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Exodus 17

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1 Then all the multitude of the children of Israel setting forward from the desert of Sin, by their mansions, according to the word of the Lord, encamped in Raphidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.

2 And they chode with Moses, and said: Give us water, that we may drink. And Moses answered them: Why chide you with me? Wherefore do you tempt the Lord?

3 So the people were thirsty there for want of water, and murmured against Moses, saying: Why didst thou make us go forth out of Egypt, to kill us and our children, and our beasts with thirst?

4 And Moses cried to the Lord, saying: What shall I do to this people? Yet a little more and they will stone me.

5 And the Lord said to Moses: God before the people, and take with thee of the ancients of Israel: and take in thy hand the rod wherewith thou didst strike the river, and go.

6 Behold I will stand there before thee, upon the rock Horeb: and thou shalt strike the rock, and water shall come out of it that the people may drink. Moses did so before the ancients of Israel:

7 And he called the name of that place Temptation, because the chiding of the children of Israel, and for that they tempted the Lord, saying: Is the Lord amongst us or not?

8 And Amalec came, and fought against Israel in Raphidim.

9 And Moses said to Josue: Choose out men: and go out and fight against Amalec: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill having the rod of God in my hand.

10 Josue did as Moses had spoken, and he fought against Amalec; but Moses, and Aaron, and Hur went up upon the top of the hill.

11 And when Moses lifted up his hands, Israel overcame: but if he let them down a little, Amalec overcame.

12 And Moses' hands were heavy: so they took a stone, and put under him, and he sat on it: and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands on both sides. And it came to pass that his hands were not weary until sunset.

13 And Josue put Amalec and his people to flight, by the edge of the sword.

14 And the Lord said to Moses: Write this for a memorial in a book, and deliver it to the ears of Josue: for I will destroy the memory of Amalec from under heaven.

15 And Moses built an altar: and called the name thereof, The Lord my exaltation, saying:

16 Because the hand of the throne of the Lord, and the war of the Lord shall be against Amalec, from generation to generation.

  

Commento

 

Exploring the Meaning of Exodus 17

     

Da Emanuel Swedenborg

Arcana Coelestia 8554. In the preceding chapter, in the internal sense, the third temptation was treated of - that there was a lack of good. This having been given them, in the internal sense in this chapter the fourth temptation is treated of - that there was a lack of truth. This temptation is signified by "the murmuring of the sons of Israel because they had no water;" and therefore the truth of faith was given them by the Lord, which is signified by "the water out of the rock of Horeb."

Arcana Coelestia 8555. Then follows the combat of the falsity that is from evil against the truth and good of faith, which combat is represented by the fighting of Amalek against Israel. That they who are in the truth and good of faith conquer when they look upward to the Lord, and that they yield when they look downward, is represented by the sons of Israel conquering so long as Moses kept his hands raised, and by their yielding when he let them down.

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Arcana Coelestia #8554

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8554. Exodus 17

1. And all the assembly of the children of Israel travelled on from the wilderness of Sin, according to their travels, at the mouth of Jehovah, and encamped in Rephidim; and there was no water for the people to drink.

2. And the people wrangled with Moses, and said, Give us water and let us drink. And Moses said to them, Why do you wrangle with me? Why do you tempt Jehovah?

3. And the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses, and said, Why have you caused us to come up out of Egypt, to cause me, and my children, and my livestock to die of thirst? 1

4. And Moses cried out to Jehovah, saying, What shall I do for this people? Yet a little and they stone me. 2

5. And Jehovah said to Moses, Pass on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and your rod with which you struck the river, take in your hand, and go.

6. Behold, I [will be] standing before you there on the rock in Horeb, and you are to strike the rock, and water will come out of it; and let the people drink. And Moses did so before the eyes of the elders of Israel.

7. And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the wrangling of the children of Israel, and because of their tempting Jehovah, saying, Is Jehovah in the midst of us or not?

8. And Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

9. And Moses said to Joshua, Choose men for us, and go out, fight against Amalek; tomorrow I stand on the top of the hill, with the rod of God in my hand.

10. And Joshua did as Moses said to him, by fighting against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.

11. And so it was, when Moses raised up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

12. And the hands of Moses were heavy; and they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and one on the other. And so it was, his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

13. And Joshua decimated 3 Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

14. And Jehovah said to Moses, Write this [for] a memorial in the book, and put it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.

15. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah Nissi.

16. And he said, Because [Amalek's] hand is against the throne of Jah, the war of Jehovah will be against Amalek from generation to generation.

CONTENTS

The previous chapter dealt in the internal sense with a third temptation - a stage when good was lacking. The present chapter deals in the internal sense with the stage that came after the people had been given that good - a fourth temptation, in which truth was lacking. This temptation is meant by the grumbling of the children of Israel because they had no water; so they were given the truth of faith by the Lord, which is meant by the water from the rock of Horeb.

Footnotes:

1. The change in this sentence from the plural us to the singular me occurs in the Hebrew.

2. i.e. They are almost ready to stone me.

3. literally, weakened

  
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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.