Journey to Sinai: Israel Under Grace
Exodus 15:22 – 18:27
Exodus 15:22 – 18:27
The Waters of Marah (15:22-27)
22 And Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. 23 And they came to Marah, and could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? 25 And he cried to Jehovah; and Jehovah shewed him wood, and he cast it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There he made for them a statute and an ordinance; and there he tested them. 26 And he said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of Jehovah thy God, and do what is right in his eyes, and incline thine ears to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the complaints upon thee that I have put upon the Egyptians; for I am Jehovah who healeth thee. 27 And they came to Elim; and twelve springs of water were there, and seventy palm trees; and they encamped there by the waters.
The Manna and the Quail (Exodus 16)
1 And they journeyed from Elim, and the whole assembly of the children of Israel came into the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure out of the land of Egypt. 2 And the whole assembly of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron in the wilderness. 3 And the children of Israel said to them, Would that we had died by the hand of Jehovah in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we ate bread to the full; for ye have brought us out into this wilderness, to kill this whole congregation with hunger! v.3 It sounds religious but it is really blasphemous and rather exaggerated.
4 Then said Jehovah to Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather the daily need on its day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or not. 5 And it shall come to pass on the sixth day, that they shall prepare what they have brought in; and it shall be twice as much as they shall gather daily. 6 And Moses and Aaron said to all the children of Israel, In the evening, then shall ye know that Jehovah has brought you out from the land of Egypt; 7 and in the morning, then shall ye see the glory of Jehovah; for he has heard your murmurings against Jehovah; — and what are we, that ye murmur against us? 8 And Moses said, When Jehovah gives you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for Jehovah hears your murmurings which ye murmur against him … and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against Jehovah. 9 And Moses spoke to Aaron, Say to all the assembly of the children of Israel, Come near into the presence of Jehovah; for he has heard your murmurings. 10 And it came to pass, when Aaron spoke to the whole assembly of the children of Israel, that they turned toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of Jehovah appeared in the cloud. 11 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, 12 I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak to them, saying, Between the two evenings ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am Jehovah your God. 13 And it came to pass in the evening, that quails came up, and covered the camp; and in the morning the dew lay round the camp. 14 And when the dew that lay round it was gone up, behold, on the face of the wilderness there was something fine, granular, fine as hoar-frost, on the ground. 15 And the children of Israel saw it, and said one to another, What is it? for they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, This is the bread which Jehovah has given you to eat. 16 This is the thing which Jehovah has commanded: Gather of it every man according to what he can eat, an omer a poll, according to the number of your persons: ye shall take every man for those that are in his tent. 17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some much, some little. 18 And they measured with the omer: then he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little wanted nothing: they had gathered every man according to the measure of his eating. v.18 A miracle would happen when they would meet the manna with an omer (measure it into a container with the volume of one omer) – a picture of meditation on Christ. Namely, whether little or much was gathered it became enough for one man. No matter if we read ten chapters or ten verses, when we meditate on it the Lord makes it enough to fill our souls.
19 And Moses said to them, Let no man leave any of it until the morning. 20 But they did not hearken to Moses; and some men left of it until the morning; then worms bred in it and it stank. And Moses was wroth with them. 21 And they gathered it every morning, every man as much as he could eat; and when the sun became hot, it melted. 22 And it came to pass on the sixth day, that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one; and all the princes of the assembly came and told Moses. 23 And he said to them, This is what Jehovah has said: To-morrow is the rest, the holy sabbath, of Jehovah: bake what ye will bake, and cook what ye will cook; and lay up for yourselves all that remains over, to be kept for the morning. 24 And they laid it up for the morning, as Moses had commanded; and it did not stink, neither was there any worm in it. 25 And Moses said, Eat it to-day; for to-day is sabbath to Jehovah: to-day ye shall not find it in the field. 26 Six days shall ye gather it; but on the seventh day is sabbath: on it there shall be none. 27 And it came to pass on the seventh day that there went out some from the people to gather it, and they found none. 28 And Jehovah said to Moses, How long do ye refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? 29 See, for Jehovah hath given you the sabbath; therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread for two days. Abide every man in his place: let no man go from his place on the seventh day. 30 And the people rested on the seventh day. 31 And the house of Israel called its name Manna; and it was like coriander-seed, white; and the taste of it was like cake with honey. 32 And Moses said, This is the thing which Jehovah has commanded: Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread that I gave you to eat in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt. 33 And Moses said to Aaron, Take a pot, and put in it an omer full of manna, and deposit it before Jehovah, to be kept for your generations. 34 As Jehovah had commanded Moses, so Aaron deposited it before the Testimony, to be kept. 35 And the children of Israel ate the manna forty years, until they came into an inhabited land: they ate the manna until they came to the borders of the land of Canaan. 36 Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.
