Old Testament Lesson 16 (Exodus 14–17)
A MULTITUDE OF MIRACLES
Parting the Red Sea
Exodus 14:5–9 After Pharaoh let the children of Israel leave Egypt, he turned against them and sent his army after them.
Exodus 14:10–12 The children of Israel reacted with fear and accusations against Moses. This was the first of over 20 times when they murmured against Moses while in the wilderness.
Exodus 14:13–18 Moses declared, “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord” . . . for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.” (v. 13). “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace” (v. 14).
Exodus 14:15–18 The Lord told Moses to “lift up . . . thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea” (v. 16).
Exodus 14:19–20 The pillar of fire and the cloud went behind them to protect them from the advancing Egyptians.
Exodus 14:21–22 Moses parted the Red Sea before them, to everyone’s astonishment. “And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left” (v. 22).
Exodus 14:23–31 The Egyptian army followed them into the midst of the sea, and when Moses stretched forth his hand again over the sea, “the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea” (v. 27). And “the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore” (v. 30).
Healing the Waters of Marah
Exodus 15:1–21 The Song of Moses. After experiencing the parting of the Red Sea to rescue from the oncoming army of the Pharaoh, the children of Israel sing and dance praises unto the Lord. Can we even imagine the awe and gratitude they must have felt at that moment? Nothing similar to this had been done since the days of Enoch. But their enthusiasm was short-lived. As they continued into the wilderness toward Mt. Sinai, their faithfulness lagged.
When they reached Marah—named for a Hebrew word that means “bitter”—the children of Israel murmured. They wanted water and accused Moses of taking them into the wilderness to die.
Exodus 15:22–26 A nearby source of water was found to be poisonous. Under instructions from Jehovah, Moses tossed a tree into the waters and they were healed —another marvelous manifestation that God was with them.
Meat and Manna from Heaven
Exodus 16:1–3 Not long afterward, the children of Israel murmured again because they were hungry.
Exodus 16:4–12 The Lord promised to send them both bread and meat from heaven.
Exodus 16:13 He sent quail into the camp of Israel for meat.
Exodus 16:13–26 He also sent manna from heaven to feed them.
—It was sweet as honey.
—It could be cooked.
—He provided an Omer (about 2 quarts) per person per day.
—It spoiled in one day, so they had to gather it every day.
—None came on the Sabbath, but they could gather twice as much on the day before, and it did not spoil on that day.
—This continued for 40 years—12,400 days.
Water from a Rock at Horeb
Exodus 17:1–12 At Horeb, the children of Israel complained again about the lack of water. The Lord instructed Moses to strike a rock nearby with his rod. As he did so, water miraculously came forth from the rock.
MOSES’ GREAT BURDENS
Sustaining the Prophet Moses
Exodus 17:8–14 It took about two months to reach Mt. Sinai. Meanwhile, Moses carried a great burden providing for the needs of the children of Israel, which numbered 630,000 men—2–3 million people.
Exodus 17:8–12 Aaron and Hur supported Moses in a battle against the Amalekites, who attacked them along their way. Only when Moses held up his hand did the Israelites prevail (v. 12). So, when Moses’ hands grew weary, Aaron and Hur brought him a stone to sit on and “stayed up his hands” on either side.
Exodus 17:13–16 Because they had attacked Israel in a most cowardly manner, the Israelites were commanded by the Lord to utterly destroy the Amalekites. The Amalekites may have been descendants of Esau (Genesis 36:12, 16). They attacked the Israelites by killing first the feeble, faint, and weary at the rear of the marching nation (Deut.25:17–19). For this, the Amalekites were cursed by the Lord.