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Exodus Chapter 15
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The Song of the Red Sea
15:1 Moses and the Israelites then sang this song to God. It went:

I will sing to God for His great victory,

Horse and rider He threw in the sea.

15:2 My strength and song is God

And this is my deliverance;

This is my God, I will enshrine Him

My father's God, I will exalt Him.

15:3 God is the Master of war,

God is His name.

15:4 Pharaoh's chariots and army

He cast in the sea;

His very best officers

Were drowned in the Red Sea.

15:5 The depths covered them;

They sank to the bottom

Like a stone.

15:6 Your right Hand, O God

Is awesome in power;

Your right Hand, O God

crushes the foe.

15:7 In Your great Majesty

You broke Your opponents;

You sent forth Your wrath

It devoured them like straw.

15:8 At the blast of Your Nostrils

the waters towered.

Flowing water stood like a wall.

The depths congealed

In the heart of the sea.

15:9 The enemy said, 'I will give chase;

I will overtake, divide the spoils

I will satisfy myself.

I will draw my sword;

My hand will demolish them.'

15:10 You made Your wind blow;

The sea covered them.

They sank like lead

In the mighty waters.

15:11 Who is like You among powers, God?

Who is like You, majestic in holiness,

Awesome in praise, doing wonders?

15:12 You put forth Your right Hand;

The earth swallowed them.

15:13 With love, You led

the people You redeemed;

With might, You led [them]

to Your holy shrine.

15:14 Nations heard and shuddered;

Terror gripped those who dwell in Philistia.

15:15 Edom's chiefs then panicked;

Moab's heroes were seized with trembling;

Canaan's residents melted away.

15:16 Fear and dread fell upon them.

At the greatness of Your Arm

They are still as stone.

Until Your people crossed, O God,

Until the people You gained crossed over.

15:17 O bring them and plant them

On the mount You possess.

The place You dwell in

Is Your accomplishment, God.

The shrine of God

Your Hands have founded.

15:18 God will reign forever and ever.
15:19 [This song was sung] when Pharaoh's horse came into the sea, along with his chariot corps and cavalry, and God made the sea come back on them. The Israelites had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea.

Miriam's Song
15:20 Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took the drum in her hand, and all the women followed her with drums and dancing.
15:21 Miriam led them in the response, 'Sing to God for His great victory, horse and rider He cast in the sea.'

The Bitter Waters
15:22 Moses led the Israelites away from the Red Sea, and they went out into the Shur Desert. They traveled for three days in the desert without finding any water.
15:23 Finally, they came to Marah, but they could not drink any water there. The water was bitter (marah), and that was why the place was called Marah.
15:24 The people complained to Moses. 'What shall we drink?' they demanded.
15:25 When [Moses] cried out to God, He showed him a certain tree. [Moses] threw it into the water, and the water became drinkable.

It was there that [God] taught them survival techniques and methods, and there He tested them.

15:26 He said, 'If you obey God your Lord and do what is upright in His eyes, carefully heeding all His commandments and keeping all His decrees, then I will not strike you with any of the sicknesses that I brought on Egypt. I am God who heals you.'

Elim and Sin
15:27 Then they came to Elim. Here there were twelve springs of water and seventy date palms. They [then] camped by the water.



Commentary:

this song
  This song is part of the daily liturgy.

His great victory
  (cf. Rashbam). Or, 'He has triumphed over the proud (Targum; Rashi); or 'He has shown His pride' (Ibn Ezra).

My strength...
  (Targum; Ibn Ezra; Radak, Sherashim). Or, 'God's strength and cutting power was my deliverance' (Rashi).

I will enshrine Him
  (Targum; Radak, Sherashim). Or, 'I will glorify Him' (Rashi; Rashbam; cf. Shabbath 133b), or 'I will try to emulate Him (Shabbath 133b).

Master
  (Rashi). Literally, 'man.'

mighty waters
  Or, 'the mighty sank like lead in the waters' (cf. Menachoth 53a).

chiefs
  See Genesis 36:15.

This song was sung...
  Many authorities maintain that this verse is not part of the song (Ramban; Abudarham, p. 63; cf. Zohar 3:168a). Others, however, maintain that it is an integral part of the song (Midrash HaGadol; Ibn Ezra). It would then be translated, 'For Pharaoh's horse came....' (cf. Saadia; Rashi; Gittin 90a s.v. Ki).

Miriam
  The first mention of her name. See Exodus 2:4.

drum
  Tof in Hebrew; see Genesis 31:27. The word is thought to denote a small flat hand drum. See Kanim 3:6.

dancing
  (Targum; Septuagint). Others say that the mechol mentioned here is a musical instrument (Mekhilta; Pirkey Rabbi Eliezer 42; Radak ad loc. 42:68). This is described as somewhat larger than a tof and played with sticks (Saadia Gaon). Others maintain that it is a percussion instrument somewhat like a tambourine.

Sing to God...
  See Exodus 15:1. Some say that they sang the entire song (Saadia; Chizzkuni), and that they sang it along with the men (Philo, De Vida Musa; cf. Mekhilta).

Shur Desert
  See Genesis 16:7, 20:1, 25:18 (cf. Targum; Targum Yonathan). Josephus identifies this with the Pelusian Desert (Antiquities 6:7:3). Saadia, on the other hand identifies it with Jifur, an old name for Es Sur, south-west of the desert of Et-tih (Etham?) near Egypt. A number of sources identify Shur with Etham mentioned above (Exodus 13:20; see Numbers 33:8; Ibn Ezra; Bachya).

Along the eastern shore of the Gulf of Suez, there is a strip of level land. The northern part of this is known as Shur, extending toward the Mediterranean, while the southern part is the Sin Desert (Exodus 16:1). Local traditions identify the first stop with Ayun Musa (the Springs of Moses), on the east side of the Gulf, 9 miles south of Suez and 1.5 miles from the coast.

Marah
  See Numbers 33:8. This is usually identified with Bir Huwara or Eyn Chawara, some 60 miles south of Suez, and 47 miles south of Ayun Musa, 7 miles from the coast. Others identify Marah with Ain Naba (also known as el-Churkudeh), a fountain with a large flow of brackish water, some 10 miles south-east of Suez.

tree
  Or a piece of wood (Josephus 2:3:2). It is said to be a fig, pomegranate, or oleander (Mekhilta; MeAm Lo'ez). Josephus writes that they also purged the well by pouring out large amounts of water from it.

survival techniques...
  (Ramban; Tur). Or, 'a decree and a law' (Mekhilta; Rashi).

Elim
  See Numbers 33:9. Possibly, 'Place of Terebinths.' This is usually identified with Wadi Gharandel, the next oasis on this route, some 10 miles south of Marah. In medieval times, there was a city in this area known as Ailom (Mas'aoth Rabbi Binyamin 24). Some say that this was a very good resting place (Mekhilta), while according to others, the trees and wells were insufficient for the huge number of people (Josephus 3:1:3).

by the water
  Possibly along the Red Sea; cf. Numbers 33:10.





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