Exodus Chapter 17

Exodus Chapter 17 begins with the Israelites exiting the place known as the Wilderness of Sin. They traveled across the land as the Lord had instructed them, but the people began complaining of their situation again to Moses.

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The Israelites Complain

The people of Israel groaned about being in the desert and asked Moses for some water while they were camped at Rephidim. They were thirsty and complained about dying of dehydration from the heat.

They again tested the Lord and asked Moses why he brought them out to the desert to die. The Lord told Moses to strike a rock by Horeb after gathering the elders of Israel. As soon as he did this, water for the people to drink gushed out.

Fighting Against Amalek

While the Israelites were camped at Rephidim, they were attacked by Amalek’s army. Moses told Joshua to choose some men to fight against the armies of Amalek and he would stand upon a hill while holding the staff of God in his hands. Joshua obeyed Moses’ commands.

As soon as Joshua was fighting against Amalek, Moses, Aaron and a man named Hur went to the top of the hill. When Moses raised his hands, the Israelites would be on the winning end of the battle. When he lowered his hands, Amalek would start winning. Moses needed to keep his hands up to ensure that the people of Israel would win the fight.

Moses’ Arms Grow Tired

Moses’ arms grew weary and he needed rest. However, he still could not put his hands down. Hur and Aaron took a rock and set it under him so he could sit. The two men stood on either side of Moses and held his hands up for the rest of the time until the sun set.

Joshua’s army won against Amalek. The Lord instructed Moses to write it on a scroll since he was going to completely blot out Amalek from the map. Moses made an altar on that place and named it “The Lord is my banner.”

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Exodus 17 (King James Version)

1 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.

2 Wherefore 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?

3 And 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?

4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.

5 And 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.

6 Behold, 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.

7 And 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?

8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

9 And 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.

10 So 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.

11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

12 But 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.

13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

14 And 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.

15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:

16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

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