORD, is majestic in power, 13Your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy.
7 "And in the greatness of Your excellence You 14overthrow those who rise up against You; 15You send forth Your burning anger, and it 16consumes them as chaff.
8 "17At the blast of Your nostrils the waters were piled up, 18The flowing waters stood up like a heap; The deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 "19The enemy said, 'I will pursue, I will overtake, I will 20divide the spoil; My desire shall be gratified against them; I will draw out my sword, my hand will destroy them.'
10 "21You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; 22They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
11 "23Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, 24majestic in holiness, 25Awesome in praises, 26working wonders?
12 "27You stretched out Your right hand, The earth swallowed them.
13 "In Your lovingkindness You have 28led the people whom You have 29redeemed; In Your strength You have guided them 30to Your holy habitation.
14 "31The peoples have heard, they tremble; Anguish has gripped the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 "Then the 32chiefs of Edom were dismayed; 33The leaders of Moab, trembling grips them; 34All the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.
16 "35Terror and dread fall upon them; 36By the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone; Until Your people pass over, O LORD, Until the people pass over whom You 37have purchased.
17 "38You will bring them and 39plant them in 40the mountain of Your inheritance, 41The place, O LORD, which You have made for Your dwelling, 42The sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established.
18 "43The LORD shall reign forever and ever."
19 44For the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, and the LORD brought back the waters of the sea on them, but the sons of Israel walked on 45dry land through the midst of the sea.
20 46Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took the 47timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with 48dancing.
21 Miriam answered them, "49Sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; The horse and his rider He has hurled into the sea."

The LORD Provides Water

22 50Then Moses led Israel from the Red * Sea, and they went out into 51the wilderness of 52Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water.
23 When they came to 53Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore * it was named * Marah.
24 So the people 54grumbled at Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?"
25 Then he 55cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him 56a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There He 57made for them a statute and regulation, and there He 58tested them.
26 And He said, "59If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear 60to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, 61I will put none * of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, 62the LORD, am your healer."
27 Then they came to 63Elim where there were twelve * springs of water and seventy date palms, and they camped there beside 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.

Cross References 63

  • 1. Psalms 106:12; Revelation 15:3
  • 2. Isaiah 12:5; Isaiah 42:10-12
  • 3. Jeremiah 51:21
  • 4. Psalms 18:1, 2; Isaiah 12:2; Habakkuk 3:18
  • 5. Psalms 48:14
  • 6. Ex 3:6, 15, 16
  • 7. 2 Samuel 22:47; Psalms 99:5; Isaiah 25:1
  • 8. Exodus 14:14; Revelation 19:11
  • 9. Exodus 3:15; Exodus 6:2, 3, 7, 8; Psalms 24:8; Psalms 83:18
  • 10. Ex 14:6, 7, 17, 28
  • 11. Exodus 15:10; Nehemiah 9:11
  • 12. Exodus 3:20; Exodus 6:1
  • 13. Psalms 118:15, 16
  • 14. Exodus 14:27
  • 15. Psalms 78:49, 50
  • 16. Deuteronomy 4:24; Isaiah 5:24; Hebrews 12:29
  • 17. Exodus 14:22, 29; Job 4:9
  • 18. Psalms 78:13
  • 19. Ex 14:5, 8, 9
  • 20. Judges 5:30; Isaiah 53:12; Luke 11:22
  • 21. Exodus 14:27, 28
  • 22. Exodus 15:5
  • 23. Exodus 8:10; Exodus 9:14; Deuteronomy 3:24; 2 Samuel 7:22; 1 Kings 8:23; Psalms 71:19; Psalms 86:8; Micah 7:18
  • 24. Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8
  • 25. Psalms 22:23
  • 26. Psalms 72:18; Psalms 136:4
  • 27. Exodus 15:6
  • 28. Nehemiah 9:12; Psalms 77:20
  • 29. Exodus 15:16; Psalms 77:15
  • 30. Exodus 15:17; Psalms 78:54
  • 31. Deuteronomy 2:25; Habakkuk 3:7
  • 32. Genesis 36:15, 40
  • 33. Numbers 22:3, 4
  • 34. Josh 2:9, 11, 24; Joshua 5:1
  • 35. Exodus 23:27; Deuteronomy 2:25; Joshua 2:9
  • 36. Exodus 15:5, 6
  • 37. Exodus 15:13; Psalms 74:2; Isaiah 43:1; Jeremiah 31:11; Titus 2:14; 2 Peter 2:1
  • 38. Exodus 23:20; Exodus 32:34
  • 39. Psalms 44:2; Psalms 80:8, 15
  • 40. Psalms 2:6; Psalms 78:54, 68
  • 41. Psalms 68:16; Psalms 76:2; Psalms 132:13, 14
  • 42. Psalms 78:69
  • 43. Psalms 10:16; Psalms 29:10; Isaiah 57:15
  • 44. Exodus 14:23, 28
  • 45. Exodus 14:22, 29
  • 46. Exodus 2:4; Numbers 26:59; 1 Chronicles 6:3; Micah 6:4
  • 47. Judges 11:34; 1 Samuel 18:6; 1 Chronicles 15:16; Psalms 68:25; Psalms 81:2; Psalms 149:3; Jeremiah 31:4
  • 48. Judges 11:34; Judges 21:21; 1 Samuel 18:6; Psalms 30:11; Psalms 150:4
  • 49. Exodus 15:1
  • 50. Psalms 77:20; Psalms 78:52, 53
  • 51. Numbers 33:8
  • 52. Genesis 16:7; Genesis 20:1; Genesis 25:18
  • 53. Numbers 33:8; Ruth 1:20
  • 54. Exodus 14:11; Exodus 16:2; Psalms 106:13
  • 55. Exodus 14:10
  • 56. Ezekiel 47:7, 8
  • 57. Joshua 24:25
  • 58. Exodus 16:4; Deuteronomy 8:2, 16; Judges 2:22; Judges 3:1, 4; Psalms 66:10
  • 59. Exodus 19:5, 6; Deuteronomy 7:12
  • 60. Exodus 20:2-17
  • 61. Deuteronomy 7:15; Deuteronomy 28:58, 60
  • 62. Exodus 23:25; Deuteronomy 32:39; Psalms 41:3, 4; Psalms 103:3; Psalms 147:3
  • 63. Numbers 33:9

Footnotes 19

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

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