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Water from the Rock


From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the L ord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the L ord?” 3But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” 4So Moses cried out to the L ord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” 5The L ord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the L ord, saying, “Is the L ord among us or not?”

Amalek Attacks Israel and Is Defeated

8 Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. 9Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some men for us and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the sun set. 13And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword.

14 Then the L ord said to Moses, “Write this as a reminder in a book and recite it in the hearing of Joshua: I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” 15And Moses built an altar and called it, The L ord is my banner. 16He said, “A hand upon the banner of the L ord! The L ord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

10. So Joshua did as. Although Joshua is by no means backward, but diligently executes what he knows to be commanded him by God Himself, and it is probable that the soldiers whom he had taken to accompany him did their duty properly, yet is it expressly stated that they gained the victory by no care, or striving, or courage of their own, but by the prayer of Moses, by whose support their leader as well as the army was sustained. Yet does not Moses here boastfully commend his own zeal in praying, but is rather the public witness. and proclaimer of his weakness, that the glory might be entirely attributed to the gratuitous favor of God. Nor is there any question, that, conscious of the infirmity which he afterwards confesses, he associated with him Aaron and Hur, who might assist him in his task. There191191     “Divers allegories are made of this place: as that Moses’ hands, i.e., the precepts of the law are heavy, but that by Aaron, who signifieth Christ, and Hur, i.e., the Holy Ghost, they are made easy and light. — Ferus. Some, by Moses and Hur, understand the two Testaments, upon the which our prayer must rely. Some again thus allegorize: — Aaron, they say, signifieth montanus, hilly, and Hur, fire, so two things support our prayer, high and heavenly meditation, and fervent charity. — Lyranus,” etc. — Willet in loco. is more acuteness than solidity in the notion which some have, that these two men present a figure of the Old and New Testament, on which the prayers of the saints must rest; and that the stone which they gave to Moses to sit upon was offered him because our faith is only founded upon Christ. I know how plausible such allegories are; but what I have just said is enough for me, that because Moses mistrusted his own weakness, therefore he sought these two assistants. And surely when they stayed his hands they also lifted up their minds, and prayed together to God in common supplications; but Moses speaks chiefly of himself, to show that this charge was entrusted to him by God. For he did not only offer his prayers as a work of charity, but because God had chosen him as intercessor, to conquer the enemies from afar by the stretching forth of the rod, and by his secret earnestness in prayer; and in this respect he was a type of Christ; although the similitude does not hold in all its parts. Doubtless his failure arose from his extreme earnestness, and the extraordinary vehemence of his zeal, and, therefore, praise is mixed up with blame, just as the saints, when they are stirred to make great efforts in prayer, find that not only does their vigor grow cold, but they fail from being almost consumed by their own ardor.

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