Exodus chapter 15

The Song of Moses. The Song of Miriam. Bitter water is made sweet.





VERSE 1. Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and said, “I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously. He has thrown the horse and his rider into the sea.

sang this song to the LORD. This is a song. It is poetry.

It is to be read as an artistic expression, and not as literal history.

horse and his rider. That is, horse and chariot. In those days, people thought other deities rode around in horses and chariots.

thrown the horse and his rider into the sea. Concerning those other deities, the LORD God cast them into the sea.


VERSE 2. The LORD is my strength and song. He has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will praise him; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

salvation. The Hebrew word is yeshu`ah.


VERSE 3. The LORD is a man of war. The LORD is his name.

The LORD is a man. This expression is anthropomorphic. It speaks of the LORD God as if he were a mere human.

of war. This verse portrays the LORD God as being all about war. However, in other parts of the Bible, we see God desires peace.

The Lord Jesus Christ will be called the Prince of Peace:

Isaiah 9:6. For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


VERSE 4. He has cast Pharaoh’s chariots and his army into the sea. His chosen captains are sunk in the Sea of Suf.

his army into the sea. The LORD God defeated the greatest military force on the planet!


VERSE 5. The deeps cover them. They went down into the depths like a stone.


VERSE 6. Your right hand, LORD, is glorious in power. Your right hand, LORD, dashes the enemy in pieces.


VERSE 7. In the greatness of your excellency, you overthrow those who rise up against you. You send out your wrath. It consumes them as stubble.


VERSE 8. With the blast of your nostrils, the waters were piled up. The floods stood upright as a heap. The deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea.


VERSE 9. The enemy said, ‘I will pursue. I will overtake. I will divide the plunder. My desire will be satisfied on them. I will draw my sword. My hand will destroy them.’


VERSE 10. You blew with your wind. The sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters.


VERSE 11. Who is like you, LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

among the gods. This phrase stems from “henotheism.”

Henotheism is the belief in and worship of a single God, while also accepting the existence (or possible existence) of other deities that may also be worshipped.


VERSE 12. You stretched out your right hand. The earth swallowed them.


VERSE 13. “You, in your loving kindness, have led the people that you have redeemed. You have guided them in your strength to your holy habitation.


VERSE 14. The peoples have heard. They tremble. Pangs have taken hold of the inhabitants of Philistia.


VERSE 15. Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed. Trembling takes hold of the mighty men of Moab. All the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.


VERSE 16. Terror and dread falls on them. By the greatness of your arm they are as still as a stone, until your people pass over, LORD, until the people you have purchased pass over.


VERSE 17. You will bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of your inheritance, the place, LORD, which you have made for yourself to dwell in; the sanctuary, Lord, which your hands have established.


VERSE 18. The LORD will reign forever and ever.”

forever and ever. This envisions the One God as reigning forever. This implies a sense of permanence.


VERSE 19. For the horses of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought back the waters of the sea on them; but the children of Israel walked on dry land in the middle of the sea.




VERSE 20. Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dances.

Miriam the prophetess. The Bible describes Miriam as a prophet. She is one of the five female prophets mentioned in the Old Testament.

The Bible and the Jewish tradition are very open to female prophets. How strange that we Christians are not. Read more »


VERSE 21. Miriam answered them, “Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously. He has thrown the horse and his rider into the sea.”

Miriam. The Bible describes Miriam as a prophet. She is one of the five female prophets mentioned in the Old Testament.

The Bible and the Jewish tradition are very open to female prophets. How strange that we Christians are not. Read more »




VERSE 22. Moses led Israel onward from the Sea of Suf, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.


VERSE 23. When they came to Marah, they couldn’t drink from the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore its name was called Marah.

Marah. This word means “bitter.”


VERSE 24. The people murmured against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”

The people murmured. Some people are always complaining. Or arguing. Those are destructive habits. They harm the individual. And the community. They need to STOP. Read more »


VERSE 25. Then he cried to the LORD. The LORD showed him a tree, and he threw it into the waters, and the waters were made sweet. There he made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there he tested them.

he threw it into the waters. This reminds us of the Prophet Elisha. He healed bad water by throwing something into it:

2 Kings 2:21. He went out to the spring of the waters, and threw salt into it, and said, “The LORD says, ‘I have healed these waters. There shall not be from there any more death or barren wasteland.’ ”


VERSE 26. He said, “If you will diligently listen to the LORD your God’s voice, and will do that which is right in his eyes, and will pay attention to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I am the LORD who heals you.”

I am the LORD who heals you. The popular notion of God as a healer goes all the way back to the Book of Exodus.


VERSE 27. They came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. They encamped there by the waters.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.