NORTHERN CALIFORNIA E- CAMPUS
PAPER TWO EXODUS 17: 8-17
PRESENTED TO: DR. MICHAEL SNEARLEY
IN PARTIAL FULLFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR
OLD TESTAMENT INTRODUCTION, S1112-91
BY WILLIAM DEW
OCTOBER, 18TH 2014
My passage for this paper is Exodus 17: 8-17
It is believed that Moses lived from around 1525 to 1405B.C. and wrote at least several passages of the book of Exodus with Chapter 17 being one of them. The narrative of Exodus continues the story of the Israelites after Genesis ends when Joseph died. This passage comes within two years of the Exodus of Egypt.
Moses used the term “Amalek” to represent the Amalekites. They were a tribe of Semites and descended from Esau (Gen. 36:12). It appears they opposed Israel because they felt they were a threat to their security.
This is the first biblical reference to Joshua (v. 9). Moses selected him to lead Israel's warriors. Moses' staff was the means God used to accomplish miracles for Israel and to identify those miracles as coming from Himself. Moses' actions suggest that he was engaging in intercessory prayer, though reference to prayer is absent in the text. The emphasis is on the rod that Moses held in his hand, the instrument of God's power. "The lifting up of the hands has been regarded almost with unvarying unanimity by Targumists, Rabbins, Fathers, Reformers, and nearly all the more modern commentators, as the sign or attitude of prayer.1
This passage is a historical narrative. It is a national history written by Moses to record the accounts that happened to God’s Chosen People during their time in the wilderness. This particular section deals with what happened when they became complacent and were attacked unexpectedly by one of their enemies.
This historical narrative is in the form of a report. God asked Moses to record on a scroll the account of Israel’s victory over Amalek. It is typical of other report forms like those of Egypt to record a great victory and to show that their gods were greater than their enemies.
This is the first of five instances in the Pentateuch where we read that Moses wrote down something at the Lord's command (cf. 24:4, 7; 34:27; Num. 33:1-2; Deut. 31:9)
The present narrative in Exodus 17 appears to have been shaped by its relationship to the events recorded in Numbers 21:1-3, the destruction of Arad. The two narratives are conspicuously similar. Here in Exodus 17, the people murmured over lack of water and Moses gave them water from the rock (vv. 1-7). They were attacked by the Amalekites but went on to defeat them miraculously while Moses held up his hands (in prayer?). So also in the narrative in Numbers 21, after an account of Israel's murmuring and of getting water from the rock (20:1-13), Israel was attacked but miraculously went on to defeat the Canaanites because of Israel's vow, which the narrative gives in the form of a prayer (21:1-3). 2 Lexical Data 1) Then - This is often used in the Bible as a "time sensitive" conjunction and marks a succession of time - thus the idea is "at that time" or "after that" or "next".
2) Rephidim means rests