Exodus 15

1 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord: "I will sing to the Lord, because he is worthy of great honor. He has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea.
2 The Lord gives me strength and makes me sing; he has saved me. He is my God, and I will praise him. He is the God of my fathers, and I will honor him.
3 The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name.
4 The chariots and soldiers of the king of Egypt he has thrown into the sea. The king's best officers are drowned in the Red Sea.
5 The deep waters covered them, and they sank to the bottom like a rock.
6 Your right hand, Lord, is amazingly strong. Lord, your right hand broke the enemy to pieces.
7 In your great victory you destroyed those who were against you. Your anger destroyed them, like fire burning straw.
8 Just a blast of your breath, and the waters piled up. The moving water stood like a wall; the deep waters became solid in the middle of the sea.
9 "The enemy bragged, 'I'll chase them and catch them. I'll take all their riches; I'll take all I want. I'll pull out my sword, and my hand will destroy them.'
10 But you blew on them with your breath and covered them with the sea. They sank like lead in the raging water.
11 "Are there any gods like you, Lord? There are no gods like you. You are wonderfully holy, amazingly powerful, a worker of miracles.
12 You reached out with your right hand, and the earth swallowed our enemies.
13 You keep your loving promise and lead the people you have saved. With your strength you will guide them to your holy place.
14 "The other nations will hear this and tremble with fear; terror will take hold of the Philistines.
15 The leaders of the tribes of Edom will be very frightened; the powerful men of Moab will shake with fear; the people of Canaan will lose all their courage.
16 Terror and horror will fall on them. When they see your strength, they will be as still as a rock. They will be still until your people pass by, Lord. They will be still until the people you have taken as your own pass by.
17 You will lead your people and place them on your very own mountain, the place that you, Lord, made for yourself to live, the temple, Lord, that your hands have made.
18 The Lord will be king forever!"
19 The horses, chariot drivers, and chariots of the king of Egypt went into the sea, and the Lord covered them with water from the sea. But the Israelites walked through the sea on dry land.
20 Then Aaron's sister Miriam, a prophetess, took a tambourine in her hand. All the women followed her, playing tambourines and dancing.
21 Miriam told them: "Sing to the Lord, because he is worthy of great honor; he has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea."
22 Moses led the Israelites away from the Red Sea into the Desert of Shur. They traveled for three days in the desert but found no water.
23 Then they came to Marah, where there was water, but they could not drink it because it was too bitter. (That is why the place was named Marah.n)
24 The people grumbled to Moses and asked, "What will we drink?"
25 So Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When Moses threw the tree into the water, the water became good to drink. There the Lord gave the people a rule and a law to live by, and there he tested their loyalty to him.
26 He said, "You must obey the Lord your God and do what he says is right. If you obey all his commands and keep his rules, I will not bring on you any of the sicknesses I brought on the Egyptians. I am the Lord who heals you."
27 Then the people traveled to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. So the people camped there near 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.

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