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Commentary » Exodus 15:1-Exodus 15:21 »

The Praise by Moses For Deliverance

To use authoritative words undiscerningly runs the risk of treating the power of God as if it were something to be conjured up at will. To use such language as a matter of routine rather than one of discernment borders on the magic mentality. For instance, occasionally it is poss … More


Israel was now on the eastern shore of the Red Sea having been rescued from the clutches of her enemies by God. Moses now leads the people in a song of praise which is the first recorded song in the Bible. He is accompanied by his sister Miriam and her woman companions with instruments. The structure of the song is made up of 4 stanzas:

1. Stanza one briefly introduces God’s powerful victory (vv. 1-5).

2.Stanza two graphically repeats the victory and then inserts the arrogant and vengeful assertions of victory by the enemy to show how puny they were (vv. 6-10).

3.Stanza three summarizes the victory after asking an appropriate question (vv. 11-13). Since the victory was essential for Israel’s rescue, the stanza also introduces them.

4.Stanza four picks up and expands on God’s leading of His people to their divinely assigned home (vv. 14-17). Also, it causes other nations to fear, as they hear of Israel’s dramatic rescue. The closing line sums it all up when it says, The Lord reigns (v. 18).

The interlude that follows (vv. 19-20) reminds us of the theme behind the song and introduces the response of Miriam and her band of women (v. 21).


When you sing do you think about the words you are singing and whether they are exalting men or God? It is my conviction that music where the beat is predominant and the words are hard to hear and not clearly understood doesn’t really glorify the Lord.

Exodus 15:1-21 (English Standard Version)

Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD, saying, "I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name. "Pharaoh's chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea. The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone. Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy. In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble. At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up; the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy said, 'I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.' You blew with your wind; the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters. "Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? You stretched out your right hand; the earth swallowed them. "You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode. The peoples have heard; they tremble; pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia. Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed; trembling seizes the leaders of Moab; all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away. Terror and dread fall upon them; because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone, till your people, O LORD, pass by, till the people pass by whom you have purchased. You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain, the place, O LORD, which you have made for your abode, the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established. The LORD will reign forever and ever." For when the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, the LORD brought back the waters of the sea upon them, but the people of Israel walked on dry ground in the midst of the sea. Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing. And Miriam sang to them: "Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea."

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