So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.
And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.
And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,
1. "And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree"
a. tree [6086 * 'ets] [Strong: a tree (from its firmness); wood, sticks, plank, pine, staff.]
1). It is obviously used in a great variety of uses describing many things made of wood, such as trees, pieces of trees, furniture, houses, etc.
b. A few of the newer translations use different wording in this verse.
1). [NIV] "Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood."
2). [NRSV] "and the LORD showed him a piece of wood"
c. Most importantly, in light of the fact that this passage in Exodus 15 reveals one of the seven Redemptive names of God, I believe the use of the word "tree" is necessary. All of the seven Redemptive names of God point prophetically to the finished work of Christ and all of the benefits within that Redemption.
d. The use of the word "tree" compliments the type and foreshadowing of our redemption in Christ Jesus being crucified on a cross/tree.
1). Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
2). Deuteronomy 21:22, 23 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:
His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
e. The most important example of the complimenting the type and foreshadowing of our redemption is found in 1 Peter.
1). 1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
a). Here we see the combination of the wording tree with healing as in found in Exodus 15.
2. "which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet:
a. sweet [4985 * mathaq] [AMG; a verb meaning to be sweet, to be pleasant.]
3. "there he made for them a statute and an ordinance" and there he proved them"
a. We must not miss that this part of the verse is divided into three parts. The statute, the ordinance and the proving.
b. statute [2706 * choq] [Strong: statute, ordinance, limit, something prescribed, prescribed limit, boundary, enactment, decree, ordinance, specific decree, conditions.]
c. ordinance [4941 * mishpat] [Strong: judgment, justice, ordinance, decision (of judgment), execution (of judgment).
d. Looking at the definitions of the words we can see a twofold announcement that demands to be divided.
4. "and there he proved them"
a. proved [5254 * nacah] [Strong: to test, try, prove, tempt, assay, put to the proof or test.]
b. I cannot help but believe that the proving, the testing, the trying that this verse is referring to is not really referring to the geographical site Marah. I believe it refers to the "statute" and the "ordinance" the LORD was giving them. The obedience to the statute was their responsibility, and the execution of the ordinance was God's responsibility. The same word used here for 'prove' is the same word used in Malachi when God was speaking of the tithe.
1). Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
a). In Malachi God was exhorting the Jewish people to tithe to Him and 'prove' Him, to see if He is faithful to His word. In other words, God said, "Put me to the test!" In Exodus the Jewish people are being put to the test!
My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a blog located at:
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