Bible study 67 – Exodus 17

When they get to mount Horeb (where Moses talked with the burning bush in chapter 3 and 4), the Israelites complain that they have nothing to drink. Moses strikes the rock of the mountain, and water pours out of it.

Joshua (who will get his own book later in the Old Testament) is suddenly introduced with no explanation, and has to fight, apparently single-handedly, an enemy tribe. He gets divine help for as long as Moses holds up his hand, but it takes a whole night to fight the enemy army, and Moses’ arms are getting tired. What would you do? Sit down, and have someone else hold your hand up for you? That’s exactly what he does.

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Horeb’s location is unknown, so I put it as close to Midian as I could. It’s hard to imagine that Moses brought all his father-in-law’s sheep over the Gulf of Aqaba just to graze back in chapter 3, but it makes even less sense that the entire nation of Israel would cross the gulf the other way without mentioning it, so I put Horeb on the Sinai part of the Gulf.

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2 Comments on “Bible study 67 – Exodus 17”

  1. […] the spies), but here Moses changes his name from Hoshea to Joshua. Which is strange, since he was already referred to as Joshua in […]

  2. […] God, who lets Moses use Aaron’s staff to bring water out from a rock. You might recall that the exact same thing happened in Exodus, at Meribah by Mount Horeb. This time we are in Meribah by Mount Hor. They can’t possibly be the […]


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