Study Guide

Book of Exodus Chapter 15

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Chapter 15

Sing! Sing! Sing!

  • Moses and the Israelites sing a song to God after their triumph. Wouldn't you be singing after that?
  • The song that the Israelites sing has a ton of historical nuggets: it talks about the character of God, has a different understanding of water (check out "Symbols" for more), and also celebrates the destruction of the Canaanites.
  • But wait. The Israelites haven't even gone into Canaan yet, so what's going on? There's a contradiction in the text.
  • This one's a sure bet. Why would you sing about something that hasn't happened yet?
  • We're pretty sure we have two texts from different times that were combined; so what we see looks like a contradiction, but it's just two different pieces of literature that got combined years after both were written. Voil√†!
  • Back in the story, Miriam sings her own, slightly shorter, song.
  • As they're traveling in the deserts, the Israelites can't find fresh water. They complain to Moses, who asks God for help. The solution? Moses throws a piece of wood into the brackish water, and it becomes sweet.¬†
  • God makes a rule that if the Israelites do right by God's rules, they won't be punished with the diseases the Egyptians got. Thanks, God.

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