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17. Water from the Rock

And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the Lord, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. 2Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the Lord? 3And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? 4And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me. 5And the Lord said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. 6Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?

8Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. 10So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. 15And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: 16For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

16. For he said, Because the Lord.194194     “Truly the hand is upon the throne of Jehovah.” — Lat. Margin, A. V., “Because the hand of Amalek is against the throne of the Lord, therefore,” etc. Heb.,” The hand upon the throne of the Lord.” Holden agrees with Rosenmuller, and, as he says, the most eminent Biblical critics, in preferring the explanation of the margin, A. V. He confirms by repetition the same declaration which he had lately pronounced from the mouth of God, viz., that God would be ever at war with the Amalekites, until He should have utterly destroyed them. Translators do not agree as to the meaning of the expression, “The hand is upon the throne of the Lord.” Some imagine it to be a form of oath, as though God swore by His throne. Others understand by His throne the Church, which is the rest of God, in which he is said to sit. But I have no doubt but that what was said as to destroying and extinguishing the memory of Amalek is confirmed by this reason, viz., that as God is omnipotent He will contend with this wicked nation. Therefore the hand is said to be upon the throne of God, because he does not sit idly in heaven, (as the Epicureans imagine,) but exercises His dominion in the government of the world, as if he had said, that God, who rules in power, and who by His hand and authority controls and moderates, sustains and overthrows all things, as long as He shall reign upon His throne, endued with supreme and formidable might, will never cease to pursue the Amalekites with His just vengeance. And, indeed, it may have been the case, that He inflicted divers punishments upon them, though their last great overthrow was delayed till the days of Saul.


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