The Waters of Meribah (17:1-7)
1 And all the assembly of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, according to their journeys, at the command of Jehovah; and they encamped in Rephidim; and there was no water for the people to drink. 2 And the people contended with Moses, and said, Give us water, that we may drink! And Moses said to them, Why do ye dispute with me? Why do ye tempt Jehovah? 3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Why is it that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? 4 And Moses cried to Jehovah, saying, What shall I do with this people? Yet a little, and they will stone me! 5 And Jehovah said to Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel, and thy staff with which thou didst smite the river, take in thy hand, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock on Horeb; and thou shalt strike the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so before the eyes of the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they had tempted Jehovah, saying, Is Jehovah among us, or not?
The War With Amalek (17:8-16)
8 And Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said to Joshua, Choose us men, and go out, fight with Amalek; to-morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand. 10 And Joshua did as Moses had said to him, to fight with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And it came to pass when Moses raised his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 And Moses’ hands were heavy; then they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on this side, and one on that side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua broke the power of Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 And Jehovah said to Moses, Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under the heavens. 15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi. 16 And he said, For the hand is on the throne of Jah; Jehovah will have war with Amalek from generation to generation!
v.16 The Amalekite is a picture of the flesh. Israel was to have war with Amalek form generation to generation, see Exodus 17:16. But we see from Balaam’s 4th prophecy, connected with the coming of Christ is the final destruction of the Amalekites (Numbers 24:20), who picture the flesh. At the rapture, we will receive our glorified bodies and the flesh will be gone “forever”!
Basic Administrative Structure (Exodus 18)
1 And Jethro the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done to Moses, and to Israel his people; that Jehovah had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her back, 3 and her two sons, of whom the name of the one was Gershom — for he said, I have been a sojourner in a foreign land, 4 — and the name of the other, Eliezer — For the God of my father has been my help, and has delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh. 5 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came to Moses with his sons and his wife into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mountain of God. 6 And he sent word to Moses: I, thy father-in-law Jethro, am come to thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her. 7 And Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other after their welfare, and went into the tent. 8 And Moses told his father-in-law all that Jehovah had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake; all the trouble that had befallen them on the way, and how Jehovah had delivered them. 9 And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness that Jehovah had done to Israel; that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians. 10 And Jethro said, Blessed be Jehovah, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh; who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that Jehovah is greater than all gods; for in the thing in which they acted haughtily he was above them. 12 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt-offering and sacrifices for God; and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God. 13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood by Moses from the morning to the evening. 14 And Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did with the people, and said, What is this thing which thou art doing with the people? why dost thou sit alone, and all the people are standing by thee from morning to evening? 15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, Because the people come to me to enquire of God. 16 When they have a matter, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known to them the statutes of God, and his laws. 17 And Moses’ father-in-law said to him, The thing that thou art doing is not good. 18 Thou wilt be quite exhausted, both thou and this people that is with thee; for the thing is too heavy for thee: thou canst not perform it alone. 19 Hearken now to my voice: I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee. Be thou for the people with God, and bring the matters before God; 20 and teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they must walk, and the work that they must do. 21 But do thou provide among all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place them over them, chiefs of thousands, chiefs of hundreds, chiefs of fifties, and chiefs of tens, 22 that they may judge the people at all times; and it shall be that they shall bring to thee every great matter, and that they shall judge every small matter, and they shall lighten the task on thee, and they shall bear it with thee. 23 If thou do this thing, and God command thee so, thou wilt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. 24 And Moses hearkened to the voice of his father-in-law, and did all that he had said. 25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, chiefs of hundreds, chiefs of fifties, and chiefs of tens. 26 And they judged the people at all times: the hard matters they brought to Moses, but every small matter they judged. 27 And Moses sent away his father-in-law, and he departed into his land.